A view of swedish houses in the snow

Moving to Sweden to study? 5 apps all students should have!

Thinking of moving to Sweden, and specifically to the Karolinska Institutet, to study? Great choice! Here are 5 apps that I’ve found to be super useful for living in Sweden, so you can download them and get prepared!


Mecenat is Sweden’s student discount provider. You do need to wait until you have your university account to be verified with them, but once you are, money saving awaits! The place I find this to be the most useful is with public transport – being verified with Mecenat as a student gets you around 1/3 off of ticket prices, which makes all the difference whether you buy single tickets or monthly passes. The verification process is a bit of a pain, as you have to prove that you are registered to study for a certain amount of credits before you qualify, but this just involves sending an additional email with a transcript from Ladok (the student registration service) to the Mecenat team. Overall, you can also get discounts on long distance trains and plenty of shops and food outlets around Stockholm , so it’s a great one to get sorted early on in the semester.

A picture of a dock at sunset
Dock in Hagaparken, which is near the KI Solna campus. (Photo credits: Emily Tan)


SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik) is the Stockholm region public transport service. Whilst you can buy tickets directly on transport services using contactless payment, or get an SL card which you can preload with tickets, you can also buy tickets on their app. This is what most students I’ve met use, as it’s very convenient to buy your ticket or monthly pass on your phone and scan in to transport services, and allows you to buy the discounted student tickets easily. Depending on how you are arriving to Sweden, and where you’re planning to live, this could be worth downloading before you arrive!


Wondr is a KI specific recommendation, as this is the app that the university Health Promotion services use for the sport facilities on both campuses. The app allows you to access gym facilities in both Solna and Flemingsberg, and to book classes or sport facilities. Examples of possible classes include a boxing workout, a core exercise class, functional yoga, and leaning how to weightlift. You can also book facilities such as table tennis, basketball, badminton and tennis on the app. All you need to log in is your KI account, so once you have this, you’re free to get set up so that you’re ready to go when you arrive! (However, don’t worry if you want a bit more of an introduction – we had a whole orientation session with the Health Promotion team when we first arrived, where all this was explained in more detail). You can check out more here.

A picture of a gym with a green floor
KI Gym Solna (Photo credits: Karolinska Institutet)

Transport apps – RideMovi / Bolt / Lime / Tier

Looking for a different way to get around the city? Whilst public transport in Stockholm is pretty good (at least compared to the UK!), you will sometimes see that the ‘cycling’ option on Maps is just as fast, or faster, than taking transport. So, if the weather is good or you’re in a hurry, you might want to consider another transport option. For those who don’t want to buy a bike, there are plenty of pay-per-use options. Similar to most major cities, Stockholm has several electric scooter companies (listed above) which provide e-scooters to hire across the city. The cycle way network in Stockholm provides plenty of ways to get around that don’t require travelling on major roads, but most roads have a dedicated cycle path to the side which you are able to use with an e-scooter. Bolt, Lime, and Tier scooters can be found pretty much across the city, and especially in the central areas. RideMovi is unique in that they also offer e-bikes to rent, which can be a more comfortable option for those who aren’t as used to using an e-scooter. My one piece of advice would be – it’s hard to cycle or scooter and navigate at the same time, and for the directionally challenged such as myself, this can result in getting lost (a lot). Make sure you are comfortable signalling and safely stopping the bike or scooter on the sidewalk (not on the cycle path!) so you can check where you are going, and make sure you have a good app for directions downloaded!

A fire alarm box which says 'In case of love at first sight break glass'
An art installation in Gamla Stan (Photo credits: Emily Tan).

Food apps – TooGoodToGo / Lidl / Espresso House

Stockholm can be an expensive place to live, work, and most especially, eat! To make this a bit cheaper, here’s a few apps that can help. The Lidl app allows you to see cheap deals on produce for the week, and by signing up to Lidl Plus student, you can get weekly discounts which are apparently ‘tailored to student life’! Warning for those only in Sweden for a year – you do need a personal number for this one. Apps you don’t need a personal number for include the TooGoodToGo, where you can pick up discounted fika or food from shops and cafés and fight food waste, and the Espresso House app, which is the loyalty app for Sweden’s popular coffee shop chain. Since fika, or the coffee break, is such an important part of Swedish culture, I thought I’d offer some ways to enjoy it on a student budget!

A picture of hands holding luciabullar
Saffransbullar for fika, just to get you in the spirit! (Photo credits: Emily Tan)

Thanks for following along, and I hope this is helpful for those who want to move to Sweden for the next academic year. See you next time 🙂

Emily - Global Health

Emily - Global Health

Hi, I’m Emily! I’m from the UK, the USA and Malaysia, and I’m studying the Master’s in Global Health this year. I’m a medical student in the UK, and hope to work either in Emergency Medicine or Women’s Health, as well as in health policy development and implementation. In my free time, I love playing sports, thrift shopping, hiking and the outdoors, and trying out new cafés (all of which I have heard Stockholm is perfect for!). I’m excited to travel around Scandinavia this year, start some new sports, and explore the shops and cafés in Södermalm.


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