Stockholm on a budget
The backpacker, student or budget traveler
Where to stay
Of all hostels in Stockholm, City Backpackers is by far the best one. Don’t even bother to look anywhere else. From the moment you walk in you get in the right mood with ancient decorative travel cases, free to use Apple computers, and table football! Not only is it Stockholm’s best hostel, it’s actually also one of the cheapest as well. They offer a dorm bed from 190 SEK, and they even have free pasta!
This ‘vandrarhem’ or wanderer’s home by the Swedish tourism society is one of the more unique ways of staying in Stockholm. You’ll spend the night in an old three master which has been rebuilt into a hostel. Beds go from 260 SEK. Check out this hotel if you like peaceful environments and privacy on your travels. This ship is located on the island of Skeppsholmen which is quite a beauty itself.
Stockholm by bike
The best way to explore Stockholm is easily by bike. The city is too widely spread out to be able to explore it all by walking. And the public transport (however very well arranged!) will lighten your wallet by 115 SEK per day, and will bind you to certain locations and certain times. If you’ll be staying at City Backpackers you can conveniently rent a bike for 50 SEK. And otherwise the Stockholm city bikes that you can basically rent and leave anywhere are a good option. There are so many things to see in Stockholm that you’ll miss out on when you’ll only take public transport! Helmets are not mandatory in Sweden (assuming you, the traveler, are over 15 years of age).
Stockholm’s public transport is a typical example of the Swedish way. Punctual, well organized and clean. Tickets can be bought at every Pressbyrån which is a kiosk you’ll find at any metro station. Don’t buy single tickets at the guy in the ticket booth because that will cost you extra. A day ticket will cost you 115 SEK, three day tickets are available for 230SEK and wek tickets go for 300 SEK. Those are probably your best choice if you want to explore the city by public transport.
Things to do
One of the biggest tourist attractions in Stockholm is Gamla Stan, the old town, where you will most probably be bombed with uncountable amounts of tourist shops selling completely useless things for entire fortunes. But if you’re willing to look through that you will find a beautifully preserved medieval part of Stockholm with a great atmosphere. Here you will also find the royal palace, where you can laugh at the guards just like you would do in London. If you are into culture, there is also a church which is extremely richly decorated from the inside and is free of entrance. A nice place to walk around for an hour or two.
the FREE medieval museum of Stockholm
Located under the bridge from Gamla Stan to central Stockholm you can find the medieval museum, which is completely free of charge. It gives you an insight of how the people lived in this city during those times, and they have a very nice collection of preserved items and reconstrucions! Very nice if you’re into history, culture or just generally curious.
Free tour Stockholm
Free tours?! Yes, free tours! These guys think that Stockholm’s culture and history should be accessible to anyone, no matter the size of your wallet. These tours are donation based but no payment is required and will take you to different parts of town.
The Green Trails budget tour
Stockholm has unspoiled forests, spectacular viewpoints and abundant wildlife so close to the city center you would really be missing out if you would go home without seeing it. But usually those kind of tours are very expensive, right? No worries, The Green Trails has also thought about you. We think it’s important to also give students, younger travelers or just travelers with a smaller wallet the chance to experience the Swedish outdoors. On our budget tour
A huge park on an island just a stone’s throw away from the city! A nice place to cool down from the bussy city life. The park is truly immense for city standards and you could probably spend an entire day there. A great free thing to do in Stockholm. And if you’re willing to spend some, the Vasa museum (Huge preserved viking ship) and Skansen (Zoo for Swedish animals and reenacted medieval life) are based here. While you’re there you can have a nice break at Rosendals Garden, a nice eco garden/cafe where they grow a lot of things them selves.
Easily the hippest part of town. There is a special atmosphere to be found here. Street musicians that don’t play for money and bike mechanics that serve your bike right there in the middle of the street. It is rich in tiny little shops and nice coffee and food places. Of course a big part is also just a residential part. Enter at Götgatan from the North and from there on just go where the Södermalm takes you! There’s an atmosphereful lunch place called Cafe String that serves daily lunch including coffee 90 SEK
One of the great things to do in Stockholm is the beautiful city itself. And when you’re in Södermalm anyways, pick one of the city’s best viewpoints! The best one in Södermalm (and probably of the entire city of Stockholm) would be Monteliusgatan, but you can also try the easier to reach Fjällgatan. If you’d fancy a fancy drink you could also try the Gondolenbar at the Katarinahissen, but actually the views from the streets mentioned bove are better.
This park is a good place to have take away food in the summer, enjoying the sun on one of the many benches at the watersprayers. And in winter time there is a small ice skating track which is free to use, and ice skates can be rented for 40 SEK. Not a sight you have to witness, but a great place to take a break from running around to all of the things to see in Stockholm!
Don’t even bother when you’re only going to be around for for the weekend, but if you’re staying for a longer time keep reading. A little ride out of Stockholm you’ll find this UNESCO’s World Heritage listed palace which belongs to the royal family. No need to spend money getting in, because the real attraction is the gardens. A perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon on a sunny day with a picknick.
And when you’re in Gamla stan anyways you might always take Drottninggatan up North, which is the main shopping street. It cuts right through the center of Stockholm and leads all the way into Gamla Stan. Nice if you’re looking for some casual shopping or see some street artists, or of course bussy Stockholmers! It also crosses through the house of parliament, which is in all honesty not all that spectacular to see no matter what other travel guides tell you, but it’s a nice building and you happen to come across it anyways. There are also some bridges you will cross in that area with good views over the water.
Food Stockholm tips & tricks
– Look out for signs saying ‘Dagens Lunch’. This means daily lunch and usually comes with very nice offers which usually also include a drink and coffee afterwards.
– Get out of Gamla Stan. Generally the food prices here are naturally, being the tourist center, a lot higher. You can find much better deals if you just cross the bridge leaving this area.
– On most squares you’ll be able to find a ‘Torg Grill’ or ‘Kök’. By no means the best food but sharply priced and a warm place to sit. Be warned though, the quality of these places varies strongly. Lunch deals including grinks can start from as low as 50 SEK.
– Swedish pizza. Swedish pizza? Yes, Swedish pizza. Pizza the Swedish way has become such a strong part of Swedish culture that it’s even covered in the Lonely Planet guide, and of course this makes an affordable lunch as well! Always served with free ‘pizza salad’, and often coffee as well. If you really want to go cultural try the Swedish banana curry pizza!
When you need a break from all the tawesome things to do in Stockholm and grab a little (budget) bite you might want to check this place out. It’s basically located under the cinema and it offers a big variety of food, from Swedish to Turkish to vegetarian. Most of the cheaper places don’t offer a place to sit but if you go up to the square there are stairs in front of the concert house which is quite a popular place to eat lunch when the sun shines.
If you’re a big eater it is probably a good idea to pay a visit to this buffet. In a side alley of Drottninggatan you will find this restaurant which serves unlimited amounts from sushi to baked salmon, as much as you can eat! And for a price of 95 SEK it even comes with coffee and dessert. A great option even if you’re not on a budget!
The ultimate hamburger. If you are into fastfood, this is a must! Max is basically the Swedish way of doing McDonalds: Quality, environmental- and customer friendly. In this fastfood chain you can actually see how much CO2 is emmissioned for theproduction of everything on the menu. And here’s the best: They neutralize their emissions for a full 100%! On top of that they only use Swedish meat, which has very high standards on the living circumstances of animals compared to other countries.
If you happen to be in Södermalm around lunch time there will be plenty of places to choose from. But if you have a hard time picking out a place or finding an affordable lunch bar check out Cafe String. Great lunches for 90 SEK including coffee with good vegetarian alternatives. The place itself is also a joy to just hang around. Laid back music, completely mismatching furniture and smiling waiters.
So you want to go out. Then we have some bad news for you. Stockholm’s nightlife on a budget is hard, really hard to find. The city is renowned for it’s classy high standard bars and equally high standard prices. But there is also good news: We have some tips and tricks how to!
Nightlife Stockholm tips & tricks
– Be in the clubs before 22:00. This time varies per bar but 22:00 is the average time from which on you will have to pay an entrance fee to get in, which usually lies around 150 / 200 SEK.
– Scan for happy hours. Almost every bar in Stockholm uses happy hours to get the customers in at the early hours of the evening. Make full advantage of this!
– Bring girls. As terrible as this might be, bouncers are a lot more willing to let you in when you bring a couple of girls in your company. It’s not even uncommon that women don’t have to pay entrance fee. After all, the more women in the bar the more men that will follow. At least according to the bouncers.
– Dress and behave accordingly to the bars you’ll want to get into. If you’re going to a fancy place don’t show up with your trainers and a can of beer in your hand, because you WILL get declined. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a rave don’t dress like the fancy pancy business man because you could also get declined for that!
Lion bars. They smell, have bad service, a small amount of toilets and basically no place to sit. But they make up for that by providing you with the absolute cheapest beer in Stockholm! You can get half a liter of beer for 25 SEK! If you’re not used to Stockholm we can promise you that these price are rather unique. It’s normal to pay 80 SEK for one in any another place. Lion Bars are spread all over Stockholm and are a great way to start the evening in a cheap way if your hostel does not have a nice common area to begin the night with