Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden and comprises 22 islands, located where Sweden’s mainland, the Baltic Sea, and Lake Mälaren meet. Stockholm has a fascinating and ancient history, having been founded in the 13th century AD. In modern days, Stockholm is a thriving port town and is the second-largest city in all of Scandinavia, following Copenhagen. If you’re moving to Stockholm, Sweden, then read on for all of our insider knowledge on living there and how to prepare for your international move.
Is it Expensive to Live in Stockholm?
It can be expensive to live in Stockholm and many expats prefer to live in the suburbs for lower housing costs. The cost of living is also quite high as it is in most capital cities, with the price of goods and services such as food and haircuts both high. Salaries tend to be high in Sweden too, so this is generally proportional.
When moving to Stockholm, it’s important to choose the right area to live in to make sure that it is convenient for you and your family. Living in Stockholm is a positive experience for most people, and the city is generally clean and safe, with plenty of green areas to enjoy spending time outdoors. Expats in Stockholm tend to prefer to centre themselves around where they will be working and where their children will be attending school, and for most, staying within the city limits is desirable.
One of the most desirable areas of Stockholm to live in is Djurgården, which is close to lots of museums and embassies. However, housing is rarely available in the area due to its popularity. Gärdet is another area that is popular among people with families – the area provides lots of play areas and there are plenty of apartments in the area.
Kungsholmen is another sought after area of Stockholm, with lots of shops and restaurants and other activities for people to enjoy. Public transport in the area is also good. Östermalm is also popular with people raising families, as there are lots of large apartments available in the area, though they are expensive. There are also a number of desirable schools in the area and open green parks.
Södermalm is an up and coming area of Stockholm, popular for young working professionals. If you’re interested in exploring larger homes in the suburbs, take a look at areas like Stocksund, Djursholm, Bromma and Lidingö. Other popular areas with lower rents include Hässelby, Danderyd, Täby and Sollentuna.
There are extensive options for schooling in Stockholm if you are moving to the city with children. Like most big cities, you will have plenty of international schools to choose from or can opt for local schools depending on your situation and preferences. To find out more about the education system in Sweden, visit the Skolverket (Swedish National Agency for Education) website.
Whether your child is in preschool or senior school, you’ll find plenty of great places for them to gain their education during your time in Sweden.
Sweden is known for its effective, efficient and clean public transportation systems, and you’ll be pleased to know that Stockholm is no exception. Getting around the country is easy thanks to an extensive train network, and Stockholm itself has a great subway system.
The public transit in Stockholm is known as SL (Stockholms Tunnelbana) and includes 100 stations across the city. If you’re moving to Stockholm from the UK, you’ll find the city’s fee breakdown similar to London, in that the amount you pay depends upon which zones you are travelling in. Fares can be paid through a monthly ticket, prepaid coupons or you can opt to buy a single ticket for each journey. Maps and timetables, as well as tickets, are available at all public transport stations.
In addition to the excellent subway network, there are also plenty of busses and ferries to help get you around the city.
Shopping in Stockholm
If you’re someone who enjoys shopping, you’ll be a happy camper living in Stockholm. You have the choice of large department stores, unique boutiques and speciality shops. You’ll enjoy finding a variety of brands you’re familiar with from your home country, as well as local products that are fun to try.
The majority of shops in Stockholm are open from Monday to Saturday, with some larger ones operating on Sundays as well. Opening times vary, but most will be between 9 am-7 pm. The best shopping districts in Stockholm include Hötorget market square, Kungsgatan, Sergelstorg Square, Stureplan and Hamngatan.
Socialising After Hours
Nightlife is great in Stockholm, though it’s worth noting that bars close at midnight and most clubs close at 2 am or 3 am. Weeknights tend to be very quiet, and most people enjoy socialising more at the weekends.
The best area for finding a lively bar will be Stureplan, but throughout the city, you’ll find a variety of other bars, jazz clubs, discos, rock cafes and even cabaret venues. If you enjoy a bit of gambling, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not uncommon to find roulette and blackjack in lots of bars in Stockholm. Need more info? Check out our helpful International Moving Guide.
Interested in information on another country? Take a look at our other International Relocation guides.
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