For members


Ten very Swedish New Year’s resolutions for 2023

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 Duolingo, but you still can’t quite pronounce sjuksköterska (“nurse”). That’s fine, no one has to be perfect, but maybe this is 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

Perhaps this is the year you make the decision to travel as much as possible over land and save some carbon along the way? 

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, 2023 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 2023 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 2023? Let us know in the comments!

Member comments

  1. How specific, it is actually 482 days streak but close enough!
    And yes I can’t pronounce correctly a nurse nor even seven sick of them.
    I wonder what does offer more a “adult Swedish courses” 😀 [sorry]

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For members


What to expect when travelling to Sweden in summer 2023

From weather forecasts to rail disruptions, here’s what to consider when planning a trip to Sweden this summer.

What to expect when travelling to Sweden in summer 2023


Sweden is the perfect country to visit in summer – long, warm days that never really turn into night, but not as suffocatingly hot as southern Europe this time of the year.

That might not be the case this year.

In 2018, Sweden sweltered under a series of heatwaves with wildfires ravaging the country, and several weather forecasts suggest we could get to see a repeat of that this summer.

Heatwaves caused by African anticyclones are expected to make their way towards Europe this year, creating particularly hot conditions throughout the summer months, and meteorologists are already warning that Sweden could get less rain than normal.

Keep up-to-date with weather alerts via Sweden’s meteorological office SMHI.

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If you’re planning a barbecue, you also want to make sure you’re aware of any fire bans. A standard fire ban means that you’re not allowed to light fires in the wild, but you may still light a fire at designated spots for grilling. In the summer of 2018, this was upgraded to a total fire ban – no fires permitted, at all – in large parts of Sweden.

You should also keep an eye on local hosepipe bans or appeals to save water. You can always use water for food, drink and personal hygiene, but perhaps you can help avert a water shortage by having shorter showers and not letting the tap run longer than needed.

Restaurant closures and empty cities

Swedes take long summer holidays, with most full-time workers legally entitled to four consecutive weeks off in June, July or August. If you’re planning a city break, be aware that a lot of shops and restaurants close for several weeks as Swedes leave the cities and head to their countryside summer houses. You will still find some places open, though.

Public holidays and other events

National Day on June 6th and Midsummer’s Eve on June 23rd (and Midsummer’s Day on June 24th) are public holidays so plan ahead to avoid getting caught out by closures.

If you’re travelling around those dates, you should know that a lot of other people will also be doing so, and if you’re driving, be prepared for busy roads around Midsummer.

If you’re in Sweden for Midsummer’s Eve, go to the local celebrations where you are to watch Swedes dance around the Maypole, pretending to be little frogs without ears.

Swedish high schools graduate around mid-June, so traffic may also be busier than normal around this time, with students dancing and singing on the back of trucks.

Travel disruptions

See above for information on particularly busy travel days.

If you’re travelling by train, be aware that several parts of the rail network are being upgraded this summer, so you should expect altered routes and replacement buses.

This is particularly true for the week starting June 12th, when no trains will be running on the 350-kilometre line between Norrköping and Hässleholm (if you’re travelling between Stockholm and Malmö, this will affect you). Trains will either be replaced by buses or take a different route, and your ticket should contain information on this.

You can also keep up-to-date via the Swedish Transport Administration’s website. Click here and scroll down to trafikläget i realtid (“the traffic situation in real time”) to get the latest whether you’re travelling by train (tåg), road (väg) or car ferry (vägfärja).

If you’re driving, read this to avoid parking fines. The speed limit in Sweden is usually 50 km/h in villages, towns and cities, 70 km/h in the countryside and 110 km/h on the motorways, but it does vary and there are nearly always signs stating the speed limit.

Covid rules?

There are no longer any Covid-based legal restrictions in Sweden, or national requirements for visitors to be vaccinated. You may of course wear a face mask if you want to, but it is unlikely that you’ll be seeing a lot of other people masking up.

If you’re sick and have symptoms that could be Covid, such as a cough or a fever, the Swedish Public Health Agency recommends that you stay home to avoid infecting others. You are generally not required to get tested if you think you have Covid.

You can generally still buy a Covid antigen test at Swedish pharmacies or supermarkets, but keep in mind that even if the result is negative, you’re encouraged to avoid close contact with others until you’re well, in order to avoid the risk of a false negative.