• Sweden's news in English
The Local List
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
A Swede cooling off in a hammock in Visby, Sweden. Photo: The Local

How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer

Maddy Savage · 3 Jul 2015, 11:02

Published: 03 Jul 2015 11:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

1. Take your clothes off

Swedes have a global reputation for enjoying getting naked and the stereotype can be seen at parks and beaches throughout the summer. There’s no shame in sunbathing in just your bikini in the city centre, and you’ll see plenty of men going topless during their morning runs. Swedes love to keep fit and when the sun comes out it’s time to show off all your hard work.

Sun seekers in Hornstull, Stockholm. Photo: TT

2. Go swimming outdoors

For a country where temperatures rarely rise above 20C, Sweden has a lot of outdoor swimming spots. Its three major waterside cities - Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm - are all packed with wooden jetties where you can sizzle in the sunshine before making a splash. Swedes love to swim and will happily indulge in naked skinny dipping - even before it starts to get dark.

READ ALSO: Six hip spots to sun seek in Sweden's capital

A swimmer in Gothenburg. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

3. Chill in a summer house

While in many countries second homes are reserved for the rich, properties in the Swedish countryside are surprisingly cheap. The country has more than 700,000 summer houses (sommarstuga) for its nearly 10 million inhabitants, which means it shouldn't be too difficult to find a friend to put you up for the weekend. You might get invited to go hiking or sailing while you’re there, but on-the-go city types also love to relax in their ‘sommarstuga’. This means you might not venture far from the patio, but you’ll be offered plenty of beer and grilled meat while you’re there.

A Swedish summer house. Photo: Kristin Lidell/Image Bank Sweden

4. Head to an outdoor gym

Swedes also make the most of their summers by working out in parks. There are plenty of al fresco gyms around the country and outdoor yoga sessions are also becoming more common. Not into exercise? Park your towel nearby, this is prime people-watching territory!

An outdoor gym in Visby, Gotland. Photo: The Local

5. Have an ice cream

Dairy products are a national obsession in Sweden from eggs to cheese and a confusingly broad range of creams and yoghurts. Come summertime, locally-made ice cream is the key milk-based snack on the menu.

An ice cream stand in Stockholm. Photo: TT

6. Leave work at 4pm

We’ve mentioned this before; work-life balance is very important to Swedes and at no time is this more obvious than during the summer. Since the days are so short this far north during winter, Swedish people want to stock up on their vitamin D once the sun comes out and many employers allow them to clock off early to do so.

Clocking off early today? Photo: Susanne Walström/Image Bank Sweden

READ ALSO: Ten Swedish phrases you only hear during summer

7. Eat strawberries

Even more than ice cream, strawberries are a staple ingredient during any Swedish summer. Swedes believe they produce the best in the world. The cold spring climate followed by long summer days is believed to pack in extra sweetness and flavour. 

Swedish strawberries. Miriam Pries/Image Bank Sweden

8. Have a glass of rose

Story continues below…

Rose wine is one of the most trendy summer drinks in Sweden and is a symbol that the sunny season is truly underway. It’s always served up at Almedalen, Sweden’s mega political conference in July and at major sporting events in July and August. Never tried it? Rose wine is made from lightly crushed red grapes that are set aside to macerate with their red skins. Then, juice is squeezed out from the mush and fermented in tanks. It’s best served chilled or with ice.

Rose wine. Photo: Leif Jansson/TT

9. Get in a sauna

No, we’re not kidding. Plenty of Swedes still enjoy taking saunas during the summer. Since Sweden’s lakes and seaside spots don’t exactly boast Caribbean temperatures, it’s not uncommon to sweat out your rose and grilled lunch in the evening, before taking a plunge back outside to cool off. Alternatively, after spending the day in the water, you might need a sauna to warm you up once the sun goes down.

A Swedish sauna. Photo: Helena Wahlman/Image Bank Sweden

10. Buy blackout blinds

Speaking of the sun, well it doesn’t go down for that long in the Nordic region, with some parts of Sweden even experiencing 24 hours of sunlight. Avoid becoming someone who moans about how this can play havoc with your sleeping patterns by investing in some decent blackout blinds or an eye mask. After all, you need to catch your beauty sleep ahead of all that sunbathing, swimming, topless jogging and strawberry feasting.

Sunset in Gothenburg during summer. Looks pretty. Goes on for ages. Photo: Jerker Andersson/Image Bank Sweden


For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available