Living in Sweden Pros and Cons

Removals to Sweden | Moving to Sweden

Living in Sweden

Is Sweden the Right Fit for You? Examining the Upsides and Downsides of Living in Scandinavia

If you’re considering a move to Sweden for work, this article will give you some idea of what living in Sweden is like. It’s a progressive society with a thriving job market, offering an appealing destination for professionals looking for new experiences. From the cosmopolitan cities of Stockholm and Malmö to the stunning natural landscapes, Sweden provides a stable and welcoming environment.


Schepens specialises in removals to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. For over 100 years we have been providing stress-free removals to families, students and professionals looking to experience the Sweden lifestyle. We make weekly runs to locations across this beautiful country which gives us a detailed insight into the pros and cons of living in Sweden.

A GUIDE TO LIVING IN SWEDEN

  1. Pros of Living in Sweden
  2. Cons of Living in Sweden 
  3. Finding a Job in Sweden
  4. Is Sweden a Safe Place to Live?
  5. Is Living in Sweden Expensive?
  6. Moving to Sweden

WHAT DO MOVERS THINK OF LIVING IN SWEDEN?

Schepens Removals is a UK moving company that specialises in helping individuals relocate to Sweden. As one of the UK’s closest neighbours, Sweden offers a stunning location for those seeking a new home. Despite its proximity, though, Swedish culture differs significantly from that of the UK. To gain insight into these differences, we asked some of our movers, now living in Sweden, to tell us about the pros and cons, from their perspective.

PROS OF LIVING IN SWEDEN

THERE’S A GREAT WORK/LIFE BALANCE

The Swedish attitude towards employees is one of trust and support. Working in Sweden is all about negotiating a work/life balance that means you bring the best of yourself into the office every day. There’s plenty of evidence this works, too. Productivity levels in Sweden are really high, despite the fact employees work to a 40-hour week and overtime is rare. There’s also generous holiday allowances which means that you don’t burn out.

THERE’S A GREAT WORK LIFE BALANCE

SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT IN THE CITIES

Swedish culture values the environment and each other. That means keeping the city or neighbourhood where you live looking good, and not assuming it’s someone else’s job to do it. Sustainability is important in Sweden, and this is backed up by an excellent transport system that makes commuting attractive. There are trams, trains and buses to get to and from work, which are clean and run on time, so the need for a car is minimal in the city.

HEALTHY LIVING IS NORMAL

HEALTHY LIVING IS NORMAL

A healthy lifestyle seems to be part of the Scandinavian DNA. Most of the Swedes I’ve met are involved in sports, one way or another. It may be hiking, ice hockey, or sailing but getting outside and active is a norm for weekends.

This maybe why Sweden takes air pollution so seriously. There’s rigorous government regulation governing the dumping of chemicals, and the handling of domestic waste. As a result, Sweden’s air beats the targets set by the World Health Organisation but there’s still a way to go to clear pollution completely.

FREE ACCESS TO AN EXCELLENT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

The Swedish government is committed to providing the very best healthcare services without charging individuals a fortune to access them. The Swedish health services is mostly funded by taxes, and it appears to be really robust. It’s not difficult to get an appointment to see GP (known as Specialists in Family Medicine), and I hear that referrals are fast and efficient.


CONS OF LIVING IN SWEDEN

THE WEATHER CAN GET YOU DOWN

Don’t underestimate the impact dark, cold, and rainy winters have on life in Sweden. Most people here get sick of the long winter and crave the warmth and sun which comes their way for just 6 months of the year. Because this is something that happens regularly, though, the Swedes are adept at dealing with it. There’s plenty of information about taking Vitamin D throughout the winter, and I take at least an hour outside each day, which really helps.

THE WEATHER CAN GET YOU DOWN

SWEDISH IS THE PREFERRED LANGUAGE

Only really a ‘con’ if you don’t speak Swedish and you don’t want to learn. Most Swedes speak at least 2 or 3 languages, and they expect others to do the same. You can get by fairly easily with English, but if you want to really get to know the people you work with, learn Swedish.

The good news is that Swedish is relatively easy to learn if you speak English. It’s part of the Germanic language family – as is English – and a lot of words are the same in both languages. Swedish may look difficult, but it’s considered to be on a par with French, and we all managed that to some degree at school!

THE STATE CONTROLS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

THE STATE CONTROLS ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Living in Sweden means accepting that the role of government is greater than in the UK. One ways you’ll experience this is the ‘government-controlled alcohol store’. These were created to control alcoholism back in the 1950s and they’re still around; they’re the only place you can buy drinks that contain more than 3.5% alcohol.

LIVING IN SWEDEN CAN BE LONELY

It feels hard to admit this, as there was so much about my year in Stockholm that was brilliant, but I did find it very hard to make friends. I tried meeting up with expat groups with only with limited success. I joined in with fika at work, and tried to be chatty and friendly, but with limited Swedish I found it very difficult, and I put on weight! I went through a stage of feeling un-liked, but I think what I was experiencing was Swedish reserve in action. Having a better grasp of the language would really have helped.


FINDING A JOB IN SWEDEN

Since leaving the EU, UK residents need a work visa to live and get a job in Sweden. Employment opportunities in Sweden still abound, however, so long as you have the necessary qualifications, training, and language skills. The Migration Agency’s Job Shortage List is a valuable resource to explore, as matching skills in high demand significantly increases your chances of obtaining a work visa.

Meeting the requirements for a job offer:

  • The position must be advertised to Swedish/EU/EEA workers for at least 10 days.
  • The employment terms should align with Swedish collective agreements.
  • The minimum monthly gross salary should be at least SEK 13,000 (£1,097).
  • The employer must be willing to provide insurance coverage.

An eligible job offer means you can proceed with the work visa application: 

  1. Your employer will initiate the application process by submitting details of the offered role and your basic information via email.
  2. You will receive an email outlining the application process, including the option to apply for permits for accompanying family members.
  3. Prepare and submit the required documentation, while keeping in mind that an application fee will be applicable.
  4. The Migration Agency will process your application, and if necessary, you may need to present your passport at a Swedish Embassy in the UK.
  5. The Migration Agency will communicate their decision to you. If granted a work visa, you can proceed with your travel plans to Sweden.
  6. Upon arrival in Sweden, it is essential to register with the Swedish Population Register.

IS SWEDEN A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE?

Sweden is widely regarded as one of the safest countries to live in. With its low crime rates, efficient law enforcement, and robust social welfare system, residents enjoy a high level of personal safety and security. The Swedish government prioritises the well-being of its citizens, maintaining a stable and peaceful environment.

While no place is entirely free from risk, Sweden’s emphasis on social equality, strict gun control laws, and comprehensive safety measures contribute to its reputation as a safe haven.

IS LIVING IN SWEDEN EXPENSIVE?

Living in Sweden can be relatively expensive compared to some other countries. While the cost of living you experience will vary depending on location and personal lifestyle, factors such as high taxes, and grocery price levels contribute to the perception of Sweden as a costly destination. A cost comparison with London shows that housing in Stockholm tends to be cheaper, but groceries and other consumables are significantly more expensive.

IS LIVING IN SWEDEN EXPENSIVE?

However, it is essential to consider the quality of life and the comprehensive public services that Sweden offers in return. Additionally, competitive wages, strong social welfare benefits, and a focus on work-life balance definitely help to mitigate the higher costs.

Want to know more about living in Sweden? Take a look at our Complete Guide to Moving to Sweden; we give you loads of tips on preparing for your move, but there’s also guidance on settling in to your new home, and acclimatising to a new culture.

STRESS-FREE REMOVALS TO SWEDEN WITH SCHEPENS

Choosing a moving company with experience of removals to Sweden can make all the difference to your stress-levels. They’ll have knowledge of local regulations, customs procedures, and logistical challenges specific to the region. Their expertise ensures a smoother transition, efficient handling of paperwork, and adherence to legal requirements.

Schepens is a 4th generation, family-run removals company which specialises in moving to Scandinavia. We’ve built a powerful reputation, over the past century, for stress-free removals to Sweden. How do we do it? It’s all about experience. We make weekly runs to locations across the country, which means we can offer flexible scheduling. Our regular trips make the cost more affordable, and we can help with your customs paperwork.

TAILORED REMOVALS TO SCANDINAVIA

TAILORED REMOVALS TO SCANDINAVIA

A move to Sweden takes a good deal of organisation, especially if you’re new to the country. That’s why we assign experienced move co-ordinators to each mover. These are people who have organised hundreds of removals to Sweden and can offer guidance every inch of the way. They will create a tailored removals plan for you, based on your specific requirements.


FAQs

Schepens has prepared a guide for Moving to Sweden From the UK As well as offering advice on preparing for your move, it also considers the first few months of living in Sweden, pros and cons of working in Sweden, and making friends in a different culture. If you have a specific query, though, here are some questions we’re asked regularly about a move to Sweden from UK:

Yes, we find that our service is popular with movers. Schepens BAR trained packers pack up your home in just hours. We use professional, eco-friendly packing materials to ensure the safety of your items whilst in transit to Sweden.

  1. We’ll arrange a survey (online or in-person) of everything you want included in your move to Sweden. Once we know what that includes, we’ll prepare a free, detailed, and accurate removals quote to help with your budgeting.
  2. A tailored removals plan is created by your move co-ordinator, and your move to Sweden is scheduled. As we make weekly runs to Sweden, we can be fairly flexible. If your plans change, your move co-ordinator can adapt your schedule for you.
  3. If you’re using the Schepens packing service, our packing team will pack up your home, using professional, eco-friendly packing materials. We are familiar with Swedish customs regulations and can help with the paperwork.
  4. Our removals team pack your items into the removals vehicle and transport it to your new home.
  5. Your goods are unloaded for you and placed.

Your goods will be shipped in one of our state-of-the-art removals vehicles which run on air ride suspension and boast an adjustable bearing system, ensuring little or no movement of vehicle content. If you are including a specialist item in your move, such as fine art, antiques, or a piano, our specialist team will arrange bespoke packing, handling, and shipping in advance.

Schepens provide insurance cover for all items being shipped to Sweden whilst in transit. If you require additional Extended Liability or Accidental Damage insurance cover, your move co-ordinator can arrange it for you.

We have a number of local, self storage facilities. Schepens makes storage as simple and flexible as possible for movers.

  • The storage container is delivered.
  • Help with packing and loading is available if required.
  • A detailed inventory of storage items is prepared.
  • The storage container is sealed and then stored.
  • Default 24-hour CCTV coverage covers all our storage facilities.
  • Storage units are not accessed by anyone but their owner.

SECOND-TO-NONE CUSTOMER SERVICE

“We moved out of our house in Surrey and had two different destinations for our furniture and belongings – one to our house in Sweden and one for storage that is going to London when we’re ready to move in there.

Nothing was ever a problem for Schepens, they did a survey via FaceTime with us to see what was going where and quickly came back with a quote for everything. They advised us on the various forms we needed and handled all the complexity of insurance and EU/Sweden customs.

The teams moving our things were professional, friendly and efficient. They kept all timings as promised and the quote held all the way. We are very happy with Schepens and would use them again.”

Johan and Melanie


IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING A MOVE TO SWEDEN CALL 01794 323558 TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE FULL RANGE OF SUPPORT WE CAN OFFER FOR YOUR REMOVALS.