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Buying a SIM Card or eSIM in Sweden

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Sweden is known for being brain-meltingly expensive, and local SIM cards are no exception. Whether you’re going to be hanging out in cool and cosmopolitan Stockholm or heading north to chase reindeer, it’s not cheap to get connected.

Since 2022, new registration laws have also made it harder for foreigners to get a working SIM. Best-case scenario, you might have to buy it from one place and get it activated somewhere else, or upload ID documents to a website afterward.

Worst case, you won’t be able to do it at all, or at least not without a lot of frustration. For that reason (plus the fact that service is so expensive in the first place), I’m now recommending that most visitors to Sweden just use a travel eSIM instead.

You get to avoid all the registration issues, be connected as soon as you land, and most likely, save some money as well. Whichever approach you take, though, here’s what you need to know.

Companies

  • I recommend Telia for most travelers who want a physical SIM
  • An eSIM from Nomad is the best option if you only need data

There are four different cell networks in Sweden: Telia, Tele2, Telenor, and 3. Telia has the best coverage in rural areas and the north of the country, with little difference between providers elsewhere.

LTE is available with all companies. 5G networks are currently being built out, but they’re limited to major cities at this point, and only Tele2 offers it to prepaid customers at this point.

So which SIM card should you go for?

If all you need is data, then opt for a data-only SIM from 3. For 199 SEK ($20) you’ll receive 5 GB of data, valid for 30 days. The SIM itself will cost anywhere up to 99 SEK instore, with a small data allowance preloaded.

If you need coverage in remote areas, go for Telia. It’s the only network to have good coverage in the north of the country.

For a SIM card with unlimited domestic calls and texts and between 1GB for a week and 8GB for a month, you’ll pay 99-249 SEK (~$10-25 USD). Larger packs are also available. For more, see Telia’s product page.

If you need a mix of call, texts, and data without breaking the bank, opt for Tele2 (the prepaid brand is called Comviq). For unlimited free domestic calls, texts, and 5GB of data valid for a month, you’ll pay 102 SEK (~$10.50). Larger data packs are also available.

I was only going to be visiting Stockholm on this trip, so I went for Tele2. Note, though, that I visited before the new registration rules came in. If I was doing it now, I’d just go for a travel eSIM instead.

Travel eSIM for Sweden

Since I prefer to spend my time exploring a new city rather than wandering around phone stores being told they can’t register a SIM to me, travel eSIMs are now very much my go-to option for Sweden.

Of the companies I regularly use, Nomad is the best choice here. It has the lowest pricing for larger data packs, and basically the same prices for the smaller ones, plus it can use any of the networks in the country as needed.

It’s cheaper than buying a local SIM, and a lot less hassle: it takes me about three minutes to buy and install a new eSIM these days, and it’s usually working before I’ve got off the plane.

Like most travel eSIMs, it’s data-only: you don’t get a local number. I use apps for everything from communication to transport these days, so the lack of a local number very rarely matters to me, but you might have different needs.

One thing worth noting: if you’re planning to travel to several European countries within a few weeks, it might be worth looking at some of the regional eSIM packages on offer.

There are too many to list each one separately (and they change all the time), but as a starting point, these are the Europe eSIM options from companies I’d actually consider using:

If you’re new to eSIMs, they offer big benefits to travelers in terms of how quickly, easily, and (often) cheaply you can get connected when you arrive in a new country. Most recent phones support them, and you can read all about them here.

How to Buy a Prepaid SIM Card in Sweden

After arriving in Stockholm, I headed straight for the nearest convenience store. Mine was a 7-Eleven, but you can also buy Comviq SIMs at Pressbyrån, or supermarkets like COOP.

I told the sales assistant what I was looking for (calls, texts, and data for a week-long stay), and she had it ready to go in a couple of minutes. I didn’t need to show ID at the time, although I definitely would now (see above).

Inside the packet, was a SIM card with mini, micro, and nano cutouts. I popped in the SIM, entered in the pin code when prompted, and was good to go.

Prepaid SIM and eSIM Costs

Tele2

If you’re only in the country for a short time like I was, the cheapest useful option gives 2GB of data, and unlimited calls and texts, for 81 SEK (~$8). If you need more data, you can go all the way up to 100GB for a month. You’ll get free calls and texts with all plans.

SIM cards are available for free if you buy them online, but you need a Swedish address and credit card to do so.

Since you probably won’t have those, you’ll have to pick the SIM up in a store, where it can cost up to 45 SEK (~$5). The card may be free if you top up at the same time, however.

Nomad

As I mentioned, Nomad has the best pricing for larger data packs that I’ve found, and is basically the same as the other companies for smaller packs as well.

We’ve compared many of the eSIM options in the past: here’s how the best ones stack up price-wise in Sweden.

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $6.50

  • $8

  • $12

  • $18

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 15 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 2 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

  • 20 GB

Price (USD)

  • $4.50

  • $6.50

  • $8

  • $12

  • $18

  • $32

Validity Period

  • 7 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

  • 30 days

Data Amount

  • 1 GB

  • 3 GB

  • 5 GB

  • 10 GB

Price (USD)

  • $5

  • $9

  • $11

  • $15

Topping Up

Tele2

You can buy top-ups from the same places you buy the SIM cards: Pressbyrån, 7-Eleven, or any other convenience and grocery stores. Just look for the Tele2 logo in the window.

Nomad

Topping up with Nomad (or any of the other travel eSIM companies) is done by logging into the website or app. You just select your Swden eSIM, hit the top-up button, and buy the same package again.

The top-up packs have exactly the same pricing and duration as the original eSIMs: there’s little difference between topping up your current eSIM and buying a new one, other than not having to activate it.

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Coverage and Data Speeds

Coverage was strong throughout Stockholm, but speeds were disappointing. For the amount I’d paid, I expected download speeds to be higher. Still, everything worked well enough: I just had higher hopes!

As I mentioned, Nomad eSIMs can use any of the networks in Sweden, so you’ll have better coverage with them than any of the local companies can offer individually.

EU Roaming

Sweden is part of the European Union, so EU roaming regulations apply. These “roam like at home” rules ended roaming charges across much of Europe in 2017, letting you use a SIM card from any EU country across all the others at no extra charge.

Most carriers in Sweden, however, require proof of a local address or a Swedish ID card before they will enable EU roaming. The exception is Tele2/Comviq, which has it enabled by default on most packs.

Even then, there are limits with large data packages, so double-check the exact details at time of purchase, or just use one of the regional eSIM packs I mentioned earlier.


Check out our guides to SIM cards and eSIMs in 65+ other countries here.

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8 Comments

  1. Hej…
    i visit Sweden (specially Stockholm) many years now and 2-5 imes per year. I want to know about this sim card.
    I can buy from Sweden only or can i order via internet also?
    I can use this phone number (sim) to call or sms if i travel outside of Sweden (not in my country) and if yes what rates have?
    Finanly the recharge can be from internet and have some expire limit (months, year) ?

    tack sa mycket

    1. Dave Dean Dave Dean says:

      If you’re after a Tele2 SIM, check out the company’s site (http://www.tele2.se) for the rates and options. You’ll find the most up-to-date information there. Run it through Google Translate if necessary.

  2. Avatar Rohini Jain says:

    Hi,
    I am looking to buy SIM card at Arlanda airport. I would be majorly in remote area, hence Telia would suite me better. I want a sim for call and majorly for data.
    I would prefer it buy before I exit the airport. Can you suggest and kisok where I can find sim cards

  3. Hi!
    Interesting post! If you’re aiming for higher data speed, Telenor is the best. Maybe not the best if you’re going up north but works perfectly in Stockholm and other cities. you can buy a sim card online and then it’s free http://www.telenor.se

    1. Buying a SIM card online isn’t really a great option for travellers who won’t necessarily have an address to send it to.

  4. Avatar Irene Wynne George says:

    My friend would like to buy a Sim for his new unlocked phone in Sweden.He said it is VERY expensive.Can anyone enlighten him.

  5. Hi!
    I bought a monthly Fastpris Comviq prepaid SIM card, and I wanted to know if I have to cancel it or something similar after that month. I mean, I bought it and topped it up in a Pressbyrån with my credit card, they can’t charge me anything like refuel it for another month without me asking for it, isn’t it?

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