Sweden Krona - SEK
Even though Sweden is a European country it is not actually a part of the Eurozone. As such it has yet to change to using the euro. Indeed it has stood up to the EU and pointed out a variety of reasons why it cannot legally become a member of the EU or adopt the Euro. Whether this situation continues indefinitely remains to be seen. In the future the people of Sweden may decide it is better in the long run to choose when they adopt it, rather than having the EU try to impose new rules on them.
This means that for the moment Sweden still uses the krona as its official currency. It has the internationally recognised ISO currency symbol of SEK and individual amounts are often written followed by the letters ‘kr’ to signify this currency. Krona translates into crown and this is sometimes used as a slang term for the currency in Sweden.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
There are actually very few coins in use for the Swedish krona, which is surprising given the number used for various other currencies. Here you will find the one, five and ten kronor coins are in common use. Kronor is the plural for krona. There is also a two kronor coin but you won’t often come across this in daily life.
As for banknotes, you won’t find too many of those either. There are just four in use – the 20, 50, 100 and 500 kronor notes. There is also a 1,000 kronor banknote but in common with the largest coin value it is rarely seen or used.
The currency is a decimal currency and the subdivision amount is called the ore. Therefore there are 100 ore in a krona. However while ore coins were in use in various values up until quite recently, they were eventually discontinued in September 2010. Now Swedish people only use the various krona coins and banknotes in their daily life.
From past to present – the history of the krona
The history of the krona can be traced back to 1873. This was the year that Sweden signed the Scandinavian Monetary Union along with two other countries – Norway and Denmark. All three countries then used the krona as their official currency. However when the First World War took place the union ended.
It didn’t change too much though as the krona was still used by each of the countries. The only difference was that each country took responsibility for issuing its own version of the currency. This continues to this day.
How to get hold of Swedish kronor
It is pretty easy to buy some Swedish kronor before you head over there on holiday. You will find it listed among many popular currencies on foreign exchange websites online, so you can place an order for your currency in this way if you wish. Alternatively you can look for the best and cheapest bureau de change in your area or online that you can book with and then pick up your currency when you are ready to do so.
For the most part it is also easy to get hold of Swedish kronor once you are in the country itself. There are plenty of cash machines around in both cities and towns, so if you need to obtain more this is by far the best way to do it. Using a debit card is the cheapest way but you will of course pay a conversion rate that might well include commission whenever you withdraw money.
You can of course also use your credit or debit card to make payment whenever you buy goods or services. It is wise to look for any purchase limit that might be applied before you use it, since some stores add a minimum purchase limit below which they will not accept cards. This is because of the bank charges they pay. It is also a good idea to carry your passport with you as you may need it when paying to prove you are who you say you are. Make sure you keep it safe though – a money belt or similar item of clothing will ensure your passport, cards and cash are all as safe as possible.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Swedish kronor
The exchange rate varies all the time between all kinds of currencies and the Swedish krona. However it is easy enough to find out what it is – just use your own preferred currency converter to get the figure you want. Enter the sum you want to convert, enter the currency you use now and then enter the Swedish krona as the currency to convert the sum to. Hit enter or convert depending on the instructions and that’s all you need to do.
Just be aware that foreign exchange websites and bureaux de change will add commission onto their rates so they will vary from the basic exchange rate you have now.
To get more information about visiting Sweden and finding out how to get a visa or access tourist information, visit the official Embassy of Sweden website for London at http://www.swedenabroad.com.
Travelling safely with Swedish kronor
Even though there appears to be a mild threat from terrorism in the country (in common with many other countries to be honest) Sweden is for the most part a safe place to visit.
It is always wise to practice common sense and not to leave valuables lying around for anyone to pick up. Keep your money safe but don’t be too paranoid about the prospect of having your pocket picked. Even this type of petty crime isn’t that widespread in Sweden, so the chances are your holiday there will be nothing more than a very good experience you will remember for all the right reasons.
Where to spend your kronor in Sweden – and what to spend them on
Sweden is situated in northern Europe and is quite a tall thin country. It is bordered by Norway to the west and Finland to the east, although its border with Finland is only towards the northern end of the country. This is because much of the eastern and southern edges of Sweden face the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea.
The capital of Sweden is Stockholm, which you will find two thirds of the way down the eastern edge of the country. More than 20% of the entire population of the country lives in Sweden, which is quite a startling fact when you consider the size of the entire country. The city boasts no fewer than three sites that have been given UNESCO World Heritage status, including the Drottningholm Palace. Make sure you visit Gamla Stan, otherwise known as the Old Town. Many of the buildings here date back centuries so it is a wonderful way to see how the city looked many years ago.
There are other cities worth a visit in the country too, such as Helsingborg, Gothenburg and Malmo for example. However you don’t have to make your time in Sweden a city break. You can explore much else in the country as well.
For example, if you do go to Stockholm don’t miss the chance to see the archipelago as well. This is a collection of islands numbering in their tens of thousands and you can visit your chosen island or two in the space of a day if you wish. However there are opportunities to stay overnight so it is well worth doing a spot of research and booking in ahead of time so you can make the most of it.
You may well have heard of the Ice Hotel and it would certainly be a pity to miss out if you are in the country. While they do offer warm rooms to stay in you can choose to stay in a suite that is literally made from ice. It is located more to the north of the country and there are many activities to do here as well.
Indeed you will soon see that Sweden is about far more than just the cities. It has a relatively small population and there are lakes, rural areas, forests and much else besides to marvel at. If you decide to go beyond the city break to see what else the country has to offer you won’t be disappointed. Try the open air museum in Skansen for something a little different, or head for the marine national park known as Kosterhavet. If you are visiting Gothenburg make sure you add this to your itinerary – the Koster Islands do not allow cars and that means you can enjoy wildlife, bike trails and walking opportunities to really make the most of it.
Sweden isn’t the cheapest of countries by any means, but you won’t feel annoyed at the chance to spend some kronor to have experiences that take you into the wilds of this beautiful country.
As you can see there is a lot to commend the country of Sweden. If you are eager to explore and make the most of visiting, make sure you have plenty of kronor to see you through. It can be a cost worth meeting!