11 Habits You Pick Up When Living in Sweden

Not too much, not too little. Just right is the core of Swedish values
Not too much, not too little. Just right is the core of Swedish values | © Marco Verch / Flickr
Issy Häggström

Hub Writer

Sweden has a wonderfully rich food culture and a high regard for order, as well as a reverence for nature and the shared future of the planet. So people living in Sweden often pick up habits that include all of these national characteristics and more. Here are 11 of them.

Loved by over 40s


A coffee break mid-morning and mid-afternoon keeps the country running smoothly. In workplaces and in social contexts, the fika is a pause in the day to allow for good company and delicious treats. It’s a little boost to add cheer to the day.

Fredags mys

Friday cosy or fredags mys is a popular concept. What is it? Well, it is the practice of eating comfort food – normally tacos and pizza – or sharing snacks such as chips and dip as a family. It’s also not a difficult tradition to adopt.

Lördags gödis

Sweden achieved its goal for better dental health decades ago by implementing this rule. Candy only on Saturdays. Apparently, it’s better for your teeth if you have all your sweets at once and not a little bit daily. Binge candy day that leads to better dental health? That’s something one can get used to.

Yummy candy


The concept of lagom is intrinsic to the Swedish way of life. Lagom is a balancing act, it’s a desire for the good without the greed. Some define it as “just right”. Lagom is an experience and a lifestyle. The concept governs the design, interior decoration, architecture and certainly nature.

Sweden has many stunning outdoor spaces

Last piece

It is a quintessentially Swedish practice to make a bit more of whatever one is cooking, as well as for guests to leave a little extra. It’s less about being wasteful than it is about politeness. A host doesn’t want to offer too little and a guest knows this. The habit of “Svenska biten”, as some may call it, is a reciprocal act of politeness.

Personal space

Leaving space between passengers on public transportation is crucial to the preservation and practice of personal space in Sweden. This becomes difficult to do during rush hour but outside those hours of traffic, one sits where there is an empty seat beside it. Many place their bags on the spare seat as a firm reminder of the parameters of their personal space.

Planning ahead

Personal space is more than just about where one sits on public transport. It goes as far as scheduling social dates, even with your closest friends. It is difficult to fit in a spontaneous date as most people fill their social calendars three months in advance.


This a common joke but actually proves true. If there are people queuing, a Swede would join them without knowing what it is they are queueing for. Queueing is especially important in the grocery store. One has to be ready to jump out of a long queue the second another till is manned so as to be served first. Another skill is finding the ticket number dispenser to join a numbered queue, as the machines are often located in the most discreet places.

Long lines


Recycling is a given in Swedish society and is a habit one picks up almost immediately here. There are recycling bins in most neighborhoods and many buildings also sort their waste. Sweden is at the forefront of the recycling movement and inspires both residents and visitors alike to join in better practices for the good of our home planet.

Running in all kinds of weather

Come rain or shine, Swedes take to the many beautiful paths along the waterfronts and in the parks to run. The capital Stockholm hosts numerous marathons and the weather is not an obstacle. Not even the dark winter months can keep joggers and runners from putting on their running shoes and getting their heart rates up. Given the culture of fine food and daily fikas, it is no wonder we run so much! Go Sweden!

Running despite the weather

Singing for your dinner

The Swedes love to celebrate and we even have national holidays for our favorite foods, from cinnamon buns to crayfish! What you may not have known is that we also have a long tradition of singing at the dinner table. Those who come to Sweden at university level often encounter this at student unions and many families also take up their glasses for a song and cheer during festive dinners such as during Midsummer, New Year’s Eve, Easter or Christmas.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.