Visit Stockholm on the Cheap: The Stockholm Card

Stockholm Stadshuset

Stockholm City Hall, Stadshuset

Stockholm. It is the Venice of the North. The City Hall, Stadshuset, is modeled after Venice’s famous St. Mark’s Square. Swedes do love their country on the water and visiting in the summer is the best way to take advantage of the weather, midnight sun, and countless lakes and islands.

Because my mom is visiting, we decided to go on a tourist binge and see as much as possible in 2.5 days. Since I also see annoying ads for the Stockholm Card, a special card that gives access to SL and 75 museums, I thought, ‘Let’s buy it for us!’   The catch is, being Stockholm, nothing is cheap. Even tourist friendly cards are not cheap.

First, other helpful posts on visiting Stockholm:

Best Bars and Pubs in Stockholm
One day walk around Stockholm
Visit to the Absolut Ice Bar
Free Museums in Stockholm

Tre Kronor Crown

The Swedish Crown at Skeppsbron

But there is a way to maximize the card to get more than your money’s worth. I bought the 48-hour card but realized that the optimal card is the 72-hour one. The benefit of having the card worth “hours” instead of “days” is that if you start the card at 11AM Tuesday it’s valid until 11AM Thurs (for 48 hours).

Here’s the lowdown on the best way to use your Stockholm Card, see the most beautiful sites and museums in Stockholm, and not run around silly like a tourist on crack.

Price of the Stockholm Card:
Adult cards
SEK 395 for 24 hours
SEK 525 for 48 hours
SEK 625 for 72 hours – BUY THIS CARD!
SEK 895 for 120 hours

Child cards – under 18 years old
SEK 195 for 24 hours
SEK 225 for 48 hours
SEK 245 for 72 hours
SEK 285 for 120 hours

Must see places to visit using the Stockholm Card: The trick is to go to the most expensive museums and sites in order to maximize the value of the card.

Some museums worth visiting:
Aquaria Vattenmuseum [Aquaria Water Museum] SEK 80
Drottningholms Slott [Drottningholm Palace] SEK 80
Gröna Lunds Tivoli [Gröna Lund’s Amusement Park] SEK 80-90
Fotografiska Museet SEK 95
Junibacken [Junibacken] SEK 125
Kungsholmen Runt [Kungsholmen Boat Ride] SEK 140
Kungliga Slottet [Royal Palace] SEK 100
Livrustkammaren [Royal Armoury] SEK 70
Nationalmuseum [Nationalmuseum] SEK 100
Nobelmuseet [Nobel Museum] SEK 70
Nordiska museet [Nordiska museet] SEK 80
Skansen [Skansen Open Air Museum] SEK 70-120
Skansen-akvariet [Skansen’s Aquarium] SEK 90
Skattkammaren [Royal Treasury] SEK 100
SkyView – on Top of the Globe SEK 130
Stadshuset [City Hall] SEK 50-80
Storkyrkan [Stockholm Cathedral] SEK 30
Vasamuseet [Vasa Museum] SEK 110

Skeppsbron island in Stockholm

Skeppsbron Island – View from Djurgården on the Hop-on-Hop-off boat

The other benefit of buying a Stockholm Card is access to SL local transportation. This includes unlimited rides on the tunnelbanan (metro), pendaltåg (commuter line trains), and buses. Considering a single pass ride on the tunnelbanan is 30SEK (25SEK when having an 8-pass ticket), the Card is great for going back and forth without worry. Even one-day passes on the SL is 100SEK; definitely not cheap.

How we maximized the Stockholm Card for 48 hours, the itinerary. Cost for two people – 1050SEK:
Monday –
Hop-on-Hop-off Boat from Gamla Stan to Djurgården – 40SEK*2 = 80
Vasa Museet – 110SEK *2 = 220
Nordiska Museet – 80SEK*2 = 160
SL Bus 47 to Kaknästornet – 40SEK*2 = 80
SL Bus and Metro back home – 30SEK*2 = 60

Tuesday –
SL metro to Slussen – 30SEK*2 = 60
Hop-on-Hop-off Boat to Skeppsbron – 40SEK*2 = 80
Modern Museum and Architecture Museum joint entrance – 110SEK*2 = 220
Bus to Odenplan – 30SEK*2 = 60
(break for mom)
Vin & Spritsmuseet – 50SEK
SL metro – 30SEK*2 = 60
Skyview (boyfriend and I) – 130SEK*2 = 260
SL to Djurgården – 30SEK*2 = 60
Skansen – 110SEK*2 = 220 (and a lucky occasion to see Allsång!!!)
Gröna Lund – 80SEK*2 =160 (for 27 kronor on the first game, boyfriend won a 2 kg box of Kex chocolates!!!)
SL back home – 30SEK*2 = 60

Wednesday Morning –
Medieval Museum – Free entrance but you get a poster with the card – 50SEK
SL to Centralstation – 30SEK*2 = 60
Kungsholmen Runt – 140SEK*2 = 280 – highly recommend this one!
SL back home- 30SEK*2 = 60
End of 48 hours!!!

Total cost of the museums, transportation, and boat rides: 2120SEK
Savings from buying the 48 hour Stockholm Card: 1070SEK
Final savings per person: 535SEK!!!

If you are around for a 3rd day, buy the 72 hour card. This is what I recommend adding to your itinerary in Stockholm for the extra 24 hours:
Kungsholmen Runt boat ride along Kungsholmen, Långholmen – 140SEK
Fotografiska Museet – Annie Lebovitz special exhibition until Sept 2010 – 95SEK
Drottningholms Slott [Drottningholm Palace] – entrance is to the Chinese Pavilion and Theater SEK 80
Kungliga Slottet [Royal Palace] SEK 100

I would move the Photographic Museum to Day 1 as only three things are done. That way, you have plenty of time to take the boat tour, visit the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, and go to Drottningholm (takes 40 minutes by SL).

Vasa Ship

The famous Vasa Ship – The only ship intact from the 1600s in the world

By buying a tourist card, you can visit great spots in the city without having to stress yourself out. All the days that my mom and I went out, we started at noon and continued on till evening. If we were better about time, we would start at 10AM and finish around 7PM.

Gröna Lund could take a lot longer as it’s an amusement part; tickets to the rides and the games are not included in the pass. That’s why we only played one game.

Visitors and tourists to Stockholm, I hope this helps you on your journey to navigate the city. It’s small but overwhelming with lots of things to do. The Stockholm Card, though pricey, is one of the best ways to do this on the dime and still see the castles and museums everyone loves.

Sapphire Svanström
Sapphire is an Indian American living in Stockholm, Sweden. When not
ranting about Swedish bedsheets or System Bolaget, she loves
kanelbulle and swedish waffles. She discusses the highs and
lows of living abroad in the arctic north on her blog Lost in Stockholm and beyond.

She has shot in countries from Iceland to the Phillipines and her photos have been featured in museums in Los Angeles and on the front page of Sweden's largest national newspapers.
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