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In the U.S. tipping is customary and expected for everything from lackluster to outstanding service. It is an etiquette which is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. In Sweden tipping is not as habitual, and it is not part of their culture. This can leave some travelers confused. In Sweden, tipping is a kind gesture and appropriate in some situations, but never expected. If you are truly impressed by the service, you are welcome to tip and most often it is much appreciated and well received.

This guide attempts to cover most situations that you, as a tourist, will encounter. Hopefully using these `tips` will provide a smooth experience when interacting with locals in restaurants, bars, hotels, tour operators, and taxis.

Currency: Can I pay in U.S. dollars, or should I use Swedish Krona (SEK)?

The currency of Sweden is the Swedish Krona (or crown), written SEK. Sweden does not have the Euro! You will need to use Swedish currency while in Sweden as a vast majority of stores, restaurants and other businesses in Sweden do not accept any other currency than kronor (plural of krona). You will find cash machines everywhere and credit and debit cards are accepted practically everywhere in Sweden.

Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars: When should I tip? How much is customary?

It is perfectly acceptable when drinking and dining out to not leave a tip or to only round up. Most restaurant service staff in Sweden are paid a decent salary and do not rely on tips. However, when you ask around, you`ll hear that tipping is becoming more and more common in recent years. It is now fairly common to leave a small tip of 5-10% in restaurants and bars. In Sweden, most people tip by rounding up the amount of the bill.

Hotel Staff: Who should I tip?

Tipping in hotels in Sweden is not customary; the price of your accommodations will include the gratuity for service workers at the hotel. Attempting to tip may even create a bit of an awkward situation, just remember, you`ve already paid for good service, so unless you really want to thank someone for going above and beyond the call of duty, you`re best not to tip.

Taxi Drivers: Should I tip?

Tipping cab drivers is unusual and never expected in Sweden. The price of the ride will cover any service charge. However, if the taxi driver was particularly helpful, drove you a long way or encountered obstacles along the way, consider leaving a small tip. The gesture is always appreciated. Also give the tip in the form of `rounding up` to the nearest even amount.

Tour Guides: Is a tip required?

Tipping tour guides is not expected in Sweden. However, if you had an exceptional experience and felt you wanted to express your appreciation to your tour guide, you can tip him or her as little or as much as you desire. Any tip amount would be appreciated.

Final Thoughts:

Remember it is perfectly okay to abstain, especially if you are not happy with the service provided. Unlike in the US, waiters, tour guides, hotel staff, etc. are paid a decent wage, and tippingis not the standard practice.