Browsing Category:

Practical information




Tipping in Sweden

Fooi geven in Zweden

Even in my own country, I always find it a difficult issue. Should you tip and if so, how much should you tip? If you yourself have worked in the hospitality industry (like I myself as a student) then you know that a tip is very much appreciated. And not just in the hospitality industry! What are the expectations regarding tipping in Sweden? Do you have to tip in Sweden? And if so, to whom and how much?

To be straight to the point, tipping is not common in Sweden. You can certainly give a tip, but it is usually not expected. You can assume that in most cases the tip has already been included in the grand total.

How much to tip in Sweden?

In general, the tip in Sweden for service is already included in the price. Sometimes it can even seem rude if you insist that they take your tip.

Since in Sweden you mainly pay by card, the threshold for tipping is even higher. Sometimes you can enter the amount you want to pay yourself. In exceptional cases I have seen a box for tips on the counter. Your contribution is fully up to you.

Round up

You can also assume that the service cost is included in the restaurant. If you still want to tip, you can use 5 to 10% as a guideline. Even though tipping is not common in Sweden, many locals will simply round up the bill at a restaurant.

What about hotels?

Servants do not expect any extra. They can therefore generally count on a good wage in Sweden. So it’s not like in the United States where tips are an important part of wages.

You can leave a little money in the room for the cleaning staff of the hotel, but this is not necessary. If you travel with a lot of luggage, you can give the bellhop a little something for his extra effort, but even this is not common in Sweden. Equality is very important in Sweden and tipping could create a hierarchy.

And the taxi driver or the guide?

Porters and taxi drivers sometimes count on a small bonus. Rounding up the amount of the account is sufficient. The guide does not normally expect a tip, unless stated otherwise. This does not apply, for example, to city guides that show you around ‘for free’ but you are actually expected to give an amount of your choice.

In summary: tipping is not customary in Sweden. If you still want to tip at a restaurant or in the taxi: round up.

What do you do? Do you tip?

Pin for later

Tipping in Sweden
4 July 2021
/

Corona proof travelling to Sweden

The eager to go to Sweden is sometimes stronger than the concern about the coronavirus. I myself prefer to stay at home at the moment, at least until I got my second vaccine. Sweden is not going anywhere and will still be there after all of this. But if you do want to travel to Sweden, it is best to do it as corona proof as possible.

Sweden is perfectly suited for a corona-safe trip. The Swedes naturally keep their distance, you have all the options to go out into nature (friluftsliv) and not see other people for days on end.

Tips for a corona safe trip to Sweden

In Sweden, it is advisable to follow both the local rules and the rules of your home country regarding corona. Play it safe and always opt for the strictest rules.

  • Wear a face mask on public transport, on the ferry and certainly on the plane.
  • Avoid crowds at all times. Swedes naturally keep their distance, but pay extra attention to respect the social distance.
  • Opt for outdoor activities as much as possible. Friluftsliv!
  • In Sweden you pay by card as much as possible (many things are already cashless) and preferably contactless.
  • Adhere to the applicable quarantine regulations upon return. If it is recommended, do it!
  • Keep in mind that the situation can change anytime. Maybe you have return early or unexpectedly extend your stay, … Check your travel insurance!
  • Register before departure with your Foreign Office.

Corona proof packing list for Sweden

Don’t forget to add these extra items to your (carry-on) luggage.

  • Are you traveling by car? Then take extra food and drink with you so you don’t have to stop in a highway restaurant too often.
  • Bring enough masks for the whole family.
  • Alcohol gel of at least 70% is indispensable. Note: do not leave the gel in the car on a sunny day! And remember that for the plane you will need to bring a mini version of less than 100ml, packed in a clear plastic bag.
  • Don’t forget to bring paper tissues and possibly also a fever thermometer.

Hope this helps for a corona proof trip to Sweden. Take care! Don’t forget to check the latest travel recommendations.

Pin for later

corona proof trip to Sweden
3 July 2021
/

How expensive is Sweden?

Zweden

It is probably the most frequently asked question: but Sweden is expensive, right? It is a persistent misunderstanding that is difficult to get rid of. Ok, certain things will be a bit more expensive than in the UK or US. Other things will turn out to be a lot cheaper.

Sweden seems to be the cheapest country of Scandinavia. I suspect that the misunderstanding that Sweden is expensive has something to do with the prices in Norway. The countries in the Nordics are often lumped together. I think the prices in the supermarkets in Finland and Sweden are comparable to ours. I only remember that a bottle of Coke in a supermarket in Helsinki was more expensive but not at all comparable to the more than 6 euros I once paid for a glass of Fanta in a Norwegian restaurant!

Price/quality

In general you can say that you often get more quality in Sweden. That’s my personal experience anyway. I always give the example of that hotel in London that could be booked for 230 euros per night. The bathroom was shared, in the hallway. In Stockholm you have a spacious room with a luxurious bathroom for that amount of money. You really get value for money in Sweden!

It’s something you’ll also notice that when you go shopping. Scandinavian fashion and Scandinavian design cost a bit more, but are often produced more sustainably. I’d rather buy 1 sustainable piece of 200 euros than 20 throw-away items from a fast fashion chain. And yes, you can also find those chains in Sweden, so shopping doesn’t even have to be expensive. But does it always have to be cheap?

You will also find the same great price/quality at a restaurant. I like to eat out and pay a little extra if they work with local and quality products. Still, eating out in Sweden doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have lunch almost everywhere for about 10 euros (see below, dagens rätt). What I do think is a little expensive is a kanelbulle in a real bakery (and not in the supermarket). They are a bit more expensive than the viennoiserie in Belgium. The prices for a dinner are comparable to a good restaurant in Belgium. If you don’t drink alcohol…

Alcohol in Sweden

Well, when we talk about the price level in Sweden, we can’t ignore it: buying alcohol in Sweden is slightly different. The prices at Systembolaget are not too bad. At a restaurant or cafe you should count on 10 euros for a glass of wine. The glasses are filled a bit fuller. Admittedly, alcohol in Sweden is expensive. Which doesn’t mean Sweden is expensive 😉

Exchange rate

In Sweden you pay with Swedish Krona (SEK). Depending on the exchange rate, it can be a bit cheaper. In 2015, you had to divide by 10 and round up well to convert from SEK to euros. Just before the corona crisis, you could almost divide by 9. You can divide June 2021 by 10 and round down well.

Budget-tips for Sweden

  • Free drinking water – Bring a drinking bottle and feel free to fill at the tap. The tap water in Sweden is fine!
  • Dagens rätt – I’ve mentioned it before: you can have an extensive and cheap lunch just about everywhere in Sweden (between 11 am and 3 pm). For about 10 euros you get the daily special (often even a real buffet). Also often with salad bar, bread & butter, water and coffee included.
  • Påtår – Sometimes the second cup of coffee is for free (or for a small amount, eg 5 SEK). In Swedish they refer to this refill with påtår.
  • Wild camping – You can stay overnight in Sweden for free. Check this article for the applicable rules regarding wild camping in Sweden.
  • Camping – Do you find wild camping too adventurous? Or do you want to alternate wild camping with a campsite? In Sweden you generally pay per place and not per person. In addition, showers, electricity, etc. are also included.
  • Free amenities – Public toilets in Sweden are almost always free. In addition, they are also very neat and maintained.
  • Free museums and sights – Many museums are free. Paid museums are almost always free for minors.

Pin for later

Is Sweden expensive?
20 June 2021
/