I mentioned in my introduction page that I visited Sweden in February and March and it was cold, very cold. We spent most of our time in the North of the country and it was mostly below -20 degrees C. As the title suggests it is obvious but you really do need to pack for extremely cold and snowy conditions. You should certainly consider thermals, stout waterproof boots preferably with thermal insoles, a fleece, mountain coat (preferably Goretex or similar), gloves, the whole lot.
The image shows the standard kit I wore out every day. The other guy is a great Irish musician called Pat, who had been living in Sweden for some years and was obviously acclimatised as he didn't seem to need the full Arctic gear. The image was actually taken on the music tour I undertook some years ago. I cannot remember now exactly where it was (it gets like that on the road) but the conditions are fairly typical of what we encountered.
Miscellaneous: If you like a drink bring it with you. The prices in Stockholm are truly frightening particularly in restaurants where a small beer will set you back £5 and a basic bottle of wine £33 - I'm not joking and I don't mean expensive restaurants either (well expensive by UK standards but not by Swedish).
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
Mosquito Repellent if you want to go fishing or camping by a lake
Miscellaneous: I would raccomend a rain jacket (anyway also in the sunniest month of July) and a dark mask to put on to avoid lights coming into the windows during the nights in summer. If you are not used to such clear nights it could be a nightmare trying to sleep in Scandinavia. Windows have only glasses not also dark doors like by us!
Luggage and bags:
tag everything with colored tape, ribbon or such
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: be prepared for warm, cool, rain
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If coming from USA, make sure you bring with your cold medicines, asprin, etc. You cannot purchase these items over the counter.
Photo Equipment: I have found its nice to have with your laptop that will burn CD's. When my memory card is full, i just download onto the laptop.
Miscellaneous: Have with you Swedish coins. Most of the public restroom require you to pay to use them, even at the airport. Also its now easier to use your debit card in the ATM's instead of American Express TC. Each time you cash in your Travelers checks your charged a fee. So cash in a large amount each time.
Windproof clothes and good walking shoes - both for the outdoors as well as for cities!! The cobble stone in Stockholm is hard on your feet, so you will really appreciate good footwear!
Photo Equipment: lots of film or memory cards!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: moquito repellent!!! This is the most important thing when going camping in summer!
Any piece of photo equipment you might fancy is easily available in almost any town - well, except really expensive/professional digital cameras & accessories costing 10000 & upwards:)))
However, they are much more expensive here than in practically any other country, so I suggest you bring at least the minimum you think you'll need + at least 10% more (if you see a really gorgeous scene) with you.
During the cold months (roughly speaking november through march) you should definitely bring the following items:
A warm jacket
Long legged underwear
Protection for your head
Warm shoes, maybe even with extra inside soles
This list is valid for visiting any part of Sweden during this time. In the southernmost parts it might not be necessary, but you never know. At least if you are coming dec-feb bring warm clothes and shoes!!
A good material is Gore-Tex which protests against both cold and humidity while letting the body breathe.
*If you are planning on outdoor activities and/or visiting the northern parts of the country, you must be even more careful with your dressing. The key to keeping warm in cold weather is layering. If you come without the appropriat gear, there are several stores in Sweden that carry these items.
Katterjakk (north): Summers average maximum is about 13°C (55°F) minimum around 6°C (43°F). Winters average maximum is about -5°C (23°F) minimum around -15°C (5°F). It can rain/shower all over the year, mainly in April.
Ostersund (center): Summers average maximum is about 18°C (64°F) minimum around 10°C (50°F). Winters average maximum is about -3°C (26°F) minimum around -8°C (18°F). It can rain/shower all over the year, mainly winters.
Stockholm (east): Summers average maximum is about 22°C (73°F) minimum around 14°C (57°F). Winters average maximum is about 0°C (32°F) minimum around -4°C (25°F). It can rain/shower all over the year, mainly in May.
Göteborg (southwest): Summers average maximum is about 19°C (66°F) minimum around 12°C (52°F). Winters average maximum is about 3°C (38°F) minimum around -1°C (30°F). It can rain/shower all over the year - there is no specific rainy season.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: No matter for how long you are going to stay in Sweden and no matter at what period of the year, the weather can change several times per day. So, even if you travel there just for a few days or a week it's necessary to have few T-shirts, one warm sweater and another light sweater, also a jacket from the rain as in the whole Scandinavia. Good shoes are also required as you will walk a lot for sure in 'discovering' cities or nature.
In winter: Bring warm cloths and good shoes.
In Summer: Light cloths but also something to get warm at cold days or in the mountains.
Rainy weather cloths will be very helpful.
If you are planning going out, restaurants, nightclubs, its recommended also some elegant cloths. Swedes like to dress well while going out.
Miscellaneous: Bring with you as much duty free as you aloud, everything will cost you more in local stores & pharmacies.
Don't forget! Bring lots of money.
It depends on where and when in Sweden you go: if you go to northern Sweden at winter, be sure to dress in warm clothes as warm jacket, winter shoes, gloves, hat and a knitted scarf. And don't forget warm underwear. When you go out in the snow and cold, you will really looks like the michelin guy!
If you travel to Sweden in summer, you can dress lightly. T-shirt and shorts/skirt is enough during sunny and warm days, but bring a thin sweater to wear at evenings just in case.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can find everything you need here in the pharmacist.
Luggage and bags:
I backpacked there when it's really cold, sometime during Christmas. It's not the coldest but enought to freak me out. So save most of the space of your backpack for warm clothes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring pills for headache, cough or any other flu symdromes, it helps, really! or you can get some ming gum or sugar in any convenient store, it sooth your throat when walking in a chilling wind.
If you plan to party in Sweden, it might be advisable to bring some alcohol in on your own, because the price on alcohol can be a real shock.
On the other hand buying alcohol means you have to visit the liquor store Systembolaget, with its longs waiting lines and great stock.
The weather in Sweden can change rapidly in the same day. From warm and sunny to clouds and rain. Also there are seasonal differents between summer, autumn, winter and spring.
Geographlicy Sweden to is a long country from north to the south if you look at a map (from north of the artic circle down to Denmark and almost north Germany), so it depends on when and what part of the country you should visit.
And ofcourse it is important what the purpose of the trip is, businesstravel ore wandering in the mountains or forest.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sweden is a very clean country, and if you get sick - you can buy it here if you need it.
Photo Equipment: There is no problem with photoequipment, all well known manufacters of film and cameras can be bought here.
Luggage and bags:
Depends on the type of holiday.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A snug sweater for summer evenings when it's still light and sunny but can be a bit cooler than further south.
In winter you need warm shoes that can still deal with the wet thaw and ones you don't mind getting salt rims on for a while.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellant if you stay in small towns or the countryside in summer and especially when visiting Dalarna or the highlands but also other areas near lakes and streams...
Photo Equipment: You will find any photo equipment in decent sized Swedish towns.
Miscellaneous: Eye mask if you have trouble sleeping in light at all. Summer nights can be very light if you don't have dark curtains where you stay.
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