SWEDEN

Fun Facts From Globus Tours

  • Sweden boasts of having one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
  • Stockholm holds a European Green Capital Award (2010), credited for ecological innovations in the development of cleaner water, integrated waste systems and reduction of noise pollution; 95% of its population live less than 984ft from green areas.
  • Sweden ranks among the most technologically advanced countries in Europe. The proportion of personal computers (per capita) in Sweden is one of the highest in Europe.
  • A popular souvenir in Sweden is the road sign for moose crossing. Surprisingly, a large number of these signs are stolen from Swedish roads every year.
  • The world’s first ice hotel was built near the village of Jukkasjärvi in the Kiruna district of Sweden.

Lakes, forests, and a coastline of a thousand islands describe the home of a great outdoors people. A natural cradle for athletes, Sweden is proud to have raised sports stars of the caliber of golf players Jesper Parnevik, Lotta Neumann, and Annika Sorenstam, and tennis players Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, and Björn Borg.

The general standard of living is high. Entrepreneurs like Alfred Nobel and the mighty Wallenbergs laid the foundations for a powerful, industrialized nation. Many Swedish companies are among the world’s elite: Ericsson for telecommunications, Volvo and Saab for car manufacturing, Electrolux for home appliances, SKF for the world’s largest bearings company, Skanska international construction company, Astra Zeneca pharmaceuticals, and IKEA, the lifestyle store. Peacekeeping has a long tradition in Sweden, and several famous citizens have dedicated their lives to great causes: Dag Hammarskjold, the second Secretary General of the UN; Raoul Wallenberg, who saved hundreds of thousands of Jews during WWII; and Olof Palme, who strove for better living conditions in the Third World.

With a territory of approximately 188,000 square miles and a population nearing 10 million, Sweden is by far the largest of the Scandinavian countries. Vast tracts of the country are uninhabited, especially in the austere north where there are few large towns. Local specialties to try include Baltic salmon, small meatballs served with berries, or some of the many types of herring.

VISAS, PASSPORTS, AND OTHER ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Visas to Sweden are not required for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, please check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Sweden. All passengers traveling internationally are required to have a passport. Please carry proper identification (your passport) on you and do not leave it in your suitcase or hotel room. It is advisable to carry your passport with you at all times.

     It is advisable to carry your passport with you at all times.

COUNTRY CODES

The country code for Sweden is 46. When calling to Sweden from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the US/Canada), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Sweden are 5-8 digits in length. Dialing from the US/Canada: 011 46+## ## ## ##.

CURRENCY

The official currency of Sweden is the Krona.

Bank hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Most banks stay open until 5:30 p.m. Thursdays.

1 SWEDISH KRONA (SEK) = 100 Öre

  • Banknote denominations: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 Kronor
  • Coin denominations: 1, 5, 10 Krona/Kronor

For the most current exchange rates, please go to our website at Globusjourneys.com/Currency.

U.S. Dollars are generally not accepted, but if in exceptional cases they are, change will be given in the local currency (Krona).

Credit cards are widely accepted (mostly Visa and MasterCard) and you should have no problems using them in larger shops and restaurants. Smaller shops may ask you to pay in cash or have a minimum amount required to use a credit card.

You will need an ID card or a passport when shopping with a credit card regardless of the amount involved.

BUDGETING AND SHOPPING

The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.

  • The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 25 Krona.
  • An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 125 Krona.
  • Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately 300 Krona.

All consumer sales include a 25% sales tax. Some of this tax may be refunded when leaving the country, so save your receipts.

Shopping specialties: the hand-painted and carved wooden Dalahorse (a national symbol), Swedish glass and crystal.

TIPPING

Restaurant services: a service tip is usually included in the price, but it is still customary to round up the check (by no more than 10%).

For taxis, 10% of the fare is acceptable or round up the fare to the nearest whole Krona if the tip has already been included in the bill.

Tip hotel staff 8-9 Krona for room service.

A few coins will be needed for public toilets.

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ELECTRICITY AND ELECTRICAL OUTLETS

Outlets

Voltage for outlets is 230V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, you will need a converter for your travels. Adapters will be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet, but these may not convert the voltage, so both devices are necessary. Sweden uses a round, 2-prong plug that looks like:

TEMPERATURES

Sweden’s climate is milder than you would expect due to the warming by the Gulf Stream. Summers offer plenty of warm weather and sunny days. Late summer and early fall tend to have more rain. Winters are cold and snowy and often have long periods below freezing. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Sweden.

To convert to Celsius, subtract 30, then divide by 2. While not exact, this simple formula will give a close estimation.

FOOD SPECIALTIES

Fresh fish and seafood, Paella, Gazpacho (cold soup of blended tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, garlic),

Empanadas (meat or fish turnovers), Tortilla (potato omelette), Jamón Serrano (cured ham), sheep’s milk cheese, bean/lentil/ chickpea stews, locally grown olives, Albóndigas (meatballs in sauce), Crema Catalana (caramel custard dessert), fine wines, and sherry.

Opening times for restaurants: 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm and from 8:30/9:00 pm to midnight or later (a few restaurants open at 8:00 pm).

 

FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE

Swedish:

Hello: Hej, Good night: God natt, Please/you’re welcome: Var sa god, Thank you: Tack Yes: Ja, No: Nej, I don’t understand: Jag forstar inte, Where is…?: Kan du saga mig var…ar?, 1: En, 2: Två, 3: Tre, 4: Fyra, 5: Fem, 6: Sex, 7: Sju, 8: Åtta, 9: Nio, 10: Tio, Wine: Vin, Beer: Ol, Cheers!: Skal!

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE COUNTRY INFORMATION

Additional country-specific information for US citizens can be found on the US Government’s website www.travel.state.gov. Here, you can find the most up-to-date information about destination descriptions, passports/visas, safety and security, transportation, travel local laws, alerts/warnings, vaccinations, and more. For citizens of other nations, we recommend you consult your local consulate for travel information, regulations, and requirements.