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Flag of Sweden Sweden
Language: none (Swedish de facto)
Capital: Stockholm
Population: 9,234,209
Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
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<map lat='63' lng='17' zoom='4' view='0' width='270' height='350' country='Sweden'/>
A big van driven by a group of Germans, and Israeli hitch-hiker Erga (on the left) on a petrol station on the E4 towards Stockholm

Sweden is a member state of the European Union as well as the Schengen Agreement. Many say that hitching in Sweden sucks. But it works very well! As anywhere in Western Europe, the motorways are the holy temples of car driving religion and someone standing on them is committing blasphemy. But you can hitch on the motorway ramps as well as on local roads. Better bring a good map, though, so that you won´t end up in an unexpected place.

One good things especially in northern Sweden is that there are only few main roads, so there you will get along rather well. Be careful to stand somewhere where there is some sign of civilization. As especially in the north the roads are no real motorways and accessible for pedestrians, you can stop all the traffic, especially if you stand on something like a bus stop. When the streets are real motorways you have to take care a little on which petrol station you end up, as there are too much of them, with sometimes only little traffic on each of them, and as most of the petrol stations are one or two kilometers away from the motorway.

There is no special need of practicing your Swedish since almost everyone speaks English there. Though guaka thinks it can still be useful to speak a couple of words of Swedish - in Sweden you will often be picked up by immigrants and there's a chance they don't speak English.


Crossing the border

Sweden is in the Schengen treaty. This treaty is rather well respected at the Finnish and Norwegian borders but has stricter regulations at the terminals where ferries from Denmark port, or at the bridge uniting Copenhagen with Malmö. Stricter control and special attention is usually applied to those who look like "being of another race". If you are unlucky, you might be made to strip during their search. The reasons of such strict control derive from the Sweden's specific economic situation (incl. high taxes on alcohol, tobacco, etc.) which attracts a number of smugglers, and a high-standard social security system which is a target of illegal immigrants. Keep in mind, though, that the personality check is not applied to everyone but only to some at random order so you have more chances to quickly cross the border than get stuck explaining to the officials that you are neither an illegal immigrant nor a smuggler.

Petrol station by the lake, North from Gävle


Ready to sleep - a pitched tent outside the road in northern Sweden.

In Sweden, the wonderful Allemansrätt has existed for many centuries only as a customary law, but since 1994 it is part of the Swedish constitution. As in other Nordic countries, the Swedish right to roam comes with an equal emphasis being placed upon the responsibility to look after the countryside; the maxim is "Do not disturb, do not destroy".

The Allemansrätt gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land - with the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling house and land under cultivation, and with restrictions for nature reserves and other protected areas. This means that you could put up a tent for free almost anywhere as long as it doesn't disturb anybody. Make sure to not leave any garbage in the nature - we should really take the responsibility for those future generations will have the same democratic right to the nature as we have, and of course have any nature at all.. Very welcome to enjoy the Swedish nature!

Useful things

Internet you can normally get at the public or university libraries for free. Sometimes you have to ask for a guest account.

It is quite usual to send a thanksaying-message the day after a party or after a meeting − saying something like "Thanks for yesterday". When you enter a flat or an apartment, it is a must to take off ones shoes!