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Sweden - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Sweden.
Safety and security
Safety and security
The crime rate is lower in Sweden than in most European countries. Petty crime (such as pickpocketing and purse snatching) occurs in areas frequented by tourists, such as Stockholm’s Old Town and the Central Station, in restaurants and on public transportation, particularly in urban areas during the summer months. Pickpockets and purse snatchers may work in teams; one distracts the victim and another commits the robbery. Hotel lobbies and breakfast rooms attract professional, well-dressed thieves. Remain vigilant and ensure your valuables are secure at all times.
Since 2014, there has been an increase in gang and organized crime-related violence in southern Sweden, including in the cities of Gothenburg and Malmö. In Malmö, several car bombs were reported at the end of 2014. Grenade attacks on property have been taking place in the city since January 2015. On March 18, 2015, an attack occurred at a restaurant in Gothenburg, killing two people. While these incidents have not occurred in areas typically frequented by tourists, you should monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities. In Sweden, a previous incident included a truck driven into crowds on a pedestrian street in central Stockholm, causing injuries and deaths. Further attacks in Europe are likely.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.
The Government of Sweden maintains a public alert system on terrorism. The Government communicates threat level changes online and through local media.
More information about the local threat - Swedish Security Service
Demonstrations occur periodically and, while they are normally peaceful, have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
The road network is excellent. Some roads may be closed in winter, particularly in northern areas. Consult local news and weather reports prior to travel.
Taxis are available. Public transportation is convenient, reliable and punctual. Modern trains operate throughout the country. Extensive and efficient ferry services operate between Sweden and other countries in the Baltic Sea.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Exercise normal safety precautions. Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.
There has been a significant increase in the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe. Some countries have already experienced disruptions to transportation services, including at ferry ports and railway stations, and have seen major delays at border crossings. The situation also heightens the potential for demonstrations that could turn violent without warning, particularly at railway stations and other transportation hubs. If you are travelling in the region, monitor local news and follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your transport carrier to determine whether the situation could disrupt your travel.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Swedish authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Sweden is a Schengen area country. Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave the Schengen area.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Temporary border controls
The Swedish government has reintroduced internal border controls at all ports of entry. Canadians may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Sweden, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Not required
Student resident permit: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Work permit: Required
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Measles in Europe - March 5, 2018
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.
You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Western Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Excellent medical care is widely available.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Canada and Sweden are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Sweden to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Swedish authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Sweden.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Sweden, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.
A Canadian driver’s licence can be used to drive in Sweden for up to one year. An International Driving Permit is recommended.
Penalties for drinking and driving are strict. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.02 percent.
Headlights must be on at all times. The use of seat belts is mandatory. Approved child or booster seats are required for children under seven. Vehicles must be fitted with winter tires from December 1 to March 31.
A congestion tax is imposed on vehicles entering and exiting Stockholm and Gothenburg on weekdays between 6:30 a.m. and 6:29 p.m. For more information, consult the Swedish Transport Agency website.
Swedish authorities recognize same-sex marriages.
The currency of Sweden is the Swedish krona (SEK).
Most credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) are widely accepted in major shops, restaurants and hotels. American Express and traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted. Automated banking machines are widely available.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the web page of the European Commission on cash controls.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Floods and windstorms occur periodically.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Stockholm - Embassy of Canada
Gothenburg - Consulate of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Stockholm and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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