Swedish cycling rules

Similar to Denmark, cycling in Sweden is widely used for functional purposes. There are bike tracks almost everywhere in urban areas – not so many between cities, though – drivers are considerate with cyclists and everybody generally respects traffic rules – as should you!

We can’t take responsibility for you not knowing or respecting national cycling rules, so please get informed before saddling up. Below we summarised the most important aspects to consider when biking in Sweden, but keep in mind that our interpretation of the rules does not represent the letter of the law.

Bike requirements in Sweden

LIGHTS | Between sunset and sunrise, you must have and use one white light pointing straight forward and one red one pointing straight back.

REFLECTORS | Between sunset and sunrise, your bike must have a red rear reflector and a white front one, as well as pedal reflectors.

BRAKES | Your bike must have at least one functioning brake.

BELL | Your bike must have a bell (no requirements on how it should look or sound).

HELMET | Wearing a helmet while riding is only mandatory if you’re 15 years old or younger.

Cycling rules in Sweden

  • In Sweden, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway. Never ride your bike against the traffic flow.
  • You are not allowed to ride your bike in a pedestrian area, on sidewalks or on a pedestrian crossing. If there is no bike path, you must ride on the right side of the road.
  • Similarly, bike paths are only for cycling, so if you want to walk alongside your bike, you must get off the bike lane.
  • Obey the red light at intersections. If there are no cycle traffic lights at the road junction, follow the car traffic lights, not the pedestrian ones.
  • When you want to turn left at an intersection, follow these steps: keep riding on the right through the intersection while signaling with your raised hand that you’re stopping; stop at the corner of the street you want to join and wait with the traffic on the right-hand side for the green light to proceed in your new direction.
  • You must ride with both lights on during dark hours, as well as during daytime if the visibility is not optimal.
  • If a bus stops at a bus stop, you need to stop and wait until the bus doors close. Bus passengers who cross the cycle path in or out of the bus have priority, unless there is a bus island on the left of the bike path.
  • You are not allowed to carry another person on a one-person bike, unless it’s a child in a child seat.
  • You are not allowed to use your phone while you cycle.
  • While riding, you are not allowed to hold onto another vehicle or to the driver or passenger of another vehicle.
  • Avoid riding side by side with your friend if the bike lane isn’t large enough to allow someone from behind to overtake you.
  • You are not allowed to ride a bike if you are drunk. While there is no legal limit for the alcohol volume accepted when riding a bike, the police can decide if you are not able to ride safely and fine you.

Hand signals

You must always use hand signals to communicate your intent to other drivers/riders:

STOPPING | Extend either arm upwards.

TURNING RIGHT | Extend the right arm perpendicular to the body.

TURNING LEFT | Extend the left arm perpendicular to the body.

For more detailed explanations of the rules and requirements, read herehere and here*.

*The pages in the links above are in Swedish, but the automatic translation feature in your browser will do a pretty decent job.

Donkey Republic rules

  • You must always lock your bike when parking it, be it during your rental period or at the end. You lock your bike by pushing down the lock handle until it beeps. Double check to make sure it stays locked.
  • For extra security, use the chain that comes with every Donkey bike and chain the bike to a fixed object, such as a street lamp post.
  • During your rental period, you can take and park your bike wherever you want. However, at the end of your rental you must return the bike to an available drop-off location. After parking and locking the bike, remember to open the Donkey app and click END RENTAL.
  • Have fun exploring the city on two wheels!

Want to rent a bike in Sweden?

Check where you can rent and unlock a bike with your phone in the Donkey Republic app