How to Call Someone in Sweden

A telephone box in the snow at night beside a road in Stockholm in Sweden in winter
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Need to call Sweden and not sure how to do it? There are a few easy steps to follow. All you need is the country code and the area code and off you go. Before you call, check what time it is in Sweden so you do not call when it is the middle of the night there.

Also, when using a phone card to call Sweden, follow the card's instructions. Not all prepaid phone cards allow you to place calls to other countries, however. The same is valid for cell phones, check with your carrier if you experience any issues.

Country and Area Codes

To place an international call from the U.S., first dial 011. From within Europe and Asia, dial 00. From Australia, dial 0011.

  1. To call Sweden, dial the country code for Sweden, which is 46.
  2. Next, dial the Swedish one- to three-digit area code. If the phone number's area code starts with a 0, leave the 0 out. For example, if a phone number for Stockholm starts with 08, which is this city's area code, you would not dial the 0.
  3. Lastly, dial the five- to eight-digit local telephone number. Wait for the call to connect and talk.

To place a call from Sweden, dial 00 for an international call and then the country code (for example, 1 for the U.S., 33 for France, 61 for Australia, and so on) before the actual number.

Phone Etiquette

It is important to keep in mind that someone in Sweden would expect a caller to identify himself in Swedish (just as you would expect to hear English when answering the phone in your English-speaking home country). So, what is proper etiquette? It is polite to begin your phone conversation with a simple hej (hello) and then say "forstar du engelska" (do you understand English?) if you are unable to continue speaking in Swedish. Know that nearly everyone in Sweden speaks English. You can also learn some basic Swedish phrases

You can also begin your conversation by saying "Hello, I do not speak Swedish, do you speak English?" to make sure the answering person is aware of your language preference immediately. This is a quick and easy step to avoid any confusion and language barriers during phone calls, especially in the business world.

Private individuals that already know you and your language skills may not at all mind a few words of broken Swedish at first and then listen as you move your conversation into English once you have exhausted your Swedish vocabulary. Most people appreciate when a foreigner tries to say a few words in their native language, even if it comes out with imperfect pronunciation. Give it a try next time.

Important Numbers

Area codes for Sweden's 10 largest cities include:

  • Stockholm: 8
  • Goteborg: 31
  • Malmo: 40
  • Uppsala: 18
  • Vasteras: 21
  • Orebro: 19
  • Linkoping: 13
  • Helsingborg: 42
  • Jonkoping: 36
  • Norkkoping: 46

Local telephone numbers you may need while visiting Sweden:

  • 112: Emergency services
  • 11313: Information during emergency events and large accidents
  • 11414: Police (non-emergency)
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