Adventures on a budget in expensive Stockholm
Have you always been scared off by expensive Scandinavian countries?
I was. I did not even dare to fly there for just 20 euros return flight, as for a tourist on a budget it is difficult to survive there.
But, I finally decided to go there and to discover, what can be cheap in Stockholm for a tourist on a budget. Do not be afraid of high prices, there is always a way to have a good time with a limited budget.
I decided to investigate Stockholm on a budget on my own. I was even glad to fly alone after having to look after 12 people in Prague, so that everyone is happy. I didn’t depend on anyone, met some locals and had my own plan of cheap or free places in Stockholm.
I bought return tickets from Poznan (Poland) for 19 euros. Very cheap! But, tickets were the cheapest part of the trip. In a prosperous country the prices are appropriate.
With my half-full backpack (I took more to school then for 3 days to Sweden), I flew to Skavsta airport that looked like a garage. It was 2 hours away from Stockholm.
There were 2 options to get to Stockholm on a budget: by a direct bus for 16 euros or by bus to the nearest town called Nykoping, and from there to Stockholm for allegedly 11 euros, almost wasting no time. You could guess that I chose the cheapest option. But, in reality everything turned out differently than on the Internet …
Adventures on the way to Stockholm
After waiting a little for a bus to the town of Nykoping, it turned out that the ticket costs not 20, but 30 kroons (not 2, but 3 euros). No problem. Arriving in Nykoping, it turned out that Google Maps are lying, and the second bus departs not from the same place where the first one arrives. 10 minutes walk. No problem …
But, at the train station, where I came to, there was no cash desk, and no employees to sell tickets or to help somehow. After waiting a bit, the store opened, and it turned out that I could also buy tickets there. Salaries in Sweden are high, so companies and the government are trying to save money on employees. I later noticed it even more vividly in the hostels where I stayed.
In the store I bought a ticket in Stockholm with a student discount, which: 1) departed not in 20 minutes, but according to a new schedule in an hour and a half, 2) it cost not 9, but 12 euros, so my savings on a ticket decreased to 1 euro.
That’s how Nykoping looks in the morning
After crossing all Nykoping in 20 minutes along and across, I realized that it is cute, but very small and deserted. Maybe on Saturday morning people just didn’t wake up after Friday, when it is still allowed to sell alcohol (later about this).
There was one more hour left until my bus would arrive, so I decided to brighten up my morning with a coffee and a croissant. To my surprise, despite the low price for this set, there was also a student discount (or the saleswoman had a compassion on the poor student, who knows?).
So, I had a coffee with a chocolate croissant at 1.5 euros. Great value for a tourist on a budget. It is difficult to find such a price even in Poland. I later found out that pastry in general is cheap in Stockholm. These stores, or rather newsstands are called Pressbyran, and can be found quite often in Stockholm.
1,5 Euro snack for a tourist on a budget. Pastry is cheap in Stockholm
If I travel for more than 2 days, I take a computer with me. So, I did this time. At the station, I connected to the socket, the Internet and started watching a movie sipping coffee.
Arrival in Stockholm
An hour later, the bus arrived and I got to Stockholm without any problem. From the main station, I did not hurry to head to the hostel, because I knew that it was possible to check in there only after 2 pm. I walked around the city center, and found a kind of entertainment of the Swedes in the district of shops and bars called SoFo (in style of New York’s SoHo). That’s how I first thought.
Swedish entertainment and fight against cancer
It was a van with exercise bikes, where the children jumped in, then the girls for an Instagram photo #fitness #sports. There were also a guy and a girl selling sports supplements. This was my initial impression.
But, it turned out that in this place donations were collected for the fight against cancer and did not sell anything, but gave food for free (and the soul of the Belarusian on a budget softened at the sight of something free). In theory, this should symbolize the fight against a specific type of this disease, but tell me what kind of cancer can be cured by a chocolate bar and sweet soda?!
Cheap Swedish pastry
Tough Budget Stockholm Hostel
I hardly saw my hostel sign and entered it, it was pretty empty. I was waiting for a guy working there to finally check in, but he said that I could check in only after three. Well, I found out where was some common room or kitchen. It turned out that those 3 chairs near the entrance were that common room. Well, there were four chairs and even two tables in the kitchen (so tough is Stockholm on a budget), so I went there. I turned on another movie and stayed there until 3.
Kitchen of my first hostel
In this hostel, there was an additional payment for bed linen and it was mandatory. Considering that on that night I booked a hostel at the last minute, and +6 euros for the bed sheets, it was the most expensive hostel from all my travels (and the cheapest one in Stockholm when I booked it). It cost 36 euros. The other hostel was cheaper, it cost 24 for the next 2 days, and it was better. Yeah, hostels are not very cheap in Stockholm.
Well, on the way! Easier to walk without a bag with laptop.
City on the Islands
Stockholm is located on 14 islands, which you simply pass unnoticed, walking along the center. This creates a pleasant atmosphere, but also a very strong wind. I was very lucky with the weather these days. All three days in Stockholm, it was about 13-16 degrees, which is generally a usual summer weather, not March. The day before and the day after my stay, here it was 6-7 degrees. But, on bridges and islands, even 13-16 degrees do not seem such a warm weather. Nevertheless, the Swedes cheerfully walk and enjoy the sun sitting back on the benches. The sun here is a pretty rare guest.
I did not want to make conclusions about the Swedes, having just been to Stockholm on such a sunny weekend, so I wanted to meet some locals people and ask about the Swedish personality. For this, you do not need to approach strangers on the street (as it later turned out, I would not make sense here, since the Swedish character is very closed and unfriendly), but there is a Couchsurfing application.
I unsuccessfully tried to find an overnight stay on the first night there, but also on Couchsurfing you can find people nearby who are willing to meet and show the city or drink coffee. In the evening, I did so. I met with an Ecuadorian guy, who studies master in Stockholm. He told me more or less about the Swedish personality and character that I wrote about in a separate article.
So, my first day in Stockholm on a budget was over. Already with some adventures, but the biggest adventures are yet to come. Stay tuned!