Sweden is one of the most diverse countries travelers will ever visit. While they may just be populated with only 9 million locals, Sweden's thriving culture compensates for more than enough dynamic experience.
Just before packing your bags and heading there, here are five things about Sweden that may come in handy.
1. There's only one store that sells hard liquor.
The Swedish government found it necessary to control alcohol consumption as much as possible, which is why Systembolaget stores emerge since 1955.
It's the only place where one can buy liquor, as gas stations and convenience stores are banned to do so. People should also be at least 20 years of age to buy alcohol and be 18 years and over to legally consume it.
Each town has one store, which is usually open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and 10 AM - 1PM on Saturday.
2. There's an avid liking for coffee.
It's a worldwide fact: Swedes love their coffee. They have even dedicated a tradition called fika, which is synonymous to teatime in London. Friends and family make it a point to gather together at least once a day to practice such tradition, having coffee and with something sweet on the side.
If travelers are for one obsessed about coffee, then Sweden will more than satisfy in that department.
3. Be done with shopping by 5 in the afternoon.
Most stores and shops close by 5pm, more often on weekends. Another thing is Swedes usually finish their regular job around the same time, which makes scouting for items extra challenging.
Being done before 5pm is a golden rule for shoppers in this side of the world. The only thing that will be open by 10PM is a gas station.
4. It's a Mecca of museums and parks.
Not only will adults love Sweden, but also the kids they're bringing along with them. Sweden holds the world's first open-air museum, which is home to collections of historic buildings, a zoo, an amusement park as well as an aquarium.
There's also a sunken ship museum called Wasa, The Museum of Technology and its own Museum of Natural History.
5. Most businesses are shut down in July.
This is an important thing tourists need to know about Sweden, since no one would want to waste an entire month vacationing in a place where almost everything is closed.
Most businesses do not operate in July because that's when employees take their 4-6 week vacation.