Sweden is a fantastic country with tons of activities for every kind of traveler. From visiting the hipster-friendly neighborhoods of its beautiful towns to hiking the enormous wilderness areas, Sweden strikes a balance between urbane and adventurous. With all this in mind, is Sweden safe for tourists?
The country has often been rated as one of the safest nations in the world, and it received this status for a reason. However, it has lost ground in terms of security in recent years due to minor fights, biker gangs, and even a terrorist incident.
This insider’s guide will give you all the information you need about safety in Sweden, especially in some of the country’s best places to live there, as well as tips on how to make the most of your trip there.
Why Visit Sweden
Sweden is home to some wild animals because of its diversity of deep forests and untouched scenery. When you go out in nature, you may come across a moose, a wolf, or even a lynx moving about.
They can be found in most areas of the nation, particularly in the south and center. Another reason to visit is to see the Northern Lights, where the sky comes alive with shades of pink, green, and purple.
September through late March are the greatest for catching a glimpse of these wondrous lights. Whilst you’re there, also explore its culture and towns, particularly the capital. Stockholm is captivating due to its snuggle-up weather and Venice-like atmosphere merged with contemporary and timeless architecture.
Is Sweden Dangerous?
Sweden is not dangerous, and the typically high level of security and low crime rate make it incredibly safe to travel there. The Global Peace Index rates it as the 28th safest nation in the world because of its lower levels of crime.
It’s important to remember to be cautious while traveling because annoying things like minor fraud can happen. Also, always do your homework on which areas to avoid to reduce the chances of risk. If all else fails, just make sure you have a good travel insurance policy – that way you’ll be covered if you get into any sticky situations.
Dangerous Areas in Sweden
At the heart of the nation sits the municipality of Borlange, which is home to around 50,000 people. Sadly, this region has a higher crime index than comparable areas at 49.39.
The primary problem in Borlange is drug offenses, and in several regions of the municipality, drug dealers and problem users have been reported to the authorities.
Another issue is that drug users may turn to theft and robbery as means of getting narcotics, which can make the neighborhood unsafe for locals and visitors. If you visit Borlange because of its beautiful forests and lakes, just make sure to be extra cautious.
Uddevalla, which lies on the west coast of Sweden, is home to roughly 34,000 people. However, Uddevalla’s regional crime index is high (50.55), which is concerning. The increase in crime here over the past three years has alarmed both residents and visitors.
The high rate of muggings and robberies, particularly in crowded areas or places that are not properly-lit in the evening, is a key cause for concern. Again, you should be very careful and avoid flashing cash or expensive jewelry, and keep your property close to hand.
Is it Safe to Live in Sweden?
Sweden has a low crime rate compared to many other places, and its cities constantly rank higher on several safety indicators. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that no state is completely free of violence or security concerns.
It also offers a high quality of life, an efficient healthcare and education system, and a solid cultural support structure. Its places are known for their clean and organized industrial planning, and the general standard of living is considered to be very good.
Of course, safety may differ depending on the specific city or community you’re visiting. So, it’s generally a good idea to research the precise location you’re interested in and to be knowledgeable about local health guidelines and practices.
Safe Areas in Sweden
Stockholm frequently rates as one of the safest cities in the world in terms of safety and well-being. In truth, there is little chance of crime when visiting this capital city, according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).
It is not just among the safest places to travel to, but it’s also among the most lovely. This wonderful city, which was established in the 13th century, is full of history and culture.
This Swedish capital, which is dispersed among 14 islands, is a leading choice for digital nomads, nature lovers, and architecture aficionados. Despite Stockholm’s status as one of the safest cities in the world, you’re advised to use the same precautions you have at home.
In Gothenburg, as in most of Sweden, security is taken seriously. Whether you’re traveling solo or in a group, it’s easy to feel secure and at ease in the area because of the low crime rate and focus on respect and equality.
The public transportation system in Gothenburg is also quite effective and well-connected. The area is also served by a system of bike paths, and going around is easy with the tram and bus. Running is an option here because there are so many commuter-friendly streets and pathways.
Uppsala is one of the safest areas in the country, with many attractions to discover in the city and hospitable residents.
There are many police officers who patrol the streets, and the city center is well-lit and watched over by CCTV cameras. Additionally, Uppsala boasts a reliable public transportation infrastructure that makes it simple to move safely throughout the city. Due to Uppsala’s tolerance, visitors of many races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations can feel secure there.
Warnings & Dangers in Sweden
In Sweden, 13,803 incidences of crime were reported overall for every 100,000 persons in 2022, which is a moderate rate. The bulk of crimes in Sweden are minor misdemeanors or petty property crimes; stealing is the most frequent type of crime there.
One of the most popular types of theft in Sweden is bicycle robbery. Also, aggressive crime is very rare as the World Bank estimates that there is just 1 homicide for every 100,000 people. Sweden remains one of the safest nations in the world despite the recent surge in violent violence. Its places continue to have lower crime rates than the majority of American cities.
Overall Travel Risk (3/10)
Sweden has an extremely low crime rate, with almost no violent crime, and the people are friendly and helpful.
Unfortunately, some take advantage of the Swedish sense of safety and security by picking on unwary visitors and residents alike. Though violent crime is extremely rare, scams and small-time larceny remain a serious problem. Be careful not to be caught up in the trusting trap.
Thieves, pickpockets, and con artists frequently view tourists as easy prey. The threat of travel fraud is serious. We might prefer to believe that the only people who can be tricked are innocent, naive visitors. But as con artists get more cunning, even seasoned travelers are susceptible to scams.
You would imagine that finding a cab would be the least of your worries in a place as structured and regulated as this one. There is no shortage of drivers trying to abuse your trust, but taxi scams are one of the most common complaints from travelers.
Although it may be alluring to attempt to negotiate a lower price, unlicensed cabs are an expensive and risky alternative due to enormous hidden fees and a lack of oversight and responsibility.
To help you avoid local bank fees, someone approaches you at an ATM cash machine in Stockholm. The card skimmer in their pocket is what they use to scan your debit or credit card while you enter your PIN, so they may later drain your account.
Another variation of this well-known con is when someone approaches you at an ATM and offers to help you fix your card. Always use your other hand to cover the number pad as you input your PIN code.
If you plan on hooking up with someone in Sweden, beware of this scam. Two sweet girls (or guys) will strike up a conversation and make you think that there is a shared interest.
They will then offer you to join them at a bar nearby and advise that you go for a drink. You’ll end up paying 5 – 10 times more after a few refreshments. They’ll agree to pay a little bit, but if you don’t have the rest, the club bodyguards will take you to an ATM so you can get the cash you need for the bill.
Guessing Game Scam
While strolling through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden, you come across someone holding three boxes, with many people attempting to determine which box the ball is placed in. When a person in the crowd in the group correctly guesses the solution, he gets a cash prize.
They repeat this with different groups and get the same response. This draws more people with hopes of making free money. A random stranger in the crowd is then invited to make an estimate. The group rapidly pickpockets them for any valuables while they are focused on where the ball is.
Tips for Staying Safe in Sweden
When preparing for your vacation to Sweden, bear the following in mind:
- Be careful of the wildlife: No matter how adorable they may be, avoid approaching wild animals like bears and moose in the forests. Smaller animals are much more hazardous, as tick and mosquito infestations are on the rise in Sweden. When trekking, use bug repellent and wear clothing that is tick-proof.
- Get medical insurance: You might require medical evacuation if something happens, especially in the Arctic, where there aren’t many medical facilities. When you are in a bad situation, you shouldn’t be concerned about the cost.
- Always report suspicious activity: Try to report any unexpected activity to the authorities in Sweden. This will contribute to everyone’s security and safety. The Swedish government takes these reports seriously and has put protective measures in place.
Is Sweden Safe | Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sweden Expensive?
Sweden is a pricey country, but that doesn’t mean your trip needs to be extremely expensive. All it takes is a little flexibility and preparation to find methods to cut costs without sacrificing your enjoyment of everything this beautiful, diverse country has to offer. Having said that, most people believe that traveling to Sweden is expensive, especially when compared to certain other European nations.
Are Swedes Friendly to Tourists?
According to a proverb, Swedes make excellent friends but poor strangers. Although most Swedes are kind and helpful to visitors, you won’t usually see them making small talk with neighbors. It can be strange or unnerving for visitors from more cheerful cultures to be around people who are all ignoring one another or y avoiding eye contact. Don’t let it trouble you.
Is Tipping a Must in Sweden?
In Sweden, where tipping is much less prevalent than in many other countries, you may normally expect to pay the amount that’s on the bill. If you choose not to tip, the server generally won’t be offended. It’s customary to round up to the nearest large amount. In hotels, staff don’t expect gratuities for housekeeping and other services.
Should I Use Cash in Sweden?
For many years, Sweden has been gradually shifting away from cash, and the COVID-19 pandemic has simply made it a norm. It’s generally a good idea to have some cash on hand, but these days, most places accept credit and debit cards as well. For example, when it comes to public transport, money bills are often not an option. If your card is contactless, you can really tap it to make a transaction, but if not, you need to provide your PIN.