Visit Stockholm on the Cheap: The Stockholm Card

Stockholm Stadshuset

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

Because my mom is visiting, we decided to go 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 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

The Swedish Crown at Skeppsbron
Tre Kronor Crown

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 optimal card is 72 hours. 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 low down 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
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 with using the card is going to the most expensive museums and sites in order to maximize the value.

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 – view from Djurgården on the Hop on Hop off boat
Skeppsbron island in Stockholm

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 a 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, transportations, 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 suggest on 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).

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

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 things to do. The Stockholm Card, though pricy, is one of the best ways to do this on the dime and still see the castles and museums everyone loves.

26 thoughts on “Visit Stockholm on the Cheap: The Stockholm Card”

  1. Wow. This is awesome! Being someone who lives in Stockholm, I hardly do any of the tourist things unless I have guests out and it’s usually Vasa, Drottningholm, Kungligaslottet, Skansen and Stadshuset + anything else they may be interested in.

    As I have a friend coming out at end of August, and we only have 2 full days in Stockholm, we may just have to do your recommendations.

    Where did you buy it from? How does it work with metro (is it like the SL Access?) as well, when getting tickets, do you still need to get them then get in line or just show your pass?

  2. That’s great, but I found I needed a lot of time in each place, so for me I still think just picking a couple great spots and going at a leisurely pace worked best. I loved the Vasa Museam, really amazing!

  3. Andrew – You can buy the Stockholm Card at most hotels, the tourist center, and many Pressbyran or 7-11 stores.

    Juni – Ditto! Mom and i went at a very chilling, snail’s pace during the day. I have to say, I wasn’t super tired at the end of the day, just well traveled. She and I spent three hours at the Modern-Architecture museum and had lunch there. Vasa we did in 45 min. And Nordiska takes anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the exhibitions to see.

    To be honest, all the museums I have been to Stockholm are quite small. Nordiska and National museums can easily be done in 3 hours each. They are all smaller than NYC MOMA and even the SF MOMA.

    I’d still suggest getting a 72 hour card if you can do 3 museums/castles in one day. Remember, Tuesdays and Wednesdays many museums are open until late (8PM usually). And Monday many are closed (plan accordingly).

  4. Thank you very much for your review. It is very well structured and i will try to use it for sure. I will be in Stockholm between 2 and 10th of october. I am thinking to buy a 72 hours card starting Monday (so i will check what is open in the first day :)). For thursday i am planing an one day trip to Goteborg.

  5. Hey :) ive just been looking at the stockholm card and have a question to which, i hope, someone will have an answer :) how long in advance can you buy it? :) Ive figured as much that the hours start “ticking” from its first use, but what if i buy it, say, next week and want to use it in summer? Is that an option? (just trying to get all the necessary purchases done and start saving for the booze :P )

  6. @Moonlight – You can buy it in advance since you can buy it online.

    The card is validated the first time it is used – and then valid for the amount of hours purchased. Show the Stockholm Card at the admission desks in the museums/attractions, and at the ticket lines or to the bus driver when you use public transport. When first used the card will be stamped with date and time of first use. It is possible to enter a museum/attraction until the validity period is over. When using public transport the card must be valid for the whole duration of your journey.”

    I’ll be soon offering the card through here as affiliate link (you still buy on visitstockholm), so if buy through me, i make a few kronor!

  7. cheers sapphire, i might wait a bit and buy it here as long as some profits go to real people :P

  8. If I pre buy the card on-line does it cover me for transport from the airport into the city on arrival. Only have 48 hrs before joining cruise ship.

  9. @Oldtony – The Stockholm Card does not cover travel from the airport to Stockholm city because the buses and train are privately owned.

    You should either take one of the buses, Swebus or Flygbussarna, for 100:- (if I remember correctly). It takes 45 minutes.

    Take the train, Arlanda Express, for 240:-. It takes 20minutes.

    Both arrive into centralstation. From T-centralen (centralstation), you can take one of the local buses or the t-bana (train) to travel and sightsee around. –> This the Stockholm card will cover.

  10. Hi Sapphire,

    First I want to thanks for your site, it is helpful,, you are blessed for spent time to post things here.

    In June 2nd till 7th I will visit stockholm with family (husband and 2 children both 9/twins) we will meet my sister and my mom there, but they fly from other country due to attending CNIP congress. Me myself living in Vienna Austria.

    I think this Stockholm card would be suitable for us (is there any family card as well?) I will stay until the 7th of June but my husband and children will back to Vienna on the 5th as my girls had only 2 days permission from school.

    I got some questions for you,
    1. Would you please recommend us place or attraction for children
    2. I’m a fans of friis company shoes and bags (in Austria there’s only one small counter in Vienna and Salzburg) could you inform me how to find friis company shops in Stockholm, and is there any factory outlet around there, you know we, women love to shops till drop :)
    3. Where’s is your links that allows us to buy the Stockholm card from your site and how we can get the card (is it like e ticket?)

    Many thanks in advance

  11. I was wondering how this 3 day plan might change if one were to do it mid-october.
    I expect some things will be closed, is it too cold during that time to go walk around all day in stockholm?

  12. Your site is really helfpful, so I’m hoping you can give me some advice. Me and my daughter (18) have wanted to visit Stockholm for many years and yesterday I did a mad thing and booked cheap RyanAir flights for 19-24 August. But after looking at the cost of hotels, I’m starting to regret my recklessness! There seem to be some cheaper apartments in private houses, but I’d like to know from one who lives there which areas of the city are best and which are to be avoided? And can you recommend any websites to find accommodation? Thanks!

  13. Hi Hilka!

    I don’t know many accomodations that are cheap (i.e. under 700sek per day). BUT, check 2kronor hostel. It’s in central gamla stan. There is also a hostel (which a friend stayed at a few years ago) at Zinkensdamn on Södermalm.

    If I find anymore places, I’ll let you know!

  14. Hi.
    Does the Stockholm Card include the Arlanada Express from the Airport and back again.

    Thanks for your help.



  15. Hi Roy. The Stockholm Card does NOT include transportation to/from Arlanda Airport via Express, Flygbussarna, Swebus or any other means.

  16. Many thanks for the reply. We will certainly purchase the Stockholm Card for when we visit in October. Really looking forward to the trip.


  17. Hi,
    Does the Eurail Sweden -Norway pass entitles you to free public transport within the city of stockholm – the subway , trams , buses operated by SL

  18. Hi,

    i’m looking for a discount code that can use for booking a 5-day stockholm-card.
    All the code I’ve found doesn’t work!

    Many greetings from germany!


  19. Hi We (2 adults 1 kid) will come to Stockholm by Silja Ferry from Helsinki. It doesn’t look like we can purchase the cards at the ferry arriving terminal. Should we purchase the cards in advance? The shipment to USA does cost 75Kr. Thanks.

  20. I just purchased the Stockholm card online and chose to receive a voucher and pickup up the real card at tourist center. Unfortunately, the tourist center hours for Saturday end at 4 pm. Would I be able to pickup my card at the airport or another place where it is open until later in the afternoon?

  21. @Isabel – I am not sure if you can pick up at another location. Email/call them to ask and see what to do. Hopefully they can sort you out for a new pickup point.

  22. Hi, thanks for writing this guide. Why do you describe the 72-hour card as optimal? We are visiting for 5 days in November. Do you think there aren’t enough attractions to make the 120-hour card worth it? As it appears to be, on face value, cheaper-per-day than the 72-hour card.

  23. @James – The 120 hour card is definitely a good deal, but you have to think about how much walking/sightseeing you can handle in a 3-4 day period. You could get the 120 hour card and spread out sightseeing on the four days or go crazy; really up to you. So go for either :)

  24. Will the Stockholm card cover the cost of transport to and from Arlanda airport (Arlanda Express) to the city centre?

  25. @Ron – no it does not cover Arlanda Express. Only local, SL lines (except Bo-Bålsta).

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