Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and a city originally built on an island. Nowadays the city spans 14 different islands connected by bridges in the Swedish archipelago. As in most Swedish cities there is a lot of nature, but being also Sweden’s largest city, it is hard to find accommodation.
In Stockholm there are several universities, which means lots of students. Accommodation is a common issue in Stockholm, there are thousands of students looking for it every semester. In August 2011, approximately 70000 people were without a proper place to live.
Now, the situation is better, but it is still hard. Starting in your home country is a good advice, especially since the queuing system is adopted, meaning that the longer you have been in the queue, the likelier your chance to get an apartment.
A suggestion is that you try to find something for the first 1 to 3 months so you have a place to stay when you arrive. Once you are in the city and you have a clearer idea about where you want to live, how the Swedish apartments are and what your budget is you can search again for something that really fits your needs. The main benefits of this approach are:
- Plenty of apartments to choose from: It’s quite common that landlords rent their places when on vacation or when they have to work abroad even for short periods, so you will not have problems finding short term rental apartments
- Less competitors: People already living in the city are looking for long term rentals, because they don’t want to move every few months, so you will find less people asking for these apartments
- Lower price: And as the landlords know that, the trick to get the apartment rented out is to lower the price, so usually each time that you find an apartment with a good price it’s for a short term contract (1 to 3 months)
If you are a student it might be worth trying to get into one of the few student dormitories around Stockholm. However, keep in mind that the places available are less compared to the number of people interested. Sometimes your university will have some rooms that are privately rented out by the university itself, so the first step will be to go on the accommodation section of your university website and look whether your institution is offering this kind of service and what the deadlines are to apply.
- Lappis is the place where most students studying at Stockholm University and KTH most get student apartments. It is located at Stockholm University campus and houses between 2000-3000 students. Getting an apartment is hard but not impossible, as long as you start well in advance. Some people find a place there during their studies as well
- SSSB (Stockholm Student Housing) is the most common place to find student housing in Stockholm, you might need queuing days in order to apply for an apartment, which you can start collecting 3 months before you become a student in Stockholm. Apartments are good and relatively cheap, but might be hard to get
- Blocket (only available in Swedish) - An online retailer for renting (and buying) apartments in Stockholm
- Bostadsförmedlingen - General housing website in Stockholm. Normally a long queue, but worth a try
- Akademisk Kvart - A website working with Stockholm Student Unions in order to find privately owned residents in Stockholm
- Campus Roslagen - A student area slightly outside Stockholm, where you will probably be an hour away from the University, most of the shops and most of your friends, but in a good quality apartment close to the Swedish archipelago
- ESN Erasmus Stockholm 2017-2018 - A Facebook group for things happening in Stockholm, including events, discussions and accommodation
- Qasa - A website where you can apply and manage your apartment searches
- Kvalster - Like Google for Accommodation in Stockholm
- Samtrygg - A website with more regulations in the apartment search, as there are a lot of people trying to take advantage of the regular system
Good to Know
There are some people sub-letting a sub-let. This is a grey area in Stockholm’s housing, but it is where someone with a second-hand contract rents to someone else. Most landlords don’t allow it and if you find one, look somewhere else as it’s a good way to lose money and end up being messed around.
Get a Swedish mobile phone number as soon as you arrive in Stockholm: if the mobile number is available, it’s better to call the potential landlords instead of sending them e-mails.
When applying for an apartment, always be ready with a copy of your letter of enrollment/acceptance. Also prepare a short introduction about who you are, what you are doing in Stockholm and your lifestyle. This will make you stand out among the dozens of other people interested in the same room.