Safety in Sweden: Cities and Rural Destinations

Nightfall on Stortorget Square in Stockholm's Old Town

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Sweden is considered one of the safest countries in the world for both residents and tourists alike. In fact, most travelers don't have to consider any safety issues in Sweden as long as they're using basic precautions and common sense to avoid scammers, petty criminals, and thieves.

Crime rates in Sweden are much lower than in most other European countries and there are no known health risks for Sweden travelers, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare yourself for the possibility of a confrontation or accident on your trip.

Depending on where you're going in Sweden—whether it's a trip to Stockholm or you're heading out to a farm for a vacation in the countryside—you should research your specific destination before you travel to make sure there aren't any unexpected hazards to your health or safety.

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Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm may be one of the safest capital cities in the world, known for its friendly residents and relatively crime-free neighborhoods. However, while there are no "bad" districts of the city, it is recommended that you avoid the Stockholm Central Station at night as vagrants do tend to congregate around this transportation hub.

If you get lost in the city, you'll quickly find out that most Swedes speak English and are happy to help you on your way. As a tourist, just stick to basic safety tips, and if you do fear for your safety in Stockholm, you can reach Stockholm Police by calling 08 401 01 00 (dial 112 in emergencies only).

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Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg is a relatively small city and prides itself on very low crime rates. Even if you stay out late at night, Gothenburg is safe and locals would rather help you find your way home than do anything criminal. Driving on snow and ice might be the most dangerous thing here, actually. Gothenburg Police can be reached at 114 14 or 112 in emergencies.

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Malmö, Sweden
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In addition to law enforcement, Malmö employs over 200 people in its Streets & Parks Department to keep the city's public areas safe. Plus, there aren't any bad areas visitors need to avoid other than the suburbs Lindänge & Rosengård, which generally seem to be the focus of crime in Malmö. Just use your common sense, be polite, and tuck your wallet away when traveling through busy tourist areas or alone at night. If needed, you can call ​the Malmo Police at 114 14.

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Rural Areas and Farmland

Barn in Rural Sweden

Being out and about in rural areas of Sweden during dusk or dawn can be less safe than being in the city. At those times of day, moose tend to move around and walk across rural roads causing accidents and might even charge at pedestrians if they feel threatened or are in heat. Drive carefully during dusk and dawn and keep an eye out for them.

Varying weather conditions can also impact your safety on the road. Keep your headlights on at all times, and check for possible ice and snow forecasts before you leave. In rural towns and villages, the crime rate is very low and visitors are very safe in those Swedish areas. Basic travel safety rules give you peace of mind. Just remember that in rural areas, not everyone may speak English if you do need assistance.

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