Stockholm is pretty friggin’ expensive. But just how expensive is it? And is it a viable option for more budget-conscious travelers and backpackers? Well, I come from New York City, which is not known for being cheap. Still, on my recent trip through Sweden’s capital city, I was shocked at just how much I spent there. I mean, $15 (USD) for a beer?!?! That fucking hurts.
It’s hard to enjoy your traveling and the destination if you are perpetually crunching numbers in your head. That’s not a vacation. Here’s some examples for you, not meant to frighten, but rather to prepare you so that you can feel more at ease while you’re in the city.
- Stockholm is one of the most expensive cities for travelers – According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Stockholm ranks in this category as the third most expensive city for travelers; its Scandinavian sister cities almost bookend the top 10: Oslo, Norway, is the most expensive, and Copenhagen, Denmark, comes in at #8
- Stockholm is one of the most expensive cities to live in – According to Yahoo Finance, Stockholm is the 15th most expensive city to reside in. Its home energy costs are the highest in Europe.
- The Swedes can afford extravagant (in our eyes) expense – The Swedish people are a wealthy people, generally-speaking. With 600,000 people (out of only under 10 million) owning second homes, it has the highest rate of such in the world. Also, a whopping 7% of Swedish nationals own a boat!
- Stockholm is the single most cashless society – Everybody swipes, and I mean everybody. There is a movement afoot for Sweden to become the first completely-cashless society in the world, and three out of the four largest Swedish banks have stopped offering manual cash withdrawal services. A recent article from Bloomberg even stated that the homeless people that sell newspapers on the streets, they now accept credit cards! I was bewildered, until I reminded myself that this was Stockholm.
- Take a look at some of these costs (in USD equivalent) that I experienced during my last trip to Stockholm:
- Can of soda – $1.75 (in NYC, $1.00)
- Beer at bar – $12.00 (in NYC, $6 – $10)
- Cocktail at bar – $12 – $18 (in NYC, well $8 – let’s not go there)
- Combo Meal at McDonald’s – $12 (in USA, $5 – $7)
- Gasoline – $8.50/gallon! (NYC, ~$4.00/gal)
If you can go throughout Stockholm without thinking about (or at least without thinking much about) your budget, you will be able to see the city the way that it’s meant to be seen. Stockholm truly is a magnificent destination, it’d be a shame for you to focus on staying in the black while you’re there.
My best advice: Get yourself the Stockholm Card, a nifty card that offers discounts and freebies throughout the city on some of the many things that you probably are going to do anyway. Check out my post about the Stockholm Card here ->