travel

Day 2 - Sunday, 21 July 2019:

  • Didn’t start early today. Now that I knew where to change trains and how to get to city centre, I took the tram from Sickla Kaj, changed to metro at Arstaberg. Easy peasy!

  • One advantage of Stockholm Pass is that it allows free access to lots of transportation and activities. There are Hop On/Off buses and boats which you have unlimited access with Stockholm Pass. I think having a general overview of the city is a good idea before going into detail. So I hopped on one of those busses and spent a few hours around the city.

  • The hop on/off bus made a whole circle around the city and returned to its departure point.
  • Next I decided to visit National Museum as it was the closest attraction at that point.

  • After the National Museum I decided to take another hop on/off tour but on boat this time. Stockholm is built on 14 islands and there are a lot of different boat tours. Hop on/off ones are the shortest and most frequent ones. It’s a bit short but it is a nice sightseeing experience especially when the weather permits.

  • After the boat tour I was feeling tired. I got off the boat at where Vasa Museum is located but it was around 16:30 and I didn’t to rush my visit (It closes at 18:00 and Stockholm Pass is valid for a single pass only for any given attraction except hop on/off tours). So I just walked around took a few more pictures and headed home.

  • I was glad I got home early as it started to rain quite heavily.

travel

Day 1 - Saturday, 20 July 2019:

  • Started the day early as flight was at 08:30 at Stansted.
  • Took the train to London Bridge and walked to Liverpool Station and caught a Stansted Express

  • Resistance bands in the bag caused a search in the bag which caused delay. Had to run 5-10 minutes to the gate. But it wasn’t necessary after all as had to wait for the boarding to begin.
  • Flight was pleasant despite the middle seat. Thanks to Archer and iPad!

  • Flight took 15 minutes less than estimated.
  • There were no e-passport gates which was a bit disappointing. Had to wait about 30 minutes for passport check.
  • Finding the Flygbussarna coach to Stockholm City was quite easy. Using the app is easy as well. You can also add the coach tickets to Apple Wallet so very convenient to use.
  • Coach from Skavsta airport to Stockholm City took 1h 25m (The flight from England took 1h 40m!)

  • 2 important tasks of the first day: Collect Stockholm Pass and Travel Cards and check in to the hotel
  • Visitor center is very close to the central terminal so within minutes I was able to collect my Stockholm Pass.

  • For hotel, I underestimated walking 6K with 2 bags. It took about 1 hour. Had some trouble with a road begin closed and Google Maps trying to send me go through the fences but thanks to a nice lady who showed me a way around it I managed to find the hotel.
  • I had forgotten about 3pm check in time but fortunately when I arrived at the hotel it was 3PM on the dot!
  • Hotel was everything I was looking for. The only negative thing about it is its location. In order to get to the city centre you have to take tram first then change to metro. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get to Stockholm City. It wasn’t that bad after getting used to it. It can be an issue if you’re planning to stay up late as the latest tram to Sickla Kaj is at 01:12 but for me it wasn’t an issue.

The hotel room had a fully-equipped kitchen including a fridge and even a dishwasher! There was a Lidl in 2-minute walkiong distance so I first took a trip and filled the fridge.

They also have a laundry which was helpful because I ran out of clean clothes at some point.

Another good thing about the hotel is the information leaflet which includes all the useful information you need such as nearest stores and public transportation.

  • Right across Lidl there was Sickla Kaj tram station. On my first day I made a rookie mistake and forgot the Stockholm Pass guide which has a map for public transportation.

  • I took the tram to Solna Station but instead of changing where I later started to change, I kept going until I noticed I was going further away from the city centre. I decided to get out at Lilje station which happens to be next to a fantastic park and lake called Trekanten.

  • Spent a few hours around the lake took the train to Stockholm City.
  • As I consider my first day general reconnaisance mission, I just walked around the city.

Stockholm Pass usage

I’m going to calculate how much I would have spent individually and will compare the total to Stockholm Pass & Travel Card prices to see if I had a good deal or not.

For Stockholm Pass I paid SEK 1331,1 (normally SEK 1,479 but there was 10% discount at the time) and for travel cards paid SEK 520.

At the end of the trip I’ll compare to what I would have spent without the Stockholm Pass.

travel

Cotinuing my Scandinavia trips I’ll be visiting Stockholm, Sweden next. Here are some notes on my research and preparations:

Preparations

Hotel room with a kitchen

I don’t want to eat out as it’s unnecessarily costly. I booked a room in Biz Apartment Hammarby Sjostad. Looks a bit outside the city centre. The main advantage is its quite affordable and it has a kitchen with a small fridge and microwave. As long as there are some convenience stores in the neighbourhood I should be able to feed myself without eating out.

Stockholm Pass

Just like Oslo Pass, Stockholm Pass has a similar scheme. It offers a 5-day pass which is the exact duration of my stay so works great for me. You can add a TravelCard as well which goes up to 72 hours. So for a 5-day Stockholm Pass it adds 2 x 3 day travel cards. I selected to collect it in Stockholm in which case they send you an email with a voucher. It needs to be printed and used at collection point.

Download offline Google Maps of Stockholm

As in Norway, I expect to have good mobile Internet coverage in Sweden but it’s always a good practice to prepare. I’ve downloaded entire Stockholm area and it only costs 170 MB so it’s just a matter of minutes to download it all.

Apps

Just searched Stockholm in the App Store and downloaded all related apps. It’s hard to prepare for everything for a city that I’ve never been before but I’m sure they will make more sense when I’m there.

Cash

Before my Norway trip I bought £1,000 worth of Norwegian Kroners which was way too much because I used Apple Pay everywhere. The problem with that is my local bank charged me quite a bit for each and every transaction I made in Norway. So I think a better approach is to buy less cash and make sure to spend it all in.

In Norway, I spent £380 with Apple Pay and my bank charged me £15 in total for all the transactions. This time I already paid for hotel so I don’t expect major expenditures.

This time I bought 2800 Swedish Krona which is about £246 worth. My goal is to sepnd it all but not need any card transactions.

Places to Visit

It helps to do some research prior to landing to your destination especially if you’re on your own. This way you can have some guidelines and still have some room to improvise.

Here’s an initial draft of places I’m planning to visit:

  • Vasa Museum
  • Tantolunden Park
  • Tour: Old Town (Gamla Stan) & Riddarholmen
  • The Royal Palace
  • Vikingaliv

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