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Living in Scandinavia

Scandinavia is often described by travellers as a mythical wonderland to be, where people live peacefully and in harmony with an impressive level in purchasing power, per capita. Here in the North living standards are pretty high compared to other European nations. Tourists love countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway as well as Finland attractive. People have heard that Scandinavia is a place you should visit at least once every year or even over the course of a lifetime. What about living in Scandinavia?

In this article, we will attempt to get into the advantages and disadvantages that come with living in Scandinavia generally, as well as some really useful information on where to settle in Scandinavia and the cost of living, the culture aspects that are part of Scandinavian societies, as well as of what to look forward to from the climate.

Let’s roll the ball!

Why should you move to Scandinavia

In the beginning, you feel as if you’re taken care of when live in Scandinavia. Living is the best term to use instead of simply surviving. Contrary to other countries, people do not have to put on a show in order afford rent and food bills or even to build an enviable career.

In Scandinavia There exist welfare programs to help residents in every aspect. You don’t have to be concerned about your child’s education cost. Education is for free. Basic healthcare is nearly free. Concentrate on the little things that make your life lovely and more enjoyable than saving money to pay for healthcare or education expenses. This will certainly lead to less anxiety and stress for the future, and improves the lifestyle quality.

Scandinavian countries are at top of the list of safety and thus highly suggested for raising a family. The atmosphere is calm and balance between work and family is important in these nations. There are a lot of holidays available and people just don’t pay more attention to being promoted through hard work than to take their days off to take a break.

Pros and Cons of Living in Scandinavia

After this quick introduction, let’s look at an in-depth look at advantages and drawbacks of living in Scandinavia :

Pros of Living in Scandinavia


The word “equality” is the most appropriate one to describe the education system across Nordic countries. Educational opportunities are available to all regardless of socioeconomic or social background. If you are a native resident and a member of the European Union, it is freely funded and public. In some countries, there is the “pocket money” allowance by the government throughout your academic career. This is why Scandinavian countries are setting new standards with their highly educated population.


There is no need to be private insured and spend an enormous amount of cash. If you’re in Scandinavia and you are comfortable with the fact that your health is well taken care of. Health care of the highest quality is offered under the coverage of a publicly financed system that is based on the same structure depending on the region or country. Costs for patients are low or are not even present. Nordic countries are rated highly according to the World Health Organization in terms of health data.


Scandinavian people tend to be more concerned with their work-life balance than many other countries in the world. It’s difficult to find a person who would never say no to a vacation. There are numerous holidays that are both international and national throughout the year. Carpe diem is the word. They are content to live in the present and enjoy every moment of life. Spending time with friends and family in favor of building up a greedy thus stressful career is not the ideal way people live for Scandinavians.

Freedom and Equality

Discrimination based on gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, age, or functional abilities is strictly prohibited throughout the Nordics. They not only have the strongest anti-discrimination laws use across Europe but this is also evident in the way people behave and actions, which is crucial to protect freedoms in daily life. In contrast to many other European Union countries, same-sex weddings are legally permitted in Scandinavia. Paternity leave is supported in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Fathers are encouraged to become involved in their children’s education like mothers are. The open governance policy is also a factor in this regard. Transparency, accountability and freedom of expression are essential elements of Scandinavian governments.


Food might not be the first thought that pops into your the mind when you think of living in Scandinavia but it is an important consideration as well. Food that is fresh and of high quality is what makes Scandinavia appealing to visitors. Particularly, pastries! It is so good, and flavorful that it is commonplace for meetings to be scheduled for dessert time.


And this is the thing that is admired the most! Scandinavian people do not bother their selves with elaborate architecture or dress in a tacky broadway style. The atmosphere is serene and serene. Simplicity is the word. From the design of architecture to dressing styles the colors are well-chosen and give harmony to the eye. Light shades are cleverly designed within interior styles. Light has got something to bring happiness to Nordic life.

Hiking and Biking

Scenic roads across Scandinavia are tempting calls for the sporty blood. Adventurous spirits always have something to find of their curiosity in Scandinavia’s jaw-dropping natural settings. There’s a wide range of options. You may wish to go for a long hike across the mountains or bike through the cities and commute to work. Drivers are aware fact that bikers are part of the road and treat them in the same way.

Cons Of Living in Scandinavia


It is important to get comfortable with the fact that sunlight is perhaps the most valuable thing in Scandinavia in terms of weather. It’s easy to guess that winters can be harsh, frosty, and gray. And you have to be ready for a substantial amount of snow. It’s more up to the North than in the South however, it’s not typical especially if you’re from an Mediterranean country. The falls are dark and damp. It’s the lack of sunlight that makes you feel gloomy and sometimes depressed.

Cost of Living

Due to high taxes that are imposed, living costs are quite high because of the tax system, living costs are high in Scandinavian countries. This is an issue should you decide to move up North. Although salaries are comparable that those in other European nations, you have to be aware that a considerable percentage of your income will go to taxes. This is a bit to be expected when you think about the free top-notch healthcare and education that Scandinavians are entitled to however, it also pushes up the costs of living. Restaurants are quite expensive, which makes eating out relatively difficult unless you have a substantial income. Car prices are also excessive due to taxes. This might be the reason cycling is the most popular option in Scandinavia. In general, it is possible to affirm that Finland as well as Norway are more expensive in terms of living costs in comparison to Sweden and Denmark.


A warm welcome might not be the first impression you get when you go to visit one of the Scandinavian country. Most people are introverted and prefer to live in their individualities. Breaking the ice may be difficult. Getting in the swing of it may take some time , unless you share common interests with people you’d like to get together with. That makes you feel lonely when you come to Scandinavia, especially if you come from Southern nations where people are more open and willing to discussion. The hidden biases against foreigners or migrants also may have a place here.


Be prepared for a lengthy waiting period if looking for a place to rent in major urban regions. Do not expect it to be as simple as shelling out peas. It might take some time to locate a vacant space. Particularly if you’re seeking an original contract, which is, a property to be directly rented from the landlord. Subletting or second-hand leases are another option, however, they’re more expensive and are not able to last for more than a year, with the majority of are only used for the duration of a few months.

Jante’s Law

A fundamental part of Scandinavian society Jante’s Law is one of the most fundamental sets guidelines that were formulated to guarantee harmony and equality among people. These are simple guidelines that state that everyone is not to consider self to be superior or more significant than the general population. There is no reason to believe that you’re as clever as, or even more than society. If you’re unique or unusual, it isn’t usually accepted and you’ll feel out of place. However, this model of humility that is part of Scandinavian culture isn’t taken in a positive way by foreigners who believe their uniqueness is a part of the rainbow of development. Jante’s Law is mainly criticized for stifling creativity in the society.

Best Cities To Live in Scandinavia

Let’s take a look at some of the top cities to live in across Scandinavian country!

1. Bergen

Norway’s second big city is a stone groove for nature lovers and outdoor lovers. The city is situated along the coast to the west of Norway and encrusted with mountains and fjords, the city is a scenic beauty without an alternative to the world. If you like cobblestone lanes and houses dotted with stunning hillsides, and picturesque views offered by the surrounding old wooden structures it is a no-miss.

The great news is that because of mountains protecting the city from the frigid winds from the north and east it is able to maintain a temperature that is higher , making winters with a more pleasant temperature.

2. Gothenburg

Just as Bergen is the gateway to West Norway’s stunning natural scenery, Gothenburg is a great entrance to Sweden’s stunning landscapes. Located on the west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest metropolitan area in Sweden. The climate is oceanic, similar to like in Bergen, winters are milder due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream.

The location of the city is what has made Gothenburg the most important shipping and trading hub of Scandinavia. It’s also the home town of Volvo automobiles. Gothenburg is the place to be if your dream is to live in a setting where vibrant urban culture is inextricably linked to natural and historical beautiful landscapes and people are more welcoming than in other regions of Scandinavia.

3. Stockholm

There is no reason why Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden is also known as the “Venice of North”. Spread across an archipelago of 14 islands, Stockholm lies in the midst of many bridges. Although it is Scandinavia’s largest urban area, and also its rivers and green spaces, it’s a large village more than a capital. Gamla Stan, literally Old Town in Swedish, is a brilliant entrance to the cobblestoned and medieval old-fashioned areas in the capital city. You’ll find that Stockholm is not just among the top beautiful cities of Europe but also among the most clean. Quality of life is high and there is a vibrant nightspots, as well as the serene atmosphere offered by the environment.

4. Oslo

The capital of Norway is along the country’s southeastern coastline. It is the oldest of Scandinavian capitals. Its history dates back 1000 years. The majority of the city is covered with greenery due to a vast number of forests and parks. Coupled with attempts by government officials of the Norwegian government to decrease carbon levels, the environment is clear. More than 40 percent of vehicles in Oslo are electric. Oslo municipality are electrically powered. It’s also relatively straightforward to move around the city, either by public transportation or simply by biking. Oslo has the highest-quality public transportation system installed in Norway.

When it comes to outdoor activities, there’s few countries that can compete with Oslo. The Norwegian capital city offers great winter sports such as skating and skiing. It is also one of the fastest growing capitals of Europe and offers more job opportunities, especially for maritime industries.

5. Copenhagen

Ranked among the most liveable cities across Europe, Copenhagen is the economic and cultural center of Denmark. Being the capital it is also the city with the highest population. The environmental standards are at the top of the list It is one of the most ecologically healthy cities on the planet when you visit Copenhagen. The city aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025. Green is everywhere, like in other Scandinavian cities, since there are numerous gardens and parks scattered throughout the city. The economy is primarily dependent on the services and commerce industries, rather than manufacturing.

Even though expenses for living in the area are significantly elevated, due to working benefits in place along with a high amount of salaries, and a promoted work-life balance, residents enjoy a happy life.

Cost of Living in Scandinavia

Hereunder you will find listed each month the average cost for living within Norway, Denmark, and Sweden According to Numbeo:


Family of four estimated costs is EUR4,088.29 without rent
A single person’s costs are EUR1,136.74 without rental
Apartment (1 bed) in the city’s central area costs EUR1,061.24
An apartment (1 bedroom) away from the center costs EUR856.99
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city center costs EUR1,845.84
The apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of the center cost EUR1,426.41
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, and garbage for 85m2 of Apartment cost EUR197.34
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (No Plan or Discounts) costs EUR0.12
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data cable/ADSL) costs EUR52.60


The estimated cost for a family of four is EUR3,403.76 with no rent
The cost of a single person are EUR946.95 with no rent
A studio (1 bedroom) in the city’s center costs EUR1,004.18
A studio (1 bedroom) in the outside of the city costs EUR744.25
Appartement (3 bedrooms) in city center costs EUR 1,760.82
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of center costs EUR 1,309.59
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, and Garbage for 85m2 of space costs EUR176.66
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (No discounts or plans) costs EUR0.12


The estimated family of four costs EUR3,138.03 without rental
The estimated cost for a single person are EUR845.48 without rent
A one-bedroom apartment (1 bedroom) in the city’s central area costs EUR869.86
A one-bedroom apartment (1 bedroom) in the outside of the city costs EUR670.71
A 3-bedroom apartment (3 bedrooms) located in the city’s center costs EUR1,411.59
A 3-bedroom apartment (3 bedrooms) not in the center of costs EUR1,005.21
Electricity as well as Heating, Cooling Water, and Garbage for 85m2 Apartment cost EUR79.12
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (No Plan or Discount) costs EUR0.12
Internet (60 or more Unlimited Data cable/ADSL) costs EUR29.67

Culture and Society

When we talk about Scandinavian society, and trying to define their unique style of living, terms like “excessive” or “showy” are unlikely to ever come to mind. From architecture to aesthetics, social life , to the manner of doing business, simplicity, and minimalism is evident. Scandinavian culture is largely democratic and egalitarian. It is also a value-driven culture. Collaboration and cooperation are the most prominent characteristics. The quality of life and time spent with family and friends are more important than competition in the workplace or self-promotion. Thus, the balance between work and life is effectively handled in these nations. Individualism is a major characteristic of this culture.

You may be wondering how this could be applied to an environment where excitement or atypicality is usually frowned upon? But what Scandinavians are most proud of about individualism is the capability to take responsibility for individual choices and to be independent. Despite their openness and transparency in business and personal life, they tend to be more reserved and less expressive. more cautious. Yet not surprising for the area in which Jante’s law is adapted to common sense.

Are the benefits of living in Scandinavia Better Than Living In Central Europe?

It is the vision of the observer that decides in the end, however from many different aspects such as security, safety, education, social welfare health system, natural landscapes, etc. Many of the other European countries including Central Europe are backmarkers against Scandinavian countries. There are also the interaction with other people, the climate, and costs of living which have to be taken into account, since the final decision is determined by personal preferences.

Does Living in Scandinavia Better Than Living in the US?

This is based on your preferences and expectations, but a few words are important, since US lifestyle and cultural aspects are mostly poles apart from the Scandinavian life style. If you’re the type of person who is eager to be a top performer to the top of the heap and maybe even work for all day long, and do a lot of sacrifices to reach where you’d like to be, then the US could be the best spot for you.

However, for Scandinavia all of these is true. For someone who is enthusiastic and engaging, Scandinavia might appear unwelcoming and aloof. If you’re an ordinary person who wants to keep that balance of life between work and family Don’t be a fan of getting promotions through sacrificing your personal life. Or love spending time with your children throughout the day, the US can be a sour note to you.

The Bottom Line

That’s it…An introduction to living in Scandinavia…The region is a place that offers the highest standards of living, great education, and an excellent life balance. There are numerous advantages that will keep you content despite the challenging weather! Although moving there is a major decision but it could be the most rewarding decision you’ve ever made.