Cost of Living in Stockholm: 2021 Monthly Expenses

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If you are planning to move to Stockholm, then maybe you are wondering about how much it costs to live here and you have probably already read different articles about the cost of living in Stockholm.

Although you can easily find the breakdown online, it also helps get an overview of personal experiences. In this post, you will see every expense you need to consider when living in Sweden.

Few things to keep in mind

  1. Everyone has different living expenses in Stockholm. 
  2. There is a housing shortage in Stockholm, so renting an apartment is more expensive. 

In this comprehensive guide, I have included everything you need to know to make your life abroad easy!

Average salary in Stockholm

When you got a job in Sweden and you need to apply for a work permit, the salary requirement from Migrationsverket for you to support yourself is at least 13.000 SEK (~$1500) per month before taxes.

The average salary in Stockholm according to the SCB (Statistics Sweden) data in 2020 is 32.000 SEK (~$3800) per month.

Obviously, your salary depends on your occupation and work experience. Here are some of the reliable sites for you to check the salary per occupation:

What is the average cost of living in Stockholm per month?

The average cost of living in Stockholm per month is around 10.000 SEK (~$1,200) per person without rent.

When I was living alone, I can go as low as 8.000 SEK (~$960) per month without rent. In 2021, now that my husband is living with me, our cost of living in Stockholm per month is around 20.500 SEK (~$2,477) including our mortgage.

Because of the current situation, we rarely go out and don’t have to spend much on our commute. That’s why we managed to lower our expenses.

According to the data in Numbeo, the living costs in Stockholm for a single person is 9,338.21 SEK without rent.

So, the estimated monthly costs really depend on the person. But, now that you got an idea of the monthly expenses, it will make more sense if you know the breakdown.

How to travel between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Stockholm City

Stockholm Arlanda Airport is an international airport in the north of Stockholm City. If you just arrived in Stockholm, you have a few options to travel between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Stockholm City.

Traveling between Stockholm Arlanda Airport to Stockholm City can cost you between 119 SEK (~$15) to around 500 SEK (~$60).

Flygbussarna

Flygbussarna is an airport bus that takes you to Stockholm City for approximately 47 min. only. The ticket costs only 119 SEK (~$15) if you purchased online or via the app.

This is what I usually use when traveling to the airport alone.

Flixbus

I haven’t tried Flixbus before, but you can also take Flixbus when traveling to the city from the airport. The cost is relatively similar to Flygbussarna.

Arlanda Express

Arlanda Express is the fastest way to travel to Stockholm City from the airport. It only takes 18 minutes! The ticket is more expensive than Flygbussarna though. It costs 299 SEK (~$35).

Uber

Uber can cost more but at least it can drop you off directly at your destination. This is convenient especially when you have a lot of luggage.

The Uber ride could cost around 500 SEK (~$60). To get a price estimate, you can plan your trip with Uber’s price estimator.

Taxi Stockholm

Taxi Stockholm is a reliable taxi company in Sweden. Right outside the airport, you will find a few Taxi Stockholm rides. It is a metered taxi, but they also offer a fixed price.

You can book through an app or just take a taxi from the airport. The cost from the airport to the city is also around 500 SEK (~$60).

I personally find taxis more expensive, so I often use Uber.

SL

If you want to use public transportation and don’t mind traveling for 45 minutes, then you can take the commuter train.

SL, Stockholm Public Transport, is the company running public transportation within Stockholm. It allows you unlimited access to the metrocommuter trainrailwaytram stationsbuses, and even boats!

From the Arlanda Central Station, take the commuter train going to Södertälje centrum station. It will be the Pendeltåg linje 40. It is only 10 stops away from the airport. The only disadvantage of taking a commuter train from the airport is its frequency. It leaves every 30 minutes.

A single ticket for 75 minutes costs 38 SEK.

Getting around Stockholm

Public transportation

The convenient way to travel when exploring Stockholm is the SL, Stockholm Public Transport.

You can buy your ticket through their SL app (Android | iOS), SL card, or any contactless debit card from Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

You can only buy up to 30 days validity through the SL app. If you want longer than 30 days, then you need to purchase using the SL card.

ValidityFare
24 hours155 SEK
72 hours310 SEK
7 days405 SEK
30 days930 SEK
90 days2.770 SEK
365 days9.770 SEK
SL Season Tickets

Bikes

Another way to get around Stockholm that is environment-friendly and healthy for you is by bike.

A lot of people usually use bikes, especially during spring or summer. There are several rental options too if you don’t want to buy your own bike.

  • Jonna – this company just opened in September 2020. They offer bike rental for only 229 SEK (~$28) per month, locked-in for 6 months. 
  • Gamla Stans Cykel – short-term bike rental. It costs at least 150 SEK (~$18) for 2 hours.
  • EU Bike – 5 SEK (~$0.60) per 30 minutes. 

Then if you want to buy your own bike, you can find it in one of the sporting goods stores.

Electric Scooters

Electric scooters are also another way of getting around Stockholm. You will often see people using scooters in the inner city of Stockholm.

The startup costs start at 10 SEK (~$1.20) then an additional of at least 2.50 SEK (~$0.30) per minute.

Here are some companies that rent out electric scooters. You just need to download their app to start using the scooter.

Taxis

If you are in a hurry or need to take a cab instead, then there are many taxi options in Stockholm. Here are some of the taxi companies in Stockholm:

Groceries

Buying your own grocery is definitely a part of your life that you cannot escape from! If you just moved to Sweden, you might feel overwhelmed with how you can shop for groceries and get yourself familiar with Swedish words.

To get you started, here are some of the things you need to know when you buy groceries in Sweden:

  1. You need to weigh your own produce. Not all grocery stores have this, but if you see digital scales, you need to weigh your own produce, select the product from the screen, and put the printed barcode to the bag. 
  2. There are self-checkout options.
  3. Some higher-quality meats are locked in a glass cabinet. You need to ask their staff to unlock the cabinet if you want to grab something. 
  4. It’s hard to find specific cuts of meat like pork belly. It’s either you order it online (which is often unavailable) or you go to a butcher shop. 
  5. You need to bring your own plastics or bags. You can buy it but it’s at least 2 SEK.

If you are going to cook your own food, you can expect to spend at least 500 SEK (~$60) per person per week.

When I was living alone, I managed to spend 2.000 (~$240) SEK per month on groceries and only 1.000 (~$120) SEK per month for eating out.

Sample prices in ICA:

  • 2kg jasmine rice – 56 SEK (~$6.75)
  • 1.5L milk – 17,60 SEK (~$2.12)
  • 1.5L lactose-free milk – 23,90 SEK (~$2.88)
  • 6 eggs – 17,90 SEK (~$2.16)
  • 750g corn flakes (Kelloggs) – 43,90 SEK (~$5.30)
  • 750g corn flakes (ICA brand) – 30,90 SEK (~$3.73) 
  • 500mL olive oil – 51 SEK (~$6.15)

Of course, you can order your groceries online. The delivery is only around 50 SEK (~$6).

Some supermarkets in Sweden:

  1. City Gross
  2. Coop 
  3. Hemköp
  4. ICA
  5. Lidl
  6. Willys

And, if you are missing home, there are a few stores around Stockholm!

  • Asian Market 
  • AM Store 
  • Filippinska Asian Market (Filipino Asian Store)
  • The American Food & Gift Store
  • Tasty America

To keep our cost of living low, we decided to cook our food most of the time. We don’t have time to plan our meals for the week, and we always cook the same food every week, so we opted for a meal-kit company, HelloFresh*, that delivers the ingredients and recipes every week!

*You get a 350 SEK discount (I also get a 350 SEK discount) on your first delivery when you used my HelloFresh link.

Eating out & drinking out

In Stockholm, the cost of lunch is different from dinner. The prices are also more expensive on weekends.

You can get a decent meal in an inexpensive restaurant for around 120 SEK (~$17). For example, your ~100 SEK can buy you a pizza or eat at an Asian buffet.

If you want to drink out and just hang out at the bar, you can buy a pint of beer for at least 50 SEK (~$6). In some bars, it can cost 70 SEK (~$8.44).

I often buy cider when I drink out and the cost is similar to beers.

Food delivery services

If you want food delivered to your home, there are quite a few delivery services in Stockholm. The availability depends on your location, though!

From where I live now, which is the outskirts of Stockholm, UberEats is unavailable.

  1. UberEats
  2. Foodora 
  3. Wolt
  4. Delivery Hero 

The delivery fee can cost around 29 SEK to 59 SEK. Some restaurants will also ask for a service fee.

Systembolaget, a state-owned alcohol company

Fun fact: In Sweden, you can only buy alcohols above 3.5% vol in Systembolaget, a state-owned alcohol company. Unless you buy your drinks at the bar!

Buying alcohol in Sweden is a strange shopping experience. You need to plan ahead when you need to buy alcohol. It is open from 10:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and 10:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays.

The good thing is they have a huge range of selections. You can choose to have the alcohol delivered to your home, or you can order it online and pick it up at the store or your nearest service point.

You can buy a beer for as low as 7.90 SEK (~$0.95). Good beers (according to my husband) are cost around 20 SEK (~$2.40). But, what do I know? I’m not a fan of beers!

If you want to browse Systembolaget’s alcohol selection, you can check it on their website.

Renting an apartment

When living in Stockholm, it’s normal to put up a large percentage of your income towards an apartment. When I moved to Sweden in 2018, I paid 12.000 SEK (~$1,400) per month for an old apartment in Stockholm City.

When I got an apartment outside the city, which is bigger (around 50 square meters), newer, and less expensive, I only paid 10,900 SEK (~$1,300).

The rate of renting an apartment in Stockholm can vary depending on the kind of accommodation and its location. Usually, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Stockholm can cost around 10.000 SEK (~$1,200) to 14.000 SEK (~$1,600) per month.

Before deciding on where to live, you should weigh your options and see which is more important for you. For me, I don’t mind commuting at least 30 minutes to the city as long as the place I live is comfortable.

But, if you don’t mind having a roommate, you can also rent a room.

Related post: Looking to rent an apartment in Stockholm, you don’t have the information you need? Read my comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment for rent in Stockholm.

Buying an apartment

Since 2018, I’ve rented 2 apartments in different locations. Just this year, my husband and I moved into our own apartment.

Since renting an apartment in Stockholm is too expensive, you will often hear recommendations from people to buy an apartment instead.

You need a down payment of 15% when buying an apartment in Sweden. If you don’t have the full 15%, some banks can give you a private loan to help you cover the remaining amount.

It is better to buy an apartment since you will pay less than renting. The interest rate here is usually around 1.5% per year only.

The interest rates in the Philippines are usually at least 10% per year!

The only thing I didn’t like when buying an apartment in Stockholm (or in Sweden in general) is you need to bid! Luckily, we didn’t have to bid for the apartment we bought. I have created a separate post about our experience in buying an apartment in Stockholm.

Home Insurance

Aside from landlords requiring you to get your own home insurance, it is better to have peace of mind when it comes to your personal belongings.

Your home insurance covers all of your stuff in the apartment. Even if you are not required to get home insurance, I suggest you do so!

Just last year, there was water leakage in the apartment we were renting. It was a hassle, but my home insurance, Hedvig, made everything easy. Hedvig provided a temporary apartment for us. I only had to pay the 1.500 SEK deductible.

You only need to pay around 150 SEK (~$18) per month for home insurance. The price will still vary. It depends on your type of residence, the size of the apartment, and the number of people that will be covered by the insurance.

Want a 10 SEK discount per month?

Do you want to get a 10 SEK discount per month on your home insurance with Hedvig? Signup using my code 8O928I to get your discount.

Phones & Internet

Luckily, I am not paying for my mobile phone as I get one from work! My husband is with Comviq and he pays 545 SEK (~$65) for an iPhone 12, 64 GB, 10 GB data per month.

If you are on prepaid and prefer to only buy data, for example, you can pay 55 SEK (~$6.63) for 1 GB (this is with Comviq).

Most common mobile operators in Sweden

  1. Halebop 
  2. Hallon
  3. Vimla 
  4. Comviq
  5. Tele2

Internet is usually included in your rent. But, if you have to get your own, you should check what’s already in your apartment. The building associations have partners and you get a cheaper cost on your internet.

I am with Telenor and I only pay 300 SEK (~$36) per month on a 500 Mbps internet.

Entertainment

Any expenses related to having fun are under entertainment! This depends on how you entertain yourself. We mostly don’t spend much here aside from the monthly subscriptions like Spotify and Netflix.

  • Spotify – 109 SEK per month per person
  • Netflix – plans range from 89 SEK to 159 SEK per month
  • Cinema – can range from 140 SEK to 200 SEK

Aside from that, there are times when we buy games online. But, however you want to entertain yourself, there are a lot of options to choose from.

There are also quite a few free fun things to do in Stockholm. Especially if you have the SL card, then you can just go anywhere within Stockholm county.

Gym

It depends on the gym and the plan you choose. Fortunately, I get a yearly health allowance from work where I can spend on a gym membership if I want to.

Usually, you can signup for the gym for as little as 300 SEK (~$36) per month.

Here are a few gyms that you can find in Sweden:

  1. SATS
  2. Fitness24Seven
  3. Puls och Träning
  4. Nordic Wellness

Healthcare

Healthcare in Sweden is not free but inexpensive. There are still public and private healthcare available in Sweden, but the same regulations still apply to both.

If you are a resident in Sweden (you have a personnummer), then seeking healthcare will not be a problem. You can access public healthcare by calling 1177 or booking an appointment at 1177.se.

A doctor’s appointment can cost you between 100 SEK – 300 SEK. If you are hospitalized, you will only need to pay a maximum of 100 SEK per night.

Sweden also has high-cost protection in both outpatient care and medicines.

High-cost protection for outpatient care means you pay a maximum of SEK 1,150 for visits to outpatient care for a period of twelve months. High-cost protection on medicines means you pay a maximum of SEK 2,350 for a period of one year from the first purchase.

You might find it difficult to get an appointment early in public healthcare. Sometimes, you can get an appointment after a month.

Dental care is expensive in Sweden. The price will depend on which dentist you go to, but in my experience, the dentist I went to costs 985 SEK (~$119) for a basic examination. If you are registered in Sweden, you are entitled to a 300 or 600 SEK dental grant per year to save for 2 years.

2021 monthly expenses: Our cost of living in Stockholm

We already tried to lower our expenses on groceries & food. It was way higher before especially when we had access to UberEats.

As for the transportation, we only travel twice a month and we buy a 75-minute ticket worth 38 SEK. If I have to go back to the office most of the week, I will have to buy a 30-day ticket instead worth 930 SEK.

ExpensesAmount (in SEK)
Apartment9.600
Insurances718
Internet300
Groceries7.000
Eating Out/Delivery500
Transportation304
Mobile plan545
Entertainment500
Personal Care1.000
Total monthly cost20.467

I hope this guide about the cost of living in Stockholm helped you get an idea if Stockholm is the right city for you!

If you are still unsure about moving to Sweden, read my post about the unexpected advantages of living abroad or quotes about living abroad to inspire your move.

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