For members


These are the essential smartphone apps that make life in Sweden easier

In tech-savvy Sweden, your smartphone can make things much, much easier, whether you're looking up directions, trying to understand the local language, or booking restaurants and paying for your meal. Here are some of the useful apps that will help you navigate life here.

These are the essential smartphone apps that make life in Sweden easier
Downloading some of these apps will make your transition to life in Sweden far easier. Photo: Simon Paulin/

SJ and local transport apps

If you are travelling around Sweden by train, railway operator SJ’s app will come in handy for planning journeys and storing tickets.

For regional public transport, most towns will also have their own apps. If you’re in one of Sweden’s three biggest cities, you can plan your travels with SL in Stockholm, Västtrafik in Gothenburg and Skånetrafiken in Malmö and southern Sweden.

Download the SJ app on iOS and Android
Download the SL app on iOS and Android
Download the Västtrafik app on iOS and Android
Download the Skånetrafiken app on iOS and Android


Duolingo is one of the most popular apps for quickly learning another language, and can help you with Swedish vocabulary, phrases and grammar. You’ll develop a love-hate relationship with the cartoon owl who guides you through different levels and ‘categories, and because you are motivated to work on your Swedish skills daily to keep your streak, you’ll pick up new words quickly.

Download Duolingo on iOS and Android


Founded by Melanie Aronson, an American in Sweden, the Panion app is all about meeting people you have something in common with. By indicating your different interests you will quickly find like-minded people to contact, allowing you to meet a new tennis partner or members for your book club, for example.

Download Panion on iOS and Android

SVT Play

The SVT Play app is a collection of all the video content from Swedish state broadcaster SVT. Here you will find broadcasts from all programmes from comedy to documentaries, plus the latest news and live streams from different channels. Tip: many of the programs that you find in the app are subtitled, and are therefore a good way to improve your knowledge of the Swedish language. You can also download a separate app, SVT Språkplay, specifically designed to assist language-learners while watching SVT shows.

Download the SVT Play app on iOS and Android


With the Mobile BankID app you can make electronic signatures for banks, government authorities and other services that require secure identification. To use the app you must have an account with one of the major Swedish banks. This app is not that exciting, but it is essential to making your life in Sweden run smoothly.

Download BankID on iOS and Android


The Swish app is all but essential for anyone who lives and works in increasingly cashfree Sweden. You can send money with your mobile phone to individuals, companies, associations and organizations. It’s one of the most used apps in Sweden and ‘to swish’ has become a common verb in Swedish. The app is linked to your telephone number and BankID account, and only works with a Swedish bank account.

Download Swish on iOS and Android


Meeting new people is one of the biggest challenges for anyone living in a new country. The app Meetup does what it says on the tin, with different communities organizing regular events through the app. In many large cities in Sweden, you can find regular events by searching by interest or location.

Download Meetup on iOS and Android


Blocket is Sweden’s largest secondhand marketplace and an excellent source of great bargains. You will find second-hand furniture, cars, and electronics, but also vacations and cars. And for anyone looking for a rental house or apartment in Sweden, Blocket is a good place to start. 

Download the Blocket app on iOS and Android


Karma is a popular app with the aim of preventing food waste. Through the app you can buy food that would otherwise be thrown away, and get a discount in the process. Once you have ordered something via the Karma app you can pick it up at the restaurant or shop. Karma is a Swedish company, but the app also works in some other countries.

Download Karma on iOS and Android

The Fork

It’s no secret that dining out in Sweden can get expensive, so in addition to Karma, this is a good app to have at the ready. Earn loyalty points each time you book via The Fork, and take advantage of special offers and discounts.

Download The Fork on iOS and Android

The Local

Finally, we couldn’t write this list without giving our own app a mention. Keep up to date with the latest Swedish news, written by local journalists. The Local’s goal is to explain Sweden to our readers, which means telling and explaining the major news stories and reporting on the important changes you need to be aware of, as well as providing guides for everything from navigating the rental market to travel tips. 

Download The Local’s app on iOS and Android

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Residency, pastries and Swedish style: Essential articles for life in Sweden

How can you save money on your energy bill, the different types of permanent residency, how to dress like a Swede and how to talk to strangers without annoying them... here are six must-reads from The Local about life in Sweden.

Residency, pastries and Swedish style: Essential articles for life in Sweden

You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the rising cost of energy in Sweden over the past year.

However, there are some ways you can save money on your energy bills. Here are our tips.

Many of you reading this have some form of permanent residence document in Sweden, be it under EU rules, non-EU rules, or a UK post-Brexit permit. What you might not realise is that each of these documents are actually slightly different. Here’s a guide.

Swedish style is known for being minimalistic and monotone, with greys, whites and blacks popular, especially in the winter months. Those of you interested in taking inspiration from Swedish fashion (or knowing what to avoid if you want to stand out) can check out our eight tips on how to dress like a Swede below.

You’ve probably heard of fika, Sweden’s traditional mid-afternoon coffee break to eat a pastry or cake and take a break with colleagues. However, do you know your biskvi from your Budapestbakelse? Your chokladboll from your kanelbulle? If not, read on below.

For those of you who have mastered the Swedish language (or are well on your way to doing so), you might be wondering how to take the next step and learn more about Swedish society from the experts: Swedes.

Here’s The Local’s guide to the best TV shows to watch if you want to understand Swedish society (and which shows you can bring up in conversation with your colleagues if you want to impress them with your knowledge).

Finally, you may have heard the phrase ‘don’t talk to strangers’, as a child, but what you may not have realised is that this is a key cornerstone of Swedish society, with small talk frowned upon and mindless chat between strangers considered extremely odd.

Here are the few situations where it’s socially acceptable to talk to Swedes you don’t already know without freaking them out.