How to adjust to expat life in Stockholm

Skyline of Stockholm

Stockholm is a vibrant cosmopolitan capital with long summer days, nice views, and abundant candle-light dinners on long winter afternoons. Whether you’ve just moved here or are thinking about starting to call this city your home, there are a few things to consider to help you settle in.

There are many expats in this exciting city and there’s always something to do there, so with some resourcefulness, you should do just fine in adapting to Stockholm. Below are a few hardships you might encounter when moving to Stockholm. Preparing for them in advance could save you some trouble.


Finding a place to call home


Finding an apartment in Stockholm can be overwhelming. If you are feeling lost in the Swedish rental system, here is an explanation of the different rental contracts.

What kind of an apartment you go for depends on your situation, but sharing an apartment is probably the smartest choice. Apart from splitting the bill, it has other advantages as well. It gives you the opportunity to make new friends – your flatmates! When you’re feeling homesick, it is comforting to have someone at home to chase away the loneliness with. Your flatmates might have more experience in how it all works in Sweden. What better way of getting a solution to a problem – just knock on your flatmate’s door and ask!

And to avoid getting lost in the many possibilities, we highly recommend HibiH for finding the right flatmate and available shared apartment for rent in Stockholm.


Going green


Once you’ve moved to your new apartment, you might encounter a new challenge – separating your garbage. Sweden is one of the recycling leaders and among the most sustainable countries in the world. And once you move there, you have to embrace this as well. It might seem like a hassle in the beginning (especially if you come from somewhere where recycling is not so common) but just go with the flow. It will become a habit before you know it. And by doing something good for the environment, you will feel good as well!

Learn from how they recycle and what good it does for reducing the waste. Grab this opportunity to become more sustainable yourself. Shop locally and bring your own bag when you shop. The Swedes, nature, and your future self will appreciate it.




English is widely spoken in Stockholm and other big cities in Sweden, but it is highly appreciated if you can speak (some) Swedish. It will also save you a lot of trouble when dealing with any official matter or getting lost in the middle of nowhere.

Do make the effort to take a course. The best part is, the government offers free courses for foreigners!

Speaking Swedish will make the adjustment to a new city easier, help you at work and might help you make some friends. Go to a “språkcafé”, where you can practice Swedish for free and make some friends! And if your flatmates are Swedish, just imagine the good impression you will make on them! Which brings us to the last point:




This is probably the most important aspect of the settling in process. You have left your friends in your previous destination, so you have to make a new circle in your new home. Now, the Swedes are said to have somewhat of an introvertive nature so you will have to make effort to make friends.

It is probably a clever idea to join the many expat events and groups on social networks. It will definitely make you go out and meet people. And it gives you the opportunity to occasionally whine about the sorrows of being an expat. Because even with all the perks of being an expat, everyone has a bad day once in a while. And having a drink in one of the cool bars in Gamla Stan with a friend will surely make you feel better.