Life in Sweden - practicalities

Can I pay with cash? What's the currency in Sweden? What if there is an emergency? Good-to-know information about day-to-day life in Sweden.

Cashless society

You’ll rarely see Swedes paying with cash these days. Not even for small purchases. In fact, many places now only accept card payments. But don’t worry, you will still be able to withdraw Swedish kronor (SEK) from a bank or ATM if you need cash.

Swish is a commonly used app for purchases or for transferring money to friends. You need a Swedish bank account to get it.


The voltage in Sweden is 230 V (50 Hz). Many sockets differ from Swedish ones (including both British and American) so you may need a converter or an adapter for your electrical appliances.


The Swedish currency is the krona (SEK). This is the only currency that you can validly use. If you have other currencies you can exchange them at the bank or a Forex.

Mobile phones

Since it is difficult for international students to get mobile phone subscriptions, it is a good idea to use a phone with a prepaid calling card, which can be reloaded. If you have a mobile phone of European or Asian-Pacific GSM 900/1800 standard it is advisable to bring it and buy the prepaid card separately.

Emergency number 112

This is the public service emergency telephone number in Sweden, as well as in the whole EU. In case of emergency, this number is available free of cost both from mobile, landline and public telephones.

Daylight savings time

As in many other countries, Swedes turn their clocks forward one hour in spring and back one hour in autumn to take as much advantage of the daylight as possible. Sweden switches to ‘summer time’ on the last Sunday in March, and turns the clocks back one hour to ‘winter time’ on the last Sunday in October.