Skarpnäck Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide for International Students

Discover Skarpnäck, Stockholm's hidden gem for international students. Offering a unique mix of affordable living, lush nature, and rich cultural experiences, this serene suburb provides a balanced, fulfilling study abroad experience in the heart of Sweden.

Skarpnäck Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide for International Students
Photo from Husmanhagberg

Welcome to the charming suburb of Skarpnäck, a hidden gem nestled in the southern part of Stockholm, Sweden. Often overshadowed by the bustling city center, Skarpnäck presents a unique blend of tranquility and accessibility that makes it an ideal choice for international students. In this blog, we'll explore what makes Skarpnäck a perfect fit for students from around the globe.

From its affordable living options and verdant nature escapes to its vibrant cultural scene and community-centric lifestyle, Skarpnäck offers a distinctive experience that combines the best of both worlds – the peace of suburban life and the excitement of a capital city. Join us as we delve into the myriad of opportunities that Skarpnäck provides, ensuring a rewarding and memorable study abroad experience.

Ready to find your perfect student home in Skarpnäck? Explore our curated property listings on Hemavi!

What makes Skarpnäck a suitable city for international students?

Skarpnäck, a suburb located in the southern part of Stockholm, Sweden, offers several features that make it a suitable and appealing location for international students. Here are some key aspects:

  • Affordable Living Options: Compared to the city center of Stockholm, Skarpnäck tends to have more affordable housing options. This is particularly advantageous for students on a budget, offering a variety of living arrangements such as student apartments and shared accommodations.
  • Access to Educational Institutions: Skarpnäck is well-connected to major universities and educational institutions in Stockholm via public transportation. This connectivity makes it convenient for students to commute to their respective universities or colleges.
  • Multicultural Community: Skarpnäck is known for its diverse and multicultural population. This environment can be comforting for international students, as it provides an opportunity to interact with people from various cultural backgrounds and to feel part of a global community.
  • Green Spaces and Outdoor Activities: The area is surrounded by natural beauty, including parks and green spaces. These areas are great for outdoor activities, relaxation, and study breaks. The proximity to nature can be a significant stress reliever for students engaged in intensive academic pursuits.
  • Cultural and Social Activities: The suburb often hosts cultural events and activities, which can be a great way for international students to immerse themselves in Swedish culture and meet new people.
  • Safety and Quiet Environment: Skarpnäck is generally considered a safe and quiet residential area, providing a peaceful environment for studying and living. This aspect is often appreciated by students who prefer a calmer atmosphere over the hustle and bustle of city centers.
  • Language and Educational Support: With its diverse population, there are opportunities for language exchange and cultural learning, which can be beneficial for students looking to improve their Swedish language skills or to learn about different cultures.

These characteristics make Skarpnäck an attractive option for international students looking for a balance between affordable living, accessibility to educational institutions, and a supportive multicultural environment.

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

The cost of living in Skarpnäck for an international student can vary based on lifestyle choices, accommodation preferences, and personal spending habits. Here's a general breakdown of the main expenses:

  • Accommodation: Rent is typically the most significant expense. Rent varies greatly based on the type of housing. For a room in a shared apartment or student dormitory, it can range from 4,000 to 7,000 SEK per month. A private one-bedroom apartment may cost upwards of 10,000 SEK per month.
  • Food and Groceries: Grocery prices in Stockholm, including Skarpnäck, are relatively high compared to some other countries. On average, a student might spend around 2,000 to 3,000 SEK per month on groceries. This cost can increase if frequently dining out, as a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost around 100-150 SEK.
  • Transportation: A monthly public transport pass for students in Stockholm is around 600 SEK. This is essential for daily commuting across the city, including Skarpnäck.
  • Health Insurance: For non-EU students, the cost of health insurance can vary, but it generally starts from around 300 SEK per month. EU students with an EHIC are covered under the Swedish healthcare system.
  • Leisure and Entertainment: Recreational activities can cost anywhere from 500 to 1,500 SEK per month, depending on personal choices and frequency of outings.
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: This includes mobile phone plans, personal care items, clothing, and other day-to-day expenses. This category can add another 500 to 1,000 SEK per month.
  • Study Materials: The cost for books and academic supplies can range from 500 to 1,000 SEK per month, although this can vary greatly depending on the course requirements.

Adding up these expenses, an international student in Skarpnäck may have a monthly budget ranging from approximately 8,400 to 15,100 SEK, depending on accommodation choices and personal spending habits. It's important to remember these figures are estimates and can vary. Students should also consider initial setup costs (like security deposits for housing) and any visa-related fees.

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

Finding accommodation in Skarpnäck as an international student involves several steps and considerations. Here are some tips and resources to help you in your search:

  • University Resources: If you are enrolled in a university, start by checking if they offer any housing services for international students. Some universities have student dormitories or can assist in finding off-campus housing.
  • Student Housing Companies: There are companies in Stockholm that specialize in student accommodation. These can be a good option as they understand student needs and budgets. Examples include SSSB (Stockholms Studentbostäder) and AF Bostäder.
  • Online Housing Portals: Many websites are popular in Sweden for finding rental properties, such as Hemavi. These platforms list various types of accommodations, from shared apartments to private studios.
  • Social Media and Online Forums: Join social media groups and forums for international students in Stockholm. Members often share listings or tips about available accommodations. Facebook groups like "Housing in Stockholm" can be particularly useful.
  • Local Bulletin Boards: Some universities and community centers have bulletin boards where people post available apartments or rooms for rent.
  • Network and Word of Mouth: Don't underestimate the power of networking. Talk to fellow students, university staff, or friends who might know of available accommodations or have tips on where to look.
  • Rental Agencies: Though typically more expensive, rental agencies can help you find accommodation. They can be particularly helpful if you're facing language barriers or if you're unfamiliar with the local rental market.
  • Temporary Accommodation: If you can't find long-term housing immediately, consider temporary options like hostels, short-term rental apartments, or Airbnb. This gives you a base to stay while you continue your search.

Remember, each option has its pros and cons, so consider what works best for your situation in terms of budget, location, and preferences. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local rental laws and tenants' rights in Sweden.

Skarpnäck, while primarily a residential suburb of Stockholm, offers a variety of attractions and activities that can be appealing to international students. Here are some popular options:

  • Nature Trails and Parks: Skarpnäck is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including forests and parks. It's a great place for students who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or picnicking. The nearby Tyresta National Park and Nature Reserve is a notable attraction for nature enthusiasts.
  • Cultural Events and Festivals: The district and surrounding areas often host cultural events, music festivals, and art exhibitions. These events provide an excellent opportunity for students to immerse themselves in Swedish culture and meet new people.
  • Sports Facilities: Skarpnäck has sports facilities where students can engage in various physical activities, including football, basketball, and swimming. Participating in local sports clubs can also be a great way to socialize and stay active.
  • Local Cafes and Restaurants: The area offers a variety of dining options, including cafes and restaurants where students can try Swedish cuisine as well as international dishes.
  • Proximity to Stockholm City Center: Skarpnäck's close proximity to central Stockholm means students have easy access to all the capital city has to offer, including museums, historic sites, theaters, and shopping districts.
  • Community Centers and Libraries: These places often serve as social and cultural hubs where students can find study spaces, language exchange programs, and community events.
  • Student Meetups and Social Groups: Various student groups and international meetups are active in and around Skarpnäck, providing opportunities for students to meet others from around the world.
  • Local Markets and Shopping Centers: Exploring local markets and shopping centers can be a fun way to spend a day, offering a glimpse into everyday Swedish life.

These attractions, combined with a peaceful residential atmosphere, make Skarpnäck an appealing place for international students to live and study.


Skarpnäck is an ideal location for international students in Stockholm, offering a harmonious blend of affordable living, access to nature, and cultural experiences. This peaceful suburb not only provides budget-friendly housing options but also keeps students connected to the vibrant life of the city center. With its green spaces, cultural events, and community facilities, Skarpnäck fosters a balanced and enriching student life. It’s a place where academic pursuits meet personal growth and social engagement, making it a standout choice for a fulfilling study abroad experience in Sweden.

Take the first step towards your new home in Stockholm – browse through our Hemavi property listings to find your ideal student accommodation.