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Af Chapman ship (now serving as a youth hostel), Stockham view (by Holger Ellgaard, via Wikimedia Commons)

Af Chapman ship (now serving as a youth hostel), Stockham view (by Holger Ellgaard, via Wikimedia Commons)

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Sweden – A Charming and Prosperous Kingdom

Map of Sweden

Map of Sweden

A prosperous nation With beautiful lakes and forests, Sweden is a charming Scandinavia’s country and a major travel destination attracted worldwide visitors every year.

The Kingdom of Sweden is located in Northern Europe between Finland and Norway, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak. With total land area about 410,335 square kilometers, Sweden is slightly larger than California of the United States.

Sweden has 9,723,809 (2014 estimate) population, including indigenous population: Swedes with Finnish and Sami minorities; foreign-born or first-generation immigrants: Finns, Yugoslavs, Danes, Norwegians, Greeks and Turks. With small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities, Swedish is the official language in Sweden.

As an independent, peace and neutral nation for the whole twentieth century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications facilities, and a skilled labor force.

In September 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system concerned about the impact on the economy and sovereignty.

Stockholm Concert Hall, where the awarding ceremonies for the Nobel Prizes are held (via Wikimedia Commons)

Stockholm Concert Hall, where the awarding ceremonies for the Nobel Prizes are held (via Wikimedia Commons)

Sweden currency is Sweden kronor (SEK). Based on March 2015 exchange rates, 1 US dollar equal to 8.62359 Sweden kronor.

Sweden has highly developed telecommunications infrastructure; ranked among leading countries for fixed-line, mobile-cellular, Internet and broadband penetration. With Internet country code .se, Sweden has about 8.398 million Internet users (2009 estimate).

The Nobel Prize

Alfred Nobel (1831–1900)

Alfred Nobel (1831–1900)

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of academic, cultural and/or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895. The prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace were first awarded in 1901. The related Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. The Nobel prize was made of the mixture of gold and silver with 24 carat or 4.8.g gold coating. Between 1901 and 2012, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences were awarded 555 times to 856 people and organizations. With some receiving the Nobel Prize more than once, this makes a total of 835 individuals (791 men and 44 women) and 21 organizations [source: Wikipedia].

The prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the peace prize which is awarded in Oslo, Norway. The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. Every year, recipient or laureate of the Nobel Prize, receives a gold medal, a diploma and money prize, which is decided by the Nobel Foundation.

The Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences; the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature; and the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded not by a Swedish organisation but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

The Nobel Prizes awarded in Sweden ceremonies are held at the Stockholm Concert Hall, with the Nobel banquet following immediately in the Blue Hall at the Stockholm City Hall, which is attended by the Swedish Royal Family and more than 1,000 guests. The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony has been held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute (1905–1946), at the auditorium of the University of Oslo (1947–1989) and at Oslo City Hall (1990–present).

ABBA – Swedish Famous Musical Group

The Swedish band ABBA, in April 1974, after they won the Eurovision Song Contest (via Wikimedia Commons)

The Swedish band ABBA, in April 1974, after they won the Eurovision Song Contest (via Wikimedia Commons)

ABBA was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The ABBA band became one of the most successful pop music group in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1975 to 1982. They also won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at the Dome in Brighton, UK.

With over 380 million albums sold worldwide, ABBA is one of the best-selling music group of all time. ABBA, from a non-English-speaking country, enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.



ABBA were honored at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2010.

Scandinavia’s Charming Destinations

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– Stockholm

Djurgarden, Stockholm, Sweden

Djurgarden, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden, is a favorite travel destination and beautiful city with magnificent waterside City Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquets are held.

The Royal Palace, Riddarholm Church, Storkyrkan, the Skansen Folklore Museum, Modern Art Museum, the narrow cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (the old town), Grona Lund Amusement Park are some of Stockholm’s tourist attractions.

Stockholm luxury hotels

Grand Hotel Stockholm

Grand Hotel Stockholm

There are many luxury hotels in Stockholm, such as the Grand Hotel Stockholm, Radisson Sas Strand Hotel, First Hotel Reisen, Hotel Diplomat, to provide excellent services to visitors.

– Sigtuna

Sigtuna, located in the northwest of Stockholm, is an old Viking capital. Uppsala is another Sweden’s attractive city with a historic university and magnificent githic cathedral. Nusnas, located in the heart land of Sweden, is the home of the world famous Dalarna horses.

Lilla Bommen Marina, Gothenburg (by Mikael Miettinen, via Wikimedia Commons)

Lilla Bommen Marina, Gothenburg (by Mikael Miettinen, via Wikimedia Commons)

– Gothenburg

Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and a busy port in the westcoast. From here you can take ferry to across the Kattegat to go to Denmark.

As one of the inventive city in the world, Gothenburg is the home city of the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. In addition, Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927.

– Malmö

Turning Torso and Västra hamnen Harbor By Night, Malmo (by Bjaglin, via Wikimedia Commons)

Turning Torso and Västra hamnen Harbor By Night, Malmo (by Bjaglin, via Wikimedia Commons)

Västra hamnen (“Western Harbour”) is a neighbourhood of Malmö, situated in the Borough of Centrum, Malmö Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden. Västra hamnen was an industrial area until the 21st century, when also the last factory closed down. In 1966, Kockums constructed the world largest dock in Västra hamnen. [source: Wikipedia]

Västra Hamnen is also known as also known as the City of Tomorrow, and is the first district in Europe that claims to be carbon neutral. The district uses aquifer thermal energy storage system to heat buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer. The city of Malmö received a Special Mention award at the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2012 in recognition of its good work at Västra hamnen.[source: Wikipedia]

HSB Turning Torso

HSB Turning Torso is the tallest skyscraper in Sweden and the Nordic countries, situated in Malmö, Sweden on the Swedish side of the Öresund strait. Since completion, it is the tallest building in Scandinavia.

The project was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and officially opened on 27 August 2005. The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories – 147 apartments, relax/lounge/spa/gym, wine cellar followed by around-the-clock concierge service 365 days a year[source: Wikipedia].

The vision of HSB Turning Torso is based on a sculpture by Calatrava, called Twisting Torso, which is a white marble piece based on the form of a twisting human being.

– Uppsala

Uppsala Cathedral - the Fyris river (by Tusse, via Wikimedia Commons)

Uppsala Cathedral – the Fyris river (by Tusse, via Wikimedia Commons)

Uppsala is the capital of Uppsala County and the fourth largest city of Sweden, after Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. It had 140,454 inhabitants in 2010.

Located 71 km (44 mi) north of the capital Stockholm, it is also the seat of the Uppsala Municipality. Since 1164, Uppsala has been the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden, being the seat of the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Founded in 1477, Uppsala University is the oldest centre of higher education in Scandinavia [source: Wikipedia].