The Do's and Don'ts of Moving to Stockholm

Become a Stockholm expert with our top tips and tricks, ensuring a smooth relocation and an enjoyable experience in this beautiful city.

The Do's and Don'ts of Moving to Stockholm

Are you considering a move to Stockholm, the stunning capital of Sweden? Stockholm is a vibrant and diverse city that welcomes students from all over the world. As an international student, moving to Stockholm can be an exciting but challenging experience. It is important to prepare yourself for the new environment by learning about the culture, customs, and laws of Sweden.

Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when moving to Stockholm as an international student.

The Do's of Moving to Stockholm

Do your research

Before you arrive in Stockholm, it is important to do your research on the country, the city, and the university you will be attending. Familiarize yourself with the Swedish culture, customs, and laws, as they may be different from what you are used to. You can start by reading about Swedish history, politics, and economy. It is also a good idea to learn about Swedish cuisine, traditions, and holidays.

In addition, research the university you will be attending, including its programs, facilities, and services. You can also look for information on student organizations, clubs, and events that you may be interested in. Knowing what to expect can help you adjust more easily to your new surroundings.

Start your search for acommodation early

Finding suitable accommodation in Stockholm can be challenging due to high demand and limited availability. Start your search early and consider using Hemavi. We're a matchmaking platform for roommates and shared accommodation – focusing on safety and compatibility, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your living situation.

Obtain your personal number promptly

Your personal number, or personnummer, is a unique identifier that you'll need for accessing various services in Sweden, such as healthcare, online banking, and gym memberships. As soon as you arrive in Stockholm, visit the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) to apply for a personal number. This will make settling into your new life much easier.

Learn the language

While most Swedes speak English fluently, learning Swedish will help you assimilate more easily and navigate daily life. It is also a great way to show your respect for the local culture. There are numerous language courses and apps available to help you get started.

Some common Swedish phrases that you may find useful include:

  • Hej (Hello)
  • Tack (Thank you)
  • Ursäkta mig (Excuse me)
  • Var ligger…? (Where is…?)
  • Jag heter… (My name is…)

Embrace a cashless society

Stockholm is at the forefront of the cashless revolution. Most establishments, including restaurants, shops, and public transportation, do not accept cash. It's important to familiarize yourself with digital payment methods like Bank ID, which is used for online banking and identification, and Swish, a popular mobile payment app.

Practice "lagom"

"Lagom" is a Swedish word that roughly translates to "just the right amount" or "moderate" in English. It is a cultural concept that is deeply ingrained in Swedish society and reflects the values of balance, harmony, and equality. The concept of lagom is about finding a comfortable and sustainable way of living that is not excessive or wasteful, and it is a key part of Swedish culture.

Make use of student services and resources

As an international student in Stockholm, you will have access to a range of student services, including counseling, career advice, and language support. These services can help you navigate the academic and social aspects of university life and make the most of your time in Stockholm.

Many universities in Stockholm offer language courses in Swedish and English, which can help you improve your language skills and meet other international students. You can also take advantage of the university's libraries, computer labs, and study spaces.

Join clubs and organizations

Joining clubs and organizations related to your interests is a great way to meet new people and make friends in Stockholm. There are many student organizations at universities in Stockholm, ranging from sports clubs to academic groups to cultural associations.

By joining a club or organization, you can participate in activities and events that you enjoy, and meet like-minded people who share your interests. This can help you feel more connected to the local community and make your time in Stockholm more enjoyable.

The Dont's of Moving to Sweden

Don't be late

Swedes are known for their punctuality, and being late is considered impolite. If you have an appointment, meeting, or class, make sure you arrive on time. It is also a good idea to let people know in advance if you will be late.

Don't assume everyone speaks English fluently

While most Swedes speak English fluently, it is still polite to learn some basic Swedish phrases and show your respect for the local culture. Don't assume that everyone speaks English, especially older people or those who live in rural areas. Learning some basic Swedish can also help you navigate your surroundings and communicate more easily with locals.

Don't ignore environmental laws

Sweden has a strong commitment to sustainability and recycling, and it is important to follow the country's environmental laws. Make sure you recycle properly and use public transportation or bike-sharing programs instead of driving a car. Also, be mindful of your energy usage and turn off lights and appliances when not in use.

Don't be too loud or rowdy

Swedes value their personal space and quietness, and it is considered impolite to be too loud or rowdy in public places. Keep your voice down and be respectful of others' personal space. This is especially important in residential areas, where noise levels should be kept to a minimum.

Don't expect the same level of socializing

Swedes can be reserved and take time to open up to new people. Don't be discouraged if it takes some time to make friends or socialize with locals. Joining clubs or organizations related to your interests can help you meet like-minded people and make new friends. Also, don't be afraid to initiate conversations and ask questions.

Don't forget to dress warmly

Stockholm can get very cold in the winter months, with temperatures dropping way below freezing. Make sure you have warm clothing and accessories, such as a winter coat, hat, gloves, and boots. Layering is also important, as it allows you to adjust your clothing according to the weather.

Don't miss out on traditional Swedish cuisine

Swedish cuisine is known for its delicious meatballs, herring, and cinnamon buns. Don't be afraid to try new foods and explore the local cuisine. You can also find many international restaurants and cafes in Stockholm, so there is something for everyone.


Moving to Stockholm as an international student can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these dos and don'ts, you can adjust more easily to the new environment and make the most of your time in Stockholm.

Remember to do your research, learn some basic Swedish phrases, apply for a residence permit, make use of student services, join clubs and organizations, take advantage of public transportation, explore the city and the country, be punctual, respect the local culture and laws, be mindful of noise levels, be patient when making friends, dress warmly, and try new foods.

Are you thinking about moving to Sweden? One of the most important elements of your move is finding suitable accommodation, and Hemavi's here to help you with that. With listings across Sweden and a matchmaking algorithm to help you find a compatible roommate, your search for a place in Sweden just got a lot simpler.