Arriving at Arlanda airport and transitioning through customs was a pretty pleasant experience. It wasn’t difficult to find a ticket machine and pay for a bus ticket to Stockholm city using Flygbussarna. The bus is clean as well as comfortable. They also have a stable wireless connections.
The walk from the bus terminal in Stockholm to the City Hostel was short. I only booked one night with City Hostel and they were fully booked for the next few days when I got there.
City Hostel is clean, has very nice bathrooms and kitchen. This was my first hostel and I quickly learned that I’m not a fan of 10 bed dorms. These dorms just felt a bit like a prison dorm. Very simple rooms. The winding hallways were a bit confusing. The kitchen is nice and is the “common room” in the hostel.
Due to no rooms being available at City Hostel after the first night I quickly booked a 4 bed mixed dorm ensuite at Generator Hostel.
I was extremely happy after upgrading when I saw the facility. It’s a lot like a nice hotel. I paid about $33.59 each night ($66 on Saturday the 10th). I have only nice things to say: it is very clean, comfortable, a great environment with lots of varied seating in the lounge area and staff are available 24 hours. They are very helpful with any questions. Wi-Fi coverage is great inside the hostel. You can order breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, porridge, etc) at about 7AM and other meals later in the day (lunch starts around 11). There’s a variety of different croissants and beverages available: orange juice, apple juice, soda, beer, etc.
The rooms in Generator Hostel have private bathrooms and large lockers that roll under the beds. The lounge is a great place to sit and hangout, even if you don’t want to be bothered. The shared small rooms only have a bench to sit on, but if you rent a double room you get some extras like a desk.
Stockholm isn’t budget friendly, but the flight from New York is one of the cheapest from the east coast in the United States (about $160). It is picturesque no matter where you go. The streets are clean and the architecture is interesting.
A simple breakfast in Stockholm will cost more than $9 or 76 krona . You can easily pay $17 (144 krona) for a meal from any restaurant. A small soda is about $2.35. A taxi ride will cost about $30. I walked everywhere.
Everywhere you go Stockholm is gorgeous. Especially on the water and in the parks. At night you will see half a dozen rabbits eating in the park (and the occasional group of rats running by). On the streets you will see countless people dressed in suits. There is a large shopping area just a short distance from Generator with hundreds of places to shop like H&M.
I wasn’t able to locate any amazing places to eat, but I had a great meal at Restaurant Hemma. I asked some locals and was told you can’t eat for much less than 70 Krona. I had the lasagna with fish, shrimp and broccoli at Restaurant Hemma for about 140 krona ($17). Meatballs for the People does have good meatballs. I’m not sure it was worth the long walk there from my hostel though.
You will find 711 convenience stores everywhere, but here in Stockholm the prices aren’t cheap even at 711. A soda goes for about $2.30-2.50. They have a great selection of pastry and muffins though and I recommend the weinerbrod. It’s kind of like a donut combined with a croissant.
Here are two apps that are useful in Stockholm:
- Citybikes.se: You can buy a 3-day pass for a city bike for 165 SEK ($20.59) online or through a reseller (possibly your hostel). Using the mobile app you will be able to find any of 140 pickup and drop off locations with the GPS on your phone. I wasn’t a fan of the quality of the bikes but they can easily get you from point A to B. They only have 3 gears.
- Stockholm Commute App: Searches through different forms of public transportation to get you from one location to another.
- Budget breakfast (croissant and a drink): this could easily be about $8.
- Soda (from a 711): about $2.35.
- Average dinner at an average to pretty good restaurant: averaging around $17-30.
- Beer: $5-8.
- Taxi: could average anywhere from $8 to $30 or more depending on distance and other factors.
- Boat tours: $33 – $85
Budget backpacker rating: Walk everywhere or rent a City Bike, see this gorgeous city in the first 24 hours and then get out quickly.
Stockholm is a great place to visit, but if you’re on a backpackers budget you will want to avoid it or limit the duration of your stay to a very short time. The prices are just as expensive in Norway, Finland and Denmark.