You Moved Into an Apartment In Sweden? Avoid the Neighbors!

Avoid the neighbors - How to be Swedish


You have moved into your Swedish apartment. Now, just like every Swede, once in a while, you have to leave your apartment. For shopping laktosfri yoghurt, work or spinning classes at the gym.

Beware of the neighbors

Leaving your apartment, fellow new-Swede, can bring you into a tricky situation. To get to your bike or car, you first have to pass through the hallway of your apartment building. Danger zone. Why? Because you could bump into one of your neighbors. And you don’t like to meet them because they might potentially attack you with small talk.


You, just like any real Swede, shall avoid small talk at all cost. You don’t want to waste your precious time engaging in dull conversations. Tjeeena! Vilket fint väder idag!

On your way out you first listen carefully or check your titthål if a neighbor is currently patrolling in the hallway. If you hear steps outside, wait a few seconds!

Book about Sweden - How to be Swedish

To make the waiting time feel less awkward, check whether you have all your keys, wallet and mobile phone with you. Then, if no one is outside, get out and quickly lock the door.

If you however unexpectedly meet a neighbor who is on the way to his apartment, you can prevent further interactions. Say a short Hej! and try to avoid any eye contact.

Once you’re outside the house, you’re free!



Useful Swedish words and phrases

  • Tjeeena! – Hiii!
  • Vilket fint väder idag! – What a nice weather today!
  • Titthål – Door spy


More ways to Swedishness, read the book: How to be Swedish – A Quick Guide to Swedishness – in 55 Steps, here on Amazon

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