Swedish etiquette. Rules of etiquette
for the perfect dream vacation in Sweden.

Swedes call each other by their first names and are on first-name terms. With the exception of the royal family, people are always on a first-name basis, regardless of whether they are neighbors or ministers. Swedes say "Hej" as a greeting and "Hej då" as a farewell. When you first meet someone, you shake hands as a personal greeting, otherwise shaking hands is not the rule. When they get to know each other better, Swedes hug each other when greeting and saying goodbye.

Drinking alcohol in public is generally prohibited in Sweden. However, there are exceptions and public places that allow drinking alcohol, e.g. at picnics in the park. The ban on alcohol is determined by the respective municipality. Drinking alcohol is also prohibited on public transport.

Apart from bars and restaurants, alcohol can only be bought in licensed stores (Systembolaget). Supermarkets sell alcoholic drinks with a maximum alcohol content of 3.5% from the age of 18. The age limit at Systembolaget is 20 years. Attention! Holidaymakers in Sweden, Systembolaget is closed on Sundays and public holidays and is only open until 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Swedes seek eye contact when clinking glasses and toasting. After drinking and before putting the glass down, eye contact is sought again. Otherwise, eye contact tends to be avoided. This is because Swedes find it uncomfortable to be looked at or stared at. In fact, they only ever look the other person in the eye.

Correct pronunciation: Do not pronounce Köttbullar with a "K". The Swede says "Schöttbullar " to his meatballs.

Have you been invited to Sweden? Take your shoes off in the entrance area before you enter the apartment and place them with the many other pairs that are already neatly lined up on the floor.

The famous Smørrebrød comes from Denmark and Oslo is the capital of Norway.
There are undoubtedly similarities with Danes, Norwegians and Finns, but Swedes are reluctant to be put under the same woolly hat as their neighbors.

Small talk involves talking about non-conflicting topics. You only talk about enjoyable things that also allow positive reactions. The only thing people are allowed to complain about is the weather.

Tipping is not compulsory in Sweden. However, you are welcome to reward friendly service. In restaurants, 5% to 10% is appropriate.

Almost all offices, institutions and stores work with number systems. This means that you draw a number and wait until the number you have drawn is called out. In queues at bus stops or at the airport, Swedes stand neatly in a row. Pushing is frowned upon.

The Swedes have an egalitarian understanding of society and don't like it when people play to the fore or think they are better than others. The inclusion of the German word "Besserwisser" (know-it-all) in the Swedish language shows how Germans are sometimes seen. Speaking in a loud voice is also considered "typically German". A reserved demeanor helps to make Swedish friends.

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