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Summary: Sweden is located in northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway. Its terrain is mostly flat or gently rolling lowlands with mountains in the west, and aided by peace and neutrality for the whole 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living.

Capital: Stockholm
Time Zone: DST +0200 UTC
Population: 8,986,400
Languages: Swedish
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Swedish Krona - Currently 1 SEK = 0.1557 USD $
Climate: Sweden is temperate in the south with cold, cloudy winters and cool, partly cloudy summers, and subarctic in the north.

Stockholm: Nicknamed Beauty on Water, the 24,000 islands of the Skargard archipelago comprise Greater Stockholm. Here, you can visit the 608 room Kungliga Slottet (The Royal Palace), and a wooden statue of St. George slaying the mythical dragon in the Storkyrkan (The Stockholm Cathedral), both from the 15th century.

Gotland: Gotland's capital, Visby, is a medieval fortress overlooking the sea. Historic Viking settlements and dozens of old cathedrals in various states of decay lie within the city's turreted stone walls. The island also has long stretches of scenic beach, and the botanical gardens of Krusmyntagarden and Lummelunda's limestone caves are additional attractions.

Systembolaget: The government-controlled liquor and beer stores are open during the week, although the lines can be long on Fridays. You will normally have to take a number to be served, and you would choose what you want from displays and price lists.

Food: Potatoes are a staple of the Swedish diet, along with fish that can be poached or fried in lard. Also popular is pickled herring.

Phrases: Tack means both thank you and please, and you will hear it often.

Tipping: A service charge is included in almost all bills. You should tip taxi drivers 10 percent of your fare.

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