Sweden

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Flag of Sweden Sweden
Information
Language: none (Swedish de facto)
Capital: Stockholm
Population: 9,234,209
Currency: Swedish krona (SEK)
Hitchability: <rating country='se' />
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<map lat='63' lng='17' zoom='4' view='0' width='270' height='350' country='Sweden'/>


Hitchhiking in Sundsvall, Sweden in the Summer of 2008.We found a ride straight to Alta, Norway.

Sweden is a member state of the European Union as well as the Schengen Agreement. Many say that hitching in Sweden sucks. But it can work very well! Moreover almost everyone speaks English which will increase your chances of learning from the meetings along the way. As anywhere in Western Europe, the motorways are the holy temples of car driving religion and someone standing on them is committing blasphemy. ( I disagree, see Talk Sweden )But you can hitch on the motorway ramps as well as on local roads. Better bring a good map, though, so that you won't end up in an unexpected place. If you travel along the biggest motorway, E4, you will make faster time, but not see that much of Sweden's beautiful landscapes. If your primary aim is to explore the country, you should stay away from E4.

Especially in northern Sweden there are only a few main roads, which means that you might have a shorter time waiting and longer lifts. Be careful to stand somewhere where there is some sign of civilization. As especially in the north the roads are no real motorways and accessible for pedestrians, you can stop all the traffic, especially if you stand on something like a bus stop. When on large motorways you have to take care a little on which petrol station you end up on, as there are too many of them, with sometimes only little traffic on each of them, and as most of the petrol stations are one or two kilometers away from the motorway. You can find a map of some of the bigger service stations (Rasta) online: http://www.rasta.nu/english.htm Furthermore, some of the service stations are only built on one side of the lane, and drivers tend to remain on "their" side. If you do have the choice, you should therefore try and avoid crossing over to the other side, as only around 1/4 of the drivers there will continue in your direction. Trafikverket distributes a map of service stations (rastplatser) in Sweden. The map shows where the service stations are and what services are offered (usually toilets but sometimes food, petrol or playgrounds as well. The more services offered, the busier the service station is). You can download it here or get a paper copy from tourist information centres.

Please note that due to the current (2015/16) discussions and changes in policies concerning asylum seekers and refugees you have to expect ID checks while entering the country. Furthermore you could experiencing problems in any cross-border hitching, especially while travelling north (e.g. from Denmark to Sweden).

Anick-Marie had no chance at all hitching rides on Öland in May 2005. Aurélien hadn't either from Copehnagen to Stockholm in August 2011. On the other hand, Ben had good experiences in 2010, going most of the way across the country up to Finland. In the summer of 2011 Harry Tattersall Smith and Viljami Laurmaa had an incredible time hitchhiking through the north of Sweden. Any memories of the delays have all but been eclipsed by the fantastic charcaters and experiences we had along the way. Their adventures have been documented here In October 2013 six students at Uppsala Unive rsity had a hitch-hiking race to Oslo from Uppsala. Splitting into three teams of two, two of the teams had a really straight forward journey arriving into Oslo after seven hours and three lifts along the E18. The final team took two days, staying overnight half-way thanks to the kindness of a local, but nonetheless they made it!


Counties[edit]

Cities[edit]

Landscapes[edit]

Sweden is a rather large country, with very desolate areas in the northern part. Instead of knowing every little city, especially when hitch hiking in northern Sweden, it is more meaningful to have a sense of the different regions or landscapes:

Dalarna Härjedalen Lappland

Crossing the border[edit]

Sweden is in the Schengen treaty. This treaty is rather well respected at the Finnish and Norwegian borders but has stricter regulations at the terminals where ferries from Denmark port, or at the bridge uniting Copenhagen with Malmö. Stricter control and special attention is usually applied to those who look like "being of another race". If you are unlucky, you might be made to strip during their search. Keep in mind, though, that the personality check is not applied to everyone but only to some at random order so you have more chances to quickly cross the border than get stuck explaining to the officials that you are neither a paperless immigrant nor a smuggler.

Language & Communication[edit]

There is no special need of practicing your Swedish since almost everyone speaks English there. Although it can still be useful to speak a couple of words of Swedish for the few people who don't speak English – some immigrants for example, who are more likely to pick up hitchhikers even so. Check out the Swedish phrasebook. Hitchhiking means liftar.

Also, when asking for lifts at petrol stations, some people don't understand that you are hitchhiking and start to explain you the way as if you had an own car.

When people talk about the amount of miles they are doing with their car, it's actually Swedish Miles, which equals 10 kilometres.

File:Nannaliftarilappland.jpg
Öresund hitchhiker Nanna knows how to attract the locals in southern Lappland.
Ready to sleep – a pitched tent outside the road in northern Sweden.

Camping[edit]

In Sweden, the wonderful Allemansrätt has existed for many centuries only as a customary law, but since 1994 it is part of the Swedish constitution. As in other Nordic countries, the Swedish right to roam comes with an equal emphasis being placed upon the responsibility to look after the countryside; the maxim is "Do not disturb, do not destroy".

The Allemansrätt gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land - with the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling house and land under cultivation, and with restrictions for nature reserves and other protected areas. This means that you could put up a tent for free almost anywhere as long as it doesn't disturb anybody. Make sure to not leave any garbage in the nature – we should really take the responsibility for those future generations will have the same democratic right to the nature as we have, and of course have any nature at all.. Very welcome to enjoy the Swedish nature!

Useful things[edit]

You have good chances of finding quite nice food in the dumpsters of petrol stations along the smaller roads (the E4 is not a good bet for this). Supermarkets are hard to dumpsterdive in Sweden.

Internet you can normally get at the public or university libraries for free. Sometimes you have to ask for a guest account.

There's a quite useful map ("vägkarta") which you can get at OKQ8 petrol stations for 15 swedish crowns. It's for whole Sweden and has all OKQ8 petrol stations on it, which can be quite handy when hitchhiking and looking for a good place to be dropped off. Here's another map that you can apparently order for free. {Link is dead - can someone who knows what this was renew/correct it?} At Statoil gas stations you get a free map with statoil gas stations. The OKQ8 one might actually also be free now?

It is quite usual to send a thanksaying-message the day after a party or after a meeting − saying something like "Thanks for yesterday". When one enters a flat or an apartment (or go further into a truck cab than the passenger seat), it is a must to take off ones shoes!

It is recommended to bring insect repellent if you hitch during the summer.

For the best chance of getting "lift", go to the petrol stations or were people stop for food along the road. Some Swedes can be quite reserved and for this reason it helps to introduce yourself (with a smile), instead of just being a stranger on the side of the road. Just a thumbs up will work, but might take longer. After 18.00 in the afternoon hitching is difficult here.

Links[edit]


Countries of Europe


trash:Sweden
nomad:Sweden

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