Stockholm is expensive not only for locals (according to some locals’ answers) but also for tourists. To put it simply, you need more than just guts to visit this city. You need a significant amount of money in your pocket to survive. So, it is not the ideal place for a cheapskate to visit. However, I still can’t just delete Sweden from my long list of places to visit. Eventually, I found a way to travel wisely and economically. Here are my tips that you need to read before packing your bag.
1. Choose the hotel wisely
Hotels in Stockholm are just unbelievably expensive, especially compared with hotels in the western or eastern Europe, let alone Asia. My suggestion is ‘never compare it. Just let it go and forget it.’ Nevertheless, choosing a perfectly situated and comfortable hotel is really important. You don’t need to choose the Hilton, which lies right in the heart of the city, unless you are filthy rich. It’s enough to choose a hotel close to the subway (tunnelbana in Swedish). It is also a good idea to book a hostel that is really close to the attractions you want to visit. My hotel was in area Rodmangastan, around 5 minutes from the subway and surrounded by convenience stores and small cafes. Most of the hotels in Sweden won’t provide breakfast unless you pay extra, which is actually not worth it.
2. Breakfast in seven eleven or any other convenience stores
That sounds really stingy. I agree. You might want to have a deluxe breakfast at hotels or in some fancy restaurants and I won’t blame you. But, reconsider it, one nice breakfast per person costs around 20 euro in restaurants (they use Krone, not euro). That might include coffee or tea and a royal portion of brekkie that you won’t finish. You can have a modest breakfast and eat frugally by utilizing convenience stores. The good thing is that the Seven Eleven’s in Stockholm provide fresh salads, tasty sandwiches, nice muffins, and a bunch of fruits, yogurts, and some snacks like Dammsugare or Chokoladeboller. Yum…They cost less than they do in restaurants and you can bring it along while you are touring. Total expense for two people: 2 sandwiches, 2 muffins, 2 yogurts — around 9-11 euros.
3. Bring your own water
Sweden is very strict about recycling. Plastic bottles and bags cost more than usual. I prefer to bring my own water bottle and fill it in hotels. Although you can drink the water from the tap, which I tried once during my 7 day stay, you might be able to fill your bottle up with the mineral water provided for free in your room. If you decide to buy mineral water from the supermarket, you can exchange it for money later in the special machines available in some places. I forget how much you will receive, but that’s better than just throwing your bottles away.
4. Walk or use public transportation
There are lots of choices for public transportation in Stockholm. If you are some kind of tycoon, you can rent a car, but that is the lazy option for those willing to spend a lot of money. The modest middle class will take a taxi, bus, or subway. The cheapest option is to walk. I used subways and buses, and also walked. During the summer, the weather in Stockholm is nice and there is a mild wind to accompany your sightseeing around town. But in winter, I am not so sure.
If you decide to use subways, trams, and the bus, you can buy a special card to use for 24 or 72 hours right from the stations. Don’t forget to tap it as you enter the bus or tram, otherwise someone will shout at you, like I have experienced once! O_O
5. Choose free museums!
Stockholm has some museums that allow visitors to enter for free. You can find more information right on the site or in my next post!