…or STHLM, you will see this abbreviation frequently on the advertisement posters in the metro or buses.
We were lucky to visit Stockholm in golden autumn. The second weekend in October this year was sunny and inviting for a long city stroll. In my opinion, Stockholm was a perfect idea for a weekend trip (under condition that you don’t want to visit all museums in the city during your stay here).
Sweden is not in the Euro zone, therefore they have their own currency – Swedish Krona (SEK). At the time we were in Stockholm 1 Euro was equal about SEK 10, so it was pretty easy to re-calculate the prices. However, we didn’t withdraw any krona because even at the small shops (and even at the unmanned public toilets – my personal highlight) you can pay with a credit card.
If you visit Stockholm for a weekend and plan to use metro, the best option for you would be to buy a metro card. It is called “SL access” and could be purchased at any ticket office at metro and commuter rail stations. It is valid for all metro lines in the city for unlimited amount of trips. The fares are the following:
- 24 hours: SEK 125 (adult fare); SEK 85 (discounted fare)
- 72 hours: SEK 250 (adult fare); SEK 165 (discounted fare)
- 7 days: SEK 325 (adult fare); SEK 220 (discounted fare)
In Stockholm, the metro works from 5 am till 1 am on the weekdays and till 3 am on the weekend. We were happy with our decision to buy the SL Access and were able to spare a lot of time using unlimited access to the metro rides!
To and from Arlanda airport
There are several options to travel to and from Arlanda airport. The quickest one is Arlanda Express: single trip costs SEK 295 (early bird SEK 195), return trip – SEK 570. The express will bring you from the airport to the city downtown within 20 minutes. The tickets can be bought online: https://www.arlandaexpress.com/
We preferred slower but cheaper option – the Flugbussarna bus. It takes 45 minutes and costs SEK 99 for a single and SEK 198 for a return trip. The tickets can be purchased online as well: https://www.flygbussarna.se/en/arlanda
Comparing Stockholm to Berlin, obviosly, the price level is higher here. Especially for the alcohol. A glass of wine will cost you around 10-12 Euro, a beer – 6 Euro. For a dinner at a restaurant you will pay at least 30-40 Euro per person if you choose a moderate-price restaurant. Of course, there are also cheaper options and street food. I can definitely recommend a fish kiosk called Nystekt Stromming which is situated on the island of the Gamla Stan (The old city). For 8 Euro you will get a portion of freshly fried fish with mashed potatoes and two small side dishes of your choice.
When you decide to go to the restaurant, especially the one offering “husmanskost” – “home-made food”, I strongly recommend you to book a table in advance. We couldn’t get into at least two restaurants because the waiting line would have been more than an hour. At some point, we relaxed and decided to wait outside for a free table. You can already order a drink and ask for a blanket while waiting. We have been to Gästabud and can confirm that the meal was worth the waiting time.
Coffee and cinnamon buns
One of the things to try in Stockholm is the cinnamon bun. We picked the famous Chokladkoppen café, which is situated right in the heart of the old city, on the Stortorget square. The bun was dry and not really tasty, but the coffee was great!
The village of Skansen is situated on a separate island and the easiest and quickest way to get there from Gamla Stan is to take a ferry (number 82 Djurgardsfärjan ferry). Good news for the holders of the SL Access tourist card – you don’t have to pay extra to go on a ferry! They depart every 15 minutes and I had a feeling that mostly tourists were on board.
Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world and showcases Sweden through its animals, buildings, farmsteads and period gardens from the length and breadth of the country. Many Nordic animals can be seen in the zoo.
Expectedly, on Sunday, Skansen was full of families with children as this is indeed a perfect getaway situated directly in the city with you little ones offering a wide range of activities outdoor and indoor.
There are also several food courts and plenty of possibilities to organize a picnic and savor the food you have taken with you.
The famous 18th century war ship museum (Vasamuseet) is also situated on the Djurgarden island. Note that the museum is open only until 5 pm (during the summer time it may be different), so plan your visit in advance and show up at the ticket counter at least one hour before closure. We didn’t check the time upfront and were too late for a visit. I should put this on my TODO list for the next time in Stockholm!
Metro as art
The metro stations in Stockholm are probably among the most beautiful in the world. Many of them look like a peace of art or a colorful creation of some artist. This could be a perfect tip for you free evening when it is already dark outside or for rainy weather – just to go downside and commute between the artsy stations. Here are some of them visited by us and captured in a picture:
- T-Centralen – you will probably not be able to escape it if you use the metro, this is the most frequent transfer point to all lines.
- Kungsträdgärden – there you feel like you are suddenly arrived as a Roman cave
- Solna Centrum – the walls of this station represent the pictures from the life in a little Swedish village.
According to the blogs in the Internet, there are even more of them. You can also visit Tekniska Högskolan, Hötorget, Odenplan, Östermalmstorg, Akalla, Tensta, Thorildsplan, Bagarmossen, Hallonbergen and other.
To sum up, if you have a free weekend in October, head for Stockholm and enjoy the style and tranquil beauty of this wealthy Scandinavian city.