Information & Facts
Dotted with picturesque medieval villages, tranquil lakes, lush
forests, coastal island archipelagos and cosmopolitan cities,
sightseeing in Sweden is anything but dull. With some of the
cleanest air in the world, take a deep breath, hop on board a ferry
and take a day out in one of Sweden's countless parks and enjoy a
Head north to explore the icy tundra and UNESCO World Heritage
Site of the Laponian area in Lappland and sample some reindeer
steaks, marvel at the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), and
explore the Ice Hotel which is sculpted each year by the Sami
people in the winter months.
Head south to the capital of Stockholm, boasting 14 islands to
explore by day cruise, a wonderful arts and nightlife scene and
ocean fishing from the heart of the city. Visit the quaint Gamla
Stan (old town), a maze of narrow cobbled-stone streets shaded by
historic houses circling Royal Castle where Swedish royalty has
resided since the 13th century, or explore the canals of
Gothenburg. The west coast and its fishing villages is the place
for seafood lovers while culture vultures will be smitten with
Uppsala, the ancient Viking city where the newest buildings date
from the 18th century and boasts more than 150 museums.
The summer months are the most popular time to visit Sweden, but
this truly is a year-round destination, short on sunlight as the
winter months may be. With a wealth of attractions and
breathtakingly beautiful historical sites, it will take visitors a
few weeks if not months to touch the tip of the iceberg of what
this magical country has to offer.
The Swedish pride themselves on punctuality and it is considered
rude to be late for a meeting. It is important to schedule an
appointment in advance and have it confirmed shortly before any
engagement. A formal dress code is observed for men and women and
bright colours are avoided. Handshakes for men and women are common
after introduction and often first names are used instead of
surnames. A general egalitarian attitude will hide any observable
hierarchy and all members at a meeting are generally treated with
the same level of respect. Business hours are generally 8am to 4pm
Monday to Friday.
Sweden's climate varies from north to south, but in general it
is temperate due to the offshore Gulf Stream waters. Winters are
very cold, particularly in the north where days are shorter and
heavy frosts and bountiful snowfalls can be expected. Summers are
warm and pleasant.
The country code for Sweden is +46, and the outgoing code is 00
followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK).
City/area codes are in use, e.g. 08 for Stockholm. Public
telephones are available and there is good coverage across the
country for mobile telephones, which use different GSM 900 and 1800
networks. Internet cafes can be found in all the cities and
Swedish culture is very liberal and secular. Despite a
reputation for excess and a love for partying, drunk driving is a
serious crime and public nudity is considered inappropriate
anywhere other than designated nude beaches. Smoking is not allowed
in indoor establishments like restaurants and bars, however many
Swedes partake in snus (snuff). It is polite to remove your shoes
when entering a Swedish home. Equality is an important part of
Swedish culture, and boastfulness and open conflict is usually
avoided. 'Chivalry' is often considered an outdated concept in
Sweden, which is one of the most gender equal countries in the
world, and gestures like opening doors for women are not considered
Travellers to Sweden over 18 years from non-EU countries and
residents who arrive on a commercial flight, from a trip exceeding
20 hours do not have to pay duty on the following items: 200
cigarettes, or 100 cheroots, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco, or a
proportional mix of these. 1 litre of spirits with alcohol content
higher than 22%, or 2 litres fortified or sparkling wine, and 2
litres of non-sparkling wine and beer are allowed duty free; other
goods to the value of 1,700kr are also allowed. Prohibited items
include drugs, other than those for medical or scientific purposes;
and potatoes that are grown outside the EU.
230 volts, 50Hz. Standard European two-pin plugs are
There are no health risks associated with travel to Sweden, but
visitors should guard against ticks when travelling to forested
areas or the southern coast, including the Stockholm archipelago.
Medical care in the country is excellent, and reciprocal health
agreements exist with other European Union countries, including the
United Kingdom. UK citizens in possession of a European Health
Insurance Card (EHIC) will be entitled to emergency medical
treatment on the same terms as Swedish nationals. Outbreaks of bird
flu have been detected in wild birds around the country, but the
risk to travellers is low and no human infections have been
reported. As a precaution all egg and poultry dishes should be well
cooked and close contact with live birds should be avoided.
Swedish is the main language, with Lapp being spoken by
the Sami population in the north. Most Swedes speak and understand
English. Many also speak German and French.
The Swedish monetary unit is the Kronor/Krona or Crown (SEK),
which is divided into 100 öre. Banks exchange money during business
hours from Monday to Friday. At other times money can be changed at
airports, ferry terminals, post offices and Forex exchange offices,
which are open daily. There are numerous ATMs throughout the
country, most of which accept MasterCard and Visa. Travellers
cheques and most major credit cards are widely accepted for payment
All visitors are required to have visible means of support as
well as tickets and documentation for return or onward travel. The
borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following
countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. All these countries
issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option
that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all.
It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months
validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your
travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different
rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Sweden is an extremely safe country to visit. There is some
petty crime during the summer months in the cities where tourists
congregate, but crime is at much lower levels than elsewhere in
Europe. Most visits to Sweden are trouble free.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last
Sunday in October).
A service charge is included in restaurant bills, but an
additional tip of 7 to 10% is expected for evening meals in Sweden.
Generally customers round off the fare when using a taxi. Tips are
welcome for exceptionally good service in hotels, but are not