Although they are both large capital cities of Scandinavian countries, Copenhagen and Stockholm are quite different from each other.

Each city has its own distinct culture, and while they share some similarities, learning more about the cities and their differences can help you choose which one you would like to visit or even live in.

Copenhagen vs Stockholm: How Do They Compare?

Key takeaways

  • Both Copenhagen and Stockholm are located on the Baltic Sea.
  • Stockholm is slightly larger than Copenhagen in area.
  • Copenhagen has a larger population.
  • Real estate is more expensive in Stockholm.
  • The cost of living is higher in Copenhagen.
  • The average income is higher in Copenhagen.
  • Around 80% of the population in both cities speak English.
  • Both cities have a similar climate and the hours of daylight vary greatly throughout the year.
  • Both cities have excellent education systems.
  • There are professional sports leagues in both cities.
  • Both cities have extensive rapid transit systems and other available methods of transportation.

World Location

Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark. It’s located in the eastern part of the country on the Baltic Sea. The city takes up parts of the islands of Amager and Zealand.

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden, and instead of two islands, the city spans parts of 14 islands connected by over 50 bridges. The city is also located on the Baltic Sea, but it’s in the southeastern part of Sweden.

map of stockholm and copenhagen

Size

Copenhagen has a total size of about 183.2 square kilometers or 70.73 square miles. The greater urban area is about 525.5 square kilometers or 202.9 square miles, and the greater metro area is about 3,371.8 square kilometers or 1,301.86 square miles.

Stockholm is slightly larger than Copenhagen. The city itself is about 188 square kilometers or around 73 square miles. The urban area is about 381.63 square kilometers or 147.35 square miles, while the greater metro area is about 6,519 square kilometers or 2,517 square miles.

Population

Stockholm has a population of about 978,770 people as of 2021, but the metro area has a population of around 2,415,140 people.

Although it’s slightly smaller in size than Stockholm, Copenhagen has a larger population. The is home to about 1,366,300 people as of 2022, and the metro area has a population of around 2,135,630 people.

copenhagen vs stockholm population graph

Real Estate

The average cost of a home in Copenhagen is about 2,656,115 Danish krone, which is equal to about $368,674. Houses in the city itself, instead of the greater urban or metro area, are much more expensive.

For a small studio or one-bedroom apartment, people can expect to pay between 6,000 and 10,000 Danish krone per month. This is equal to around $832 to $1,388 per month.

A two-bedroom apartment averages between 13,000 and 15,000 DKK or $1,800 to $2,082 per month.

Homes in Stockholm are more expensive, with the average home costing as much as 6,000,000 SEK, or Swedish krona, which equals about $564,100.

A small apartment costs an average of 16,632 SEK or about $1,564 per month. However, rent prices depend on where in the city the apartment is located.

Some areas have an average cost per month that’s as low as 6,518 Swedish krona, which is about $783.

Cost of Living

Without considering rent costs, an average single person living in Copenhagen can expect to spend about $1,076 per month. A family of four should budget for costs of about $3,880 per month.

The cost of living in Stockholm is slightly lower than in Copenhagen. A single person will usually spend about $934 per month, not including rent, while a family of four will usually spend about $3,457 per month without rent.

real estate vs cost of living graphs

Income

The average hourly rate in Copenhagen is about 215 DKK, which is about $30. This means that most people who work full-time make a monthly salary of about $4,800 and a yearly salary of about $57,600.

In Stockholm, the average salary is about 49,200 SEK or $6,829 per month. This equals to about $43 per hour and means that the average annual salary is about $81,950.

However, it’s important to remember that in both Sweden and Denmark, salaries differ depending on the type of job. Although the average hourly rates are high, those rates are influenced by the high-paying jobs available in these major cities.

Other entry-level jobs might pay significantly less.

Languages

The most predominant language spoken in Stockholm is Swedish. Although about 80% of Swedish people speak English, you’re unlikely to hear anything except Swedish in daily life.

Like Sweden, about 86% of Danish people speak English. However, the only official language in Denmark and Copenhagen is Danish.

Weather

Copenhagen has what is known as an oceanic climate with moderate precipitation. Summers are mild, with daytime highs in the low 70s and high 60s.

During the winter, the average temperature is in the mid-30s, so although snow is relatively frequent, winter rain is also quite common. July and August see the most rainfall, while December and January get the most snow.

Because Copenhagen is located so far north, its hours of daylight vary greatly throughout the year.

During the summer, the city experiences about 17 and a half hours of daylight each day, with the sun rising at around 4:30 in the morning and setting close to 10:00 at night.

During the winter, daylight hours can be as short as 7 hours.

Copenhagen in summer
Copenhagen in summer

Stockholm has a humid continental climate. Summer highs range from about 65 to 75 degrees, and winter temperatures often hover at or just below freezing.

June through October is the rainiest time of year, with about 2.5 inches falling each month. Snow is common from December through March, and the city sees between about 7 and 10 inches of snow each month.

Like Copenhagen, the difference in daylight hours each day from summer to winter is extreme. During the winter, the city only gets about 6 hours of light each day, but during the summer, the city sees about 18 hours of daylight.

During the summer solstice, the sky never truly becomes dark, as the sun never dips further than 7.3 degrees below the horizon.

Stockholm at sunset
Stockholm at sunset

Education

Copenhagen is known for its excellent academics, particularly when it comes to the city’s colleges and universities.

The city is home to the Copenhagen Business School, the University of Copenhagen, and the Metropolitan University College, among others.

The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479. The Technical University of Denmark is also highly regarded and was ranked as one of the top technical universities in northern Europe.

Stockholm is also home to several well-regarded colleges and universities, with the city’s education programs dating back to the 18th century.

Some of the best universities in the city include the Karolinska Institutet, the Stockholm Observatory, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Stockholm University.

The Royal College of Music is also a popular choice for anyone interested in music, while the Royal University College of Fine Arts has a long history of providing excellent fine arts education.

Copenhagen university building
Copenhagen university building

Sports

Ice hockey and soccer are the most popular sports in Stockholm. The city has three soccer clubs, called Djurgardens IF, Hammarby IF, and AIK.

The city was also the site of the 1912 Summer Olympics and has hosted all but one of the Nordic Games.

Like Stockholm, soccer is popular in Copenhagen. The team’s two most popular teams are Brondby and FC Kobenhavn.

Handball is also quite popular, and the city has three professional teams, called HIK, Ydun, and Ajax.

Copenhagen also has three professional ice hockey teams, called the Herlev Eagles, the Rodovre Mighty Bulls, and Hvidovre Ligahockey.

Transportation

Copenhagen is home to Copenhagen Airport, the largest airport in Scandinavia. The city also has an extensive road network, including many major bridges that connect the city’s islands and the mainland.

Most people in the city use cars for transportation, which can lead to heavy traffic. Several railways and rapid transit systems help to alleviate this congestion.

Stockholm also has extensive rapid transit systems. The city also features extensive roadways and bridges, but these can become very congested.

Because of this, a congestion tax, which charges people who enter highly congested areas, was instituted in 2007.

Ferries and bikes are popular ways to travel around the city as well. Stockholm also features three international airports.

Stockholm train station
Stockholm train station

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