With a population of 10 million people of whom about 2 million are under the age of 18. Sweden is a very multicultural country: About one in five children in Sweden has a family with roots in another country, 15 percent of Swedes being born in another elsewhere.
The capital of Sweden, Stockholm, is also the country’s largest city, with more than 950,000 inhabitants. Other large cities are Gothenburg, in western Sweden (population 570,000), and Malmö (population 340,000) in the south. Uppsala and Lund are well-known university cities.
Less than three percent of Sweden’s land area is built up and forests cover 69 percent of the country. Sweden is long – some 1,574 kilometers from top to bottom – and can be divided into three major regions: Götaland in the south, Svealand in the middle and Norrland in the north.
Swedes are very interested in studying and working hard, but they also enjoy resting and relaxing. Fika ( a coffee or tea break that can also include soft drinks, fruit and sandwiches) has become a social institution. Fika is also used as a verb and a noun. One can go fika with his family or on a first date.
Travelling by Train in Sweden
New Sleeper Trains
If you want to visit Sweeden and you like travelling by night, you will be happy to find out that Sweden is planning to introduce new sleeper trains that will broaden your travel options.
The country’s initiative provides an alternative to short flights and a great change for the environment.
Trafikverket, Sweden’s rail infrastructure manager, recently revealed its plans for overnight sleeper trains that will run from Malmö to the German city of Cologne via Copenhagen.
From there, passengers will make connections to other European countries, including London, Amsterdam, Munich and Paris. The new service will mean travellers leaving Malmö at 7.40 pm to arrive in Amsterdam by 9.28 am the following day and London at 11.57 am.
The project will be finalized in 2022 or 2023
This new service, which will speed things up considerably, is expected to begin in 2022 or 2023 because at present, it takes two full days of travel for a typical rail journey from London to Sweden, stopping half-way overnight.
Anna Fällbom, a senior official at Trafikverket, affirms: “As a first step, we propose to proceed with a connection between Malmö and Germany, preferably Cologne. Travel time on the route is reasonable and there is a good opportunity for continued connections from Cologne.”
Trafikverket was commissioned to investigate options for procuring overnight sleeper train services to European cities by the Sweedish government. On April, 30, the report has to be finalized, but one can already find the draft published. Issues such as how new carriages could be procured and if the service should be put out to competitive tender or directly awarded to a rail operator are being currently decided.
Swedes care about the environment
Swedes care a lot about the environment and they take environmental issues very seriously. Renewable energy sources account for more than half (52 per cent) of Swedish energy production. Only one per cent of solid waste goes to landfill in Sweden – with the rest recycled or used to produce heat, electricity or vehicle fuel.
With this new initiative, the Swedes show once again how thoughtful they are about nature, their citizens and their tourists.