It doesn’t take much more than a quick search on Airbnb to find just about any accommodation a person could want. From a hammock in an apartment shared with five other people to a million dollar mansion in Italy all to yourself, Airbnb has something for every traveller. But have you ever wanted to rent an entire country? Now you can do that too… sort of.
In an effort to boost tourism, Sweden has now listed itself on Airbnb. Yup, the entire thing.
The country — home to stunning landscapes and nearly 10 million residents — is now making its scenic nature available to anyone looking for a place to explore. The new initiative is based on the concept of Allemansrätten, which means “the freedom to roam,” a law in Sweden that allows residents to explore every nook and cranny of its beautiful country. Now Sweden is opening its land to anyone who wants to roam the lush landscape, with the understanding that visitors will treat the land with respect.
According to the country’s Airbnb page, Sweden is the perfect country to visit, because “Swedish nature isn’t just a piece of land with trees and lakes and cliffs – it’s a home with all the necessities and amenities that any great home should have. It’s a place where you can eat berries from the ground, sleep under the stars, swim in the lakes and roam freely.”
Legally, the law allows Swedes and foreigners the right to bike, walk, ride, ski or camp anywhere except for private gardens or near a dwelling or house under cultivation. Thanks to the Swedish Lapland, mountains, coastlines, archipelagos and over 172,000 square miles of land, that’s a lot of space available for adventurers.
In a video promoting the new tourism initiative, the freedom to roam law is explained, including giving residents and travellers the right to sleep where they want, eat what they want and use the bathroom wherever they want, all within reason (the impressively short list of free to roam rules can be found here).
Various landmarks are listed as potential ‘rentals’ on Sweden’s Airbnb page, making us want to throw on an ABBA record and pack our bags. For example, the description for the Cozy Glade in Beech Forest states that you can “Go for long walks and exercise in the built-in-gym, or just kick back in your glade and listen to the birds. In this charming glade you can stop to smell the wild flowers and enjoy some well-deserved peace and quiet. Wake up to the birds singing and the wind brushing against your face.” That does sound cozy.
Although there’s no need to actually book a stay on Airbnb in order to roam through the northern European country, visitors are still able to rate their experience.
If sleeping “on mountaintops, by the lakes, in quiet forests or beautiful meadows” or picking “berries and mushrooms and flowers from the ground” for your free meal doesn’t sound enticing, you can always try one of the more traditional Airbnb listings Sweden has to offer. They probably come with very comfortable IKEA bed frames, too.