5 March, 2017

Top 5 essentials in Sweden


When you are living in a new country you might see yourself doing things you have never done before and using certain objects you didn’t need to use previously. That’s expected I guess. Moving to another country involves a lot of changes and it makes you acquire new habits or to do things in a different way.

Thinking about this, I questioned myself which things and habits are now present in my life that were not there before I moved here. Or even if they were already there, I just didn’t use them as much. I found 5 important essentials and I’m sharing them with you.


I have had thermometers before but they have never played such an important role as they do in Sweden. Indoors the temperature doesn’t vary much and it is just not possible to guess how cold or warm it is outside by looking out the window. Outside it can be sunny and blue skies, resembling a beautiful spring day, but then the temperature is 10 ºC and you freeze in your spring jacket. The opposite also happens.

Winter days can look quite similar, but the temperatures can range from -10 to 10 ºC, or even bigger ranges depending on the location. Therefore, thermometers are one of our best friends and help us decide whether or not to take an extra layer of clothes or that lighter jacket we are dying to wear.

Calendar with week numbers

You can survive without this item, but it will make your life easier. The school/work programs and even the dates of cultural events are often handed out or mentioned in conversation by their week numbers, instead of dates. It might seem confusing at first, but if you get a calendar, paper or virtual, and keep track of the week number, it will quickly become simple.

Thermo layers

Weather it is because it’s winter and you need an extra layer of clothes, or just to run outdoors or to go for a hike in the forest, at one point or another you will need a thermo layer, to act as your second skin and keep you warm.

Sport/comfortable shoes

In Sweden going for a walk is a must and the solution to many problems. Is it cold outside and you are feeling the winter blues? Take a warm jacket and go for a walk. Have you had a bad day at work or at school? Take a walk. Do you have a cold and are feeling down? Take a walk and breath fresh air.

Is it sunny and you are feeling great? Go for a walk and enjoy! And walks do help! And, there’s the beautiful forests, lakes or the sea, to make every walk even more pleasant. Weather you are a sporty person or not, the spirit of walks will get to you and sooner or later you will see yourself in the need of a pair of comfortable shoes.

Open mind

You can’t really buy this one, but it is definitely one of the essentials to have in Sweden. Swedes usually have a very open mind, a good level of acceptance of different realities and a constant need to reinvent themselves. In general, that means that when facing something new, they won’t say no immediately. They give it some thought, take some time to formulate their opinions and even if they don’t agree, they keep their minds open and accept it. This level of openness might take some time to reach for a foreigner, depending a lot on the origins and life experiences, but I believe that those who get there, end up living a happier life in Sweden.

These are my five essentials in Sweden. Did you also start using any of these more when you moved to Sweden? Or maybe you have different ones? Don’t be shy and share it with us!

Sara Costa
Hej! I’m a Portuguese Newbie in Sweden. I have also lived in Brazil, Poland and the Czech Republic. It’s been fun to be a foreigner in so many different countries and I enjoy learning about other cultures. I’m a fan of sports, some to watch and some to practise, my favourite being running. I also love food, reading and blogging. I hope you enjoy my posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *