How to pay in Stockholm

It is hard to use cash in Stockholm!

When you plan your trip to Stockholm, Sweden it’s important to know how to pay when you get there. Do Swedes use cash at all? Here is a quick guide on how to pay in Sweden.

Credit card - the preferred way to pay in Stockholm

Unlike many other European countries paying in cash is quite unusual in Sweden these days. A lot of places, especially in the big cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are cash free, meaning they don’t accept any cash payments at all. One example is the public transportation in Stockholm, SL. If you want to buy a ticket for the subway, buses or trains you have to pay with a credit card or use your mobile phone. Note that you can’t buy your ticket on board the bus, subway or train even with a credit card, you have to buy your ticket before you board.
All the bigger taxi companies in Stockholm accept payment with credit cards. However, you can pay in cash if you want to, and some companies, like Taxi Stockholm, also accept Euro, USD, and GBP beyond SEK.
In Stockholm, you can use your credit card at most stores, restaurants, and locations. Most places don’t have a minimum payment limit, you can pay with your credit card however small the purchase.
Check with your bank if they charge any fees for paying with your credit card abroad. For European banks, it’s usually 3 % of the total purchase, but it can differ from bank to bank. If you feel like the fee is too high there are some options - you can get a travel credit card with a lower fee or, in some cases, no fee at all. Check with your bank before you leave for Stockholm to be sure to avoid any surprises on your bank account when you come back home.

Swish - pay with your phone

A popular way to pay in Sweden is with the app Swish. With Swish you can send money to a phone number - both private individuals and companies use this method. However, to use Swish you have to have a Swedish bank account, but you don’t need a Swedish phone number.

Cash and money exchange

A small amount of cash can be handy to have on hand. You usually get a better exchange rate if you exchange your money in Sweden. Popular places to exchange money are Forex and X-change.
At Stockholm Arlanda Airport you can find Forex, X-change and the Swedish bank SEB where you can exchange your money to the Swedish currency. Remember to exchange your money back to your own currency before you go home if you don’t plan on coming back soon. Many Swedish banks offer no exchange rate if you keep your receipt from your first exchange.