Sweden travel advice

Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

Sweden - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Sweden due to the threat of terrorism.

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Safety and security

Heightened threat of terrorism

Since the beginning of 2023, there has been an increase in incidents of public desecration of the Qur'an in Stockholm. On August 17, 2023, the Swedish Security Service (SAPO) raised the national terrorist threat level from 3 (elevated) to 4 (high) on a 5-step scale. The decision is based on an assessment that the threat posed by violent extremists has increased and will remain heightened.

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly alert during public celebrations and demonstrations.

If you are in Sweden:

  • expect enhanced security measures and an increased police presence at the border and in public places
  • monitor local media for the most recent information
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Crime

Petty crime

Petty crime like pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs. Thieves work alone or in groups and may use various techniques to distract you and steal your belongings.

Thieves are especially active in crowded areas, such as:

  • airports, train stations and public transportation hubs
  • hotel lobbies
  • concerts and music festivals
  • restaurants, patios and outdoor cafés
  • tourist attractions

Always keep your belongings in a safe place, including your passport and other travel documents.

Violent crime

Gang and organized crime-related violence occurs mainly in the three largest cities in Sweden:

  • Stockholm
  • Gothenburg
  • Malmö

Stockholm County has experienced an increase in gun violence and homicides linked to gang rivalries. Recent incidents suggest retaliatory killings. In certain situations, criminals have used bombs, hand grenades or improvised explosive devices. Violent incidents have occurred in public areas, including bars and restaurants.

While violent incidents have not typically occurred in areas frequented by tourists, there is a risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings
  • Do not touch or move suspicious items or unattended packages

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism in Sweden. Terrorists have carried out attacks in several European cities.

Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

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
  • religious holidays
  • major political events, such as demonstrations
  • other public celebrations

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.

Useful links

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Adventure and arctic tourism

Adventure tourism may lead to serious safety concerns if not well-organized. Weather conditions can change rapidly, even in summer.

In winter, heavy snowfall can make it difficult to reach certain areas. Roads may become impassable. There is also a risk of avalanches, some of which can be fatal.

If you undertake adventure tourism or trekking, especially in the arctic provinces and remote areas of Sweden:

  • never do so alone
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • don’t venture off marked trails
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are excellent. Some roads may be closed in winter, particularly in northern areas.

Wildlife road accidents are common. Be particularly vigilant if driving at nighttime. Road signs indicating risks posed by the presence of particular animals display the animal’s silhouette on an orange triangle with red borders.

Public transportation

Public transportation services are efficient and reliable.

Trains and buses

Sweden has an extensive high-speed railway network that connects main cities and rural areas. Stockholm also has a metro (subway) rail service, and a regional commuter rail network serves the Southern part of the country.

Most cities have good public bus systems. Long-distance bus lines are also available.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available but may be expensive. Use only officially marked taxis and don’t share them with strangers.

Taxi fares in Sweden are not regulated. Fares may vary and have no upper limit. Always confirm the rates before your journey or pre-negotiate fares.

Ferry

There are daily ferry connections with Denmark, Germany, Finland and the Baltic countries.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

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 the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Schengen area

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.

Useful links

Temporary border controls

The Swedish government has reintroduced internal border controls at all ports of entry. You may be required to pass through immigration controls when entering Sweden, even if arriving from another Schengen area country.

Passport

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.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Business visa: not required
Student resident permit: not required for stays up to 90 days
Work permit: required

Useful links

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • 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.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

Tick-borne encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a risk in some areas of this destination. 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 occasionally when unpasteurized milk products are consumed.

Travellers to areas where TBE is found may be at higher risk  during April to November, and the risk is highest for people who hike or camp in forested areas.

Protect yourself from tick bites. The vaccine is not available in Canada. It may be available in the destination you are travelling to.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.

English is widely spoken in the main hospitals, particularly in the urban centres of Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg.

Emergency services may be limited in remote areas.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

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.

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Laws and 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.

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and Sweden are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. 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 Sweden authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Dual citizenship

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Sweden.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Sweden, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Swedish court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Sweden to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

Useful links

Compulsory military service

Swedish citizens of 18 years of age are subject to compulsory military service. Dual Canadian-Swedish citizens may be subject to this requirement.

Military service - Swedish Defence Recruitment Agency (in Swedish)

Physical punishment of children

Physical punishment of children, including the threat of physical punishment, is illegal in Sweden. The law applies to all adults regardless of relation and in all settings, including at home. Swedish authorities can take custody of children and prosecute adults in situations where physical punishment occurs.

Use of public land

Movement and camping on public land in Sweden is permitted under the “Allemansrätten” or “Freedom to Roam” law. Camping is not permitted within 70m of a dwelling or cultivated land. There are certain restrictions for specific areas, times of year, and uses.

The right of public access – Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Driving

A Canadian driver’s licence can be used to drive in Sweden for up to one year. You should also carry an international driving permit.

Congestion charges

A congestion tax is imposed for vehicles entering and exiting Stockholm and Gothenburg. Consult the website of the Swedish Transport Agency to confirm the current hours and amounts for congestion taxes.

Congestion taxes in Stockholm and Gothenburg - Swedish Transport Agency

Equipment

Vehicles must be equipped with winter tires from December 1 to March 31. Winter tires may also be required outside of these dates when the Swedish police consider local weather conditions to be similar to the winter season. This could reflect snow, ice, or frost on the roads.

Children below 135 cm must sit in an approved car seat designed for their height and weight, either a baby car seat, child car seat, booster seat or booster cushion.

Useful links

Money

The currency of Sweden is the Swedish krona (SEK).

Many shops and restaurants no longer accept cash.

If you are carrying €10,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies, you must make a declaration to customs when you enter or leave the European Union. It includes sums in:

  • banknotes and coins
  • bearer negotiable instruments such as cheques, travellers’ cheques, promissory notes and money orders
  • bonds, shares
  • gold coins with a gold content of at least 90 %
  • gold bars, nuggets or clumps with a gold content of at least 99.5 %
  • any other convertible asset

This does not apply if you are travelling within the European Union or in transit to a non-EU country.

EU cash controls - European Commission

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Natural disasters and climate

Sweden is prone to severe winter weather. Floods and windstorms could occur. The risk of flooding is greatest in the South of the country.

Weather warnings and advisories – Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)

Avalanches

In mountainous regions, avalanches and landslides present a risk.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Follow the advice of local authorities

Avalanche forecasts - Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket)

Wildfires

Forest fires may occur in summer months, and fire bans during the summer are common. Respect all fire bans to avoid a heavy fine. Whether or not a fire ban is in place, you may face arrest if you cause a forest fire.

If you plan on camping or cooking outdoors in Sweden during the summer:

  • use a camping stove instead of an open fire
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Map of fire bans – Swedish Crisis Information

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 112 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Stockholm - Embassy of Canada
Street Address23 Klarabergsgatan, 111 21 Stockholm, SwedenPostal AddressP.O. Box 16129 , Stockholm, Sweden, 103 23, SwedenTelephone46 (0) 8 453-3000Fax46 (0) 8 453-3016Emailstkhm-cs@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/sweden-suede/stockholm.aspx?lang=engFacebookEmbassy of Canada to SwedenTwitterCanada in SwedenAppointment Book your appointment online
Gothenburg - Honorary consul of Canada
Street AddressMässans gata 10, 7th floor, Gothenburg, SwedenPostal AddressP.O. Box 5243, 402 24, Gothenburg, SwedenTelephone46 (0)70 353 2332Emailinfo@canadagoteborg.seInternethttps://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/sweden-suede/gothenburg-goteborg.aspx?lang=engFacebookEmbassy of Canada to SwedenTwitterCanada in Sweden

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Sweden, in Stockholm, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

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, expressed 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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