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31 Oct. 2022

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Cost of living and prices in Sweden: apartment rent, food, transport

Cost of living
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Cost of living and prices in Sweden: apartment rent, food, transport

An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
An insurance policy is a guarantee of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine
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Most often, when someone thinks about moving to Sweden, the first thing that comes to mind is that living in this European country is very expensive. However, in reality, this is not entirely true. Tourist restaurants and shops are expensive, but the cost of living in Sweden is lower than in 79% of Western European countries.


The capital of the country - Stockholm is undoubtedly the most expensive city. In 2021, it was ranked 72nd out of 209 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living 2021 study. In 2020, Stockholm was still in 133rd place. Stockholm is cheaper than cities like Brussels, Luxembourg and Madrid, but more expensive than Barcelona, ​​Prague and Toronto.


The average budget for a family of 2 will be 2,600 euros (28,000 SEK) per month.


Housing rent and cost of utilities in Sweden


As in most European countries, housing rent in Sweden will be the largest item of expenditure, more than 30% of the budget. The price of the apartment depends on the municipality, the rental area - city or village, and the size of the apartment. Sometimes you can find a cozy studio apartment for less than 1,000 euros (10,000 SEK) a month. However, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is between 1,000 and 2,000 euros (10,000 and 20,000 Swedish kroner). Living in the suburbs is cheaper than in the central parts.


There is a very high demand for rental real estate in Sweden. Renting from the owner is quite difficult. Most often, expats first rent short-term accommodation after moving, so that there is a little more time to find the optimal accommodation. When signing the agreement, the owner may request an employment contract and proof of income. Some landlords require an additional guarantor if they think your income is too low. Payment upon entry of the first and last month's rent is a common request.


The average cost of utilities will be EUR 75 (SEK 800) per month. An interesting fact is that in Sweden, you can choose a company that will provide you with utility services. You can compare prices at the link. However, most often the cost of these services is already included in the rental agreement.


Internet costs EUR 30 (SEK 350) per month.


Prices for food products in Sweden


Food prices in Sweden are higher than average. The family should count on 500-600 euros per month. Prices for locally produced goods are quite moderate. The cost of imported products is much higher due to logistical features. Large European supermarket chains operate in the country. It is cheaper to buy products there than in small shops or markets in Sweden.


A standard dinner in an inexpensive restaurant will cost 30-35 euros (300-400 kroner) per person, a 3-course dinner in a middle-class restaurant will cost 70 euros (800 kroner). The cost of a cappuccino is 2.75-4.5 euros (30-50 kroner), a 0.5 liter bottle of beer from 4.5 to 7 euros (50 to 75 Swedish kronor).


Transport and petrol costs in Sweden


The public transport system in Sweden is very developed. Most of the costs are financed by the state. A one-time ticket costs 2-3.5 euros (20-29 crowns). A monthly pass in Stockholm will cost EUR 83 (SEK 900).

Traveling by car is much more expensive. A liter of gasoline in the country costs €1.96 (21 crowns). Parking costs are also significant.

Medical services


Sweden has one of the best publicly funded healthcare systems in the world. All permanent residents of Sweden, including expats, have access to the healthcare system.

The surcharge for a doctor's consultation for insured persons is minimal, 10-15 euros (110-160 crowns). The state also covers a significant percentage of costs for prescription drugs.

If you need urgent medical care, but you do not yet have a Swedish tax number, you can receive treatment at your local emergency center (närakut).

For those planning a short-term trip to Sweden, travel insurance will come in handy.

As a reminder, Sweden provides asylum to Ukrainians. Also, for those planning a trip to this country, it will be interesting to read how to save on museums and activities in Stockholm.