Nature and outdoor activities
How to get an apartment
How to find a job
Stockholm is easily accessed by airplane, train, bus or ferry. Arlanda airport is just 20 minutes away by train (see below) or 40 minutes with airport coaches from the city centre. There are also special airport taxis Be aware of illegal taxis outside the airport with much higher prices. If you need to stay overnight close the airport, you can book online at Airlanda Airport Hotel
If you arrive from Finland or from the Baltic states there are several ferry lines to choose from. Some of their ships are like floating restaurants, hotels, bars, tax free shops and discos. The prices are normally modest. Viking Line , Tallink Silja and Birka are all on a regular schedule all year around.
The national railway system, SJ is normally functioning well.
There are bus companies operating from various parts of Europe. See for example Eurolines or Swebus
The public transportation network in Stockholm is based on metros, buses and in some suburbs also on trams. Itt is not possible to pay tickets in cash on the buses. If you have access to a Swedish SIM card for your mobile phone you can pay by sending a text message. Otherwise you have to buy a ticket in advance from a seller or ticket machine. It is also possible to buy a ticket valid for unlimited travel for 1, 3, 7, 30 or 90 days or one year. These tickets are also valid on the commuter trains (pendeltåg) within the Stockholm region. For more information and for prices see SL’s homepage. (SL use Google translate to translate all texts on their homepage. Click on Translate up to the left). There are student discountsin the public transports.
There are several taxi companies operating the city. Taxi Stockholm and Taxi kurir are the biggest.
There is a congestion tax paid by people who drives in or out from Stockholm by car during certain hours. The tax is meant to reduce traffic and finance new infrastructure investments. The toll is collected between 6.30 AM and 6.30 PM on weekdays. The price varies between 10 and 20 SEK during the day. SEK 60 is the maximum amount per day. The fee is not paid on the spot, instead a camera takes a photo of the registration number and a bill is sent home. The fee is only paid for vehicles registered in Sweden.
Nature and outdoor activities
The big areas of unspoiled nature are something many foreigners appreciate when coming to Sweden. Stockholm is surrounded by forests and there are many possibilities for those who want to experience it. Liljanskogen in east Stockholm and Haga parken in the north are accessible by foot from the city centre.
Tyresta national park is situated ca 20 km south-east from Stockholm. It is one of the biggest untouched forests in Sweden outside the vast area of mountains in north-west. The whole area of wild nature is 4.500 hectars. The strictly protected national park was created in 1993 and is 2000 hectars. There are many trails and foot-paths for visitors. To reach the entrance, take but 807 or 809 from Gullmarsplan and step off at bus stop ´Svartbäcken´.
The archipelago outside Stockholm consists of 24 000 islands and islets of different sizes. Many ferry tours operate on a daily basis, even in winter. Stockholm town has excellent information on the topic.
Visit Sweden has a guide to outdoor activities in the whole country
No city in the world has more museums than Stockholm in proportion to the population. There are actually more than 100 of them. You can find anything from museums for history and art to the Post museum and the Museum for wine and spirits. Some of these have free admission for example the City museum. Stockholm Town has all the information.
There are also an Opera house in the central part of the city.
One thing that can be good to know is that almost no films showed in Swedish cinemas are dubbed. Instead they have their original language with Swedish subtitles. The only exceptions are some cartoons for children.
There are several festivals and special events going on in Stockholm during various parts of the year. Check our calendar on the main page for continuous information.
Those who are interested in sports might want to visit a game of football (soccer) or ice hockey. The football season starts in April and ends in October or early November. Djurgården and AIK are the two Stockholm clubs in Allsvenskan, the top division of Swedish football. You may also count in Syrianska from Södertälje 42 km south west of the city. For fixtures, see the homepage of the Swedish football federation.
The ice hockey season starts in September and finish with the play offs in March and April. As in fotball, Djurgården and AIK are the Stockholm teams in in Elitserien, the first division. Södertälje (42 kilometres from the city centre) is also there. For fixtures, see the Swedish hockey league.
Tickets to football, ice hockey and other sport- and cultural events can be bought at Ticnet
Stockholm was founded by Birger Jarl, a Swedish regent during the 13th century. The city has been the nation’s capital ever since. The position between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea has given her the nick-name The Venice of the North. The municipality has 770 000 inhabitants but the urban area surrounding the capital is much greater than the municipality. Metropolitan Stockholm has around 1,9 million inhabitants.
Allemansrätten – the right of public access- gives everyone, Swedish as well as foreigners, the right to stroll in the nature, even on other people’s property. This right is more far-reaching in Sweden than in most other countries. There are of course limitations, especially close to private homes. There are also responsibilities to keep in mind. The National Environment Protection Board (Naturvårdsverket) use the phrase “Do not disturb, do not destroy”. Basically it is common sense. More detailed information in English about what you are allowed to do and not do when camping, fishing, hiking etc is found on Naturvårdsverket’s website
The municipality of Stockholm is run by the same four parties which form the national government. It is a Centre-right coalition including the Moderate party, the Liberal peoples' party, the Centre party and the Christian Democrats. Since 1988, the political majority in the city council had shifted in every election, but in September 2010 the center-right coalition managed to defend their majority.
The local elections take place every four years on the same day as the national election. There are several important political issues on the agenda during this term (2010-2014). The housing policy, integration of immigrant groups, freedom to choose healt care and the city’s traffic and infrastructure are all widely debated. In 2012 the construction of the big by pass road Förbifart Stockholm vill start. Stockholm News is continuously explaining all these issues and the situation in Stockholm in the News sections.
How to get an appartment
Many foreigners wonder how to get an apartment in Stockholm. Well, many Swedes and especially Stockholmers ask the same question. The lack of housing is a difficult problem and an important political issue. People have different explanations and solutions depending on their political position but this is not the place to go closer into that. Instead we will try to help you with information on what to do.
Rent a room or a sub tenancy
There are several sites for people who want to rent or rent out a room or an apartment. Most of them are unfortunately only in Swedish but you might work out what to do anyway, or ask someone for help. Some examples is Andra hand, Studentlya and Blocket which give opportunities to rent apartments in Stockholm and other Swedish cities.
SSSB is the biggest agency with 8000 places (apartments and dormitory rooms) for rent.
Other providers of Student accomodation: Svenska bostäder, Huge, Kista studentbostäder, Vasakronan, Riksten, Campus Roslagen, the University accomodation center. More info can be found on www.studyinstockholm.se
One other way is to look at the note boards on the universities in Stockholm. There are quite many people advertising on these note boards that they want to sublet a room or a whole apartment.
Stockholm bostad (Stockholm Residence) also distribute some student apartments but the waiting time may be long
Bovision has all kinds of accommodation in the whole country including holiday tenancy rights that do not go to the national waitinglist. They also have houses and farms.
Hotelhem (in Swedish) offer rooms mostly for single people with some kind of social or economical problem.
To rent a tenancy right
If you have time to wait, the best way to get a first hand tenants contract is to be listed at a public list at Stockholm bostad (Stockholm Residence). To get an apartment in the inner city, requires however at least ten years of queuing, for some addresses more than twenty years. If you can accept an apartment anywhere and perhaps pay a little more each month you may find an apartment after just one or two years.
To be listed in the queue you will need either a Swedish National Identification Number (personummer) or a so called co-ordination number (samordningsnummer), which is given to people who are not civilly registrated in Sweden. For more information on how to apply for this, contact your local tax office. If you have problems contacting the tax office you could check with the Swedish Migration Board which has a rather good English version of its web page.
It is also possible to contact real estate owners directly but it is very difficult to get a tenancy right in Stockholm this way.
To buy an apartment
Many people will tell you that it is expensive to buy an apartment in Stockholm, but to say the true it is not more expensive than in many other European capitals. We do not recommend any specific estate agency but there are plenty of them. Many have a joint site, Hemnet (in Swedish), where you might find what you are looking for.
How to find a job
If you are an EU or EEA citizen you need no special permit to work in Sweden. The same rule applies if you are not an EU/EEA citizen but a long time resident in EU/EEA. If you do not belong to any of these groups, you should check the current regulations with the Swedish Migration Board since it might change over time. Recently the government opened up for labour immigration.
Once you have made sure you have the right to work in Sweden, there are several ways to get a job. You can get information and assistance on the homepage of the Swedish Employment Service (sw: Arbetsförmedlingen). Most job ads on their site are however in Swedish and at least basic knowledge in Swedish is required for most jobs.
At Jobs in Stockholm you might find jobs that don’t require that you speak Swedish. The jobs on their site are qualified jobs that normally require a completed education.
If you are a student looking for extra jobs, you might look at the university note boards. If you don’t mind working at nights, distributing newspaper is a job that does not require knowledge in Swedish. Check Premo’s site.
There are several staffing companies that might have jobs for non-Swedish speakers. Most of them only have information in Swedish but Academic work has qualified and non-qualified jobs for international students. Manpower also has information in English. Other staffing companies (sites in Swedish) are Poolia, Proffice and Adecco.
Another option is to search in newspapers for job ads. They are however normally also in Swedish.
If you plan to start your own business; support, advice and loans can be provided by Almi. Information about regulations and taxes are found on the site of the Swedish Companies’ Registration Office (Bolagsverket) and the Tax Agency (Skatteverket)
Finally a section that you do not have to take one hundred percent seriously but that truly explains some terms that you sooner or later will come across if you stay here for a longer time. They are certainly necessary if you want to understand the Swedish culture and mentality: If you know any words that we should add here, feel free to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fika: The Swedish everyday social life is based on the consumption of coffee (or tea) and sometimes a little bakery. The exact tradition can vary throughout the country. Coffee is the most important part. Most workplaces take coffee breaks, “fikapauser”.
Lagom: A typical Swedish word that is rather hard to translate. It means “not too little, not too much”
Källsortering = Recycling. Everyone do it to a certain extent. Batteries, cans and old news papers are always put in their appropriate places. Some people go even further. They recycle everything.
And then some other important concepts:
Personnummer: (National registration number): Each individual has a ten digit number which acually is that person. It is your identity from the authorities point of view. There are no adults who do not know their personnummer, and it has to be used all the time. The first six digits show when you were born.
Systembolaget: The state-owned store were people buy their alcohol (well, the legal part of it). You will find it rather expensive. The opening hours has been much more generous during recent years.
En stor stark: ("A big strong"). That is what you say if you order a draught beer at a pub and don´t care about what kind of beer you get..
Folkhögskola: a concept very hard to translate. Wikipedia suggest "Folk high school". You´d better check their article for an explanation.