A trip to Scandinavia is guaranteed to be one of the most wonderful vacations of your life! With gorgeous cities, outstanding natural terrain, and rich culture, the region is deemed one of the most beautiful ones in the world. And if you already have an itinerary – all the more exciting!
However, you might want to brush up on your knowledge. While planning the trip is already a huge step forward, there are some things you should know. So, stay tuned, and let’s check the top 10 surprising facts you might not have known about Scandinavia!
1. They Excell in English
While all the countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland all speak in their own languages or dialects, you should keep calm! Scandinavians are fantastic at the art of the English language. You can easily converse, ask for directions, and order food.
English is taught from a young age, so most of the population is bilingual. We still suggest knowing some basic phrases in their native language, but even if you do not – there is basically no language barrier!
2. The Countries Used to be a Union
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland, are known as extended Scandinavia. However, do not be surprised if you hear that it is only the first three that are considered true Scandinavia.
Historically, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark always stayed closer to each other than Finland and Iceland, and they even formed a union. From years 1397 to 1523, the three were called the Kalmar Union. Their domestic and foreign policies were ruled under a single monarch, even if you could have considered them three separate sovereign states.
3. Sweden is Almost all Forests
Yes, that sounds a bit weird. However! More than two-thirds of Sweden’s estate is all forests. If you look up any extensive or even private & small group tours of Sweden, you will quite obviously see that they are very proud and show-offy of their natural panoramas. Which is highly reasonable, knowing how exciting and big of greenery they have.
4. Bergen Used to be Scandinavia’s Biggest City
While we now know that Stockholm is the biggest one in the Nordic states, it was once Bergen, Norway, that held the title net worth.
When the city was a significant part of the Hanseatic League trading organization, it was one of the most important regions in all of Scandinavia and the biggest city. Even now, while coming into seventh place, size-wise, Bergen is still loved and highly visited. If you are in Norway’s capital city, we suggest boarding the train from Oslo to Bergen and learning more about their historical background and significance.
5. Coffee is Very Important
If you are a coffee lover visiting Scandinavia, you are in luck! These countries are considered to be the highest-consuming coffee regions in the world, so you will surely find something to enjoy. Visit their cafes, restaurants, and street vendors for the most refreshing and delicious drinks ever!
6. Copenhagen is Extremely Busy with Flights
You might have heard about the legendary Copenhagen airport, or you might even travel to one! Deemed the best and the most elaborate one, CPH flies about 40 million people every year, offering flights not only to European countries but also multiple options for Asia and the USA. Safe to say – no matter where you come from, Copenhagen is there to welcome you.
7. Recycling is Important
Scandinavia is considered to be one of the cleanest and most well-preserved areas in the world. It is always a joy to visit and roam the clean streets, inhale the fresh air, and meet environmentally-aware people. The countries are very big on recycling; that is how they keep it clean. You will feel at home if you are a green lover at heart!
8. They Also Love Holidaying
And we say that with the utmost jealousy! While vacationing might mean long distances and tours for you, in Scandinavia it simply means that people enjoy spending their free time chilling and freshening up after long hours of work. Not only do they only work approximately 37 hours a week, but they also get about five weeks off yearly!
9. Most of the Time, Scandinavians Understand Each Other
All coming from the same roots of Nordic heritage, all Scandinavian countries can easily converse even if they do not know the specific language. The dialects are quite different but have some key similarities to one another, making it easier to connect. So, if you only know one language or dialect, you will probably have no trouble conversing in any other neighboring country.
10. One Scandinavian King Was an Army Officer
It is quite a fun fact to know before touring and getting to know the region! Karl XIV Jonah, sitting on Sweden and the Norwegian thrones from 1818 to 1844, was actually an army officer. During the Napoleonic wars, he was known as the Marshall of France but quite quickly took the part of a monarch. You should meet him by visiting any of the Scandinavian history museums mynoteworld!
Keep these all in mind before going! Not only will you understand more upon touring, but you might also even impress some locals with your knowledge. Knowing some history is crucial when you are visiting a new region, so put these away in your very own Scandinavian box until you get there. Keep on learning, and Hej da FAQ BLOG!