View on Gamla Stan from the viewpoint Gandolen
Golden Crown on Islet Bridge
view of Slussen
View of Riddarholmen
Sauna & Swim
View while Landing
Destinations of northern Europe are not very popular with backpackers especially because of high prices. Restaurants and transport may indeed weigh on your budget. But Stockholm is really worth it if you know the tips to visit it on a budget.
Do not hesitate to choose Stockholm for a three days city trip and you’ll be amazed just like us. The city is called the Venice of the North (like Bruges and Amsterdam). It consists of several islands connected by bridges (which is really nice).
Be careful in winter, the sun sets very early (in November at 4.30pm) ! You must therefore be up early to enjoy the daylight. The sunsets are beautiful! Temperatures are rather low in November but we were expecting worse. You will find the average temperature in Stockholm on the site The Best Time To Visit.
HOW TO GO TO STOCKHOLM ?
The most economical solution is to take a Low -cost flight to Stockholm Skavsta Airport. It is about 100 km from Stockholm city center. You will need 80 minutes to reach the center using the bus company Flygbussarna (268 SEK return and 139 SEK each way). Tickets can be bought directly with automatic machines in the airport in the room where you get your luggage back. You can also book your ticket in advance on the website of the company Flygbussarna, it will cost you a little cheaper. The bus will take you to the T Central Station, from there you can easily go wherever you want. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the journey.
The second option may be more economical if you book well in advance : take a local bus, bus No. 515 or 715 to the town of Nyköping and then a train to Stockholm. Check rates and schedules from the airport to Stockholm on the website of the company SJ. Prices vary depending on departure times so remember to check in advance.
Do not miss the view on the islands at the landing of the plane!
If you plan to party in Stockholm, we advise you to buy a bottle of alcohol in the airport because prices of alcohol in Stockholm are unbelievable.
DIFFERENT AREAS TO SEE IN STOCKHOLM
Stockholm is divided into different islands : in to the north, you’ll find Norrmalm districts and in the south, Östermalm and Södermalm. The central island is called Gamla Stan, it is the old town of Stockholm.
Gamla Stan is the name of the old town of Stockholm with medieval character located on the island of Stadsholmen. It hosts the Royal Palace, cobbled and narrow streets and particularly lively and very typical squares with old buildings with candy colors. It is also here that you’ll find the Nobel Museum and the Parliament.
Lose yourself in the narrow streets of the old town, enter the unique shops, it is what makes the charm of this place. During the winter, we were recommended by our friend who lives in Stockholm an address : a mulled wine store craft. It is a tiny shop where there is some chairs to sit . The owner is very friendly and will tell the story of this famous mulled wine. You will also find watercolor paintings at reasonable prices (50 Sek). Do not be surprised not to find this store in the summer, it is replaced by a leather shoes store. To find it, look for the sign “God Jul Glögg” at the entrance of the store .
Kungsholmen is an island close to Gamla Stan. In this area you can see the City Hall (Stadshuset in Swedish), a symbolic building of the city. Do not hesitate to get inside, go through the small courtyard and take a picture of the beautiful view of Riddarholmen on the shore in front of you, with its colorful houses and tower ! It is a symbolic view of the city ! Access to the court is free but you’ll be charged if you visit the City Hall.
Skeppsholmen is a small island you can walk around and take beautiful photos as you stroll along the waterfront. Take a photo with the Golden Crown on the wooden bridge that connects Skeppsholmen with Blasieholmen (the Islet Bridge). When you see the amusement park in front of you on the other side, there is a stop for the boat that goes to Slussen and allows you to make beautiful pictures of Slussen and Gamla Stan ! The boat is included in the subscription price of bus and metro
Djurgarden is an island in the city, you can not miss the theme park opened a large part of the year : Gröna Lund (entrance fee: Sek 95 for adults) . There is also the Vasa museum we recommend you to visit and the open air museum Skansen (we did not have time to visit).
Vasa Museet (Galärvarsvägen 14 tram Vasa) is a museum dedicated to a boat called Vasa , which sank in Stockholm harbor in the 17th century a few minutes after taking the sea. The entrance fee is 130 Sek for adults and 100 Sek for students, do not forget your card if you have one ! Even if you are not interested in boats and you’re not a big fan of museums, it is really impressive to see the wreckage of the ship that was brought back to the surface early 20th century. You’ll also learn a lot about how the crew was living at that time! The museum is also interactive and very suitable for children. Watch the movie before starting the tour. Allow at least 2 hours to visit. There is a queue at the entrance to the outside but it is moving very fast .
The open-air museum Skansen (entrance fee: 100 Sek) offers a ride to discover a hundred traditional Swedish buildings. Costumed people recreate Sweden and crafts of yesteryear. You’ll also cross a lot of animals in a small zoo area, including elk. You can also see these animals in the park Djurgarden which is free of access.
Take pictures from the bridge that connects the city with Djurgarden near the magnificent building housing the Nordiska Museum.
Södermalm is a very lively area, where many bohemian bars (street Katarina Bangata in particular) , cafes and designer boutiques. Climb to the Church of St. Sofia (Borgmästargatan , 11). It is east of the district of Södermalm in the Katarina -Sofia area . The church is high so you have a nice view of the city.
At Slussen, at the entrance when you come from Gamla Stan, you will see a metal pontoon where it says Gondolen ! Get in the building and take the elevator, you’ll have a beautiful view on Gamla Stan, and it’s free !
A little farther away than Södermalm, a white sphere which light colors during the night, this is the Ericsson Globe. It is the largest spherical building in the world . There are often concerts or hockey games inside.
MAKE A TOUR OF THE CITY for FREE!
Enjoy Free Walking Tour: there is a tour of the city called City Tour during the day around 10 am, and a tour in the dark called Old Town Tour which begins at 4pm in winter. Both tours depart from Sergels Torg, near the metro station T -Centralen. Hours change seasonally, so check the site Free Tour Stockholm.
MAKE A TOUR OF THE ARCHIPELAGO
The archipelago is made up of thousands of islands, ideal for a wilderness tour. There are organized tours to visit the Archipelago, ask at the tourist office on Vasagatan 14 (T -Centralen), open Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm on Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 10am to 4pm, or on the website of the travel agency of the archipelago Visit Skärgården. Tickets range from 45 to 150 Sek depending on distance. There is also a 5-day pass on the archipelago for 420 Sek. We were advised to take the ferry to the small island of Vaxholm, which houses a fortress, but we did not try it. There is not much to do on these small islands in general.
Unusual tour: STOCKHOLM from the ROOFS
If you want to visit Stockholm in an original way, you can test the Upplevmer, a guided tour of 1h10 over the rooftops of Gamla Stan in Stockholm. You will stroll in particular on the roof of the old Parliament and beautiful gabled houses near the town hall and part of the Stockholm harbor. Reservation required on the internet. The price is quite expensive : 525 Sek (57 € ) .
A bit out of town, you can visit the Drottningholm Palace, the permanent residence of the royal family. Most of the castle and gardens are open to the public year round.
TYPICAL SWEDISH activities
SAUNA AND SWIMMING IN A FROZEN LAKE
The sauna is a typical Swedish experience. To test the sauna followed by a dip in a lake, go to Hellasgården, 15 minutes from downtown. Swedish go there all year round even when it snows and naked ! We were there in November , the lake water was freezing … what an experience! On the website it says that it is forbidden to wear a swimsuit in the sauna, but fortunately nobody said us anything although we wore a bikini. Take bus 401 to Slussen. The sauna and terrace costs 60 Kr
A TOUR in THE COUNTRY of cheap furniture ?
The largest IKEA in the world is in a town not too far from Stockholm, Kungens Kurva. There are free shuttles from Stockholm to go! Departures are at the corner of the street Regeringsgatan and Jakobsgatan during the week every hour between 10am and 7pm , the same for the return. You can eat the famous Swedish meatballs for a very reasonable price.
ABBA THE MUSEUM
It includes costumes, gold records and all things in connection with this legendary band. The museum wants you to get under the skin of the fifth member of ABBA. The museum was recently opened in 2013. Sek 195 for adults.
ABSOLUTELY DO DURING YOUR STAY
- The Vasa Muset
- Taste the hot dogs
- Strolling through the streets of Gamla Stan
- See the city from the skybar Hemlin a trendy bar from the highest skyscraper in the city. You must enter a mall called Skrapans to access.
- Take the Monteliusvägen alley in the district of Södermalm for a breathtaking view of the city. It is a street of 500 meters with a magnificent view of Lake Mälaren, City Hall and the island of Riddarholmen , especially at sunrise and sunset. To get there, get off at Slussen metro ride to the Hilton. The street is quite steep but worth it ! The view is really impressive and you can even make a picnic, there are a few tables and chairs.
- In winter, enjoy a mulled wine in the store of Gamla Stan
- In winter, go ice skating on the site Kungsträdgarden
- Eat or drink in the trendy SoFo on Södermalm
- In summer, enjoy the many bike paths to make a tour of the city by bike
- Test the sauna before and after a dip in cold water
LOCAL CURRENCY IN SWEDEN
Swedish pay with kroner: Kr or Sek .
1 € is worth 8.88 SEK.
MOVE inside STOCKHOLM
Transport, like everything, is quite expensive.
If you need the subway or bus to get to where you sleep, we recommend that you take the card 24, 48 or 72 hours, because for a return trip to your place, it will cost you 8 € already € (4€/journey), while the 72h card costs 230 Kr or 26 €. That travel card is valid for trams, buses, metro and even some boats (including one that runs from the island in front of Luna Park at Slussen). You can buy it in bookstores Pressbyren rather than queuing at the central station. Note that the symbol of subways in Stockholm is a blue and white T and subways run all night on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.
If you plan to visit many museums, it may be interesting to get the Stockholm Card, which offers you free entry to 80 museums. See prices on the website Visit Stockholm. The pass for 3 days costs 795 Sek, so you must see at least 4 museums of 130 € for the card to be interesting.
Pub crawls IN STOCKHOLM
There are two pub crawls in Stockholm, which can be interesting to discover local bars and nightclubs, meet people and enjoy great prices. Stockholm Pub Crawl costs 199 SEK (22 €) and offers you entry into bars with free shots, including an authentic Viking bar, and ends in a nightclub whose entrance usually costs 100 SEK already. In winter, they are organized on Saturdays from 7pm. There is another pub crawl called Jolly Pub Crawl which includes entry into 3 bars and a club with free shots and costs 3 129 SEK (€ 14.50). This pub crawl is held on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm in winter.
WHERE TO STAY IN STOCKHOLM ?
Considering the prices of hostels, we advise you to do Couchsurfing. It is also the best way to be guided through the city and find deals. If you’ve never heard of couchsurfing, is a network of travelers who offer free accommodation inviting you home on their sofas or mattresses they have more in them.
Thank you to our host Jai for his warm welcome and tips !
For an unusual experience , Stockholm hosts two very original youth hostels :
- Langholmens Hostel which is housed in a former prison! You can sleep in a refurbished cell.
- Jumbo Stay, a hostel in a plane located at the Arlanda Airport. But the prices are really not cheap (minimum 40 € per person per night).
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Love to know more about the sauna and dip in lake experience. Any more photos please? OF NAKED SWEDES…
Hahaha no that’s the only one we have We can just recommend you to try this sauna and dip experience cause it’s really unique and you’ll feel so proud afterwards What exactly do you want to know more about this experience? I think some hostels organize such tours when its the right time of the year, which can be even more fun, but it’s quite expensive. Have a nice cold trip in Stockholm
Brilliant article. Can you please give me the address for the “God Jul Glogg1″ place please? I want to buy watercolors and taste the mulled wine. Thanks.
Hi Rachel, thank you very much Sorry for the late answer we’ve been traveling in Instanbul the last days (a new article is coming soon !!).
The God Jul Glogg1 is on the main street Vasterlanggatan in Gamla Stan. I dont know the number but you’ll find it with the sign in front of this small shop! I’m not sure they are selling the mulled wine during summer tough. Have a nice stay in Stockholm!