Beautiful Stockholm. It’s a dream to visit but usually comes with a hefty price tag that not every backpacker can afford. Luckily for cash-strapped travellers, Stockholm has a whole host of museums, galleries and places to visit that are free! Check out our guide.
Free museums and attractions
Woodland cemetery – Why visit a cemetery while on holiday in Stockholm? This isn’t just any ordinary cemetery, it was designed by two of the country’s leading modernist architects, Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, in the first part of the twentieth century. It’s a Nordic ode to nature, life and death and is an UNESCO WHS.
City Hall courtyard – Stockholm’s city hall dominates the skyline with its spire featuring the golden Three Crowns. It’s a fine example of national romanticism in architecture, designed by Rognar Östberg. Join a tour, you won’t regret the chance to see inside this amazing building.
Bergianska Botanical Garden – Located near Brunnsviken, this is a beautiful place to spend a quiet morning. Don’t miss a visit to the famous Victoria House where the world’s largest water lily lives.
Djurgården – Stockholm is made up from a number of islands, all linked by bridges. Djurgården is one of them, once a royal game park. Today the island is dotted with forests and museums. You can easily spend an entire day here, wandering the woodlands or enjoying a summer picnic.
Kulturhuset – If you want a quick introduction into Swedish culture and art, just head to the “Cultural Living Room.” It has six floors of galleries, libraries and theatre spaces. Events are ticketed but visitors are free to browse the art, pick up a graphic novel and read, play chess and admire the views over the city for free.
Did you know that you can buy a yearly pass for the City Museum of Stockholm and the Medieval Museum of Stockholm for 70 SEK (about £6) and you can visit them as many times as you like?
Must-have Stockholm experiences
Watch the changing of the guard – Head on over to the Royal Palace, home to Sweden’s monarchy, to watch the daily Changing of the Guard. In the summertime the ceremony takes place in the outer courtyards at 12:15pm and lasts for around 40 minutes. In the wintertime, the parade starts from Mynttorget in Gamla Stan on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:09pm.
Swim – Stockholm’s archipelago is extremely clean and same for swimming in the summer months. Cool off at one of the city beaches like Långholmsbadet or Smedsuddsbadet.
August Cultural Festival – Compared to Edinburgh’s Fringe, Stockholm is a bustling madness of festivals and events in August. It’s a month not to be missed! Over 500 events take to the streets featuring stand-up comedy, walking tours, dance and more. 99% of these are free, what could be better?!
Eating cheap in Stockholm
You may find more than a few things more expensive in Sweden than at home. Food is certainly one of those things. The best way to each on a budget? Ask for “Dagens lunch” or “Dagens rätt” at a restaurant. They mean “lunch of the day” or “meal of the day” and can save quite a bit rather than choosing something straight off the menu.
Otherwise… picnics are a great idea! Stockholm has so many parks and the best bit is that nature is free! Stop by a market or the grocery store to pick up some goodies and find yourself a spot in a park.
Are you planning a trip to Stockholm? Don’t forget to read our guide Sweden 101: what first-time visitors should know before you go!
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