Tipping is not mandatory. You only do it if you find the service and food nice, and you normally tip 10% if you have had a nice experience. The amount depends on how much the bill comes to. Some people round the amount up by 5-10%, some do not tip at all.


If you like a good meal and are travelling on a smaller budget, we recommend that you eat your main meal at lunchtime, not in the evening. Prices in the evening are usually considerably higher. At lunchtime you can get a very decent “Dagens rätt” (“meal of the day” or “today’s special”) for about 90 to 110 SEK, including salad, bread and butter, soft drink or light beer, and coffee. The meal of the day is usually served until 14:00 hrs (2 p.m.), sometimes even until 15:00.

Where do I buy beer or wine?

Purchasing alcoholic beverages at a store in Sweden isn’t a simple matter as in many other countries. Here in Sweden we have a state-run chain of liquor stores called Systembolaget. These are the only retail stores allowed to sell alcohol (more than 3.5% volume). The stores generally close somewhere around 6 or 7pm on weekdays, depending on store and day. On Saturdays they close even earlier… around 2 or 3pm. All Systembolaget close, without exceptions, on Sundays and holidays! So you need to keep this in mind if you plan on purchasing wine or hard alcohol while visiting Sweden.

Where to call in case of emergency?

There are four main important phone numbers in Sweden.
112 (for emergencies)
1177  (for medical advice)
11 414 (for non-emergency incidents)
113 13 (for information about none acute accidents and emergencies)

Wild animals in Sweden

Major roads may have warning signs and also miles of running fences to prevent wild animals from entering the driveway, but there are absolute no guarantees. Small and bigger animals do venture out on the roads. Sometimes even in major urban areas, at any time. Badgers and foxes are common roadkill and will do little damage to vehicles. However, it will be a different story with deer, wild boar and moose. Hitting a moose will certainly wreck any normal car. Travelers will be glad to survive such a massive impact at high speeds. In the north of the country, there are not just small groups of stray reindeer but also the occasional herd being transferred between grazing areas.

If you hit an animal you call the Emergency Number 112 and report the accident.

Plan your driving in Sweden

Getting fuel in Sweden is usually not a big issue. But keep in mind that the number fuel stations will decrease in rural areas. The amount of unmanned fueling stations where cash can’t be used is also growing, so a debit/credit card with a smart chip is highly recommended.

Remember to plan ahead when driving in more sparsely populated areas. Fill up when you have the chance and you won’t have any problems.


Unless stated otherwise, the speed limit within towns and villages is 50 km/h. On roads the speed limit is 70 km/h, while 110 km/h is the speed limit on motorways (except for cars with caravans where the limit is 80 km/h). All cars must drive with dipped headlights, even during the day and in bright sunshine. Seat belts are of course compulsory (you know they were invented in Sweden).

From 1 December – 31 March (in case of winter conditions) all cars are required by law to have either studded tires or un-studded winter friction tires. Outside this period, winter tires may be used if the roads are considered to be in “winter conditions” by the local police. Foreign registered cars are no longer exempt from this requirement.

The alcohol limit is very low: 0.2 per mile. Be aware that random alcohol checks are also done in the morning, for example at ferry terminals. Don’t drink and drive in Sweden – never, ever.

Cash in Sweden

There are plenty of ATM-machines in the city area, around the bigger attractions and malls. They thin out the farther you get from the city down-town area.

Credit Cards in Sweden

It is advisable to always carry at least one widely-used credit card such as Visa or MasterCard (or a card with the Maestro logo on it). Please do not forget your PIN code, you will need it. Credit cards are widely used even for smaller amounts. Indeed, Sweden is trying to eliminate cash as much as possible – for security and tax reasons. Some restaurants, shops and museums no longer accept cash. In fact, many Swedes rarely even carry cash.

Shop opening hours in Sweden

Smaller shops are generally open 10 – 18 on Monday to Friday, 10 – 14 on Saturdays. Bigger food stores and shopping centers are also open in the evening and on Sundays.