Friday, 12 August 2016

Stockholm: In Three Days On A Budget


The Essentials

Accommodation: 

As you may have realised, it's been a long while since I wrote on this blogsite, hence with age comes a few more luxuries. While I find it a bit more difficult to slum it these days, it's still very possible to find reasonably-priced accommodation coupled with a good night's sleep.

The best way of comparing prices are sites such as TravelSupermarket or Sky Scanner - just so you know what to expect and when to go without having a last minute heart attack. Sweden is one of those places where it's easy to burn a hole in your pocket - so travelling smart is key.

As I am now holidaying in-between work, I tend to fork out for my own room these days - so the one that I can recommend is the First Hotel Norrtull in Vasastan. It's a bit more upmarket and a standard stay for business folk, but expect free breakfast for the £90 room tag (for two nights). It's also about a 15 minute walk from the city centre, but has great transport links.


Using third party websites:

After using Booking.com, I found that the difference between staying in a dorm and a hotel was around £50. It's a steep difference, even booked two months in advance, so you have a choice of staying in a hostel or a 'cheapish' hotel. Weekdays are the best especially as room prices shoot up on a Friday for the three day weekend.

When using Booking.com - make sure you choose the options 7+ and above on the review score section on the left hand menu bar to find the best hostels - for two nights expect to pay around £50 for a reasonable dorm near the city centre. The one that seems to be popular with great reviews is City Backpackers Hostel.

Getting to and from Stockholm:

Flights can be as cheap as £28 - I find that going on Sky Scanner, selecting the "cheapest month" on the date section, and then choosing the dates according to the price can be a good way of finding a deal. RyanAir and EasyJet are miles ahead in terms of providing low cost flights from Stansted Airport.



Places to See: 

Vasamuseet (Vasa Museum), Skansen Park, Stockholm Archipelago boat ride, Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace), Stadshuset, Fotografiska, Moderna Museet, Gamla Stan (Old Town), all of these areas are totally walkable.

Transport:

Stockholm has an extensive transport network, so taking a bus or even a boat is relatively easy. From both Stockholm Skavsta and Arlanda airports, you can take a Flygbussarna bus that goes to and from the centre of town which is £25 return - well worth the money as it's more than an hour long trip.

At the Stockholm Central Station, there are plenty of local shops such as a Seven Eleven where you can buy 24 and 72 hour SL cards as well as a week long pass for SEK300 (£27.50). I'd suggest planning your routes on Google maps beforehand as to avoid panic on the bus. Everyone pretty much speaks English so it's a piece of cake.



I also decided to be a total tourist and jump on one of the red boats near Kungliga Slottet. Two companies Red Sightseeing (£15 for 24 hours) and Stromma (£16.50 for 24 hours) provide boats to travel to all the main hotspots saving a bunch of time as you attempt to make the most of the three days. My legs were definitely toned and my skin tanned by the end of the trip, so sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

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