Living in Stockholm as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Stockholm Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Stockholm

Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, sits on 14 lush islands connected by bridges adorned by the iconic blue and yellow flag of Sweden. The city exudes a captivating energy, weaved around a mesmerizing archipelago, making it a truly spectacular destination worldwide. With its booming tech industry, breath-taking architecture, and bustling neighborhoods, Stockholm offers a unique blend of culture, lifestyle, and opportunities for expats.

Tips for expats in Stockholm

Visa requirements

Expats planning to work and reside in Stockholm for more than three months must apply for a residence permit (Utlandsstedning), including the mandatory COVID-19 travel restrictions. The process involves applying for a document-based residency (D-besked), followed by a biometric passport, stamping, and fingerprints at the Swedish embassy, depending on the applicant's nationality. Expat families with children are permitted to enroll their children in the Swedish education system after thorough verification of their country's educational documentation.

Language resources

While English is spoken broadly in Stockholm, expats are advised to learn Swedish, which is a must for everyday communication and interaction with households, locals, and government officers. The city has language schools offering courses in Swedish for adults and children. The SFI (Språkintresse för invandrare) program offers free Swedish courses for newly arrived foreigners to Sweden.

Cost of living for expats in Stockholm


The cost of housing in Stockholm can be expensive, with the city being ranked as one of the world's most expensive cities to live in. However, there are alternatives that can cater to expats' diverse needs. A room in a shared house (Kollektivbotten) costs around 6,000-9,00 SEK ($660-$990) per month, while a one-bedroom apartment (Enschläger) costs around 14,000 SEK ($1550) per month. A two-bedroom apartment (Tvårumscheläger) costs around 18,000-24,00 SEK ($2020-$2660) per month, and a three or more-bedroom house (Familjeshåll) costs around 25,000 SEK ($2800) per month.


The cost of groceries in Stockholm is relatively higher compared to other European cities. However, expats can find lower prices in smaller stores and avoid expensive areas. A week's worth of groceries for two people costs around 800-1000 SEK ($89-$1100) on average.


The public transportation system in Stockholm is affordable, with an all-day ticket for adults costing around 90 SEK ($10) and children aged 7-15 costing around 45 SEK ($5). For commuters to work or university, a commuter season ticket (Pendeltågsenastunnel) is a more cost-effective option. For those seeking flexible mobility, various services provide affordable car-sharing opportunities.

Climate in Stockholm

Stockholm has a temperate climate with four distinctive seasons. Summers are pleasant with long days of daylight, mild temperatures, and occasional rainfall, while winters are cold and snowy, with short days and temperatures regularly dropping below freezing. Spring and autumn are luscious seasons showcasing the natural beauty of the city with cherry blossoms and autumn hues. Expats in Stockholm enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities throughout the year, from skiing and snowboarding in winter to hiking and cycling in summer.

Job market in Stockholm

The tech industry is booming in Stockholm, a testament to the city's progressive approach to innovation and entrepreneurship. Companies such as Spotify, King digital entertainment, and MSC Software have their headquarters in the city, alongside several global giants like Google, Facebook, and Ericsson. KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology, is the largest technical university in Scandinavia and offers fascinating study and research opportunities for expats in STEM fields. Stockholm also provides a bustling job market for those seeking opportunities in finance, healthcare, education, and creativity in numerous multifaceted industries that contribute to the city's thriving economy.

Healthcare in Stockholm

Sweden has a universal healthcare system, and all residents, including expats, are entitled to free medical care through the state-run healthcare system. Stockholm boasts some of the best medical facilities and services in the world, including renowned hospitals such as Karolinska University Hospital and Sophiahemmet. The city also has a strong focus on preventative healthcare, leading to better outcomes for patients. Expat families with young children will be pleased to know that children under the age of 18 can attend public schools for free, and health care for children is free for families residing in Sweden for more than six months.

Transport in Stockholm

Stockholm is a compact and interconnected city with a highly efficient public transportation system. The city's metro, known as the Tunnelbana, operated by SL (Stockholms Lokaltrafik), runs over 100 kilometers and connects all major areas, from residential suburbs to the city center. The transportation system is also equipped with trams, buses, and ferries, providing transportation freedom across the archipelago. A single SL ticket provides access to all modes of transportation, making it an affordable and convenient method of travel for expats.

Safety in Stockholm

Stockholm is a safe city with low crime rates. The city center is bustling with people during daylight hours, and the residential areas are tranquil and peaceful. However, it is essential to exercise caution during late hours, especially in secluded areas. Expats should take care of their valuables when commuting and in crowded areas. In emergencies, 112 is the dedicated emergency services hotline.

Neighborhoods in Stockholm

  1. Östermalm

    Östermalm is an established and affluent neighborhood located in central Stockholm. The district features lush green areas, high-end shops, and cafes, including the iconic Stureplan square. The area is well-connected to the city center and the central train station by underground and trams.

  2. Södermalm

    Södermalm, also known as SoFo (South of Folkungagården), is a bohemian neighborhood that blends history and innovation. The district is home to various street festivals, museums, and markets, including the popular Flea Market (Mässan). Cannonsgatan is a vintage-inspired shopping street worth exploring.

  3. Vasastan

    Vasastan is a modern and multicultural neighborhood that has gained global attention for its sleek skyscrapers and architectural marvels. The area features a mix of modern apartments, lively cafes, and Swedish lifestyle retailers. The area is well-connected to the city center and the central train station through several tram and bus services.

  4. Hässelby Strand

    Hässelby Strand, situated along the west coast, offers a suburban lifestyle for expats with families. The area features several parks, lakes, and swims, offering scenic walks and activities for children. The neighborhood also has excellent elementary and high schools, including a globally recognized international school,

Attractions in Stockholm

  1. Fjällgatan

    Fjällgatan, located in Rådmansgatan, Stadshuset, and Norrmalm, hosts various events throughout the year, including exhibitions, music concerts, and social gatherings. The area features Beaker, an art and science museum, as well as shops and cafes along the public square.

  2. The Vasa Museum

    The Vasa Museum is home to the famous 17th-Century warship Vasa, which sank on its maiden voyage. The museum is located near Nordström metro station and Kungsholmen island. The museum also features interactive games and depictions of the ship's history.

  3. Kungsträdgården

    Kungsträdgården is a beautiful park situated between Östermalm and Norrmalm. The area features various events, including theater, musical, and dance performances, and ice-skating events during winter.

International Schools in Stockholm

  1. The British International School

    Stockholm City

    The British International School offers the National Curriculum of England and Wales, providing a comprehensive education to children aged 3-18 years. The school provides a diverse student body and a vibrant activities program beyond academics.

  2. CAS West Campus

    Kista Science City

    CAS West Campus is home to one of the most recognized international schools in Stockholm. The institution offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program for children aged 3-18 years. The students enjoy a well-equipped campus with state-of-the-art facilities for various subjects such as Science, Music, Art, and Physics.

Expat destinations in Sweden