Prime 13 issues to know earlier than visiting Sweden – Lonely Planet


Most vacationers encounter few difficulties in Sweden, discovering it a spot that welcomes guests from different nations.

A simple nation to journey in, Sweden has well-functioning public transportation, a excessive degree of security and a inhabitants that for probably the most half speaks English very nicely. Nonetheless, there are specific issues to concentrate on that can assist your journey go as easily as attainable. Learn on for issues it’s best to know earlier than you journey, in order that your Swedish expertise will dwell as much as expectations, and be one you’ll bear in mind for all the best causes.

Planning your journey to Sweden

Determine the place to put your head

If you wish to get one of the best offers on lodging in Sweden, you’ll must e book forward, particularly if you happen to’re visiting at a busy time of 12 months. Dependable lodge chains with inns all through Sweden embody Scandic, Nordic Alternative Motels, Radisson and Greatest Western; there are additionally many unbiased inns, a few of them less complicated properties with shared loos, that could be value contemplating if you wish to save a bit of cash.

A various vary of hostels present among the most budget-friendly lodging in Sweden, typically in very interesting areas. Bear in mind that hostel friends are sometimes anticipated to carry their very own mattress linens or pay an additional price to lease them. Sleeping baggage usually are not permitted.

Sorry we’re closed: avoiding disappointment

Whereas many points of interest, eating places and outlets in main cities usually preserve pretty constant hours all year long, some vacationer companies, together with sightseeing cruises and sure points of interest, are extra seasonal, with opening hours tailor-made to the standard Swedish summer time vacation interval from Midsummer to mid-August.

On the flip facet, some eating places have been identified to shut for as much as six weeks in summer time whereas workers go on trip. Many museums are open day by day in the course of the summer time excessive season however swap to a six-day opening schedule within the off season, sometimes with Monday because the closed day. When you have your coronary heart set on a selected exercise or attraction, do your homework and verify opening dates and instances earlier than reserving your journey.

Money isn’t king

Sweden has been transferring steadily away from money for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has solely accelerated this already robust development. Whereas it’s useful to hold some money for emergencies, you may mainly count on to depend on your credit score or debit card for many transactions. Some locations, together with public transportation, not settle for money in any respect. When you have a contactless card, you may normally simply faucet it to pay, but when your card doesn’t have that possibility, you’ll usually have to be ready to enter a PIN or present ID to finish your transaction.

You’ll be able to journey the rails with out spending a fortune

Prepare tickets in Sweden can be found in each first and second class, with costs various between completely different departures, so e book nicely upfront for one of the best choice. The web site of the Swedish nationwide railway firm, SJ, lists fares for each its personal trains and routes operated by regional companions all through the nation.

When you’re planning on doing a variety of rail journey, an Interrail or Eurail prepare move is an effective approach to economize. You should buy a move on-line (Interrail if you happen to dwell in Europe; Eurail if you happen to dwell elsewhere), however you’ll want to order with sufficient time to obtain the move earlier than your departure. For a lot of trains, you’ll must e book a seat or sleeping compartment individually in case you are utilizing a rail move.

Take to the highway and keep away from rushing tickets

Sweden’s roads are protected, well-maintained and, as a rule, scenic, however renting a automobile is dear, as is gasoline. As in any vacation spot, reserving nicely upfront and evaluating numerous rental companies is crucial to get one of the best price. When you don’t want to choose up your automobile at an airport, take into account native companies and even Circle Ok gasoline stations, which lease out automobiles and should have decrease charges.

As you’re driving round Sweden, preserve a watchful eye out for blue indicators with a white image of a video digicam, which warn of velocity cameras forward. In case you are caught rushing, the police will ultimately observe you down and ship you a invoice.

Since they are saying that Swedes make nice associates however poor strangers, don’t count on an excessive amount of small discuss. And bear in mind to reach on time! © Maridav / Shutterstock

Etiquette in Sweden

Small discuss, what’s that?

A saying goes that Swedes are nice associates, however poor strangers. Swedes are usually useful and welcoming to vacationers, however you’ll hardly ever discover them participating in small discuss with folks they don’t know. For guests from extra gregarious cultures, it may possibly really feel unusual or uncomfortable to be ready at a bus cease with a gaggle of people who find themselves all ignoring one another, or having somebody keep away from eye contact as they move you on the road. Don’t take it personally. When you’re in Sweden long run, searching for out golf equipment and actions round a standard curiosity might help break the ice. When you do, you’ll discover most Swedes to be heat, loyal associates.

Don’t be early, don’t be late

When you’re scheduled to fulfill with somebody or invited to a non-public dwelling, the time listed is whenever you’re anticipated to reach. What is perhaps thought-about fashionably late in different cultures is taken into account impolite in Sweden. Likewise, arriving early could also be awkward on your host and must be averted. It’s additionally thought-about good type to carry a number reward alongside the strains of flowers, a bottle of wine or a field of sweets. When you select to carry wine, you’ll must pop into the closest Systembolaget outlet: Sweden’s state-run liquor shops are the one locations the place you should buy drinks with greater than 3.5-percent alcohol content material. Be aware that every one Systembolaget shops are closed on Sundays.

Swedes persist with enterprise informal on the office however will costume up for an evening in town © Maskot / Getty Pictures

Gown as much as exit, down for work

In lots of nations, folks costume up for work and extra casually to exit. In Sweden, it’s typically the other. You’ll see enterprise folks in conferences carrying denims and a blazer, with folks dressed to the nines to exit for drinks or dinner. Basically, smart-casual costume with out ostentation will do tremendous in most conditions. You have to be 18 or older to order alcoholic drinks at bars and eating places, however at the least 20 to buy at Systembolaget.

To tip or to not tip: it’s okay both approach

The customized of tipping is far much less established in Sweden than in lots of different nations, so for probably the most half you may count on to pay just about no matter is on the invoice. When you’re consuming out, it’s widespread to spherical as much as the closest huge quantity to indicate your server some appreciation; if you happen to select to not tip, you’re unlikely to offend. For taxi fares it’s courteous so as to add a couple of kronor to spherical up; if you happen to’re touring with baggage a bit further is appreciated, although not anticipated. It’s not essential to tip for housekeeping and different companies at inns.

Take a quantity: the way to queue in Sweden

Whether or not you’re ready on the financial institution, a ticket workplace or the grocery store deli counter, the very first thing it’s best to do is go searching for a ticket machine. Nearly all of queues in Sweden function on a quantity system, so take a ticket and discover someplace to attend the place you may see the show that signifies when your quantity is up and which counter it’s best to go to. Generally there’s a couple of quantity sequence in play for various kinds of companies, so if you happen to see a number of choices on the ticket machine and may’t determine which one applies to you, it’s greatest to ask somebody for help earlier than you waste time ready within the unsuitable queue.

Well being and security in Sweden

Keep protected within the city jungle and the wild outside

Sweden is a really protected nation, however as in any vacation spot it’s best to preserve a watchful eye in your belongings, as pickpocketing does happen. Be certain to retailer valuables in your lodge protected, if there may be one, or preserve them locked in your baggage whilst you’re out and about. When you’re staying in hostels, carry a padlock so you may retailer issues safely in a locker. Concentrate on your environment and attempt to persist with well-lit areas after darkish. The possibilities of one thing dangerous occurring are small, however it’s all the time greatest to not tempt destiny.

When you’re heading into nature, be sure to’re adequately ready – Sweden’s wild landscapes are attractive, but when one thing goes unsuitable, you could be a great distance from assist. Until you’ve acquired wilderness expertise, a guided tour is your best choice for out of doors actions in distant areas.

Assist, I want a physician!

When you get sick or injured whereas in Sweden, by no means worry. The nation’s healthcare system is top-notch, however determining the way to entry it as a customer will be complicated. When you have a medical insurance card from one other European Financial Space (EEA) nation, you’re eligible to obtain care on the identical phrases as Swedes. When you’re from wherever else, you’ll sometimes must pay the complete price, so it’s vital to have a good journey insurance coverage coverage simply in case.

When you want well being care whereas in Sweden and are not sure of what to do, dial the nationwide hotline 1177 for help. In case of an emergency requiring quick consideration, name 112.

Pedestrians must be cautious when crossing bike strains in Sweden – and by no means jaywalk © Kraft_Stoff / Shutterstock

Be careful! Two-wheeled hazards are all over the place

Sweden is a pedestrian-friendly nation, however you’ll must preserve a pointy eye out for two-wheeled transport. Don’t jaywalk, and by no means step right into a devoted bike lane with out first trying in each instructions; if you happen to do, you’re risking life and limb, since automobiles and cyclists gained’t be ready to cease. Watch your toes as nicely – in recent times, electrical scooters have proliferated in cities and are sometimes left haphazardly in locations the place they pose an impediment to pedestrians.

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