How to Have a Cheap Stockholm Vacation

Stockholm is beautiful mix of a city. The medieval architecture dominating much of Gamla Stan blends surprising well right next to the more modern district of Södermalm. However, it’s also a very expensive city to visit. Standard hotels in Stockholm average around $150 per night and it’s not unusual to spend over $100 a day just on food, transportation, and attractions alone, but don’t let the high prices deter you from experiencing this lovely Scandinavian capital. It is possible to travel to Stockholm on a budget and here are some tips on how to accomplish that.

How to Travel to Stockholm on a Budget

Join a Free Walking Tour

Stockholm on a Budget: Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan via Flickr by Gaspar Serrano / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Take advantage of one of the many free city walking tours offered by groups such as Get Your Guide and Free Tour Stockholm. Tours are often divided by district and include the popular districts of Old Town and Söder. These tours will give you the highlights and show you around the main touristic sites. It’s also a great way to become acquainted with the city, get an overview of places you might want to come back to, and meet other like minded individuals. Though the tours are technically free to start with, tipping is customary and generally average anywhere from $10-$20 per person depending on the quality of the tour.

Develop a Smart Way of Eating

Stockholm on a Budget: Swedish Meatballs
Swedish Meatballs via Flickr by Trent Strohm / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The cost of food when on vacation in Stockholm can easily climb up to an outrageous amount especially if you find yourself eating at restaurants the majority of the time. One way to remedy the expense is to stock up on your daily food supply from supermarkets or outdoor markets and eat food from street vendors instead of sitdown restaurants. You can pack your own picnic basket with items you get from the market and grab a seat along the riverbank for a cheaper alternative to dining with a view. Also, tap water is safe to drink so refill your water containers instead of replenishing them with bottled ones from the supermarket. You’ll save more than a few dollars and help save the environment at the same time. Finally, if you want to indulge and eat at a nice restaurant, consider going during lunch when most restaurants offer a Dagens Rätt or daily lunch special. These often include two or three courses and cost a fraction of their normal dinner price.

Seek Out Free Attractions

Stockholm on a Budget: Reading Room
Reading Room via Flickr by National Library of Sweden / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Stockholm has a number of free attractions well worth visiting. They include urban parks, museums, churches, and a cemetery designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit The Rosendal Botanic Gardens where you can escape the chaos of the city and admire one of its manicured gardens and well-crafted greenhouses. You can also check out museums like The Museum of Medieval Stockholm, The National Library of Sweden, and The House of Culture, all of which offer free admission to view certain exhibits. Some of the more popular ones like the Vasa Museum and Moderna Museet have reduced fees on days when the museum has extended hours. It’s best to check their website for exact days since it varies from one museum to another.

Stockholm on a Budget: Stockholm Cathedral
Stockholm Cathedral via Flickr by Kah-Wai Lin / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Stockholm also has a couple of notable UNESCO World Heritage site locations and one of them is free and definitely worth checking out. The Woodland Cemetery, which sits just south of the Gamla Stan, is a rather unique burial ground and is famous for its architecture, landscape, and design. Many prominent Swedish people are also buried here including film actress Greta Garbo and athlete Pelle Lindbergh. Finally, visit one of the many churches in Stockholm like the Stockholm and Uppsala Cathedrals. They are fine works of art themselves and they sometimes offer free organ concerts to visitors and worshipers.

Buy Bulk When It Comes to Transport

Stockholm on a Budget: Tranvia
Tranvia via Flickr by Victor / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The best way to travel to Stockholm on a budget is to explore the city by foot; however, there will be occasions where you’ll need to use public transportation to reach your destination. In such cases, consider buying travel cards instead of single fares. Travel cards give you unlimited access to transport within the time allotted so you can use it as often as you need to. Visitor travel cards are available in one, three, and seven-day packages. The prices start at $13.50 for a one-day pass for adults and $8.50 for children and seniors.

For more ideas on how to travel to Stockholm on a budget, check out Nomadic Matt’s backpacker tips or read about the Travel Staineds take on how to survive on a budget. Also, check out Visit Stockholm to find information on places to stay and events happening around town.

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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2 Responses

  1. Why You Should Visit Sweden - Go4Travel Blog

    […] I remember being 14 years old and gluing pictures of different places around the world that I wanted to visit into my scrapbook. Yep – as you can probably tell, I’ve practically had wanderlust since birth. I was always interested in travelling, seeing the world and learning about other cultures. Different languages always fascinated me, and I’ve always been obsessed with foreign people (probably why I’m now living with a Brazilian…) so having this travel scrapbook wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for me. By this age I’d already been to Holland, Spain, Majorca and the States, but there were many more hotspots I was dying to see. My cute little list consisted of your typical tourist destinations like Paris (which I finally visited for the first time earlier in the year), but there were other obscure places on there like Reykjavik in Iceland, and Stockholm, Sweden. […]

  2. Avatar for Iris A


    I’d like to visit Stockholm this summer. In this article I found useful information about tourism in Sweden. Thank you.


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