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Sweden : the land of diversity

Sweden is characterised by an extreme diversity of landscapes. That’s why many holidaymakers consider this country a paradise suitable for a plethora of outdoor activities. Perfectly clean lakes, pristine forests, and kilometres of stunning archipelagos will give goosebumps even to the most seasoned of travellers. 

Swedish monuments are steeped in history and the country’s inhabitants are truly amiable and open-minded towards all tourists. From excellent museums to stark Arctic lands – you’ll never get fed up with this country.

While travelling around Sweden, you will be pleasantly surprised by the road infrastructure and public transport. You’ve got a plethora of choices when it comes to the exploration of this country. However, the easiest way to see all of the hidden jewels is travelling with your own or a rental car.

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Sweden: paradise for travellers

Sweden’s greatest gem is surely Stockholm referred to by many as the Venice of the North. It is located on a number of charming islands that create a landscape dotted with small archipelagos, channels, and intricate waterways. The urban charm of the Swedish capital stands in a beautiful opposition to its urban flair and will captivate even the most fastidious visitors. 

At a stone’s throw from the capital, depending on whether you want to head south or north, you will find such urban jewels as Uppsala or Nynäshamn. In the region, it is also worth visiting Mariefred with the nearby Gripsholm Castle located on the shores of Lake Mälaren. The stunning fortification dates back to the first half of the 16th century. Yet another notable tourist attraction that you just can’t miss near Stockholm is the Rök Runestone – the most popular Swedish runestone with an inscription that is a first written example of Swedish literature. 

Visby and Gotland are both well-known for being summer vacation spots for tourists and the Swedes alike. Pristine landscapes, stunning strands, and fancy art festivals are what you can expect from the so-called Long Island of the Baltic Sea. Be sure to visit the fortified city walls dating back to the 13th century in Visby.

Öland, Sweden’s second largest island, is a perfect destination for the lovers of active holidays. Plenty of outdoor activity options, such as biking or hiking, and numerous archaeological sites will become a top-notch combination for the most demanding tourists.

Sweden/Södermanland, Uppland/Stockholm/Photo by qimono on Pixabay
Sweden/Uppland/Uppsala/Photo by 12019 on Pixabay
Sweden/Sm?land/Jönköping/Photo by Grizzlybear-se on Pixabay
Sweden/Scania/Malmö/Photo by Pierre Châtel-Innocenti on Unsplash

In a nutshell, the southern part of the country is all about endless sandy beaches, rolling farmland, and great stark examples of Swedish architecture. It is enough to pay a visit in Norrköping, Jönköping, Varberg, or Oskarshamn, which are perfect spots to experience the natural beauty of Sweden combined with the exploration of regional treats.

The western shore doesn’t give way to the rest of the country in terms of its charm. In Falkenberg and Varberg, you’ll have a unique opportunity to admire a number of stunning churches and a 13th-century fortress, whereas in Gothenburg, travellers will delve into modern architecture, featuring the awe-inspiring Poseidon Statue, experience the peace and quiet of several municipal parks, and learn more on the Swedish culture in one of the museums.

Malmö is Sweden’s most famous gateway to the rest of Europe. The iconic Øresund Bridge is at a stone’s throw from multiple Danish treasures. The urban landscape is characterised by great cultural diversity which is most visible around Möllevångstorget, the main square and the heart of the city. 

If you are seeking places that won’t overwhelm you with an excess of cultural stimuli, you should definitely head for such spots as Habo, Karlskrona, or Kristianstad. In order to explore the hidden attractions of the province of Scania, Lund will become a perfect starting point for an adventure around the region. Holidaymakers who enjoy long strolls along beaches and enthralling war fortifications should definitely consider Kalmar as their holiday destination.

Sweden: car rental and traffic rules

If you decide to travel around Sweden with a rental car, you can definitely hire a vehicle at one of the international airports or simply in one of the major Swedish cities. All of car hire companies offer a wide selection of interesting vehicles together with supplementary insurance options.

Traffic rules prevailing on Swedish roads are very similar to all European countries. Sweden can boast a top-notch road infrastructure and a great motorway system. The Swedes drive on the right-hand side of the road so it’s only natural to overtake other vehicles on the left.

Sweden applies severe penalties on motorists who drink and drive, and the alcohol limit itself is very low. The legal amount of alcohol is 20 mg per 100 ml of blood. Thus, it is recommended to pass on any kind of alcoholic beverages before hopping in the vehicle. The most severe penalty is that of two years in prison.

Sweden/Photo by Andreas Wagner on Unsplash

While driving in Sweden, you should always have your driver’s licence, liability insurance, ID or passport, registration document, and vehicle technical inspection certificate. The minimum driving age in Sweden is 18 just like in any other European country; however, the car hire company may require you to be at least 21 or even 25 to drive a rental car. 

Remember, that the use of any kind of safety camera detection device is illegal in Sweden. You may get an on the spot fine, regardless of whether the device is on or off. All motorways and expressways are free of charge – that’s why driving around Sweden is such a pleasure for all motorists. The only place where you have to pay a toll is on bridges that connect Sweden with Denmark and Norway.

Car equipment in Sweden

It is obligatory to always carry a warning triangle. It is also advisable to have a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a set of spare bulbs in your vehicle. All of those items will increase the safety of your journey and save you from any on the spot fines for lack of car equipment.

Sweden/Scania/Malmö/Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

Sweden: speed limits and parking regulations

Motorists can drive as fast as 50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on dual carriageways, and 110 km/h on motorways. When it comes to urban areas, the restriction is frequently lower and you’ll be required to drive below 30 km/h.

Sweden/Södermanland, Uppland/Stockholm/Photo by Mariamichelle on Pixabay

In the majority of Swedish cities parking is generally considered a real drag. This is due to many restrictions connected with the length of stay as well as the high parking fees that the motorists need to pay. Even most roadside parking spaces are paid and you’ll be required to use designated ticket machines. However, in a number of cities, you’ll be allowed to park for free on Sundays.

Facts for safer driving in Sweden

drink drive limit
max speed urban
31 mph
max speed rural
43 mph
max speed highway
68 mph
headlights at daytime
fire extinguisher
seat belts
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