Best places to exchange currency in Stockholm

27.03.17
4 minute read
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Stockholm is the wonderfully cultural capital city of Sweden. If you’re planning a trip to Stockholm, you’ll be wanting to convert some cash to enjoy what the Scandinavian city has to offer. This guide will explore the exchange options available, and tips to help you find the fairest deal.

Things to know before exchanging your money

The official currency in Sweden is the kroner, abbreviated as SEK. Sweden is one of the few countries in Europe that has opted out of the Euro system. There are a some points worth keeping in mind when exchanging your home currency into Swedish krona.

Know the actual exchange rate

While you’ll likely notice different rates on offer depending on which exchange bureau you visit, keep in mind that there’s only one real exchange rate. This is the real mid-market rate, also known as the interbank exchange rate. Unlike the tourist rates on offer, the mid-market rate shows the rate in its purest form, before any commission is added in. Exchange bureaus will offer a rate lower than mid-market, and they may also apply an upfront fee.

Use the mid-market rate as a benchmark to compare other offers against. You can view the live rate via a handy online currency converter. This will help you to determine whether the rate an exchange bureau offers is reasonable.

Remember - exchange rates always change  

Exchange rates aren't set in stone. Some currencies can fluctuate by the minute. Rates are influenced by different factors such as speculation, inflation, interest rates, government debt and current events. Be aware about what’s going on in Stockholm when you’re due to get there - it might make sense to withdraw money at a key point in your trip.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

Your local bank might have partnerships with a Swedish bank that allows you to withdraw money for free, or save on foreign transaction costs. Check this with your home bank before you leave to see if they have recommendations. At the same time, it’s a good idea to advise them that you’ll be traveling, to avoid having your card suspended.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

If withdrawing cash from an ATM, always choose to be charged in the local currency. The other, less favourable option, is to be charged in your home currency. This means the ATM will perform the conversion and charge an extra fee for the service. It may also mean you get a poorer conversion rate, so elect instead to be charged in Swedish krona.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

It seems convenient to exchange currency at the airport, or at your hotel once you’ve reached your destination. But the convenience comes at a cost. While these exchange vendors are situated right where you need them, their charges are usually higher, and their exchange rate poorer.

If you’re in dire need of cash, convert the minimum necessary to get you into a more central location. The exchange offices outside airports and hotels usually have fairer rates due to the greater competition. Or for an even better deal, withdraw cash from an ATM.

Spend your money before leaving

Plan ahead, and use all of your cash before you leave Stockholm. You’ll lose money twice when you re-exchange SEK back to your home currency. You’ll not be able to convert coins back, so be especially sure to spend these while still in Sweden.

Where to exchange money in Stockholm

Currency exchange offices will charge a commission, whether this is hidden in their exchange rate, declared upfront, or a mix of these two. Compare the rate on offer to the live mid-market rate to determine the fairest deal. An ATM will usually offer a better exchange rate, but if you prefer to exchange cash in person, below are some options to get you started.

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
Ria Money Transfer and Currency Exchange Mäster Samuelsgatan 46, 111 57 Stockholm +46 8 679 75 09
Changegroup Sweden AB Västerlånggatan 31, 111 29 Stockholm +46 8 411 14 38
Svea Exchange Sveavägen 23, 111 34 Stockholm +46 8 411 29 26
Forex Bank AB, Central Station Centralplan 15, 111 20 Stockholm +46 10 211 16 10

The bottom line

You can travel to Stockholm knowing you’ve got options for foreign exchange. Advanced research will save you time and money, and you can start by being aware of the real mid-market rate.

For fast and convenient Swedish kroner, your best option is finding an ATM run by a trusted operator. Banking in Sweden is very modern, with many major banks participating in ATM services. ATMs are usually available 24 hours a day, and the safest ones to use will be located inside of a bank branch. You might pay a surcharge, but you’ll still save money compared to most exchange bureaus or airport exchanges.

When using ATMs, you’ll save on ATM fees by making one large withdrawal every few days, instead of many small transactions.

For the fairest deal, you can transfer money ahead of time by using TransferWise if yourself or a friend have a Swedish bank account. TransferWise uses the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money - which almost always beat the banks. On top of this, your currency is received and sent via local banking systems in both your home country and in Sweden, so you’ll not have international bank fees chewing into your money.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more