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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Sweden. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for information on local conditions.
  • There is a threat of terrorist attack in Sweden. On 7 April 2017, a vehicle attack on a pedestrian street in central Stockholm resulted in a number of deaths and injuries. Terrorists are likely to continue planning attacks targeting Sweden. Exercise caution in public places such as shopping areas, places of worship, sporting venues, public transport, airports and other transport hubs, and places of mass gathering. See Safety and security.
  • Sweden's domestic terrorism-threat assessment is at level 3 of 5, indicating an elevated threat level. See Safety and security.
  • Local authorities and tourist operators have advised of an increasing prevalence of bag snatching and petty theft in hotels throughout Stockholm. Never leave your bags or electronics unattended, including in hotel restaurants.
  • Carry your passport or a Swedish residency permit at all times, as you may be asked to prove your identity.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

Sweden is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Sweden without a visa in some circumstances. More information: Schengen Convention.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Sweden for up-to-date information.

Other formalities

Travellers can bring into Sweden a three-month supply of medicine for personal use. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. Some medicines and natural remedies cannot be brought into Sweden. Check the status of your medicines on the Swedish Medical Products Agency website.

Passport

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.

Get an entry stamp in your passport from border control staff when you first enter the Schengen Area.

Always carry your passport and/or Swedish residency permit when in Sweden, as you may be asked to verify your identity. Carry a valid passport when entering or leaving Sweden, even if you are travelling from another Schengen country.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible. You can either:

Money

Declare cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent amount in another currency) if you are travelling between Sweden and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes notes and coins, money orders, cheques and travellers cheques. If you fail to declare such cash or provide incomplete or incorrect information on entry to, or exit from Sweden, you will be fined. You don't need to declare cash if you are travelling to or from another EU country.

The currency of Sweden is the Swedish Krona (SEK).

Safety and security

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorist attack in Sweden.

On 7 April 2017, a vehicle attack on a pedestrian street in central Stockholm resulted in a number of deaths and injuries. Terrorists are likely to continue planning attacks targeting Sweden.

Sweden's domestic terrorism-threat assessment is at level 3 of 5, indicating an elevated threat level.

In recent years, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, places of worship, sporting venues and places of mass gathering, including those frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years.

  • In planning your activities, consider the kinds of places known to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided.
  • Exercise caution in public places such as shopping areas, places of worship, sporting venues, public transport, airports and other transport hubs, and places of mass gathering.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Monitor the news for any new or emerging threats.
  • Take official warnings seriously, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.

More information: Terrorist Threat Worldwide

Civil unrest and political tension

You might encounter protests or demonstrations in Sweden.

  • Monitor the news for planned and possible protests and demonstrations.
  • Avoid protests and demonstrations.
  • Follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Sweden has a low incidence of serious crime, but petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and purse-snatching, is more common.

  • Pay close attention to your personal belongings, particularly at popular tourist attractions, museums, restaurants, major transport hubs and other public places.
  • Carry only what you need for the day. Leave other valuables in a secure location.
  • Monitor local sources of information on crime.

In recent months, local authorities and tourist operators have advised of an increasing prevalence of bag snatching and petty theft in hotels throughout Stockholm. Never leave your bags or electronics unattended, including in hotel restaurants.

Local travel

During 2015, there was a significant increase in the number of refugees entering Sweden. Border controls and ID checks at major transit points have now eased, but you should always carry your passport and/or Swedish residency permit when in Sweden, as you may be asked by local authorities to verify your identity.

Monitor border conditions by checking local news sources and asking transport providers directly.

Road travel

Sweden's roads are generally in very good condition, but can be dangerous in winter due to icy conditions. Long periods of darkness can reduce visibility. The Swedish Transport Administration provides detailed information on road conditions.

Sweden has some road rules that Australian drivers may not be familiar with: 

  • vehicle headlights must be on at all times
  • winter tyres must be fitted from 1 December (or the onset of first snow, whichever is earlier) until 31 March (or beyond if roads are still icy)
  • the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02. In effect, this means you cannot drink alcohol at all if you are driving. Penalties for drink driving are severe

More information: Road safety and driving

Air travel

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Sweden.

More information: Air travel

Laws

Local laws

You're subject to the all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter, but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

More information: Arrested or in prison

Drug laws

Penalties for all drug offences, even possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

More information:

Australian laws 

Some Australian criminal offences apply overseas. You can be prosecuted for them in Australia.  These offences include, but are not limited to:

  • child sex offences and child pornography
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • drug trafficking
  • people smuggling and human trafficking
  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • money laundering
  • terrorism and foreign incursions

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance 

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are, and are not, covered under your policy, including any adventure activities or extreme-sports
  • that you're covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

If you need counselling services, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Take prescription medicine to cover your entire stay in Sweden (up to three months). Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. Check the status of your medicines on the Swedish Medical Products Agency website for more information.

Before you leave Australia:

  • check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to and what is required to take that medication into the country
  • get medical documents authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before you depart (if required).

More information: Prescription medicines

Health risks

Tick-borne encephalitis and lyme disease is a risk throughout Sweden. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn (March to November).

More information: Infectious diseases

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities in Sweden is comparable with Australia, although emergency services are limited in remote areas. Main hospitals are located in Stockholm, Gothenburg and the Malmo area. English is widely spoken.

A Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) between Australia and Sweden allows Australians who visit Sweden for less than 90 days to access emergency medical services for free. The RHCA does not provide the same breadth of cover as provided by Medicare in Australia. It does not cover ongoing treatment of pre-existing health conditions, medical evacuation, prescription medicines or elective surgery, for example.

To access emergency treatment under the RHCA, you'll need to present an Australian passport and a valid Medicare card. You may also need to mention the RHCA.  If you can't provide your passport and Medicare card, you may need to pay the fees applicable to non-residents. This could be $250 or more.

The RHCA does not replace the need for private travel health insurance.

More information: Medicare Australia

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline.Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

Emergencies 

  • Firefighting and rescue services: 112
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Police: 112. Always get a police report when reporting a crime.

Tourism services and products 

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular services charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

For consular assistance, contact:

Australian Embassy, Stockholm

Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Telephone +46 (0) 8 613 2900
Email: reception.stockholm@dfat.gov.au
Website: sweden.embassy.gov.au
Facebook: Sweden Embassy Facebook

Check the Australian Embassy website or Embassy Facebook page for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Sweden experiences extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall, including in major metropolitan areas. This may cause severe transport delays, and a temporary shutdown of infrastructure.

You could also encounter severe storms, rockslides, floods and strong winds.

If there is a natural disaster or extreme conditions, use common sense, monitor the media and other local sources for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities.

Additional Resources