Thinking of moving to Sweden? I think most of us have at some point, as what’s not to like? Sweden is a country with everything to offer from a high quality of life and an excellent health and welfare system to a stunning natural environment that is easy to enjoy.
No matter where you are in Sweden, even in its capital Stockholm, the air is fresh, the waters are clean, and nature is right on your doorstep.
The architecture is stunning all over Sweden, the culture is open and welcoming, and everyone understands English, so there won’t be a communication problem that you might find when moving to other countries either.
There is no wonder why Sweden was voted the top country in the world on the good country index. So now we know that Sweden is worth moving to, or at least visiting, where are the best places to live in Sweden?
Temperature: 14-23°C in summer; -4-0°C in winter
Location: Southeast Coast
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and it’s also recognized as the capital of Scandinavia, and is one of the best cities to live in Sweden. The city is set on 14 different islands that span the estuary of Fjordland of where Lake Ekoln meets the sea. No matter where you are in this stunning city, water and views into the Baltic are never far away.
From a cultural perspective, Stockholm is teeming with diversity while also being connected to its centuries of history and tradition as the royal capital. The architecture is something to behold, and as you turn through the streets of Stockholm, you can see why it’s known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Stockholm also prides itself on its fashion, food, design, drink, lifestyle, and technology. It truly is an urban metropolis that has stayed up to date with the times and there is so much to do. The public transportation system is super efficient, it sweats history and tradition while having everything you’d expect from a city that strives to innovate.
On top of all this, in Stockholm, you can be sailing around a Fjord, swimming in the sea, or walking through a forest within minutes of your apartment. It’s a city that’s hard to beat if you’re looking for a hip-urban lifestyle that is so impeccably integrated with nature.
Temperature: 13-21°C in summer; -3-1°C in winter
Location: Southwest Coast
Gothenburg is the capital of West Sweden, and like Stockholm sits on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It’s the perfect city if you like to travel with quick connections via road and ferry to both Norway and Denmark.
The city itself is a lot smaller than Stockholm with half the population size but still boats new wave thinking, culture, and easy access to the stunning natural surroundings. You are never far from great places to camp in the mountains, seas, lakes, rivers, and forests in Sweden and the Gothenburg Archipelago of Islands takes under 30 minutes to get to and is a beautiful place to explore all times of the year.
The city itself is full of old cobbled streets, outdoor food markets, a lively restaurant scene, beautiful canals, and a lot of wide-open green spaces. There is a lot to enjoy in Gothenburg and it’s also home to the largest botanical garden in Sweden that grows over 16,000 species of plants.
The community in Gothenburg is tight-knit and welcoming. You’ll easily be able to make new friends and with it being a business center, jobs aren’t hard to come by either. There are a number of excellent public schools in Gothenburg too, as well as international schools that teach in English.
The healthcare system is one of the best in the world, and getting around Gothenburg couldn’t be easier. The road system is excellent with minimal traffic, and the extensive public bus and tram network get you around the city quickly and efficiently.
Temperature: 14-22°C in summer; -1-3°C in winter
Location: Southern Tip
Malmö sits on the southern tip of Sweden and was once a city with the shipping industry at its core. The industry broke down and Malmö had to reinvent itself into the alternative tech center it has now become.
Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden and with a relatively low population (a third of Stockholm) it still retains the buzz of city life while being quite relaxed overall. It’s a far cheaper place to live than both Stockholm and Gothenburg, with less expensive rents, restaurant prices, and more.
From an employment perspective, there is quite a lot on offer in Malmö but there is also the option to commute to the nearby city of Lund and even the Danish capital Copenhagen.
Many ex-pats that live in Malmö make the daily trip over the border or up north for work, but choose to live in Malmö for its alternative lifestyle. It’s also great for weekends away, as Copenhagen is an awesome city to spend some time in and experience.
The thing that made Malmö famous and such an appealing place to live in the city’s dedication to Fair Trade. It is labeled as a Fair Trade town and was certified in 2006. When shopping or eating out in Malmö you know that every little thing you spend your money on is doing something good for the world, so you can go on a shopping spree with a clear conscience.
Malmö isn’t a big city, but it’s not too small either. You can get everywhere by bike or through walking thanks to relatively low distances, and the center is almost a car-free zone where biking and public transport are encouraged.
Another great thing about Malmö is there is so much to do. In summer the city is alive with concerts and free events, as well as a great cultural and restaurant scene, plus it’s on the sea. You can spend warm weekends in summer at the beach, sauna, and swimming in the sea, right in the city center.
There are also tons of lakes are forests inland and more coast to explore when you need a break from the city.
Finding a rental in Malmö can be tough and you should try and get on waiting lists as soon as possible. The flats in the popular areas are often all taken, but if you look in the outskirts or surrounding villages you should be able to find something with relative ease. If you’re commuting the train service isn’t as reliable as it should be either, which is worth bearing in mind.
Temperature: 14-22°C in summer; -1-3°C in winter
Location: Southwest Coast
The city of Solna has often been voted the best city in Sweden to live in thanks to its thriving employment opportunities and its proximity to Stockholm. The city has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Sweden which has attracted a huge wave of the industry over the years, making its employment rates and opportunities are excellent, plus Stockholm is an easy commute too.
The city is less than an hour outside of Stockholm and has a much more suburban feel to it. So if you’re looking for a more peaceful existence but with all the opportunities of living near a capital city, Solna might be the place for you.
Being just north of Stockholm means it has access to all the lakes, rivers, islands, and coastline that make the area so incredible for nature lovers. There are huge parks in the city, palaces, beaches, a national park, and of course great restaurants.
It doesn’t quite offer the cultural experiences Stockholm has to offer, but for a more peaceful life outside the city and especially with family, it is one of the best places to live in Sweden.
Temperature: 11-21°C in summer; -11 to -3°C in winter
Location: Northeast Coast
Umeå is known as the regional center of Northern Sweden and is one of the best places to live in Sweden if you love dramatic landscapes and winter sports. Being so far north, it is cold, averaging minus 11 Celsius in winter with a record of minus 38 Celsius which, of course, makes it ideal for ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, and snowboarding.
The winter days aren’t filled with much light but summer brings on beautiful spring and can see temperatures of up to 21 Celcius, plus long hours of daylight. The sun barely sets and you can enjoy the outdoors 24 hours a day if you want to.
The city is home to museums, restaurants, a lot of history and culture. There are great schools, a university and it is on the coast. The views to the west look over the Gulf Of Bothnia, to the east, are mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests, and you have the option of a short ferry ride to Vaasa in neighboring Finland for a weekend away.
In the summer, the city comes alive with Jazz festivals, film, and other music festivals, and it was actually voted a European Cultural Capital in 2014. So even though you’ll be far up north, you’ll have plenty to do in nature and in the city, as long as you can handle the cold.
Temperature: 11-21°C in summer; -3-1°C in winter
Location: Southwest Coast
If you’re looking to live the high-life in Sweden then their version of Hollywood, Marstrand, might the best place to live in Sweden for you.
Just an hour’s driver from Gothenburg is the island of Marstrand known for being the playground for the rich and famous, and the royal family. It is more of a summer town having a steady population of just over a thousand people that almost triples in the summertime when the weather brings alive the stunning beaches and coastline surrounding it.
The island is home to old palaces, museums, great restaurants, and its rich history add an intriguing cultural side that is worth exploring.
The island is dotted with colorful summer houses and in the warmer months is a mecca for sailing and exploring the west coast of Sweden. You can also do a lot of other things like fish and hike, and since Gothenburg isn’t so far away, take in the delights of the city as often as you’d like.
Employment opportunities are not extensive in Marstrand but you do have the option of commuting to Gothenburg while living on the island. It does suit those wanting to retire to Sweden more than someone looking to make their life there in their 20s and 30s though.
Now we know about the best places to live in Sweden, why move there in the first place?
Well from a long-term perspective you’ll have access to excellent healthcare, welfare, and a great education system if you plan on taking or having a family there.
The Swedes are also incredibly welcoming and it’s one of the best countries to live in if you want a life full of nature, culture, and the benefits of modern cities. There aren’t many countries in the world that can say their capital has beaches, rivers, mountains, and forests while being a buzzing metropolis.
Living in Sweden also provides a huge opportunity to travel into the neighboring Scandinavian countries with easy road and ferry links to Norway, Finland, and Denmark.
The access to nature is also unparalleled with oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, and forests that are perfect for hiking, fishing, sailing, beach-bumming, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey, and a load more.
If you’re looking for a place to live that is fresh, clean, stable, secure, and full of opportunity, Sweden should be at the top of your list.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.