ABOUT Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. Sweden borders Norway and Finland, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Oresund. Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy form of government and a highly developed economy. Sweden has the world's eighth-highest per capita income. In 2013, it ranked second in the world on the Democracy Index. Stockholm Sweden’s capital city spreads out over 14 islands in Lake Mälaren and looks out proudly to the Baltic Sea to the east. Her grand public buildings, palaces, rich cultural history and museums tell her 700 year-old history beautifully. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the Old Town, expect and get cobblestone streets, crooked but beautifully preserved buildings, the Royal Palace, gothic churches and excellent cafés, bars, restaurants and Swedish design-ware shops

CLIMATE Sweden enjoys a generally temparate climate, thanks to the Gulf Stream. Above the Arctic Circle, winter can be crisp and invigorating. In the south, winter is generally mild with an average of temperature above 0C/32F degrees, but temperatures can vary markedly in different parts of the country. In central and southern Sweden the winters are short and quite cold, and summer temperatures are similar to those in southern England, but with a lot more hours of sunshine and daylight. In the northeast meanwhile the winters are severe, the more so as you travel further north, while the summers can be surprisingly warm. In the far north the winters are also severe, with snow lying the year-round on elevated areas, and the summers are short and changeable. And because Sweden lies at a high latitude much of the country has very long hours of daylight in summer and very long nights in winter.

BEWARE Sweden is one of the safest countries in Europe to the point that travelers don't have to consider any safety issues at all, as long as they're using basic safety tips and common sense. Crime rates in Sweden are much lower than in most other European countries and there are no health risks for Sweden travelers. Stockholm is a very safe, friendly city for visitors and there are no "bad" neighborhoods other than the recommendation to keep away from Stockholm Central station at night.