'My heart jumps with joy!' How foreigners feel about the Swedish winter

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
'My heart jumps with joy!' How foreigners feel about the Swedish winter
A reader based in Uppsala took this picture. Photo: Jennie

After a cold snap covered nearly all of Sweden in snow, The Local's readers shared their pictures and thoughts about the weather.


"I am in Stockholm and I understand the trouble and traffic chaos, but personally, I love this weather," says Mansi from India.

"I enjoy every bit of snow, from sipping hot coffee with a book by the window, to a little walk in the vicinity, to listening to old music while cooking in warm yellow light. It's been little over five years since I moved to Stockholm and every time it snows, my heart jumps with joy, even if it means walking to the office on a Monday morning."

Photo: Mansi

"I’m in Vänersborg with temperature of -10C, according to SMHI. It feels like -16C. But luckily I can hide out indoors,  enjoying the beautiful snow from the cosy inside," says one reader from South Africa. "Before coming to Sweden I had never seen snow up close."

"I live in Falun and we have enjoyed a wonderful winter with beautiful crisp snow since late November," says Iain.

"It was -15C this morning but dry with little wind so no problem with the correct clothing. My friends and family back in the UK are so jealous. I rent directly from the municipality so enjoy a 'warm rent' and it’s lovely to finish my walk home from work past the frozen lake and get back to a 20C flat. I am very lucky. This is the nicest winter since I got here seven years ago."

Photo: Iain

"I am not used to this kind of cold. I only see this kind of weather in movies and TV. I come from a region in Africa that is very hot. Temperatures reaching 42 during the hot season! We have warm weather almost six months of the year, so coming from a warm climate to this cold in Sweden is on another level," says Elsie Nkiru Iwuchukwu, who is from Nigeria but moved to Sweden seven years ago.

She lives in a small town in the Småland region. 

"The weather is very cold, -15C with dry air and frigid cold. Bus and train services have been slow, even deliveries also are delayed."



"It is -23C but feels like -35C with the wind chill: sunny but freezing cold in Umeå. I go to the gym irrespective of weather conditions and am definitely in the mood for a pizza," says Captain Utpal Das from India.

"I come from a country that has all four seasons and weather that ranges from tropical rain forest with the wettest place on earth, snow in winters, to hot and humid in some parts of the country. We have coastline, mountains, desert and forest back home. After living in Sweden for over three years, I’m used to the cold and am much more comfortable now than I was in the first few months," he says.

Photo: Captain Utpal Das

"Don't go outside if you can help it," warns Ahmed, who has lived in Stockholm for over two years. "I drove around Sollentuna - Åkersberga - Stockholm Sveagatan - Frihamnen and most of the roads are not maintained well so driving isn't very convenient," he says on January 4th. 

"I came from a very hot country so I'm really out of my comfort zone here," he adds.


Photo: Ahmed

"I'm originally from India and moved to Sweden three months ago to live with my husband. This is exactly opposite of the weather I'm used to," says Akhila Challa, adding that she's looking for tips about how to dress in the cold weather.

"In the south of India where I'm from, we have extremely hot summers and pleasant winters. I was really excited to experience snow for the first time when I was coming here. When it snowed for the first time this season in November I was so excited, I went out and played in the snow for a while like a little child," 


"Wrap up!" urges Erica, a reader from the UK. "I've brought thermal leggings and socks, warm walking boots, jumpers and a ski jacket, hat, gloves and scarf. Sweden usually copes well in snow and cold, something they are used to. And properties are designed to stand the cold."

Photo: Erica

"It's cold in Uppsala, but at least not as cold as up north. We handle the snow better than in the south on roads and pathways, so that's good. However, I'd be very happy to be living in a warmer climate right now, I hate snow," says one reader who didn't give their name.

"Grew up in Buffalo, NY in the USA. It's well known for bad winters, worse than I've experienced here. That's why I hate winter and snow. Sweden is the last place on Earth I'd thought I'd be living. Probably karma for something rotten I did in the past," adds the reader, noting that their ten-year anniversary in Sweden is coming up this month.

Pave Volf from the Czech Republic says they had two centimetres of snow when the picture below was taken in Lund, southern Sweden. 

"-3C. Seems like a nice winter day. Bit windy, but not too much," he says.

Photo: Pave Volf

"Here in Dorotea, Västerbotten County, on January 3rd, we registered between -32C and -33C with a feels-like of about -38C," says Ryan Evans, who adds that Dorotea reminds him of his old village in Cornwall, UK.

"We walked to the store, it was quite brisk! Today we have decided to light a load of candles and hide under a blanket. The amount of snow we have makes for a beautiful scene. It is really lovely to look at."

Photo: Ryan Evans

Joseph Mukhama II commented on The Local's Facebook page that he went for a run in Malmö in temperatures of -3C.

"The morning run was tough on the fingers (when taking some photos) but refreshing for the body."

Photo: Joseph Mukhama II

"I live in Södertälje and it was snowing all morning," says Sinchana Kallesara from India. "I had committed to going to the office. So I dragged myself out this morning when the snow was pouring down and had the normal shoes on and luckily did not slip. But the weather seem to have improved in the afternoon and the sun was shining on my office window glaring my monitor screen."


"I’m in Dalsland in west Sweden," says Eric Peterson from the US. "We had [approximately] 50 centimetres of snow from a storm earlier this week, but the strange thing is that it never really stopped snowing. Precipitation continues, if lighter, despite none indicated in the forecast." 

"I work at a distance, so no major changes for my day! Quick walk to the local coworking space where I’ll work as usual."

Photo: Eric Peterson

"Report says '-11C, feels like -17C', and it sure does! Soft snow all day, but everywhere looks beautiful. We are OK with lots of snow here," says an Irish reader who didn't tell us where in Sweden they're based, but sent us this picture of ice bathing:

Photo: Reader picture

"Always know where your gloves are, don’t let them escape! And don’t be afraid to put the spikes on your shoes even if you’re not that old" says Malcolm, a British reader in Härnösand. "I feel I’ve adapted to the weather pretty well, or at least it doesn’t bother me. Can’t ski though."

Photo: Malcolm



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