Stockholm on the Cheap Side

Most travellers I have encountered, will say that going to Scandinavia is very expensive compared to Eastern Europe. I will agree that Scandinavia is very expensive, but a two day trip to Stockholm is more affordable than one would think. There are many tricks to keeping a two day holiday to Stockholm on the side of affordable.

First of all, I stayed a hostel in the city centre on the main island called Gamla Stan (Old Town). Seriously, it was worth sacrificing some privacy to have more money to spend on things like transport, museum admission, food, and souvenirs.  I spent close to €60.00 for two nights for the hostel. I spent about €30.00 for 2 days worth of food, student admission to the Vasa Museum €10.oo, street food €10.00, tip for the walking tour €3.00, admission to the Swedish History Museum €0.00, and 3 transport cards €8.00, roundtrip to and from the airport by coach €15.00, and €25.00 on souvenirs. That’s a total of €160.00 for two days in Stockholm, Sweden. I think that’s not too bad for a very expensive city in Europe.

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Stockholm is affordably if you buy food at the grocery store and cook mostly at your hostel.  If you want to eat out in Stockholm for cheap, forget looking at any of the menus placed outside the restaurants in Gamla Stan you will become shocked with the price. A low costing meal in this area will be about 200 Swedish Krona = Euros €21.54 for a basic lunch (sandwich and crisps) without a drink. It’s best to eat at your accommodation or pack your lunch for your day of exploring.

Another way to eat out and not feel the burn in your wallet is to buy a hotdog or a doner kebab at a food stall on the street. Hotdogs or a doner kebabs should cost around 79- 120 Swedish Krona=  €8.51- €12.92 Euros. Not too bad for someone else preparing your food, but the bottom line is that food and drinks are super expensive in Stockholm.

During my time in Stockholm, I did not order alcoholic drinks at all. Going out in Stockholm is super expensive, so if you want to save money don’t go out here and save going out for another city that’s cheaper. Maybe Lisbon? Bucharest? Prague? Krakow? Super cheap compared to Stockholm.

Attractions in this city can be expensive too, so research and pick wisely what you want to do. I went to two museums the Vasa Museum and the Swedish History Museum. The Vasa Museum houses a preserved 17th century ship and artefacts from the ship wreck. Very nice museum to visit. The Swedish History Museum gave me a lot of insight about the history of Sweden. Plus, it’s free to visit and a five minute walk from the Vasa Museum.  I love museums and history. I believe both museums are worth seeing.

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I explored the Old Town by myself. The best way to describe the Old Town is that it’s a glorious labyrinth of charming cobbled streets, alleyways, faded mustard and rust coloured town houses and meeting squares reflecting north German architecture. I love the Old Town because of how old it is, the small cobbled streets, and the architecture. I went to the royal palace, the German Church,  the world’s oldest bank, the Nobel Prize Museum, and many other highlights. I still find it hard to believe that the Old Town was once considered the slum of Stockholm (from mid 19th-20th century)  and how it is now a highly sought after address.

I went on a free walking tour too. I love free walking tours because you tip based on what you think the tour was worth to you. Plus, your tour guide usually is a local and keeps you entertained for the duration of the walking tour. Usually, the tour guide has a lot of information about the city he/she is guiding you around in.  I had a lovely guide that was a student and showed us a lot of major highlights that I would have never learned important facts about these spots on my own. He was great because he was very entertaining and had a lot to tell us about his hometown of Stockholm. Towards the end of the tour, he gave us great advice on affordable good coffee shops on Gamla Stan (old town) where all the locals go for coffee. Unfortunately, I did not have time to check out these coffee shops. I think getting coffee in the Old Town would have been lovely.  I always recommend free walking tours.

Stockholm by far is one of the safest European cities I have been to by myself. I can’t rave enough how safe I felt in Stockholm. I would defiantly recommend this city to any solo female traveller out there. I never felt that I was in danger of being  harmed or harassed. It was so nice to walk around the streets and feel comfortable.  There are other reasons why I love this city and want to go back someday.

Stockholm is a unique city because the city centre is built on 14 small islands on the Baltic Sea. I think Stockholm looks amazing in any season. I think it’s fascinating how you have to use ferries to get to some other parts of the city. Stockholm is a small city compared to Paris, London, or Barcelona.  According to my online search, there are around 909,976 people living in the municipality ,approximately 1.4 million in the urban area,and 2.2 million in the metropolitan area of Stockholm.

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I believe the city is very walkable, well connected, and easy to navigate. I did not get lost at all during my time in Stockholm. I will also note that my mobile phone’s SIM card was locked and so I didn’t have a working mobile for most of my holiday (I will write more about that experience in another blog). I knew my way around Stockholm in a couple hours after the free walking tour and just exploring on my own. Stockholm is amazing on foot or by ferry. I had a wonderful time exploring the city. I hope to return again in the future. When I return to Sweden, I want to get out of Stockholm and see Gothenburg and other places.

 

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