Currency and Exchange. The unit of currency is the krona (plural kronor), which is divided into 100 öre and is written as SKr or SEK. Coins come in SKr 1, SKr 5, and SKr 10. Bank notes come in denominations of SKr 20, SKr 50, SKr 100, SKr 500, and SKr 1,000. At this writing the exchange rates for the krona were SKr 6.5 to the U.S. dollar, SKr 6.09 to the Canadian dollar, SKr 11.78 to the British pound sterling, SKr 9.4 to the euro, SKr 5.47 to the Australian dollar, SKr 4.43 to the New Zealand dollar, and SKr 0.82 to the South African rand.
Traveler's checks and foreign currency can be exchanged at banks all over Sweden and at post offices displaying the "nb exchange" sign. Be sure to have your passport with you when exchanging money at a bank.
Pricing. Sweden's economy is stable, and inflation remains reasonably low. On the other hand, the Swedish cost of living is quite high. In some areas prices are comparable to European capitals; prices for certain goods and services may be higher. As in all of Scandinavia, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are very expensive due to heavy taxation.
Sample Prices. A cup of coffee, SKr 25–SKr 40; a beer, SKr 40–SKr 60; a mineral water, SKr 15–SKr 30; a cheese roll, SKr 30–SKr 50; pepper steak à la carte, SKr 120–SKr 210; a cheeseburger, SKr 60; and pizza, starting at SKr 40.
Taxes. All hotel, restaurant, and departure taxes and the value-added tax (VAT, called moms all over Scandinavia) are automatically included in prices. The VAT is 25%; non-EU residents can obtain a 15% refund on goods of SKr 200 or more. To receive your refund at any of the 15,000 stores that participate in the tax-free program, you'll be asked to fill out a form and show your passport. The form can then be turned in at any airport or ferry customs desk. Keep all your receipts and tags; occasionally, customs authorities ask to see your purchases, so pack them where they will be accessible.
Tipping. In addition to the 12% value-added tax, most hotels usually include a service charge of 15%; it is not necessary to tip unless you have received extra services. Similarly, a service charge of 13% is usually included in restaurant bills. It is a custom, however, to leave small change when buying drinks. Taxi drivers and hairdressers expect a tip of about 10%.
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