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Fika: the True Swedish Experience!

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s post! Today, I want to introduce you to a pillar of the Swedish culture: fika, the Swedish coffee break. Actually, “fika” is a Swedish concept that represents much more than just a coffee break; it embodies a cultural moment of relaxation, socializing, and enjoying a break with friends, family, or colleagues. Let’s find out more about it together!

Picture of a sign "fika and wine" in Gamla Stan
Ska vi fika?

What does “Fika” Mean?

The origin of the word “fika” seems to come from the inversion of “kaffi”, the old spelling of “coffee” in Swedish. Originally (we are talking about the 18th century!), “fika” only consisted in having a coffee with somebody, but this concept evolved throughout the years! Today, the coffee is always paired with some baked sweets or treats, like the word-famous kanelbulle or a more original vaniljbulle, toscabulle, princess cake or whatever you prefer!

Picture of a British tea pot with sweets
What about a “British fika”? You can find all varieties of coffee breaks in Stockholm!

The Best Way to Enjoy the Winter weather

Personally, I think having a fika with somebody is one of the best ways to enjoy Winter in Stockholm! Sure, in Winter you have tons of activities to do and places to visit, but sometimes it is just good to relax and enjoy the company of your friends in a cosy bar, while snow falls outside the window. Also, there is no better way to take a break from an intense study day than to just have a quick stroll on campus and grab a fika in one of the many places around KTH. The coffee gives you energy, the treat and friends give you happiness!

PIcture of Gamla Stan's iconic houses with a Christmas tree
The Christmas market in Gamla Stan has just open, perfect place for a “fika on the go”!

Start Living the “Swedish Way”

In my opinion, fika time really reflects the Swedish way of living. It doesn’t matter how hectic or intense your day may be, it is always important to find a moment for yourself and your friends to just relax and take a breath. It truly reflects the relaxed lifestyle that characterises Sweden, where nothing comes before your physical and mental health. Living in a more relaxed way also greatly helps in university: it is not important to work hard, but to work smart! If you are somebody who stresses easily, it is not easy to transition to a more chilled lifestyle. In this regard, dedicating some time everyday to take a fika break, alone or with friends, surely is a great start!

Picture of a table with many candies
Candies, sweets and treats are an essential part of the Swedish fika (and culture)

This is all for today. Thank you very much for reading! What do you think, are you looking forward to experience the Swedish fika? Let us know in the comments below!

Do you have questions about your application or about being an international student at KTH? Then do not miss our upcoming webinar on the application insights! We will be waiting for you on December 7.

Also, don’t forget to check out Sam’s last post on THS Armada (Scandinavia biggest job fair!) and Sai’s last post on his perspective on the Swedish Winter!

I’ll see you in the next post!

// Lorenzo

8 thoughts on “Fika: the True Swedish Experience!”

  1. Thank you very much indeed. It is very nice.

  2. Rafi Arthur Falkenhausser Israellivich Abdul Khaliq Adam Bari Pruszkowski says:


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