Hej and welcome, this is my first blog post at the Newbie Guide to Sweden. I hope you will enjoy it. Now let’s go into it! I want to start with a topic that is very important to me. It’s related to the outdoor and being outside in nature. Have you ever heard of the word ‘Allmansrätt’ before? It’s not easy to understand the meaning of this word, especially if you don’t speak any Swedish (yet). The English translation for it is ‘The right of public access.
I will guide you through it and I will explain why the Allemansrätt is one of the (many) reasons I moved here.
Allemansrätt – What is it?
The ‘right of public access’ or also called ‘freedom to roam’ gives you the possibility to be free in Swedish nature. This is an amazing opportunity to explore the beauty of the country.
What are you allowed to do within the ‘right of public access´?
You can walk, go cycling, pick mushrooms, berries, or flowers.
Do you want to spend the day outside and make a barbecue? Yes, you can do it in the dedicated areas. Don’t worry there are plenty everywhere. Here below you can see an example.
You are even free to camp for one night without problems. Looks like it’s only summer activities, but don’t worry, if it’s winter you can ice skate on the frozen lakes, go skiing, have a fika outside, and much more. There are no limits to the imagination.
Example of a fireplace – Photo by Author
Park during winter – Photo by Author
Fika outside – Photo by Author
It’s possible to do what I have just mentioned if it’s public ground. It’s also possible to cross a private field without any permission if you need to.
As you might understand, it’s better not to place a tent in someone’s private garden, but if it’s a really nice spot, you can kindly ask the owner. He might give you permission to stay there for the night.
To keep it simple, you are allowed to stay everywhere except for private gardens, in the close vicinity of a dwelling house, or on land under cultivation.
In Sweden there are 30 National Parks, if you are visiting one of them or a Nature Reserve, the right of public access might not be applicable, therefore I advise you to check before. Here is the link for the National Parks’ website, it might be useful in case you want to have a look at what is allowed and what’s not.
A bit of history
The concept of the freedom to roam started to spread in the country around the 1940s. This freedom has been introduced in 1993 and, since then, it’s written in the Swedish Constitution.
Allmansrätten is not a law itself. Several other laws and regulations govern it, in particular, the Government Act’s chapter on fundamental freedoms and rights stating that “Everyone shall have access to nature according to the right of public access”.
Last but not least, nature is everybody’s home, so remember to follow the ‘Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy’ rule. Always leave the place as you found it and exactly clean as you would like to find it. Take your rubbish with you and dispose it in the appropriate spaces. In Sweden there’s a well organized system for the recycling, you will find bins everywhere.
I suggest you read this nice detailed blog post on how to minimize your impact when your spend time outside in nature.
Newbie or oldbie reading this, have you taken advantage of this right already? What is your favorite activity to do outdoor? Let us know in the comment section below.
Ha en bra dag – Have a good day!
I’m originally from Italy, but I like to define myself as a “free spirit”, traveller of the world. I travel to seek originality and to move away from the routine that holds us in our comfort zone. I’m very curious and always eager to learn or discover something new. After living in Ireland and Germany, I landed in Sweden. It was clear from the beginning that I love this country.
I’m very happy to share with you tips, funny stories and what I’ve learnt about this amazing country. Hope you like it! You can follow my adventures on my instagram page. Vi ses, Valeria.