While backpacking in Sweden may require deeper pockets than bumming around Eastern Europe, there are several more affordable hostels, which are in general clean and well-run, throughout the country. The Swedish Tourist Association (Svenska Turistföreningen – STF), a member of Hosteling International, runs a network of more than 300 hostels (“vandrarhem” in Swedish) throughout the country. Prices range between USD 15-45, but this can vary widely between big cities and smaller towns. If you value your privacy and want a room to yourself, be prepared to fork out closer to USD 50-60 per night. Prices tend towards the upper range in Stockholm, and therefore expect to pay more rather than less. If you are planning on traveling in Sweden for an extended period of time, it’s worth investing in the STF International Guest Card for approximately USD 30 (which gives a discount of about USD 8 per night). There are also several independent hostels in Stockholm that are good budget alternatives. Bring your own linens to save a few bucks. Be sure to ask about facilities ahead of time as you may need pack a picnic in some of the more remote locations (especially in the off-season). In the summer, staying at hostels while island hopping throughout the Stockholm archipelago is particularly appealing.
Hostels in Stockholm
Backpackers Inn is located in Östermalm, within walking distance to Stureplan and Central Station. Prices between SEK 140 and SEK 175 (USD 20-30). If you’re into sleeping on water, check out Rygerfjord Hotel & Hostel (USD 30 and up) or the Red Boat Hostel (USD 50 and up), both on Södermälarstrand. Another alternative is the Gustaf Af Klint Hostel (USD 25 and up) at Slussen. Stay at Langholmen (USD 45 and up) if you’ve ever dreamed of slumbering in a former prison. Don’t worry – be nice and they won’t lock you up and throw away the key.
Hostels in Gothenburg
The Slottsskogens Youth Hostel is located in cozy Linnestaden, within walking distance to most major attractions. Also check out Gothenburg Mini Hotel, near Masthuggstorget square. Both from USD 25 and up.
Hostels in Malmö
For a centrally located hostel, check out STF Malmö City Hostel. USD 30 and up.