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Nordic Eats: The Swedish Art of Fika

By: Jessica
Posted in: General, Scandinavia, Sweden

Forget IKEA and ABBA; the four most important letters you need to know in Sweden are FIKA. Just as the Swedes perfected flat-packed furniture and pop music (among many other things), they also took the classic coffee break to world-class levels.

Fika kaffe
Did you know? Sweden has among the highest coffee consumption rates in the world! Only the Finns and the Dutch caffeinate themselves more than the Swedes.

The word fika (pronounced feee-ka, used as both verb and nountranslates in English as "to have coffee", but it's about so much more than that. For an authentic explanation of this Swedish cultural phenomenon, we turn now to our Nordic Visitor travel experts in Stockholm:

"Fika in Sweden is when you sit with your family, friends, colleagues, etc. and take a coffee or tea, often with something sweet on the side. Fika is Swedish for a coffee break but it is more about socializing than drinking coffee. Here in Sweden we can fika several times during one day -- we love our Fika! There is a reason why we are the second or third on the list of biggest coffee drinkers in the world." - Sofia  

"The best time for a fika is on a Sunday afternoon around 3 o’clock. First you go out for a nice walk and then you come home, snuggle up on the sofa with a cup of dark roasted black coffee and a freshly baked cinnamon bun. Nice company + dark roasted black coffee + cinnamon bun = Fika" - Jennie

 

Kanelbulle
Don't rush! A Swedish fika is a relaxed affair. Order a sweet treat, rest your travel-tired feet and enjoy your company. Or use the opportunity to observe Swedes in their natural environment.

So, if you want to feel like a local during your trip to Sweden, you know what to do: fika! You can do it any time of day, at any number of coffee shops, cafés and bakaries (usually called konditori) around the country. Here are a few of our own suggestions for a fine fika:

  • In Stockholm, the Gamla Stan (Old Town) area offers a cosy atmosphere. For great people-watching and trend-spotting with your caffeine and sugar, head to the Södermalm district.
  • In the Haga old town neighbourhood of Gothenburg try the massive cinnamon rolls (kanelbulle) that are bigger than your head! If cinnamon spice isn't your thing then a variety of cakes, cookies and simple open-faced sandwiches are also acceptable additions to your coffee.
Fika in Gamla Stan
As soon as springtime returns, the Swedes take their fika outside. (Pictured here: Gamla Stan, Stockholm) 

Are you ready to fika? Has reading this made you crave a cup of Svenskt kaffe? Then get in touch with the coffee-loving, friendly folks at Nordic Visitor for your own custom getaway in Sweden.

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Post by: Jessica

Jessica Bowe is a Communications Specialist at Nordic Visitor, and when not writing about Nordic travel destinations she's busy travelling to them or daydreaming about her next trip. A resident of Iceland since 2008, Jessica hails from Wisconsin (USA), which she thinks looks an awful lot like parts of Sweden and Finland.

More posts by Jessica

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way, check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.

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