The Swedish krona (SEK, plural kronor) is the national currency, as opposed to other currencies such as the Norwegian or Danish krone. Major credit cards are accepted at automated teller machines. All major credit cards are accepted at the majority of shops, restaurants, and pubs. When using a credit card, you may require an ID card or a passport, but not at supermarkets or other places where the PIN code reigns supreme.
Many Swedes translate the term krona (crown) into English. In English, for example, instead of stating 50 kronor, they could say 50 crowns. One krona = 100 öre, however the lowest coin denomination nowadays is one krona. Ren is exclusively used in electronic transactions; when paying with cash, prices are rounded to the closest full krona.
Counterfeit Swedish currency is very uncommon. Holograms may be seen on newer 50, 100, 500, and 1000 SEK notes. Older banknotes without holograms are no longer legal tender, although they are nevertheless accepted at banks.
Coins and banknotes will be changed beginning in October 2015. The former 20 SEK, 50 SEK, and 1,000 SEK notes were demonetized on June 30, 2016. On June 30, 2017, the former 100 and 500 SEK notes, as well as the old 1, 2, and 5 SEK coins, will expire. The 10 SEK coin is still legal tender.
Because many commercial banks are cashless when it comes to foreign money, it is preferable to convert cash with a company that specializes in this. Forex has locations across the majority of Sweden. There are X-change locations in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö. Tavex has locations around Stockholm.
Tipping, known as dricks in Swedish, is not common in Sweden, although a tip is sometimes given as a show of gratitude for excellent service, generally by rounding up the price, but really great service may be recognized with a 5-10% tip. Tipping is entirely optional and should only be offered as a genuine expression of gratitude for the service provided. Be aware that tips are often divided between waiters and the kitchen. Taxi drivers do not anticipate gratuities; any additional services (such as bag carrying) will be included on the receipt in accordance with the tariff.
Bankomat is the most commonly used Swedish name for automated teller machine, but it is legally a trademark of the Trade Bank Consortium, similar to the phrase cash point in the United Kingdom, and therefore not used by many banks. Uttagsautomat is a more general term; Uttag, Minuten, and Kontanten may also be used. Almost all machines will take MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron, and American Express, independent of operator. You may withdraw up to 10,000 SEK each transaction. A maximum of 20 000 SEK may be withdrawn during a seven-day period.
You will have three chances to enter the correct PIN code. If you fail three times in a row, the system keeps the card and closes it. To assist the visually challenged, the keys on the machines are outfitted with Braille. If you have spoken instructions, hit the TALK button. If you have a Swedish bank card, you may withdraw euros from certain ATMs. You may utilize the maximum number of times each day. You may withdraw several times in a row, but you can only withdraw a total of 20 000 SEK each week.
Sweden is a somewhat costly place to live as of 2015. A 33 cl bottle of Coca Cola costs around 10 SEK, a beer in a bar costs around 45 SEK, the average price of hotel accommodation is around 1300 SEK, a room in a hostel costs between 150 and 350 SEK, a bus/subway ticket in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö costs around 25 SEK, one meal costs around 100 SEK, 1 litre of petrol fuel costs around 13 SEK, and a pack of 19 cl A daily budget of about 1000 SEK would enough if you are a little frugal with your spending. Outside of urban regions, house costs are likely to be among the lowest in Western Europe, and cheap shops like as Lidl, Netto, and Willys provide a broad variety of goods at affordable rates. Stockholm is less expensive than most other Western European cities for lodging and eating.
The value-added tax (moms or mervärdesskatt) in Sweden is divided into three tiers. VAT is not levied on financial transactions, gaming, healthcare, dentistry, or prescribed medicines. Passenger transportation, books, publications, sports, movie tickets, performances, zoos, and museums are all subject to the 6% tax. The 12% limit applies to travel accommodations and food (including restaurant meals and soft drinks, but not alcoholic beverages). Clothing, wine, cigarettes, non-prescription medicine, cosmetics, hair and beauty services, appliances, souvenirs, amusement parks, nightclubs, office supplies, electronic services, cars (including rental), gasoline, and so on are all subject to a 25% VAT.
Except in the case of business-to-business transactions, all prices include tax (wholesale stores, etc).
Bargaining is not frequently practiced, although it may be effective in certain situations, particularly when purchasing more costly items at flea markets and antique stores.
Most stores, at least large chains in central regions, are open seven days a week, including Sundays, but they do shut on Christmas Day, Midsummer’s Eve afternoon, and the whole day on Midsummer’s Day. Closing hours are strict, usually on the minute.
It is common practice in grocery shops and supermarkets to position each product on the conveyor belt such that the barcode faces you or upwards, allowing the cashier to scan it more quickly. Do not stack things on top of one other; instead, arrange them in a line and remember to put the divider on the conveyor belt when finished. Also, keep in mind that shops charge for both plastic and paper bags (typically 1-3 kronor for plastic and double for paper), and you must bag your own purchases.
- The Dala Horse (Swedish: dalahäst), an unofficial national emblem, is the souvenir to bring from Sweden. These tiny wooden horses, named for their origin region of Dalarna, have been present since the 17th century. They are usually painted orange or blue and decorated symmetrically. They are reasonably priced: anticipate to spend about 100 SEK for a little one and several hundred SEK for larger ones. The horses may be purchased at souvenir stores across Sweden. If you want to learn more about how the horses are produced, go to Dalarna and Mora, where the horses are carved and painted in tourist-friendly workshops. And, if you’re traveling from Stockholm to Mora, keep an eye out for the world’s biggest (13-meter-tall) Dala Horse, which stands guard over the highway.
- The beauty of Swedish glass is well known across the globe. Several talented glass artists have contributed to this reputation by creating creative, complicated (and costly) art pieces, but mass-produced Swedish table glass has also been a global success. The Kingdom of Crystal is located in the province of Smland, between the cities of Växjö and Kalmar. This tiny region has 15 glassworks, the most well-known of which are Orrefors, Kosta, and Boda. Tourists are allowed to see the glass blowers as they transform the blazing melt into sparkling glass, and you may even attempt it yourself.
- Systembolaget’s high-end wines.
- Swedish design, which includes anything from furniture to jewelry, is renowned for its purpose, efficiency, and simplicity. Designtorget is a shop chain that sells a broad variety of daily items; Lagerhaus is another. Svenskt Tenn is another shop that sells lovely goods by designers like Josef Frank.
- The cheese slicer, adjustable spanners or adjustable wrenches, safety matches, paraffin cooking burner (Primuskök), or a good old Celsius thermometer are some household goods developed by Swedes that may be enjoyable to bring home.
- Flea markets, also known as loppmarknad or loppis, are one of the few locations where bargaining is acceptable.