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How to have a cheap holiday in Sweden this summer

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
How to have a cheap holiday in Sweden this summer
Did you know you're allowed to camp for free in many areas across Sweden? Photo: Clive Tompsett/

Inflation and a weak krona may mean you're holidaying at home in Sweden this year, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun this summer.


Travel cheap

If you're planning on doing a lot of travel within Sweden this summer and you don't have a car, it might be a good idea to get a summer ticket for the region you'll be visiting, which can end up saving you a lot of money.

For adults, the best deals are those offered in Skåne, Blekinge and Halland in southern Sweden, all popular summer holiday destinations for Swedes and foreigners alike due to their pretty countryside and good weather.

Holders of these regions' summer tickets can travel unlimited on public transport from the start of June until mid-August, for around 820 kronor, 769 kronor and 655 kronor respectively. 

Västra Götaland, Uppsala, and Kalmar also offer summer cards for adults, but they are fairly stingy in comparison.

Stockholm, and the nearby regions of Sörmland and Västmanland, also offer summer tickets, but only for those under the age of 19.


Save money on accommodation

It can be expensive to stay in Sweden's major cities, particularly if you want to stay in a central location, but there are some ways you can get a better deal as a Swedish resident.

Some Swedish unions offer discounts on hotels, such as members of TCO, which is a group of 12 unions including Sweden's largest union for the private sector, Unionen.

Members of these unions enjoy a 20 percent discount on Elite Hotel bookings during weekends and holidays, as well as a 15 percent discount at Strawberry hotels (previously Nordic Choice).

You can also get a discount on Scandic hotels if you are a member of Ica supermarket's loyalty scheme, Stammis.

If none of these discounts apply to you, or if you want a cheaper option, try searching for vandrarhem, the Swedish word for hostel, or ask around if you have any friends in the city you want to visit – many apartment buildings have a cheap guest apartment or övernattningslägenhet which can be booked for guests of building residents for a very low price, although these are often very basic.

For those of you looking for a countryside getaway for a lower price, try looking for cottages or stugor in cheaper areas such as Småland, instead of pricey spots like Skåne's Österlen. It may be more difficult to get there without a car, but there are some great deals to be had.

Cheap activities for city breaks

Interested in Swedish politics? Book an English-language tour of the Swedish parliament, available on Saturdays and Sundays at 1.30pm, although you’ll need to plan ahead and book in advance.

If you’re keen to visit one of Stockholm’s many museums, plan ahead so you know when you can get in for free.

Some museums are always free, such as the City Museum, the Medieval Museum, the National Sports Museum, Accelerator and the Living History Forum, as well as the newly-opened Swedish Holocaust Museum.

Other museums offer free admission on certain days or at certain times. 

On Mondays, you can visit Liljevalchs for free, on Tuesdays from 5-8pm, The Army Museum is free, and the Hallwyl Museum and the Swedish History Museum are both free on Wednesdays between September and April.


The Royal Armoury is free on Thursdays between September and April, and on Fridays, you can get in for free to Bonniers Konsthall all day, and ArkDes and Moderna Museet between 6pm and 8pm.

The Jewish Museum has free entry between 11am-noon on Saturdays, and The Swedish Museum of Natural History is free on selected Sundays, although all of these have already passed in 2023.

There are also a number of free sculpture parks in Stockholm, like the Princess Estelle Sculpture Park in Royal Djurgården, the architecture and sculpture park at Thielska Galleriet, also in Royal Djurgården, Marabouparken and the outdoor collection at Moderna Museet

In Malmö, you can visit Malmö Konsthall and Form/Designcenter for free, and Moderna Museet costs just 50 kronor for adults or 40 for students and pensioners.

Those wanting to visit Malmöhus Slott, the aquarium, Malmö Konstmuseum, or the Technical Museum, Teknikens och sjöfartens hus, including submarine and playroom, can buy a yearly card for 250 kronor or 150 kronor for students and pensioners. Under-19s go free.

Gothenburg also has a few free museums or art galleries: Göteborgs Konsthall is always free, as well as Gothenburg Natural History Museum in the Slottskogen park. Gothenburg also has a Museum Card which costs 130 kronor, giving access to The Gothenburg Museum of Art, the Röhsska Museum, the Museum of Gothenburg and the Maritime Museum and Aquarium for a full year.


Make the most of Sweden's right to roam

Cheapest of all, when it comes to both accommodation and keeping yourself entertained, is to grab your tent and pitch up camp somewhere in Sweden's great outdoors.

Sweden's right to roam – allemansrätten – gives you the right to roam freely through Sweden's countryside, with the exception of homes and private gardens, although there are some caveats.

Camping is allowed under allemansrätten – a couple of tents can camp for one or two nights, as long as they are placed away from farms, pastures and planted areas, as well as far enough away from private homes so that they don't disturb residents.

Those wishing to camp for longer or in a larger group must ask the landowner for permission first – and if you're not sure if you legally need to ask for permission or not, it's probably best to do so anyway, just to be on the safe side.

You aren't allowed to camp just anywhere in national parks or nature reserves either – only in specifically signposted areas, and some national parks don't allow camping at all.

Local municipalities may have their own rules about camping in parks and areas often used for outdoor sports, too – you can usually find information on this by contacting the local municipality or the police.

Bear in mind that some areas of Sweden are currently under a fire ban, so you won't be able to light a campfire just anywhere, although you may be allowed to start a fire or grill in a designated area, depending on the ban in place in your specific region.

You may be allowed to use a Trangia camping stove with liquid fuel if your area isn't under a so-called stringent fire ban, but it's extremely important if you do so that you make sure there is absolutely no risk of a stray ember or spark spreading, so make sure your stove is placed on rocks, gravel, or a similar fireproof surface. 


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