42 Reasons Why Sweden is the Best Country

I’ve complained about Sweden, mainly what irks me in an amusing way. Except for the crappy bedsheets, why can’t you find soft, snuggly, egyptian cotton fitted sheets?? Okay, I’ll stop. I love Sweden and for many opportunities it’s given me even though I don’t discuss it much on the blog. To be honest, it’s not entertaining to tell everyone how much you love a place and how wonderful life is; how mushy is that?
Slussen stockholm

For those of you who think I’m a self centered Sweden-hater, try reading more into the posts. I point out what I see everyday. It’s my world through my filter. But it is possible to love Sweden. It’s special; still full of Nordic traditions and sweet naiveness.

And 42 reasons why you should love Sweden:

  1. Parental leave (mammaledgit/pappaledgit) is 15 months…paid!
  2. Kids get free daycare (dagis)
  3. Summertime means endless sun
  4. The Swedish men are gorgeous
  5. Swedish women are hot, blond, and beautiful
  6. The Vikings
  7. Princess Yummyboobs, I mean Princess Madeleine
  8. Socialized healthcare
  9. You can stay in a hotel made from ice (or get a drink at the Absolute Ice Bar)
  10. Sweden is cheaper than Norway
  11. The Nobel Prize
  12. IKEA – the land of prefab homes, people, and cars
  13. Fika and cakes
  14. The darkness in the winter is kinda cool
  15. Dynamite – we can blow things up
  16. Summer houses, summer houses, summer houses
  17. The days of the week come from Norse gods
  18. Swedish men even give the cute male look
  19. There is a day for candy – lordagsgödis
  20. There are reindeers in the north
  21. Swedish meatballs
  22. Princess cake – delicious cream, cake and marzipan
  23. Lady police officiers are hot
  24. The islands are gorgeous
  25. The Swedish Chef
  26. Greta Garbo
  27. Land of the Midnight Sun
  28. There’s a day dedicated to cinnamon rolls – mummms!
  29. #1 place in the world for women
  30. Girls can wear candles in their hair
  31. Dating in Sweden is an adventure
  32. Stockholm in the Winter

  33. Snow during the wintertime is magical
  34. Sweden is cooler than Norway
  35. Another day is dedicated to waffles!
  36. At midsommar, you can dance around a maypole and be frogs
  37. Five weeks of vacation
  38. You can go dutch on dates
  39. It’s easy and beautiful to walk around Stockholm
  40. There are lots of Christmas holidays and celebrations
  41. People are nice (they maybe hard to talk to but they are nice)
  42. Swedes have an adorable accent
  43. The wonderful man I married is Swedish

40 thoughts on “42 Reasons Why Sweden is the Best Country”

  1. Yay, all good things about Sweden (altho the daycare isn’t free – it will only set you back a little over 1000 sek per month).

    I also think Swedes roads ands Swedish drivers make driving in Sweden a real treat.

  2. Ahh, didn’t know you had to pay for dagis, but I heard the care is good.

    Swedish roads are nice (along with Swedish -Stockholm drivers)

  3. Five weeks of vacation – Government mandated you HAVE to take four weeks. Some of us lucky ones get 6 weeks (+3 more at Christmas to go home. hehe).

    Snow during the wintertime is magical – Hell yeah. Going to Skansen (which should also be there, as with the Vasa) completely put me into the Christmas spirit!

    Princess Yummyboobs, I mean Princess Madeleine – <3

  4. Hmm how about adding safety to the list?

    I never felt like I was scared during the 10 years I live here.

    That is one big thing I like about Sweden, you can walk outside at night and evening in safety. Sure things MIGHT happen, but it’s not very likely at all.

    Like where I come from, especially in my province Kwalazulu-natal. Rape is a very VERY common occurrence.

    “A girl born in South Africa has around a one in three chance of completing secondary school, but she has a one in two chance of being raped” to quote statistics.

    Not to mention the murder rate are staggering.

    Oh and I agree with Andrew, vacation has to go on the list!

  5. Hey Nkosazana – I did not add safety to the list since Sweden now has more petty thefts and car thefts than the United States (per capita), rape is continuously on the rise (for the past 30 years), and violents crimes have a less than 6% chance of being solved.

    Plus my husband was beaten with a gun in front of a Coop in Söder.

    For me personally, safety is limited in Sweden. It is not Africa or Asia, but for a Western country, just as dangerous.

    (I lived in the 2nd most dangerous city in California, and seen crazy stuff for sure too)

    But vacation, hell ya! It rocks in Sweden!

  6. Well it’s all about where you come from I guess.

    But I agree Malmö has become a lot more dangerous then it was 10 years ago. Not even counting the random nutty who shoots people at random for no reason.

    I know if you look Swedish you should stay out of certain areas at night.
    But hey, finally dark skin has its advantages. Who would rob a black lady in Sweden? :)

  7. God damn what a great christmas! Had a few snaps to drink and i’m with my family, we’re just getting ready to look on the christmas presents after a great christmas dinner. Snow’s everywhere and inside it’s nice and jolly. I wish you all a merry christmas, wonderful and intelligent people.

    <3

  8. Hi Sapphire,

    your blog is amazing. You saved my day. Literally. I have been living in Sweden for 2 years and I can’t really say it’s working very well. Now at least I can have a laugh now and then!

    Keep writing,

    QoI

  9. Yes meeeeeeeee too! Keep writing. ps. that list didn’t have me sold. Another girlfriend of mine who’s leaving her man, shocking, says there aren’t enough daycares in Stockholm. 3 month waiting list…

  10. While I’ve been reading your site for almost a year (mostly as a way to maintain sanity as I, an American girl, persued a Skånska Swedish man long distance) this is my first post. I am happy to say that I just returned from an amazing Christmas in Sweden and so many of the wonderful things I’ve read on your site, including the 42 reasons why Sweden is the best, became perfectly true for me– including the magical Swedish Christmas.

    Let me share my story, which is really a culmination and reinforcement of many of the things you and your readers have said on this site…

    6.5 years ago I was studying in Bangkok for 3 weeks. On my second night there, a friend and I went out to a cafe on Khaosan Road. We noticed a table of 3 cute guys across the way and thought nothing of it until the sky opened up and rained the heaviest rain I ever saw. At that point, all the patrons scooted their tables to the edge of the room to get cover from the downpour. Coincidentally (or not :-) ) our table ends up next to the cute guys’ table. We struck up a conversation and learned that 2 of the 3 were Swedes on holiday. Much drinking and entertaining conversation ensued as the hours ticked by without notice. At one pivotal point, myself and the cutest Swede went to the toilet at the same time… I’m not sure how this happened, but in an instant, he and I found ourselves standing under an umbrella in the Thai rain kissing the most wonderful kiss I ever experienced… This beautiful Swedish man, with the bluest eyes I’d ever seen and the strongest Viking arms I ever felt. I think in that moment, I did believe in love at first sight. I was captivated and mesmerized by his quiet beauty and perplexed by “the look” which I have now come understand more after reading your site. The night ended late and we exchanged email addresses. We corresponded a bit for a few months but it soon fizzled out and I was left only with memories of an amazing chance kiss with a beautiful Swedish man under a Thai sky filled with rain. What an amazing memory it was…And one I shall never forget.

    Fast forward 4 years…. I open up Facebook and behold– a friend request from my Swedish Thai kiss! I accepted it of course and so began a year long chat-fest over Internet Messenger with my Swede. But the more I chatted with him, the less I thought he liked me! I found him short and not at all sentimental… But he kept chatting me. Confusion set in and now I was really curious. It wasn’t the “hard to get” routine, it was different…It was…Swedish. So, I took my quest for understanding to the internet and I discovered your site plus a ton of articles on “dating Swedish men”. I was shocked to find so much had been written about “the elusive Swedish” man–a man who comes from a country only 9 million strong! I began to get an understanding of the Swedish culture and perhaps a little of what made my Swede tick. Let me say here that had it not been for the insight and in some ways, commiseration I gained from your posts, I may have given up on my Swede months ago…

    We continued chatting until eventually, we agreed we should see eachother again. In October, my Swede can to visit me in San Francisco and we had a lovely week of sightseeing and getting to know eachother. His eyes were still as blue, his arms still as strong, and the kisses were as amazing as I had remembered them from that one special night in Thailand. We were both sad when the week ended and we vowed to see eachother again soon…maybe for Christmas.

    I booked my ticket (extremely expensive to travel to Sweden for Christmas!) and looked forward to seeing him again. The six weeks I waited seemed an eternity, but it was nothing compared to the 30 hours it took to travel to Sweden from California. Turns out Sweden has had more snow this winter than they’ve seen in the last 100 years and snow all over Europe caused terrible havoc for anxious travelers. I made it to Paris and sat there for 10 hours on Christmas Eve while I watched flight after flight cancelled. There was no way my flight was going to make it to Copenhagen. Or so I thought…

    We did make it out, I arrived in Copenhagen late that night, but sadly, I missed the Swedish Christmas Julafton– Christmas Eve when all Swedes celebrate Christmas.

    I was exhausted but elated to see my Swede when I came through the airpoirt door in Copenhagen and when we kissed, I felt as though the sky might open up and rain a beautiful Thai rain as it had 6.5 years prior. We drove 20 minutes to his apartment in Malmo and had our own little Julafton in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

    The next night, his parents re-created Julafton for me at their home and it was wonderful!!! His father LOVES America and was as intrigued with me as I with them. We drank, we ate, we drank, we danced, we drank and we sang. His father plays the guitar and had never before played in public but he did play for me that night because the American girl asked him to. It was magical and special and wonderful and I don’t mind telling you that the four of us did in a moment cry.

    Thanks to you, I didn’t give up on my Swede…

    We had a lovely New Year’s replete with wonderful food, of course more drinking, and amazing fireworks. On New Year’s day, I boarded my plan to the the US and my Swede and I vowed to see eachother again soon…Maybe in March.

    But more than that… We talked extensivetly about me moving to Sweden and we are taking steps now to identify opportunites for work and where we would live.

    It only took 6.5 years, a lot of perseverence and a help from a little Thai rain, but I think I have found a Swede. And I think I love him.

    Thanks to you, I didn’t give up on my Swede…

    And he is reason #1 why Sweden is the Best…

  11. Sweden is not cheaper than norway, the reason for why a swede(someone who lives in sweden) would think that is because swedes make less money compared to the same jobs in norway, hence the prices in norway and sweden is not directly comparable. You’ll have to compare what you can actually buy for a days work in the same country, not compare salary from one country with prices in the other. Since you make more money living in norway, it’s actually more profitable to work in norway and buy stuff in sweden because the NOK is worth more.

  12. @americangirl171,

    INCREDIBLE story!!! I looove reading it!! I’m so excited and happy for you!!! please keep us updated with how it all turns out!!
    Best of luck!! :)

  13. I only made it to the first two:

    I am a Swede who has lived and has children in both the Stockholm suburbs and Arizona. The facts are as I have experienced them:

    The current state of many or most Swedish schools is an embarrasement.

    1) Swedish parents don’t have a right to raise their own children. Due to high taxes (=gov’t control) both parents are required to work, turning over child raising to strangers at dagis. The gov’ts allocating (more control) 1.5 years of mamma/pappa ledig financed by other workers is at best a tiny kickback. Here is where the gov’t begins its relationship with the citizenry, at 1 years old.

    Why shouldn’t parents be able to plan their lives no limitations on child leave? The concept of taking a 1 or 2 year old baby, handing him/her over to strangers at dagis for 6, 8, 10 hours per day, then the parents being forced to work, then can only spend 2 to 4 hours per day with their own children is unimaginable.

    2) Many (some would say most) of Swedish schools represent a continuation of a dagis environment even through gymnasium. Basically day-care for teenagers. There is often not much order in the classrooms, much bullying, students’ overwhelming focus on appearance/fashion/style over and above accomplishments.

    3) Socialization of children should be one of the highest priorities of parents (people who love their children) and not a state run institution (made of people which no interest in building character, but moreso passing on a socialdemocratic mentality). Parents have turned over child raising to the gov’t

    4) In the US there are many people who choose (and some who don’t have the choice) to send their kids to day care, prioritising their careers above their children upbringing. It is very possible in most cases for one parent to stay home and actually raise the kid, see to his socialization and care. A child needs the encouragement that only a loved one can provide.

    Personally I find the concept of raising another child in Sweden sickening. They will not be raised as free individuals, but another personnummer in the system.

  14. Ok the winter is shit its cold like fuck and Malmö is fuckt up (bomb the place)

  15. Sweden? most dangerous country in Europe. Crime is very high. I recommend to avoid large cities and go rather to the countryside and to nature. Take care of yourselves! Yours sincerely Andrew

  16. Hemtex has great fitted satin sheets. That’s where me and my American SO got ours. It’s not as dirt cheap as IKEA but you’ll sleep like a kitten!

  17. you forgot about: Carl von Linné,
    Ingmar Bergman,
    ABBA,
    Free Education,
    Prince Carl Philip (HOT),
    Björn Borg,
    Alfred nobel,
    pride,
    ThePirateBay.org,
    Dreamhack,
    spotify,
    skype,
    H&M,
    volvo,
    in flames,
    The Hives,
    no censorship on the tv,
    right of public access (allemansrätt)

    Did i forget anything?

  18. Matilda – Totally right! Especially about Pippi! I never read the books as a child but they are wonderful and some of the best children’s books out there.

    Although, I can’t really give you Spotify since it has no company formation in Sweden but does get credit for having development work based here. Though that reminds me that Ikea is a Luxembourg/Netherlands company that also has no formation roots in Sweden in order to commit tax evasion.

    I was thinking of cheap public transportation should be added (at least for Stockholm) to the list.

  19. @americangirl171
    WOW!!! I seriously LOVED reading your post! Thanks so much sharing!! You have definitely kept us inspired!!
    Tell us, were you guys able to see each other in March?
    PS. I think the youtube link no longer works.
    PSS. I live near San Francisco, so hopefully one day I’ll share a similar story ;)
    hugs!

  20. Sweden=awesome. Free education from day care through university, long vacations, and consistently rated number 1 for women’s equality. One of the highest standards of living in the world.

    The countryside of sweden is the most beautiful place in the world. It is just an endless patchwork quilt of golden wheat fields and beautiful forests dotted with little medieval towns. Not to mention those beautiful red cottages. As if thats not enough the public transportation system is so amazing that even in the most rural areas it is better than anything ive seen in the us. You literally have a bus stop in every tiny village with three farms and a church.

    I am so proud every day to be swedish-american. I miss sweden so much.

  21. You forgot to mention that the parental leave is actually 80% of your pay, minus tax and there is a maximum which is easy to reach if you earn anything above minimum pay.

    Daycare is not free it’s 2000kr a month, but that is still cheap.

    Vikings (if they were still around) I believe would be a downfall, not a benefit.

    The biggest plus would be if you are a single guy the girls in Sweden on average are better looking than average and really easy, but overall Sweden only looks good on paper but not so much in reality.

  22. l would like to know how serious is christian in sweden l will be coming to sweden shortly to join my lovely fiance being a pastor l wouldl like to know how seriouse is christian and freedom of christian

  23. well that depends on what denomination of christian he/you are ofcourse.

    freedom? well, as long as you don’t break swedish law.

  24. @ Sapphire

    Dynamite??? i dont get it. Are u saying that u can buy dynamite and just use as u wish?

  25. Don’t they get most of their energy from Garbage as well and had to import garbage from norway after they ran out of garbage

  26. You Have right on every got damn opinion, except 1. Sweden is not so much cooler than Norway, I love the Alps (Fjällen) in Norway So much viking history. Rock N Roll from Sweden!

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