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Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, one of the most beautiful cities of Scandinavia is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Its definitely a shopping paradise for those who love nice design, art and hand made stuff so read my tips to save money on transportation, activities, food and more.     I promise you will enjoy this nordic city even when you don't pay much and by doing so you will also blend in easier and enjoy it like a local!

What to See & Do

The prices of museums are 150SEK or more, so if you feel like you really have to visit them, buy Stockholm card for 2/3/5 days for 765/895/1150 SEK and try to visit as many as possible in a short time (if it rains - and it rains a lot even in summer - you will be glad you can be inside for a whole day). Among those worth visiting are The Vasa Museum (the only ship from 17th century in the world that survived to this day), Skansen Open Air Museum, The Nobel Museum, The Royal Palace, City Hall, Nordiska, Drottningholm Palace, Fotografiska. You can also use this card for public transportation as well and other attractions such as sightseeing tours, galleries, castles. If you are planning your trip in advance, choose to come at the end of april for Stockholm Culture Night and enjoy museums, galleries and other attractions FREE of charge.
There is a free walking tour in Stockholm that takes about 2 hours. For outdoor activities around Stockholm, you can join group of locals who organise trips, for other fun activities, look at 
There are many beautiful parts of Stockholm - for their atmosphere, nature or stunning architecture that are worth just walking around for hours. Among those are SoFo in Sodermalm (aka hipster neighbourhood where cool sweds go - also great for shopping) - its the whole area between Slussen and Medborgarplatsen, Monteliusvagen in Sodermalm (amazing view from the hill), Djurgarden - the whole island really, the whole area between Central stationen and Ostermalm, Skeppsholmen and of course the Gamla Stan (the oldest part of the city). Sodermalm will be familiar to all fans of Millennium trilogy books&films (The Girl with the Dragon tattoo - there is even thematic walking tour or map available for purchase). Then there are several parks worth visiting (free of course ;-) such as Langholmen, Ralambshovsparken and Gardet.

Attrations that are completely FREE of charge are Stadtbibliotek (one of the prettiest libraries in the world), Ostermalm Saluhall (cool traditional swedish market), walking around the city hall, visiting Woodland cemetery (UNESCO World Heritage Site - guided tour is not free tough), 
If you want to see how regular people live in Stockholm - definitely visit Solna centrum neighbourhood (I loved the functional design and little things I learned about Swedish - for example people left their bikes or grills at street and didn't worry someone will steal it) or Botkyrka (multicultural experience - this neighbourhood is 90% immigrants). If you have time, consider also visiting Uppsala - student town reachable by metro.
One of the cool things to do is to go look closely at metro stations. Many of them are funky - decorated by artists and every one of them is different (hippie, greek, tech, pacman etc.). Among the coolest stations are: Alby, Radhuset, Stadion, Bergshamra, Solna centrum, Nackrosen, Rinkeby, Tensta, Universitetet, Hotorget, Thorildsplan, Bagarmossen and Tekniska Högskolan.
Stadtbibliotek - library of famous swedish architect
One of the funky metro stations on red line
Stockholm's Archepilago are thousands of islands around the city where swedish go for weekend getways - sailing, fishing, hiking. There are many villages with hidden treasures like castles, old taverns, churches, bays... But when you look at regular prices for boat trips from Stockholm, the trip can get very expensive. So instead of getting on cruise, go there by public transportation. There is a regular bus going from Danderyds sjukhus to Vaxholm (included in your metro card), it takes about 40 minutes. The Vaxholm is called the capital of the archepilago. If you go in the morning, you will have the whole day to see harbour, Kronudden (originally The Crowns warehouse), Old Tavern, The Town Hall, Vaxholms Hotel (built in 1902), old homestead museum (for free!), parks and pretty wooden houses (some built on big stones).


Get a Stockholm metro card for the whole lenght of your visit, it will pay off! One week card in only 300SEK (plus 20 SEK for the card itself). There is also option for 24/72 hours. Public transportation is safe, clean and reliable here. You can use the card on metro, (wooden historical) trams, buses and even ships! Cards can be purchased in small grocery stores Pressbyran all around the city or download their free app to purchase ticket (you will save those 20SEK for plastic card). You can use the card to see the stunning metro stations and getaway to Stockholm's Archepilagos. Also, as cruises are expensive, use your card for a ride between Stockholm's many islands. Especially the ship ride between Djurgarden and Slussen (between Gamla Stan and Sodermalm) has stunning views (takes 15 minutes). Btw I didn't see anyone actually controlling validity of metro cards and many people just pass turnikets right after someone else and don't pay at all...
Bus from/to airport is cheaper when you buy it online, you will save around 20 SEK. Don't take taxi if you don't have to. There is already Uber in Stockholm as well as other carpooling services such as Liftshare or RideFinder. Also hitchhiking is safe.


The very first day I had basic lunch for 170SEK in the city center and then I swore I will save money and find budget places. If you want to eat for less than 100SEK, I highly recommend Vigarda fast foods around city center, Max Hamburgers chain (Honey Curry souce with fries anyone?), Vapiano restaurants, IKEA restaurants (I had to include it!) or simply buying food in grocery stores (Lidl, Coop) and Gateau bakery chain. Don't forget to have traditional swedish fika (coffee plus pastry - cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom are delicious) - its usually around 30-40SEK and you can get it even in chains like 7 eleven etc.

Information, souvenirs and other

Make sure to take advantage of free information - there are information kiosk around the city which will provide you with free maps, guides and lots of useful information. Also people in Stockholm speak very good english (even old people) and they are very friendly and helpful.
I was surprised public toilets are not for free. Its free in so many European countries and I would expect Sweden (where students get free computers from the government etc) to have free toilets, but they are charging you even at toilets at McDonalds! So you either wait for someone to do to toilets and then hope he/she will hold the door for you or you always have to have some coins with you in case the nature will be calling ;-)
Souvenirs are especially very expensive in Gamla Stan - cheaper ones are in smaller streets. If you want to bring home something original yet not totally commercial (like 10$ magnet with picture of Stockholm), go shopping to SoFo or shopping malls like Ahlens or Gallerian Mall to get something practical yet swedish and stylish.
Postcards - in case you didn't know - there is a trick to send postcard for free - just write "student to student" in the corner in stead of a stamp and it will reach the recipient for free.
Did you like this article? Read my other post about New York City on budget or other budget tips!

This post first appeared on Girl's Trip Tips - Travel Blog Girl's Trip Tips, please read the originial post: here

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