Getting a Swedish sim card

Wifi is everywhere in Sweden but if you want to use Google Maps to get around, keep track of your social media feeds, or Snapchat some sexy selfies, you might want to get a Swedish sim card.

Advice on getting a Swedish sim card

Decisions, decisions

You could stick with the sim card you use at home but, unless you’re arriving from another EU country, prices can be pretty high. The good news is that switching to a Swedish sim is easy – you don’t have to register any personal details and should be up and running within a few minutes of buying the sim.

There are a few different networks to choose from but in reality, there’s little between them in terms of price and coverage. Mobile signal is generally excellent in southern Sweden, central Sweden and all along the east coast, with strong 3G and 4G reception in almost every town and city, including Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Coverage drops off considerably in the north and northwest of Sweden, especially in national parks. That being said, if you stick to the main roads and towns, you’ll rarely have any trouble making a call or loading a simple webpage.

Do you really need a Swedish sim?

If you’re only staying in Sweden for a few days then you might not need to bother getting a local sim card. And if you’re travelling to Sweden from another EU country you don’t need to worry either, as roaming charges have now been dropped.

Some non-EU networks also offer the chance to use your regular data allowance for limited periods of time in selected countries – the best advice is to check the charges and allowances carefully before travelling.

For most people visiting Sweden from outside the EU, getting a Swedish sim will almost certainly be the cheapest option.

So, what are the options?

1) Get a sim card before you arrive

If you want to be able to catch up on emails as soon as the plane’s tyres hit the tarmac, you can order a sim online before you leave home. Some sites require a Swedish social security number, but a couple – including the New Europe Sim Card – do not. Those companies will send a Sweden-ready sim card to your home address, either pre-loaded with credit or ready for you to top-up online ahead of your arrival in the country.

2) Wait until you land

If you’re staying in Sweden for a long time the best option is to wait until you land. Pay-as-you-go sim cards are available for sale at most high-street mobile phone shops across the country. The main brands to keep an eye out for are:

– 3 (pronounced ‘tre’ in Swedish)
– Tele2
– Telenor
– Telia

There are also other virtual networks that piggyback on those listed above. These include Halebop, Lycamobile, Comviq and Hallon. As deals change all the time, the best option may be to ask the retailer what they recommend, based on how long you’re staying. Shop around.

Need a recommendation for a cheap and easy sim?

We use Mobal’s New Europe Sim, which comes with 1GB of data and lets you receive unlimited calls and texts for free. You have a whole month to use up your data, and you can also top up with more data at a rate of $10 per gigabyte. There’s no contract to worry about, and you can buy extra credit if you decide you want to text or call from Sweden.

The Mobal sim fits in any device, including Android phones and the iPhone, and can be used in 100 different countries worldwide (so you can always use up any leftover data later). Delivery is free within the USA and you can have the sim delivered to other countries for around $10. Order online and have it delivered to your door! There’s also a money-back guarantee.

Long-term visitors

If you’re staying in Sweden for a longer period of time you can pay a one-off fee of around 999 SEK – that gives you 1GB of data per month for an entire year, plus a year’s worth of Spotify Premium. You can just turn up to any Telia shop in Sweden (map here) and ask for one of these sim cards without needing a Swedish social security number.

There’s no need to register your details, either. We’ve used the Telia service all over the country and the signal has always been reliable. If you need more juice, top ups for the Telia network are sold at kiosks, supermarkets and convenience stores across Sweden.

Alternatives to getting a Swedish sim

The cheap alternative to buying a local sim is to turn off your mobile network and rely on wifi. This gizmo gives you unlimited access to roaming, 4G wifi everywhere in Sweden for one fixed price.

You should be able to at least see where you are on Google Maps without having an internet connection, provided that you download the maps before setting off (this guide explains how). You will always need an internet connection to get directions, though.

If you’re planning to visit Sweden, our Stockholm guide is available to download in PDF format and does not require an internet connection.

 


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Karl Vergarin
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Karl Vergarin

I went to Sweden with my unlocked Verizon Galaxy7 (bought from verizon). I was travelling with a friend who had an iPhone from AT&T & had turned on AT&T’s international service. I bought 2 sim cards; first one that was in-Europe only service, which did not allow me to call or text my friend. Then an international one from LycaMobile that also would not allow me to call or text her OR call or text my friends in Swedish who had Swedish phone. I kept getting messages that the calls were forwarded. When anyone called me they got the “subscriber… Read more »

Helen
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Helen

My daughter is moving to Sweden to study for a year and I am trying to figure out how she can best communicate with us here in the US and with her family and friends in Sweden. We have Verizon. If she buys a Swedish SIM card, does she loose all her contacts and pictures off her phone? I am not very knowledgeable in this.

Audry Kahlstrom
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Audry Kahlstrom

I have been having the same problem with “I Have Landed” I purchased the cards a month ago to be sent to my home before I left and now I am in Sweden with no SIM cards, I am going to buy them here. To make it worse the company “I Have Landed” is not responding to 3 emails now. I am going to contact my credit card to complain of fraud and hopefully get my money back.

Amanti
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Amanti

Hi,
I plan to visit Sweden for the summer. I will also visit Denmark after Sweden. Can I use the simcard in Denmark too? Or do you have suggestion which card should I bought?

Thanks

Kyriakos
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Kyriakos

Hi,
I plan to visit Sweden for the summer. As I’ll stay quite a while I’d like to buy a local SIM when I get there.

I read on the net that for the online option you need a PN, which I do not have. I’ve read that you can buy a card from a store like pressbyrran without a PN BUT you’d still need a PN to register the SIM (contrary to what is written here). Is that correct? Would a simple foreign ID or passport suffice to register the SIM?

Liat
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Liat

My brother is currently in Sweden (I am overseas), is there any option that I can buy and send him data to his cellphone?

Janet
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I went to ihavelanded.com to buy a SIM card for a 3 week vacation in Sweden. I now have TWO SIM card orders, instead of one, due to their system errors.* I have been billed for part of each card on my charge card. Both orders have been marked “processing” for 2.5 days now even though I paid extra for shipping. At this rate, I may not receive either SIM by the time I leave in 16 days. I have emailed them repeatedly to every almost every email address I found on the site and no on responds. All the… Read more »

Janet
Guest

Happy to say I just received my SIM card today from I Have Landed. It only took 46 days from the time I placed the order! Unfortunately, I returned from my 3 week vacation in Sweden TWO DAYS AGO. I had to buy a SIM card in Gotland at a Telia store as I needed to call relatives in Sweden. They finally credited my own with one of the duplicate orders on AUGUST 18.

BOTTOM LINE: Buy your SIM card when you get to Sweden.

Sarah
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Sarah

I have the same problem, I have been charged 3 times due to “system error” messages. No response to repeated emails. I’m going to contact my bank and have them reverse the charges.

TipBkk
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TipBkk

I plan to visit Stockholm for 3 days and go to Norway.
I will buy Swedish sim card but I’m not sure it can be used in Norway or not.
I no need to buy Norwegian sim, alright ?
Please advise. Thank you.