Living in Norrmalm: A Student's Guide to Stockholm's Vibrant City

Explore Norrmalm, Stockholm's heart, through our guide for international students. Discover its vibrant streets, cultural richness, and educational opportunities. Learn about living costs, accommodation, and student attractions in this dynamic district.

Living in Norrmalm: A Student's Guide to Stockholm's Vibrant City
Photo from Wikipedia

In the midst of Stockholm lies Norrmalm, a district where the city's pulse beats strongest. Known for its bustling streets, blend of historic and modern architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Norrmalm is an urban explorer's dream. For international students, Norrmalm is not just a place to study; it's an experience waiting to be explored.

This blog is your guide to understanding and navigating this dynamic district as an international student. From practical insights into living costs and tips on finding the perfect student accommodation to unveiling the popular student hangouts and cultural hotspots, we'll explore the reasons why Norrmalm, with its unique blend of educational institutions and cultural richness, is a top choice for students from around the globe.

Dive into the life of Norrmalm with Hemavi – check out our listings for shared accommodation in Stockholm!

What makes Norrmalm a suitable city for international students?

Norrmalm, a central district in Stockholm, offers a dynamic and suitable environment for international students for several reasons:

  • Central Location and Connectivity: Norrmalm is at the heart of Stockholm, providing easy access to various universities and the city's main attractions. Its central location is beneficial for students who wish to immerse themselves in the city's culture and lifestyle. The area is well-connected by public transport, making it convenient for students to commute to their campuses and explore the city.
  • Cultural and Academic Hub: With three world-class universities in close proximity: Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Stockholm University, Norrmalm and its surrounding areas are a magnet for students from around the world. This area is known for its vibrant academic community and collaborative environment, enhanced by the Stockholm trio university alliance, which fosters increased collaboration and research opportunities.
  • Safety and Quality of Life: Stockholm, including Norrmalm, is known for its high safety standards and quality of life. Students often appreciate the city's clean environment, gender equality, and overall sense of security. The welcoming atmosphere and the city's open-minded residents make it easier for international students to adapt and feel at home.
  • Rich Cultural Experiences: Norrmalm is a hub for cultural activities, housing several of Stockholm's most venerated museums and cultural institutions. It's home to Kulturhuset, a major cultural center with exhibition halls, libraries, a cinema, and the main stage for Stadsteatern. Additionally, the area hosts classic cinemas, the Stockholm Concert Hall, and the Royal Opera, providing students with a plethora of cultural experiences.
  • Modern Urban Development: The district has undergone significant development, especially in the Sergelstaden area, which includes cultural centers revolving around gaming, digital culture, and the Avicii Experience exhibition. The blend of historical and modern urban landscapes in Norrmalm offers a unique living and learning environment.
  • Diverse Student Experiences: International students in Norrmalm and Stockholm report positive experiences regarding the city's nature, friendly people, and active cultural scene. The lifestyle in Stockholm, including its early evening culture and the balance it provides for academic focus, is often highlighted as well suited for students.

Overall, Norrmalm's central location, rich cultural scene, safe environment, and vibrant academic community make it an attractive and suitable area for international students in Stockholm.

What is the cost of living in Norrmalm as an international student?

In total, an average student in Stockholm might spend around 7,350 SEK per month, covering all basic living expenses. This figure can vary based on personal lifestyle choices and spending habits. It's important to note that while Stockholm has a reputation for being expensive, careful budgeting and taking advantage of student discounts can make living costs more manageable. The cost of living for international students in Norrmalm, Stockholm, can be broken down into several key categories:

  • Accommodation: The cost varies greatly depending on the type and location of housing. A student corridor room with a shared kitchen can cost around 3,300 SEK per month, while single or double-room campus accommodations can be closer to 6,000 – 7,000 SEK per month.
  • Grocery Shopping and Food: On average, students can expect to spend around 2,000 SEK per month on groceries. The cost can vary depending on shopping habits and choices of stores. Eating out in Stockholm can be expensive, so cooking at home is a more economical option.
  • Public Transport: Stockholm's public transport system is efficient and widely used by students. A monthly student card, which offers unlimited access to trains, metros, buses, and boats, costs about 650 SEK. However, many students choose to cycle, especially during warmer months, to save on transportation costs.
  • Monthly Subscriptions: This includes expenses like phone bills, school software, music streaming services, and bank account fees, which can total around 400 SEK per month. Gym memberships, if applicable, are usually around 250 SEK per month with student discounts.
  • Recreation: Social activities and entertainment, such as going out for drinks, dining at restaurants, or cinema visits, can add up to about 1,000 SEK per month. Many students find ways to socialize cost-effectively, such as attending student union events or socializing at home.

Living as an international student in Norrmalm, Stockholm requires careful budgeting, especially considering the high cost of accommodation and living expenses. However, with sensible spending and taking advantage of student discounts, it is possible to manage these costs effectively.

How can I find accommodation in Norrmalm as an international student?

Finding accommodation as an international student in Norrmalm, Stockholm, involves exploring various options:

  • University Housing Office: Universities like Stockholm University offer housing to international students, but availability is limited and there is no housing guarantee. They provide furnished rooms and apartments, primarily to exchange students, tuition fee-paying students, and doctoral exchange students. Check the university's eligibility criteria and application process for more details​​.
  • Stockholms Studentbostäder (SSSB): SSSB is a popular choice for student housing. It's advisable to join their housing queue as early as possible, ideally before moving to Stockholm. The waiting time varies based on the type of accommodation and location, with shared rooms generally requiring around 200 days in the queue​​.
  • Shared Accommodation: This is a cost-effective option where students share facilities like kitchens and living areas. It's common in student corridors or apartments with multiple bedrooms. Shared accommodation fosters a communal living experience, offering opportunities for social interaction and cultural exchange. Visit Hemavi for different listings of shared accommodation.
  • Subletting: Renting a sublet, or andrahand rental, is common for internationals in Stockholm. Be cautious of scams; always verify apartment details and the landlord's identity. It's recommended to visit the apartment in person and check the landlord's details on platforms like​​.
  • Social Media Platforms: Platforms like Facebook are useful for finding accommodation. Many groups and communities post available rooms or apartments, and students can also advertise themselves as potential tenants. These platforms provide a direct line to current residents and landlords, but caution is advised to avoid scams.

Remember, the housing market in Stockholm is competitive, so patience and persistence are key. Start your housing search as soon as you have been accepted to a university in Stockholm to increase your chances of finding suitable accommodation.

Photo from Expedia

Norrmalm, the bustling city center of Stockholm, offers a diverse range of attractions that are popular among international students:

  • Cultural Hubs and Theaters: Norrmalm is home to Kulturhuset, a major cultural center featuring exhibition halls, libraries, a cinema, and a concert hall. It's also the main stage for Stadsteatern, the Stockholm city theatre. For those interested in classical music, the Stockholm Concert Hall, known for hosting the annual Nobel Prize ceremony, is a must-visit. The Royal Opera, one of the world's oldest opera companies, is also located here, offering a rich cultural experience​​.
  • Museums and Art Galleries: The area boasts a variety of museums such as the Hallwyl Collection, which transports visitors to the early 20th century, and the Nationalmuseum, with its vast collection of art, furniture, porcelain, and design. The nearby island of Skeppsholmen is home to contemporary art and architecture at Moderna Museet and ArkDes, along with The Museum of Far-Eastern Antiquities and The Stockholm Toy Museum​​.
  • Interactive and Unique Experiences: For a unique experience, the Paradox Museum in downtown Stockholm offers interactive exhibitions that challenge perceptions with quirky objects. Additionally, Sergelstaden, a renovated area, features Space, a cultural center focused on gaming and digital culture, and the permanent Avicii Experience exhibition​​.
  • Outdoor Activities: For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Norrmalm and the neighboring Östermalm district provide opportunities for playing boules and enjoying the green spaces at places like Humlegården​​.

These attractions not only provide entertainment but also offer a deeper insight into Stockholm's rich cultural heritage, making them ideal for students looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and history.


From its bustling urban landscape to the rich tapestry of cultural and educational opportunities, Norrmalm stands out as an ideal place for students to learn, live, and grow. Whether it's your academic pursuits or the exploration of Stockholm’s cultural heartbeat, Norrmalm promises a memorable chapter in your student journey.

Embrace this opportunity to immerse yourself in the energy and diversity of Norrmalm, and make the most of your time in one of the most captivating parts of Stockholm.

Looking for accommodation in Norrmalm? Check out our listings on Hemavi!