Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

Is Stockholm expensive for tourists? A complete guide to prices in Stockholm for visitors

Stockholm is Scandinavia’s largest city, and it’s probably the most beautiful as well. Lovely homes and cobblestone streets line the old town, with cutting-edge modern architecture not far away. Visiting is must, but is Stockholm expensive for tourists?

If you combine glorious nature nearby, efficient public transport and locals that are pleasing to the eye, it’s safe to say that Sweden’s largest city isn’t the worst place in the world — even with those brutal winters.

Like the other Nordic capitals, Stockholm has a reputation for being heavy on the wallet. Much of this is somewhat exaggerated, but it’s certainly not the cheapest destination. The 25% VAT bumps up the price of everything, and alcohol is significantly pricier than in Denmark — though not as much as in Norway.

But despite being known for its high prices, you can enjoy Scandinavia’s largest city without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll outline prices in Stockholm for the main tourist activities and identify multiple ways that you can save money during your visit.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

How expensive is Stockholm for tourists?

Prices in Stockholm will vary depending on the types of activities you choose. Nonetheless, many tourists stick to roughly the same thing when visiting Sweden’s capital.

Below, we’ve outlined how much the most popular touristy things cost in Stockholm.

Beer prices in Stockholm

Stockholm has a lively nightlife scene, and you’ll find a place to drink regardless of your interests. Sweden has also played a key role in some of the world’s most famous drinks, including Aquavit – which is enjoyed throughout the Scandinavian region.

However, your wallet will suffer if you plan to have a heavy drinking session in Stockholm. Alcohol in Sweden is heavily-regulated and state-run, which has led to it having a pretty hefty price tag — especially if you go to a bar or restaurant.

According to Numbeo, beer prices in Stockholm range around the following:

  • 70 SEK (£5.70) for 0.5 litres of domestic draught beer or a 33cl bottle of imported beer;
  • 19.59 SEK (£1.59) for a 500ml bottle of domestic beer from a store;
  • 22.37 SEK (£1.82) for a 500ml bottle of imported beer from a shop.

If you want speciality beers, such as craft beers, you might have to pay more.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

Tours

You’ll find plenty of tours in and around Stockholm, and these will vary in price depending on what you choose. If you want to get to basics with the Swedish capital, the free walking tour is your best starting point.

Your guide will show you around some of Stockholm’s coolest streets, and you can pay however much you feel the experience was worth at the end.

As you’ll quickly realise, the best way to enjoy Stockholm is by water. The city centre itself is built across 14 islands, and the capital melds out into the Baltic Sea. If you don’t want to leave the downtown area, you can book several inner-city boat tours.

Stromma is the city’s largest tour operator. You can enjoy a sightseeing tour around Stockholm’s greener areas for 260 SEK (c. £21.17) per person, along with a slightly longer tour under the city’s bridges for 311 SEK (£25.32) per person.

Stockholm’s archipelago is well worth seeing, and perhaps the cheapest way to see it is by taking the ferry to Finland; you’ll pass through these islands on your way to Åland. But if you don’t have time for a detour, Stromma operates an archipelago tour for 345 SEK (£28.08) per person.

Get Your Guide have a range of tour options you can check out, too. The Go City All-Inclusive pass will get you in to over 45 attractions.

Museum admission fees

Stockholm probably has a museum to satisfy your needs regardless of your interests. You could easily spend your entire trip museum-hopping, with the impressive Vasa and Nordic Museums both worth a pit stop.

But before you head out, you should factor in museum prices in Stockholm.

Below are ticket costs for some of the city’s most popular ones:

  • Nordiska Museet: 140 SEK (£11.39) per adult, discounts available for students, pensioners, etc.
  • ABBA Museum: 220-280 SEK (£17.91 – £22.79) per adult, 80-110 SEK (£6.51 – £8.95) per child aged 7-15. Special prices are available for families and students; children up to 6-years-old go free. Get your tickets here.
  • Vasa Museum: 170 SEK (October-April) per adult, 190 SEK (May-September) (£13.84 – £15.47). Children under 18 years go free. You can also get entrance to the museum as part of a City walking tour.

You can save money on your museum visits by using the Stockholm Card, as we’ll mention in more depth later.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

Transport

When choosing whether to visit Copenhagen or Stockholm, how you get around might influence your decision. Bicycles are by far the most convenient way to get around Denmark’s capital; you can use them in Stockholm as well, but it’s a little trickier.

Moreover, weather conditions outside of summer are far from ideal.

During your stay in the Swedish capital, you’ll probably use public transport to get around when you’re not walking. Stockholm has an extensive network of buses, ferries, metro trains, and trams — all of which are integrated within your ticket.

Public transport in Stockholm is pretty affordable. You can buy a single journey ticket for 38 SEK (£3.09); purchases are possible at metro stations and on the SL smartphone app.

If you’re staying in Stockholm for more than a day, we recommend getting a longer public transport ticket — especially if you’re staying outside of the central districts.

Your ticket is available on all forms of transport, and prices are as follows:

  • 24 hours: 165 SEK (£13.44)
  • 72 hours: 330 SEK (£26.88)
  • Seven days: 430 SEK (£35.03)

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay extra if you’re travelling to Arlanda Airport and beyond. Similarly, your ferry trip will incur an additional cost for some islands — such as Waxholm.

Why is Stockholm so expensive?

Stockholm prices make the city more expensive to visit than many European capitals. However, those costs aren’t without a good reason. We’ve already mentioned that alcohol is highly-taxed, but other activities come with a premium as well.

Sweden’s capital is a hotbed of minimalistic design, and you only have to glance at the well-dressed locals to notice that you’ll find plenty of high-end clothing brands here. Considering the higher quality for both, you can expect a heftier price tag as well.

Manufacturing sustainable items that last a long time costs more. These companies are businesses, at the end of the day; they need to make a profit, along with paying for their supply chains and giving their employees a salary. Hence the higher price on your end as a consumer.

As we mentioned earlier, VAT is also high in Sweden. The 25% tax rate makes almost everything pricier than in other European countries, and you’re probably better off purchasing that iPad you’ve always wanted somewhere else instead.

Another reason that Stockholm is so expensive is that the economy works for (almost) everyone. Even for entry-level and lower-skilled positions, salaries are pretty high. According to Numbeo, the average salary in the city is 33,309.26 SEK (£2,714.89) after tax.

As such, most Stockholmers can afford a comfortable standard of living — and their ability to spend has led to local businesses thriving.

Is accommodation expensive in Stockholm?

When you visit Stockholm, you’ll need a place to stay. The city has a wide range of hotels and hostels available, and you can choose from various Airbnb rentals — though the latter is a little trickier to come by in the city centre.

Stockholm has hotels available at most price points, and average prices will vary depending on when you travel and where you stay. In the city centre and nearby districts such as Solna, you can expect to pay anywhere from 500-800 SEK (£40.75-£65.21) per person, per night.

For fancier hotels, you’ll pay more. As an example, the Grand Hôtel — arguably the city’s most famous— will set you back anywhere from 2,500 SEK (£203.71) to over 5,000 SEK (£407.43) per person per night.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll find various hostels in Stockholm’s city centre — many of which are pretty affordable, such as City Backpackers. Expect to pay the equivalent of roughly £20-£25 per night.

Is food expensive in Stockholm?

Stockholm’s culinary scene is thriving, and you’ll find foods from all over the world — ranging from New Nordic innovations to classic Middle Eastern and Thai street food. Below, we’ll identify food prices in Stockholm from a restaurant perspective.

Are restaurants expensive in Stockholm?

While it is possible to find affordable restaurants in Stockholm, you can run up a high bill if you decide to eat out for every meal — especially in the city centre.

So, how much does dinner cost in Stockholm?

The average price of a meal in Stockholm varies depending on where you go. If you want to eat at an ordinary restaurant, your meal will cost you between 120 and 180 SEK (£9.77 – £14.66) in most places.

For higher-end restaurants, you’ll pay over 320 SEK (£26.07) in many instances.

If you’re surprised about the price of your meal in Stockholm, remember that the service charge is often included in your final bill. If you’re unsure about this, all you need to do is ask the waiting staff, and they’ll be able to help you.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

Are taxis expensive in Stockholm?

If you travel to Stockholm from the airport, you’ll notice plenty of taxi ranks outside. And if you’ve had too many beers, you might feel like it’s easier to get one home instead of taking public transport (hint: in most cases, it isn’t).

Taxis in Scandinavia are pretty expensive in general, and Stockholm is no exception.

You can get a full breakdown of prices here, but below are some points that you should pay particular attention to:

  • Starting prices range from 59-90 SEK, depending on how many people your taxi is for.
  • Certain times are more expensive than others in terms of cost per kilometre.
  • Some taxis accept GBP as well as SEK, along with EUR and other currencies.
  • Some terminals will require an extra charge, and you’ll see these on your final receipt.

How much money do I need per day in Stockholm?

As you’ve seen so far, Stockholm can be a little pricey if you aren’t prepared. Nonetheless, you can enjoy a memorable trip with a bit of budgeting.

If you’re travelling to Stockholm on a budget, we recommend that you set aside around 1,000 SEK (£81.43) per day. You’ll cover your nightly price in a hostel room, along with two meals out at lower-range restaurants.

Moreover, you will have enough for your public transport pass and some extra cash for tours and museum entry. To travel to Stockholm, you can use Flixbus; tickets are affordable and can be bought on the day.

For those on a mid-range budget, anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 SEK will suffice. Instead of a hostel, you’ll have enough to stay at a hotel or an Airbnb apartment. Prices will vary depending on the area and the time of year you’re in Stockholm.

You can travel to Stockholm from Arlanda Airport via one of the airport bus services or the commuter train.

If you’ve got a bit more money to spend, you can travel to Stockholm on a luxury trip with 3,500 SEK (£284.91) or more. Again, your budget will cover any activities you want to do — such as a dinner tour of the Stockholm archipelago.

You can also enjoy a higher-end Airbnb rental or hotel, along with getting the Arlanda Express to and from the city centre.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

10 ways to save money in Stockholm as a tourist

Now that we’ve gone into quite a bit of depth about how expensive Stockholm is, you’re ready to figure out how you can save money. In the sections below, we’ll identify some of our tried and tested methods for keeping costs a little lower when visiting this beautiful city.

1. Be more flexible with your accommodation options

You might find it tempting to stay right in the city centre, but you’re often going to pay more for the privilege of doing so — and the benefits aren’t the same as doing so in London or Paris.

Stockholm’s suburbs are well-connected by public transport, and you can find more affordable accommodation within 30 minutes of the city centre. Anywhere on the metro works well, as all lines feed into Stockholm Central Station; ditto for the commuter train.

2. Don’t take the Arlanda Express (if you’re travelling alone)

The Arlanda Express is the quickest way to get into Stockholm’s city centre, and departures from Arlanda Airport are pretty frequent. However, that efficiency comes at a price.

A single ticket on the Arlanda Express costs 299 SEK (£24.37), and a return will set you back 579 SEK (£47.20).

Cheaper alternatives take longer, but the distances aren’t insufferable. Buses take around 40-45 minutes to reach the city centre, and prices range around the 100 SEK (£8.15) mark for a single ticket. You can also get the commuter train, which costs 168 SEK (£13.68) for a single ticket.

If you get the Arlanda Express as part of a group, you can save money; if that’s the case, it’ll probably be the most effective option.

3. Skip the alcohol

While it’s not uncommon for British tourists to want a drink or two when abroad, you’ll eat a huge chunk of your budget if you plan to go out regularly. Stockholm has plenty of other activities, and you don’t need to rely on some tipple to have fun.

If you do plan to drink, do as the Swedes do. Get your alcohol from a Systembolaget (state-run monopoly store) beforehand.

4. Pick a hotel with breakfast included

Food prices in Sweden are high, and this area will take up much of your budget. Look for hotels with a breakfast buffet included in your overall price.

If you fill up in the morning, you won’t need to eat as much during the day — which will save you money.

5. Consider buying the Stockholm Pass

If you plan to visit multiple museums and attractions, getting the Stockholm Pass could be a more cost-effective option.

The Stockholm City Pass starts at 494 SEK (£40.24) per person, and it includes free travel on public transport. You can purchase a pass for one, two, three, or five successive days — depending on how long you plan to spend in the city.

6. Try activities that don’t cost anything

Besides high salaries, many Stockholmers enjoy a high quality of life because they appreciate the free things. The city has an abundance of budget-friendly activities, meaning that you can very easily visit and only spend money on the absolute essentials.

Stockholm has plenty of wonderful forests and islands nearby; if you get tired of being in the city, consider bringing your hiking boots and venturing into nature.

Other budget-friendly activities include:

  • Wandering around Gamla Stan; 
  • Browsing Swedish design stores;
  • Going for a swim in one of the city’s many designated bathing areas.

7. Don’t buy water

Swedish tap water is some of the cleanest (and tastiest) in the world, and locals find it somewhat amusing when tourists visit and buy bottles from the store. It’s expensive and unnecessary.

Bring a refillable water bottle with you and take that as you explore Stockholm. If you need a refill, many cafés will be happy to do so.

8. Don’t pay for a view over the city

You can admire Stockholm from street level and on the water; to get a hattrick, you’ll want to take in Sweden’s capital from above as well. Luckily, the city has a pretty elevated topography — meaning that you don’t need to worry about paying for a view.

Natural vantage points that you can enjoy Stockholm from include:

  • Monteliusvägen;
  • Skinnarviksberget;
  • Fjällgatan.

9. Visit during the off-season

We get it — summer is “the best time” to visit Stockholm if you believe all the tour guides. The sun seems to never set, everyone’s outside, and the temperatures are reliable.

Summer, however, is also when tourists from Sweden and abroad flock to the capital — meaning that it’s the most expensive time to visit Stockholm.

You might question whether it’s worth visiting the Swedish capital outside of June-August, but the city has charms that you can enjoy year-round — and it constantly changes depending on the season you visit.

Early autumn is a good time to visit Stockholm; the weather’s not too cold, and daylight hours are still reasonable. Later in the season, the city will welcome you with a beautiful orange tinge.

Winter is also not the worst time to visit; with the exception of the lead-up to Christmas, accommodation prices are often lower. Yes, the days are short, and it’s cold — but that still has its charm.

If you don’t want to spend too long outside, you can always enjoy multiple Fika breaks in the city’s many excellent cafés.

10. Become part of a hotel’s club

If you travel frequently, you can save money on a trip to Stockholm by becoming a member of your favourite hotel chain. In the Nordic region, Nordic Choice Hotels is free to join and gives you exclusive discounts on accommodation in Stockholm — along with Copenhagen, Oslo, and many other cities.

Is Stockholm Expensive For Tourists

So, is Stockholm expensive for tourists?

Yes, Stockholm can be expensive, but you can also enjoy a budget trip here. While prices in Stockholm are often pretty high, the city isn’t as pricey as people make it out to be.

With the exception of alcohol, most things cost less than in Copenhagen — and pretty much everything is cheaper than in Oslo.

Regardless of how expensive you find Stockholm compared to where you live, the city is one of Scandinavia’s must-visit destinations and well worth the price. You can lower the costs for your visit with some smart advance planning and focusing only on experiences you genuinely want to do.

Visiting in the off-season has its charms, even if you need to put on a few extra layers. Speaking of which, maybe an Icelandic sweater is what you’re looking for?…

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