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Shopping in Stockholm.
Photo credit: Tove Freiij/

The shopper's guide to Sweden

Sweden has set the pace for modern design the world over and it is now a shopping destination for most things fashionable.

Opening hours vary between the cities and big shopping malls, and smaller towns and local shops in the countryside. Here is a guide to shop opening hours but do check with the shop you are planning to visit to avoid disappointment.

Shopping hours

Monday-Friday 9.30 am - 6.00 pm

Saturday 9.30 am - 2.00/4.00 pm

In larger towns, department stores remain open until 7.00 pm or longer. Some are also open on Sundays between 12 noon and 4.00 pm. Shops generally close early the day before a public holiday.

Bargain hunting

Look for the special signs indicating sales. “REA” indicates a sale; “Extrapris”, used along with red price labels, indicates discounts of at least 10%; and “Fynd” indicates special offers.

Also look out for local "loppmarknad" or "loppis" - basically flea market, where you can make a lot of bargain shopping. Normally held through Saturdays and Sundays throughout the country.

Best buys

High-quality glass and crystal are widely available throughout Sweden. For bargains in low-cost “seconds” visit the major glassworks shops, such as Orrefors, Kosta Boda, etc. located in Småland. For ceramics, Nya Höganäs-Keramik, at Höganäs in southern Sweden, offers bargains at up to 40% below normal retail levels.

Everywhere in Sweden, even in small villages, you’ll find “hemslöjd” (handicrafts) shops where you can buy traditional handicrafts like knitwear, needlework and woodcarvings. Many traditional markets and country fairs are held in Sweden throughout the year. Some are big events attracting thousands of visitors. Inquire at local tourist offices about markets in the area you are visiting.

In Sweden, value-added tax (VAT) is always included in the purchase price. Non EU-residents can get a refund of the VAT when you leave the EU via Global Blue Sverige.