Traveling around Scandinavia could be intimidating. But let me assure you, wandering around some of the coolest countries in the world is worth to have a spot in your bucket-list. Planning well before hands could save your trip, well, at least your budget. Save that spontaneous soul for South East Asia. And as for our first country, here is everything you need to know about Stockholm.
Know Your Neighborhood!
Stockholm is the city of many islands, 14 islands to be exact. Each of this islands divided into different areas and each has their own characteristic. So depends on your preferences, you might want to stay in a certain area. But there are some areas that quote popular with travelers which we can start from.
The old town, easily the most popular tourist destination. Stay here if you want to have a major throwback to the medievals time. But one thing to note, it’s extremely busy at day time but at night it’s practically dead except for couples of restaurants and bars. The location is pretty center tho but walking is necessary due to the tiny lanes.
When in doubt, staying in the heart of the city center is always a safe bet which is where Norrmalm is. This is the city “city” with shopping malls, chain hotels, and the Stockholm Central Station. But considering the prime location, finding a budget-friendly accommodation can get a bit tricky.
Just on the north side from the Norrmalm, is the quieter and more residential area of Vasastan. You can also say that this is where the locals live. Slightly outside from the crowds but still near the center. My choice of accommodation was the Generator Hostel which is perfectly located in between Norrmalm and Vasastan, read my review here!
The trendy, artsy, hipster area, much appealing to the younger folks. “Söder” means south which exactly where this area is located. As the trendier area, it is easy to find a place to stay here from Airbnb to boutique hotels. Even if you are not staying here, you will most likely visit the area as the famous Fotografiska is located in this area. #coolkids
Also, one of the most popular areas for tourist, especially if you are going with family. This is the place to find the majority of tourist attractions such as the Vasa Museum, the ABBA Museum, the open-air museum/zoo Skansen, and the list goes on. Located on the east side, it is easy to reach with bus and tram but there is no Metro in this area.
The higher end area of the city, the posh Östermalm. With that being said, the accommodation rate is in the higher rate here even tho this is not the center. But if this is where to go if you fancy nights out partying in night clubs and bars or in a mood for a shopping free, for high-end brands that is.
Top Places to Visit
Now once you know where to stay, it is time to plan where to go. Obviously, there are more museums and attractions Stockholm has to offer but most of us ain’t have all the time in the world. So here are some of the places to visit if you have a short period of time, like me. *list below is not in chronological order
Stockholm City Hall
The famous city hall where the Nobel dinner annually takes place. Can only be visited with a guided tour!
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm *the first and the last English guided tour
- Admission: 90 – 110 SEK *depending on the season
Gamla Stan (duh!)
Stating the obvious…
- Opening Hours: All day err day!
- Admission: free
Pay a visit to the (used to) sunken ship. Open daily and they also have a guided tours free as it is already included in the entrance fee.
- Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm (1 June – 31 August) // 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (1 September – 31 May)
- Admission: 130 SEK
The world oldest open-air museum and also a zoo! There are couples of museums inside that required additional entrance fee (not included in general admission).
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Admission: 180 SEK
Self-claiming the world’s most open museum, it opens every day. Things to note: they only accept payment by card!
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm (Sunday – Wednesday) // 9:00 am – 1:00 am (Thursday – Saturday)
- Admission: 135 SEK *card payment only
No, I am not joking.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Admission: free + free shuttle bus *check Stockholm Travel Journal for more info!
Stockholm has an extensive public transportation managed by SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik). Bus and train were basically all I used to travel around the city, outside of walking. To be able to ride all the public transportation, first, you will have to buy an SL Access card and then top it up. You can not buy the ticket on board!
- SL Access card: 20 SEK
- SL Access credit (top up): 30 SEK *ticket expires after 75 minutes
- Travelcards: 120 – 315 SEK *depends on the duration; 24h, 72h, 7days
- Site: http://sl.se/en/fares–tickets/
Flygbussarna Airport Coaches
Most of us will be going to Arlanda Airport at some points during the trip, for me, it is from the city to the airport. While SL also provided service from center to the airport v.v, it cost higher than Flygbussarna. Things to note: they have the special discounted price if you buy online!
- Adult, single journey: 99 SEK *online rate
- Site: https://www.flygbussarna.se/en
Go Green, Go Cashless
Interesting fact, I didn’t actually realize how Sweden is a cashless country until I was planning to visit Fotografiska, they only accept payment by card. Knowing that you don’t necessarily need to exchange your money to Swedish Krona (SEK), just pay everything by card. They accept card almost everywhere!
Stockholm on a Budget!
A.k.a free things to do in this expensive city, well not everything is free but you got the point. In fact, it is indeed possible to explore Stockholm without completely killing your wallet is already a mind blowing fact on its own!
To Fika or not to Fika
I heard somebody on the back saying, “But we are in Sweden, how come not Fika??” Well, I am not here to judge that but basically, Fika is a coffee break. Is it a must? Hmm not really, it is just the local tradition. In my case, I didn’t really have much time with the packed itinerary that I made and also I was alone. It is a bit lonely to hang around in a coffee shop alone, don’t you think? And it saved me some money.
Brunch at IKEA
Now, eating in Stockholm is expensive. One of the common things is to have buffet meals for lunch that cost around 100 SEK and more. But another alternative is to have a brunch at IKEA! Weirdly enough, this is actually kinda popular. You can take whatever you liked (1x only, not refill) that only cost 69 SEK!
Strolling around Gamla Stan
This is basically the best free things you can do in Stockholm. I love myself some time to wander around the old town, especially during the less busy hours. Early in the morning or later at night (if you bring a tripod) is the best time to channeling your inner photographer! What can I say, it is just lovely…
Stockholm Metro Art
Now, this is something that I didn’t actually manage to do that much. I was planning to explore more of the world’s longest art exhibit during my last night. But I didn’t because lost my SL card! Unfortunate, I know. But luckily, it was my last night and I was not that far from the hostel. But if you visit Stockholm and will be using public transportation, make sure to keep your eyes open for the arts.
- Stations: Kungsträdgården, T-Centralen, Rådhuset, Solna Centrum, Tensta (Blue Line) // Hötorget, Thorildsplan, Bagarmossen (Green Line) // Tekniska Högskolan, Stadion (Red Line)
Hope this list helps you in planning your trip to this amazing city! If you find it helpful, remember to share it as sharing is caring. Also check our social media below and check our last travel journal: Helsinki and Stockholm. Another brand new city coming up next post, stay tuned for that and until then, tack!
Thanks for reading! Check these links below if you want to get some deals on your next trips, as well as we will get something in return to keep us on track. 😉
- Flew here with Qatar, Airline of The Year 2017 according to Skytrax. Book your flight with Qatar Airways!
- If you are Indonesian then book your flight here for great promotion price.
- Or try the cruise, 4-Day Cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm.
- Try here to check for a hotel to stay in Stockholm for the best price.
- Or stay in either Generator Hostel Stockholm or the Good Morning+ Hägersten Hotel.
- We would like to recommend HomeAway Nordic to help with your stay. Try ’em out!
- Every tries to book with Airbnb? Get $26 off for your booking with that link!
- Capturing your best travel moment with the best camera for you.
- Stay protected while traveling, get a travel insurance!
- Check more on our resources page!