How is life in a small Swedish city, Norrköping?
Is it too small and boring? That was my reaction when I got realized that I am going to live in a small Swedish city for the next 2 years. While I was living in the third largest city in Turkey with 4 and a half million inhabitants, it was a bit tough decision to leave from my town and move to a small Swedish city with almost 150.000 inhabitants.
Norrköping! The first thing that I have done was to Google it. It was quite disappointing to see that there is not much information about it. I even did not know that although I got accepted at Linköping University why am I going to live in somewhere called Norrköping? Later on, everything became more clear.
I can say that this post could also be an international student guide to Norrköping!
Linköping and Norrköping are different cities both located in Östergötland county in the south of Sweden. Linköping University has three main campuses. First, Campus Valla which is the biggest campus is located in Linköping about three kilometers away from the city centre. Second, University Hospital Campus which has one of the best hospitals in Sweden located in Linköping as well. Last, my cute Campus Norrköping is located in the centre of Norrköping. Majority of international students study in Campus Valla while the rest like me study at Campus Norrköping.
However, finding an accommodation could be challenging. Some students living in Linköping but study in Norrköping while some students living in Norrköping but study in Linköping. Luckily, there is a campus bus (Line 73) runs between three main campuses. The campus bus is free for Linköping University students with valid LiU card.
Norrköping is cute, small city as an old industrial centre from the 1600s. There are basically two different main street with restaurants, pubs, bars, shops and clubs. The campus is in the heart of the city next to the waterfront of Motala River. It’s so cool when you finished with morning courses, just go out to buy a salad for lunch from ICA in the corner and eat it in the common area with river view!
It’s not THAT small!
Life is here in Norrköping not full of actions as much as big cities like Stockholm, Göteborg or Malmö but that does not mean there is nothing going on. This city lives! There are lots of fun things to do in Norrköping when you have free times. I realized that it is not the matter how many people lives in the city. The matter is what the city offers you. Well, cultural activities, festivals, plays, parties, nature, cinema, theatre what else? Everything is possible because one of the things that I’ve learned past 5 months in Sweden than Swedes like to go out. Friday or Saturday evenings, even it’s -10 degree outside you will see all the restaurants or pubs full of people enjoying their meals accompanied by friends or family.
That might not be the best student habit but I like to eat outside. Especially during the weekend nights I like to go out. I think even it is a small city in Sweden there are always cool places to hang out!
So, where to eat and drink in Norrköping
- Burgers and Bangers – They have the best burgers in the town of course with a vegan option. It is quite popular on Friday/Saturday evenings. It is located at Drottninggattan 15. https://www.burgersandbangers.se/
- Pappa Grappa – There are two branches both in Norrköping and Linköping. It’s an Italian restaurant with delicious pizza, pasta and Italian desserts such as tiramisu and pannacotta in their menu. https://www.pappagrappa.se/
- Saliga Munken – It is a pub restaurant where you can find traditional Swedish food. I tried my first stekt strömming and wallenbergare in here and totally recommended. http://saligamunken.se/
Where to party in Norrköping?
I live very close to campus and also one of the most popular student bars. That means a looot of noise during the weekend but I am fine with it.
- Arbis Bar & Salonger – Usually there are concerts, not a big one but with local bands/singers. Unless there is no concert it is possible to have fun with pop, rock or indie music. Sometimes… Sometimes they play old-fashioned songs. It makes me wanna cry. Rihanna- Where Have You Been? Really? http://www.arbis.se/
- Trappan Pub & Nightclub- This is definitely where you can find all students in Norrköping want to have fun. It has also study place during the day with self-service coffee for free. I haven’t been there to study yet but it’s on my list. http://trappan.nu/
- Hugo Stekhus & Klubb& Bowling – This place located near to the train station. Besides students, local people choose to go there if they want to dance and have fun. http://www.hugonorrkoping.se/
Where to fika?
I don’t know how many times I said the word -fika- but I don’t think I could never get bored talking about it. Any time of day, you can find a cozy cafe with nice atmosphere offers you good deserts, coffee and of course Wi-Fi! That’s my favorite triple.
- Espresso House – One thing very interesting about Sweden that it is not a Starbucks country. No matter whichever city in Sweden you can find dozens of different options if you want to get a cup of coffee. Rather than that big, global coffeehouse chain, it is very common to see people sitting in local cafes. I really admire that! Espresso House is the largest coffeehouse chain in Sweden and their chocolate croissant is so good. https://espressohouse.com/
- Broadway Konditori – My secret shelter! Delicious chocolateballs, delicious food, coffee, cozy and warm atmosphere, friendly staff. If you end up in Norrköping somehow, it is highly possible to see me there while I am enjoying a cup of coffee! http://www.broadwaykonditori.se/
Sweden, a country with breathtaking winter views. Sounds familiar? Likewise big cities we can find nature everywhere in Norrköping. However, it was a bit disappointing that realizing Norrköping as an old industrial area is not the best winter wonderland. Still, it is so cool to have a lake and forest around to go for a walk.
Cinema, theatre, concerts, exhibitions, museums, shopping… A lot of things going on in the city.
Concert & Conference: Louis De Geer is the concert hall in Norrköping. The city even has its symphony orchestra. http://louisdegeer.se/
Norrköping Art Museum: My favorite museum in the town. Even though every information is Swedish still they have really interesting exhibitions. It’s free of charge. https://www.norrkopingskonstmuseum.se/
Norrköping Work Museum: Norrköping with old industrial history have also a very unique museum of work. https://www.norrkopingsstadsmuseum.se/
Norrköping City Museum: The third museum is where you can find film screening, experience textile machines and learn more about the city. https://www.norrkopingsstadsmuseum.se/
Shopping: There are three malls linked to each other with various stores in the city center.
5 months is definitely not enough to discover this city. I still have one and half year to go and curious about what my life will bring to me. Even though there are lots of activities in Norrköping, sometimes I feel like I am bored and need to travel to see different things. Luckily, I am 2 hours away by train from Stockholm.
Well, life in Norrköping is not same as metropolises however it is a mixture of tranquility and joy!