Relocating to Stockholm? Discover the Top 7 Things You Must Know
Relocating to Stockholm? Discover the Top 7 Things You Must Know9th November 2023
1. Welcome to Stockholm
Sweden’s capital is a captivating blend of historical charm and dynamic modernity. Visitors can experience a city where Nordic innovation and tradition coexist. The city's rich history is reflected in its well-preserved architecture, while its thriving economy places it firmly on today’s global business map.
2. Business Culture in Sweden
Swedish business culture is known for its egalitarian values, something that is deeply embedded in the workplace in Stockholm. In a typical workplace you will find that hierarchies are flat, which means no matter your rank or station, communication is open, with everyone addressed on a first name basis. Collaborative decision-making is welcome and encouraged all in benefit of striving towards a common goal.
Most importantly there is a strong emphasis on positive work-life balance. It’s key that professionals have time to enjoy the city's recreational opportunities with the view to making them happier, more productive people. Furthermore, punctuality and professionalism are highly regarded, so it's essential to arrive on time for meetings and maintain a respectful, courteous demeanour.
3. Navigating the City
Getting around Stockholm is a breeze thanks to its modern, well-developed public transport system. The T-Bana, Stockholm's metro, bus, tram, and ferry networks are all efficient and well-connected, making it easy to move around the city.
As a business traveller, we recommend investing in an SL travel card for a cost-effective way to access all modes of public transport.
Stockholm's compact layout makes it pedestrian-friendly, so you can also explore many of the city’s sights on foot. Or, you could even rent one of the many app powered e-scooters that you will find parked around the city, a quick and fun way to get around the city centre.
4. Language and Communication in Stockholm
While the language in Stockholm is Swedish, most Swedes are fluent in English, and it is commonly used in business settings. However, learning a few basic Swedish phrases, such as common greetings and polite expressions, can enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture. Even if you primarily communicate in English, Swedes appreciate the effort, and it can be a great icebreaker in both professional and social situations.
Here are some recommended phrases.
- Hej (hey) - This is a simple and common way to say "hello" in Swedish.
- God morgon (good more-gon) - Meaning "good morning."
- God kväll (good kvell) - Meaning "good evening."
- Tack (tahck) - The Swedish word for "thank you."
- Ursäkta mig (oor-sehk-ta mey) - Which means "excuse me."
- Snälla (snell-ah) - Equivalent to "please" in English.
- Hur mår du? (hoor mor doo) - This phrase translates to "How are you?" and is a polite way to show interest in someone's well-being.
- Vad kostar det? (vahd kostar deht) - Useful for asking "How much does it cost?"
- Jag förstår inte (yahg for-stor in-teh) - Meaning "I don't understand." This can be very handy in case you're having trouble with communication.
5. Business Districts in Stockholm
Stockholm features diverse business districts that cater to various industries and company sizes.
Norrmalm: This is one of the central and most prominent business districts in Stockholm, with many corporate offices, retail stores, and cultural attractions.
Södermalm: While primarily a residential area, Södermalm also hosts various creative industries and startups, making it a burgeoning business district.
Kungsholmen: Located on an island in central Stockholm, Kungsholmen houses several offices and businesses, including government agencies and media companies.
Östermalm: This affluent district features a mix of high-end boutiques, restaurants, and corporate offices.
Hammarby Sjöstad: A sustainable urban development area, Hammarby Sjöstad is home to various green and environmentally conscious businesses.
Kista: Kista Science City is known as Sweden's Silicon Valley, housing many tech companies and startups.
Liljeholmen: This district in southern Stockholm is a growing business area with a focus on media and technology.
6. Stockholm’s Cultural Etiquette
When conducting business in Stockholm, a few cultural etiquette tips can go a long way. Greet with a firm handshake and maintain eye contact to convey professionalism and respect. Punctuality is crucial; being on time for meetings is a sign of respect for your colleagues.
Unlike some other cultures, it's not customary to exchange gifts in business settings. Swedes also value their personal space, so be mindful of maintaining a comfortable distance during conversations. The city's dress code is typically casual yet professional, with a preference for minimalist and functional fashion.
7. Leisure and Attractions in Stockholm
Stockholm offers many leisure activities and cultural attractions for you to explore during your free time. The Vasa Museum, for instance, houses the remarkably well-preserved 17th-century warship, the Vasa. It's a fascinating window into Sweden's maritime history.
Stroll through the historic Gamla Stan (Old Town) with its charming cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and cosy cafés.
To connect with nature, visit Djurgården, an island park with lush green spaces, walking trails, and amusement parks. If you’re so inclined, can take a boat trip through the picturesque Stockholm archipelago, composed of thousands of islands that provide a serene and breathtaking experience.
For more great sights and activities whilst staying in Stockholm, check out our blog on nine things to do and see in the Swedish capital.
Stockholm is an exciting destination for business travellers, combining a welcoming business culture, excellent transportation, and a high quality of life with its unique, captivating charm. Whether you're exploring cultural attractions, navigating the business districts, or savouring the delicious food scene, Stockholm is somewhere you’ll want to keep coming back to.
You can find out more on the best places to stay in Stockholm in our top 5 serviced apartments blog.