One of the first things I hear when I tell people that I live in Stockholm; Stockholm is so expensive right? And ok, if you compare it with cities in the South of Europe, it is expensive. But personally, I think you can still visit Stockholm if you have a smaller budget. You sometimes have to look twice or just make smart choices, but it’s possible. In this blog, I will tell you my tips about how you can visit Stockholm on a budget. Cheap travel tips on hotels, food, transportation, and what to do.
Ok, you need to sleep somewhere during your trip. Hotels in Stockholm can be quite expensive in the city center and there is little you can do about it. If you are on a budget, consider going a bit further away from the city center. Take into account that staying far from the center will make you spend more time and money on public transport. You can also choose the option to sleep in a hostel. Some options for a great hostel are:
• Generator Stockholm. A modern and comfortable hostel that doesn’t look like a hostel at first sight.
• STF af Chapman & Skeppsholmen; You can choose to sleep on a boat or in the main building. Great location to discover Stockholm by foot!
• STF Zinkensdamm Hostel. Hostel localized on the island of Södermalm.
Also, you can consider staying on an Airbnb. If you stay in a room in an apartment, you also have the option to cook your own meals at home. This is a great way to save some money. Great and central locations to stay are Kungsholmen, Södermalm, Vasastan, Norrmalm, and Östermalm. But other areas like; Nacka, Sollentuna and Gamla Enskede are cheaper options. These areas are located a bit further away from the city, but still easily accessible with public transport.
The public transport in Stockholm is really well organized and gives you a lot of possibilities. First of all, read my blog post about “how to go to the city center from Stockholm airport”. This little trick can save you immediately about 200 SEK!
The most convenient and cheap option is to buy a 1,3 or 7-day travel card from SL. SL is the provider of public transport here in Stockholm. You can purchase your travel card easily in their app. With this card, you can travel as much as you want and this ticket includes the SL ferry to Djurgården and Vaxholm (free activity!). And yes, on this ticket you can travel all the way to the airport. So it is worth the money in my opinion. And a much better and cheaper option than using single tickets!
If you found central accommodation you might not need public transport. In that way, you can walk or use the Bolt or Lime scooters or consider renting the e-bikes from Stockholm City. Especially the e-bike option is extremely budget-friendly, you only have to pay 27 SEK for a 7-day pass!
There are some cheap options to eat something nice during your stay in Stockholm. In Stockholm, you can have a great lunch on weekdays for a small price. The Dagens Rätt (lunch menu) can cost around 100-170 SEK in some restaurants, even in the city center. Often it includes the dish of the day, water, and bread. So, if you are on weekdays in Stockholm I recommend you have a good lunch and have a smaller dinner or even a snack somewhere. Some nice places to go with an affordable lunch menu are:
- Vigårda: street food, different locations throughout town, check their app to get a lunch deal for 98 SEK!
- Indian Street food & co: Indian food, different locations, lunch deals for around 120 SEK. Also budget-friendly options for dinner.
- Blå dörren: traditional Swedish food for an affordable price. Lunch deal around 120 SEK.
- Brunos Korvbar: try some traditional Swedish sausage at Brunos Korvbar. From 70 SEK.
Another great tip for a cheap lunch or cheap dinner (especially for students!) is Hermans. This is a vegetarian and organic restaurant that offers lunch and dinner buffets. Especially the lunch (on weekdays) is great if you are traveling on a budget. 168 SEK for a big lunch buffet, including tea and coffee. For me, this is the best budget vegetarian restaurant in Stockholm. And I’m sure that even people, who are not vegetarian, love this place!
If you are really on a budget, then just don’t drink alcohol here in Stockholm. Because the alcoholic beverages in restaurants/cafes are insanely expensive here. To give you a small insight; it is hard to find a beer for less than 50 SEK and a glass of wine can be around 110-130 SEK. So, if you are planning your weekend away with friends to have a good party, don’t choose Stockholm as a destination. But if you are not so attached to your daily alcohol consumption, you can still visit Stockholm on a budget. A cheaper option is to buy your own alcoholic beverages at Systembolaget. This is the Swedish government’s liquor store and the only legal way to purchase alcohol in Stockholm. But the cheapest option is to don’t buy beverages. Drink water instead! And what is great in Stockholm is, tap water is really accepted and normal. Mostly you can get a glass of tap water for free. Something else that is great to pay attention to, some cafes offer free refills for your coffee or tea.
Sights and activities
There are many incredible sights for free in Stockholm. Actually, the things I like the most about Stockholm are for free. Put some good shoes on and walk! Walk through Gamla Stan, walk to Skeppsholmen and visit Moderna Museet (a free modern museum). Walk around Djurgården en enjoy the nature within the city. And close to sunset, head over to Monteliusvägen when it’s close to sunset. And this all costs you zero SEK.
If you have access to an SL card you can also choose to go a little bit further into the archipelago and explore some nature. Take public transport to Saltsjöbaden or even to Tyresto National park. Nature is free to visit and a great way to discover the real Scandinavian. Or when it’s off-season you can easily take the SL ferry to the cute little village of Vaxholm. Take the SL ferry number 83 (departure from Strömkajen).
I hope these tips make it possible for you to visit Stockholm on a budget. And yes, if you don’t make smart choices in your budget, Stockholm can be really expensive. But I think everybody should visit this city and with these tips, this is possible in my opinion.
And it is maybe not a budget option, but with this, you will never forget your trip to Stockholm. Have a photoshoot in Stockholm with me as a professional photographer. Just book my private photoshoot in Gamla Stan. Specially designed for you as a tourist.