Best Places To Live In Sweden

Best places to live in Sweden: Where to live in Sweden

When it comes to finding the best places to live in Sweden, you’ll have no shortage of options. In 2020, Sweden ranked number one on the “Good Country Index”. The index ranks how nations contribute to the common good of humanity.

Sweden is also number 6 on the list of the happiest countries in the world, and it frequently ranks in the top 10 of the “best countries in the world” according to US news.

While Sweden might not have the biggest population, or the warmest summers of any country, it offers an exceptional quality of life to every citizen. The country also has some of the most beautiful views and wonderful outdoor spaces in the world.

The question is, of the various Swedish cities and towns available for expats, which should be the place you call home?

Where is the best place to live in Sweden?

We have a couple of points to note before we begin our search for the best city in Sweden to live in. The first thing to note is life in Sweden for foreigners can be fantastic. However, there are some major differences to other parts of the world.

For instance, Sweden is home to some of the highest taxes anywhere, with tax rates reaching around 57% for some people. This means you might find your after-tax salary looks a lot lower than expected.

Just remember, you do get sick leave, pensions, health care, childcare, parental leave, elder care, and so much more as part of the equation.

Notably, some locations in Sweden will be more expensive than others. If you choose a capital city, like Stockholm, or a larger city like Malmö, you can expect to spend more on everything from rent or home costs, to eating out.

Where do most foreigners live in Sweden?

According to Wikipedia, the largest number of immigrants in Sweden are usually concentrated in urban areas like Svealand and Götaland. However, there are plenty of alternative options.

Stockholm is a great choice if you’re looking for a lot of things to do and see on a regular basis, as well as plenty of job opportunities. You may also appreciate Malmö if you’re moving at a younger age.

Where is the safest place to live in Sweden?

It’s hard to find a location not considered “safe” in Sweden. The majority of the country is extremely safe for both locals, and visitors. However, according to a survey published by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, some regions are “safer” than others.

The list of the safest locations in Sweden considers things like crime and theft, accidents, and fires.

The number one safest place was Hammaro, outside of Karlstad, followed by Vaxholm, just north of the capital city of Stockholm.

Cheapest place to live in Sweden

While Stockholm might be one of the most popular places to live in Sweden, it’s far from the least expensive. Gothenburg, Uppsala, Malmo, and Stockholm are some of the more expensive areas to consider.

Alternatively, regions like Norrkoping and Jonkoping are a lot cheaper.

When searching for cheaper places to live in Sweden, make sure you weigh the cost of living against the potential earnings in the city.

Where to live in Sweden: The top places to live in Sweden

Now we’ve covered some of the basics about Swedish life, we can dive into our exploration of where to live in Sweden. Keep in mind, each of the locations listed below will have its own distinct benefits for different kinds of people.

We’d definitely recommend visiting Sweden before you move to get a taste for the culture and lifestyle in different regions.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

1. Stockholm

Population: 975,551

Famous for: The iconic city hall, Abba Museum, the world’s first open-air museum, and the incredible Stockholm archipelago.

Cost of living: Around $2,556 per month for a single person. 

Starting with the most obvious choice, Stockholm is by far one of the best places to live in Sweden — if you can afford the prices. As the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm has the largest population, as well as some of best things to do and see.

Stockholm is a diverse location, where there are a lot of expats, so you’re sure to discover a melting pot of cultures and personalities. The city is home to the world’s first national park, which covers the areas of Djurgården, Haga, Ulriksdal, and Brunnsviken.

Stockholm is also where you’ll find the world’s largest spherical building, countless cyclists, and a wide selection of stunning world heritage sites. Interestingly, in recent years, the city has also become a bit of a hub for technology innovators.

As one of the cleanest cities in the world, Stockholm is ideal for those with a love of the planet. There are tons of parks and of course, the surrounding archipelagos to explore in your spare time.

Find things to do and places to stay in Stockholm.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

2. Gothenburg

Population: 579,281

Famous for: The Liseberg Amusement Park, Slottsskogen Park, the Gothenburg archipelago, and the Gothenburg Botanical garden.

Cost of living: Around $2,130 per month for a single person. 

As the second largest city in Sweden, Gothenburg is another top choice for expats. Located on the western coast, Gothenburg is a city which attracts people from all around the globe. The city is a major transportation hub for goods, with the largest port in Scandinavia.

Gothenburg offers plenty of jobs, with a strong blue-collar history, and Volvo is the largest employer. There’s also a massive recreation, arts, and cultural lifestyle in Gothenburg, similar to Stockholm.

However, the prices of living are a little bit cheaper.

When you’re living in Gothenburg, you’ll have no shortage of things to do and see when you’re not working or handling everyday chores. The historic Haga district is particularly appealing to those who want a taste of history.

It’s also worth noting Gothenburg shares Stockholm’s appeal as one of the cleaner cities in the world, with minimal problems regarding trash.

Find things to do and places to stay in Gothenburg.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

3. Malmö

Population: 344,166

Famous for: A wide selection of stunning city parks, Malmöhus Castle, the Malmo Art Gallery, and the Modern Museum of Art.  

Cost of living: Around $2,012 per month for a single person. 

Malmö is frequently considered the art and culture hub of the Swedish landscape. If you’re looking for places to live in Sweden with a younger, more student-friendly vibe, this could be the place for you.

Located on the southwestern coast, Malmö is also the third largest city in Sweden.

Malmö is a little further south than Stockholm, so you can expect slightly warmer temperatures during the summer here, as well as less snow during the winter.

The shipping industry in the region has shrunk somewhat over the last 50 years, but the location remains an important transport hub for those travelling to both Norway and Denmark.

As mentioned above, the population in Malmö is usually a little younger, with a lot of the residents under the age of 40. There’s also a strong hipster scene, though blue collar construction and transportation jobs remain common.

The city has growing tech industry, which is helping to grab the attention of a much more tech-focused selection of expats.

Malmö is also home to the headquarters of companies like IKEA. If you’re looking for culture, art, and a hipster-driven, younger vibe, this could be the ideal place for you to live.

Find things to do and places to stay in Malmö.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

4. Uppsala

Population: 177,074

Famous for: Being one of the oldest cities in Sweden. Home to universities, an amazing cathedral, and the legacy of Carl Linnaeus.

Cost of living: Around $1,523 per month for a single person (rent only).

Uppsala is a lot smaller than the capital city of Stockholm, but it’s still a location well worth considering for life in Sweden. North of Stockholm (about 45 miles), Uppsala is the seat of the Church of Sweden, and it’s the location of the oldest university in Scandinavia.

The historic quarter of Uppsala lies on the western side, where the university, church, and various museums are also available to visit. On the eastern side, you’ll find more residential and commercial areas to explore.

The region of Uppsala is also surprisingly a leader in the biotech industry.

While rental prices and the overall cost of living in Uppsala are still quite high compared to other regions in the world, they’re much lower than in Stockholm. This could make the city more appealing to those with a limited budget.

Find things to do and places to stay in Uppsala.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

5. Västerås

Population: 127,799

Famous for: The birth of H&M (the clothing retailer), Västerås Cathederal, Vallby Open Air Museum and the Kungsbyn Animal Park

Cost of living: Around $1,431 per month for a single person.

Västerås is another of the larger cities in Sweden, located around 60 miles to the west of Stockholm. The region is located closer to the center of the Sweden, where the Baltic sea connects to lake Mälaren.

For lovers of natural beauty and kayaking, this is definitely a great place to live.

If you’re wondering where to live in Sweden with access to a lot of history and heritage, this could be the place for you. Västerås is home to Viking burial mounds, old churches, and ancient wells, as well as a range of museums.

Despite its connection with history, Västerås is emerging as a more industrial city, with a lot of jobs available for those in engineering and manufacturing. The region is also home to the largest heat and power plant in Sweden.

We’d definitely recommend spending your weekends exploring the treasured history of Sweden if you’re planning to move to Västerås.

Find places to stay in Västerås.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

6. Örebro

Population: 155,989

Famous for: Örebro Castle, incredible natural views, and plenty of history. It’s also regarded the “heart of Sweden” by many locals.

Cost of living: Around $1,280 per month for a single person.

Despite being one of the largest places to live in Sweden in terms of population, Örebro is surprisingly affordable for many expats. The location is situated around 60 miles west of Västerås, with connections between the Baltic sea, the Hjälmaren Lake and the Svartan River.

The convenient central location makes Örebro a great hub for transportation among many shipping companies, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a job if you’re moving here.

It’s worth noting this city is also earning the nickname of “Robot Valley” due to its connection to many world-leading robotics companies.

Örebro is a place of culture and history, where you can learn more about the background of Sweden, and the people who you’ll be living with. You’ll also find a host of beautiful places to explore during your free time here.

In terms of costs, most people in Örebro find the majority of their income goes to rent, with food and other cost-of-living expenses somewhat less expensive.

Find places to stay in Örebro.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

7. Linköping

Population: 161,499

Famous for: The Göta Canal, Linköping Cathedral, the Air Force Museum, the Open Air Museum and Stora Torget.

Cost of living: Around $985 (without rent).

Known for a range of must-visit attractions and incredible sights, Linköping boasts two stunning canals, a fantastic history, and a local university.

The region is home to the Church of Sweden cathedral, and is home to a number of employers, including a range of software companies, medical tech brands, and Saab airplanes.

The city is charming but surprisingly modern, with a range of recreational activities, culture, and arts adventures to explore. For many locals, it’s similar to living in Stockholm, without the excessive prices.

Although the cost of living in Linköping can be expensive, it’s nothing compared to what you’d see in the capital city.

Perhaps one of the most impressive areas in Linköping is Stora Torget, the main square of the region, which offers a host of energetic experiences for travellers and locals.

There are countless beautiful street cafes and restaurants here during the summer months, as well as a lights festival in the winter for the holiday season.

Find places to stay in Linköping.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

8. Helsingborg

Population: 112,496

Famous for: The Kärnan Tower, the Fredriksdal Open-Air Museum, Sofiero Castle, Topikariet (an indoor zoo), the amazing town hall, and Dunker Culture House.

Cost of living: Around $854 (without rent).

Helsingborg is a beautiful and charming location on the coast of Sweden, situated at the narrowest point of the Øresund Strait. The location acts as a busy port, as well as an industrial and commercial town, with a lot of wonderful locations to visit trade fairs and conferences.

It’s also the main channel of communication by the sea between Sweden and Denmark.

While the port has lost some of it’s impact over the years due to the creation of the Øresund Bridge, it’s still a destination which appeals to a wide range of expats and tourists.

Helsingborg is well-known for its amazing dining scene, where you can discover everything from delightful Swedish specialties to exotic dishes from around the world.

Helsingborg is also home to the famous Kärnan which is a top spot among tourists. This brick tower stands around 35 meters high and is located at the upper end of the market square. According to historians, this tower was originally part of a Danish fortress.

Find things to do and places to stay in Helsingborg.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

9. Eskilstuna

Population: 67,359

Famous for: Munktellmuseet, the Parken Zoo, Rademachersmedjorna, Gamla Staden, the Viking inscription of Sigurdsristningen.

Cost of living: Around $1259 per month.

The cost of living in Eskilstuna is similar to the average worldwide, so you can expect a much more affordable lifestyle than you’d get elsewhere in Sweden. The location might not be as packed as some of the larger cities in Sweden, but it has a lot of beauty and culture to offer.

It’s also home to a lot of Swedes who speak Finnish.

The city was once the largest producer of steel for Sweden, during the industrial revolution. It continues to be an important industrial destination today, featuring the presence of many major companies like Volvo, and ASSA locks and keys.

The city is also home to one of Sweden’s largest hospitals, which employs around 3000 people.

One of the most interesting things about Eskilstuna is Sigurdsristningen, a unique Viking inscription evoking the Sigurd saga. The pattern has been etched into a slab of rock in the ground, and it dates back thousands of years.

Find places to stay in Eskilstuna.

Best Places To Live In Sweden

10. Jönköping

Population: 93,797

Famous for: The Matchstick Museum, Habo Church, and the Jönköping Stadspark. There’s also the Sofiakyrkan Church and Jönköpings Läns Museum

Cost of living: Around $896 (without rent)

Finally, Jönköping is a tranquil and compelling location in southern Sweden. Because you’re further south, you should be able to enjoy slightly warmer winters here. Additionally, you have the option to explore three different lakes, including the second largest in Sweden, Vättern.

The picturesque city is home to locations like the matchstick museum, and an incredible selection of architecture, including the Habo Church. There’s the Jönköping Stadspark too, where you’ll find a range of historic buildings and ruins from centuries ago.

What’s more, the Jönköpings Läns Museum is home to John Bauer’s wide selection of drawings and sketching.

There’s also a Local Radio Museum, as well as the Rosenlunds Rosarium where you can discover more than 500 different types of roses.

Find places to stay in Jönköping.

Is it very expensive to live in Sweden?

One of the most shocking things about live in Sweden for foreigners is how expensive the location can be. Sweden has some of the highest taxes in the world, and the cost of buying a house can be very high too.

While the cost of renting in a Swedish city can be quite affordable, the fact taxes take such a huge amount of your monthly salary can make life a little difficult.

Costs for utilities, food, and other common goods average out to similar prices as you’d find elsewhere in the world. However, you can spend quite a lot on entertainment and restaurant trips if you’re not careful, especially in certain Swedish cities like Stockholm.

The most affluent area of Sweden is located just North of Sweden, in the Danderyd Municipality, where the average net wealth is around $400k per capital. However, housing prices are extremely high in this area, though the average income is higher too.

Choosing where to live in Sweden

There are a number of factors which can influence your choice of the best places to live in Sweden. The good news is regardless of what your budget might be, or where you’d like to find yourself employed when you move to a new country, Sweden has a lot of options.

Sweden’s cities are home to a huge amount of history, heritage and beauty. You’ll find endless opportunities to enjoy your free time soaking up the wonders of the Scandinavian landscape.

Plus, you can rest assured you’ll be welcomed into the region with open arms. Sweden is already home to a wide selection of foreigners, and it’s full of friendly people.

Our advice is if you’re thinking on moving to Sweden, take some time to visit some of the destinations mentioned above first. This will give you an insight into what life in each city is really like before you settle down and start searching for an apartment to rent.

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