- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Stockholm Guide (PDF)
Expats moving to Stockholm will discover that they have a veritable smorgasbord of options when it comes to entertainment and shopping in the sensational Swedish capital. From museums and restaurants to entertainment for the kids, there is something to pique the interest of everyone regardless of age. Weekends in Stockholm will have nary a dull moment.
Expats can eat and drink their way through the city, or educate themselves about Swedish history and culture. They can shop to their heart’s content at upmarket shopping centres or at quirky markets, or take in some theatre, a film or an art exhibition.
Either way, expats living in Stockholm won't be disappointed with the city’s impressive list of leisure activities.
Shopping in Stockholm
Stockholm has great shopping, but it doesn’t come cheap. The classic Swedish items that expats usually ship out with them when they eventually leave Sweden are glass products, blonde-wood furniture and ceramics. A favourite shopping area in Stockholm is Gamla Stan. Västerlånggatan is the street to visit and expats will see many beautiful antique shops here, some of them eye-wateringly expensive.
Kungsgatan is also a major shopping district in Stockholm. Here, expats can find the Drottninggatan pedestrian mall. The mall is home to popular high-street stores as well as smaller speciality stores.
Fashion-conscious expats should visit Bibliotekstan near Östermalm to discover what Swedish designers have to offer. Here one will find brands of unique Swedish companies. Birger Jarlsgatan in Östermalm is where expats can get their luxury fix, with most high-end designers having stores here.
The most eclectic of all the city’s shopping areas, the famous SoFo district is in Södermalm. SoFo stands for South of Folkungagatan and this area is full of quirky, trendy and creative boutiques.
Shops in Stockholm are generally open from 10am to 6pm, with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays.
Nightlife in Stockholm
Expats in search of exciting nightlife in Stockholm will not be disappointed. There is a bouquet of bars and clubs in the city and many stay open until late, but expats should expect high prices for entry and drinks.
The areas known for having the best nightlife in Stockholm include Stureplan, Södermalm and Djurgården. Expats should not miss the Ice Bar, a permanent feature near Central Station, with an interior that is made completely of ice from a river in northern Sweden. Thankfully, guests are able to borrow a warm hat and gloves.
Stockholm also boasts theatre and jazz scenes for expats with more sophisticated tastes, while adventurous expats might want to explore the country’s famous heavy metal scene.
From classic gourmet cuisine to experimental modern cooking and relaxed dining, there is also enough of a variety of restaurants in Stockholm to entice the most discerning of palates.
Sports and outdoor activities in Stockholm
The city’s famous green spaces and waterways mean that there is no shortage of outdoor activities in Stockholm to enjoy. Expats will get to take part in a wide range of activities, from hot-air ballooning and golf to fishing and hiking the nature trails on its outskirts.
The easiest way of getting around Stockholm is on two wheels, but the city’s many cycle paths and bike lanes also make it a good way to take in the city’s sights. Expats can easily rent a bicycle and explore areas such as Djurgården, which is home to a variety of attractions as well as breathtaking natural splendour.
Those fresh off the plane looking for a novel way of exploring their new home can also hire a kayak or canoe and paddle between the city’s many islands. Expats could also hire a boat and propel past some of the city’s most recognisable sights, enjoy the majesty of Lake Mälaren and settle down for a bite to eat at the end of their adventure.