With its midnight sun and Gulf Stream climate, Sweden is a land of contradictions. It is home to petroglyphs dating from 9000 BC, thriving high-tech industries, and the ubiquitous design chain Ikea. A comparatively peaceful and economically stable twentieth century secured its reputation as a great place to live, with a solid economy and generous welfare system. Emigration reversed itself -- now over ten percent of the country's nine million residents were born abroad. When Sweden entered the EU in 1995, and introduced the Euro in 2002, visiting became even easier. This short history is ideal for travellers, students, and those with an eye to the new Europe.