Guide to use money in Sweden: Welcome to the most cashless country in Europe


Written by Camilo

17 Nov 2019

If you plan to study in Sweden, one of the most important things you should know about Sweden is that you practically will not use cash. So if you are desperately looking how to change money from your local currency to the local currency of Sweden.

First check out this guide!

Exchange rate

The local currency of Sweden is the Swedish crowns (SEK) . The exchange rate may vary depending on the currency in your country. However, don’t forget to check the exchange rate days before traveling to Sweden.

Examples (Exchange rates in 17/nov/2019). Source: ↗️


  • 1 Euro = 10,67 SEK
  • 10 Euro = 106,7 SEK
  • 100 Euro = 1067 SEK


  • 1 USD = 9,65 SEK
  • 10 USD = 96,5 SEK
  • 100 USD = 965 SEK

You want to take a look at the banknotes you can see them in the following link. ↗️

Cashless life

Possibly, the title should be “the most cashless country in the world”, unfortunately for a little difference Canada is the most cashless country, leaving Sweden in second place.

Photo: Giphy

The use of cash in Sweden is really minimal. There are even restaurants or shops that don’t accept cash at all. The payment is exclusive with card. For instance, you can only buy coffee at my university with the debit or credit card.

Sign in a store that reads (in Sweden), 'Thanks for paying by card'.
Photo: Camilo

So, before bringing euros, dollars or even Swedish crowns from your country, think twice. It is better to call your bank and notify you’ll use your card in a foreign country. Other countries around Sweden such as Denmark or Norway are also countries that do not use a lot of cash.

Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and others

In my experience, I have noticed that in Sweden they accept all the cards, even if they are debit or credit. However, some friends told me that it’s good to check your card logo in the store in advanced to avoid problems when paying.

Photo: Giphy

Worldwide VISA or MasterCard are the most common. Therefore, I don’t think you’ll  have any problem with them. But don’t forget to check with your bank if extra charges are applied for purchases with your card outside your country. Banks regularly do not applied extra charges using card, they only do the extra charge if you withdraw cash from the ATM.

Close-up of credit cards.
Photo: Camilo

Cash and ATMs

Although Sweden is a cashless country, it doesn’t  mean that Sweden do not use cash. In fact, many places accept both and mostly in supermarkets too. The difference is that some supermarkets only have one cashier for cash payments. The others are for card only, or they have a lot of self machines to pay.

With cash sometimes you need more time on your purchases.

Photo: Giphy

There are also Bankomat (Sweden ATMs) in all cities and you can easily make withdrawals there. However, don’t forget as I mentioned before that foreign banks usually charge fees for using the Bankomat. Something very important, is that the withdrawal limit in the Bankomat is 2000kr per day.

Nevertheless, if you have an account at ICABanken or you have a kontantkort. There are ICA-ATMs, the withdrawal limit in this ATMs is 5000kr per day.

Photo: Giphy


This app definitely makes your life easier in Sweden.

Screenshot of Swish app.

Swish is an application that connects your mobile number with your bank account. Many establishments and even some parties at the university use Swish as method of payment. With Swish  you only put the amount of money and the phone number or code of the other person. Then you send the money instantly.

Photo: Giphy

Swish is also very useful when you hang out with friends and you want to chip in the bill. Simply swish your friend and voila.

But! You can only use this app if you have a Swedish bank account, BankID and your personummer. So, if you are going to study in Sweden less than 12 months, unfortunately you can not have this application.

Photo: Giphy

Is it good a cashless life?

The truth is that everything is faster and you do not have the risk of losing money in the street or  pay extra by mistake. Also, the use of less paper is very sustainable. However, there is one big problem at the beginning:

You spend and spend! As all your money is in the cards, sometimes it is difficult to have self-control and keep track of your expenses. That makes you worry more about money and stress.

Photo: Giphy

In conclusion, I have not really used a lot of cash in Sweden, only the first month a little. But, after sometime in Sweden you’ll get used very quickly. Be positive, after a while the cashless life becomes easier. Don’t worry about not having cash in your life.

Do you have any doubt about how money is handled in Sweden? , or Do you want to leave your experience of a cashless life. Leave your comments!


Written by Camilo

17 Nov 2019