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Ten very Swedish New Year’s resolutions for 2022

Is this the year to do all those things you’ve been meaning to do since moving to Sweden?

a person diving into a lake in Sweden, it's summer and you can see the Swedish flag on a boat
Perhaps this is the year when you actually take that long summer holiday? Photo: Johan Willner/

Finally learn Swedish

Yes, you’ve got a 479 day streak on Duo Lingo, but you still can’t quite pronounce sjuksköterska (“nurse”). That’s fine, no one has to be perfect, but maybe this the year that you commit to taking language lessons for real. There are plenty of adult Swedish courses up and down the country, many of which start up in January. And if you need to learn some new Swedish words, we have the perfect book for you

Take a really long holiday 

And don’t feel guilty about it. Part of enjoying the Swedish work-life balance comes from taking at least four weeks off work over the summer holidays. 

Enjoy Swedish friluftsliv

Swedish life is all about getting out of the city and enjoying the uninhibited right to roam, called allemansrätten. Perhaps 2022 is the year you finally take up cross-country skiing, or cold-water swimming, or mosquito hiking. 

Fly less

Flying has become more difficult than ever during the pandemic, with long queues at check-in and expensive testing requirements. Perhaps this is the year you make the decision to travel as much as possible over land and save some carbon along the way. Swedish flygskam made headlines pre-pandemic, but there’s even more reason to not be flying so much now. 

We know that avoiding flying entirely is near-impossible for many international residents, who may have have family, friends and businesses in several different countries, but here are some tips from The Local’s readers about how to fly sensibly.

Discover more of Sweden

You’ve done all the tourist traps, you’re bored of the cities, so now it’s time to visit places off the beaten track. Have you surfed at Torö? Or stood in three countries at once at the Three-Country Cairn, where Sweden, Norway, and Finland all meet? 

Go to the gym more

But not that gym.

Sweden is full of outdoor gyms (utegym) that are free to access for everyone. They’re usually in parks, so they’re a great reason to get some fresh air (which is also free and very good for you). So there’s no need to spend money on an expensive gym membership that you give up on just as quickly as you start.  Plus, 2022 is not the year to body shame yourself into lifting sweaty weights at your local gym chain. 

Buy more second-hand

Sweden is the only country in the world to have an entire shopping mall dedicated to selling only second hand and upcycled things. You’ll find great vintage and antique stores everywhere in cities, and you’ll find loppis (“flea markets”) everywhere else. 

Even if you can’t get out to search through racks of pre-loved clothes, you can check out websites like Sellpy that sell previously worn clothes. 

Change your career 

With strong labour unions and employee rights, Sweden is an excellent place to find what makes you passionate and make a job of it – but it can also be surprisingly difficult to break into the job market. Perhaps this is the year you quit or give up your job hunt and start your own freelancing agency, or you take an adult learning course at one of the many universities that offer them for free to Swedish residents. 

Bake like a Swede 

If 2020 was the year of sourdough and banana bread, maybe 2022 will be the year of the kanelbulle. Not the easiest pastry to master, but once you’ve got it down you’ll never need a bakery again. 

Read more Swedish books

Want to read up on your Swedish culture? Here’s a list of Swedish books to read in the new year

What are your New Year’s resolutions (nyårslöften) for 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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The sun will now not set in northern Sweden until mid-July

It's the season of the midnight sun (midnattssol) when the sun remains fully above the horizon around the clock.

The sun will now not set in northern Sweden until mid-July

At 38 minutes after midnight on Monday, the sun rose in Karesuando, Sweden’s most northerly settlement, and will not now set until mid-July.

The midnight sun first arrived at the Swedish border on Saturday, and will now move slowly south towards the Arctic Circle until the summer solstice on June 21st, with the ski resort of Riksgränsen getting it on May 25th, and Kiruna, Sweden’s most northerly city on May 28th. 

Even if you do not live in an area that gets the midnight sun in Sweden, the days are still growing longer. Down in Stockholm, the sun is currently up for almost three-quarters of the day (more than 17 hours), and the same is true in Gothenburg, with Malmö getting more than 16 hours of sunlight each day.

The summer solstice, when the day is at its longest and the night at its shortest, is on June 21st.

Do you live in northern Sweden? Please send your photos of the midnight sun to [email protected], with ‘Midnight sun’ as the subject line.