Living in Stockholm

Useful information to consider before and during your stay in the Stockholm region.


If you are a doctoral student who is admitted to KI, you are covered by personal injury insurance (the general student insurance). This insurance applies during study hours and during travel to and from the location where study hours are spent. If you are a researcher at KI, there is a similar insurance coverage that applies during travel to and from KI premises and while on the KI campuses. As a government employee you are insured through an SPV occupational group life insurance policy, see Insurance

In case of illness or accidents during leisure time, you are personally responsible for the full cost of medical treatment if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer), an EU Health Insurance Card or GHIC for the UK, se below.

We recommend that you purchase a private accident and life insurance if you don't have any. Karolinska Institutet has an agreement with Skandia insurance company to offer a voluntary group insurance for employees. You can buy insurance for you and your family like: life and health insurance, security capital, accident insurance and child insurance, see Insurance 
Trade unions have offers on several insurance policies as a membership benefit. 

We strongly recommend that you purchase home insurance (hemförsäkring) for the duration of your stay in Sweden, see Accommodation

Health and medical care

In general

Drinking water: the drinking water quality in Stockholm is of high and consistent quality, which means that you can drink it directly from the tap.

Healthcare advisory service

You can call the Healthcare Guide 1177 Vårdguiden, phone 1177, for the addresses and telephone numbers of all public healthcare providers in the County of Stockholm. 1177 Vårdguiden also provides information and advice on illnesses and health, examinations, treatments and medication online. See health advice in several languages. More general information about Healthcare in Stockholm County

Medical centres and local emergency units

If you fall ill or need medical advice, you should contact your local primary care medical centre (Vårdcentral). Primary care medical centres treat adults and children for illnesses and problems that are not urgent or life threatening. Doctors there can also refer you to a specialist if necessary. The healthcare centre provides also psychological/psychiatric care. 

Local emergency units (Närakut) treat the same kind of illnesses and problems as local medical centres. These are open daily, but you should call before visiting.

Emergency care

If you suddenly become seriously ill or injured you should go to the accident and emergency clinic (akutmottagning), at a hospital sjukhus. Call the emergency number 112.
Student Wellbeing Center has general advice regarding more acute psychological problems.

Subsidised healthcare costs

If you are planning to stay in Sweden for at least one year, you must generally be entered into the Swedish population register. Once you are registered in Sweden (have received a personal identification number), you are entitled to healthcare under the same conditions as other residents of Sweden. This means that you pay the regular Swedish patient fee for medical care in the public healthcare system.

EU/EEA citizens without Swedish personal number are entitled to use public medical services on the same basis as Swedish citizens, provided they are covered by health insurance in their home country and can produce an EU Health Insurance card. Visiting Nordic citizens need to show ID document and home address. 

Visiting doctoral students and researchers who have a residence permit for a period of less than one year will not be issued a personal identity number and will not be entitled to reduced costs. If this applies to you, we strongly advise you to obtain health insurance in your home country that is valid for your entire stay in Sweden or to contact your host department at KI. Please note that Sweden has reciprocal agreements on public medical benefits with Algeria, Australia and the province of Quebec for emergency care, as well as with Israel for delivery care.

A visit to a primary care physician costs 275 SEK, while a visit to a specialist will cost 275 SEK and hospital emergency clinics 400 SEK. These costs are subsidised by the Swedish state, the actual cost of a normal visit being 2,100 – 6,000 SEK. If you do not havea Swedish personal identity number, personnummer, or an EU Health Insurance Card, you must pay the full cost yourself. More information about patient fees (in Swedish)


A doctor’s prescription is generally needed to obtain drugs at Swedish pharmacies, except for common over-the-counter medicines, like aspirin. At pharmacies you can obtain advice on treatment of minor illnesses such as headache, cold and cough, allergic reactions, fever and stomach problems. Pharmacies are generally open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The C.W. Scheele pharmacy at Klarabergsgatan 64 (metro T-Centralen) is open around the clock. You can buy certain non-prescription drugs at grocery stores and other retail outlets. See Regarding prescriptions and purchases of medicinal products for EU citizens
More information in several languages from Apoteket.

Dental care

If you have a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) and are registered at the Swedish Social Insurance Office, you are eligible for benefits on some dental care procedures. EU/EEA citizens are entitled to use the emergency dental care services on the same basis as Swedish citizens, provided they are covered by health insurance in their home country and can present an EU Health Insurance Card, see Dental care in Sweden if you come from another country. Remember that the cost of dental care is not fixed, so you should always ask your dentist how much the treatment will cost before it starts. For an ordinary check-up, you can contact the Dental Public Service (Folktandvården).

For information about your nearest clinic, phone 020-687 55 00, or visit the homepage. The dental school at KI provides student treatment phone 08-524 882 00. Emergency dental care is available at Folktandvården Akuten, Fleminggatan 48, phone 08-123 156 80.

Social security

The Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) is the authority responsible for social assistance in the form of parental benefits, child allowances, sickness benefits, and so on. To be covered by a social insurance benefit, you must either be resident in Sweden or be working here. See Moving to Sweden

Cars and driving

Congestion tax

A congestion tax (trängselskatt) is charged for Swedish-registered vehicles that are driven into and out of central Stockholm, Mondays to Fridays between 6.30 a.m. and 6.29 p.m.Read more about the congestion tax, registration of cars and related issues at the The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) website.

Driving licence

EU and EEA driving licences are valid in Sweden. If you are a permanent resident in Sweden, you can even apply to exchange your licence for an equivalent Swedish driving licence.

Non-EU/EEA driving licences are valid for only 12 months in Sweden. Non-EU/ EEA citizens may apply for exemption from the 12-month rule if their stay in Sweden is temporary (i.e. one to two years). Contact the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). It is important to contact the agency well before the end of your first 12 months. A non-EEA driving licence cannot be exchanged for a Swedish equivalent. If you want to continue driving in Sweden you will have to complete the risk education, and theory and practical examinations.

Licences issued in Japan and Switzerland can be exchanged into a Swedish equivalent as long as it is done within one year.

More information about car rental and parking in Stockholm

Car insurance

All motor vehicles used in traffic must be traffic insured.

Swedish culture and social activities in Stockholm

Culture and traditions in Sweden
The Local – Swedish news in English
Stockholm's official visitors guide
Your Living City - Stockholm's source for English-language events and information
Meet new people in Stockholm
Meditation and prayer rooms at KI
Free Wi-Fi spots
Stockholm's city guide
Useful apps in Stockholm

Content reviewer:
Ulla Tunkara