You’ve moved to Örebro, now what?

Moving to a new city can be quite daunting. Moving to a new city, in a new country, using a different language even more so! Kayley and I have done this twice now in the last 3 years. This time around I’ve decided to put together a post on where to get all the basics you need in order to make your move to Örebro, Sweden as smooth as possible.

Where to get a bicycle

The first thing you’ll notice in Örebro is that almost everybody is on a bike. Where to buy a bike in Örebro is largely budget dependent. There are quite a few second hand bike stores scattered throughout the town as well as a number of stores where you can buy a brand new one. Facebook Market Place or Blocket are also great resources. Just be sure to ask for an original receipt or police clearance if you’re buying second hand, bicycle theft is an issue! Make sure you get a good lock! Our first bike was from A-Cykel, they carry a good range of used bikes at a range of prices. Another good store to try is Cykelreturen, they stock bikes at all price ranges and as they’re close to the university they also give a student discount. For more high-end bicycles you can check out Lindells or XXL.

A good bike will get you places
A good bike will get you places

Where to get groceries

Now you have a bike the next important thing is to stay fed! The main options in Örebro are ICA, COOP or WILLYS. There are a few others but these are the most common. ICA is the most widespread and have a good range of everything you would need. Just beware items marked as ‘kortprys’, these specials are for loyalty card holders only. WILLYS is also great for all the basics. COOP is my least favourite grocery store but if it is your only option it will suffice.If you settle in Sweden for an extended period you will get a personal number which you can use to sign up for the ICA as well as WILLYS benefit cards. Öob is a great all round store for basic home goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries at much lower prices than the regular grocery stores.

Where to get your all important Swedish personal number

Some see this as a terrible chore but if you’ve dealt with home affairs in South Africa this process is a breeze. Your first visit will be to register at the Skatteverket, The Swedish Tax Agency. There are two branches in Örebro, the one near Vivalla is newly built and usually much quieter than the one in town. After you first register it can take up to 8 weeks for you to receive your personal number. You then have to visit the Skatteverket again to apply for your ID card which takes about two weeks. You can book appointments online which beats waiting in lines. The website does have an English option.

Where to get a sim card/home internet

To get a sim contract or home internet contract you need your Swedish personal number. You can however get a prepaid sim from Telia until you have your personal number. They can also sign you up for month-to-month home internet. After you receive your personal number it’s time to start shopping around for the best deals. These change all the time as there are a number of providers vying for market share.

Where to get some exercise

Örebro is a running/cycling paradise. There are numerous trails ranging from single track to gravel and paved all over the place. Whether you fancy a short run/ride in the heart of the old town or want to head out into the serenity of the woods and grasslands around Hjälmaren Lake on the edge of town. A very useful website is Naturkartan, they also have an iOS/Android app. You can find any trails/activity centres in your area as well as download offline maps.

Örebro is of course also host to a Parkrun every Saturday, read more about that here.

The city has a number of gyms, yoga studios, sports clubs and organisations ranging from professional to weekend warrior.

Currently we are, with a mixture of trepidation and excitement, awaiting winter to see what the winter sport options are in the area.

Runners in action on the parkrun course
Runners in action on the parkrun course, photo courtesy of Jimmy Glinneras

Where to buy alcohol

You have two options here. Beer, with maximum 3,5% ABV, is available at most supermarkets. If you want anything else you have to go to the Systembolaget, the state run liquor store. Here you will find a big range of almost any alcoholic beverage you could need. Everything neatly arranged with descriptions for each product, even meal pairing recommendations.

These are the basics we felt we had to cover to get settled into our new home.

Need to know anything else about getting yourself set up in Örebro? Let us know in the comments section.