Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU) since 1995, but not a member of the so called Euro-Zone. That is why the local currency is not the Euro, but the Swedish Crown (Svensk krona).
One Swedish Crown is subdivided into 100 Öre. Banknotes have the following values 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Crowns.
Cash money is available from cash points (ATMs) or exchange offices. However, credit cards are widely accepted and in use, but the pin code is almost always required.
Swedish beer is divided into classes according to its alcohol content. There are class I (lättöl), class II (folköl) and class III (starköl) beers with a class I beer being the weakest and a class III beer being the strongest beer.
Class I and II beers are available in supermarkets, whereas class III is only on sale in licensed shops (Systembolaget) or pubs, bars and restaurants. One of the biggest beer breweries in Sweden is Pripps, but to be honest, I can't say that their beer tastes very good.
After so many months of darkness, when summer come everybody wants to stay out. Night life is very exciting during summer and every bars have tables outside. If you are guests, be sure that a barbecue in the garden, better if on a lake or a river, will be organized and enjoy it.
Nowhere else I have lived have been able to beat the amount of fireworks. None as spectacular as in Stockholm with all its water but the AMOUNT of fireworks here are amazing. Opening and closing of Liseberg, New Year, Easter and all sorts of birthdays. I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact that Chalmers' Technical University run all sorts of trials too...:) Apart from the ones from Liseberg, many are fired from mount Ramberget on the other side of the river and the Skansen Kronan hill (see general tip) is a popular place to see them all from - loads gather here on New Year's Eve.
Lots of rock and pop bands herald from Gothenburg and quite a few are famous. They've popped up through gigs in the little clubs as usual, and made their way up the charts. Swedish known artists include loved names like Nationalteatern and Håkan Hellström whilst international claim to faim is had by for instance Soundtrack of Our Lives.
At most places with customer service (e.g. Post Office, Tourist Information, Money Exchange) you have to take a number from a machine. Then you have to wait for your number to be called or to be shown on the display with the appropriate counter. So instead of waiting in a line you are able to browse through other things while waiting for your number to be called.
In Scandinavia door locks or keys often have to be turned contrary to how you might be used to turning them to open or close a door.
For example, in Germany a door with a door handle on the right side is usually locked by turning the key clockwise, whereas in Scandinavia you might have to turn it anti-clockwise.
If you're like me and you get caught in the rain, then a great way to get warm again is to enjoy a sauna. Now, saunas are actually Finnish in origin (they pronounce it "sow' nah"), but you will often find them in Swedish residences too.
It is very relaxing sitting in a sauna. You just sit there in a towel for about 20 minutes and that's all you need. Lean against the wall and contemplate your day, read a book, or have a sauna with a friend and just chat.
Although make sure that you remove any jewellery before entering a sauna, as the metal will heat up and 'burn' against your skin, not pleasant.
For instructions on 'how to take a sauna', check out the website below :)
Just a little language tip:
In Goteborg I saw a word that I had also seen when I was in Stockholm. In english you would take offence at this word, but remember you are in Sweden and therefore words can have a different meaning in Swedish.
And the word is 'sl*t' (insert a vowel where the star is - I didn't think I should actually write it). The signs would say 'Sl*t Rea' which means, basically, 'end of sale' - and it would usually be in large letters across store-fronts. I had guessed the meaning, but asked my friend who I was with in Goteborg just to be sure :)
So english speakers, don't take offence, as it is not slander in swedish!
Just a simple tip.
When visiting someone's house in Sweden (and I've found the same in other Scandinavian countries) you take off your shoes when entering their house.
In Australia (where I live) you usually only take your shoes off if they're really dirty (caked in mud or something). But here, no matter how clean your shoes are, you take them off, it is the respectful thing to do.
Göteborg was designed by the Dutch, not so strange that there are canals and bikes in the city!
Cycling conditions are superb, all main roads have separate cycling paths, their own set of traffic lights and a fairly high number of cyclers. It's easy, safe and convenient to make your way through Göteborg...
People in Göteborg are very patriotic about their city. They usually dislike Stockholm and anything associated with the East Coast of Sweden. People can travel the world before they set fot in Stockholm. If you need a conversation in a bar, try football. Even the biggest cultural snob knows something about it since the town has so many teams and always host various championships.
Having said all this, it is the most open city in Sweden. Being Scandinavia's largest port, people are used to visitors. But it is so much easier if that visitor is British rather than from Stockholm :)))
At Kungsportsplatsen, this royal equestrian statue is the most famous meeting point in the city as people can sit on its foundation. It is affectionately known as Kopparmärra' which simply means "the Copper mare".
Carl Milles' famous Poseidon fountain at Götaplatsen really has seen it all. I cannot recommend you to swim in it. I did it once when Sweden won its World Championship bronze medal in football (soccer) and then I walked home (15 minutes) in a soaked dress. Consequently I lost my voice completely for a week. Could have had something to do with the shouting too I suppose :)))
Poseidon's water is also often filled with washing powder by local students when they don't put a silly hat on him instead or a mask on his face...
The so called "landshövdinge" houses are typical of Göteborg. Landshövding means "county chief" and it was those who had enough of the fires sweeping through wooden Göteborg. They simply decided that houses had to be built with a brick foundation and only on top of that could you go on building with wood. Thus, you see a lot of these houses in the areas surrounding the immediate centre. In particular, head for Majorna along the river/behind Slottsskogen or to Redbergsplatsen or Mölndalsvägen if you want to study this very local architecture.