Hej and welcome!
Today’s topic is Sweden, the country we moved to and some tips how you can do the same. It won’t be a step by step tutorial, but more like a general advice set. Before we get started with some tips let’s read a bit about Sweden in general.
Quick facts about Sweden:
- The population in Sweden is around 10 million people where 2 million are under the age of 18. Its capital Stockholm has a bit more than 900.000 inhabitants.
- Fika is one of the first words you learn in Sweden. Basically it is a coffee or tea break together with sweets, cinnamon buns or fruits. The average Swede drinks 3,2 cups coffee per day.
- The sale of alcohol which contains more than 3,5% is only allowed in the “Systembolaget”, the state owned alcohol monopoly. The prices are also very high. For example the price of the cheapest half a liter of beer in a can is around 12 SEK (≈1,20€). More than 60% of the price are taxes.
- Sweden is a very “green” country. Over 50% of Swedens energy comes from renewable energy.
- If you are lucky and its the right season you can see Northern Lights all over Sweden but you have way higher chances in the north.
Moving to Stockholm for short term (up to 6 months):
- One of the most important things is a place to stay. It’s not easy to find an affordable flat in Stockholm but we somehow managed it. We approached different ways to do that. The way we had success with was a post written by us in a Facebook Group with the name: “Looking for accommodation in Stockholm? Perfect for interns & students!”
Basically we posted an ad about us together with a picture and some day our landlord sent us a message that he will rent his flat for the period of time we’ll be in Stockholm but he couldn’t sent us pictures yet, since he wasn’t in Stockholm at that time. I think it was April or May when we got this message and in the end of July he texted us again and said that we can have the flat if we want to. We skyped twice, used Google Streetview and got a copy of the passport of our landlord to be sure not to get scammed because we needed to transfer 50% of the deposit before we ever were able to see the flat in reality. During the “waiting time” we kept searching on different platforms like Blocket.se or BostadDirekt but with no success at all. Blocket however is a great platform to look for offers! Unfortunately one can only upload their own ad by paying for it with a Swedish credit card which we didn’t have.
This blog article helped us a lot: Moving To Stockholm
- Another big difference between Germany and Sweden is that you are able to pay with your credit card everywhere. Even on a food or flea market some sellers offer to pay with credit card. I would definitely recommend you to have a card ready because it’s way more practical than walking around with a wallet full of Swedish Crowns all the time. I just swapped from the banking institute “DKB” to N26 because you have full and instant access to all important functions like locking the card or lower/higher the limit of withdrawals. Please sent me a message via the Contact Us formula so I can recommend you.
- I really like the public transport system here in Stockholm. There are buses, trams, metros, regional trains (called Pendeldåg) and ferries available. The easiest way to have access to all of it is buying a “SL card”. For 20 SEK. Basically it is a card where you can deposit your bought ticket on. We topped it up two times with a 3 month ticket which was about 260€ for non students and 165€ for students. You can buy this or every other ticket at every metro station. They always have personal there and ticket automats. For more prices or other information please visit: SL Website
- Make sure your health insurance covers a long term stay outside of Germany ahead of time. If your destination country is inside of Europe it’s a way higher chance you don’t need to book any extra packages. If you consider to make a trip somewhere more exotic and you need to make some vaccinations before, make sure you get them in Germany because probably your insurance company won’t cover any vaccinations that you get outside of Germany.
Moving to Stockholm for long term:
- One of the first things to do is getting a “personal number”. Every Swedish citizen has one and it basically tracks everything about you. You also need it for phone contracts or gym memberships. All the information you need about it you’ll find it on the website of “Migrationsverket” or on the following blog post. Evertything Sweden!
- First step is done and now another important step is to open a Swedish bank account. It is so useful because many people offer a paying system here called “Swish”. Basically Swish is a mobile app linked to your Swedish bank account. You can enter a receiver number and how much money you want to send and swiiish it is already transferred to the other Swish user.
Probably there is a lot more to cover in this blog post because there are so many small things you need to find out if your moving into another country… For example where to buy things out of a drug store like “Mueller”, “Rossmann” or “DM” in Germany because in some countries, like Sweden, there are no such stores! It’s a big trial and error but its an amazing adventure and it won’t be the last country I moved to. Let’s see which comes next!
Have an amazing week.
Anouk & Ken