I have been always looking for a cheap flight ticket. Recent years showed me that cheapest flight ticket time is end of September. I have been to many countries on end of September. I think it is also good time to travel. Not too hot in many countries and not even cold. I find it as a perfect temperature to lose yourself in the streets I have never been. But Nordic countries could be a bit more challenging for many people at the end of September like Stockholm. For me, I like cold. During the couple of days, I have been in Stockholm the weather was always sunny even though it was around 0 degrees.
I bought my tickets a month ago or so but I didn’t get my visa. It is a nightmare to get a visa. It requires a lot of paper, time and afford. Anyway, I totally didn’t care about it this time until I start planning my travel which 2 weeks prior to the travel. When I called visa center here in Istanbul they told me that I can only go 4 workdays before my flight and visa takes 5 workdays. I was panicking a bit. But at the end it turned out to be ok at very last minute. My flight was 7 am and I got my visa and passport 4 pm previous day. Last piece of my Stockholm adventure was placed and I was ready to fly.
One of my good friends was living in Stockholm in that time for his studies. I was in touch with him since I got my plane tickets. I confirmed that I am coming in the morning. He is kind enough to offer me to stay on his couch. You will find an interview with him at the end of this post. Yes, I am also starting to have interview with people during my travels. It was on my mind for a year at least but didn't have a kick to start. Finally, with Avi`s kick I have started. He also wanted it for some time and he had me interviewed the same day.
Everyone know that I have special interest in Nordic countries. That’s why I am travelling to these countries more often than others. And Stockholm was on top of my list for a long time and I don’t know why I have never traveled there before. Maybe it wasn’t the right time or I wasn’t ready yet. Addition to the cheap plane tickets I also act with my instinct. This time my instinct was yelling STOCKHOLM.
I was a bit excited after getting my visa on last minute flying and meeting with Avi after some time. I thought I would feel a bit dizzy but the thing I feel more was like home. Of course staying with a friend and waking up on a regular time clock having breakfast at home and going out like I go for work. Living a normal life rather than being just a tourist helped me to feel like home. I was also flying there with one of my colleagues who has a brother living there. I was home more than I home now.
It has an unusual inventiveness, the grace and the beauty. Old town/Gamla Stan is the best place to go. It is like from a fairy-tale. Candy colored buildings, zigzag streets… but it is not the only place to go in Stockholm. You will be amazed in Skansen where people leave/act traditionally like they were from different eras of Sweden. While you walk through streets, historical buildings and dwellings you will have essence of real sense of the past. Of course there is an admission fee. Depends of the time of the year it changes so you better check before you go.
There are a lot of good museums such as Vasa, Moderna and Fotografiska museum. All worth to visit. While you are on your way to Vasa museum you actually take a canal tour which is amazing. It took around 45 minutes ride by boat. From there you can have a short walk to Skansen and some nice coffee and restaurants.
Every day I was going to Gamla Stan and having at least a beer during happy hours. The city is way expensive than I am used to and from my budget. With happy hour prices I could have a beer with almost a normal price. That’s why I didn't try much of Swedish food. I was eating at home for breakfast and dinner. Spending lunches at fast foods which is still expensive. 7-8 Euro for a menu from any fast food store. No comment. Lunch buffets at the local restaurants are budget-friendly way to eat out.
There are also free museums and parks to sit in where you can bring your own home-made sandwich to eat. Another known fact is student area are cheaper. Avi as a student knows more and he took me somewhere to drink beer for student’s price which is cheap for Stockholm. I don`t remember the place unfortunately. Drinking outside is not forbidden. So, I bought a bottle of bourbon from the airport to reduce alcohol expenses. I would recommend you the same.
For transportation I bought Stockholm card valid for a week. You can buy 72 hours or maybe even less. At the airport they have a desk and they are very helpful. I told them how long I am going to stay and they gave me the best option. Even travelling from airport to the city might be costly. Travel card is a must I would say.
I have been telling you how beautiful is the city, I must say that also people are. They are nice looking and stylish. Even men. They are respectful and nice. I mostly hear about racism on Nordic countries. I must confess that I have seen some in Helsinki. In this student bar that I couldn't recall, the waitress didn't want to serve us. There were not many tables and she didn’t come to our area. At first I thought we are a bit in different area of the bar where no one else is sitting and that’s why she is not coming to serve us. After a while a few people came and sat down in the same area in different tables. Then she came and served them but not to us. I was a bit offended. I don`t mind going to bar and get my own beer. I don’t need anyone to serve me. The guy at the bar noticed that and he started to help us with our orders. There are bad people everywhere but I wouldn’t judge this city and country with this one unfortunate event. I still think positive about Swedish people.
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