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Photo of Turning Torso in Malmö by Silvia Man/imagebank.sweden.se

Foodie fanatics will be excited about the new openings and tours in Skåne this year. There’s everything from Swedish craft beers, Absolut Vodka tours and new restaurants on the menu, making this dreamy part of southern Sweden ideal for a relaxing weekend break.

Although known as the ‘breadbasket of Sweden’, Skåne is becoming known for its wine and beer o

ffering too. Helsingborgs Bryggeri (beer brewery) is a new local favourite run by two beer enthusiasts. They strive to produce great beer using raw materials and treating them with the utmost respect while staying true to old Skåne beer brewing heritage. They recently won the ‘Best Pale Lager’ award for their first beer at the Gothenburg Beer Festival. Guided tours are available in English on Saturdays from SEK 250 (around £25) per person.  It’s well worth a visit, especially if you like to enjoy a beer or two!

Now everyone has heard of Absolut Vodka, but did you know it’s produced in Skåne?

The Absolut Vodka distillery produces over 600,000 litres of vodka every day using local sourced produce. The winter wheat comes from surrounding farms; the yeast is made in Stockholm and the water is collected from wells surrounding the factory – each of these features is completely unique to Absolut which makes it one of the top selling vodkas in the world.

Tours of the distillery run from June to August. Visit www.abslout.com/uk to book your place.

If your passion is more food than drinks then you will love the new restaurant openings happening this year.

The first is the hotly anticipated Bistro Royal. The Royal Waiting Hall at Malmö Central station has been closed for over 30 years, until now! It has been lovingly restored to its former glory under the supervision of Malmö restaurateur Andreas Pieplow, and this will be the first time the space has been open to the general public. In its heyday royals and dignitaries would use the rooms whilst waiting for their trains. Check out their Facebook page for more information and pictures of the renovations.

Followers of the slow food movement will be excited about the opening of Bantorget 9, a new 70-seater restaurant in Lund - a pretty university town just nine miles from Malmö. The menu will offer inventive small plates using only organic locally sourced ingredients.

Photo by Martin Jakobsson/ imagebank.sweden.se

Spring is our favourite time of year in Gothenburg. The Swedish sun has started shining, the flowers are in bloom and the whole city becomes a riot of colour and activity. This year, it’s not just the plants that are springing to life – Gothenburg is awash with new attractions, from dizzying rollercoasters to wholesome restaurants.

Sweden’s top tourist attraction, Gothenburg’s Liseberg Amusement Park, is launching a brand new roller coaster when it opens for the summer season on 26 April. In building the Helix, Liseberg aimed to create the best roller coaster in the world, two minutes of pure fun! The ride lasts for just over two minutes, hits speeds of up to 100 km/h and has a track length of almost 1.4km, including two high speed launches, seven inversions, three airtime hills, and loads of drops, twists and turns. We can’t wait!!!

Swedish food is having a heyday, and Gothenburg is leading the charge. Over the past few months, numerous new restaurants have opened in the city to rave reviews, including Barbicu, Upper House Dining, Levantine and The Barn. Two of our particular favourites, thanks to their distinct West Swedish flavour, are Deliverket - with its delicious local oysters, shrimp and charcuteries matched with micro-brewery beers and fresh wines - and Koka, a new restaurant from Michelin-star chef Björn Persson focusing on high quality local ingredients.

If that weren’t enough, there are also some great new Gothenburg hotels on the scene to match every budget. Five-star Upper House is a beautiful new boutique hotel offering fantastic views of the city, clean Scandinavian lines and a luxurious spa. Meanwhile, the new, centrally located STF Gothenburg Hotel and Hostel has also just opened at the end of March, offering both luxury hotel rooms and quality hostel accommodation.

Photo by: Tuukka Ervasti via imagebank.sweden.se

If you are heading to Sweden for your next spa weekend why not try one of the award winning spas in Stockholm, Gothenburg or Falkenberg in West Sweden?

The winners of the SpaStar Awards 2014 have just been announced and Spa of the Year 2014 went to Yasuragi Hasseludden spa in Nacka outside Stockholm.  Upper House at Gothia Towers hotel in Gothenburg won both newcomer of the year and best spa kitchen.

Here are the winners:

Spa of the year : Yasuragi Hasseludden, Nacka, Stockholm

New comer of the year: Upper House – Gothia Towers, Gothenburg.

Day spa of the year: Grand Hôtel Nordic Spa & Fitness, Stockholm.

Spa conference of the Year : Skepparholmen Nacka, Stockholm.

Spa ritual of the year : Diamond – The Retreat Club/Falkenberg Standbad.

Spa kitchen of the year: Upper House – Gothia Towers, Gothenburg.

Spa treatment of the year: Elemis Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow –Sankt Jörgen Park Spa, Gothenburg

Can diversity and openness help promote creativity? To explore this question Sweden is launching Democreativity, a collaborative tool, where the world is asked to contribute with underrepresented ideas to co-create the most unlikely video game ever.

The platform Democreativity.com is a collaborative tool designed to promote diversity and create new ideas, and in doing so encouraging creativity all over the world. Sweden is now inviting gamers to submit ideas they see as underrepresented in games today. Ideas from the games community together with input from industry experts will later be developed by students at the Swedish University of Skövde, as a voluntary project assignment. All ideas will also form a brief that will be posted on democreativity.com, accessible to anyone and everyone to realise. Sweden welcomes all creators to join in the quest for new formats, stories, heroes and heroines beyond best-seller charts and media headlines.

In 2011 the Global Creavitity Index ranked Sweden as the world’s most creative country due to its high level of talent, technology and tolerance. The latter is where Sweden stands out compared to other countries. Being open to new ideas and promoting diversity, having “freedom of impression”, have proven to be successful conditions in which to build its creative industries.

“Our belief is that creativity is less about pulling ideas out of thin air and more about connecting things. But in order for this to happen one must be open to new ideas, and that is why receptiveness is essential to all creative work. Democreativity is an open invitation to explore the potential of creativity and aims to highlight diversity and underrepresented ideas, hopefully inspiring creators all over the world in the process,” says Sofia Kinberg, Global Marketing Director, Visit Sweden.

Sweden has a very strong position within the gaming industry, having created some of the world’s most popular games, including Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga and Battlefield. The gaming industry also has a long history of being open to external impressions, for example in how they work with player involvement in order to test and improve the products, which makes it a fitting industry for this initiative.

Building a creative nation

The creative process has been revolutionised in most areas - from music and fashion to technology and business – social platforms, user-generated content and crowd funding have democratised the process and made it possible for anyone to participate. This development goes hand in hand with the Swedish tradition of participation, collaboration and non-hierarchy.  

 “Sweden ranks first in our global creativity index with high scores in both talent and technology. Sweden stands out as one of the most tolerant societies in the world, welcoming all types of people from all walks of life. Together, these qualities put Sweden in an excellent position to attract creative ingenuity and talent globally,” says Charlotta Mellander, research director at the Prosperity Institute of Scandinavia and close collaborator with Professor Richard Florida at the Prosperity Institute in Toronto. 

Sweden’s new initiative Democreativity, following on from the much publicised Curators of Sweden @Sweden project (www.curatorsofsweden.com), is a tribute to the development of democratised creative processes. It’s designed to promote creativity and the underlying factors that have helped Sweden achieve enormous success in industries such as music, cinema, literature, food, games and fashion despite its small population.

Go to www.democreativity.com
View the video about the project here: https://vimeo.com/88150322

For more information, please contact:

Sofia Kinberg, Global Marketing Director Visit Sweden. Phone: +46 8 789 10 00. Email: sofia.kinberg@visitsweden.com.

For practical questions, photos and other press material, please contact:

Shirin Hirmand, Prime. Phone: +46 733 550 668. Email: shirin.hirmand@primegroup.com

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Fredrik Broman/imagebank.sweden.se

For seafood lovers, Gothenburg is the place to be in September for the beginning of the lobster season. Due to the city’s proximity to the cold, clean, salty North Sea, the seafood available is some of the best in the world - in fact there’s even a fish church!

Feskekôrka, which literally means ‘fish church’ in Swedish, is an indoor fish and seafood market offering a huge variety of freshly caught delicacies including oysters, crayfish, shrimp, lobsters and much more.

As well as shopping for fish in Feskekôrka, there’s the opportunity to eat it – as one of Gothenburg’s top restaurants is located within the building. Restaurant Gabriel has its kitchen in the centre of the room, so you can watch your dishes being lovingly prepared, and the well-stocked seafood buffet makes for a fantastic photo opportunity. You can expect to find everything from fried herring to Swedish lobster on the menu.

The archipelago is just 15 minutes from city centre and is one of the most picturesque coastal locations in Sweden. The Långedrag Värdshus seafood restaurant has a huge outdoor seating area with a great view of the archipelago and the entrance to the Gothenburg harbour. It’s a perfect place to watch the world go by and the boats coming and going. Naturally, the menu has a good seafood offering including seared cod, halibut fillet in white wine sauce and shrimp. Smaklig måltid!

Apparently it’s the first day of spring today…. We believe it when we see it! Anyone got some spring like photos to share? Photo (though definitely not from this year…) by Mona Loose/imagebank.sweden.se

Hello from Lofsdalen, a small mountain village in Härjedalen Sweden. Photo by Mikko Nikkinen/imagebank.sweden.se

Fetival visitor # 1
This is Malin a 29 year old pediatric nurse from Sthlm that loves Way out west.

How come you decided to go to way out west?
Because I’m hoping it is going to be even better than last year.. and last year was AMAZING!

What will be your musical high light this year?
Bon Iver! He has been my soundtrack this summer. Also De La Soul was really impressing and I didn’t expect that. This year is filled with many great bands and its basically high quality acts all the time.

Name a thing you can’t be without while on way out west?
My sneakers they are perfect for both jumping and dancing!

Finally what’s your favourite place in Sweden?
The archipelago of Stockholm.. its complete perfection.

So it’s summer and most local city Swedes are out in their summer houses enjoying at least four weeks holiday. Meanwhile, Stockholm is busier than ever. Why? Tourists of course! We took the boat from Slussen to Djurgården in central Stockholm and met a 31-year-old London professional, spending his week in the capital visiting some Swedish friends (who fortunately had decided to stay in the city this summer - you’re only young once after all - country side life can wait;) ). Euhm, anyway, we stopped him for a chat.

Well hello there, who are you?

Hey, I’m Ete from London. I’m visiting some Swedish friends in Stockholm this week.

Cool. Where are you off to?

We are on our way an amusement park called Gröna Lund. I’ve heard they have some pretty cool rides there. We will also be doing a pentathlon which should be good fun!

Sounds like it! So what have you been up to in Stockholm so far?

Loads of touristy things, such as the photography museum, Wasa museum, aquavit museum, sightseeing boat… We have walked around the city a lot as well as biking out to one of the suburbs. I’d recommend getting a Stockholm card which is definitely worth the money as it gives you free admission to all the museums and the public transports. I’d also recommend renting a bike.

What’s your impression of Stockholm so far?

It’s very different from what I expected.

How do you mean?

It’s picturesque and has a certain charm to it. It’s historical yet very modern at the same time. Also, I was surprised when visiting one the so called “rough” suburbs. It was beautiful with a lake and loads of green spaces, seems like people here lead a very good quality of life.

I also like the diversity of Stockholm, there is quite a mix of different cultures here but it still feels very Swedish at the same time.

So, what about the partying? Have you been out clubbing yet?

Yes! Berns nightclub was great! A cool, historical building and great music. I’d also recommend the sky bar Och himlen därtill in the Shoreditch kind of area, Södermalm. It gives you a view of the entire city, which is beautiful.

So, will you come back?

Yes, definitely! I’m bringing the guys for a weekend by the end of August. They’ll love this place!

Awesome, we’ll catch you at Berns!

Would you like to be our next Tourist of the Week? Let us know on Twitter! Hashtag: #SummerInSweden

A glass of red at Grill Ruby, old town #livestockholm #sweden #travel (Taken with instagram)