“ A discount card for Stockholm attractions. „
My partner and I visited Stockholm last year and the trip was one of the most enjoyable city trips that I have ever been on. The city is gorgeous and so clean with barely any visible graffiti or rubbish strewn across the streets. It is the kind of city that I myself would love to live in. Of course there is a price to pay for having such a well-run liveable city and that is the cost of living. Everything in Stockholm was expensive from visiting attractions to going for a cup of coffee.
One way of making Stockholm a little bit more affordable when visiting is to invest in a Stockholm card which if you are planning on visiting the Swedish capital is a must and it comes with so many added benefits that it soon pays for itself.
It is basically a card you buy that gives you free or discounted entry into more than 80 museums and attraction in the greater Stockholm area. It also gives you free use of public transport including the subway and local buses.
When you buy the card you also get a really handy little guidebook which tells you what attractions are free and also where they are located. It also had a small description of what everything was which I found this really handy when trying to decide what attractions to visit as I hadn't heard of a lot of them and some were missing from my guide book that I had bought at the airport on our way to Stockholm.
To buy the Stockholm card last year cost 395 KR for a 24 hour card, 525 KR for a 48 one and 625 KR for the 72 hour card. It has gone up in price and currently costs 450 KR for the 24 hour card, 625 KR for the 48 hour and 750 KR for the 72 hour.
450 KR is around about £42.50 with today's exchange rate (March 2012).
If you are going to be in Stockholm for three days then to get maximum bang for your buck you should definitely invest in the 72 hour card as this is the one that offers the most value as long as it will soon pay for itself after visiting only a few attractions.
To buy the card you can either purchase it online from the visit Stockholm website and they will post it out to you but you need to make sure to leave plenty of time before your trip as it takes around two weeks to be delivered outside of Sweden. The easiest way to get one is to do what we did and just buy it on arrival in Stockholm. You can buy it at the airport or at the main tourist office in the centre of town.
A good tip is that if you are arriving in the morning then get it at the airport but if you arrive later on in the afternoon or night then wait before buying as the card is stamped the first time you use it and this is when the time limit on it starts. So if you buy at the airport in late afternoon and use it for free entry into the subway then it is unlikely you will be visiting anything else that day so will have wasted 12 hours or so of use when all the attractions are closed.
All the main attractions of Stockholm are free with the card such as the Royal Palace, Skansen and the Vasa museum. This was great as I have been stung buying these discount cards before in other cities where the most popular sites were excluded from the card and all that was included was a bunch of sites that no one really wanted to visit.
Because there were so many sites that had free entry with the Stockholm card it meant that I was more willing to explore and visit smaller attractions that I may otherwise not have visited due to the cost involved in visiting them.
This meant that I got to see some brilliant museums that I probably wouldn't have bothered with had I not bought the card.
As Stockholm is a city made up of islands there are lots of boat company's one of the best things about the card was that it meant trips on the hop on hop off boats to all the islands was free. All you had to do was show your card whilst boarding and we used this form of transport quite a lot as opposed to trekking the long way over the bridges to the islands.
Our hotel was quite far from the centre of the city so we ended up using the subway a lot. Most people staying in the centre will probably not as Stockholm is quite a compact city but it is definitely worth going on a couple of journeys as a lot of the subway tunnels have modern art in them and were as interesting as some of the museums. Again to get free entry on the metro system we just needed to flash our card to a member of staff and they opened the barricades for us.
I would definitely recommend the Stockholm card if you are visiting the city as it made visiting everything so much more affordable.
We got the 2 day card and it paid for itself on the first day. It is quite an expensive outlay buying the card in the first place but we did all the major sites which would have ended up costing us nearly double what the card did and we used the subway extensively. I also enjoyed visiting sites that I would probably never have visited without having the card and I would highly recommend getting one if you are ever visiting Stockholm.