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Swedes devote almost equal amounts of time to work and play – the reason, perhaps, for why they enjoy one of the longest life expectancies in the world. Their laid-back attitude, combined with a reasonably mild climate, and a vast and wild outdoors mean that many of their activities take place outside. Sports, in particular, play a huge role in Swedish culture and demonstrate the country’s dedication to healthy pastimes. In the summer you’ll find Swedes of all ages fishing and hiking; in the winter they are out cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. In Sweden’s pristinely modern cities, shopping (especially for bleeding edge fashion and design) is the de facto sport – it clocks in just a little ahead of visiting galleries, enjoying "fika" (coffee time) at cafes, and picnicking in parks.

Things to do in Sweden

Go Shopping in Malmö

With over 800 shops, Malmö is one of Sweden's premier shopping destinations. The city has specialty stores that run the gamut from traditional Nordic jewelry, arts, and crafts to edgy accessories and togs from local designers such as Lollopard and Robert & Blad. The best shops and boutiques can be found along Lilla Torg, Stora Torg, Davids Hall square, and Engelbrektsgatan.

Tags: shopping | design | trendy | things to do | clothing

Learn about Vikings at Gamla Uppsala Museum

Located in the ancient monument area of Gamla Uppsala (old Uppsala), this museum displays artifacts such as hunting tool fragments and helmets that chronicle the Viking era and the pagan roots of Scandinavian culture. Learn about centuries-old traditions through slideshows, model replicas, and various recordings.

Disavägen, 011-46-18-23-9300, www.raa.se
Tags: things to do | history | museum

Sample Seafood in Gothenburg

Built in 1874, Feskekôrka, popularly known as the Fish Church, is an indoor fisherman’s market that resides within a church-like structure. It was designed by architect Victor von Gegerfelt, and is a prominent landmark on the Gothenburg cityscape. Be sure to sample some herring in one of its indoor restaurants like Kajutan (011-46-31-774-0073).

Rosenlundskanalen, Fisktorget, 011-46-31-13-8234, www.fiskekyrkan.se/fiskekyrkan.htm
Tags: seafood | things to do | market

Try Fishing in the Umeälven River

When visiting Umeå - the gateway to the Swedish outdoors – be sure to try your hand at pike, perch, and sea trout fishing on the Umeälven River and its surrounding archipelago. Learn different styles of reeling 'em in such as spin-fishing, fly-fishing, and jig-fishing. RiverSide Adventures runs four-person tours, which include all equipment and lunch.

RiverSide Adventures, Sillviken 728, 011-46-70-324-8536, 011-46-90-12-3513, www.riversideadventures.se
Tags: things to do | fishing

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site in Laponia

One- to three-hour guided hikes teach about wild Arctic flora and fauna (such as bramble flowers and elk, respectively) as patrons traverse Arctic national parks such as Abisko, Tyresta, Gotska Sandön, and Sarek in the preserved wildlife region known as Laponia. If you’re lucky, you'll run into some reindeer-herding Sami natives of Swedish Lapland.

Skuggarvet 50, 011-46-70-267-9946, www.moosetravels.com
Tags: hiking | things to do

Visit Stockholm's open-air museum, Skansen

Established in 1891, Skansen is an open-air museum comprised of 150 Swedish buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside the buildings, actors in period costume carry out traditional Swedish occupations like baking, glass blowing, and weaving for the benefit of guests. A zoo on the premises showcases wildlife like elk, wolves, brown bears, and moose.

Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 011-46-8-442-8000, www.skansen.se
Tags: family | things to do | architecture | wildlife | museum

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