Fika is a concept in Swedish culture which means ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’. So the coffee is often accompanied with pastries, cakes, cookies or sandwiches. But it means much more than that – it’s a moment to relax and catch up with your family orfriends.
“Fika is not to do, it’s simply to be”
Fika is a sociable thing. We Swedes consider fika an important part of our culture and it’s well established in the workplace where fika breaks are a daily ritual. These breaks away from the desk, meeting with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere ,can benefit a business’ productivity as well as contribute to a happy workplace.
Here at Nature Travels we have a “fika break” in the morning halfway to lunch and then one in the afternoon halfway between lunch and the end of the day.
My family in Sweden often take a fika on the days when we’re off together. We’ll have a morning fika around 11am and then an afternoon fika around 2.30. But don’t think that’s the end – you can always squeeze in an evening fika as well!
While in England, you tend to meet up at the pub for a drink, in Sweden it’s more common to meet up for a fika with friends.
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden, has a chilled-out feel to it and is a perfect place to test the Swedish fika culture.
For things to do,while visiting Gothenburg, please see our Gothenburg blog post
So if you find yourself in Gothenburg, maybe before or after one of our outdoor experiences in the region, you’ll want to take a break from the sightseeing and find a cosy cafe to watch the world go by and enjoy a Swedish fika.
A good place to start your fika tour is Haga, an area of Gothenburg that is seen as the arty, bohemian heart of the city. Haga, with its three main cobbled streets, has many small coffee houses to try. But we’re not taking chain stores like Starbucks, Costa coffee or Café Nero, no, these are more individual small cafés or expresso houses.
Go there, choose a place you think looks cosy, order a coffee to your taste and a cinnamon roll and socialise with your friends/family. There you are! You’re having a fika!
For more information on where to fika in Gothenburg and the surrounding area, see http://www.theguardian.com/try-swedish/2014/oct/03/learn-to-fika