Welcome to Sweden
Sweden is an unusually exciting tourist country. Much of the old culture is preserved in the buildings, the objects and the customs. Nature is alternating. Sweden is for many central Europeans a clean and unaffected paradise.
Sweden is surface moderately one of the largest countries in Europe. Concerning the number of inhabitants, it however takes a very modest placing. The number of inhabitants is only 8,9 million and as a consequence it makes Sweden one of the least populated countries in Europe with 21 inhabitants a square kilometre.
Sweden has an unusually mild climate in relation to its northern position. July is the warmest month of the year, followed by June and August. Heat waves can nevertheless occur at any time during the period May to September.
As English is taught in Swedish schools from the fourth grade, almost all Swedes speak and understand English. Moreover, many Swedes will also know German and some will know French and, a few, Italian and Spanish.
Sweden, like most of Europe, has Central European time, Greenwich Mean Time + 1 hour. Summer time: from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
Tap water can be drunk all over Sweden. However, in our large cities it is cleansed with chlorine, so it could taste strange to some.
Standard voltage is 220 Volts AC 50Hz. Plugs have round tips.
Check all insurances before leaving home. In addition, when for example going camping, the camping card will provide you with some insurance. See Lodging; camping. Insurance may cover costs when seeking medical care or, if necessary, the transport to ones home country, when causing damage to public or private property and so forth.
The Swedish right to access open country
This general right regulates our rights and obligations in the nature. There is no parallel in any other country. Briefly this law says at all humans have the right to enter all areas, which are not private properties and which cannot suffer any damage by entering. Other different laws and regulations also regulate the use of nature. Basically you must never cause damage, but always show carefulness and consideration.
In accordance with the Swedish right of access you may:
- Enter and stay on anyone's property if due distance is kept from the residential buildings.
- Pass fences, gates, etc. (with the exception of those that lead to private property.
- Pick wild flowers (with the exception of those protected by the nature protection act), berries and mushrooms. Also collect branches and brushwood which has fallen down.
- Make campfires, if there is no risk of it spreading out of control.
- Camp one night, as long as the location is not agricultural land near residential housing. To camp overnight you must first gain the property owner's permission.
- Drive on private roads as long as the property owner has not sign posted the road as closed.
- Bathe, land a boat and go ashore, as long as the landing site is not on private property.
- Row sail or travel by motorboat as long as you don't cause a disturbance. Motorboats must be driven with consideration to the surroundings.
One may not:
- Enter private property within seeing- or hearing distance of the house.
- Enter fields with standing crops or afforestation, witch can suffer damage.
- Take branches, leaves, bark, acorns, nuts or sap from living trees or shrubs.
- Pick flowers that are under nature protection.
- Take bird eggs or rob birds nests of their content.
- Drive with a motor vehicle off public roads so that damage is caused.
- Fish in private waters.
- Throw or leave wastes behind in nature.
Tourists can gain information via the many local Tourists Information Offices. There are well over 400 tourists Information offices spread throughout the country, some of which are only open during the tourist season between 10.00 and 18.00, whilst others are open evenings and bank holidays. During the summer all Tourists Information Offices have generous opening hours. You will find information about local places of interest, local activities, contact persons and opening hours at the Tourists Information Offices. Some also provide services such as reservations of private rooms as well as letting of huts. You will also find that the Tourist Information Offices sell books and maps.
Local tourist associations
You will find the addresses and telephone numbers of Tourist Information Offices in the telephone directory on the red pages under the word Turistbyrå. A good bit of advice before your departure is to contact the Swedish national tourist association, the address is:
Swedish Travel &Tourism council
PO box 3030
There is a multitude of hotels in Sweden of varying standard and price. Many rooms include a bathroom, telephone and a television. Please check in your home country before leaving or look in the local telephone catalogue in the yellow as well as in the reddish pages (Hotell). Homepages: www.hotellsverige.se or www.hotel.se Youth hostels (Vandrahem) You can find many youth hostels in Sweden. The standards and styles vary from large rooms with many beds for backpackers to hotel-like private rooms with toilet and/or shower. Please check in your home country before leaving or look in the local telephone catalogue in the yellow as well as in the reddish pages (Vandrahem). Homepages: www.svif.se or www.svenskaturistforeningen.se
There are some 7000 cottages for hire , most of them close to nature.
- For reservations and further information please contact the Local Tourist Offices.
- Contact Swedish Tourism Cottage rental in Sweden. Homepage: www.stuga.nu
- There is a specific Camping Card witch can be acquired, along with additional information from:
Sveriges Campingvärdars Riksförbund (SCR)
S-451 17 Uddevalla
There are camping areas all over Sweden, for caravans as well as tents. The service is often of high standard and everyone is equally welcome. At some location, there are fully licensed restaurants. Common for all is that there will be nature and wilderness close by, as well as other recreational possibilities and lots of activities for all ages in the vicinity.
- For reservations and further information please contact the Local Tourist Offices.
- There is a special Camping Card which can be acquired, along with additional information, from Sveriges Campingvärdars Riksförbund (SCR)
- There are a lot of campingplaces that don´t use any sort of CampingCards
Most hotels, youth hostels, camping, cottages etc. accept the major credit cards.
Camping only for motorcyclists
Camp VMCK, Jönköping
Phone: + 46 (0)36-378 547
Adress: Vätterbygdens MC-klubb, Box 20, S-551 12 JÖNKÖPING Sweden
Phone: + 46 (0)340-155 12
Adress: Varbergs Motorcykelklubb, Susvindsvägen 9, S-432 31 VARBERG Sweden
Camp Wing, Mora
Phone: + 46 (0)250-171 69
Adress: Red Wings, Mora MC-klubb, c/o Tysk, Turistvägen 165, S-792 97 MORA Sweden
The shops in Sweden are normally open from 9.00 until 18.00 weekdays and on Saturdays from 9.00 until 14.00. In smaller towns they are closed on Sundays. In most cities many shops and department stores, particularly the food and tourist shops are open on Sundays as well as in the evenings and during bankholidays.
The petrol stations are open between 7.00 and 21.00 every day, some even earlier and later. You'll find 95, 96 and 98 octane petrol as well as unleaded petrol at the stations. The larger petrol stations also sell food. At most stations you will find self service pumps that take 20 and 100 crown banknotes, as well as creditcards. All petrol stations are selv service.
Pharmacies, drug stores
Many types of medicine are prescribed in Sweden because of their narcotic content. In order to ensure that the medicine, prescribed in ones home country, can be brought for personal medicinal purpose, a doctor's prescription, as well as a note from a pharmacy, must be brought.
In cases of antibiotics and other types of medicine, a doctor will provide a prescription. Advice on usage will be provided.
Pharmacies are often in or nearby the hospitals, as well as there are additional stores. In some major cities there are pharmacies which are open 24 hours a day.
There are not that many Laundromats in Sweden. However, the dry cleaners (kemtvätt) also do ordinary washing of clothes.
Post Offices and stamps
Most post offices are closed. Instead any shop to ask for stamps etcetera.
Yellow/grey post-boxes - for all other types of letters and post cards, domestic as well as international
Most banks are open Monday to Friday 10.00 to 15.00 hours. On one day a week some banks are open from 10.00 to 18.00 hours. On Saturdays and Sundays the banks are closed.
Not all banks provide for exchange service. Not all banks have cash. The absolutely best way to get money from, or to, another country is to have a credit card, tied to a bank account in the home country. All other methods are both time consuming, as well as expensive.
Foreign exchange; cash to cash and traveller's cheques can be administered in any banks or at special excange officies in larger cities and at airports and ferry ports. Homepage: www.forex.se
Currency, credit cards and exchange offices
The Swedish monetary unit is the Swedish Crown, abbreviated to SEK. One Swedish crown is 100 öre.
The coins are from the lowest to the highest
- 1 krona (crown)
- 2 krona
- 5 kronor
- 10 kronor
The paper money is
- 20 kronor (crowns)
- 50 kronor
- 100 kronor
- 200 kronor
- 500 kronor
- 1000 kronor
Exchange offices for cards, traveller's cheques, as well as foreign currency
Automatic cash dispensing machines
In addition, there will be two types of automatic cash dispensing machines. The trade bank and the saving bank model. The trade bank model is blue with the white text; "Bankomat", whereas the saving bank model is a big brown coin. For foreign VISA card, either of the two types will do. Moreover, accepted cards will be marked on all of the automatic cash dispensing machines. The automatic cash dispensing machines can be found at most banks and other places throughout the large cities, as well as in the larger villages. The banks can provide a list of where the automatic cash dispensing machines can be found.
Cards as a means of payment
Most shops, hairdressers, hotels, restaurants, cafés, nightclubs, as well as discotheques will accept credit cards. Our computerised taxis also accept the major charge cards.
Do not bring personal cheques as they are very expensive, time consuming, and one must have an account in a Swedish bank in order to handle such a cheque.
There are hardly any telephone booths in Sweden.
All emergency calls (112) are free.
Collect call is impossible from Sweden.
All of the 020 telephone numbers are free of charge.
The prefix for international calls from Sweden is 00
In the white pages in the telephone cataloque you find foreign telephone numbers and prices. You can also find area code numbers in Sweden listed both numerically and alphabetically according to region.
If you wish to find a phone number outside Sweden, call 118 119. The price for that is SEK 7,25 + SEK 16/minute, nights, holidays and weekends SEK 17,25 + SEK 16/minute.
Check with your cellphone operator where your cellphone operates before leaving your home country. In Sweden there are many different GSM operators, for example Telia GSM, Comviq GSM and Europolitan GSM.
Custom and border formalities
General advice: always bring your passport. Although they are not thoroughly checked, they must be shown. For those carrying an EC identification card, this will also be accepted. Nordic passports will not be checked. Identification, such as driver's licences and the like, should be presented along with a ticket. The police are constantly present at the Swedish border terminals.
You must be 20 years of age or older to bring alcohol into Sweden.
For bringing tobacco into and buying in Sweden you must be 18 years of age or older.
Non Tax-Free Goods from any country
Many types of medicine are prescribed in Sweden because of their narcotic content. In order to ensure that they can be brought into Sweden for personal medicinal purpose, a doctor's prescription, as well as a note from a pharmacy, must be brought.
Law forbids all injection needles and cannulae. In order to ensure that such items can be brought in to Sweden for personal medicinal purpose, a doctor's prescription, as well as a note from a pharmacy, must be brought.
Law strictly forbids all types and forms of narcotics.
In Sweden alcohol can be bought att pubs, discotheques, night-clubs and restaurants, i.e. at establishments which are fully licensed to serve alcoholic beverages. Important to note however, is that not all of them are fully licensed. Some may only serve beer and wine. Otherwise one is obliged to use the government owned State liquor shops Systembolaget. There are an abundance of such stores throughout the country and they are easily recognised by the green logo. All kinds of beer, liquor, wine, champagne, liqueur, of all classes, alcohol levels and costs are for sales, as well as alcohol-free beverages, such as water, beer and wine.
These rules are valid
- Age limit. A customer has to be at least 20 years of age.
- To buy on behalf of a minor is strictly forbidden.
- The personnel do not sell to a drunken person.
- Charge cards are generally accepted.
The stores are open as listed
Mondays to Fridays 10.00 mostly to 18.00 hours. Saturdays 10.00 to 14.00. Homepage: www.systembolaget.se
January 1 and 6
December 24, 25 and 26
Holidays without fixed dates
- Easter: Good Friday, Easter Eve, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
- Ascension Day (always a Thursday)
- Pentecost: Whitsun Eve, Whit Saturday.
- Midsummer celebrations (Friday and Saturday nearest June 23)
- All Saints Day (Saturday)
The Swedish National day and the Day of the Swedish flag is on 6th of June
A motorcycle helmet is obligatory. The law demands that you use dipped headlights at all times.
All roads in Sweden are free of charge except at the bridge to Denmark.
Kind of roads
Most of the roads are paved, but there are also a lot of small unpaved gravel roads.
Trafikverket is responsible for the Swedish road system.
The traffic police, the local police and the uniformed police execute the traffic control. In Sweden you drive on the right hand side of the road. Road users have to follow the traffic regulations, witch are as follows:
Blocking line (In the driving direction of the vehicle) or restricted area may not be exceeded. Distance to a vehicle in front of you must be adapted in such a way that there is no danger to run into it and that overtaking is facilitated. Traffic on major roads has the right of way unless signs indicate otherwise. Priority is given to traffic already in a roundabout. Overtaking is done on the left, except when the vehicle in the front of you wants to turn left. Overtaking is not permitted:
- Directly before or in a road crossing.
- Railway crossing.
- On the crest of a hill or in a curve with limited view ( this applies to roads with only one lane).
It is forbidden to make "U-turns" on motorways. Parking on major roads outside denely populated areas is forbidden. Headlights at half beam must be used during daylight hours. Both the driver and passenger of a motorcycle must wear approved helmets. Warning for wild animals on the road. If impacts with moose, reindeer or deer occur, you are obliged to notify the police. Warning for gravel roads. Warning for slippery asphalt when wet. Driving under the influence of alcohol leads to fine or withdrawal of the driving licence. Drink-drive limit: 0,02 %. Emergency call = 112, police, fire brigade, ambulance and physician.
Driving licences must be carried when driving. Driving licences issued within EEG is valid in Sweden in accordance with its contents. Other foreign driving licenses are valid in Sweden in accordance with its contents, presupposed that the driving licence is translated into English, German, French, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. Driving licences without a photo is only valid in conjunction with other forms of identification that include a photo. A foreign driving licence may not be invalid in the state where it is issued.
Fine in SEK.
The most common forms of traffic supervision used by the police are laser, radar, aerial surveillance and video. The traffic police can impose fines up to SEK 10 000 at the site of the offence or request the offender to pay the fine at the post office within 30 days. If the offence is of a more serious nature the public prosecutor will be notified and the case resolved in a court of law. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: Fine or prison up to 6 months. With heavy drunkenness: Prison up to 2 years.
Unlawful driving results in fines, or for more serious offences prison up to 6 months.
Traffic police are according to Swedish law obliged to confiscate the driving licence if the seriousness of the offence is so great that the probable outcome of a prosecution will result in the confiscation of a driving licence.
In the following instances the police can confiscate a driving licence;
- Driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driving more than 30km/hr over the permitted speed limit, or more than 20km/hr over or on 30km/hr road.
- Driving against red light.
- Overtaking despite meeting vehicle.
- Short distance, less than ½ second behind other vehicle.
- Neglecting to stop at the stop sign.
EmergenciesCall 112 for all emergencies
In case of emergency you should call 112. The emergency number is used for when
an immediate response is required.
In all non-emergency situations you should call 114 14. If you call from abroad the number is +46 77 114 14 00.
Ambulance, rescue corps, dentist, doctor, information on poison, police, mountain rescue corps, as well as fire department. Information on poison: 08-331231
Fire department (Brandstation, Räddningstjänst)
In all cases, except for emergencies, look in the green pages in the local telephone catalogue.
Hospitals (Sjukhus) and emergency rooms (Akutintag)
In all cases, except for emergencies, look in the blue pages in the local telephone catalogue.
In all cases, except for emergencies, look in the red pages in the local telephone catalogue.
Breakdown services (Bärgning)
Call the Assistancekåren. They will send a breakdown vehicle to the spot. Breakdown service operates day and night. All sevice must be paid for in cash or by credit card. Telephone: 020-912 912
General Agencies - ask the organisation in Sweden for advice, www.mcrf.se
Swedish Motorcyclists association (SMC)
Adress: SMC, Gamla Tunavägen 30, 784 60 Borlänge
Telephone: +46-(0)243-669 70
Fax +46-(0)243-822 87
Office hours: Monday- Friday 8.00 - 16.00
Swedish Motorcycle and snowmobile federation (SVEMO)
Adress: P.O. Box 2314 S-600 02 NORRKÖPING
Telephone: +46-(0)11-23 10 80
Fax +46-(0)11-23 10 81
Office hours: Monday- Friday 09.00 - 16.00
Street address: Södra Promenaden 7, NORRKÖPING