Travel Update



Other Useful Advice

From tipping to using public transport, we have more local tips for you.

You can visit the other pages on this travel guide to find out specific information about Driving in Scandinavia or currencies. But what about daily details like eating out or using public transport? Read on for more useful information.


It is perfectly safe to drink cold water from the tap in all our destinations. In fact, the Scandinavian countries are known for their clear and pure water sources. Save some money and be kind to the environment by using a refillable water bottle.

Local accommodation

Check-in time at most accommodation is between 2 PM and 4 PM. If you will be arriving at your accommodation later than 6 PM, please call to let them know. Likewise, if you would like to eat dinner at your accommodation, we recommend calling ahead. This is particularly true when staying in a rural area.

Tipping & taxes

European countries typically don’t have a tipping culture like in North America. Here, tipping isn’t compulsory, but it’s greatly appreciated when offered. At restaurants a 10% tip is standard or you can round up the bill in cafés or taxis.

You’ll also notice that local VAT (22–25% depending on the country) is included in all prices. This encompasses products and services, such as at shops, restaurants, hotels, taxis, hairdressers, etc. Read more about tax-free shopping.

Food & snacks

You will find the cheapest and best variety of food to purchase at major supermarket chains.

Head to Ica and Coop in Sweden, Netto and Rema 1000 in Denmark or Coop and Rema 1000 in Norway. In Helsinki, look out for K-market and, in Tallinn, for Rimi.

These stores are usually open 9 AM – 9 PM on weekdays with shorter hours on weekends and public holidays. Quick snacks and after-hours necessities can be found at 7-Eleven or R-kioski convenience stores, which are often open late in the capital cities.


Most hotels offer some laundry or dry-cleaning services for a fee. You’ll also find launderettes and dry cleaners in all major cities.

Wine, beer & spirits

Aside from bars, restaurants and some hotels, wine, spirits and beers are only sold at state-run liquor stores in larger cities and towns.

This is Systembolaget in Sweden, Vinmonopolet in Norway and Alko in Finland. They are usually open 9 AM – 6 PM Monday to Friday with reduced hours on a Saturday. Stores are likely to be closed on Sundays and on public holidays.

Alcohol is available for purchase in regular shops in Denmark and Estonia.

Dining & nightlife

Restaurants in major towns and cities tend to be busiest between 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM for lunch and 7 – 9 PM for dinner. Keep in mind that some cafés are closed on Sundays. We recommend you make bookings at restaurants in advance, especially for weekend stays.

Bars and clubs may stay open until 1 AM on weekdays and 3 AM on weekends.

The general dress code for dining or going out is casual in the Nordics. But keep in mind that some nightclubs – especially in Stockholm – do not allow sneakers (trainers) or sweatpants (jogging bottoms).

You might find that the Scandinavian capital cities have a very sophisticated atmosphere. For that reason, you may want to bring a nice outfit and shoes to go out for a drink or meal at a fine dining establishment.

Getting around in the cities

Thankfully you’ll find it very easy to get around in all 5 capital cities.

Taxis can be found at airports, train and bus stations as well as in major central locations.

If you’d rather use public transport, then you’re in for a good and easy time. All of the Scandinavian countries have comprehensive public transport systems consisting of buses, trams, trains and metro. You can purchase single tickets, day passes and multi-day passes.

European cities are also very walkable, especially the historic centres, which you’ll want to get lost in anyway. Go for a stroll to discover charming cobbled streets, hidden cafés and local shops.

Finally, you can’t go to Scandinavia without taking up cycling. The cities, especially Copenhagen, are extremely bicycle-friendly. Rent a bike or an electric scooter to go about like a local.

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