Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The cradle of social welfare, where taxes are quite high, but services are also top quality, compared to other countries in the World (cough cough USA). A place where everybody is fit and you can see a lot of people from different cultures and races speaking Swedish and English. I’ll explain that in a bit.
So, let’s begin!
Is it worth going to Stockholm in the winter ?
Yes, of course it is. If you like snow, like me, You’ll love Stockholm, which in the winter months receive some decent amount of snow, so you will be able to enjoy the city. I’ve been there in February and the town in the evening looked amazing, especially near the city center.
When I’ve arrived in town, it was also nice and quite. I’ve popped out in commercial center for five minutes, and when I’ve got out, it started snowing so heavily that we could barely see our way home.
So yeah, there are some nice perks of going in Stockholm during the winter. However, bring proper foot gear, since the roads and sidewalks to tend to freeze. Mostly because of the strong wind that hits the area regularly.
Is life expensive in Stockholm ?
That depends. If you come a country like Romania, where the base salary is quite small (around 400 euro), then yes, Stockholm is pretty expensive. But if you live in Germany, France or UK, Stockholm would be like any European capital city.
What I have notices, while walking in different stores and shops, is that the prices for food and different types of goods are a bit higher compared to the rest of the Europe. Simple example: A 2 L Coca Cola bottle would cost you 3 euros in Stockholm, compared with 2.30 in a place like Munchen.
Rent is also quite expensive. If you want to live somewhere close to the city center (close meaning 3 or 4 km), that you better have around 1500 euro for a 2 bedroom apartment.
However, most of the working people of Sweden get somewhere around 2000 euros per month and live a bit far from the city center, where the rent is somewhere around 1000 euros per month. Depends on what you really want: wake up early and get a train to work or pay more, but have no commute.
Commute is not that expensive, but you can expect leaving around 300 euros per month, if you don’t want to have restriction while staying in Stockholm.
How are the people in Stockholm ?
Well, I didn’t really got to interact with a ton of people. If you something about Scandinavia, you know that people don’t want to be disturbed on the street by strangers asking them questions, they just want to mind their own business.
But from what did I see, there are quite a lot of kids in the city (and a lot of twins, a lot of double baby trolleys) and the city is quite diverse. As I’ve said at the start of the article, I’ve seen a lot of types of people speaking Swedish, no matter that they were Kazakh, Japanese, Chinese, Congolese, Moroccan or Portuguese.
Stockholm became a hub for a lot of different population groups, but most of the population (around 80 % it’s still from Sweden proper), with only around 20 % being from other nationalities, like Finns (of course), Iraqis, Iranians, Polish, Somalian, Turks and Chinese.
One more thing about the people: they are very fit. I mean, for a while, I thought I was the heaviest person in all of Stockholm. There is however a good reason for it: swedes love to jog, run, skate and cycle. They also love sweets, that’s why they probably have enough energy for everything.
They have 24 h gyms, if you have trouble with weight they will council you. You know, some socialist things to keep the population healthy. Which brings us to the next question…
How many degrees of separation is Sweden from the Soviet Union ?
Many. Many degrees of separation. Although Sweden is one of the well know socialist countries, that doesn’t mean applying all the principles that led to the Soviet Union disaster. They apply socialist policies to make their population better as a whole.
That’s why the high taxes (between 25 and 40 % of what you earn there), but they offer quality medical services, pregnancy and birth leaves for mother (and fathers) and social services for the poor people. Not that were to many before 2000, but since the EU extending it’s number of countries and the African and Middle East crises, the number of people in need in Sweden had risen over the years.
They do manage to keep a good balance sheet and keep most of the population happy. So no chances of seeing Sweden declaring war on neighboring nations or starving it’s own people.
That sound great. How do I move to Stockholm ?
So, before even consider moving to Stockholm, it’s better to have an offer from a Swedish company. Just going there and trying to find a job would not be that easy. Although they don’t really say it, they prefer to hire from the local pool of people before considering someone from outside of Sweden.
Getting there and searching for a job would not really help you, since you would need a place to stay while you are searching for a job. Maybe you have some cash on disposal, but I think it’s easier to get there if a Swedish company wants you that searching you for a job for a Swedish company.
OK then, I’ll just come as a tourist. What can I see in Stockholm ?
Well, there are some interesting sites to see. City center would be start, with a lot of old building nicely shaped and the King’s Palace. Most of the Stockholm’s architecture is similar with Copenhagen, Oslo or Amsterdam.
But the best bit of Stockholm can be found on the Djurgården Island, where you can find the best museums in the area, like ABBA Museum, Natural History Museum and the jewel beauty, the Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet).
It’s basically a huge boat made by the Swedish King in the XVIII century that fell to the bottom of the port cause the design was quite bad. They didn’t bother getting it up until the middle of the 20th century and surprisingly, the ship was in good shape. So they dragged it near the island and put in a museum for people to see. The ship is huge (7 stories high), decorated with a lot of art and stuff. I’m not really an art of a ship expert, you might want to check the ship yourself for that.
If you are a Shopping fan, you can always try the Scandinavia Mall in Solna, which is basically a huge mall with a lot of stuff in it. I did actually but two sweaters that I couldn’t find in Romania, so I’m quite happy with the walk there.
In the summer I understand that you could go swimming in the many lakes around Stockholm. Maybe that’s an interesting experience for you, dear reader.
Stockholm is a nice city. Expensive, safe, with a ton of sweets in any store, with everything (even bread) sweetened to the extreme for my senses. Even the potato chips had some sugar near the salt flavor.
It’s no wonder that the Swedes are some of the happiest people on the earth, and those who live in Stockholm are one of the happiest.
Would I visit again ? For sure.