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Swanning Around Sweden
FACTS FOR THE VISITOR
Emergency Number Dial 112 in case of emergency, and the officer on duty will put you through to the appropriate emergency service - police, fire brigade or ambulance. Emergency calls made from payphones are free of charge.
Health Health care standards in Sweden are good. No vaccinations are required. There is a full reciprocal health agreement with other Australia. Check with Medicare before you leave. Also check out with the Travel Doctor for vaccination advice, travel health advice, clinic details and current health alerts for overseas travel.
Note: there is no equivalent of the general practitioner type of doctor's surgery here. To obtain treatment, visit the nearest hospital clinic Akutmottagning or Vårdcentral taking your passport with you. If you are taking prescribed medicines make sure you have an adequate supply before leaving for Sweden. Dental surgeries or clinics are indicated by Tandläkare or Folktandvârden signs and emergency service is available in major cities out of hours.
Tipping Egalitarian Sweden is not a tipping nation. Service charges are included in the bills, but it is usual to round up the restaurant bill to the nearest 10kr. The same for taxi fares. You can tip for good service, but given service levels here, that won't happen much!
Time Zone Sweden keeps Central European Time, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. However, note that clocks go forward one hour during summer (late March to late October). See World Time Server for time all over the world.
Electric Current Swedish electricity is 220 volts AC and requires a standard two-pin round continental plugs. Travellers from outside of Europe will need to buy an adapter.
Travellers with Disabilities Sweden is well provided with facilities for the disabled, including access ramps, lifts and hotel rooms adapted for people with mobility difficulties or allergies. There is good public transport access and special provision for swimming and riding. All pedestrian crossings use sound to indicate when it is safe to cross. A handicapped guide is available at Turismföralla in both Swedish and English.
Travel - Internal
Air SAS, (E) Skyways (E) and Malmö Aviation (E) serve over 30 local airports. Travel by air is relatively cheap and there are a number of reduced fares offered. Sweden is VERY safe for air travel. It is a category 1 country on the Aviation Safety Network
Sea or Lake Despite its many waterways and large lakes, more ferries link Sweden to other countries than link it internally. There are few domestic ferry services in Sweden . The various archipelagos on the south east coast are served by small ferries, the most comprehensive network being within the Stockholm archipelago, for which you can buy an island-hopping boat pass from Waxholmsbolaget (E). The other major link is between the Baltic island of Gotland and the mainland at Nynäshamn and Oskarshamn, which are very popular routes in summer from Destination Gotland (E). There are frequent coastal sailings to all ports and on the hundreds of lakes throughout the country, especially in the north.
Rail The excellent and extensive rail system is run by Swedish State Railways (E). The network is more concentrated in the populated south where hourly services run between the main cities, but routes extend to the forested and sparsely populated lake area of the north, which is a scenic and popular holiday destination. Restaurant cars and sleepers are provided on many trains. Reservations are essential for most express services. Motorail car-sleeper services are operated during the summer on the long-distance routes from Malmö, Götenborg and Västerås to Kiruna and Luleå.
Road Traffic drives on the right. Sweden's roads are well-maintained and relatively uncrowded, but watch out for animals crossing the road in remote areas. I've seen many accidents involving moose and cars and believe me, no-one comes out unscathed. You can use your own country's licence here for up to a year. International licence is not necessary.
Bus Express coach services and local buses are run by Swebus Cheap and efficient links are available to all towns. Many coach operators do special offers on tickets at the weekends (Friday to Sunday). Information is available in Sweden from local tourist offices. The Bus Station page has a very comprehensive list of bus services around the country. (E)
Taxis Available in all towns and at airports. Intercity taxis are also available. Taxi ranks are marked "taxi" but you can also hail them on the streets. A lit sign "Ledig" means that a taxi is free. You can also book by phone. Look in Gula Sidorna for numbers. Taxis have meters and willingly issue receipts. Taxi rates are very expensive, though overcharging is not usually a problem. Taxi Help can give numbers for Borlänge, Umeå, Göteborg and Uppsala.
Car Hire Available in most towns and cities. All international agencies are represented.
GUIDES TO SWEDEN
Sweden Portal The official gateway to Sweden. A portal site offering a joint platform for organisations with overall responsibility for providing information about Sweden abroad. (E)
Visit Sweden This very pretty site has a lot of information and links about visiting Sweden (E)
Smörgåsbord From Sverige Turism. Sweden Information Smorgasbord is the largest single source of information about Sweden on the web. (E)
Lonely Planet Guide Lonely Planet: Sweden site has some basic information, a really good message board (Thorn Tree) travel tips, and an online newsletter. (E)
Frommers Guide Destination Sweden is more a plug for their books, but still some useful stuff, including a forum. (E)
Rough Guides The Sweden Rough Guide has some in depth information on several regions, a message board (Travel Talk) and a newsletter. (E)
Amadeus Look for Sweden in the Amadeus.net site. Has the usual destination guides, but also has subway maps, weather information, phrase book, conversion tables, currency converter and a world clock. (E)
TOURIST INFORMATION IN SWEDEN
Sverige Turism A complete list of more than 400 Swedish Tourist Information Offices, by province and alphabetically by town or community. These offices have good links to local places and more indepth information on their region. (E)
City Guides Visitors guides to various cities in Sweden (E)
Swedish Tourist Federation The Svenska Turistföreningen has information arranged by province and a wealth of links. (E)
Swedish Tourism Association FörTur is the trade organisation for tourism in Sweden. You can link to tourist information and tips via area. (E)
Planet Ware Top-rated Swedish tourist attractions based on Baedeker's guides (E)
Stockholm Town The Stockholm Town site is the official visitor's guide to Stockholm (E)
All Stockholm Has the low down on what's happening in town. (S)
Stockholm's Information about Stockholm for business or visitors (S) (E)
Stockholm City Guide This is the City Guide for the capital (E)
Göteborg Tourist Information This site has lots of information and links about Göteborg. (E)
Göteborg City Guide The City Guide for Göteborg (E)
Göteborg Guide to Göteborg (S)
City Guides Visitors guides to various cities in Sweden (E)
Also check out the Tourist Offices
"The Alps" Skiing and snowboarding guide to the "Alps" in Sweden . Swiss expats, please don't laugh.
Norrland Visiting Lappland - "Land of the Midnight Sun" - for the real outdoors type. Freeze in winter and get bitten by mozzies in summer. (E)
The Ice Hotel The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi (Norrland) is a truly unique place and well worth a visit in summer or winter. The Canadians have built a copy, but this is the original. Bring the thermals! You can get a taste of what to expect at The Nordic Icebar at the Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm. It is open all-year, at Vasaplan in central Stockholm. Here you can taste a drink out of ice glasses just like in Jukkasjärvi, in surroundings of ice and -5C. Lovely.
Medieval Week in Gotland This is great! I was dreading it, with images of "Piss Weak World" filling my head. Visby is fabulous and the party atmosphere is infectious. There is a full program of cultural events, jousting, fairs, parades. And sunshine! For ferry service see Destination Gotland. (E)
Inlandsbanan The Inland Railway is probably the best way of discovering the north. This 1,000 kilometre stretch of track takes you from Mora in central Sweden, across the Arctic Circle, and right up to Gällivare in the Land of the Midnight Sun. From Gällivare there is a train that goes through the mountains to Narvik in Norway. (E)
Göta Kanal This classic pleasure journey does not come cheap, but those who have done a trip from Stockholm to Göteborg through the inland canals and lakes say it is THE experience of a lifetime. The route takes you through three of Sweden's largest lakes and through 58 calibrated locks. It offers a glimpse of the best of Sweden in a nutshell. (E)
Stockholm Archipelago This amazing landscape of 24,000 islands lies just outside of the Swedish capital. The Archipelago Foundation gives some information about the skärgård including getting there and accommodation. You can travel there by steamboat (S) or ferry.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Dallhalla Great music amphitheatre in Rättvik (E)
Nusnås Home of the dalahästar (Dalarna or Swedish horse) (E)
Tomteland in Mora, Dalarna. Home of Santa Claus (E)
Astrid Lindgren's World Visit the home of one of Sweden's best loved authors in in Vimmerby (E)
Parken Zoo in Eskilstuna (S)
Kolmården Safari Park near Norrköping (E)
The Bear Park in Grönklitt Fun site for bear lovers. There is a web camera site available in summer weather. (E)
Naturvardsverket Nationalparkernas has all the Swedish National Parks information (E)
Allmansrätten is unique to Scandinavia. This outlines your responsibilites. (E)
By road Shell Geostar site. Offers maps, trip planner, routes, places of interest, tips and of course the location of every Shell station. (E)
TTIS This Travel and Transport Information Service covers the road networks and the public transport system (train, bus, plane, ferries) and freight transport, including ticket booking, contacts and a European-wide routing planner. (E)
Tidtabeller A complete guide to trains, buses, airlines, ferries, taxi and car rentals in Scandinavia (E)
Stockholm Public Transport (Storstockholms Localtrafik) or SL has timetables, prices etc for Stockholm public transport. Very useful. (E)
Sweatramway These historic trams have summer lines in Stockholm , Malmköping and Malmö (E)
SAS Plan and Book at Scandinavian Airline Systems (E)
Tullverket Swedish Customs. (E) Check here to see what you can bring here.
Arlanda Express The fast train service linking Arlanda airport and central Stockholm. It's expensive, though. I'd probably opt for the bus service below. (E)
Flygbussarna is the largest airport bus company in Sweden , with routes to and from all major airports and cities nationwide. Also links some ferry terminals with cities. (E)
Long term parking at Arlanda Lindeskrog Parking - great long term parking (undercover for winter) at Arlanda (S)
Car Care and Driving
Emergencies and Medical Care
Useful to Know
Working Holidays in Sweden
You know you've been in Sweden too long when ...