What You Can Expect From Toilets in Sweden

How To "Do Your Business" in Sweden

Public Toilet - Stockholm
••• Michael Coghlan/Flickr

You know you'll have to use the bathroom sooner or later in Sweden. But oftentimes, foreign toilets are different from the ones you may be used to. You may want to brush up on some bathroom tips before your first trip to the toilet in Sweden.

Pros About Using Toilets in Sweden

The toilets in Sweden are modern and sometimes have fun Scandinavian designs to keep you entertained. There are many public restrooms close to popular sights, which are easily accessible for tourists to find.

(This is especially the case in the capital city of Stockholm.) Public toilets in Sweden are also self-cleaning (rotating toilet seats) or cleaned manually on a regular basis, especially toilets in malls and sit-down restaurants, so you never have to worry about a dirty situation when you go to do your business. Thankfully, Sweden doesn't have many squat toilets either.

Cons About Using Toilets in Sweden

One of the biggest downsides to using the public bathroom in Sweden is they can be very pricey. When you enter, you may be required to pay two to five Krona (about 25 to 50 cents in USD)—and it has to be in exact change, which can be a bit inconvenient. These pay-per-use potties aren't expensive, but it can come as a surprise to travelers. With this in mind, it's smart to carry coins just in case you need to take a bathroom run. Just like anywhere else, toilets at Swedish airports and train stations can be smelly and rather unsanitary.

If you can, wait to use the loo until you reach your hotel in Sweden.

Finding Toilets in Sweden

All toilets in Scandinavia show the symbol for ladies and gents restrooms, so they're easy to identify. Since public toilets in Sweden tend to cost something, people have started using toilets in restaurants.

The ones in fast-food places now also charge you, and some others have locks to keep out people that aren't guests. Just ask your waiter for the bathroom lock code. Either way, it's common courtesy to pay for something—whether it's a small item or drink—before you ask to use the bathroom.

And to all of the guys out there: Don't use a bush or a tree for your quick business. In Scandinavia, that can quickly earn you a fine. Plus, it's disrespectful and no tourist or local needs to see that.

If you're tacking on trips to other Nordic countries—such as Finland and Iceland—you may want to check out their bathroom etiquette as well. It can differ a little from Sweden.