“What should I bring from Sweden?” is a question that is often asked by tourists planning a trip to this Scandinavian country.
Quality Swedish chocolate, meat and fish delicacies, souvenirs with famous fairy-tale heroes and Vikings are often brought from there. If finances allow you to purchase something more expensive, then sets of cosmetics, shoes, crystal products are also available.
Let’s take a closer look at what you can bring from Sweden for yourself and as a gift to friends.
Memorable souvenirs from Sweden
Stockholm’s main street, Drottninggatan (Drottninggatan), connecting the Old Town and new districts, is the main hub for souvenir shopping. However it is much more profitable to buy gifts from smaller towns and shops. Some of the best items to bring from Sweden for your loved ones are listed below:
Elk is the most loved animal in all of Sweden. Every souvenir shop offers diverse variations of it. In Sweden you can buy many products: postcards and magnets, badges and bags, T-shirts, dishes and aprons, oven mitts. Wooden figurines and soft toys in the form of an animal will be a great gift, as well as comic road and car signs “Watch out, moose!” The choice of souvenirs is huge!
Dala Hast is another one of the main characters of Sweden. The Dalekarli horse is also called the Dala horse, Dala Hest, the horse from Dalarna. In all of Stockholm’s souvenir shops, you can find wooden Dalekali horses, most often painted red or blue. A chocolate Dala Hast will be a good gift for people with a sweet tooth, and for your own kitchen you can bring a stylish towel with the image of this character.
Ancient Viking figurines made of metal or wood are gifts from Sweden that are considered classics. But we must remember that in their day to day lives the Vikings did not wear helmets with horns. They wore helmets to protect their head and face in battles. In order to potray vikings are scary and terrifying TV and movie directors often misrepresented them.
Be that as it may, on the shelves of souvenir shops of Stockholm and other cities of Sweden you can find figures of different Vikings. Other than figures one can buy swords, amulets, cups, helmets with horns, jewelry with the corresponding symbols.
Heroes of fairy tales Astrid Lingren
Almost all of us from childhood have known who Pippi Longstocking, Carlson, Kid, Emil and Madiken are. These characters are the works of the famous writer Astrid Lindgren. They are known and loved by children all over the world. Although the cost of such toys is quite high (starting from 100 kroons), is it the best present to bring for children. You can buy them in specialized toy stores (for example, BR leksaker), in the store at the Unibaken Museum or in souvenir shops.
Klogs (codfish) are medieval shoes of cheerful colors, the sole of which is wooden and the upper is made of genuine leather. Such handmade products can be considered both an original souvenir and a practical thing for everyday use. Swedes often wear this comfortable piece of footwear durig the summers. These shoes were very popular in the 1970s, when members of the famous ABBA band performed in them.
Food items to bring from Sweden
Delicious food items can be brought from Sweden such as:
The supermarkets COOP, ICA, HEMHÖP (they are in Stockholm and most cities in Sweden) have a fairly wide range of fish products. You can buy canned fish spreads, herring and caviar in jars, delicious salted, dried or smoked red fish. Herring and caviar are sold in small banks, prices start at 10 kroons.
What especially brave tourists can bring from Stockholm is an exotic surstroemming. The name translates as “rotten herring”, and, in general, it is very accurate. Surströmming is a fermented canned herring with a very unpleasant odor. So that it does not spread too much, the canned food is opened under water or with candles. Such a herring is eaten by adding raw onions and boiled potatoes, or they make a filling for pita bread from it. The price of a jar surströmming starts at 50 kroons.
A jar of jam made from northern berries, such as cloudberries, will be a good gift from Sweden. This jam is considered the most delicious here and is included in the daily menu of the Swedes.
In Sweden there are several companies engaged in the production of high-quality chocolate products. The most recognized and popular brand of chocolate is Marabou. The manufacturing company produces a huge range of products, and during the New Year and Christmas holidays, customers are also offered a limited series of thematic chocolate bars.
You should be aware that in Sweden you can buy real Marabou chocolate at Pressbyrån stalls and HEMHÖP, COOP, ICA supermarkets – they offer it at 30 kroons per bar.
Although coffee is not grown in Stockholm, however as compared to other European countries, Sweden is known to learned to process grains and prepare excellent quality coffee products. In the previously mentioned supermarkets, both for yourself and as a gift, you can buy coffee varieties such as Zoega, Gevalia, Arvid Nordquist.
Swedish alcoholic drinks
If we talk about alcohol, then in Sweden they produce “Carnegie Porter” beer, various liqueurs and herbal tinctures as well as the famous Absolut vodka. These drinks can be brought as gifts and for personal use too.
Aquavit vodka is considered one of the most famous and popular national spirits . It can be infused with dill, cinnamon, coriander, St. John’s wort and other herbs, and it is usually served with smoked salmon. The strength of this alcohol is 38-50%, a bottle of 0.5 liter costs about 200 crowns.
Glogg alcohol is the perfect gift for lovers of light alcoholic drinks. Glogue is a traditional Scandinavian drink made from wine flavored with a variety of spices. In Sweden, you can buy a glog not only in an ordinary 0.5 liter bottle, but also in a souvenir pack consisting of several bottles with drinks of different tastes. Bottle glosses of the Blossa Glogg brand os always in high demand.
Tourists need to remember that you can buy alcohol in Sweden only at specialized retail outlets, for example, in Systembolaget stores. And one more thing: no more than 1 liter of spirits is allowed to be exported from this country.
Snus is the perfect souvenir for smokers – the so-called shredded and moistened tobacco.
Snus does not release a lot of smoke. It is placed under the upper lip and kept there for 5-30 minutes, and then thrown away. During the use of snus, nicotine enters the body, but the lungs are not contaminated with tobacco resins. People around the person smoking Snus are not exposed to any potential damage.
We by no means are promoting smoking or the usage of nicotine but if you need to bring something from Stockholm as a gift to friends who love to smoke them snus is definetly worth a shout.
In Sweden, you can buy different types of snus: regular with a taste of tobacco, or flavored, for example, menthol, mint, raspberry. This tobacco product can be loose – in cans of 40-50 g, and portioned – packed in cotton bags of 1 g. The average price of one can is 20 kroons.
Snus can be purchased in souvenir shops, in Pressbyrån stalls, in supermarkets.
Cosmetics & Perfumes
Sweden has a wide variety of high quality cosmetics that one can buy for themselves and as a gift to women is cosmetics. The cosmetics that are produced here are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly, of excellent quality.
The most popular brand is Oriflame. The brand offers perfumes and decorative cosmetics, as well as cosmetics and body care accessories. All Oriflame products are distributed through catalogs, but the company has an official boutique in Stockholm.
IsaDora is another well-known brand. The company is mainly engaged in the manufacture of makeup products, and for their manufacturing they only use natural coloring substances without perfumes.
Curiosa is also on the list of cosmetics brands popular in Sweden and Europe. The products of this company cannot be called budget, but they are of impeccable quality, especially decorative and care lines.
Swedish crystal products
When planning your shopping in Sweden, and thinking about what to buy as a memorable and practical souvenir, take a look at the crystal. Swedish crystal products have excellent quality. They are in constant demand in Europe and America.
In the south of the state, in the province of Smoland, there is a large-scale craft center for the production of crystal. This center, consists of 15 villages with specialized workshops. It is called Glasriket (“Kingdom of Glass”). The workshops are open for visitors who want to observe the process of creating various products and buy their favorite products.
One of the most famous brands of Swedish crystal is Moleros. They offer multi-colored masks, candle holders, fancy bottles, vases of various shapes.
More expensive brands include Orrefors and Costa Boda. Swedish crystal and art glass are not only amazingly beautiful, but also act as practical gifts, and have a collectible value.
Crystal shopping can be done in the “Kingdom of Glass”, in the ethnographic museum “Skansen”, in the shops of the Old Town in Stockholm – prices there start at 300 EEK. But you can save some money by buying crystal at Duty Free at the airport – there the minimum price is 200 crowns.