The Swedish Fika

Published 04-01-2023 by

Cinnamon Bun when you rent a cabin in sweden

Having a Swedish Fika in your Cabin

A must when you rent a cabin in Sweden for your holiday, is to have a fika. Having a fika is a deep rooted social tradition in Sweden and probably takes place in most people’s cabins and homes around Sweden every single day. It is a phenomenon that baffles tourists from all over the world as it is almost holy to the Swedish people, but also the tradition that is most appreciated by foreigners and have also now been copied to big cities like New York City and London. 

Pound cake in Sweden

What exactly is Fika?

The term fika refers to having a break to drink coffee, tea or some other beverage, often in combination with "coffee bread" in the form of sweet pastries. Common features of sweet pastries of Swedish fika culture are the cinnamon bun, pound cake and various types of cookies. Sometimes the coffee bread can be replaced by a sandwich or fruit.

Princess cake on your holiday in Sweden
Eat a Punchrulle when you rent a cabin
Rent a cabin in The HIgh Coast

The origin of Fika

The word "fika" comes from an older distortion of the word coffee. The name arose in the 19th century in Sweden, when it was popular to jokingly speak "back slang", a slang language where syllables were thrown around. Coffee, which was dialectally called kaffi, then became fika. From there, the word "fik" has since emerged as an alternative name for a patisserie or cafe.

Arraksboll in a cabin in Sweden
Rent a cabin by the ocean

Cookies in Sweden

Where do you Fika

Fika has become a well-established part of Swedens everyday culture, which has contributed to Swedes' coffee consumption being among the highest in the world. Having coffee together, either in someone's house, cabin or at a restaurant, is a form of socializing where friends can gather for conversation. Fika is also often served in connection with association meetings, birthdays and gatherings. Fika breaks are generally seen as self-evident in Swedish workplaces, where it is common to have fika breaks in both the morning and afternoon. Fika then becomes a way to rest, meet and relax, but also a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas for the workplace.
Lussebullar at Lucia in Sweden

Interesting fact: The countries that consume the most coffee in the world are Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Sweden comes in second place with 3.2 cups a day. In Finland, people consume 3.5 cups a day, and in Norway and Denmark respectively, a person consumes 3.1 cups a day.

The most common Fika pastries in Sweden:

  • Cinnamon buns
  • Pound cake, as it is or with some type of glaze or topping on top of it.
  • Princess cake 
  • Punchrulle or Dammsugare (translates to vacuum cleaner in reference of the colors, a lot of vacuum cleaners had this color in the 50s 60s)
  • Chocolate balls or Arraks balls
  • Farmers’ cookies, or any other cookie you can think of
  • Lussekatter for Christmas
  • Semla, for lent
Try Semla when you rent a cabin in Sweden

Create your own Fika in your cabin

You too can now participate in this Swedish tradition, while you’re on your vacation here in your rented cabin, you can either bake something yourself in the cabin or you can purchase coffee bread (sweet pastries) at any grocery store or bakery and bring back to the cabin, then sit down, relax and just enjoy this peaceful and restful time that we call fika.