What Is Sweden Known For? (People, Places, and More)

Known for its lush forests, breathtaking lakes, and rich biodiversity, Sweden is a popular destination for nature lovers.

But Sweden is also home to things and people that are so popular today they’ve become household names.

Aside from its forests, lakes, and booming forest products industry, Sweden is also home to popular brands Ikea and Spotify and is known as the pop music capital of the world.

The country is also famous for its culture of sustainability, unique approach to design, and interesting tourist attractions.

There’s a lot to see and experience in Sweden. [1] Here’s a quick guide to some of the most notable facts about the country.

Also, see How to Move to Sweden to learn more.

what is Sweden famous for
What famous people are from Sweden? See below

What famous people are from Sweden?

Sweden is the birthplace of some of the most important figures in history, entertainment, and science, to name a few.

  • Alfred Nobel. The Nobel Prize exists today thanks to the generosity of Alfred Nobel, a scientist, businessman, and philanthropist who gave his massive fortune to establish the Nobel Prize, which aims to acknowledge tremendous contributions to humankind. [2]
  • Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus was a scientist who was born in Sweden in 1707. He is known as the “Father of Modern Taxonomy” due to his scientific contribution of devising a way to name organisms in a systematic way—what is now called “Taxonomy.”
  • Anders Celsius. Another scientist who hails from Sweden is Anders Celsius. He was a physicist and astronomer who, as his name suggests, created the Celsius temperature scale. Thanks to him, we are able to measure temperature accurately today.
  • Greta Thunberg. Thunberg is an environmental activist who is known for her passionate speeches on climate change and reducing our carbon footprint. She encourages people across the globe to adopt environment-friendly lifestyles to help mitigate climate change.
  • Ingrid Bergman. One of the most recognizable figures in cinema is Ingrid Bergman, a Swedish actress who starred in countless movies in America. She is most known as the star in the romantic movie “Casablanca” alongside Humphrey Bogart.
  • Greta Garbo. Another important figure during the golden era of American cinema was Greta Garbo, who was known for her somber appeal and melancholic persona. One of her most popular movies is “Mata Hari,” where she played the role of a wartime exotic dancer.
  • Ingvar Kamprad. Those who love Ikea probably know Ingvar Kamprad, the man who started the multimillion-dollar company. His DIY approach to furniture has made his company a huge success worldwide.
  • Astrid Lindgren. Lindgren is an important figure in Swedish literature. She was a fiction writer and playwright who created the beloved children’s book character Pippi Longstocking.
  • Stieg Larsson. Larsson was a contemporary writer who was born in Sweden. He is famous for thrilling novels such as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Larsson was also an activist and journalist.
  • August Strindberg. Another Swedish writer is August Strindberg, who is known as one of the most prolific writers of fiction and plays. 
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović. Ibrahimović is popular among football fans all over the world as the AC Milan striker with impeccable ball control. He also plays for the Swedish national football team.

Also, see Do Danes and Swedes Hate Each Other? to learn more.

Sweden water
What famous attractions does Sweden have? See below

What famous attractions does Sweden have?

Sweden is one of the most attractive countries in the world, with green landscapes, pristine lakes, and awe-inspiring architecture that can be seen both in its contemporary landmarks and old town structures.

Here are a few of the most famous attractions you should not miss in Sweden:

  • Gamla Stan. “Gamla Stan” literally means “Old Town” in the Swedish language. And aptly so, it is an island that is Stockholm’s old town center. Here, you will see structures that date back to the 16th century.
  • Royal Palace. The Royal Palace in Stockholm is the official residence of the country’s monarch and the royal family. The palace is open for guests all year round.
  • Drottningholm Palace. This is the royal family’s private quarters, located in Drottningholm, a short distance from Stockholm. 
  • Ice Hotel. Located in Sweden’s Lapland region, the country’s ice hotel is the first of its kind in the world.
  • Skansen National Park. This is the world’s longest-existing open-air museum and zoo. The park is so large it basically is a small town dotted with farmhouses from the 19th century.
  • Visby. Visby is a medieval town located on Gotland island. Here, you will see traces of medieval architecture, including the town wall that stands to this day.
  • Liseberg Theme Park. Liseberg Theme Park is one of the longest-running theme parks in the world. It opened in 1932. [3]
  • Stockholm Public Library. The stunning Stockholm Public Library was built in 1928 and designed by world-renowned architect Gunnar Asplund.
  • Oresund Bridge. This famous bridge connects Sweden to Denmark. It takes about 10 minutes to cross the bridge by car. 
  • Sarek National Park. Established in 1909, Sarek National Park is the oldest national park in Europe.
  • Vasa Museum. Vasa museum is a maritime museum that showcases ships dating back to the 17th century. 

Also, see Why Do Swedes Have Blonde Hair? to learn more.

Sweden northern lights
Does Sweden have a McDonald’s? See below

15 Interesting Facts About Sweden

Aside from famous people and tourist attractions, there’s still much to learn about Sweden, particularly its culture, traditions, and history.

Here are 15 of the most interesting facts about the country:

  • Swedish people are huge recyclers. In fact, they dump only 1% of their waste in landfills and use the rest to recycle and produce energy and compost.
  • Sweden imports waste from Norway to keep its power running. [4]
  • In Sweden, people love Donald Duck more than Mickey Mouse.
  • A Swedish drink called julmust is more popular in the country than Coca-Cola, especially at Christmas. Julmust is a fermented malt drink with similarities to root beer.
  • Stockholm’s underground metro stations are covered in art, making them not just transportation hubs but art galleries at the same time.
  • “Fika” is a huge part of Swedish culture, where people take breaks during the day to rest from work, enjoy a cup of coffee, or chat with friends.
  • The first nicotine gum was invented in Helsingborg.
  • Sweden is the fifth largest country in Europe and the biggest Scandinavian country in the world.
  • Two-thirds of Sweden’s territory is made up of forests.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of free-roaming moose in Swedish forests.
  • The Swedish passport can grant holders access to more than a hundred countries without a visa.
  • The band ABBA originated from Sweden.
  • Parents have been prohibited from hitting their children in Sweden since 1979.
  • Sweden has the largest number of McDonald’s branches in Europe.
  • There are more inventions patented in Sweden than in all of Europe.


If you ever find yourself in Sweden, you definitely won’t have a shortage of things to do and discover.

Also, see Is Sweden Socialist? to learn more.

[1] Source
[2] Source
[3] Source
[4] Source
[5] Source
[6] Source
[7] Source
[8] Source
[9] Source
[10] Source

Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

Related Questions

error: This content is copyrighted.