Life in SwedenTravel

Inte Allemans Pee Rätt

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I’m just taking a break from my study “homework” to write this article.Swedish paid toilet

I’ve been battling with a bunch of questions while sitting in the wonderful biblioteket (library) of Medborgarplatsen.

Well, time passes and I need to go to the toilet. What you would expect to do in a normal library of Italy is just go to the toilet, but it’s not that easy here in Sweden.

Your toilet use in this public building has a fee of 10kr! And you cannot pay with a credit card or banknotes!

I’m lucky, because knowing how things work here I’m saving all the coins I can get (which is a pretty hard task since papermoney and coins are used kinda rarely in Sweden) and keep them in a special pocket in my jacket!

But things don’t always go this smooth when you need a toilet in Stockholm. This is how I discovered it the first time, the worst 30 mins of my life I guess:

I was in central station waiting for my train to go home when I suddently realized that I shoudn’t have eaten spicy food at the Indian restaurant…

Please let me add no more explanations to the reason why I rushed for a toilet. 😀

I asked on the run for the toilet in a fast-food store, but they told me “the floor above”.


I was kinda surprised about that answer because in Italy we do have a law that makes it mandatory for any business related to the public to offer total and free use of the toilet while the business is open (and even if you are NOT a costumer).

Luckily for me I had a 10kr coin in my wallet, but there were two or three people waiting in line with a worthless 50kr banknote, and they looked like they needed to go so badly to the toilet that they would pay 5 times the price to get in there!

Is it possible that in Sweden there’s the allemansrätt in the forest but not the right to go pee for free in the city?

Next time you visit Sweden, take a bunch of 10 and 5 kronor coins with you, trust me, they may end up being more important than all of your paper money and credit cards! 😀


PS: I heard from my room mate Mona, that it may be true a legend that states that sometimes when guys are in need for a toilet they use a empty cup of coffe or soda while alone in a blocked elevator in a public transport station.

Need to try and see if it works…


  1. December 4, 2012 at 17:54 — Reply

    If you go to Stadsbiblioteket, you can pay by SMS. You send an SMS, and the toilet door opens.

  2. Alessio
    December 4, 2012 at 18:05 — Reply

    thanks! I will try that next time! 🙂

  3. Debbie
    December 5, 2012 at 00:08 — Reply

    I must say I have never had trouble finding a free public toilet in Stockholm. But can imagine it is very annoying if you need the toilet desperately!

  4. Flynt
    December 5, 2012 at 00:36 — Reply

    Yeah, somehow I know lot of public places in Stockholm and around of it where using toilet is for free. And by the way, the fee for using that toilet on the pic 2 is 5 kr. And I never use toilet in the central station. Why to pay 10 kr if on the another side of the street I can use toilet for 5 kr? And if to walk 5 minutes to northern side, I can use there toilet for free. Ok, anyway interesting story. 🙂

  5. Thomas
    December 5, 2012 at 00:38 — Reply

    Haha, that’s funny. But not unique, I’m afraid. And to make a bad thing even worse, you will be fined if you should have to solve your problem in a public space outdoors. It’s cheaper to pay 50 kr for a coin worth only 5 kr.
    Alas, you’ve pinpointed a flaw in Swedish legislation and society. 🙂

  6. Alessio
    December 5, 2012 at 16:29 — Reply

    In the first picture the minimum you can pay is 5kr or 10kr, so basically “any” money you have.
    But is still wierd that is so hard to find a toilet (at least in the shoes of a tourist or a newbie (like me)).
    Now I’m getting more used to it and I find toilets more easily.
    That’s really wierd that you also get a fine if you do it outdoors (I think I broke the law a couple times then, lol).

    Welcome to Sweden! 🙂

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The Author



Alessio was born in 1985 in the town of Marsciano, in the beautiful umbrian countryside and then he was raised for most of his years in Rome.

He studied high school as an IT and later on studied engineering for a while to then change his mind and start a new career as a professional pilot, which brought him first in Florida and then to Sweden.

He loves cooking more than eating (he has a professional cooking diploma) and he got interested in Sweden because of the big offer in ethnic and vegetarian food.

He is currently living in Stockholm and the only thing he misses of Italy is his Ducati motorbike and his dog, Nikita.