Meet the average Swedish family- the Anderssons

Meet the average Anderssons of Sweden! 

It´s good to know a few standard tips and cultural quirks of the Swedes before your visit to Stockholm with us. Read this fun evaluation of an average Swede and see how much truth lies in the classic stereotypes of blonde-herring-Volvo-high-taxes-green-living is true.

The Anderssons are an ordinary Swedish family with a mother, a father and 1.55 children. They have the most common surname in Sweden, live in Stockholm, by far the largest of Sweden’s 290 municipalities in terms of population, and drive the most common car: a Volvo. But their statistically average life is pretty great. Swedish society is worth a closer look.

Start reading: The Average Swedish Family

10 Stereotypes About Swedes – and which are right and wrong

There are 10 Stereotypes I’ve heard about Swedes, and which are true and false.

1. Everyone eats herring – false

Herring has a strong tradition in Swedish culture but Swedes do not eat herring all year round. Herring is saved mostly for Christmas and Midsommar and rarely gets eaten during the rest of the year.

p.s. there are plenty of videos online of people opening Sour-Herring tins. Worth a watch.

2. Swedes are all blonde -false

Just not true. This is an unfounded stereotype that I can’t find. Sure, there are a lot of kids that are blonde, but this normally passes.

3. Swedes avoid conflict – almost true

You have not seen a tense moment until you have seen two Swedes arguing. Swede’s are very democratic and polite, but I’ve had more than my fair share of arguments with an angry Swede when I took the wrong laundry room.

4. Swedes are all tall – not true

Sure, Swedes are in the top 10 for the tallest men in the world (source), but not all Swedes are tall. Just another unfounded myth.

5. Everyone drives Volvos – not true

Even though Volvo is Sweden’s favorite car, this is just one of many brands on Sweden’s roads. There are also lots of classic American cars, as well as the standard choices. One thing I have noticed recently is the number of Toyota Priuses.

6. Everyone listens to ABBA – definitely not true

Not true. But did you know that many ABBA songs have a Swedish and English version? Also, Benny from ABBA owns a boutique hotel in Södermalm called Rival.

7. Swedes sound like the Muppets Swedish Chef when speaking English – so not true

Family Guy and the Muppets (and even John Oliver) have tried and failed to mimic the Swedish accent when speaking English. Most just sound Dutch or German and totally miss the real accent.
8. Swedes are Green – true

This is so true. Communal recycling places, tetrapak, and Pant, Sweden is very Green and caring of the environment. Pant is a system where recyclable items like plastic and glass bottles have a cash reward if you return and recycle them. Normally 10% of the original value, Pant is a great system that rewards those who want to be green.

9. Sweden is Expensive – true if you are not working here

Yes and No. If you live and work in Sweden, some things are expensive but daily spending is average. However, if you come from a country where the wages are lower than Sweden, then of course Sweden is very expensive. I am originally from the UK where wages are around half of what they are in Sweden. So yes and no.

10. Tax is high in Sweden – true

True, but getting taxed in Sweden is not always a bad thing. Swedes pay some of the highest taxes in the world but see the benefits and rewards come back to them, with cradle to the grave care.



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Meet the average Swedish family- the Anderssons

It´s good to know a few standard tips and cultural quirks of the Swedes before your visit to Stockholm with us. Read this fun evaluation of an average Swede and see how much truth lies int the classic stereotypes of blonde-herring-Volvo-high-taxes-green-living is true.


Did You Know- 25 Fun & Interesting Facts About Stockholm and Sweden

  1. Stockholm is often known as the ‘World’s Smallest Big City’ or the ‘World’s Biggest Small Town’.
  2. Stockholm’s oldest surviving building is The Riddarholmen Church, a Franciscan monastery built in 1270. 

Beatiful Stockholm Panorama with Riddarholmen Church

Stockholm Panorama with Riddarholmen Church

3. In 1710, a catastrophic plague obliterated about one third of Stockholm’s population.

4. The city became the venue for the award of the first Nobel Prizes, in the year 1901.

City Hall, Venue for Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Stockholm


City Hall, Venue of Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm

5. Stockholm Globe Arena is currently the largest hemispherical building in the world.

6. The city’s subway is also known as the world’s longest art gallery, with the majority of its stations being adorned with paintings, sculptures and mosaics.

7. Stockholm is the second most visited city in the Nordic countries.

8. The city is sometimes referred to as ‘Venice of the North’, thanks to its beautiful buildings and exquisite architecture, abundant open water and numerous parks.

9. The total absence of heavy industry makes Stockholm one of the world’s  cleanest metropolises.

Panorama of Stockholm, Sweden Panorama of Stockholm 

10. The people of Stockholm are dependent on the service industry for their daily bread,  which accounts for 85% of the jobs in the city.

11.Stockholm houses two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Royal Palace Drottningholm and the The Woodland Cemetery.

The Royal Palace of Stockholm The Swedish Royal Palace of Drottningholm

12. During the second half of June it barely ever gets dark in Stockholm during some weeks due to the midnight sun. 

13. A traditional and famous dish of Sweden is Swedish meatballs, served with gravy, boiled potatoes and lingonberry jam.

lingonberry jam swedenTraditional lingonberry jam in Sweden

14. Did you know what a Swedish crayfish party is? A traditional summer eating and drinking celebration in August involving boiled crayfish served with boiled potatoes and dill.

15. Ice hockey and soccer are Sweden’s main sports, other popular sports include handball, golf, gymnastics, athletics and cross country skiing.

16. Sweden has given the world some of the greatest pop bands and singers, including Abba, The Cardigans and Roxette.

      17. Pippi Longstocking is also Swedish.

18. The astronomical lens is a Swedish invention.

19. The world-famous discount furniture chain IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.

20. Happy Hour in Sweden is called “After Work.”

21. Swedes have the longest life expectancy in Europe.

22. At the height of its empire, Sweden built a large warship The Vasa to symbolize its power. It was so big and heavy that on its maiden voyage in 1628, it sank less than a mile out of     dock.

Vasa Warship Museum in Stockholm  Vasa Warship Museum in Stockholm

23. On Easter, children dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating.

24. The first ice hotel of the world was built near the village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.

25. Sweden has a long and interesting history, magnificent architecture, friendly people, and stunning landscape make it one of the countries in the world one can never tire of returning to.


Come and see if all of the above is actually true or not on our Stockholm City Tours & Shore Excursions.

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