Embracing Allemansrätten: A Guide for Foreign Tourists Exploring Sweden’s Outdoors

Sweden is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering an incredible opportunity to explore its vast and varied landscapes freely thanks to a unique right called Allemansrätten, or the “Everyman’s Right.” This cherished principle allows public access to the countryside, regardless of private ownership, making Sweden a unique destination for travelers who cherish nature and outdoor activities. Here’s how you, as a foreign tourist, can best use and respect this right.

Understanding Allemansrätten

Allemansrätten literally translates to “every man’s right to roam” and is a part of Swedish law that allows you to walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land—with the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling house and land under cultivation. It is designed to encourage people to enjoy nature, and it’s predicated on the principle of not disturbing and not destroying.

How to Use Allemansrätten Responsibly

1. Respect Nature and Wildlife

  • While you roam freely, remember to treat the flora and fauna with respect. Avoid damaging plants, and do not disturb the animals you encounter. During certain times of the year, particularly the breeding season, extra care should be taken to avoid sensitive areas.

2. Leave No Trace

  • Allemansrätten comes with the responsibility of leaving the environment as you found it. This means carrying out all litter, setting up camp away from sight of homes, and using a portable stove rather than making an open fire. Fires are often restricted or regulated in certain areas, especially during dry periods.

3. Camping Etiquette

  • While you can camp almost anywhere in Sweden for one or two nights, you should avoid doing so on private land near residential buildings and on any cultivated land. Always try to use existing camp sites if possible, as these areas are equipped and designed to minimize environmental impact.

4. Respect for Landowners

  • When accessing private land, maintain a considerate distance from private dwellings and gardens. If you’re crossing farmland, be sure to follow the edges of fields and avoid damaging any crops or property.

5. Foraging

  • Allemansrätten allows you to pick wildflowers, mushrooms, and berries, but familiarize yourself with protected species to ensure you are not picking anything that is legally protected or endangered. Always forage sustainably by taking only what you need and leaving enough for wildlife and other foragers.

Benefits of Using Allemansrätten

Embracing Allemansrätten allows you to connect deeply with Sweden’s natural world. It offers the freedom to explore landscapes from the deep forests of Småland to the rugged coastlines of the archipelagos and the high mountains in the north. This right encourages physical activity and environmental awareness, providing an authentic experience that is both enlightening and invigorating.


Allemansrätten is a privilege that comes with responsibility. As a visitor to Sweden, using this right responsibly ensures that these natural spaces can be enjoyed by future generations. So, pack your daypack, lace up your boots, and get ready to explore Sweden’s beautiful landscapes, all while adhering to the principles that make this country a pioneer in promoting freedom and respect for the environment. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply enjoying a quiet moment by a lakeside, remember that with great freedom comes great responsibility. Happy exploring!

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