Travel Update




Bring some of Scandinavia’s delights home with you

Popular souvenirs

You won’t be short of choice when it comes to buying souvenirs in Scandinavia. The region is known for its long history of craftsmanship, and many products are still hand-made here.

The Scandinavians also have their own food culture, unique from the rest of Europe. Expect to find some unusual snacks and treats to share with your friends and family back home.

Clothing & jewellery

This northern region has cool weather for most of the year, so it’s no surprise that woollen knitwear is a popular choice in all five countries. You’ll find unique and eye-catching patterns in all the different knitted clothes.

In Sweden, some of the most famous knitwear is their tasselled Lovikka mittens, still made in the town of Lovikka in the Norrbotten region. In Estonia, make sure to spend some time shopping for luxurious linen goods, traditionally made in pale colours.

Jewellery-making has been practised here for centuries. In Norway, goldsmiths have honed their skills for over 2,000 years. Silver jewellery in Finland is often designed based on scenes from Kalevela, their national folk epic. You’ll also find colourful bracelets and necklaces made by the Sámi people of Lapland.

Finally, a less traditional item that you might want to shop for in Norway is outdoor hiking, trekking and adventure sport gear. The Norwegians love the outdoors and you’ll find innovative items sold all over, from warm and waterproof clothing to camping equipment.


Traditional styles also prevail in Scandinavian homeware design. In Estonia, find kitchen items like breadboards carved from juniper wood. In Finland, pick up some pieces of the world-famous Iittala glassware, or browse the Arabia ceramics collections.

A popular metal used for tableware is Norwegian pewter, a silver-coloured alloy which is used to make cups, plates, bowls and even Viking figurines. In Finland and Sweden, find traditional kuksa drinking cups, a Sámi item carved from Lapland’s trees.

Not to be outdone, Denmark also creates beautiful pieces of kitchenware, such as Royal Copenhagen porcelain. On top of that, Denmark’s most iconic export, LEGO, has its flagship store in the iconic Strøget shopping district in Copenhagen. This shop is worth a visit for the displays alone.

Christmas is celebrated thoroughly in Scandinavia, so if you’re visiting in autumn and winter you’ll have the chance to pick up some unique decorations. In Denmark, look out for the traditional nisse, an ornamental elf that’s said to be the guardian of a household.

In Sweden, wooden Dala horses (called “Dalahäst”) are still carved and hand-painted in Dalarna town, though you can buy them all over Stockholm. If you pass through Småland, you’ll want to stop off at the Kingdom of Crystal ("Glasriket") to browse delicate blown-glass pieces.

Finally, for a truly unique souvenir, you could take home a reindeer pelt from Norway, Sweden or Finland. This decorative item adds a Nordic touch to any room.

Food & drink

As mentioned above, Scandinavian food is famed for its strong flavours. Both Estonia and Denmark are known for their soft marzipan, with Tallinn even claiming to have invented it. Danish marzipan brand Anthon Berg have been ‘Purveyors to the Royal Danish Court’ since 1957.

Chocolate and sweets are sold all over. Estonia’s famous Kalev Chocolate Shop has a bestselling white chocolate and blueberry bar. You’ll find Toms chocolate in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, selling famous turtle-shaped rum caramel chocolates called “Skildpadder”.

The Nordic countries also love liquorice, so make sure to try some while you’re here. One of the most famous brands is Denmark’s Bülow Lakrids, but Sweden, Norway and Finland also indulge in their own unique liquorice concoctions.

Depending on the space in your suitcase and your home country’s border rules, you might want to bring home some Finnish vodka or Swedish smoked reindeer meat. This will really impress everyone back home!

Stories & history

Scandinavia has its own rich history separate from the rest of Europe, and you’ll find many souvenirs dedicated to the history, folklore and culture of each country. One of the most popular is Viking figurines, such as dolls or ship replicas.

If you’re familiar with the iconic Moomin trolls, you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops in Helsinki selling their likeness. These creatures come from Finnish folklore and the short stories that made them world-famous were written here.

When in Denmark, you might also want to browse the many collections of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tales, such as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. As one of the world’s most beloved authors, there’s plenty of memorabilia sold here for you to take home.

VAT and tax-free shopping


The VAT (sales tax) rate in Norway is 25% on regular goods and services and 15% for food. The prices you see in stores already include VAT.

Tax refunds of 12 - 19% are available all except those with legal residence in Sweden, Denmark or Finland. Over 3,000 shops offer tax-free shopping. Look for a TAX FREE logo, usually displayed near the front entrance.

The minimum amount eligible for a refund is NOK 315 on goods and NOK 290 for food. Cash refund desks can be found at various exits, such as at airports or on cruise ships. Make sure you have your unused goods, receipts, Global Refund Cheque forms and passport.

Norwegian Global Refund Cheques may also be cashed at most major airports in Europe. Please note that Norwegian Custom Authorities are not involved in the Global Refund Service and will not stamp Global Refund Cheques issued in Norway or any other countries.


The VAT (sales tax) rate in Sweden is 25% on regular goods and services, 12% for food and 6% for books and passenger transport. The prices you see in stores already include VAT.

If you are travelling from outside the European Union (EU), you are entitled to a tax refund on your purchases. The minimum amount you’ll need to spend on an item to qualify is around 200 SEK.

When making your tax-free purchase, you’ll need to present your passport and proof of non-EU residency. Ask the retailer for a VAT refund form and present it to customs officials at the point you leave the country. The refundable items must be unused when you leave Sweden, and alcohol is non-refundable.


The VAT rate in Denmark is 25% on everything. The prices you see in stores already include VAT.

If you live outside the EU, you can reclaim the VAT you pay on goods you purchase while visiting Denmark. You will be reimbursed between 10% and 19%, which amounts to the VAT minus an administration fee. You can only claim on purchases that are over 300 DKK.

Refunds are only available for purchases made in shops which are part of the scheme. We recommend asking at the store when making your purchase.

  • Check out our helpful guide to currencies in Scandinavia


The VAT (sales tax) rate in Finland is 24% on regular goods and services and 14% for food, not including alcohol and tobacco. The prices you see in stores already include VAT.

If you’re not a resident of the EU or Norway, you’re eligible to shop tax-free in Finland when spending more than 40 euros. Look for stores with “tax-free shopping” signs, and present your passport and proof of residency at the point of purchase.

You’ll be given a cheque covering the VAT refund which can be cashed when leaving the EU. Make sure to present the goods purchased, cheque and your identifying information at customs. The refundable items must be unused when leaving the EU.


The VAT (sales tax) rate in Estonia is 21% on most regular goods and services, but 9% on accommodation. On 1 January 2024 the general rate will rise to 22%. The prices you see in stores already include VAT.

Look for tax-free shops when making purchases exceeding 38 euros. Ask the retailer for a tax-free receipt. When you leave the EU, present this receipt along with your identification to customs officials.

Once your receipt has been approved, submit it to the representative office of the company engaged in VAT refunds.

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