• Norway!

    Norway: Sunnylvsfjord. Go Now!

    Known for its natural beauty, Norway is home to isolated villages, fjords, and mountains that create a culture and landscape without compare. Begin Your Journey!

  • Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Macedonia!

    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

  • Austria!

    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

  • Spain!

    Spain: Guell Park and Gaudi architecture. Go Now!

    Fusion foods, lively music, historic ruins, and cultural events like the Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina make Spain and Barcelona (pictured) a favorite tourist destination. Explore Spain!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of Sweden


Swedish Culture - Village life
Village life

Despite being a fairly large landmass, nearly everyone in Sweden lives in a city; in fact about 85% of the people live in cities. However, with long winter nights it makes sense to be close to a city where there is more to do than just hide in your house for month at a time.

Today Sweden is very modern and urbanized as nearly all amenities and jobs are located in Stockholm and other cities. Most of the working population is employed in the services sector, which includes jobs from finance to being a server at a restaurant. Obviously each job dictates a variation on the daily way of life, but for most people, they have a fairly regular work schedule that begins at about 9:00 am and ends at about 5:00 pm.

Children also have a fairly regular schedule as most schools operate from about 7:00 am to about 4:00 pm. Education is very important to the Swedes and schools run from about late August to early June. For many families with children, their lives revolve around their children, from school work and after-school activities to summer time off.

How the Swedes spend their free time depends on a number of factors, but one of the most important is dictated by the seasons and weather. During the long dark winters going out for a drink, dinner, or dancing is common, but getting outdoors is less frequent, except by those winter sports lovers, of which there are a lot relative to many countries. However, the summers offer long days and most people and families take advantage by getting outside to enjoy nature, play a sport, shop, or anything else. It's also during the summer months when school are off that most Swedes take time off of work and go on vacation, whether that's to another location in Sweden or abroad.


In general, the Swedes identify as such, but how this is defined is slowly changing. In the past being Swedish was based on ethnicity, language, and culture, but today numerous immigrants are arriving and also identifying as "Swedes," therefore slightly altering the definition of what it means to be Swedish; shifting from an ethnicity- and language-based definition to a more nationality-based definition. Additionally, the Sami (or Lapp), who primarily live in the northern part of the country, generally identify as being Sami, not as being Swedish, and this identity is almost wholly based on ethnicity, but also based on their language and culture.

This page was last updated: May, 2014