Official advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions

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Sweden overall, exercise normal safety precautions ↓

Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.

Conditions can change suddenly

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Latest advice, 05 Jan 2016

Identification checks apply at the point of departure for all passengers on trains, buses and ferries from Denmark to Sweden (see Entry and exit). The level of this advice has not changed. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in Sweden.

Summary

  • We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Sweden. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia, and monitor the media and other sources for information on local travelling conditions.
  • Sweden introduced border controls on 12 November. The border controls affect the resund Bridge and ferry crossings from Denmark and Germany. Delays are possible. Make appropriate contingency plans and follow the instructions of local authorities. See Local travel.
  • Travellers seeking to enter Sweden from Denmark by train, bus and ferry will have their identification checked at the point of departure in Denmark. See Entry and exit.
  • We assess there is an ongoing threat of terrorist attack in a number of European countries, including Sweden.
  • On 18 November, Sweden’s national terrorism threat level was raised from three to four (on a five-point scale) indicating a 'high threat' level.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:

Entry and exit

For arrivals from Denmark by train, bus and ferry: On 18 December 2015, Sweden announced that ID checks would be introduced at the point of departure for all passengers on trains, buses and ferries from Denmark to Sweden. From 4 January 2016, ID checks commenced at Kastrup train station (at the international airport in Copenhagen, Denmark), and from 21 January 2016 at all other final departure ports and stations in Denmark for trains, buses and ferries heading to Sweden.

Sweden has earlier implemented new border controls applying to the resund Bridge and ferry crossings from Denmark and Germany.

You should carry your passport when entering Sweden.

Sweden is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries, which allows you to enter Sweden without a visa in some circumstances. See our travel bulletin on the Schengen Convention, for further information.

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 the most up-to-date information.

When travelling from a non-European Union (EU) or European Economic Area country (including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you are allowed to bring a three month supply of medicine for personal use. Depending on the classification, some medication, including natural remedies, may not be permitted to be brought into Sweden. Visit the Swedish Medical Products Agency website for more information.

People travelling directly to or from a country outside the European Union (EU) carrying 10,000 Euros or more in cash (or the equivalent amount in another currency) are required to declare the cash at the place of their arrival or departure from the EU. Travellers failing to declare the cash or providing incomplete or incorrect information will incur a fine. There is no requirement to declare cash for people travelling to or from another EU country.

Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia.

Safety and security

Terrorism

We assess there is an ongoing threat of terrorist attack in a number of European countries, including Sweden.

On 18 November, the Swedish Security Service (Spo) raised the terrorism-threat level in Sweden from three to four on a five-point scale. In doing so, Spo said its decision was based partly on 'specific information', but also based on the 'heightened sense of threat throughout Europe'.

You should remain vigilant in public places and report any suspicious activity to police.

In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities, including Paris, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Madrid, Moscow, Oslo and Volgograd. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.

Civil unrest/political tension

Civil disturbances or protests may occur in Sweden. You should avoid all demonstrations. Monitor the media for developments and if you are in an area affected by protests, follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Sweden has a low incidence of serious crime. However, pickpocketing and purse snatching are common on the street, particularly during the warmer months (May-September). Pickpocketing can also occur at popular tourist attractions, museums, railway stations, restaurants and other public places.

In an emergency, call 112 for police, fire or ambulance services. In non-emergency situations, you can report a crime to the nearest police station or call 114 14 to file a police report.

Money and valuables

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Local travel

During 2015, there has been a large increase in the number of asylum seekers entering Sweden and seeking asylum. On 12 November, the Swedish Government introduced new border controls that will apply initially for ten days at which point the need for controls will be reviewed.

The new border controls will apply to the resund Bridge and ferry crossings from Denmark and Germany. All travellers will have their ID or passports checked.

You should be aware of the possibility of disruptions to transport services and monitor the local media and other information from transport providers for up to date information.

Road travel

When driving, headlights must be on at all times. Roads can be dangerous in winter due to icy conditions. Winter tyres are a legal requirement from 1 December to 31 March. The Swedish Transport Administration provides detailed information on road conditions. For further advice, see our Road travel page.

Airline safety

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

Please also refer to our general Air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Sweden, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. 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. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
Penalties for all drug offences, even for possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and imprisonment. See our Drugs page.

The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers in Sweden is 0.02. This is lower than Australia's limit of 0.05 and, in effect, means you cannot drink alcohol at all if you are driving. Penalties for drink driving are harsh.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.

Information for dual nationals

Our Dual nationals page provides further information.

Health

When travelling from a non-European Union (EU) or European Economic Area country (including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), you are allowed to bring a three month supply of medicine for personal use. Depending on the classification, some medication, including natural remedies, may not be permitted to be brought into Sweden. Visit the Swedish Medical Products Agency website for more information.

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. 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 a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. Sweden has a high cost of living and medical services can be expensive.

It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our Health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

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.

Health risks

Travel in forested areas and the Stockholm Archipelago brings risk of exposure to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn (March to November).

Reciprocal health care agreement

Australia and Sweden are signatories to a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) which covers travellers who visit Sweden for less than 90 days. The agreement provides Australians with access to emergency medical services. Travellers should be aware that the RHCA does not provide the same level of medical cover as provided by Medicare in Australia, nor does it provide cover for ongoing treatment of pre-existing health conditions, medical evacuation, prescription medicines or elective surgery.

Australians wishing to access emergency treatment under the RHCA must advise medical staff in Sweden and present an Australian passport and a valid Medicare card to be eligible. Where Australian identification cannot be provided, a patient may receive treatment and may be required to pay fees applicable for non-residents, which could be up to approximately $250 or more.

The RHCA does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See the Medicare Australia website for more information.

Where to get help

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

For criminal issues, contact the local police on 112. The national emergency number is 112. You should also obtain a police report when reporting a crime.

To complain about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas.

For consular assistance, see contact details below:

Australian Embassy, Stockholm

Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, SWEDEN
Telephone +46 (0) 8 613 2900
Facsimile +46 (0) 8 613 2982
Email: reception@austemb.se
Website: www.sweden.embassy.gov.au
Facebook: Sweden Embassy Facebook

See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

If you are travelling to Sweden, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.

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. This may cause delays to public transport.

Storms, rockslides, floods and strong winds may occur.

Additional Resources

For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in Sweden, see the following links:

Warnings by area

Map of Sweden