What you should know before you rent a car
Where to rent a car in Sweden?
Sweden is a nation of islands and lakes, with fourteen islands to be found in the country's capital city of Stockholm alone! Also in Stockholm is Arlanda Airport, the city's busiest international air hub. Around 25 miles from the city center, upon arrival travelers can opt to take the Arlanda Express train service; the airport bus service; commuter train; or a door to door shuttle service into central Stockholm.
Stockholm may be one of the principle points of arrival for visitors to Sweden, however the country is home to a host of other interesting cities – such as Gothenburg, Malmö and Uppsala. Sweden also boasts a well-connected public transport network, allowing visitors to easily travel around the country by bus or train. However, with so many hidden gems and beautiful roads to follow, exploring by rental car is perhaps the most scenic way to travel! Pick up your rental car at the airport or in central Stockholm from companies such as Thrifty, Keddy, Hertz and Sixt.
What are the driving rules in Sweden?
When driving in Sweden, it pays to heed the rules of the road. In Sweden, drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. Seat belts must be worn at all times, and Sweden operates a very low drink driving limit of just 20mg/100ml - so avoid drinking any alcohol at all before driving. A full US driver's license is valid in Sweden, and will allow travelers to rent a car provided they are over the age of 18 and have held the license for at least one year (individual car rental companies may have different restrictions, so it is always best to check before booking). Given Sweden's Scandinavian location, the country experiences harsh winters and cars must be equipped with appropriate winter tires. There is plenty of on-street parking in Sweden, as well as paid parking lots. No parking zones are usually clearly marked, and parking fines in Sweden are high, so be sure to pay for a ticket if necessary.
Road trips in Sweden
When discovering Sweden by car, often the roads traveled are as beautiful as the destination itself. With coastal roads aplenty and little traffic outside the cities, driving in Sweden is a memorable experience. To make it even better, here are three road trips to take in Sweden for a little Scandinavian inspiration.
Sweden's capital city of Stockholm is located on the country's southeastern coastline. Made up of fourteen islands and overlooking the Baltic sea, it is one of Sweden's most popular destinations. Stockholm Palace, the Vasa maritime museum, and the Gamla Stan church and museum are a handful of the city's attractions. From day trips to longer breaks, there are a number of road trips to be taken using the city as a starting point. These include the city of Gävle; and the island of Gotland, both of which offer something different to visitors and are easily accessible by car.
On the west coast of Sweden, Gothenburg is the country's second largest city and is known for its canals – which can be easily explored thanks to regular boat tours. Families may well enjoy a day out at the Liseberg amusement park or the Universum science center, while art enthusiasts can head to the Gothenburg Museum of Art to discover works by artists including Picasso and Van Gogh. From Gothenburg, a drive of little over two hours will transport travelers to the city of Strömstad via gorgeous country roads. Upon arrival, enjoy Strömstad's small-town feel and proximity to the beautiful Koster Islands, accessible by ferry.
Sweden's third-largest city, Malmö can be found in the country's south, on the border with Denmark. Home to sights such as the 16th-century Malmö Castle; the Kungsparken, which offers plenty of green space and recreational opportunities; and the Turning Torso skyscraper, it's a city worth spending a couple days in before heading off to explore pastures anew. Destinations accessible by rental car from Malmö include Gothenburg, which can be found further up the west coast; and even Stockholm itself.