Frequently asked questions
We’ve pulled together the most commonly asked questions when travelling to Skåne to make your trip here a truly great one.
1. How do I get from Copenhagen to Malmö? What’s the best/cheapest way?
The fastest option is to go from Copenhagen to Malmö by train. You can also take a bus or drive across the toll bridge. You can find more details about payment options here.
2. Which is better, to stay in bigger cities or in the countryside?
This depends on your personal preferences, but you don’t have to choose since the province is fairly small. Get the most out of your stay and spend one night in the city and the next in the countryside.
3. Where can I have the most authentic experience?
This depends on what you think is an authentic experience. The cities are great for seeing and talking to Swedes but the countryside often has a more authentic feeling since globalization hasn’t hit those areas as hard. Staying at a traditional inn (gästgivaregård) is usually a unique experience.
4. What will the weather be like?
During the summer the weather in Sweden is mild and pleasant. Pack casual summer clothes, like a few medium-weight sweaters, a light jacket or raincoat. You’ll need an overcoat in the autumn, winter and spring. Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are good, both for the countryside and for sightseeing along cobblestone streets.
5. Do I need to be vaccinated before going to Skåne?
Assuming that you are up-to-date on routine vaccines like measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox) and polio, there are no additional vaccines you need when travelling to Skåne. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B outbreaks occur throughout the world, sometimes in countries like Sweden with a low risk of contamination, so have this in mind when you travel. Rabies is present in bats in Sweden, but it’s a very small risk to most travellers.
6. Which languages do people speak in Skåne?
The most common language in Skåne is Swedish but the vast majority of Swedes speak English.
7. I would like to read the news before arriving to be up to date on what is going on. Where can I do that?
The Local is a great source of information since they report on the main Swedish news in English.
8. Will my phone work in Skåne?
The EU "roam like at home" rules mean that when you use your mobile phone while travelling outside your home country in any EU country you don't have to pay any additional roaming charges. You benefit from these rules when calling (to mobile and fixed phones), sending text messages and using data services while abroad. These rules also apply when receiving calls or texts while roaming even if the person you are calling is using a different service provider.
9. Where can I find ATMs and do I need to have cash?
Sweden is more or less a cashless society. Many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept card or mobile payments. Cash or ATM machines in Sweden are called Bankomat. You’ll find one in all bigger and smaller towns and they accept most international credit cards. Credit or debit cards are the most common form of payment in Sweden so check with your bank at home whether using your card abroad is the most cost-effective way to make purchases.
10. Do I need to rent a car in Skåne? If so, where can I rent one?
If you’re staying in the cities you usually don’t need a car, nor if you are heading to the smaller towns since trains and buses go there frequently. If you want more flexibility you can rent a car at any airport, the bigger filling stations or online. Rent the car on the Swedish side as it ́s cheaper than on the Danish side.
11. Will I have to pay road tolls?
Sweden only has tolls for some bridges and tunnels. You have to pay a toll on the Öresund bridge to and from Denmark.
12. Is my driving licence valid?
A driving licence issued in a state within the EEA is valid in Sweden as long as it is valid in the country where it was first issued. Your driving licence must have a photograph of yourself on it or you must have a valid ID document with you containing a photo when driving. If your driving licence has not been issued in English, German or French, the police may require you to have a certified translation of your driving licence. An international driving licence is a certified translation that can be used for this purpose.
13. How do I get around in Skåne if I don’t have a car?
Skåne is often called Sweden’s portal to Europe, and the many plane, train and ferry communication connections make it easy to get here. Everything is nearby and easily accessible by train, buses or car.
14. How are the road conditions/How do I drive in Skåne?
Most roads in Skåne are made from asphalt but you might hit some gravel roads if you go far out into the countryside. Driving around is always smooth and normally traffic flows freely. Roads can get very slippery in the winter so check if you need special winter tyres. It is law to have winter tyres when road conditions are freezing or if it is snowing.
15. I am a vegetarian/vegan, is it easy to find adapted meals?
While a lot of traditional Swedish food is heavy on meat and fish, vegetarians and vegans are well catered for. There are restaurants specialising in veggie-friendly food in most big cities, and most restaurants have at least one or two vegetarian dishes on their menus.
16. Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance can minimize the considerable financial risks of travelling. If you are a European citizen you can apply for an EHIC card (European Health Insurance Card). A valid EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, free of charge.
17. Do I need to make reservations for restaurants?
Whether you are on a tight schedule or not, making a reservation at a restaurant will help remove a lot of stress. The general rule is, the more popular a restaurant is the earlier you have to make a reservation. With the exception of the Michelin star restaurants in Skåne you can usually get a table if you book ahead of time.
18. Where can I find suggestions about what to do in Skåne?
Stay here at Visit Skåne’s website which is the official tourist guide. Choose a theme or region and get inspired. Trip Advisor, Arrival guides and Lonely Planet are also good sources of inspiration.
19. In case of an accident, where do I find a doctor or a pharmacy?
For emergency assistance from police, fire brigade, ambulance etc, call 112. Emergency calls from pay phones are free of charge. If you need to see a doctor, visit the nearest hospital clinic (Närakut, Akutmottagning or Vårdcentral), taking your passport and European Health Insurance (EHIC) with you. Prescriptions are dispensed at pharmacies (Apotek), which are generally open during normal shop hours. A 24-hour service is available in major cities. Since 2010 it is also possible to buy some of the non-prescription medicines in regular stores.
20. Can I swim, hike, bike, and roam around wherever I want?
Yes, pretty much. When you travel in the Swedish countryside The right of Public Access (Allemansrätten in Swedish) normally applies. This law is unique to Sweden and protects every person’s right to move freely and enjoy nature. It allows you to walk on privately owned land, swim in privately owned waters and to pick wild flowers, mushrooms and berries. This law is one of the reasons why Sweden is such an attractive hiker’s destination. Nevertheless, there are rules to be aware of and follow; you are not allowed to harm land or property, you are not allowed to pick protected flowers and plants, you are not always allowed to light a fire or let your dog run free.
21. Can I travel freely between Denmark and Sweden?
If you want to discover the whole Öresund region i.e both parts of Denmark and Skåne, you can buy Skånetrafiken’s Öresund runt card. This card is valid on Skånetrafiken’s Öresundståg, Pågatåg, city buses and regional buses on the Swedish side of the Öresund. In Denmark it is valid on the coastal line with Öresundståg, the Copenhagen Metro and Movia’s buses in Copenhagen, and on Forsea ferries between Helsingborg and Helsingør. It lasts for 48 hours.
22. Can I take my bike on public transport?
Yes you can on some, read about the conditions here.
23. Will I need to show my passport when I enter Sweden?
Since January 2016, there are border controls when entering Sweden at the train stations adjacent to the Öresund Bridge, at the toll station on the bridge and by the ferries in Denmark and in Sweden. You will need to show a valid ID with photo identification (passport, valid driver's licence or approved Nordic EU ID card).
24. How long are the shops open?
The following is a general indication of opening hours in Malmö: Banks 10am–3pm Monday to Friday; Restaurants 11.30am–2.00pm and 5pm–midnight (often close on Monday or Tuesday); Cafes 9am–4pm (often closed on Sundays and Mondays); Bars and clubs 10pm–4am; Shops 10am–18pm Monday to Saturday. Supermarkets and shops belonging to chains are open longer, and they are also open on Sundays.
25. Can I buy alcohol in any shop?
No. All alcoholic beverages containing over 3.5% alcohol by volume are sold through the government owned chain called Systembolaget. You have to be over 20 to buy alcoholic beverages at Systembolaget, whereas the age limit for ordering alcohol in bars and restaurants is 18. The reason for this monopoly is to control and reduce damage caused by overconsumption and to promote a moderate drinking culture. Systembolaget can be found in central locations in most Swedish cities.