Stockholm on a budget: Best things to do for free
Updated: Feb 24
Apart from one of Europe's prettiest cities, Stockholm is also one of Europe’s most pricey destinations, especially when it comes to food and accommodation. However, this shouldn't keep you from visiting Sweden's capital, which truly is elegant, colourful and charming,
So, here's our list of Stockholm's top free experiences to help you both stay on a budget and authentically enjoy the so called Quenn of Scandinavia.
Explore Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town and it is built on one of the city’s 14 islands. It is considered to be one of the best preserved medieval city centre's in the world and some of the sights you’ll find there are the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum and the Swedish Parliament . What we loved the most about Gamla Stan was the red-orange-yellow color palette of all of its buildings, which created some sort of a movie scene.
Storoget, the old town’s central square, is one of Stockholm’s most photographed spots, but wandering in Gamla Stan’s narrow paths is equally (if not more) charming. Keep your eyes open to spot Marten Trotzigs Grand, Stockholm's most narrow street !
This was our favorite viewpoint for sure and you can find its exact location here. We went there at sunset time on a clear day in July and found the colors of the sky to be just unreal; while Stockholm’s prettiest seafront buildings were reflected on water…
Grab a beer and head to Monteliusvagen to join locals and visitors who also enjoy the view, for an unforgettable (and free) experience!
Cross Skeppsholmsborn Bridge, on the east side of Gamla Stan where af Chapman, a 100 year old ship which is now a café and hostel, is anchored. You can either get onto the ship or go sit on the small deck which is right next to it. Either way, you’ll get to enjoy beautiful views of Stockholm having the company of swans and ducks swimming in front of you.
Ostermalm Food Hall
Not only are food halls ideal for tasting local delicacies but they also offer some of the coolest opportunities for food and everyday photography. Ostermalm Saluhall is no exception! Head to that beautiful 1800s hall and find some of the city's best seafood, cold cuts and gourmet goods.
Of course, if you fail to resist grabbing a bite, this activity will no longer be a free one, but at least entering Ostermalm Food Hall is completely free.
Technically, you will need to buy a ticket to enter one of the subway stations but you can hop on and off the train as many times as you want while your ticket is valid, as long as you don’t exit the stations. Stockholm’s subway system is said to be the longest art exhibition in the world and each station has a unique art theme, so paying as low as 3.50€ for such a special gallery is worth it, right?
Stockholm Public Library
Yes, it is free to enter and your only obligation will be to remain silent and not disturb fellow readers. The building is rotunda shaped and it was the first library in Sweden to adopt the open shelves system, where readers can reach books on their own, without having to ask the staff for help.
Stockholm has no lack of parks and green spaces and locals love to soak up the sun during summer. You can simply lay down on the grass and sunbathe or even better set up a small picnic with some cold beer and sandwiches. Stockholm’s most popular park is Djurgården, which is also ideally located pretty close to the city center.
Fika is a Swedish notion, which includes daily breaks throughout the day, when the Swedes drink some warm coffee, have a sweet bite and enjoy each other's company. Fika can be experienced anywhere, from one's house to cafes and bistros or parks and public squares. Even if buying coffee and sweets will require some of your euros, you can just get low cost products from a super market and create your own fika time with your travel buddies.
Last, but not least, do you know what else is completely free? Getting inspired! So here are a few pics to make you book your next trip to Stockholm, in a heartbeat...