The holidays are a great time for travelling and Sweden is a great choice for holiday trips. The weather, the scenery and the snow fit the ideal picture for Christmas; plus you have the added bonus of wild reindeer.
If a holiday to Sweden is in your future, one of the things you should consider, after the places you wish to visit and the things you wish to do, is the currency of Sweden.
What is SEK?
Even though Sweden is part of the EU, the country does not use the euro: instead the country uses the krona. Kronar (the plural of krona) is abbreviated as SEK, as well as “Kr”, “Sk” and “Skr”.
Currently 1 euro is worth about 9.50 SEK.
With few exceptions, which we will provide later, restaurants and businesses will not accept euros. This means that for your holiday you will need to exchange your euros for kronar. The best exchange rates will be found at the larger banks and major currency exchange kiosks once you have arrived in Sweden.
Sweden’s decision to not adopt the euro is an interesting one and one that is a frequent political topic.
The Treaty of Accession of 1994 makes Sweden subject to treaties which obligate EU member states to join the Eurozone. However the country has maintained that joining is voluntary. The government has also made joining a referendum an issue which allows them to further delay euro adoption.
Can You Use Euros in Sweden?
The legal status of currencies is set by the Swedish parliament, who has only given legal tender status to the krona.
However this has not prevented a number of municipalities from declaring the euro an “official” currency. This designation is basically symbolic but in those areas, euros are more readily accepted. It should be noted that it is not a requirement that any business accept any currency other than krona.
You are most likely to find merchants who are willing to accept euros in the tourist zones. However some hotels and restaurants will accept euros. It is wise to examine the exchange rate offered by merchants prior to deciding whether to pay in euros or kronar.
- Helsingborg and Malmö
In the tourist areas it is common to see price tags in euros. Interestingly you will also see a number of price tags in Danish kroner as well, meaning that three currencies are commonly accepted in the area.
Some shops accept euros and price tags in euros exist in some tourist oriented shops, as is the case with some cities in Sweden. Acceptance of price tags in Danish kroner are more common though.
The city of Haparanda is only 150km from Finland’s border and one location where almost every store will accept euros.
The city, which is home to IKEA, is a major shopping centre and the city has long been a proponent of adopting the euro. It is common to see prices displayed in euros.
In 2009 Höganäs announced that the city had adopted the euro. This allows residents and visitors to pay any bill with either currency. Banks readily accept euro deposits and ATMs dispense both. The city has also developed its own special euro logo.
- Pajala and Övertorneå
These two municipalities border Finland and euros are widely accepted. However neither municipality has issued a proclamation to make the euro “official.”
Other Sweden Facts
If the festive season is too hectic for a trip to Sweden, there are a number of compelling reasons to plan a Swedish holiday at another point during the year.
The weather can be cold and snow is frequent but this makes it a perfect spot for winter sports enthusiasts. Snowboarding and skiing is incredibly popular with more than 200 ski areas available. The daylight hours are quite short with sunrise staring at around 8am and sunset around 3pm, so make the most of your time there!
In the summer months however you’ll have lots of daylight for exploring the beautiful countryside including some of the most spectacular lakes in Europe. In the summer, sunset occurs around midnight and the sun rises around 3am.
Sweden is also home to some of Europe’s most popular music festivals.
The TransferGo Blog regularly publishes articles designed to make travelling and doing business with other countries easier.