03/17 - 03/21/2016
Sweden...they say it's expensive. I don't doubt it. The locals advise you to go first on a holiday in Norway. After that, come on a holiday in Sweden...you'll think Sweden is a bargain . I don't doubt it, either.
*** Here you have the cost of living in Sweden : http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Sweden&displayCurrency=EUR
Just to have an idea about...like in to be prepared for high prices !
The top of the most expensive Scandinavian countries and 2 more North countries:
Yes, Sweden is a bargain compared with Norway
And guess what ? It's true ! ...and if you care about your money, Sweden is even cheaper than Belgium...I know you won't believe it...let's start with the beginning :
Departure : Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Airline : KLM
Did you know that Schiphol has smoking room(s) ? Brussels, helllllloooo ? ( not an important detail for non-smokers, I know ! )
Membership of SkyTeam arranged...miles to spare on more than 100 airlines...not bad !
The pilot announced the weather forecast for Stockholm : sunny, 10 degrees C. It didn't look like it, down I could see lakes frozen solid and snow powder. Total confusion ! 45 ' left before touching the ground...
Before leaving Amsterdam, the plane needed de-icing and the solution didn't freeze on the way, a normal fact...this means that nobody stole any glycol and replaced with water...yeah, it really happened...where ? in the US...and what happened ? you really don't want to know !
We're descending, the pilot repeats the weather forecast, I still see frozen water...somebody must be born an optimist ! No traffic jams, at 10.00 a.m....hey, Belgium, come and have a look !Unbelievable ! How could they fix it ? In Stockholm, of all places...!
Touching the ground, I see 3 firetrucks driving along...
I bought tickets on line for the airbus shuttle...bad luck ! the company 'died'...
* Tips :
- 'Lidl' is your best choice (bet) for cheap supermarket ( a.k.a. grocery store )....some articles are cheaper than in Belgium, e.g. cigarettes, nuts, bread ; buy your beer here...
- go out for lunch and look for the menu of the day...it's something around 85 SEK = 9,20 €...now, where can you go out for lunch in Belgium for this price ? I'm open to sugestions... ; one condition : get out from the tourist area. The above price includes a meal, salad, a drink and 1 coffee - prices like this found in lots of places in Vasastan area, mainly on St. Erikgatan (street) ; also, these prices are found in places where the locals go and they know better...; how can you know it's a local restaurant ? very simple : there is no word in English, but almost everybody speaks it...
- taxi from Stockholm City to Arlanda Airport costs 520 SEK = 56 € for 45 km....years ago, I paid 100 € in Belgium for 25 km...now, is Sweden still expensive ? some other taxi 's charge 480 SEK = 52 € for the same thing ...the price is written on the car ; the yellow taxi's have the cheapest fare and if you are group of 3-4 people, you can share the taxi and then it becomes cheaper...; a taxi comes to pick you up, wherever you are, a bus doesn't...:)
- a ticket for a shuttle bus costs per person 215 SEK = 23,24 € return...by bus, you pay per person and not per km..., see the difference ?
- metro / bus tickets are sold in every metro station ; the metro station has a big ' T ' sign ...you'll see on the street; the network is big, it serves all the city ;
- a beer in Gamla Stan ( Old Town ) might cost you easily 6 €... while a lunch...I was not curious at all ! the locals told me not to go out for lunch / dinner there...I could see why ;
- like most civilised airports, Arlanda has smoking rooms - a tip for smokers, of course !
- First Norrtul Hotel is your best choice - we stayed there and we had no complaints whatsoever; the bus stop of the airport bus 'Flygbussarna' is maybe 50 m from the hotel's entrance; ask the driver to let you know when the bus arrives there or look on the map in the bus or listen to the driver's announcements ;