What You Need To Know about Uppsala
Uppsala is the capital of Uppsala County and the fourth largest city of Sweden, after Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Located 71 km (44 mi) north of the capital Stockholm, it is also the seat of Uppsala Municipality. Since 1164, Uppsala has been the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden, being the seat of the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Uppsala is home to Scandinavia’s largest cathedral Uppsala Cathedral. Founded in 1477, Uppsala University is the oldest centre of higher education in Scandinavia.
Lying 45 miles north-west of Stockholm, this picturesque town – with its cream-coloured 18th century buildings lining the riverfront and a vast wilderness only an hour’s drive north – was once Sweden’s capital.
To understand Uppsala’s history, you need to start at the Viking sites of Valsgarde and Gamla Uppsala, a few miles outside the city. It was once possible to sail a ship from here to the Baltic, do a spot of pillaging and bring the spoils back to your longhouse.
- The currency of Sweden is called the Swedish krona.The krona has been the currency of Sweden since 1873. Both the ISO code “SEK” and currency sign “kr” are in common use; the former precedes or follows the value, the latter usually follows it but, especially in the past, it sometimes preceded the value. In English, the currency is sometimes referred to as the Swedish crown, as krona literally means crown in Swedish. The Swedish krona was the 11th most traded currency in the world by value in April 2013.
One krona is subdivided into 100 öre. However, all öre coins have been discontinued as of 30 September 2010. Goods can still be priced in öre, but all sums are rounded to the nearest krona when paying with cash.
- Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00. Additional opening hours apply in the afternoon at least once a week. All banks are closed on public holidays.
Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants, hotels and taxis. Restrictions may apply to American Express and Diners.
Travellers’ cheques are generally accepted as payment throughout Sweden. Change will be given in Swedish kronor. Please note that a nominal fee is charged when using the cheques as payment.
Uppsala lies on the 59th parallel north and has a humid continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Due to its northerly location, Uppsala experiences over 18 hours of visible sunshine during the summer solstice, and under six hours of sunshine during the winter solstice. Even though Uppsala lies so far north on the globe, the winter is not as cold as other cities on similar latitudes, mainly due to the Gulf Stream.
The climate in Uppsala is cold and temperate. There is significant rainfall throughout the year in Uppsala. Even the driest month still has a lot of rainfall. The average annual temperature in Uppsala is 5.7 °C. The average annual rainfall is 551 mm.
Swedish is the official language of Sweden. The vast majority of Swedes also speak English, and generally to a very high level. Many Swedish multinational organisations have English as their corporate language, and a large number of university degree programmes and courses are taught in English. Sweden is home to five official national minority languages, and countless other languages are spoken by Sweden’s diverse population. The largest, after Swedish, are Finnish, Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Kurdish, Spanish, German and Farsi.
Health and security
- In general, Sweden’s health and medical care holds to a high standard. All residents – or individuals with a personal identity number – will be subsidized by the state when receiving health and medical care, regardless of whether it is a visit to a doctor or a dentist. Before you arrive in Sweden, we recommend you review your insurance coverage.
Emergencies : dial 112, this is the emergency number to call for an ambulance, the firebrigade and the police. You will be asked to explain what has happened, where it has happened, and from which number you are calling.
- Uppsala is a rather secure place to live in, criminally speaking, although pick-pockets abound during the summer months with the touists, as in many other places around the world. General methods for not being mugged, have your car broken into etc apply. Uppsala is neither worse nor better than any other city of this size.
- The latest taxi related issue is credit card theft. When you pay with a card, make sure it is your card they hand you back. They sometimes swap it for a similar looking card. This has happened to many people when returning to hotel after a fun evening (and maybe a bit tipsy). As usual, it’s also very important that the driver does not see you pin code.
- Sweden has a zero tolerance attitude towards breaking traffic rules. there is police presence all over the country. A speeding fine or any other traffic violations can be quiet expensive!
- Celebrate Midsummer, when the days are the longest, the Swedes celebrate Midsummer’s Eve. This always takes place on the Friday that falls between 19 and 25 June. There has historically been some form of celebration around the time of the summer solstice, long before Sweden adopted Christianity, but we do not know exactly how it was celebrated.
On Midsummer’s Eve, the tradition is to pick flowers and collect birch twigs, which are used to bind floral wreaths worn on the head and to decorate the maypole. At Midsummer, Swedes eat herring, new potatoes and strawberries. We wear regional costume or summer clothes, play traditional games and music, and celebrate with friends and family.
- Visit Uppsala Cathedral, a must-see for any visitor, Scandinavia’s largest and tallest church.