Swedish Summer

Gokhan Gultekin
4 min readAug 25, 2022

I just got back from summer vacation. It was a pretty long one compared to the ones I had before moving to Sweden. It is pretty common in Sweden to take 1 to 1.5 months off during summer which is probably because the Swedes just love the summer and the people here want to take their time off after a long, dark winter.

I love it, too. Since the majority of people in Sweden do that, there is an authentic summer vibe all around the country, you can truly see the happiness on people’s faces.

In the southern part of Sweden, where I live, Gothenburg, you can start feeling the summer when it’s around the corner in May. It can still be pretty cold, but the days are a bit longer and have the sun more often compared to the previous months. In the north, it’s pretty much the same but much colder, can still be minus degrees, and is still covered with a fair amount of snow. Then it’s Midsummer. When it’s the 21st of June, Swedes, like also the other Scandinavian people, celebrate the longest day of the year by having some traditional events; such as doing frog dance around a specific-shaped pole with many leaves and flowers attached, called Maypole, then having a nice meal with the loved ones, and drinking a lot.

There are some things that are tied to Swedish summer from my point of view, like in other countries as well, but very iconic to Sweden; such as having a lot of ice cream and watermelon, swimming, or bathing literally everywhere. It could be a nice beach along the coast, a lake in the woods, or even a small bay in the middle of the city. And of course, sunbathing, not only in summer but all year round once the sun shows up. It’s also possible to go out for a swim during lunch break. Why not?

From May to the middle of July, working is also great in a different way because of the amount of daylight. After taking the work day off around 5 pm, still have a lot of time to spend outdoors, even until 10–11 pm. It’s not really getting dark and the daylight gives you a lot of energy. There are many things to do, going out for a long-distance cycling, or running, or why not going for swimming in the archipelago, then having a glass of wine and enjoying the endless golden hours.

These are the common things in whole Sweden, at least the ones that I think of. There is one more thing that is super special to the Arctic summer.

The midnight sun…

It’s unreal! It can be seen at many places above the Arctic Circle (and of course…

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Gokhan Gultekin

Engineering Manager at Spotify • Outdoor enthusiast