The countries in Northern Europe have a long history of being at the top of every traveler’s bucket list and yet they’re often postponed from one year to another under the assumption that “Nordics are expensive”.
Sweden makes no exception, but we’ll explore my travel budget for Stockholm in detail and hopefully you’ll come to my conclusion: it’s not that expensive after all.
Stockholm Travel Budget in detail
Accommodation in Stockholm
It’s cheaper and better than in London: 42€/night/person in Stockholm vs. 55€/night/person in London.
We stayed in a great Airbnb in Stockholm and it was cleaner, more spacious, more comfortable and prettier than Holiday Inn Hotel in Kensington, London.
You might say the two cannot be compared, but I assure you that an Airbnb in London seemed untouchable to us, with prices starting at 120£/room/night, not counting in the additional fees for cleaning and deposit.
Stockholm attractions are either cheap or free
The priciest ticket was for Skansen, their village museum, 16,25€/person, but it’s also a park where one can easily spend an entire day. And we chose to ride the funicular up and down instead of walking, thus adding a supplemental cost to our Skansen tour.
When compared to London, where some attractions are free and others are as expensive as 20£/person (Westminister Abbey), Stockholm is pretty affordable.
Of course, there’s a biased view here because there are more paid points of interest in London than in Stockholm, but when you look at the overall travel budget, visiting Stockholm is a bit cheaper than visiting London.
Still, in terms of tourist attractions’ prices, no other country beats Spain, where entrance fees to the numerous museums are beyond expensive, or at least that’s my impression after visiting their most important cities.
Souvenirs in Stockholm are indeed pretty expensive
Even if Stockholm attractions are cheap, the cost of souvenirs is really high. The pretty red wooden horse, the symbol of Sweden, can go as high as 100€. We got a small one from a souvenir shop and paid 15€, but still a lot for a token.
Getting around Stockholm – Transport Options
Transport in Stockholm is not cheap, but it’s very similar to London.
Taking the airport shuttle to Stockholm’s main train station was 21,5€/person for a round trip.
To get around the city, we got the most affordable pass: first a 3 days pass for 36€/person, then a 1 day pass for 11,5€/person. You can buy it in the magazine shops inside the central station (destination point for the airport shuttle).
The Stockholm metro is beautiful, being the greatest underground art gallery in the world, but we stayed in the SoFo area, where taking the bus or the tram was more convenient. So it was the first time I took the metro just for the fun of it, chasing art in the most beautiful metro stations in Stockholm.
Eating out in Stockholm
Our Airbnb hosts were welcoming and very nice to supply us with coffee and some breakfast items (yoghurt, cheese, bread, etc) for two days.
We had lots of fika breaks – coffee and cakes – in random coffee shops, bistros and terraces we liked.
Even if a supermarket was close by, we mostly ate out during our 4 days stay in Stockholm and didn’t go bankrupt.
Food in Stockholm might be as pricy as in London, but it all depends on your agenda.
Eating out in Stockholm can be pretty affordable, if you do your research right and stay away from most places in the old city center – Gamla Stan and the waterfront restaurants.
We found SoFo neighborhood in Stockholm to be full of rewarding and affordable food experiences. For instance, we had a great dinner at Nytorget 6 restaurant for 53,4€ – 2 people, a similar cost to a lunch or dinner in Spain.
(We often take food trips or tour restaurants with the best combo of food & interior design, so we never travel on the cheap side. Still, we don’t go overboard with the food budget in any of our travels.)
Stockholm Travel Budget for 4 Days
|Type of Cost||Euro /Person / Day|
|Food and Drinks||31.84|
|Transport & Airport Shuttle||17.60|
|City Attractions & Museums||6.56|
|Travel Budget Total (Person/Day/ €)||95,66|
|Travel Budget for Stockholm (4 days trip)||382,65|
|Airfare from Bucharest, Romania||85.00|
|Stockholm Travel Budget (4 days Total, Airfare included)||467,65€|
*Stockholm Trip > September 2016
Tips & tricks for visiting Stockholm
1. Research Opening & Closing Hours for Restaurants & Attractions in Stockholm
When it comes to eating out in Stockholm, do a detailed research on restaurants’ opening and closing times.
The 6h work day is a real thing, and we often found ourselves in front of closed restaurants because we assumed every restaurant is open at least 12h/day like in Romania and many other cities we’ve visited in Europe.
Well, that’s not the case in Stockholm, where each restaurant seems to have its own schedule.
Most of them are open either for lunch or dinner, some open for 2h x 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Eating out in Stockholm was challenging because of the chaotic opening times of restaurants and coffee shops, but we didn’t starve. 🙂
The opening time dilemma extends to museum’s visiting hours, even if most of them close at 16.30 or 17.
2. Book an Airbnb accommodation to experience the Swedish life
3. Visit the Swedish Archipelago first, check out the indoors attractions later. It will be cheaper and more rewarding.
4. Buy a 3 days pass instead of tickets per trip to save money
5. Explore SoFo neighborhood for places to eat out in Stockholm
6. Have a picnic or a fika with the locals, in a charming apple orchard
Having a fika in Rosendals’ apple orchard was one of the best Stockholm experiences.
We visited Stockholm during the apple season, which is a pretty big thing in Sweden, so we also had an apple tasting in Rosendals Trädgård.
7. Get some hyggelig decoration ideas
Even if Denmark has invented the hygge concept, Swedes sure know how to live by its lovely norms.
Lights, candles, lamps, wood decorations and colorful textiles fill Stockholm design stores and embellish most windows and terraces in Stockholm. Sure, these hygge items are pretty expensive, but you can get some great ideas just by visiting the shops.
I’m a design lover, so I couldn’t leave Stockholm without buying some lovely flower vases from Rosendals gardens and a vintage looking lamp from a deco shop in Gamla Stan, but you don’t have to.
Hope you visit Stockholm soon and let me know other travel budget tips you might come by.
Read Next: Stockholm Travel Guide >
Stockholm | September 2016 | All Photography ©Ana Matei | Instagram: @MateiAna
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