Exchange in Uppsala - Part 3: Shopping Day

Exchange in Uppsala - Part 3: Shopping Day

This post is the part of a series regarding my exchange semester in Uppsala, Sweden 🇸🇪

You can find all posts here:

Exchange Semester - Alex’s Blog

First morning in Uppsala

For the time my mum stays in Uppsala, we are living together in my new apartment. Therefore, we had to solve a main problem beforehand:

How do we sleep together in a room with only a single bed?

My idea was to just do the same as I did this and last year on the festivals I went to. Just travel with a sleeping back and a field bed. At least, being drunk and without other choices during a festival, it was a viable sleeping option. Hence, our setup looks as the following:

But unfortunately, under normal circumstances, this setup is not that comfortable as I had it in mind during the festival season. So this morning I needed an extra hour in the other bed to sleep a bit longer in a more comfortable way.

Afterwards, we wanted to go to the city centre to see some sights. But it rained the whole morning and noon. So our plans switched to wait until the rain stopped and only go to IKEA.


Meanwhile, we started cooking lunch. It was just a simple meal I prepared. I cooked rice, some peas, corn and paprika, a vegetarian tomato tofu sauce and some veggie balls combined with two veggie schnitzel.

Ikea trip

After lunch, we waited a bit longer for the rain to end. At around 15:00 we made our way to IKEA by bus. The bus journey took only 20 minutes, and we drove from the west of Uppsala to the south. Arrived there, we found ourselves in a small shopping district with a variety of different big box style stores. IKEA, Intersport, Decathlon, Bauhaus and Systembolaget can be found in that area.

Our experience inside the IKEA was almost the same as in other stores found in Germany. But there were a few differences compared to the store in Magdeburg. First of all, they offer three levels. The ground floor is used as a parking space for cars under the actual store. The second floor is used for displaying furniture and the first floor for the classic IKEA things like checkout, Sweden shop, bistro and the long hallways with the massive selection of products to pack in.

Secondly, they offer only self scanning checkouts and app-based checkouts. The latter is not available at my home store, so I was pretty thrilled to test out the new option. The experience using the app was pretty simple and fun. I just had to download the IKEA app and select Sweden as my country. Unfortunately, the app is only available in Swedish in this region, but with some guessing and Google Translate, it was possible to use the app. Besides that, no account whatsoever was required. I only had to provide my email address to receive the receipt afterwards. Then you can scan all items during your shopping tour and go to a specific app-based checkout area. There you scan a QR-code, pay by card and get another QR code on your phone screen to leave the checkout area. All in all, an extremely simple and convenient process.

And as always, we bought more than expected. In the end, I spent around 2000 SEK (~€190). In theory, only a blanket and a pillow were on our shopping list. But I also bought a night stand, two boxes for the Kallax shelf in my room and a small drawer to put under my monitor to increase the height of it. So we left IKEA with two heavy bags full of goods.

My mum with the IKEA bags

A visit to IKEA is incomplete without the Hot dogs from the bistro after the checkout. Therefore, I also went for them. Unlike in my home store, their ordering system arrived in the modern age by offering Kiosk style terminals to order and several monitors to show you if the ordered food is ready for pickup. Also a pretty nice experience for me as a tech nerd.

Visiting the western shopping centre

After our trip to IKEA, we only went back home for unloading our purchased items. Soon after, we got back to the bus stop to drive to the other shopping area that is only a kilometre away from Flogsta. Arrived there, we first visited the Systembolaget. That store is something special in Sweden. Purchasing alcoholic drinks in Sweden is extremely regulated. In a normal grocery store, only beer without alcohol or light beer up to 3,5 Vol% is offered. All other drinks are limited to Systembolaget stores, which are operated by the government. Such a store is pretty clean and does not advertise any of the offered products. Everything is presented in a neutral way, and the price tags offer information regarding origin and other details. And a fun fact on the side for my German readers - Beer is called Öl in Swedish:

Afterwards, we also visited the Willy's store next to Systembolaget. It's much bigger than the ICA in Flogsta and even offers self scanning and checkout. Also, they have a good selection of vegetarian and vegan products in the freezers.


We took the bus again to get back home and ate some bread with cheese for dinner. I also took the time to put the new furniture together. Now the apartment has a shiny new night stand as a resting place for Freddy. And I have a bit more storage space on my desk thanks to the new drawer.


That's it for today. Unfortunately, our plans from yesterday could not be realised, but instead we had a nice time at the IKEA, the other stores and putting the new stuff together.