Things You Need to Know About Traveling to Sweden
Tips to Prepare for Your Trip to Sweden
Sweden is the heart of Scandinavia and home to frost wonderlands, surreal landscapes, and thousands of picturesque islands. Although a small country, it is a lovely and historic place to visit. The unique mix of culture, food, historic buildings makes it a great holiday destination.
Preparing a trip to Sweden can be a tedious affair since it involves planning all the details of the trip. A little heads up for what to expect when you get to the country will make your visit more focused on enjoying your holiday rather than adapting to the new scenarios. The following tips will give you a head start to prepare for your Sweden trip:
- Credit cards are preferable than cash
Carrying your credit card will prove to be very convenient in Sweden. You can not only use it to make almost all purchases but also get favorable exchange rates when withdrawing money using the ATM. Finding ATMs throughout different cities is never a hustle.
- Sweden is a non-English speaking country with the official language being Swedish
English is also widely spoken, and you can use it to get by. However, do not assume that all the locals speak English; thus, it would help to learn a few phrases for standard niceties. Get an app that will teach you some of the commonly used words and also translate Swedish to English.
- Cheaper accommodation options
As always, accommodation is one of the costly expenses when traveling to a foreign country, and this is no different in Sweden. Staying in hotels is not cheap. There are, however, affordable options like getting a shared Airbnb or even opting for wild camping, which is legal and free in Sweden.
- Beware of pickpockets
Although Sweden is the 18th safest country in the world, there may be occasional pickpockets in the big cites. Ensure you are safety conscious and keep any of your valuables within your eyesight.
- Reuse, refill and recycle
The country advocates for recycling, so remember to be respectful when handling trash. Ensure you dispose of litter in the right recycling bin and reuse it whenever possible. For instance, you can use your water bottle instead of throwing it way. The tap water is better anyway!
- Be careful when smoking
While smoking is not illegal in Sweden, there are restrictions to where it is allowed. For instance, people are not allowed to smoke indoors in public places, including restaurants, bars, and shops. However, you can step out in the balcony whenever you feel the need to smoke.
- Public transport is the best option
Transportation in Sweden is cheap and convenient. The transportation fee on busses, trams, and trains will barely set you back financially. Unlike in many countries, the public transportation system is fast and efficient. Get a Travel or SL Access card depending on how long you want to stay in Sweden.
- If you plan to drink during your trip, you better go prepared
Alcohol is expensive in Sweden, so you could spend a fortune if not careful. Beer is a cheaper option for those who drink alcohol. At Systembolaget, you can purchase alcohol at fair prices than bars. Since it is also the only place in Sweden that sells hard liquor, you should take note of their closing time.
- Go on a free tour
Traveling to Sweden can be expensive; however, a free tour could save you some of the expenses. Free walking tours are an option if you are trying to keep things on a budget. As long as you are well dressed for the weather, you will have a good time exploring Sweden.
Things You Should Not Do When Visiting Sweden
Whenever you travel to a new country, it helps to familiarize yourself with their culture and norms. No one wants to stick like a sore thumb by being a nuisance in a foreign land. There are things you need to be aware of to avoid looking ignorant. The following are the don’ts of Sweden:
Don’t be flashy. Swedes are not too big on eye-catching outfits; you should dress casually. Dressing in outfits that draw a lot of attention is frowned upon by Swedes.
Do not litter. Sweden is a very environmentally conscious country that takes environmental preservation seriously. As a tourist, show the same level of respect and avoid littering or failing to recycle.
Do not skip queues. Whenever you have to stand in line, whether in a restaurant or shop, do not shove others and go first in front. So whenever you have to queue, wait patiently for your turn to be served.
Do not overlook personal space. Unless you are in a crowded place, do not feel the need to stand too close to someone. When waiting in line, keep some distance with the person ahead of you.
Keep a low profile. Swedes speak in quiet and measured tones; therefore, do not raise your voice when speaking.
Do not compare Sweden to Norway. If you are going to Sweden, you probably know that these two nations are different. Also, Swedes are very not fond or Norwegians, so do not compare them.
Do not turn down a coffee break. Taking a coffee break is taken seriously in Sweden; it is a way of life even. So whenever someone invites you for Fika, always accept, turning them down is considered a social insult.
Preparations of a trip to Sweden are not complete without acknowledging the tips and suggestions above. Although Swedes forgive social faux pas, overstepping can be social suicide, so it’s best to avoid them in the first place. Incorporating the guide above will enable you to blend in and also have a smooth holiday in Sweden.