Sannegårdshamnen a residential area in Gothenburg
Photo: Nils Pasi Nävert

Cost of living

Although Sweden is considered somewhat expensive, your cost of living will in many ways depend on your individual lifestyle. A number of commodities are more costly than the European mean, while others might be cheaper. However, by planning a monthly budget most newcomers find it easy to adjust.

Accommodation in Gothenburg

The cost of accommodation can vary widely throughout Gothenburg. A good way to find housing with a lower rent is being flexible regarding the location and the type of accommodation you are looking for. Kitchens are almost always furnished (with kitchen appliances like fridge, freezer, and stove), but electricity and internet are not normally included in the rent. 

Read more about housing in Gothenburg


The company that is responsible for public transport services in and around Gothenburg is called Västtrafik. A monthly Västtrafik pass costs SEK 815. With the pass, you can travel by bus, tram, and ferry within the city limits. There are also affordable passes available if you live outside of Gothenburg and are commuting. 

If you are a student (or under 20 years old), a monthly pass for public transportation within Gothenburg costs SEK 610 (815 SEK full price).

About public transportation at Västtrafik's website. 

Styr & Ställ bicycles
Photo: Nils Pasi Nävert

Gothenburg is a bicycle-friendly city. Riding a bicycle will not only save money but, in some cases, get you faster from one place to another. If you do not want to buy a bicycle, Styr & Ställ is a service which lets you subscribe to bicycles. With a subscription you can borrow bicycles that are placed around the city for a small fee.

Styr & Ställ's website.

Dining out and food

People buying food in a foodtruck
Photo: Simon Paulin/

Dining out at restaurants can be somewhat expensive in Sweden. Lunch at a campus restaurant, café, or lunch place can cost SEK 65–115. Dinner starts at about SEK 130, not including drinks. At most restaurants and bars, an inexpensive beer or glass of wine will cost about SEK 60.

If you are a student, many cafés and restaurants offer a student discount, and prices can be significantly lower at events arranged by student unions.

A common practice in Sweden, regardless of whether you work or are a student, is bringing your own boxed lunch from home, as this is a good way to save some money. Almost every break room has at least a couple of microwave ovens available for reheating food. 

Being a new consumer in Sweden 

Online shopping, signing agreements, and paying bills can be tricky in a new country. "Hallå konsument" is a national service with information in many languages about rights and obligations as a consumer in Sweden. 

 Hallå Konsument's webpage.

Take part in the growing circular economy

In many ways, Gothenburg is at the forefront of sustainable consumption and effective use of resources. In the last decade, a huge number of second hand boutiques and initiatives based in lending, borrowing, and giving things have sprung up throughout the city landscape.

About vintage and second-hand shopping on

One of the many tools resulting from the convergence of innovation and circular economy is Smarta kartan, or the smart map. This interactive map shows a steadily increasing number of places in the city where you can get, rent, borrow, or give things or services.

Monthly budget for a student

If you are coming to Gothenburg to study and want to calculate your approximate monthly living expenses, here is a guide to help you. Please note that this is an estimate, not an exact number for all students in Gothenburg or Sweden.