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From what I recall, Sweden is moving to be entirely cashless. On our OSD trip in 2019, we never once handled paper Danish or Swedish kroner. It would probably be more advantageous to make sure you have a credit or debit card with favorable exchange rates and low fees than figuring out how to obtain cash.
 

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From what I recall, Sweden is moving to be entirely cashless. On our OSD trip in 2019, we never once handled paper Danish or Swedish kroner. It would probably be more advantageous to make sure you have a credit or debit card with favorable exchange rates and low fees than figuring out how to obtain cash.
FWIW - I returned on 3/27 from spending a week+ in Sweden and Denmark. We did not use cash at all (didn't even withdraw). Just used credit cards.
 

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We are on our OSD trip right now. We are spending a few days in Oslo first. Credit cards are universally accepted but we did run into a small issue today. Small local ice-cream place declined all my credit and debit cards. They told me they have been having trouble with processing non-European credit cards. So my family was already eating the ice/cream so they made me walk 0.5 mile to an ATM to get cash. That cash later came in handy when we unexpectedly had to take a bus. Long story short our phone department at work sucks and they didn’t add international coverage even though I requested it a while ago. Paying in cash instead of downloading and figuring out the bus phone app saved me $10 ATT charge on wife’s phone. As someone on this forum suggested I signed up for Revolut before OSD trip and used Revolut ATM card. Norwegian bank charged 40 NOK but Revolut did not charge anything (saving me $5). 2040 NOK ended up $217 which is spot on exchange rate at the moment of the transaction.
 
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We are on our OSD trip right now. We are spending a few days in Oslo first. Credit cards are universally accepted but we did run into a small issue today.
Yes, despite all the hype about Scandinavian cashless societies, I disagree with those who refuse to get any local currency when traveling. Stories like this confirm my (horribly old fashioned) bias.

The other workaround is to get a "European type" credit card (PIN priority rather than signature) like the First Tech card mentioned in post #8 above. That has saved me many a hassle over there.
 

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Yes, despite all the hype about Scandinavian cashless societies, I disagree with those who refuse to get any local currency when traveling. Stories like this confirm my (horribly old fashioned) bias.

The other workaround is to get a "European type" credit card (PIN priority rather than signature) like the First Tech card mentioned in post #8 above. That has saved me many a hassle over there.
While I share that bias I could have saved the transaction fees by not getting any Krona. At the end of the trip I tried to spend what I had left and the restaurant in the airport hotel would not even accept cash requiring me to use my credit card. Then at the airport at the food concession they would not take cash either. (I did ask the airport gift shop if they took cash and they did say yes, but at that point I just decided to use the money conversion service next to the gift shop since I really didn't have any room left to add anything to my carryon luggage.)

I would have to say having available cash was more like peace of mind insurance than a necessity as everywhere I did spend it they also took credit cards.
 

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Hi All

As permanently reciding in Gothenburg I can tell you that it is far more usual to find any shop or vendor accepting cards only than the other way around. I haven't used any cash for more than three years including traveling between Sweden, Denmark and Germany... don't even now how they look anymore..however we have a digital phone app named Swish to make smaller payments at markets and thing like that. They might take cash. Unfortunately you guys cant get that app since you need a swedish bank account..so for that reason maybe it can be good to have few bucks in cash.
But make sure to open up your cards for international use, and always have PIN at hand.

/Thomas
 

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I certainly agree that local cash is mainly "peace of mind insurance", which is why I called my attitude old fashioned. :ROFLMAO:

But I do like having just a little of various currencies on hand for the countries I often visit. Just my personal habit.

It would really be nice if Sweden would open the Swish app to foreign bank accounts, but I don't see that happening any time soon. :(
 

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I think Covid and "cashless" sped the transition, but we were heading this way anyway.

For the first time ever, last month I got zero cash converted, I took none with me and also took none out of an ATM. I spent 8 days in Sweden and Denmark without touching cash. The only place it would have been handy is in Free Christiana. If you know what that is, you know why. If you don't, then you probably don't need cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I'm the OP, and appreciated all the feedback here. We took our chances and went with no cash. The only scare we had is when one person in our party really needed to use a restroom in Copenhagen. We found one in the street and were really nervous it would require cash or swish. Luckily, it was free and well-maintained.
 

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We didn’t need krona in Sweden or Denmark, but we’ve needed coins for restrooms & parking in Germany and a few souvenir vendors. We’re at the very end of our trip, but everyone carries 1-2 Euro on them just in case!
 
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