Freedom to roam Sweden

By Beyondo, 18. Sep 2023

The freedom to roam

Autumn is coming to Sweden and with it, the starts of a new phase of life. People who have their own boats are planning their winter storage. A lot of people try to end their summer projects before winter comes and they go back to their home environment.

It is also a period where the ‘freedom to roam’ law is being experienced in the best way possible. Now, this law is pretty unique and very common in most of the Scandinavian countries. It basically comes down to “Don’t disturb anyone and have respect for property and nature”. (“Allemansrätten” in Swedish, it applies all year long though)

Some Do’s and Don’ts of this law :

It’s allowed to pick blueberries and mushrooms in the forest as well as wild flowers. (Great experience!)

You can drink and / or use water from wells, rivers and lakes.

You are also allowed to set up your tent for a maximum time of 24 hours anywhere you like as long as the property is not privately owned of course.

You are allowed to make an open fire unless it is restricted by dry season. (this information is being given by the local authorities)

Your pets are also allowed to roam free in nature but there is an exception. During the period of the 1st of March until the 20th of August they have to be lined because of the different mating seasons of a lot of wild animals.

It is furthermore allowed to fish along the coastal waters and on the 5 major lakes. Should you want to fish anywhere else, you will have to buy a fishing permit at the local tourist office.

So as you can see, Sweden is a very open country when it comes to what you are allowed to experience out in the nature and as said before it is a great feeling to be outside and enjoy it. In the autumn when you go down to the forest, you will find cars parked at the strangest places. The reason for it is most likely that the people are in the forest looking for mushrooms and or blueberries or cranberries. Don’t get your hopes up to high though, as especially the mushroom picking is a challenge in itself. It takes some experience but once you have gotten the hang of it , it will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. It’s very common to find ‘chanterelles’ for example and they are very tasty. If in the end of a long day searching you come home with maybe one or two mushrooms and you start thinking ‘Is this it’? ?”………….. don’t forget you’ve had a great work out in the beautiful nature! If you can not find any… you can always go to the shop and buy them there!

Further, here is a  brief overview of what the Right of Public Access allows and what responsibilities it carries:


Walking, cycling, or riding: You can freely roam in nature, even on private land, excluding gardens, near a dwelling house, or land under cultivation.

Camping: You can camp anywhere for one or two nights without the landowner’s permission unless it’s a garden or near a dwelling. For longer stays, permission is needed.

Picking flowers, mushrooms, and berries: You can pick wild flowers (except for protected species), mushrooms, and berries.

Swimming, boating, and fishing: Everyone has the right to swim in lakes, use a boat, or ice skate on frozen lakes and waterways. However, fishing typically requires a permit.


Do not disturb and do not destroy: The main principle. You can look, but not disturb animals, plants, or cultural landmarks. Also, always leave nature the way you found it.

Respect for privacy: Don't camp too close to people's homes and don't disturb landowners.

Litter: Never leave trash behind. Pack in, pack out.

Controlled fires: You're allowed to make fires, but the risk of forest fires should always be considered. Some places might prohibit fires.

Protect wildlife: Do not disturb wildlife, especially during sensitive times, like nesting.

Dogs: Dogs must be kept on a leash from March to August to protect wildlife.

The Right of Public Access is a privilege that allows Swedes and visitors to enjoy nature while preserving it for future generations. However, it's crucial that those taking advantage of this right are well-informed and respectful. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations offer more detailed information about "Allemansrätten."


Interested to read more about the Swedish nature? Here you go! Read here!