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Pros and Cons of Living in Scandinavia

Scandinavia is often referred to by travellers as a mythical place where people reside in peace and harmony with a high amount in purchasing power, per person. In the North living conditions are pretty high compared to other European countries. Tourists find countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway as well as Finland attractive. Word of mouth says Scandinavia is a paradise to visit at least once per lifetime or even for a lifetime. What is the best way to live in Scandinavia?

In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages that come with living in Scandinavia all over the world. We will also provide some very useful details on how to get settled in Scandinavia in terms of cost of living, the social aspects in Scandinavian societies, as well as of of course what you can be expecting for the environment.

Roll the ball!

Why do you want to move to Scandinavia

The first thing to do is feel like you’re being taken care of when you live in Scandinavia. Living is the perfect word to describe it instead of living. Contrary to other countries, people do not have to put on a show just to be able be able to afford their food and rent or build an established career.

In Scandinavia there are welfare programs that assist residents in all areas. It is not necessary to worry about your child’s school costs. The education is free. Healthcare is basic and almost free. Make time for the small things that make your life more beautiful and more enjoyable than saving funds for healthcare or educational costs. This will certainly lead to less anxiety and stress for the future and increases the quality of life.

Scandinavian countries are also on very top when it comes to security and are highly suggested for raising a family. The environment is peaceful and the balance of work and life is important in these nations. There are plenty of vacations to choose from and many people focus more on getting promoted by working harder rather than taking time off to take a break.

Pros and Cons of Living in Scandinavia

After this short introduction, let’s go on to an in-depth look at advantages and disadvantages from living in Scandinavia :

Pros and Cons of Living in Scandinavia


Equal opportunity is the best way to describe the system of education within Nordic countries. The opportunity to learn is available to everyone regardless of their social or economic background. If you are a native resident and a member of the European Union, it is publicly funded and free. In some countries, there is an “pocket allowance” allowance from the government in exchange for your education. Because of this, Scandinavian countries have set the bar high with their highly educated population.


No need to get yourself privately insured and shell out an enormous amount of money. If you live in Scandinavia, you feel your health is well taken care of. Health care of the highest quality is offered through an insurance system that is funded by the public, which is built around the same system per region or country. Costs for patients are low or don’t exist. Nordic countries are highly rated according to the World Health Organization in terms of health statistics.


Scandinavian people tend to be more concerned with work-life balance than other countries around the globe. It’s difficult to find someone who will never say no to the possibility of a holiday. There are many worldwide and national holidays throughout the year. Carpe diem is the term. They prefer to live present and take in every moment of life. Sacrificing quality time with friends and family in order to build an overly stressful and greedy career isn’t the norm people live for Scandinavians.

Freedom and Equality

Discrimination in relation to gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, age, or functional abilities is strictly prohibited in the Nordics. They have not only the most discriminatory laws place across Europe but it is reflected in the people’s behaviors, which is more important to protect freedoms in daily life. Unlike many of the countries in the European Union countries, same-sex marriages are permitted in Scandinavia. Paternity leave is supported in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Fathers are encouraged to become involved in the raising of children, similar to mothers. A policy of open governance also applies in this area. Transparency and accountability as well as press freedom are all common fundamental aspects of the Scandinavian governments.


Food might not be the first thing that pops into your thoughts when thinking about life in Scandinavia but it’s an important consideration as well. Food that is fresh and of high quality are what make Scandinavia an alluring call for travelers. Particularly, pastry! They are so delicious, and flavorful that many meetings are planned around pastries time.


This is what people will admire the most! Scandinavian people do not bother themselves with complex structures or dress with a trendy broadway look. Everything is peaceful and peaceful. Simplicity is the word. From the design of architecture to dressing styles Colors are carefully selected and give harmony to the viewing eye. Light shades are carefully designed within interior styles. Light has something to contribute to happiness in Nordic life.

Biking and Hiking

Scenic routes across Scandinavia are appealing calls for the sporting blood. People who are looking for adventure always have something to discover of their interest in Scandinavia’s jaw-dropping natural surroundings. There’s a large spectrum of options. You can opt for a lengthy hike through the mountains or bicycle through the cities and commute to work. Drivers are aware fact that bikers are part of the road and treat their rights in equal measure.

Pros and Cons of Living in Scandinavia


You need to get yourself acquainted with the fact sunlight is the single most valuable thing in Scandinavia in terms of weather. It’s simple to see that winters are brutal cold, frosty, and grey. Also, you must be ready for a substantial amount of snow. It’s higher to the North than it is in the South however it’s not typical especially if you’re from the Mediterranean country. Falls are damp and dark. It’s the lack sun which makes you feel sad and sad at times.

Cost of Living

Due to excessive taxes and living expenses, the cost of living is quite high in Scandinavian countries. This is a major disadvantage when you are considering moving to the North. While wages are generally higher that those in other European countries, it is important be aware that a substantial portion of your salary will go to taxation. This is acceptable when you consider the excellent healthcare and education system Scandinavians can enjoy however it can also drive up the cost of living. Restaurants are quite expensive that makes dining out a bit difficult unless you have a pretty good income. The prices for cars are also quite expensive due to taxes, which could be the reason why biking is a popular choice in Scandinavia. In general, it is possible to say Finland or Norway have higher prices when it comes to cost of living as compared to Sweden as well as Denmark.


It is possible that friendliness will not be the first impression when you come to visit the Scandinavian country. People are rather introverted and prefer to live in their individuality. Breaking the ice may be difficult. It can be difficult to get into the groove of it may take some time , unless you share common interests with people you’d like to meet. This can make you feel isolated when you come to Scandinavia, especially if you come from Southern countries , where people are more open and accommodating to dialog. A hidden prejudice against foreigners or migrants also may be a factor here.


You should be prepared for a long waiting process if you are searching for an apartment to rent in major urban regions. Do not expect it to be as simple as shelling peas. It may take ages to locate a vacant property. Particularly if you’re seeking a first-hand contract, that is, a property to be let directly by 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 one or two months.

Jante’s Law

A foundational principle of Scandinavian society, Jante’s law is a collection of rules that were created to ensure harmony and equality between people. These are basic rules that say that no one is to imagine self to be superior or more significant that society in general. There is no reason to believe that you’re unique or clever as, or even more than people do. If you choose to be exceptional or unique, it is not usually welcome and you’re viewed as out of place. However, this idea of humility of Scandinavian culture isn’t taken well by people from other countries who believe that their individuality is part that represent the rainbow of advancement. Jante’s Law is most often criticized as undermining creativity in society.

The Best Cities to Live In Scandinavia

Now let’s go through some of the most desirable cities in the Scandinavian land!

1. Bergen

Norway’s second big city is a stone ridge that is perfect for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is situated at the western end of Norway and surrounded by mountains and fjords, this city is stunning without an improved world. If you like cobblestone lanes as well as houses that are strewn with gorgeous hillsides and breathtaking views provided by the surrounding old wooden structures the city is a must-see.

The great news is that due to the mountain range that protects the city from the harsh winds from the north and east it is able to maintain a temperature that is higher thus the winters pass more comfortably.

2. Gothenburg

As Bergen is the gateway to West Norway’s incredible natural scenery, Gothenburg is a great entry point to Sweden’s amazing landscapes. Based on the west coast, Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden. Its climate is oceanic. Just like in Bergen and the winters are cooler due to the warm influence of Gulf Stream.

The favorable location makes Gothenburg the most important shipping and trading hub of Scandinavia. It is also the hometown of Volvo automobiles. Gothenburg is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to be in a place in which the city’s vibrant culture is interspersed with natural and historical beauties and people are more welcoming than in other regions of Scandinavia.

3. Stockholm

The capital city of Sweden is often referred to as the “Venice in the north”. Spread across an archipelago of fourteen islands Stockholm lies in the midst of many bridges. Despite being Scandinavia’s most populated urban area, along with its rivers and green spaces, it is a large village more than a capital. Gamla Stan, literally Old Town in Swedish is an excellent entry point to the cobblestoned and medieval old-fashioned areas that make up the center of Stockholm. You will find Stockholm is not only an extremely stunning cities of Europe but it is also among the most clean. High quality of life and one can enjoy vibrant nightlife , in addition to the tranquil ambient that is provided by the natural surroundings.

4. Oslo

Norway’s capital city is located in the southeastern part of the country’s coast. It is the oldest of the Scandinavian capitals. Its history dates back 1000 years ago. About half the city is surrounded by greenery, thanks to a large number of parks and forests. Coupled with attempts by Norway’s Norwegian government to decrease carbon emissions, the atmosphere is free of pollution. More than 40% of the vehicles registered in Oslo are electric. Oslo municipality are electrically powered. It is also fairly straightforward to move around the city via public transportation or cycling. Oslo is the city with the most advanced public transportation system installed in Norway.

When it comes to outdoor sports, there are few countries in the world which could compete with Oslo. The Norwegian capital offers excellent winter sports opportunities like skiing and skating. It is also among the cities with the fastest growth in Europe and offers more job opportunities, especially in the maritime sector.

5. Copenhagen

Ranked among the most liveable cities within Europe, Copenhagen is the economic and cultural center of Denmark. Since it is the capital city, it is also the largest city. In terms of environmental standards, Copenhagen is on the high side It is one of the most eco conscious cities in the world when you visit Copenhagen. The city aims to be carbon-neutral by 2025. The city is green, as in many similar Scandinavian cities, as there are many gardens and parks scattered throughout the city. The economy is primarily dependent on the services and commerce industries, and not on manufacturing.

Even though costs of living are high, due to the work benefits that are in place and a high rate of income, and encouraged work-life balance Residents live a blissful life.

Cost of Living in Scandinavia

Below you will find a list of each month the average cost for living in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden as per Numbeo:


Costs for a family of four is EUR4,088.29 without rental
The estimated cost for a single person are EUR1,136.74 without rental
One bedroom apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center costs EUR1,061.24
A studio (1 bedroom) located outside the city costs EUR856.99
The apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center costs EUR1,845.84
The apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of the center cost EUR1,426.41
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, water, and garbage for 85m2 of Apartment cost EUR197.34
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff local (No discount or plan) costs EUR0.12
Internet (60 Mbps or More Unlimited Data Internet via Cable/ADSL) costs EUR52.60


Costs for a family of four is EUR3,403.76 with no rent
A single person’s estimated costs are EUR946.95 with no rent
An apartment (1 bedroom) in the city’s center costs EUR1,004.18
A studio (1 bedroom) located outside the city costs EUR744.25
Appartement (3 bedrooms) located in the city’s central area costs EUR 1,760.82
Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center price EUR 1,309.59
Electricity as well as Heating, Cooling, Water and Garbage for an 85m2 of apartment costs EUR176.66
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No discount or plan) costs EUR0.12


The family of four estimated cost is EUR3,138.03 without rent
The estimated cost for a single person are EUR845.48 with no rent
An apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center costs EUR869.86
A studio (1 bedroom) away from the center costs EUR670.71
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center costs EUR1,411.59
A 3-bedroom apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of center costs EUR1,005.21
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water and garbage for 85m2 of apartment cost EUR79.12
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) costs EUR0.12
Internet (60 or more, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) costs EUR29.67

Culture and Society

When we discuss Scandinavian society and try to define their distinctive culture, features like “excessive” or “showy” won’t come to mind. From architecture to aesthetics, social interactions to the manner of doing business, simplicityand minimalism are apparent. Scandinavian culture is largely democratic and values-driven. Collectivity and cooperativeness are the prevalent striking features. Quality of life and time spent with loved ones are more important as opposed to competition in the workplace or self-promotion. This is why work-life balance is properly controlled in these countries. Individualism is an important characteristic of this culture.

You might be asking yourself what would this mean in societies where enthusiasm or atypicality is usually frowned upon? What Scandinavians value most in individualism is the capacity to take responsibility for the decisions of their own and be self-sufficient. Despite their openness and transparency both in personal and business life, people tend to be more reserved, but more reserved. But that’s not too surprising for a region where Jante’s Law is used to common sense.

Is Living in Scandinavia better than living in Central Europe?

It is the vision of the beholder who decides however, it is based on many factors like security, safety education, social welfare and healthcare natural landscapes, etc. many of the other European countries including Central Europe are backmarkers against Scandinavian countries. Of course, there are the social interaction, weather, and high cost of living , which must be taken into consideration, since the decision is dependent on individual expectations.

Is Living in Scandinavia more beneficial than living In the US?

Again, it depends on your preferences and expectations, but a few words can be considered, as US ways of life and the way they live are mostly different from the Scandinavian lifestyle. If you’re a person who likes to succeed or reach the top perhaps working 10 hours a day, and make lots of sacrifices in order to get to the position you’d like to have in the future, then the US might be the ideal destination for you.

However, for Scandinavia all of these are applicable. For someone who is lively and expressive, Scandinavia can appear to be chilly and reserved. But if you’re an honest person who likes to balance the two worlds of work and family Don’t be a fan of getting promotions by sacrificing your personal life. If you enjoy spending time with your children all day long, the US will turn you off.

The Bottom Line

Here you have it…An intro to life in Scandinavia…The region offers high standards of living, great education, and an excellent life balance. There are so many pros that will make you feel content regardless of the harsh weather! While moving to a new location is a significant choice, it can be the most rewarding decision you’ve done.