With Sweden growing rapidly as an important tourist destination, standards in the travel industry have improved greatly. Foreign visitors will enjoy a comfortable stay in Sweden, not least because most people speak English. Sweden’s infrastructure is constantly being improved – there are many new highways and the rail system has recently been upgraded for high-speed trains. There is also a direct link to Denmark via the new Öresund Bridge. In Stockholm, public transportation on buses, subway trains, ferries, and local trains is efficient, and covers the entire city and surrounding region.
Passports are not required for visitors from most EU countries, but visitors from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand still need a valid passport. Citizens of almost all countries can enter Sweden without a visa.
Violent crime against tourists is rare in Sweden, although pickpockets are known to frequent the busier pedestrian shopping streets in the main cities. Sweden has a well developed network of emergency services, which are efficient and reliable. Swedish police are extremely helpful and most speak good English.
No special vaccinations are necessary to visit Sweden. Hygiene standards are among the highest in the world, and the tap water is safe to drink.
For prescription and nonprescription medicines visit a pharmacy (apotek), open during normal store hours. A 24-hour apotek service is also available in major cities.
CURRENCY AND BANKING
The Swedish unit of currency is the krona, abbreviated to SEK or kr. Banking hours are generally 10am-3pm Monday to Friday, though some banks stay open until 6pm at least one day a week. Traveler’s checks can be changed at all banks. Bureaux de change are located throughout the main cities and airports, and normally provide a better exchange rate than banks.
All the well-known credit cards are widely accepted in Sweden. Withdrawals can be made from cash machines using all internationally accepted credit cards.
Public telephone kiosks are owned by the state-run Telia company, and are usually operated by card only. Phone cards can be bought at tobacconists and newspaper kiosks, though normal credit cards or international telephone cards work just as well.
Post offices are open from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays. Many of the post offices have recently been closed and postal services moved to gas stations and stores instead. Stamps can be purchased at these locations as well as at post offices, Pressbyran kiosks, and tourist information offices.