I know what you’re thinking.  It’s impossible to visit Stockholm cheap on a nomadic budget.  Nope, I did it and I am here to show you how you can do it too in this complete nomadic Stockholm cheap travel guide.  First and most important, you need to book your accommodation at least one week in advance, especially if you plan to visit on the weekend or when there are special events happening.  I just so happened to visit the last weekend in August when Popaganda, a big music festival was happening so needless to say, all the hostels and cheap hotels were fully booked; I mean everything!

Everything you need to know to visit Stockholm cheap can be found in this complete travel guide.

How to Visit Stockholm Cheap on a Nomadic Budget.

Stockholm cheap

Cheap Places to Stay in Stockholm

Accommodation is not cheap if you want to be in the heart of Stockholm but I did discover several inexpensive options that won’t break your bank.  Here are the best places to stay in Stockholm on a budget, let’s start with the cheapest hostels in Stockholm.

Inter hostel 

Located only 800 metres from central station!  Don’t expect the fanciest hostel in town but it is definitely the cheapest.  Dorms start at 189 SEK which is only about $22 USD.  The rooms are small but they get the job done.  Book well in advance if you plan to stay on a Friday or Saturday because they book up fast!

City Backpackers

If you want a nicer atmosphere and are willing to spend a little bit extra than Inter Hostel then this is one of the best hostels in the city.  They have a lot of different options from private rooms, apartments and multiple size dorms up to 12 beds.  You can expect to pay anywhere from 210 SEK and up.  If the prices are higher on their website then try looking on Hostel World or Booking.com for lower rates.  Book in advance and keep in mind that it is typically more expensive to stay here on the weekends.

Skanstulls Hostel

Located in my favorite part of town, Sodermalm!  This is a great option for the location and price plus they include free pasta, tea and coffee in their kitchen.  You can find rooms that start at only 200 SEK ($24 USD) which will be hard to beat compared to other options in town.  Their website isn’t very good so I recommend booking on a third party to make it easy.

Archipelago Hostel

This hostel is located in the heart of the Old Town so when you take a step out the front door you’ll be in the center of the main tourist attractions.  Dorms start at 230 SEK ($29 USD) which makes this another great option for budget travelers looking for cheap hostels in Stockholm.

If you would prefer not to stay in a hostel or if the cheap hostels in Stockholm are fully booked then don’t worry because there are two more places you can look.

Couch Surfing

If you haven’t tried couch surfing yet then Stockholm is the perfect place to start.  You’ll save a whirlwind of money and can easily find a couch located in the center of the city.  There are many more advantages than just saving money.  You’ll also experience the city through the eyes of a local which will most likely save you even more money when you decide to go out for a night on the town.

Airbnb

During my visit to Stockholm I decided to use Airbnb and it worked out beautifully. I stayed in a very trendy area of SOFO for only $62 per night with breakfast included!  If you prefer a private room during your visit then look no further than Airbnb.  There are plenty of great options and all you have to do is look a few days in advance to secure something.  It’s free to sign up.  I highly recommend you do so by clicking here, www.airbnb.com. (You’ll get $35 free travel credit on your first booking and $75 if you host!  I’ll also receive credit if you sign up. It’s a win-win.) 

10 Free Things To Do in Stockholm

  • Take a free walking tour – I always recommend taking free walking tours.  I’ve done them a bunch and never regret it.  There are three different companies in Stockholm but I recommend using Free Tour Stockholm. They did an excellent job managing our large group, it was fun, informative and absolutely free!  Of course, tips are appreciated as the guides do work hard to deserve them.  Check their website for daily schedules and be sure to double check the meeting place.  *I recommend doing the tour of the Old Town over the City Tour.
Stockholm Free Walking Tour

You can see me way in the back! We had over 80 people in our tour, it was a lot of fun!

  • Visit the 3 free museums –  In recent years Stockholm has begun to offer more free museums so there may even be more than 3 free ones depending on the season and day of the week.  The three museums that I know for sure are free include: Modern Museum, National Library of Sweden and The Woodland Cemetery (One of Stockholm’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
  • Take a stroll through the park – Here are the 4 most popular parks that I’d recommend: Djurgarden, Gärdet, Ralambshovsparken and Langholmen. 
  • Visit the Architecture and Design Center for free every Friday from 4-6 PM.
  • Explore the Maritime Museum (Sjöhistorika museet) which offers free daily admission.
  • Drop in to Språkcafé to learn Swedish for free.  Check their website for a full schedule.
  • Watch the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace  – During the summer, it happens daily at 12:15 PM except Sundays and holidays which is at 1:15 PM.
  • If you are pushing a child in a stroller then take advantage and ride the public bus for free!
  • Pump some iron and exercise at one of Stockholm’s 38 free outdoor gyms.  Find them here.
  • Go ice skating at Lake Mälaren.  Just bring your skates!

How to Eat Cheap in Stockholm

  • Avoid sit down restaurants – I know, you are in a new city and want to sample all the local cuisine but if you want to keep your food budget low then I suggest cooking at your hostel or wherever you are staying.  Eating out in Stockholm can be very expensive!  Expect to spend at least $40 on an average dinner, $20 on lunch and $10 on a light breakfast.  If the main reason you are traveling is to sample food from around the world then that is a different story.  Cut your costs and choose what is most important to you.
Stockholm Cheap

You’ll find these ICA supermarkets all around Stockholm. Stop in if you have access to a kitchen.

  • Find a hostel or Airbnb with meals included – There are many opportunities to have a free meal included with your stay.  I found a private room on Airbnb in the center of Stockholm with a full breakfast included.
  • Take it easy on the booze – Liquor and wine are very expensive especially adding it on top of a dinner bill.  If you’re going to drink then stick to cheap beer especially during happy hour.
  • Eat street food – You’ll find plenty of street food options around town.  I always enjoy a nice Kebab and it was not difficult to find a Greek take away spot.  You can feel full and satisfied for less than 70 SEK or $8 USD.
Stockholm Cheap Travel Guide

One night we decided to splurge and sample some of the best Swedish meatballs in town. My meal was big and I had two beers for about $40. The restaurant is called Meatballs for the People and I do recommend it!

5 Cheapest Bars in Stockholm

If you are looking for the cheapest place to get drinks in Stockholm then look no further.  I’ve listed five bars that offer super cheap drink specials, mainly on beer.  If you are looking for the best happy hour in Stockholm then you can find a bunch of bars but probably none cheaper than the ones below.

  • Lion Bar – After the free walking tour our guide told us about this amazing happy hour deal just around the corner.  Only 24 SEK ($3 USD) for a pint of good cheap beer.  It is located right at the edge of the old town facing the bridge that crosses into Sodermalm.
  • Carmen – Located in Sodermalm, this is by one of the most popular dive bars for inexpensive beers. They have had the same beer of the week for the past 5 years but damn is it cheap!
  • Balthazar –  This little Swedish beer hall is located off one of my favorite streets in Stockholm – Gotgaten.  They offer happy hour specials but the beer is pretty darn cheap no matter what hour you go.
  • Hellstroms Bar & Restaurant – You’ll find students, hipsters and budget backpackers eating and drinking here.  A pretty hip and happening little joint with of course, cheap beer. Yes, visiting Stockholm cheap can be done even with lots of beer!
  • Underbara Bar – If you go to Carmen for cheap drinks then walk across the street and stop in here for a few more.  This bar offers a very fun and unique atmosphere with relatively cheap drinks depending on the time of day.  Don’t go at 11:30 PM expecting super cheap specials but 5 PM, yes!

Cheapest Way to Central Station from Arlanda Airport in Stockholm

  • Arlanda Express – Ok, so this isn’t the cheapest option but it will get you to Central Station in only 20 minutes, the train has free wifi, air conditioning and departs every 15 minutes.  Book in advance to save money on your ticket, if you buy the day of it is 280 SEK.  Students will receive a discounted price and groups that book together are cheaper too.  For example, book 2 tickets for 300 SEK, 3 for 400 or 4 for 500 SEK.   Find tickets here.
  • Flybussarna – The cheapest way from Arlanda to Stockholm at Central Station is by bus.  Adult tickets are only 105 SEK and students are 89 SEK.  The journey takes 45 minutes but the buses are very clean and comfortable and most offer free wifi too.  If you’re not concerned about time then opt to save money and take the bus.  It’s half the price but double the time.  Time is money!  Book your tickets online and have the ticket directly on your phone to skip the line.
  • If you need to get to Skavsta airport (NYO) from central station then you’ll want to take Flybussarna.  The bus leaves directly from central station and takes almost exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Tickets are cheaper if you book online in advance otherwise the fare is 130 SEK.

Bonus Budget Travel Tips for Visiting Stockholm Cheap

  • Refill your water bottle – This saved me tons of money during my visit to Stockholm.  An average bottle of water cost $22 SEK ($3 USD) and if you are walking the whole day then you’ll need plenty to stay hydrated.  Their tap water is more than safe to drink and you’ll find some water fountains around town too!
  • Visit the Tradgarden – This is a great spot to catch a wide variety of live music while enjoying a few drinks.  Party spot!
  • Eat and Drink in Sodermalm – Head to the south part of town to eat and drink like a local.  The old town is great to visit during the day but SOFO is the place to be after enjoying a nice Stockholm sunset.
  • Take a boat trip through the Archipelago – I recommend doing this on your first or second day in town so you quickly get a feel for how the city is laid out.  Highly recommended! Find tickets here.
  • Skip the transportation passes – If you are only going to be in town for 2-3 days then I suggest walking everywhere.  You can buy a 72 hour metro pass for 230 SEK ($27 USD) but with a walkable city like Stockholm you really don’t need it.
  • Buy a transportation pass – There is an exception.  If you plan to visit for more than 7 days then I recommend buying a 7 day transportation pass for 300 SEK ($35 USD). Chances are, if you’re in town for a week or more than you’ll have time to venture the outskirts of town and that is when a transport card will come handy.
  • Don’t be too cheap – If you’re visiting Stockholm cheap then you obviously don’t want to skimp out on too much.  These budgeting tips are great to help you save money but don’t deprive yourself of all the pleasures Stockholm has to offer.  If it is your dream to try authentic Swedish meatballs then allocate your budget to make it happen.  It will be more expensive to fly back in a few years because you didn’t satisfy that urge to do it all when you had the chance.

Enjoy your trip.  I hope this travel guide will help make your next visit to Stockholm cheap, easy and fun!

 

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