Last updated 29 May 2017
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
Apparently Sweden - as in the entire country of Sweden – is listed on the home rental site Airbnb, with the listing stating 'Free', or at least many newspaper sites report this to be the case.
This got my attention as I’ve never been to Sweden. I certainly do not mind visiting Sweden for a break, and especially if it is FREE!
As usual, I turned to Google for answers. I entered into the search box the first thing that came to mind, "Stay in Sweden for Free Airbnb", hoping to get an Airbnb listing with the information about how to stay in Sweden for free.
Indeed, the Airbnb webpage came up in the listings entitled 'Sweden – Airbnb' (later changed to 'Top 20 Holiday Lettings Sweden, Holiday Rentals & Apartments - Airbnb Sweden'), with the page URL destination displayed as …airbnb.co.uk/s/Sweden.
Pictured above: A screenshot of Google search results for "Stay in Sweden for free Airbnb" query.
This seemed perfect. It seemed to me like I was just about to hit the jack pot of getting free holiday accommodation, and in my mind I was already packing and booking my flights.
When I clicked through, I suddenly found myself on a page selling me costly accommodation in Sweden. There was nothing for free.
Pictured above: A screenshot of Airbnb page featuring listings for accommodation in Sweden.
So here was I, thinking never mind, let me refine my search. Under room type I had three options to choose from; 1) Entire home; 2) Private Room; 3) Shared room. None of them sounded reassuringly free and I was determined to get the free option so I left them all deselected.
Pictured above: A screenshot of Airbnb room type selector for accommodation in Sweden.
If 'Room type' cannot get me the free option, surely the 'Price range' filter will do that. All I have to do is specify zero on the lower-end marker and the lowest possible value on the higher-end. I am determined to get that free accommodation in Sweden!
To my disappointment, the lowest price values the Airbnb system would allow me to set for accommodation in Sweden is £8 - £9. 'Free' is not possible as it is not allowed by the system. The Airbnb system also states that "The average price per night for Sweden is £65." …There is no 'free'.
Pictured above: A screenshot of Airbnb price selector for accommodation in Sweden.
So, where is that free stuff in Sweden? Surely, publications like Metro, Forbes, PC Mag, and USA today wouldn’t have just made that up. Where did they get the free stay in Sweden information from? Could they have drawn the information from a press release?
I put into google search "press release airbnb", and sure enough a page entitled 'Airbnb Newsroom' was first in the search listings. Once click and a short scroll and I see the post entitled 'Sweden Lists Entire Country on Airbnb', dated 22 May 2017.
In Sweden it is 'everyman's right', including those living and visiting Sweden, to roam just about anywhere in the countryside as long as there is no disturbance or destruction of property or the environment. Sweden's freedom to roam concept is based on a constitutional guarantee known as the Right of Public Access, and many Swedes regard the Right of Public Access as part of a cultural heritage.
According to President of Visit Sweden, Jenny Kaiser "You can camp or pick berries or hike everywhere, as long as you don’t come too close to houses or disturb fields or animals that are grazing." Visit Sweden is Sweden's official travel and tourist information website.
So, the answer is yes. You can stay in Sweden for free in 'Swedish minimalistic style'.
Property Type: Thousands miles of land which you will share with millions of other people
Room type: Open roof allowing you to count the stars at night
Accommodates: Unlimited guests
Toilets: Various choices, including forest, bushes, or any enclosure
Swimming pools: choices of various rivers and lakes
Pets: Pets are welcome
Activities: Walking, picking berries or mushrooms are available for free
The Neighbourhood: Sweden is situated in Northern Europe and shares land boarders with Finland and Norway
1. Don’t come too close to houses or disturb fields or animals that are grazing
2. And most important rule – enjoy your stay
At any time
Flexible: Cancel at any time
Sweden on Airbnb video. The freedom to roam is a right that allows people in Sweden to move around freely in nature – eating berries from the ground, sleeping under the stars and swimming in the lakes. In other words, Swedish nature is just like a regular home.
Apparently the women seen ‘galloping’ around the city are doing so in protest of patriarchy.
Darko Crncevic tweets, "Swedish women are protesting the "patriarchy" by running around playing horses. Looking like idiots."
You never know what you might spot visiting Sweden.