Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Sweden International Travel Information
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Sweden for information on U.S. - Sweden relations.
Sweden is a party to the Schengen Agreement. Visit the Embassy of Sweden website for the most current visa information.
Traveling Through Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Sweden.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
Sweden has been subject to terrorist incidents in the past, and the potential for a terrorist incident remains. Like other countries in the Schengen area, Sweden’s open borders with its Western European neighbors could permit terrorist groups to enter and exit the country with anonymity. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks, but all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations or homegrown terrorists.
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
Crime: Sweden has a low crime rate. However, violent crimes, such as homicides and sexual assaults, do occur in Sweden. The majority of violent crimes occur in larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmo. Armed violence against the public continues to be a rare occurrence. Organized crime groups have committed armed acts against each other.
Most crimes involve the theft of personal property from vehicles, residences, and public areas.
Pickpocketing and petty theft are common in and around major tourist attractions, especially Stockholm’s Old Town (“Gamla Stan”) as well as at restaurants, amusement parks, museums, bars, on public transportation, and at airports.
Hotel breakfast rooms and lobbies attract well-dressed, professional thieves who blend in with guests and target purses and briefcases left unguarded by tourists and business travelers.
Do not leave your valuables in parked cars.
Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, but if you purchase them, you may also be breaking local law.
Low-level demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues.
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Sweden. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers almost always pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams include: romance/online dating, money transfers, and bank overpayments.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime, including sexual assault, should first contact local police authorities by dialing 112. Crime victims may contact the U.S. Embassy at +46 (8) 785-5300 after they have contacted local authorities. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting all crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
There is no provision for bail in Sweden. U.S. citizens who are arrested may be held in custody until the trial is concluded – this may take anywhere from a few days to many months to one year or more.
Child Protection Laws: The treatment of children is taken very seriously in Sweden. All forms of corporal punishment of children are against the law, and any form of violence, humiliating treatment, or neglect may result in the child being taken away from parents by the Swedish authorities and placed into long-term care by Sweden’s social services.
Compulsory Military Service: In March 2017, Sweden reintroduced military conscription for men and women. Dual U.S./Swedish citizens are also subject to conscription, although persons who have previously done military service may be excluded from the requirement and should contact the Swedish Ministry of Defense for more information.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Sweden.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility to public facilities and transportation in Sweden is extensive. The Swedish Government actively funds programs promoting disability access to streets, public buildings, stores, restaurants, and public transportation. For more information on accessibility in Sweden, visit the Tourist Bureau’s website.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.
Medical care in Sweden is comparable to that found in the United States. Non-residents are expected to pay their own medical costs in full.
For emergency services in Sweden, dial 112.
Ambulance services are widely available.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with Sweden’s Medical Products Agency to ensure the medication is legal in Sweden. For non-emergencies, you can visit a local medical center or clinic, called an “Akutmottagning” or “Vardcentral.” Be prepared to present your passport.
Stringent Swedish customs regulations prohibit the shipment of drugs to Sweden.
Local physicians may not prescribe the quantities or dosages a U.S. doctor would.
Most pharmacies (“Apotek”) are open during normal shopping hours, but major cities will have a 24-hour pharmacy.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended for international travel by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals here. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Road Conditions and Safety: Driving is on the right in Sweden, as in the United States.
Swedish roads are comparable to those in the United States, though secondary roads may be less heavily traveled.
Road signs use standard international symbols and Swedish text. Many urban streets have traffic lanes reserved for public transportation only.
All vehicles on the road must have their headlights turned on, no matter the time of day. You must use snow tires between December 1 and March 31, and you should be experienced driving on ice and snow if you are going to drive in the winter.
You must use seat belts, and children under 135cm (4ft 5 inches) in height must be seated in approved child or booster seats.
Gas stations in rural areas can be far apart. Some stations are unattended and require a credit card with a chip to purchase fuel.
Slower vehicles should move onto the shoulder to allow faster moving vehicles to pass.
Traffic Laws: You can use a valid U.S. driver’s license while visiting Sweden, but you must be at least 18 years old to drive.
The maximum speed limit is 120 kilometers per hour (approximately 75 miles per hour).
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs, is considered a very serious offense. The maximum legal blood-alcohol level is .02% - much lower than in the United States. Swedish police often conduct alcohol tests on roads and highways. Drunk driving rules are strictly enforced, and fines can be severe, including possible jail sentences.
Public Transportation: Public transportation in Sweden is the recommended way to travel within larger cities.
Passenger trains, intercity buses, and airplanes provide regular service over longer distances. Public transportation in urban centers includes buses, subways, trams, suburban trains, and taxis.
Taxis are more expensive than in major U.S. cities. Most local residents use public transport in Stockholm, as parking can be expensive. The bus, train, and subway systems are considered safe. Cyclists are common on many roads, especially in urban areas.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Sweden’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Sweden’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Sweden should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).