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DISCOVER SWEDEN

Ten very Swedish New Year’s resolutions for 2022

Is this the year to do all those things you’ve been meaning to do since moving to Sweden?

a person diving into a lake in Sweden, it's summer and you can see the Swedish flag on a boat
Perhaps this is the year when you actually take that long summer holiday? Photo: Johan Willner/imagebank.sweden.se

Finally learn Swedish

Yes, you’ve got a 479 day streak on Duo Lingo, but you still can’t quite pronounce sjuksköterska (“nurse”). That’s fine, no one has to be perfect, but maybe this the year that you commit to taking language lessons for real. There are plenty of adult Swedish courses up and down the country, many of which start up in January. And if you need to learn some new Swedish words, we have the perfect book for you

Take a really long holiday 

And don’t feel guilty about it. Part of enjoying the Swedish work-life balance comes from taking at least four weeks off work over the summer holidays. 

Enjoy Swedish friluftsliv

Swedish life is all about getting out of the city and enjoying the uninhibited right to roam, called allemansrätten. Perhaps 2022 is the year you finally take up cross-country skiing, or cold-water swimming, or mosquito hiking. 

Fly less

Flying has become more difficult than ever during the pandemic, with long queues at check-in and expensive testing requirements. Perhaps this is the year you make the decision to travel as much as possible over land and save some carbon along the way. Swedish flygskam made headlines pre-pandemic, but there’s even more reason to not be flying so much now. 

We know that avoiding flying entirely is near-impossible for many international residents, who may have have family, friends and businesses in several different countries, but here are some tips from The Local’s readers about how to fly sensibly.

Discover more of Sweden

You’ve done all the tourist traps, you’re bored of the cities, so now it’s time to visit places off the beaten track. Have you surfed at Torö? Or stood in three countries at once at the Three-Country Cairn, where Sweden, Norway, and Finland all meet? 

Go to the gym more

But not that gym.

Sweden is full of outdoor gyms (utegym) that are free to access for everyone. They’re usually in parks, so they’re a great reason to get some fresh air (which is also free and very good for you). So there’s no need to spend money on an expensive gym membership that you give up on just as quickly as you start.  Plus, 2022 is not the year to body shame yourself into lifting sweaty weights at your local gym chain. 

Buy more second-hand

Sweden is the only country in the world to have an entire shopping mall dedicated to selling only second hand and upcycled things. You’ll find great vintage and antique stores everywhere in cities, and you’ll find loppis (“flea markets”) everywhere else. 

Even if you can’t get out to search through racks of pre-loved clothes, you can check out websites like Sellpy that sell previously worn clothes. 

Change your career 

With strong labour unions and employee rights, Sweden is an excellent place to find what makes you passionate and make a job of it – but it can also be surprisingly difficult to break into the job market. Perhaps this is the year you quit or give up your job hunt and start your own freelancing agency, or you take an adult learning course at one of the many universities that offer them for free to Swedish residents. 

Bake like a Swede 

If 2020 was the year of sourdough and banana bread, maybe 2022 will be the year of the kanelbulle. Not the easiest pastry to master, but once you’ve got it down you’ll never need a bakery again. 

Read more Swedish books

Want to read up on your Swedish culture? Here’s a list of Swedish books to read in the new year

What are your New Year’s resolutions (nyårslöften) for 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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DISCOVER SWEDEN

Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim

As temperatures soar in Sweden this week, even the thought of wearing a swimsuit might seem a bit much. If you feel the need to expose a little more skin to the elements, here are some of Sweden's best nude beaches.

Five of the best spots in Sweden for a naked swim

From vast, sandy shores to coastlines dotted with caves and inlets, Sweden’s as many as 90 nudist beaches span the range of what the country’s beaches have to offer.

According to Malin ArlinderEkberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, interest in naked swimming and bathing grew significantly in Sweden during the pandemic. 

“Those [nudist] associations which have camp sited had more visitors than they usually do, a whole lot of people who wanted to try something new when everyone was having holidays at home,” she told TT in an interview last summer. 

But she said that while Swedes aren’t particularly shy about getting their clothes off, they were reluctant to tell friends that they visited nudist beaches. 

“On hot days, the nudist beaches are rammed, but I promise you that 90 percent of those there won’t dare tell friends and relatives that they go there. The first step is to talk about it and not make such a big deal out of it. Everyone at my job knows I’m a naturist. I do the same things that you and everyone else does, just without clothes.

But you don’t have to join the federation, or even visit a nudist beach, to enjoy a naked swim in Sweden. 

Almost any spot by the sea or on a lake can be your own nude swim spot, so long as you remain respectful of other visitors who prefer to keep their bikinis and swimming trunks on, and choose a moment when there’s no one nearby to strip off and leap in.  The rule is not to flaunt your nakedness.  

READ ALSO: How to find Sweden’s cleanest and best beaches in the summer of 2022 

Sandhammaren

The Sandhammaren beach in Ystad is among Skåne’s most popular, and it’s easy to see why it’s often considered one of Sweden’s best beaches. Its white sandy dunes and long coastline in the southern tip of Sweden make it a popular spot for swimmers and sunbathers, while the pine forest inland is perfect for walks year-round (clothes not optional when traipsing through the forest).

Watch out for strong currents when venturing out for a swim. Historically, pirates took advantage of the strong currents at Sweden’s southernmost tip to run unwitting ships aground before swooping in to plunder the ships.

When you tire of sun and sea, you can visit a lighthouse that dates back to the 1860s, or head back toward Ystad, which The Local ranked among Sweden’s cutest hidden gems in 2015.

Ribersborg
Another one of the many beaches Skåne has to offer, Ribersborg – or Ribban, as the locals say – is close to Malmö’s city centre.

The nude section at this beach is designated at brygga, or bridge, 10, where you’ll also find a public restroom and outdoor shower. If you fancy getting back into your clothes after a few hours in the sun, there’s an outdoor gym you can use, or you can take your dog to the large, dog-friendly area.

Malin Arlinder-Ekberg, chair of the Swedish Naturist Federation, at Ågesta nudist beach. Pontus Lundahl/TT

Ågesta

Ågesta is Stockholm’s only official nudist beach, although you will find naked visitors at other breaches, such as Brunnsviken, Lövnäsbadet, and Kärsön.

At Ågesta, by Lake Magelungen, you’ll find a sandy beach where you can bring the whole family. There are play areas, picnic tables, and even a barbecue area.

Venture inland from the rocky shore and you’ll find yourself walking through the forest that surrounds the beach. And if you tire of the sand, there’s a large grass-covered area where you can spread your towel and settle in for a day of sunbathing – without any tan lines getting in the way.

Amundön

Gothenburg’s Amundön is more rocky than sandy, but don’t let that deter you. Here, you’ll find a hilly 4.5km trail in a protected part of Gothenburg’s archipelago. On your way to the nudist beach, you’ll pass through various hilly and grassy landscapes on your way to the large rocks and cliffs that make up the coast.

On a warm summer evening, the cliffs are ideal for watching the sunset. Bring your own refreshments, because the amenities here are limited to a public restroom. In between dips in the water, you can sunbathe on the rocks or explore the archipelago.

Gustavsberg

Another official beach, Gustavsberg, by the Nora lake in Dalarna, boasts a sand beach with shallow waters that make it safe for even the youngest swimmers. Between the playground, picnic area, grassy sunbathing area, and large barbecue area, it’s easy to spend long Swedish summer days at Gustavsberg. 

There’s a camping space here too, if you can’t tear yourself away from this idyllic space. Rates are available here.

If the shore and camping area get too crowded, rent a boat – you can also buy a fishing
license – and paddle out into the lake for some solitude. 

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