An extraordinary country with so much to offer, Sweden is a Scandinavian nation renowned for its unique culture and cuisine, as well as its fascinating and gorgeous landscapes, dominated by lakes, glacial mountains, rocky islands, and endless forests. Whether you’re exploring a big city like Stockholm or admiring the Northern Lights, Sweden is a magical place.
It’s the sort of country where one can enjoy all kinds of activities and experiences. The big cities provide museums, restaurants, shops, and monuments, while natural areas like Abisko National Park provide countless scenic hiking and biking trails to explore and enjoy with your friends and family. Wherever you happen to be heading in Sweden, here’s all you need to know about Swedish currency.
Official Currency in Sweden
The official currency of the Scandinavian nation of Sweden is the Swedish krona. The symbol for this currency is simply 'kr' and its ISO code is SEK, and you'll often see prices listed in Sweden mentioning both kr and the SEK code. The word 'krona' translates to 'crown' in English, so some people call Sweden's currency the Swedish crown. The Swedish krona has consistently been among the most traded currencies in the world.
A single krona is divided into 100 ore. However, all ore coins have been discontinued and every price in Sweden is rounded up to the nearest krona when you choose to pay with cash. The plural of krona is kronor, and some nicknames you might hear in relation to Swedish money include pix, spann, and riksdaler. The value of a Swedish krona changes over time, so you can take a look at live conversion charts for up to date information.
Coins and Notes in Sweden
Coins have been used in Sweden for many years. In the past, coins were used for individual ore amounts like 1, 2, 10, and 50. Some of these coins can still be found in circulation and can be used to pay for goods and services. However, only the following coins are currently being produced and used in large quantities in Sweden:
- 1 krona
- 2 kronor
- 5 kronor
- 10 kronor
Since there are only four main coins being used in Sweden, it's quite easy for visitors to understand the system and start differentiating between the different coins with ease. The two smallest value coins (1 kr and 2 kr) are made from copper plated steel. The larger two coins (5 kr and 10 kr) are made of Nordic gold. The coins get progressively larger as they increase in value, except the 10 kr coin, which is the second smallest of the four.
As well as coins, you can find these notes used in Sweden:
- 20 kr
- 50 kr
- 100 kr
- 200 kr
- 500 kr
- 1000 kr
The notes used in Sweden, like in many other countries, follow a simple color-coding system. The notes, in ascending order, are purple, orange, blue, green, red, and brown. Each note features images of key locations from Sweden on one side, with Stockholm and Gotland being a couple of examples, and images of famous Swedish people on the other side, with Greta Garbo and Ingmar Bergman being a couple of examples. The notes used in Sweden get progressively larger as their value increases.
Using Credit Cards in Sweden
As time goes by, Sweden is becoming more and more dependent on card payments. Many Swedish people pay for most things, from simple coffees and snacks to their tax bills, with cards. Mobile phone payments are becoming increasingly popular in Sweden too, and lots of young people in particular barely use cash at all.
For visitors to Sweden, this means that paying by credit or debit card is very simple in most places. You'll find that the majority of shops, restaurants, and other establishments will have card readers and tend to favor card payments whenever possible. In fact, some of them won’t even accept cash at all and even Swedish banks rarely handle cash. Even vending machines and parking meters mostly accept card payments in Sweden nowadays.
Using US Dollars or Other Currencies in Sweden
Sweden is a member of the European Union but does not make use of the euro. The krona is the only accepted and official currency in Sweden, so you won’t be able to use US dollars, euros, or other currencies during a trip to this country.
Tips for Currency in Sweden
To have the best possible Swedish vacation, read through these tips for Swedish currency:
- Sweden is one of the most cashless countries on the planet, and this really can’t be stressed enough. Especially if you’re in a big city like Stockholm, most establishments will expect you to be paying with card. Almost everyone in Sweden uses cards or phones to make payments nowadays and cash is almost entirely being phased out of use.
- Due to the fact that Sweden is so reliant on card payments, it’s wise to consult with your bank and see what options you have for using cards in Sweden. Most banks will charge you a fee every time you use your card, but you can reduce or remove this fee by obtaining a special card or getting a pre-paid debit card.
- If you do need to get some cash, ATMs are all over Sweden and can usually be put into English. ATMs often offer the best exchange rates too.
- Sweden, like most European nations, uses the 'chip and PIN' system for card payments. You'll need to know your 4-digit PIN number for your cards when you arrive.
- Traveler’s cheques are still accepted at some places around Sweden.
- Some shops literally will not accept cash payments at all, so if you’re unsure, ask one of the workers when you enter and see what their policy for payments is like.