Safety and security in Sweden


What are the health risks in Sweden? Is it safe and where are the places with the highest crime rates?

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Health risks

Sweden has no exotic diseases due to its northern location and very advanced society and healthcare system.

Hygiene standards are of the highest standard and you can consume food from any restaurant or shop without worry.

The availability of pharmacies is great in all major and minor cities.

Healthcare is of an extra high standard and is provided for EU citizens at the same cost as for Swedes. The co-payment rate is around 300 sek for a visit to a general practitioner and up to 400 sek for an outpatient visit to a specialist.

For hospital stays, a flat fee of 110 sek per day is paid.

If you do not hold a European Health Insurance Card, you pay the full cost, which can be up to tens of thousands of Swedish kronor. In this case, we recommend good travel insurance.

Drinking water

Tap water is drinkable in Sweden without any worries.

Dangerous animals

Sweden is home to several large mammals and predators that can be potentially dangerous to humans. However, they are relatively rare and tend to avoid contact with humans.

  • Bears - The brown bear is Sweden's largest predator and lives in the deep forests throughout northern Sweden. The estimated number of bears is around 2,800, which means there is very little chance of encountering a bear. They are especially active at dusk and in the morning.
  • Wolves - They are abundant throughout the northern half of Sweden, but pose little danger to humans as wolves are very shy.
  • Moose - Moose rarely attack humans, but attacks on passing cars are common. If you see a moose on the road, pull over to the side of the road and let the moose leave peacefully.

There are no dangerous insects or reptiles in Sweden. There is only one venomous species of snake in the southern half of the country: the European viper. Its venom is not very strong and, in the rare event of a bite, can only threaten people with allergies.

There are no stray dogs or cats in Sweden.

Compulsory vaccinations

No vaccinations are compulsory for Sweden. There are no exotic diseases and therefore any special travel vaccinations are superfluous.


There are occasional reports in the European media that Stockholm and Malmö are no longer safe due to immigrants from Africa and the Balkans. They are allegedly harassing women, stealing from children, etc.

However, the reality is far from the media reports. Occasionally there are conflicts within individual immigrant groups, but they usually remain localised within households or individual streets.

There are no dangerous 'no-go zones' in Stockholm, Malmö or Gothenburg.

On the contrary, Swedes are very trusting and we would say that in less touristy places they often do not even know what theft is.

Crime in the countryside and on hiking trails in the mountains is perhaps only a threat from other foreign visitors. The likelihood of something happening to you in the countryside due to a stranger is really slim.

Disaster risk

There are no extraordinary natural disasters in Sweden that are out of the ordinary in Europe.

There is no risk of earthquakes or tsunamis, and no risk of hurricanes or extremely strong storms.

The most significant risk is therefore the freezing temperatures, which can be extreme on certain days and can fall below -15 °C even in southern Sweden between December and February. South of Sundsvall, however, these frosts are rather exceptional. In northern Sweden, on the other hand, frosts of -15 °C to -25 °C are quite common.

Large snowstorms are not very common in Sweden and one-off snowfalls are often cleared off the roads very quickly.

You can check the latest weather forecasts and warnings on the Swedish Meteorological Institute's official website:

Important contacts

You should know the following telephone numbers when you are in Sweden.

  • The European Universal Emergency Number - 112

In Sweden, 112 works perfectly well and the emergency phone lines for the police, ambulance and fire brigade have been abolished.

  • Police (non-emergency) - 114 14
  • Information line for major accidents and disasters - 113 13
  • Non-emergency medical assistance in case of long-term illness or minor injury - 1177

In addition to Swedish, you can easily speak English on all the phone numbers.

The international telephone code for Sweden is +46.

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