Stockholm is a unique city comprising of 14 islands, with around two-thirds of the capital covered in water or green spaces. A country proud of its culture and arts, Sweden can boast to having more museums than any other European capital. Traveling around the city could not be easier when using the sophisticated transport system, and although it does not have a reputation for being cheap, it is possible to backpack around Stockholm on a budget.
The wealth of history contained within Stockholm’s medieval street layout is visible from every corner of the city. The Gamla Stan, or Old Town, was constructed between the 14th and 16th centuries, and a stroll through the area is a free lesson in traditional Swedish architecture. Backpackers can marvel at the splendor of Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Tyska kyrkan German Castle and the 13th century Riddarholmen Church, which is the oldest building in the city.
Many architectural eras are visible within the city, such as 1930’s modernism, Art Nouveau (as exemplified by the Stockholm City Hall), and the baroque-style Stockholm Palace. A range of UNESCO world heritage sites, including the Ekero Municipality's Royal Palace Drottningholm, the Woodland Cemetery or Skogskyrkogarden, make for beautiful places to visit in the city. The exterior of the 19th century Royal Swedish Opera building is a stunning sight that can also be admired for free.
Museums and Galleries
A visit to Stockholm would not be complete without a visit to one of the many museums and art galleries that are housed within the city, with many charging little or no fee to enter. The Skansen open air museum and zoo is worth a trip to the island of Djurgarden, while history enthusiasts will enjoy the Nordic Museum. The Vasa Museum has discounted admission prices on Wednesday evenings, while the Stockholm City Museum is free all year round.
Art lovers will find themselves enthralled by the Dali and Picasso exhibits showing at the Moderna Museet and the National Museum, which is home to paintings dating back as far as the 13th century. Meanwhile, a visit to the picturesque small island of Skeppsholmen, home to the architectural museum of Ostasiatiska Museet, will enable some serious museum and gallery-hopping.
Many of the Museums will have reduced admission/tickets for students with valid student cards, or you can purchase the Stockholm Card. For a small fee you can make huge savings on visits to over 75 museums and attractions, while the card also offers unlimited travel on public transport.
Food and Entertainment
Stockholm's diverse immigrant population has lead to a rich fusion of influences apparent in the nation's cuisine. Communities from the Middle East are mostly based in the suburbs, an area worth visiting for its cheap restaurants and cafés.
Across the city there are inexpensive restaurants serving food from most parts of the world. The underground food hall at Hotorget, near the Metro, has many little food outlets serving international dishes as well as Scandinavian snacks at a snip.
Those backpackers looking for Stockholm hostels in the trendiest part of the city should look no further than the hip Sofo district, which is packed with bars and cafés that are the focus for the city's nightlife.
Backpackers can take advantage of any discounted tickets that may be on offer at the Royal Dramatic and the China theaters, for those who seek the arts. Those with an interest in product design or home furnishing may be fascinated to know that Stockholm is home to the largest Ikea store in the world! The traveler seeking an authentic Stockholm experience could even give ocean fishing in the city center a try – not many capital cities can boast to having this attraction.