Sweden is the largest of the Nordic countries, the northern area is contained within the Arctic. The capital Stockholm is made up of 14 islands and lies in an archipelago of 24000 islands.
Sweden and wider Scandinavia are renowned amongst travellers as expensive travel destinations; this guide should help you to save some money whilst you enjoy the peace and quiet of Sweden.
We visited 3 cities Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg, you can find out information about our time in each of the cities in our Traveller’s Tales.
Click on the links contained within this article for more information.
All major and budget airlines have flights to multiple destinations within the country. We use Skyscanner to search for flights and for budget flights go direct to airlines such as EasyJet or RyanAir.
Buses are available for travel to and within Sweden. Please note we have not used buses to travel between cities and would appreciate your feedback if you have. You can leave a comment below or contact us.
Trains are a comfortable and time efficient way to travel between cities in Sweden. It will be cheaper if you book in advance and there are Eurail passes available. We did not use Eurail passes as we are travelling for a long period and not able to find a pass that suits us, but if you are travelling for a shorter period of time, this can be an economic way to purchase tickets. The information on the website is helpful and as always check with blogs like themaninseat61.
We booked using the SJ website and app. The app stores your tickets, meaning that you do not have to worry about printing or collecting tickets.
There are also multiple ferry companies that run to multiple sights within the country, we used DirectFerries to book the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki.
There are also multiple car ferries within Sweden if you are driving and many of them are free.
Whilst Sweden is a member of the European Union (EU) it does not use the Euro. It retains it’s own currency the Swedish Krona (SEK).
As always we recommend that you use a currency converter when travelling, we use apps on our smart phones. The xe.com app is free to download from the app store.
The public transport system in Sweden is exceptional, although much like everything else it is not cheap.
We found that using the App on our iPhone gave us the best deal, as paying in cash on the day attracts a fee.
Each city has it’s own way of ticketing and it is worth checking with the visitSweden website.
In the Skåne (Malmo) region public transport is operated by Skånetrafiken. You can download an app, which allows you to purchase tickets and plan your trip. Or if you are planning to do a lot of travelling on public transport in the region, you can purchase a JOJO card, which you can top up as you need. There is a great wikipedia site, that explains the system in English, whereas the company website is in Swedish.
BUDGET TIP-if you catch the train from Denmark to the Skane region, your train ticket allows you to travel on the bus for one trip.
Gothenburg has a well integrated public transport system, consisting of buses, trams, trains and ferries. The Göteburg website has all the information you need to know. We purchased a 3 day ticket from the Pressbyrån, which are like 7-eleven stores and located all over the city. We used trams, buses and ferries whilst we were there. There is an app for planning trips, but if you do not have a Swedish credit card you can purchase tickets on the app. This link is for the iPhone app, however the Göteburg website has links for all other types of phone too. You cannot pay for tickets with cash on the buses.
In Stockholm public transport is managed by SL and pre paid tickets are your best option if you plan to make a few trips. The tickets cover buses, trams, trains and some ferry lines. There are 24 hour, 72 hour, or a 7 day card option. You can purchase the tickets in metro train stations and at Pressbyrån and other stores around the city. The pre paid tickets can be used for up to 6 years, so if you plan to return keep it. The SL-billejeter app allows you to purchase single journey tickets and to plan your journey. We purchased a 72 hour ticket and it was a great way to get around. You cannot pay for tickets with cash on public transport.
BUDGET HINT a trip on the number 69 bus or the number 7 tram is a great and cheap way to familiarise yourself with the city and you don’t have to pay the price of the hop on hop off bus.
BUDGET HINT the public transport ferry is a great way to see the archipelago and get some great photos without having to pay for a cruise.
In general everyone is very polite on public transport and you should give up your seat for older people, those with disability and pregnant women. As we think you should do everywhere!!!
The best option to save money is to be able to self cater, AirBnB has loads of options.
If you are a first time user of AirBnB you can use our discount code , just click on the link. The added bonus is we get a discount too!
We stayed in a cozy studio in Malmo, which was great, with buses just out the front door, a supermarket 500m up the road and easy access to the train to Copenhagen. We would highly recommend it.
In Gothenburg, we broke the budget a bit and stayed in a very nice apartment, in a great location (it was a birthday celebration). Be sure to check the booking for information about stairs or elevator though, it was a long way up with suitcases.
In Stockholm we stayed out of the city a little bit, which saved some money and it was conveniently located to public transport and supermarkets, however the Systembolaget was a bit further away.
During summer there are thousands of Camper Vans travelling and there are many designated areas where you can park across the country. Google camping in Sweden for more information, there are heaps of sites.
Food and Drink
The Swedish government regulates the sale of alcohol and only low alcohol drinks (<2% can be sold in supermarkets).
The price of alcohol is really high in bars, clubs and restaurants, so it is best to find out where your closest Systembolaget is and shop there. It took us back to student days, where you would always have a few drinks before heading out to save $$$$.
Or take the cheapest option and don’t drink whilst you are there.
Eating in restaurants and cafes is also expensive, so choose carefully. We spent a huge $50AUD on 2 burgers, at a burger cafe in Malmo and about the same on a small lunch at a pub in Gothenburg.
Shopping in the supermarkets is comparable with Australia, although red meat was expensive; we would recommend simple meals like pasta or stir fry during your stay. We ate a few sausages too.
If you are into Street Food and Food Trucks, you are in luck there is an App that gives you information about the location, opening times and menu items available at your favourite Food Truck. It is currently servicing Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, Falun, Gotland and Orebro. The App is called StreetKaK and can downloaded for Apple and Android devices.
Most Swedes speak very good English but it is always a good idea to learn a few words in the local language, it is only polite!
We always download the language for any country to the GoogleTranslate app before we arrive. You can then use the app offline and it is super handy in the supermarket when you are not sure what a product is.
We recommend you learn 5 phrases:
Hello- Hallå (or our preferred HeyHey)/ Hej
Can we have 2 (beers, wine, insert word here)- Kan vi ha två ……
If you plan to use public transport it can be useful to learn how to recognise the local words for departure, arrival and platform.
If you are visitor to Sweden you are entitled to the same healthcare as a resident, if you are covered by Social Security Insurance in a European Economic Agreement. However you will need to European Health Insurance Care (EHIC) card; if you do not have this card you could be responsible for the cost of the care.
If you come from countries outside this agreement and your government does not have a reciprocal agreement in place with the Swedish Government you will be responsible for the cost of your care.
You can find out more about the fees for care here.
The bottom line is: get Travel Insurance and know what you are entitled to before your trip.
Customs and Traditions
Sweden is a tolerant and welcoming society. It is a very safe and pleasant place to travel, you will also notice how quiet it is.
Fika- is an important cultural tradition in Sweden which is the equivalent of English afternoon tea. Make sure you get the cinnamon buns.
What did we love?
- Wandering in the cities, the architecture, history, parks and gardens
- Trips to the islands in Gothenburg, Stockholm
- The attention to the environment and being clean, green cities
- The worlds biggest cinnamon buns
- The free maritime museum in Stockholm
On the list for next time
- Heading north to the arctic
- Seeing the Northern Lights
- Exploring more of the countryside
- Sailing in the Stockholm Archipelago
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Amazing country with the beauty of islands. Thank you for such a nice and informative travel guide. Each and every point you explain here is so useful. And the most I like is about food and drinks. Thanks a lot for sharing this beauty of Sweden. This is worlds most beautiful and amazing country I must say.
Hi Kanika, thanks for your comments.
Super-informative! Well-written. Authoritative tone. I would have enjoyed seeing more pictures, but great post overall! 😀
I always wanted to visit Sweden! Thanks for this comprehensive guide 🙂
Hi, thanks for your comment, we hope you can get to Sweden soon Happy Travels
you have given travel guide beautifully..
Really enjoyed reading this! The pictures are amazing! Surely in my bucket list now!
Hi Monish, thank you for your comments, We hope you get to Sweden soon. Happy Travels
WONDERFUL POST .. WOULD LOVE TO BE THERE..
Very useful guide! Thank you!
Hi Shallise, thank you for your comments. Happy Travels
Stockholm is wonderful, I went there with my husband about two years ago and it was such an amazing trip, so much culture and history to explore. As you rightly mentioned is not cheap and you have to make food or drink choices carefully. We would definitely like to go back one day to explore other cities and to see the Northern Lights. Thank you for sharing all the info, I wish I had this in hand two years ago! 🙂
Hi, thank you for your comments. We hope you are able to get back and see the Northern Lights, that is on our bucket list too. Happy Travels
This is such a useful guide with all the details. Hope I will travel to it sometime. Nice post.
Hi Jayashree, thank you for your commnents, we hope you can get to Sweden some day too. Happy Travels
Very important tips to visit Sweden
Hi Rahat, thank you for your comments, we hope you can travel to Sweden and use our tips. Happy Travels
What a great guide for Sweden 🙂 Thanks for sharing these info with us
Hi Hra, thank you for your comment, we hope you can travel to Sweden soon. Happy Travels
Some great tips here, especially about the app, I never would have thought of that. Thanks! xx
Hi Portia, thanks for your comments. We hope you can enjoy Sweden soon. Happy Travels
Thanks for sharing such great and useful information one Sweden as I am planning to go there before, I move to Asia, I have bookmarked.
Hi, thank you for your comments, we hope your trip to Sweden is fantastic.Keep an eye on the blog for more Travel Tales, with links and tips for travelling in Sweden.Happy Travels
I visited Stockholm when I was 15 and fell in love with the culture and the people – Stockholm’s Old Town is just stunning! It’s on my list to make to to the Stockholm Archipelago!
Hi Samantha, thank you for your comments. We hope you can get back to Stockholm soon, sailing through the archipelago was a delight and we hope to go back and do more
Great tips for that country on my list !!
Hi Cindy, thanks for your comment. We hope NZ is treating you well. Sure you will get there soon. Happy Travels
Loved reading about Sweden! I have never been there but have heard so much about the Nordic country and wasn’t aware that Stockholm was a part of an archipelago! I wish to visit Sweden sometime and this post would help me keep sorted. I would love to have Fika and cinnabon buns!
Hi Ambuj, thank you for your comments. The cinnamon buns are amazing, keep an eye our for our Gothenburg Travel Tale, it tells you where to get the world’s biggest cinnamon bun. Happy Travels
Thanks for sharing your insightful guide! I would love to visit Sweden one day, hopefully soon!
Hi Joyce, thank you for your comments. We hope you can make it to Sweden one day soon.Happy Travels
I would love to try the cinnamon buns over Fika, and make a quick trip to Gothenburg, Stockholm. Bookmarking this travel guide for 2018. 🙂 Cheers!!
Hi and thank you for your comments, keep an eye out for our Travel Tale about Gothenburg, it tells you where to get the world’s biggest cinnamon bun in the most gorgeous place to have Fika. I am sure you will love it. Happy Planning
I’ve never been to Sweden but it’s on the list! Never thought about the camper van option – will have to explore that a bit.
Thanks for the guide!
Hi Malini, thanks for your comments. We would love to know more about the camper van option, please share your information so that we can use it too. Happy Travels
We almost booked a trip there last year, but then for a series of reasons, we didn’t go. I’m glad I’ve read this, now I need to talk hubby into going!
Hi Dany, thank you for your comments, we hope you can talk him into it and go soon. It is a wonderful place to visit and we will be going back for more. Happy Travels
Great Guide! I hope to visit Sweden in he near future and have bookmarked your post. It’s very helpful
Hi Ruth, thank you for your comments, I hope you can get there soon. We have a few more Travel Tales coming soon too that have more tips and tricks for you. Happy Travels
I loved reading this travel guide – really good tips here. I’m arranging a surprise trip for Ian later this year and hoping to go to Malmo for the day. I’m definitely saving this post! : )
Hi and thank you for your comments, keep an eye on the blog for the Malmo post, it is coming soon. We hope you enjoy your trip to Malmo, Happy Travels
What a great guide for Sweden, it would definitely be helpful which traveling in future, thanks for the post.
Hi Anushka, thank you for your comments, we hope you get to visit Sweden soon. Happy Travels
Great tips and nice addition of some of the language 🙂 always comes in handy for sure 🙂 been looking into Sweden for some time now and this will come in handy when the time comes 🙂 thanks for the share and great work!
Hi Lloyd, thank you for your comments. We hope you enjoy Sweden as much as we did. Keep an eye out for our Traveller’s Tales, they have more tips and links for your use. Happy Travels
So informative! Chris’s family is from Sweden.. we would LOVE to go someday!
Hi Allie, thank you for your comments, we hope you get to catch up with Chris’ family soon. We are sure you will love it. Happy Travels
Really appreciate the transport tips. I love using public transport when travelling. It gives you a local feel and also allows for more local interaction.
Hi, thank you for your comments. We love public transport too, it is an economical way to get around and we agree you get to see a town or city “like a local”. Happy Travels
Love the tip about buses 69 and 7! What a great idea, and even though you don’t get the commentary, the money saved is totally worth it!
You should also put Skansen on your list for next time! It’s an amazing open-air museum, the first in the world open in 1891 I think!
Hi Cat, thank you for your comments and tips. We will add Skansen on our list for next time. Happy Travels
Very useful guide I hope I could use this one in my future travel ther one day. I would love to try Eurotrail from Brussels to Sweden hope it wont cost that much 😉 thank you for this wonderful tips
Hi Mary, thank you for your comments, we hope you are able to travel from Brussels to Sweden, that would be an awesome train ride. Happy Travels
So cool. I really enjoyed this! I like your blog layout and writing style. My husband is almost 50% Nordic 🙂
Hi Sarah, thanks for your comments, it is great to know that Nordic people appreciate our guide to their area of the world. Have you been? Happy Travels
No I haven’t! We would love to go
We hope you can get there soon, the kids would love it
Great tips – we would love to visit Sweden and am going to look for some flights for my husband’s birthday next year!
Hi Alexandria, thank you for your comments, we hope you can find those flights, what a great birthday present!!! Keep an eye on the blog for upcoming Traveller’s Tale, they have some great tips and links for your visit. Happy Travels
What a really great read! Been really looking forward to getting to Sweden at some point, looks like such a beautiful country!
Hi Natalia, thank you for commenting, we hope you can get to Sweden soon and love it as much as we did. Keep an eye on the blog for more stories about Sweden with tips and links for you to use when planning your holiday. Happy Travels
I really enjoyed your tips! I’ve always used the ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki – that works well! The Swedish sayings I use for Hello is Hej and Byebye is Hejdå but they might be more Finland Swedish. 😀 I’m not sure how much Swedes use snälla du usually I’ve just heard the “kan vi ha…”. I really found these tips useful and next time I will go to Sweden I will sure use some of your tips. 🙂
Hi Hanna, thank you for your comments. I am sure you know more Swedish than we do! I will add your comments to our post for others to use. What a great trip the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki is? Happy Travels