Travel Tips for Stockholm, Sweden
Going to Stockholm? The following tips will help make your time in the Swedish capital a breeze! Enjoy some Fika and get out there!
Dress like a local
Swedes are not typically very flashy. Simple, put-together outfits will be your best bet. I really underestimated how popular Converse, Vans, and Nikes are here in Stockholm.
Want more on some European clothing styles? Well I just packed to move to Germany. Maybe I can help.
Public transport is king
Get an SL Access card and load it up. You can use the bus and metro with this card and you will be impressed by their transit system. The metro in Stockholm is sometimes referred to as an art gallery and you'll see why.
Bring your credit or debit card
In a lot of places in Europe cash is king but there are some places in Sweden where you can't even pay with cash! I've stumbled upon a couple of these places in Stockholm. They love using their cards so have yours ready. Keep some small change for public toilets (yep you have to pay) but otherwise get your plastic ready. A lot of places are instituting this in Sweden as it keeps the shopkeepers safe from burglars.
Swedes typically get paid a living wage (woohoo!) so you won't have to tip like you do in the US. In most restaurants, gratuity is included in the bill. If you feel it was good service, feel free to round up but it isn't necessary. If you order a drink that costs 77 SEK, a nice tip is to round to 80 SEK. You should not be adding the typical 10-20% gratuity as is expected in the US.
Learn some basic Swedish
I know I know, English is a popular language, most people know some yadda yadda yadda, lingua franca and all that bullshit. But really-did you go to Sweden and expect everyone to adjust themselves and speak English just for your benefit? Don't be a poo. People don't come to work everyday to be your personal translator when you can't understand the menu or whatever. It's easy to learn some things like hello, bye, thanks, excuse me, where is...and stuff like that. You'll also quickly notice that announcements on public transportation are...you guessed it...in Swedish. Pick up your phrase book and download Google Translate!
Hej! As an extra...subscribe to the Voyaging Viking and be sure to enter in that you either like language or both travel and language...you'll gain access to the LanguageHaus Library and a free copy of my Swedish Phrasebook to download on your computer, tablet or phone. Enjoy!
Don't walk in the bike lane
You know what screams out-of-towner? PEDESTRIANS IN THE BIKE LANES. Stockholm is very organized when it comes to their traffic. Cars have their own lanes, pedestrians have sidewalks, and bicycles have their own lanes with directions. Don't walk in the bike lanes! Or...car lanes! Stick to the people lanes!
Root for the Swedish Hockey Team and don't even mention Finland's
Trust me on this one. When in Sweden, root for Sweden unless you are up for an argument. Or a fist fight.