Let’s go ahead and say it right away: Stockholm is crazy expensive for us North Americans. The exchange rate is not exactly favourable to us right now, but that shouldn’t deter you from visiting Sweden’s stylish and fun capital. There are plenty of ways to experience Stockholm and not break the bank, and that starts with accommodation.
One of the goals of my visit was to prove that it is possible to stay in central Stockholm and not remortgage your house to pay for a decent hotel room. Which is why I contacted Hotel Riggargatan – whose rates start at SEK 783 ($122 CAD / $93) per night.
Hotel Riddargatan: My Room
My room was on the quiet third floor and fit two people; in this instance, two girls with each a rather large suitcase in tow. It even featured a beautiful balcony, that I was determined to take advantage of despite the abnormally chilly temperatures. The opportunity was too good to pass!
The only thing that made me a little uneasy was the bathroom; mind you, it’s well-designed and functioned perfectly the whole time I was there, but there was a slight privacy issue. You have to understand here that I’m a prude North American, and that I do not like for my travel companion to be privy to my bathroom business. So you can understand my discomfort when I realized the only thing separating the room from the bathroom was a glass wall (that was covered by a see-through drape in a failed attempt to create a visual barrier) and a sliding door… My friend and I did fine, but it did require for her to turn around and face the window whenever I was in the shower, and vice versa. I’m glad to say we are now closer than ever, ha!
The room was otherwise spotless and irreproachable. There was a TV with plenty of English-speaking channels for those of us who aren’t fluent in Swedish, coffee and tea amenities that were more than welcome in what surely was the coldest spring I’ve ever experienced, and the beds were very comfortable, too. I was traveling with a friend and we slid the beds on either side of the room so that I wouldn’t bother her while I was working after she’d gone to bed.
Kudos for the numerous power sockets throughout the room and the handy umbrellas!
Hotel Riddargatan: The Hotel
The hotel is the perfect size; big enough so that you don’t have to talk to everyone (I’m not a people-person) but small enough that you don’t feel like you’re in a giant maze of hallways and elevators. The lobby was bright and welcoming, and in true Nordic fashion had plenty of candles and cushions to make every feel right at home.
The breakfast room had a beautiful skylight and a well-stocked buffet, which featured both Swedish classics and international options. Plenty of fresh fruits, too!
There also was a quiet and beautiful library where I was able to get some work done. All in all a homerun, as far as hotels in Stockholm are concerned.
Hotel Riddargatan: The Location & Neighbourhood Guide
The hotel really does have the ideal location. It was within walking distance from the harbour, the T-bana station, and the tram. Within a 100 meter range, I was able to work in a coffee shop, explore Stockholm’s splendid seafront, go on an artsy tour of the city’s subway, have the most delicious meatballs in the world, and wander around the Old Town.
Sounds boring, right? ;-)
Here are a few things you can see and do close to the hotel:
- Go on a cruise in the archipelago. Many tour operators depart from Nybroviken.
- Have meatballs and herring at Östermalms Saluhall, the city’s oldest market.
- Grab fika (a must-do when in Stockholm!) at the girly and colourful FOAM café
- Hop on the tram and explore Djurgarden, a bucolic island where you can visit the open-air folk museum Skansen, have fika (yes, again) at Gubbhyllan, visit the ABBA & Vasa museum, and just enjoy the fresh Swedish air.