Studying abroad is expensive. Even with scholarships and aid, it is difficult to balance the opportunities to explore with my budget. There are trips to plan, museum entry fees, delicious food, and presents for loved ones. On top of that, Stockholm is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
But it is not time to panic. There are ways to make your experience more fun and affordable!
1. Grocery stores are the best.
This may sound obvious, but local groceries like ICA have much more affordable food than restaurants! I went to a waterside restaurant in Stockholm the other day and paid 13 USD for two tacos. They were delicious, and the scenery was stunning. Yet, I definitely could have made an army of tacos for the same price if I went to the grocery store.
It is also fun to make dinner with your new friends! During my first weekend in Stockholm, my hall got together for dinner, eating shrimp pasta and watching the sunset from our new living quarters. A few days later, my roommate and I hiked to the top of a rock face outside of our dorm and munched on dinner with a beautiful view. Go explore and make new foods together!
2. Find the free day.
Really want to see a museum or attraction but do not want to pay 15 USD to get inside? Never fear. Lots of museums have free days in the middle of the week, which is perfect for an afternoon after class. Other museums have package deals where you can see multiple other museums for free with entry into one. There is definitely more to add, but here is my current list:
- Snösätra (Grafitti Wall of Fame)
- Nationalmuseum (Lots of classic art)
- Moderna Museet (Picasso, Dali, Matisse, oh my!)
- The Hallwyl Collection (Palace in the center of Stockholm)
- Stockholm City Museum (History of Stockholm)
- Accelerator (Contemporary art)
3. Take advantage of your student card.
My student card has been my ticket to 10% off coffee, 10% off croissants, reduced rates at museums, and more. In Copenhagen, your card will mean discounts at Emmerys, which is kind of like the Danish version of Starbucks (but better). In Stockholm, you will receive a discount at the cafeteria, which sells meals, coffee, and pastries. In addition, you can use your card at museums and historical sites to get a reduced student rate (if they offer one).
4. Get outdoors!
Stockholm is a beautiful city to explore and walk around. In addition, it borders parks and water ways that provide endless free fun.
- Kayak or swim! Drakenbergsparken has some nice places to swim, and is close to a loppis or flea market on Saturday mornings.
- Take the bus to Tyresta National Park and explore all day. Free and gorgeous. Some of the best lake views I have ever seen.
- Picnic in a park. There are so so so many parks. You can probably find one by your housing site, or you could always go to Kungsträdgården, where there are beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring.
- Go to an outdoor gym. There is lots of outdoor gym equipment in the local parks. This can be a great way to fit in a work out or to just be a goofball.
- Walk around Gamla Stan (old town) or Södermalm with some friends.
- Raining? Ride the Blue Line and see one of the longest public art displays in the world.
5. Download apps.
Apps like Too Good to Go will give you discounted rates on food that would otherwise be thrown away. My roommates and I got dinner for 5 USD last week! If you are looking to travel to other places in Europe, websites and apps like SkyScanner and google flights will show you the most affordable airline fares.