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Three Ways To Enjoy Summer In Stockholm Without Going Broke

Stockholm is one of Europe’s most expensive cities, and the exchange rate for Aussie travellers is as criminal as the latest Nordic noir series you’re bingeing on Netflix. But that shouldn’t mean crossing the capital off your summer bucket list, especially if you think you belong in Scandinavia. It’s possible to have a killer Swedish vacay without breaking the bank. Here’s how.

#1 Eat like you’re hungover

 

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Do you choose holiday destinations based on the fun new treats you’ll get to try? Same. Although most food in Stockholm is exy, adjusting your expectations and taking a slightly offbeat approach to your eating will help you get more bang for your krona.

Kebab pizza is a thing in Sweden, and you don’t need to be drunk or dusty to enjoy it. Most pizzerias in Stockholm will do a version of this delicacy, which is essentially a traditional tomato pizza base topped with cheese, onion, pepperoncini, doner kebab meat and that familiar kebab sauce you know from your local late-night spot. Not convinced? What if I told you a large pizza at Corella Pizzeria will only set you back 90 kr (AU$13)? And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, the Jamaican curry pizza (with bananas!) from lively Angelo’s is 94 kr (AU$14) well spent.

 

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When considering your accommodation, keep an eye out for hotels and hostels that offer a buffet breakfast. The Swedes know how to put on a serious spread (“smörgåsbord” is a Swedish word after all), and with a bit of confidence and sleight of hand, this morning’s brekky can easily turn into today’s lunch without costing you extra. I have no shame in admitting that my pockets in Stockholm were regularly stuffed with rye rolls, apples and traditional Swedish biscuits courtesy of my “breakfast included” hotel rate.

Stockholm’s best dining rooms are outside, which means free five-star ambiance. Grab your buffet bounty or whacky pizza and make your way to one of the city’s stunning parks for a picnic. As the highest natural point in Stockholm, Skinnarviksberget in the eclectic Södermalm neighbourhood dishes up a dramatic bird’s eye perspective of the city. Locals also love the charming vibe of Ivar Los Park, where you can enjoy views over Lake Mälaren to Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s Old Town) and the iconic City Hall.

#2 Take a dip

 

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ABBA The Museum is undoubtedly a tourist drawcard, but it costs money, money, money. Thankfully, there are fun things to do in Stockholm that don’t cost a cent, like swimming.

The best time to visit Sweden is during the summer, when the warmer temps will have you following the locals’ lead by cooling off wherever and whenever you can. And I do mean wherever: the water surrounding Stockholm’s islands is so clean you can take a dip right in the heart of the city. Test the waters at favourite spots like Långholmsbadet, Tantolunden and Brunnsviksbadet.

#3 Explore Stockholm’s underground art scene

 

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Stockholm is a walkable city, so using your legs to get around is a solid gold way to save your hard-earned clams (especially if you don’t want to spring for a Stockholm Travelcard). But thanks to a baffling yet beautiful approach to public art, the subway system is not to be missed. For the cost of a single metro ticket – 45 kr (AU$7), valid for 75 minutes – you’ll discover unique artwork decorating the platforms, walls and waiting areas of every station. From the calming blue shades at the main hub of T-Centralen, to the joyous rainbow at Stadion, to the otherworldly green and red landscape at Solna Centrum, every stop delivers a pop of magic straight to your eyeballs.

It’s easy to explore the world’s longest art museum alone, but if you visit between June and August you can get some insider knowledge by taking a guided art walk in English. The walks start at 3pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from the SL Customer Centre at T-Centralen; all you need to join in is a valid metro ticket.

(Lead image: Visit Stockholm)