50% of Sweden is covered in forests.
Sweden runs on Central European Time (CET), which is GMT +2. That means that Sweden is 1 hour ahead of London and 6 hours ahead of New York (not accounting for Daylight Savings).
A visa is required for travel to Sweden for those with passports from certain countries. A list of those countries can be found here. If you are not from one of these countries and your visit will be 90 days or less, you will only need a valid passport to travel. Make sure your passport and visa are valid for 3 months past your return date home. Click here for more visa information.
Sweden has 41 active airports, with the busiest being the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. This airport is a great option for both domestic and international travel. Here, you can find the main hub for Scandinavian Airlines, NextJet, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. If you are traveling to southern parts of Sweden, however, the Gothenburg or Malmö airports may be a more suitable option. Click here for more airport information.
The most practical modes of transportation throughout Sweden are buses, trains, and cars.
Long distance bus services such as Flixbus and Nettbuss travel to over 150 destinations country-wide.
The MTR Express is a commonly-used train service with routes from Stockholm to Gothenburg, and everywhere in between.
Popular car rental agencies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, and Hertz. If you do plan to drive, make sure to review the driving requirements and rules of the road beforehand.
Click here for more information on transportation.
Sweden is known to be one of the safest countries in the world, as crime rates are much lower than other European countries. The most common things to avoid are scammers and thieves. As long as you stick to basic common sense, you should be just fine.
- Be wary of pickpockets and keep an eye on your belongings, especially purses, money, and phones. The train stations in Malmö, Stockholm, and Gothenburg are places to be extra cautious.
- Lock hotel rooms and hostels before sleeping at night, and use your hostel’s safe.
- Always let someone know where you are when venturing into more mountainous or rural areas.
- Be careful of wildlife and respect all natural things around you.
- Try not to walk alone at night, and always keep your phone with you in case of emergencies.
The best time to visit Sweden is from May to September.
If you want to hit the snowy slopes, go November through March.
To see the northern lights, visit Sweden from late September to early April.
Hottest month: July (65 degrees Fahrenheit on average)
Coldest month: February (29 degrees Fahrenheit on average)
Nearly the entire population of Sweden speaks Swedish, either as a first or second language. Across the country, there are various dialects you will encounter. The five minority languages include: Finnish, Meänkieli, Sámi, Romani, and Yiddish. German and English are also commonly known.
Useful words and phrases to know:
Thank you: Tack
You’re welcome: Varsågod
Excuse me: Ursäkta mig
I’m sorry: Förlåt
Good morning: God morgon
Goodnight: God natt
My name is…: Jag heter…
Check, please: Notan, tack
I don’t understand: Jag förstår inte
Do you speak English?: Talar du engelska?
Where is…?: Var är…?
Much of the etiquette in Sweden is based on equality and respect through interactions with others. Here are some simple etiquette tips:
- Do not cut others in the same line. This is seen as very disrespectful.
- Punctuality is important. Make sure to arrive on time, not too early or too late.
- Don’t make unannounced visits. Always tell someone before you show up at their door.
- Remove your shoes before entering a home.
- Make eye contact when toasting.
Sweden’s currency is the Swedish krona (SEK). 1 USD is equivalent to 8.61 SEK
Sweden is regarded as a cashless country. Credit cards are widely accepted at banks, hotels, restaurants, taxis, and rental car companies. It is also easy to exchange money at ATMs, which there are many of throughout the country.
Tipping is welcome but not expected in Sweden. It’s common to round up when paying in restaurants and cafés.
The standard voltage in Sweden is 230 volts with a frequency of 50Hz. You can bring your regular appliances with an adapter or converter if the standard voltage in your country is between 220-240V, as it is in the UK, Europe, Australia, and most of Asia and Africa. Sweden uses plug types C and F. This is what they look like:
Drinking water straight from the tap is the norm in Sweden. You can save money and help the environment by not buying bottled water! You may even have a difficult time if you’re trying to buy bottled water; most Swedish grocery stores only sell flavored or sparkling water.
Wi-Fi can be found across much of Sweden. You’ll want a SIM card if you are staying in Sweden for a while, or if you’re travelling very north where coverage may drop off. You can purchase a SIM card before you arrive, at the airport, or in most small shops. Click here for more SIM card information.
Sweden has been regarded as one of the most progressive countries in Europe in terms of LGBTQ+ laws. Same-sex activity was legalized in 1944. Every year there is the Stockholm Pride Week, where many people celebrate and party on the streets. Over the last few decades the Swedish government has made many steps to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community in the country has the same rights as anyone else. The Church of Sweden has permitted same-sex marriage and is represented at the Stockholm Pride festival with a Rainbow mass mirroring everyone’s equal worth.
Sweden was the second country in the world to introduce an ecotourism charter. By booking with tour operators, you can have some incredible experiences in Sweden without hurting the planet. Nature’s Best Tours are very popular and offer a range of activities: dogsledding, timber rafting, sea kayaking, as well as oyster and lobster day trips in West Sweden.
When booking a hotel, check for Nordic Eco-labeled hotels; over 250 hotels meet this environmentally-friendly standard. If you are shopping for food, look for the KRAV label. These products have been produced in an ethical way. Overall, Sweden offers many activities in the outdoors- seek all the precious countryside and lakeside views!
The Viking Age begins with Swedish warriors raiding Russia and northern Europe.
The city of Stockholm is established.
The Black Death arrives in Sweden, killing about 30% of the population.
The Thirty Years’ War begins with Sweden on the side of France and England.
The krona is established, a single currency for Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
The first Volvo car named “Jakob” is produced.
WWII begins. Sweden is neutral, but German troops pass through.
IKEA is founded.
Swedish author Astrid Lindgren publishes the book Pippi Longstocking.
Sweden joins the United Nations.
The famous music group ABBA is formed.
The last governmental powers of the Swedish king and queen are removed.
Olof Palme, the Prime Minister of Sweden, is assassinated. The crime remains unsolved today.
Sweden joins the European Union.
A bridge linking Malmo and Copenhagen is opened, making it possible to travel between Sweden and Denmark in under 15 minutes.
Renowned Swedish cinema director Ingmar Bergman passes away.
The first synthetic organ transplant takes place.
16 year old Greta Thunberg becomes the face of climate change, earning Time Magazine’s Person of the Year award.