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Sweden Tourist Information and Tips


Talk

Swedish is the national language of Sweden, but you will find that people, especially those born since 1945, also speak English very well - an estimated 89% of Swedes can speak English, according to the Eurobarometer, making Sweden the most English-proficient country on the continent. Finnish is the biggest minority language. Regardless of what your native tongue is, Swedes greatly appreciate any attempt to speak Swedish and beginning conversations in Swedish, no matter how quickly your understanding peters out, will do much to ingratiate yourself to the locals.


ATM

The Swedish word is Uttag , Bankomat and Kontanten . Nearly all machines regardless of operator will accept the MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron and American Express. You can withdraw up to 10 000 SEK per use. During a seven-day period you can withdraw a maximum of 20 000 SEK. You have three attempts to enter the correct PIN code. If you fail a third time, the machine retains the card and closing it. For withdrawals with debit cards accounted for the last five transactions on the memory patch. A medkontohavare can make withdrawals from the account with their own cards. Do you have withdrawal rights, you own card with them aside from others' accounts. In order to facilitate the visually impaired have the keys on the machines equipped with Braille. You may have spoken guidance, press the TALK button. In some ATMs you can withdraw euros if you have a card issued by a Swedish bank. You may take up the maximum 1000 EUR per use. You can make multiple withdrawals after the other but a maximum 20 000 SEK per week.


Costs

Sweden is considered by some to be a very expensive country to live in, though you can find cheap alternatives if you look around. For example: Sundries like a 33cl bottle of Coca Cola costs 20 SEK (2,20), a beer in a bar will cost you 50 SEK (5,50), average price of Hotel accommodation was around 1300 SEK (140), a meal will cost you between 70 and 200 SEK (7,70-22,20), 1 litre Petrol costs about 15 SEK (1,60) and 25 Pack of cigarette will cost you 60 SEK (6,60). If you are a bit careful about your expenses a daily budget of around 1000 SEK (110) per day. While, house prices are probably amongst the cheapest in Western Europe and recently opened discount stores such as "Lidl", "Netto" and "Willy's" offer a wide range of items, why not buy a sewing machine while doing the weekend grocery shopping? Accommodation and dining out is cheaper in Stockholm than in most other West European capitals.


Coffee

Swedish people drink plenty of coffee, kaffe . Drinking coffee at home or in a cafe, an act called fika , is a common Swedish social ritual, used for planning activities, dating, exchanging gossip or simply spending time and money. Swedish coffee is slightly stronger than American one. Italian varieties (espresso, cappuccino, caffe latte) are available at most city cafes. One coffee will cost you around 20 SEK (2,2).


Alcoholic Beverages

The most famous Swedish alcoholic beverage is Absolut Vodka , one of the world's most famous vodkas. There are several brands of distilled, and usually seasoned, liquor, called brannvin or akvavit . When served in a shot glass with a meal it is called snaps (not to confuse with the German "Schnapps").

Sweden does produce some outstanding beers, and have in the recent years seen a rise in the numbers of microbreweries. If you are looking for great local beer keep an eye out for breweries like "Narke kulturbryggeri", "Jamtlands angbryggeri" and "Dugges Ale- & Porterbryggeri". You may have some trouble finding them, unless you go to a bar specialized in providing uncommon beer, or one of the well stocked "Systembolag", but you will find a few of them in every major city. Despite this the most common beer is the rather plain "international lager". The beer you get in normal food shops is called folkol and has 2.8 or 3.5% alcohol. You are able to find a varieties of different brands of beers in food stores, Swedish, English and even Czech beer. Wine is popular, but the Swedish production is very modest.


Stay Safe

Sweden enjoys a comparatively low crime rate and is generally a safe place to travel. Use common sense at night, particularly on weeknights when people hit the streets to drink, get drunk, and in some unfortunate cases look for trouble. Mind that it is likely that your home country is less safe than Sweden, so heed whatever warnings you would do in your own country and you will have no worries.

If involved in an argument, try to leave before the person becomes aggressive. If you see a street fight and want to stop it, be sure to have a friend. There have been reports on people injured or even killed when they've tried to stop a street fight. Young people, drunk people, or people who have taken drugs can be dangerous so use common sense. Don't feel bad if you don't do anything: there is a reason why many tend to do that, unfortunately. Do not argue with security guards, they might be upset, and could be violent. Don't report a security guard for violence, since they are likely to accuse you of violence, which might result in a prison sentence, as courts tend to believe uniformed people.


In Case of Emergency

112 is the phone number to dial in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency. It does not require an area code, regardless of what kind of phone you're using. The number works on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it's keylocked.

Police officers are rarely on patrol, and might be too busy to head out for minor crimes. To report a theft or getting in contact with the police in general there is a national phone number 114 14 that will bring you in contact with an operator at a police station (usually nearby, but not always)

Nightclubs and shopping centers usually have security officers with a chest badge saying ordningsvakt , authorized to use force, and infamous to do so. These should be respected. Officers with other labels ("Security" or "Entrevard") have no special privileges, but are still notoriously violent (as they are usually recruited from the street, without background check). Don't argue with them.


Stay healthy

Since November 2009, the pharmacy business has been de-regulated. Certified pharmacies carry a green cross sign and the text Apotek . For small medical problems the pharmacy is sufficient. Major cities carry one pharmacy open at night. Many supermarkets carry non-prescription supplies such as band aid, antiseptics and painkillers.

Swedish health care is usually of a very high quality, but can be quite challenging for foreigners to receive. Most, but not all, medical clinics are state-owned, and their accessibility varies. Therefore, getting a time within a week at some medical centers could prove difficult. In case of a medical emergency, most provinces (and of course, the major cities) have a regional hospital with an around-the-clock emergency ward. However, if you are unlucky you can expect a long wait before getting medical attention.

Source: Wikitravel.org