How To Travel In Sweden On A Budget
Sweden is one of those countries that many people know about, but have never actually been to – one of the reasons is that the location is off the usual European tourist trail.
It’s not a country one just happens to pass through like Germany or France, but you actually have to make an effort to get there.
Another reason is that it’s known to be an expensive country to travel in, which scares people from going there.
But the truth is that a trip to Sweden doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, as long as you know how and where to spend your money.
Here are a few tips and tricks to traveling Sweden on the cheap…
Planning Is Key
While many countries in Europe offer better deals on transport and accommodation when you book in the last minute, it’s the opposite in Sweden.
Booking your tickets in advance will guarantee you much cheaper prices and better deals on all transportation.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be in the country to do this, but can most often purchase your train and bus tickets online.
The national railway SJ release their cheapest tickets 90 days prior to departure, and the closer to the departure date you book the more you’ll have to pay.
I’ve found that the cheapest way to get around the main cities in Sweden is by bus; Gobybus, bus4you and Swebus are the ones I use the most.
I would also recommend booking accommodation in advance as you will have more options to choose from. The cheaper deals will sell out first, leaving late bookers with inflated hotel deals.
For the ultimate Swedish experience, I highly recommend renting a cottage for a week. If you want to explore the “real” Sweden with its peaceful lakes, secluded beaches, forests and the traditional red and white wooden cottages, the countryside is where you should go.
There are hundreds of islands both in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, and if you’re traveling in a group you can get some great deals.
The Cheapest Trip Possible
The absolute cheapest way to travel around Sweden is to rent a car and bring a tent – because camping is free, and it’s legal.
According to the “all-man’s-right” law, you’re allowed to camp pretty much anywhere in the wild as long as you clean up after yourself when you leave.
While you will have to pay for the car rental, your accommodation will be free, you won’t have to plan ahead at all, and you won’t have to worry about booking trains and buses.
Best of all, you’ll be able to stop over at those cute little roadside cafes and empty beaches.
Pick a Region
It doesn’t take very long to travel from coast to coast, but Sweden is an extremely long country – to give you an idea, it’s as far between south and north of Sweden as it is from southern Sweden to Italy..!
Instead of spending all your time and money on trains and buses, stick to smaller areas.
The cheapest place for eating out is the “korv kiosk”, a small wooden hut on the side of the street selling sausages (Swedish style), hamburgers, Swedish meatballs and ice cream.
These can be found all over Sweden, and nowadays Kebab stalls are becoming more popular as well.
Another tip is to take advantage of the lunch offers – most restaurants offer some great lunch menus and bufféts, so fill yourself up and then have a smaller meal for dinner.