My life in Sweden: Services and transportation cost a fortune, shopaholics can rejoice though!

Sweden? That's an expensive country, isn't it? I keep hearing that from all sides. So let's have a closer look at the prices.
21.Jul 2020
 
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The average Czech salary won't get you too far...

Right off the bat I have to point out that the locals' salaries are far above our Czech ones. That's why Sweden is counted among the most expensive destinations. So with the average Czech salary you're going to have to calculate what you can and can't afford, but if you score a well paid job here, you're going to live almost like a king...

SkyView

The rule of two to three times more

I won't lie to you. After my arrival in Stockholm I counted and compared everything. After spending two weeks here I was fed up and I decided to just deal with life here being expensive. So if you're going to Sweden, whether it be for holiday, work or to start a new life, just know that for stuff, services or food you'll generally pay two to three times more. That's simply the exchange rate, 1 SEK = 2.58 CZK (the CNB exchange rate as of 07/20/2020) and the price of living in Scandinavia.

Services: 6,000 CZK for two minutes of work

Around the fourth day after moving in I had an unfortunate accident in the bathroom. I won't get too into it, I'd like to retain some class. Nevertheless, a repairman was needed and when I was billed 6,000 CZK for a two minute job, I started getting light-headed. I get that travel costs something, his time costs something, yadda yadda, but never before would I have welcomed with open arms a pair of skilled Czech hands who'd have probably billed me a third of the price. By the way, set aside a similar amount in case you happen to go to a hairdresser.

Transportation? Utter luxury!

If there's anything aside from services that's without a doubt really expensive, it's public transportation. Whereas in Prague you pay 32 CZK for a 90 minute ticket, here one such ride costs you 37 SEK, which is about 95 CZK. You won't get a much better deal even if you get an annual ride pass. Because that one will cost you an astronomical 25,207 CZK. Same as here, the most popular variant is a monthly pass that will cost you around 2,400 CZK. Services such as Uber cost about double.

Stockholmské metro
Stockholmské metro • Source: Pixabay.com/orangetigra

Fun: It's play or pay

There's a difference between the cost of a drink at a bar, or a museum visit, which can sometimes even be free, and a day spent at the Gröna Lund amusement park is something completely different. So I bring you a list of the BEST stuff you can't miss out on.

The ABBA Museum: 645 CZK

Gröna Lund entry: At the moment, a season pass for 2021 costs 800 CZK (this year the park is closed because of the coronavirus)

The Skansen open air museum: 568 CZK

Vasa ship museum: 439 CZK

SkyView visit: 413 CZK

A drink at a bar: 400 CZK

Visiting Gamla Stan (Old Town): Free

ABBA muzeum
ABBA muzeum • Source: LP-Life.cz

Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan • Source: Pixabay.com/Mariamichelle

Gröna Lund
Gröna Lund • Source: Pixabay.com/Mariamichelle

Muzeum lodí Vasa
Muzeum lodí Vasa • Source: Pixabay.com/hl56

SkyView
SkyView • Source: Stockholmlive.com

Food: Quality you'll be happy to pay for

We are what we eat. So I'm happy to pay more for quality food and I have to say that I really appreciate the range of products that Sweden provides. Whether we're talking various vegan or vegetarian alternatives, or it's simply about quality food, Sweden is number one for me in this regard.

And in order to have the latest information for you, I set out to the popular chain store ICA today! I walked by Systembolaget... the Swedish state monopoly that is the sole vendor allowed to sell alcoholic beverages with over 3.5% alcohol content. And what are the prices you'd usually encounter at the store?

Staropramen beer (330 ml) 36 CZK

A bottle of Chardonnay (750 ml) 255 CZK

Vegan oat ice cream (500 ml) 103 CZK

Peeled shrimp (200 g) 253 CZK

Whole chicken (1,1 kg) 129 CZK

Tomatoes on a vine (400 g) 98 CZK

A mango (325 g) 72 CZK

Bread (500 g) 59 CZK

A snickers bar (50 g) 23 CZK

Margarine (Flora 400 g) 54 CZK

Muesli (575 g) 106 CZK

České pivo Staropramen
České pivo Staropramen • Source: LP-Life.cz

Supermarket ICA
Supermarket ICA • Source: LP-Life.cz

Obchod Systembolaget
Obchod Systembolaget • Source: LP-Life.cz

Accommodation: Depends on luck and nationality

If you're lucky, have connections, spend a long time looking or you are a born Swede, you have a much better chance of finding modern accommodation in an approximate Czech price range (and sometimes even with a lifetime lease). But it's not a smooth path and even a native Swede could be waiting for a state owned rent-controlled apartment for up to 20 years... so the two to three times rule applies here too, and paying a third of one's salary for rent isn't uncommon.

Clothes and toiletries: Shopping for cheap

Sweden definitely isn't a destination to the likes of Miami, where you can get goods by the most luxury brands for a few dollars. But if we're talking regular chain stores, the prices of clothing in Sweden are comparable to ours, and sometimes they are even better! So don't worry, dear shopaholics, you can get a few unique pieces by Swedish brands that not many people in the Czech Republic would have, and your credit card won't be weeping too much. A dress for 800 crowns, or a top around four hundred are easy to get! I've personally fallen with love with the brands Gina Tricot, Monki or Bik Bok.

So, now you know what to generally expect from Sweden. So let me know when I should expect you at the airport!

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 6 - 426m
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 6 - 426m, Praha 6

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