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Exercise a high degree of caution in Sweden due to the threat of terrorism.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Sweden due to the threat of terrorism.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Swedish authorities assess that Sweden is a prioritised target for terrorist attacks, with threats by violent Islamist groups increasing in the past year. Terrorists are very likely to try and carry out attacks in Sweden.
Sweden's deterioration in the security situation has led the Swedish Government to raise the threat from 'elevated threat' to 'high threat', equivalent to a threat level of 4 out of 5, meaning the probability of an attack is high. This is a long-term assessment of Sweden's deteriorated security situation, not a temporary increase.
Terrorist attacks can occur at any time. Maintain high vigilance in public spaces and take official warnings seriously. Avoid crowds, be aware of your surroundings, and stay informed.
Gathering sites, such as places of worship, could be targeted. Use caution when in and around any diplomatic facilities. Report suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.
In recent years terrorists have attacked some European cities. Targets have included:
European security services have also stopped several planned attacks.
Areas attracting large groups of people are also targets. These include places popular with foreigners, such as Christmas markets.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Protests or demonstrations can occur.
Monitor the media and other sources for possible unrest.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
To protect yourself in periods of unrest:
Violent and other serious crimes are rare. However, gang and organised crime do occur, mainly in the three largest cities:
While violent incidents are rare in tourist locations, you should still be cautious. Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. In Gothenburg and Malmö, gang-related violence does occur more frequently in the city centre, especially at night.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching are common and on the rise in Stockholm.
Criminals may work in teams. One distracts the victim while the other carries out the theft.
Take care in hotels and restaurants. Thieves steal bags and purses when you're distracted.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Winter can be extremely cold, depending on where you are. There's heavy snowfall, including in major cities. There can also be severe transport delays and temporary closures of public facilities, including roads, train and air services.
Sweden experiences severe weather, including:
If conditions are extreme or there's a natural disaster:
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
Check the status of your medicine with the Swedish Medical Products Agency.
You can bring a 3 month supply of medicine for personal use into Sweden.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Health risks in Sweden are similar to those in Australia.
To protect yourself from disease:
To reduce your risk of tick-borne disease:
Swedish medical facilities have standards similar to Australia.
Emergency services are limited in remote areas.
The main hospitals are located in the Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö regions. English is widely spoken.
Australia has a healthcare agreement with Sweden. It's called the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA). If you're in Sweden for less than 90 days, you can access emergency medical services for free.
It doesn't give you the same coverage as Medicare in Australia. It doesn’t cover the following:
Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
To get emergency treatment, you need to present an Australian passport and a valid Medicare card. You may also need to refer to the RHCA.
If you can't show your passport and Medicare card, you may need to pay the same costs that apply to non-residents.
The RHCA does not replace the need for private travel health insurance.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter, but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
You can't use physical punishment against children in Sweden. It's illegal. This includes threatening a child with physical punishment.
If you use or threaten physical punishment against your child, local authorities can take custody of your child and prosecute you.
Penalties for drug offences, even for small amounts, include heavy fines and jail.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Sweden recognises dual nationality.
The Swedish Government has reinstated compulsory military service for citizens who are 18 years of age, starting with those born between 1999 and 2000.
If you're a dual Australian-Swedish national, check your military service obligations with the Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Sweden is part of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen area and has abolished passport and border controls within the Schengen area.
When you first enter the Schengen area, get an entry stamp in your passport from border control.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy of Sweden for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Check with Swedish authorities for the latest advice.
Carry a valid passport to enter or leave Sweden. Do this even if you're travelling from another Schengen country.
Always carry your passport. If you have one, carry your Swedish residency permit. Authorities may ask for proof of identity.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
Sweden's official currency is the Swedish Krona (SEK).
Declare amounts over 10,000 euros or equivalent if you're travelling between Sweden and any non-European Union (EU) country. This includes all forms of currency, not just cash.
If you don't declare it or you give wrong information on entry or exit, you'll be fined.
You don't need to declare currency if you're travelling to or from another EU country.
Sweden's roads are usually in very good condition.
Roads can be dangerous in winter due to ice. Long periods of darkness can make it hard to see. Every year approximately 60,000 wildlife road accidents are reported in Sweden.
Get details on road conditions from the Swedish Transport Administration (Swedish).
Vehicle headlights must always be on.
Winter tyres must be fitted:
The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02%. Penalties for drink driving are severe and can lead to a prison sentence. Note that the police may give you a fine even if the alcohol limit in your blood is lower than 0.02% depending on your capability to control your vehicle.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorbike or quad bike.
Always wear a helmet.
Public transport, including buses and trains, is generally reliable and safe.
Use officially marked taxis.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Sweden's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact:
Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor
111 64 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: (+460) 8613 2900
Facebook: Sweden Embassy Facebook
Check the Embassy website or its Facebook page for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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