Pros and Cons of Sweden in Cold Weather.

I’ve been struggling for inspiration as to what to write this week, and cycling back from my 0800 lecture today, through what I’m convinced is sleet, I decided to bow to the English stereotype of talking about the weather. I do apologise!

Therefore, I present a few pros and cons of living in Sweden during the colder months.


It’s warm inside!

My girlfriend has been regaling me with tales of the coldness within her student accommodation in Southampton. Indeed, I remember how cold it was in my student house last year, and in student halls the year before that!

However, here in Sweden, it is hard for architects and building engineers to forget that it gets quite cold in the winter, and so all Swedish buildings cope very well with the cold. I bought an extra duvet when I arrived in Sweden for the winter time, and have not yet removed it from it’s packaging! I am reliably informed that, had I been in the UK, I would have needed the extra duvet and more at least three weeks ago.

Local authorities know how to deal with the weather

I talked before about gritting of cycle paths, roads and pavements before. I think it’s worth mentioning again. In the UK, gritting only occurs once the ice has already formed on the streets, and grit only tends to appear on the road and not on the pavements.

Gritting started as the cold started to bite here, and I am very grateful for it. I mean, I still have to avoid the puddles, but I did that anyway!

Public transport hasn’t suffered at all, and relying on buses has so far not been a problem at all. I’m certain that if the weather was similar in the UK, our already shoddy public transport system would simply not cope with it.

It’s actually quite pleasant

Maybe it’s just because this is the start of my first Scandinavian winter, but I’m enjoying watching the changing of the season. I can’t really remember when I’ve done that before, if ever.

The UK is always drizzly at this time of year, whereas here the rain has only really just started. Before that, the cold was really quite pleasant, almost refreshing! There is none of the persistent dampness I associate with the end of autumn and beginning of winter.


Layering up

Ok, so maybe this is a bit of a silly thing to say but, due to the fact that Swedish buildings have actually been insulated properly, you constantly have to get dressed and undressed in order to go outside and then return inside.

This is not so much of a problem when going from Ryd to the University, but if you’re at Uni all day, it get’s a little tedious. Combined with the fact that I packed for Sweden like I’d pack to go skiing: I brought lots of thin(ish) layers, which means that for me, taking off layers and then putting them on again is even more tedious!

Ice and Snow

Though we haven’t had any snow yet, the ice is already forming overnight and not really thawing!

I’m actually getting a little apprehensive of the arrival of proper weather, since I am yet to acquire suitable footwear for such an eventuality. I have just started browsing shops and the web for suitable footwear, but of course, I have no idea what it really needed!

I will be consulting with some Swedes before I make the investment.

Another thing is that, so I’ve been told, if the snow gets really bad, then walking is the only way to get anywhere… I’m hoping that Sweden will wait until late January before that sort of weather is unleashed!


4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Sweden in Cold Weather.

  1. I’ve lived here 3 years now. Getting to wear extra clothes in winter is a dream for Scandinavians. The colour palates of their fashions are often so autumnal that they never sit well in spring time, it’s too hot to wear them for the 2 months of summer, and in the fall they go too well with the leaves, but in the winter, with the snow, the striking browns and greens of the coats and hats, and the bright mustards and yellows of the pants and scarves make for wonderful contrasts with the white and grey of the weather, and with tweed this and corduroy that, the hipsters come out in bloom.

    Don’t worry about the footwear, just get something that wears well against salt because there’ll be so much of the stuff on the roads and footpaths soon, you won’t even have to think about slipping.

    I’m unsure if you’re bearded, but soon you’ll see men who in other seasons are clean shaven start to become hairy. I myself am deep within the de-moulting process, and now I sport a thick 2 inch red beard which goes well with my brown shoes and yellow pants.

    In all seriousness though, a beard is fierce handy if you are planning to bike during winter. And don’t waste money on snow tyres for a bicycle, you can just get a bunch of plastic cable ties that will do the same thing (dig into snow and ice) and save you a small fortune. Mittens also are the best thing, not gloves. If your fingers are all together, as opposed to separated, they conserve heat better. And wool. Anything wool is fantastic!

    Also, you’re in Sweden and not Finland, so the winter won’t be so bad and the people won’t seem so miserable but you will begin to notice people suffering from SAD. If you get it yourself, buy a lamp from Clas Ohlson that emits imitation “real light”. They help with mornings and with moods.

  2. It’s funny how I, a Swede, familiarize myself with your the duvet situation. It’s kind off the opposite – I work in London and have used TWO duvets with blankets on top, just because of the cold (and that the heating is so expensive that most families, from what I’v understood, don’t put it on until the middle of December)!

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