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Sweden

If you’re travelling to Sweden, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available by contacting the Health Service Executive, and that you also obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Latest Travel Alert

The Embassy of Ireland in Sweden is aware of an ongoing security incident (Friday 07 April 2017) in central Stockholm. ​We advise all citizens to remain in a safe place indoors. If you  have concerns please ring the Embassy on 08-54 50 40 40 or ring HQ Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Given recent terrorist attacks in European cities, Irish citizens are advised to follow the advice of police and local authorities and to exercise increased vigilance, especially if attending large public gatherings or other crowded locations. Attacks could occur at any time and could target tourist attractions, restaurants, transport hubs or other public areas.

As of 4 January 2016, the Swedish government are mandating that all rail, bus and ferry operators carry out ID checks on all passengers travelling to Sweden. Any Irish citizens intending to travel to Sweden, including by train from Copenhagen via the Öresund Bridge, should ensure that they are carrying their passport or passport card in order to ensure that they will be allowed to enter Sweden.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency services in Sweden by dialling 112.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Get a European Health Insurance Card
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and security

Terrorism

On 18 November 2015, the Swedish authorities raised the national terrorist threat level. Visitors to Sweden can expect an increased police presence at public places such as airports and railway stations.

Although the threat from terrorism in Sweden is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. 

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Sweden but you should take sensible precautions. 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible

Reporting a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Sweden, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.

In an emergency you can call 112 and ask to speak to the police. The operator will be able to speak English. In non-emergency situations, you can report a crime to the nearest police station or call 114 14 to file a police report.

Driving

The rules of the road in Sweden are broadly similar to those in Ireland, and roads are modern and well maintained. Be aware that conditions can be hazardous, especially in winter, when you should equip your car for the severe climate.

  • Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught. Alcohol levels equal to or more than 0.1 milligrams of alcohol per litre of breath can result in imprisonment for a maximum of 24 months
  • Be aware of Sweden’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
  • Winter tyres are obligatory from 1 December to 1 April each year, but you must drive with your headlights on at all times throughout the entire year 
  • Drivers are obliged to give priority to pedestrians at all times
  • When driving in Sweden, particularly in the north of the country, wild animals straying on the roads, such as deer and elk, can be an added danger 
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Pedestrians

You should be aware that the traffic will be coming from the opposite direction to traffic in Ireland. Be extra careful at night when walking along roads without a proper pavement and when crossing roads, even at a designated crossing place.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Alcohol

The Swedish authorities have little tolerance for public drunkenness and police have the right to detain people they judge to be very intoxicated.

Health

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.

European Health Insurance Card

As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.

Apply for your EHIC and find out more information.

The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Sweden. You can stay as a visitor for up to three months, but if you intend to stay for longer, you should contact a Migration Board office.

Cash/banking

Swedish Krona is the official currency of Sweden. Major credit cards are widely accepted, but cheques are not.