1. Stockholm Arlanda airport is ridiculously glossy and chic. Although relatively small, it makes Gatwick and Heathrow look like its ugly step sisters – there’s potted plants, glass and expensive looking wood finishes everywhere.
2. Even in 15 degree autumn warmth, in which *some* tourists might choose to go bare-legged, the people of Sweden will dress up as though there is a blizzard on the way. They wear puffa coats, jeans, boots, scarves, hats, gloves and thick jumpers even when it’s not cold. I don’t know.
3. Despite Kopparberg and Rekorderlig both being Swedish brands, they’re not usually stocked in bars or restaurants.
4. To buy ANY alcohol outside of said bars and restaurants you have to go to a government off license – they don’t stock anything with more than 2.5% in convenience stores. These off licenses are probably less frequent than Costa or Tesco Express in the UK. So yeah, struggsville.
5. Everything is expensive. A 250ml bottle of cider is about a fiver, and a Big Mac meal is about £6. You get the idea.
6. Stockholm is basically a group of islands connected together with bridges. Therefore there’s A LOT of bridges, and water and boats, and it feels a lot more like Venice than it does London.
7. They are OBSESSED with this sort of amazing cinnamon bun. Picture a cinnamon swirl, but bigger and juicier and with more cinnamon and happiness and sprinkles of sugar. Yeah, that.
8. Everyone speaks English. In fact, sometimes they’ll speak to you in English before they do in Swedish, because they can just tell you’re a Brit abroad.
9. The old town, Gamla Stan, has things like a palace and cobbled streets and parliament and dates back to the 13th century. It feels much more quaint than anything we have in London and i’m jealous.
10. Girls in Sweden are mostly as blonde and slim and naturally beautiful as they’re portrayed and it’s rubbish if you’re not one of them.
11. Picture your local charity shop, then picture it 5 times bigger. These second hand shops are littered on every street. I spied a fringed leather mini skirt for bout £6 – sadly, my legs are not in a state for said fringed leather mini skirt. Sob.
12. Stockholm’s underground system is pretty big – but really confusing. You can buy the equivalent of Oyster Cards but for two people, but it’s a minefield.
13. They have free wifi pretty much everywhere – on trains, on boats, on buses and just in random spots in the street.
14. They’re obsessed with a fake boulder/cavern feel and have it in pretty much every underground station as well as in random spots about the city.
15. When you fly into the airport you’ll become aware of just how forest-y Sweden is as a country. The landscape looks entirely different to the UK – mostly, the trees are just ridiculously tall.
16. They’re as obsessed with their own royal family as the UK is with Kate Middleton.
17. Swedes appear to love Asian food – there’s thai and sushi restaurants EVERYWHERE.
18. There’s also an abundance of coffee shops, most notably ‘Wayne’s coffee shop’ which has taken over the city. Although Starbucks? Yeah, not so much.
19. Eating in general is very similar to the UK. The standard menu involves burgers, steaks, fish and pasta.
20. Taxis are unregulated which means they can charge whatever they like – which, in turn, means it’s easy for you to get scammed. We were charged over £50 for a 12 minute journey and sort of panicked and paid and left. So, yeah, there’s that.
For my vlogs filmed in Sweden, click here.
Basically, Sweden is cool – if a little bit cooler than me. They don’t drink as much as we do, the locals do chic things like wrap up in H&M layers and drink coffee, like sophisticated beings. And all you need is a good pair of shoes and hand cream because most of the exciting bits in the city are all within walking distance of each other.
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