A Backpacker’s dream: Budget travelling in northern Europe – Part 1

posted in: Destinations, Europe, Scandinavia | 0

Sightseeing in Stockholm, cruising the archipelago of the Swedish and Finnish coast and the (former) European cultural capital Turku – Sounds not too bad for a short trip, does it? A specialized tour agency would offer this for around 1000€ including flights.

OR: Do it as I did it in 2010 – Low Budget in Scandinavia.

Town hall in Stockholm

High expectations, low budget, Solo Travel

It was my first solo trip. At least partly.

Starting point: A very good friend of mine stayed for one semester in Turku and I wanted to come to see him. As you all know, of course I wanted to see as much as possible when being there. Unfortunately , due to university I didn’t have too much time and, being a student, my choice had to be low budget.

But, with some online research, I organized a great itinerary. I saw a lot, it was very interesting and quite cheap, although August was still main season, though the end of it. The weather was mixed, as I expected it in the North. But all in all it was largely nice.

Old Town (Gamla Stan), Stockholm

Low cost carrier

The return flight with Ryanair was €40, as carry-on luggage was enough for some days. The airport in Skavsta is called ‘Stockholm’ and that’s really a joke, as it is more than 80 km away from the capital. But bus connections are good, comfortable and reasonably priced.

View over Södermalm, Stockholm

Accommodation in Stockholm

I reserved for one night in the ‚Hotel Gamla Stan/Best Hostel Old Town‘. It was roughly €30 for a bed in a four bed dorm with shared bathroom. Sounds a lot…

But the hostel is really beautiful in a renovated old building, perfectly located in Gamla Stan. It’s clean, staff is nice and a small breakfast was included. This makes a real bargain for Stockholm. Furthermore I had this view over Södermalm from my window:

Södermalm in sunset light

Sightseeing in Stockholm

I spent one and a half days on sightseeing. Starting in the Old Town (Gamla Stan) I went to Östermalm and along Strandvägen.

National museum, Stockholm

Strandvägen, Stockholm

Afterwards I entered the island of Djurgarden which I circled completely. A long walk, but beautiful nature close to the city centre.

Djurgarden, Stockholm

Djurgarden, Stockholm

Djurgarden, Stockholm

In the west of Djurgarden lies Gröna Lund, the famous leisure park. From there I took the ferry back to Gamla Stan.

Gröna Lund, Stockholm

View of Gamla Stan, Stockholm

The next day I discovered the lanes of Gamla Stan before I arrived at the Royal Castle. Just in time for the changing of the guards.

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Changing guards at the Royal Castle, Stockholm

South of the city: Södermalm, the old working-class neighborhood. You can find beautifully old houses and a great view over Gamla Stan and the archipelago’s islands.

View from Slussen over Gamla Stan

Södermalm, Stockholm

Södermalm, Stockholm

Food in Stockholm

Food and drinks were, as expected, very expensive. Having a sandwich in restaurant was more than €10. At least it was delicious. The only affordable alcoholic drink is Lattöl (light beer), which doesn’t really taste like beer. Normal ‘Öl’, wine or booze is beyond price. And I only slightly exaggerate…

Coffee culture is laudable. After ordering a cup of coffee, at least one refill is mostly free of charge. You can really enjoy sitting in cafés for a longer period of time.

Coffee in Stockholm

To be continued in part 2…



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