For a small, far-flung country, Sweden has a big international reputation. Preconceptions of this land abound – midnight sun, snowbound winters, ABBA, blonde bombshells, meatballs, herrings, Vikings and Volvos. Whatever your pre-existing notions, a visit to Sweden will both confirm and confound them. The plundering Vikings won’t be greeting you at the shore; today you’re more likely to be slayed by cutting-edge music, fashion and food, or visions of pretty-as-a-picture countryside, forested fantasylands and island idylls. So yes, look for the stereotypes and you won’t be disappointed. Taste the meatballs, admire the blondes and dig the Viking relics, but don’t stop there – history hasn’t.