Eating out in Sweden is healthy and expensive

Good to know: tips, tricks & hacks for your vacation in Sweden

Contents on this page:
Practical advice | Pay in Sweden | Everyone's right | Sweden etiquette

Image: Apelöga /

Practical advice


Apart from bars and restaurants, alcohol can only be bought in the systembolaget shops. The Systembolaget is closed on Sundays and public holidays and on Saturdays you can only shop there until around 2 p.m. You have to be 20 years old to buy alcohol in the Systembolaget. Age is strictly controlled. If you don't look much older, you always have to show your ID. In supermarkets, kiosks and petrol stations, alcoholic beverages with a maximum alcohol content of 3.5% are sold from the age of 18. The beer bought there can therefore taste a bit watery for some tastes.

Import of alcohol

In Sweden, the EU regulations apply to the import and export of goods. There is no upper limit for the import of alcohol from another EU country. However, the alcohol must be intended for private consumption, be imported yourself and no payment may be accepted for it. There is also an age limit of 20 years. Bringing alcohol to a wedding or birthday party is therefore allowed. The customs officer at the border will decide whether the alcohol brought along is considered personal use based on his or her overall personal impression. When assessing the customs, among other things, it is based on an EU directive. However, one cannot invoke the limit values. The quantities should be enough for the Swedish vacation anyway 😉
EU ceilings
Spirits with more than 22%: 10 liters | Spirits up to 22%: 20 liters | Wine up to 15%: 90 liters | Beer over 3.5%: 110 liters
Official information is available on the Swedish Customs Service website.

Alcohol prices

The Swedish state has a monopoly on alcohol sales and is therefore responsible for the high alcohol prices. Alcoholic beverages are subject to an alcohol tax in Sweden. Below are three examples to show the difference to German prices:
Bottle of Beck’s 330ml: 15:90 SEK | Henkell dry 750ml: 69: - SEK | Jägermeister 700ml: 269: - SEK
All prices can be found on the website of the state Systembolaget.


to eat out

Good quality and great restaurants - eating out in Sweden is fun. However, going to a restaurant in the evening is more expensive than at lunchtime. While the cheapest main course in the evening starts at 150 SEK, there is a dish of the day (dagens rätt) from 80 SEK. Bread, salad and coffee are often included in the price of the dish of the day. Water is always free. For lunch the Swedes say lunch. Lunch time in most restaurants is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The busiest time is between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. In the evening, too, the table should be reserved well in advance in trendy bars. By the way, the Swedes say “middag” for dinner. In the restaurant they wait until they are assigned a table. In fine locations, coats and jackets often have to be left at the cloakroom for a fee. Numerous bistros and cafés offer lighter snacks for those who are hungry. A cheap alternative are the numerous takeaways and fast food shops.


The Federal Foreign Office provides information on the regulations for the importation of pets. Information in English is also available on the Swedish Customs website.

Climate and travel time

There is actually no such thing as the best travel time for Sweden. The country is worth a visit at any time of the year. It depends on the planned activities and personal preferences. The ideal travel time for summer vacationers is between June and August. The time from January to April is ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. In general, Sweden has a continental climate. But there are regional differences. The climate in southern Sweden is reminiscent of the climate in northern Germany. The summers are relatively warm and the winters are comparatively mild. Northern Sweden, on the other hand, has very long and cold winters. But the summers are surprisingly warm. This is because the sun shines for a long time. Due to the high location of Sweden, it is literally all day during the summer months, but the nights in winter are very long.

Sick on vacation in Sweden

If you are legally insured, you should have a European insurance card with you in case you fall ill. If you need quick help, you can dial the emergency number 112. In acute cases, the emergency room at the nearest hospital can help. If you have minor complaints, you can also go to the local Vårdcentralen, a kind of local health center, during the day. Telephone assistance in English can be obtained from the medical service hotline 1177. Detailed medical information for a stay in Sweden can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

tap water

Attention potential savings! Do like the Swedes and drink the water that comes out of the tap. The tap water in Sweden is of high quality and also free for guests in cafes and restaurants!

Emergency assistance

The European emergency number 112 can also be reached in Sweden via landline and mobile networks. 112 is to be dialed if the help of the police, the fire brigade or the emergency doctor is required.

Official information

General travel information, up-to-date information and information on customs and import regulations can be found on the website of the Foreign Office.

Road traffic

The maximum speed on Swedish motorways is 110 km / h. You should definitely stick to the speed limit, because even slight excesses are really expensive. Detailed information on road traffic in Sweden can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office. The ADAC also provides information about the Swedish rules in road traffic.


Sweden has electricity. Adapters are not necessary.

opening hours

The opening times in Sweden are more customer-friendly than in Germany. The supermarkets are often open until 9/10 p.m. on Sundays too. Department stores and retail stores also make it possible to shop on Sundays until at least 4 p.m.

Money: Pay in Sweden


The Swedish krona

Sweden is a member of the European Union, but its national currency is the Swedish krona. The official abbreviation is "SEK". The abbreviation "kr" is also used very often. 100 ore equals one Swedish krona. However, there are no Öre coins in circulation. When paying with cash, the prices are therefore rounded up or down to full kroner amounts. Payments by card, on the other hand, are billed precisely to the ore.


Image: Sveriges Riksbank /

Where can I exchange the cheapest euros for Swedish kronor?

In most cases, withdrawing Swedish kronor from an ATM in Sweden using a credit or Maestro card is the cheapest.

Caution, fee trap!

Settlement "in euros" can be offered at the ATM. Withdrawing with settlement in the home currency is often associated with higher fees. This also applies to payment terminals in hotels and shops.

If you want to know exactly, you have to compare the exchange rates of your bank with those of a Swedish "exchange office". Many bank branches in Sweden have completely stopped cash transactions. For the exchange of euros into SEK, we recommend the Forex Bank, which specializes in currency exchange. The bank has a broad branch network with counters at airports, train stations and in all major cities. Exchange rates and branch locations are available on the Forex website.

Cash is no longer king

Sweden was the first country in Europe to introduce banknotes in 1661 and is now well on the way to becoming the first nation to become a cashless society. Almost everything is paid for by card or digitally. Coins and notes are being used less and less. There are even debates about abolishing cash altogether.

Tip: Maestro and / or credit cards must be included!

Photo: Melker Dahlstrand /

Most Swedish bank branches have already discontinued cash services. For some retailers, too, cash is now a thing of the past. The Abba Museum in Stockholm also only accepts online or card payments. With parking meters and local public transport, you can only get further with a card, SMS or app.

Even the churches now prefer to collect the collections cashless. So-called collect tomatoes replace the bell bag. Incidentally, with a positive effect on the willingness to donate. Since the street vendors offered a Stockholm homeless newspaper payment by card and by SMS, their sales have also increased. Cash is also increasingly disappearing in the private sector. Here, amounts of money are transferred using a smartphone app.

The right of everyone in Sweden

Hiking, camping, making a fire - Swedish public rights allow us to move freely in nature. However, this right also includes a duty to everyone. The rule is: do not disturb and do not destroy anything!

What is allowed? What is forbidden? The website of the Swedish nature conservation authority and the website of the foundation “Keep Sweden clean” provide detailed information on the right to everyone.

Naturvårdsverket: everyone's right | Foundation “Keep Sweden Clean”: everyone's right


Illustrations: Johnny Dyrander /

Disclaimer of liability

No guarantee can be given for the correctness and completeness of the information provided and no liability can be accepted for any damage that may occur.