They're not kidding when they say Swedes are on vacation during the summer! Salaried employees start the year with 25 days of annual leave whereas Americans earn their leave throughout the year. Most Swedes take 3 to 4 weeks of vacation during July and August. Many companies require employees to take at least 3 weeks off during that time and many places actually close down.
We're coming across more restaurants we can't check out because of their stängt (closed) signs. Our corner bakery just had a half-off closing sale because they shut down for the summer. The buses and remaining open places away from tourist areas are noticeably less crowded. It's weird that the nicer weather means there's less people around enjoying it. We still see many people in the parks and along the waterways soaking up the summer sun but it seemed like there were more people around last weekend.
I've heard many people in Stockholm have places in the country and they head out there to enjoy the weather. There's also a lot of people that travel to other countries during this time and I don't fully understand that one. The weather here is nice now with a recent high of 81F feeling very hot without any air conditioning. It's been around mid-70s on average since we got here so I don't understand the Swedes missing the few good months of the year here instead of escaping in the winter.
We plan on doing our traveling during the less desirable months so we can get away from a dreary winter. That's our plan at least even though the first thing we're working on booking is the Ice Hotel near the Arctic circle in Sweden. It looks like the rest of Europe picks now to swarm Swedish tourist spots and museums so maybe we'll save some of those local places for later in the year.