Traveling to Scandinavia is a dream for travelers as these countries boast some of the most breathtaking views, interesting cultures, and friendly people.
The one thing you can’t forget wherever you travel is your electronics and of course, their chargers.
Without chargers, we wouldn’t be able to take all our timeless travel photos throughout the trip.
Do you need a power converter in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway? The electrical system in Scandinavian nations differs in both plug type and outlet as well as power voltage compared to the United States. Depending on your appliances, you may need a power converter, and will most definitely need a power adapter to accommodate the different plug types.
Universal power adapter systems which allow you to change to the appropriate plug type often have power converters built into them.
This allows for the difference in voltage to be accounted for and converted for your appliance use.
Your electronics should tell you their voltage capabilities and determine if they will work when traveling to Europe.
Power Converter vs. Plug Adapter
It is first important to note the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter.
When traveling to Scandinavia, you will most definitely need a plug adapter as the outlets are different from the United States.
This allows you to plug your American-style A and B plugs into walls with two round pin outlets.
A power converter is designed to convert the different voltages that American plugs provide versus European outlets.
American plugs run on 110 Volts while European plugs use 220 Volts. Many plugs will work in either range, but you must check the individual device.
Some appliances, such as a hair dryer, will only run on 110V and you will need a power converter.
If you are considering getting a power converter, try one with these features:
- Multiple plug adapters: Make sure if you are buying this larger device that it offers universal plug adapters. This way you will be able to use it traveling all around the world.
- Supports high wattage devices: It would be really sad to lug around the converter and then try it out to learn that it doesn’t support the voltage you need. Go with a device that supports the highest wattage, so you know it will work with everything.
- USB charger plug included: In addition to the plug offering, you can charge your phone or another small device with a USB plug included on the converter. This gives you more charging time, and you don’t have to bring a plug associated with any of your USB devices.
Power converters are dependent on the types of appliances you bring on your Scandinavian trip.
A power converter is a bit larger and bulkier but also acts as a plug adapter with the plug types used in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
Almost all common gadgets intended for traveling (phones, cameras, laptops, portable chargers, etc.) will not require a power converter.
Do You Need a Power Converter in Denmark?
You will need a power converter for the outlets in Denmark if your gadgets only operate on 110V.
Items that require power converters are typically more specific or obscure, such as hair dryers or power tools.
You should check on your items before travel to see if they operate on 220V. Almost all electronics you bring will not require one.
You will need a plug adapter for the many outlet varieties. Outlets in Denmark are compatible with C, E, F, and K plugs.
All of these plugs use a two-pin continental plug, which are commonly used across European countries.
Let’s break these down more specifically:
- Type C Plug: These outlets are used commonly throughout Europe, often being referred to as the ‘Europlug.’ This is the most widely used power plug worldwide. It has two round pins and is now being replaced by E, F, J, K, and N sockets. All of these sockets will accept C plugs. These plugs do not exceed 2.5 amps and offer 220-240 volts of power.
- Type E Plug: This plug also uses two round pins and has a hole above the pins for a socket that may have a male pin. The outlet is usually round in shape. Type E plugs offer 16 amps and 220-240 volts of power.
- Type F Plug: Two round pins are in the same placement and size as the other plugs on this list. This plug looks very similar to the E plug, but instead of having a female insert, there are two earth clips. Type F also offers 16 amps and 220-240 volts of power.
- Type K Plug: This plug is slightly rarer, but also has the same two round pins. This plug is characterized by having an additional grounding pin below the two clips. This plug will work only in a plug K socket, but all two-pinned plugs will fit into a K socket. They offer 16 amps and 220-240 volts of power.
If you buy a power converter, it will have the Type C plug attached to it. The Type C plug is compatible with sockets for C, E, F, and K.
When you are travelling from the United States to Denmark, using a power converter that has a Europlug will satisfy all your charging needs.
You can also purchase small adapter attachments of these outlet types to plug your USB cord into without having to deal with a larger system.
This will only work for smaller devices that are not attached to their own power cord.
Laptops and larger appliances will need a slightly larger adapter to make your A and B outlets compatible in Denmark.
Do You Need A Power Converter in Sweden and Norway?
There are just fewer plug types used in these countries compared to Denmark.
Sweden and Norway make use of the same Europlug (Type C) as in Denmark. Both Sweden and Norway outlets are compatible with Type C and Type F power plugs.
This makes it necessary to use a plug adapter when visiting from the United States.
Similar to Denmark, having a universal power converter with a Type C plug is the most economical and useful converter to have.
You can similarly use a plug that attaches to a USB cable. Many of the larger adapters have a power converter built into them.
They vary in size, but are definitely bulkier than the small plug adapters that fit easily over your A and B plugs.
Type C and Type F are very similar in function and design. Both only include two round pins. The difference between the two comes down to the shape.
Type C plug shape is small and thin to support the sides of the two horizontal pins. The Type F plug has a round plug shape with two earth clip openings for compatibility with their specific outlet. The two are interchangeable.
Power Converter Shape and Size
As mentioned, power converters are larger and bulkier than a little plug adapter as they need to convert the voltages between American and European plugs.
Some European outlets are designed to be recessed into the wall. This means that some power converter designs will not fit into the outlet because of the outlet cover.
Because these designs vary between establishments in Scandinavia, you should consider a power converter that separates your plug from the converter block slightly.
This will prevent issues in fitting into sockets. Most universal power converters are designed to accommodate this.
Most smaller power adapters will not run into this issue as they simply fit to cover the existing plug size. These will look like a normal plug that you would find on any Scandinavian appliance.
Power Converters in Scandinavia
If you are bringing typical gadgets and electronics on your trip to Scandinavia, you will not need a power converter.
This includes your cell phone, cameras, battery packs, and common items you take with you during travel.
If you are concerned about the use of a specific item, the manual should tell you it’s capabilities (online manuals are available if you no longer have it).
Power converters are larger and heavier than small plug adapters that are used to account for the changes in plugs and outlets.
Your A and B style plugs will not work in the European sockets used in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
The power converter should come with universal outlets, making it a good investment if you plan to travel to other regions of the world.
Small plug adapters can be an easier option when you know your devices will charge with the difference in voltage.
These simply slip over your American plug and easily fit into the wall.
Make sure these stay attached to your plug when you take them out of the wall or you may have to buy a new one once you leave the hotel.