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Eleven nights in Stockholm--Which Hotel?

I'm arriving in Stockholm on August 2 and staying 11 nights. I had hoped to stay in Sodermalm, but there didn't seem to be a good option there when I checked booking.com last night--not a surprise since I need so many nights. I also didn't find anything that enticed me in Ostermalm. I have made reservations at 2 hotels and need to cancel one of them ASAP.

I would appreciate thoughts about these locations. Eleven nights is a lot of time to spend in an area that's a problem. I don't mind tiny rooms as long as they aren't terribly hot and things like the hot water and Wi-Fi work, but location is important. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Google's satellite view to work, so I haven't been able to walk the neighborhood streets.

I don't think either of these areas is great for moderately-priced, non-touristy restaurants, which is a pet peeve, but if I can manage to have my main meal at lunchtime most days, I should be OK.

I will be spending the bulk of my Stockholm time either in museums (mainly the art museums--several of which are way east of the center and will probably require use of public transportation) and walking interesting neighborhoods, including but not limited to Gamla Stan and Sodermalm. I will also seek out Art Nouveau/Jugendstil areas.

My 2 options are:

ProfilHotels Central, Vasagatan 38: Standard single room for Kr 12,330 (about US $110/night). This is quite near Stockholm Central and the T Centralen station, which would be very convenient for public transit--though I walk 6+ miles per day. (At this point the only trip I plan to take outside Stockholm is to Gustavsberg on Varmdo; I'll be in Uppsala today.) This is a booking.com reservation.

Best Western Hotel Gamla Stan, Skeppsbron 22:
Standard single room for Kr 13,122 (about US $119/night). This is on the far eastern edge of Gamla Stan not really close to the T station, but it would surely be a nice walk, and Gamla Stan is a picturesque area I want to explore. Booked through the corporate website, and I imagine this may increase my BW points enough to qualify for a free night soon--a factor I usually ignore since I so seldom stay in chain hotels. Unfortunately, the photos suggest this is likely to be a top-floor room, and I'm somewhat concerned about excessive heat up there, even though the current temperature forecast doesn't look bad.

Which would you choose?

Posted by
6005 posts

Booking this late will mean the options are limited. And also, 11 nights is a long time in Stockholm. Have you considered spending some nights somewhere else instead?

But my thoughts on the locations are:
Vasagatan is big street that goes past the central station, but is has been rebuilt recently and turned into more of an avenue and is in general a nicer place now. But still, this is a part of Stockholm I've been to many times, but mostly on my way to and from the station but rarely stopped. It is in my opinion a rather boring part of Stockholm, many offices, few restaurants worth a stop. Mostly chain restaurants that tend to be the same wherever you are. Good access to public transportation though with the central station that close.

Skeppsbron on the other hand is the eastern shore of Gamla stan, an area that actually feels inviting to stay in. If you walk out the door the water is just outside, and on the other side of the hotel there is Gamla stan to explore. A much nicer option in my opinion. Public transport is a bit more limited though, but there is a bus stop close to the hotel and the Djurgården ferries depart very close to the hotel. And both Gamla stan and Slussen metro stations are within walking distance, as well as the Central station. A better selection of restaurants close by as well, but maybe a bit harder to find the good ones as Gamla stan to be honest have more than a few restaurants I would call tourist traps.

Posted by
14615 posts

While I'm not familiar with your two hotels, I made by second visit to Stockholm in May.

If you stay near the station, there are many small restaurants in that area especially on Drottingattan which is a pedestrian only street. It's east of Vasagatan.

In the station itself, there is a Co-op supermarket with a large selection of pre-made sandwiches and salads as well as a very nice salad bar. (It's on the lower level.)

As for Gamla Stan, the western part is the more touristy area with lots of tacky souvenir shops. The eastern area is quieter and less visited.

When you visit the Vasa Museum, they have a nice cafeteria style restaurant that I can recommend.

If you are concerned with the heat, take along a small fan. Believe me it helps. This is the one I take:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R2BBZ2B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's currently unavailable but there are similar ones. They won't cool down a room but will cool you down enough to help you sleep. It's saved me a few times. Just search Amazon for something to your liking.

Posted by
26484 posts

Thank you both. It sounds as if the locations may both be a bit better than I was anticipating. There was nothing in the reviews to add to my location concerns.

Frank, I have one of those fans with me (because of your earlier recommendation) and will use it if there's not a larger fan in the room. It's just that I once spent some time in a top-floor, non-air-conditioned apartment south of San Francisco, and it was really, really hot.

Badger, this is not my only stop in Sweden, just the final one. So far I have been to Goteborg (4 nights), Malmo (5 nights with side trips to Lund and Helsingborg), Ystad (1 night), Kalmar (3 nights), Visby (1 night, about 30 hours), Oskarshamn (2 nights, split, to facilitate the Visby excursion), Vaxjo (2 nights), Norrkoping (2 nights), Orebro (2 nights) and Mora (1 night). Still to come are Uppsala (1 night) and Sundsvall (1 night). Other than the alarming number of 1- and 2-night stops, it has been great.

1I don't think I'll have any problem filling my time in Stockholm. I spent 10 nights in Oslo (though split, and the first stay was jet lagged), and still left things undone. Stockholm is much larger, with more-widespread sights. I have information on potential sidetrips in case I run out of activities in Stockholm, but I'd be shocked if that happens.

Posted by
6005 posts

Regarding heat, I don't think that will be a problem. The forecast seems to show reasonable weather next week. With nighttime temperatures dropping as low as 13°C, just open a window if the room is hot. Another difference between the hotels is that one in Gamla stan is probably in an older building, meaning stairs will be narrower and lifts smaller, if there are lifts at all. That might also be something to consider.

I know that you are on a long trip, you have posted a bit about it. (And I hope you write a trip report when you are back.) But I still think that 11 nights in Stockholm is a bit long in comparison. You will probably not have any problems spending that amount of time in Stockholm, but my suggestion would be to spend at least one more night in Uppsala and make it 2 nights in Uppsala and 10 nights in Stockholm. Or maybe even 3/9. I don't know what you have planned for Uppsala, but for such a long trip that city deserves a bit more time. There is more to see and do there than the usual day trip. And you will still have over a week in Stockholm.

Posted by
26484 posts

Thank you, Anders. I'm already a Scandic member, having stayed in one of their hotels earlier in the trip. The Malmen seemed like a really good possibility until I looked at the reviews on booking,com. The Wi-Fi seems to be problematic, at least in some rooms. That should not happen in a room costing so much, and these days it rarely happens even in budget hotels.
Bad Wi-Fi would drive me wild on a long stay; it's bad enough for just one evening. I'm also uncomfortable with the bit about the windows not opening. It's summer and there's no a/c; one reviewer sain fhereasn't even a fan, but that might have been an anomaly. I nixed a couple of much less expensive places that had budget rooms without windows because I wanted some control over the temperature in the room. I've managed surprisingly well by opening windows as the day cools of in the afternoon/evening.

I think I'm going with the Best Western Gamla Stan. That's fhe opposite of what I usually do in this sort of situation, which is to take the room that allows me to dump my luggage the fastest.

I always try to remember to check the lift situation. This hotel does have (at least) one, and I didn't notice complaints about reliability in the reviews. It's a good point that the odds of lift issues are probably higher in Gamla Stan. I'll cross my fingers. I would not be pleased to have to carry much luggage up to (or even down from) the top floor, but I could do,it if I had to.

As for them length of stay, I remain confident that 11 nights will not be too many in Stockholm. In my rough calculations I hardly allowed any time for traveling between sights, and I ignored the need to eat a meal during sightseeing hours and the possibility that I might lose sightseeing time due to rain. If I'm wrong, I'll report in later.

I don't think extra time in Uppsala would be right for me. I'm not an early-history person; my interest in history pretty much begins with the 20th century. Uppsala has a lot of historical attractions and not so much art. I've walked a lot of the older part of town to see the architecture. I've been to the Linnaeus Garden and the botanic gardens. I've been to the cathedral, including the treasury. The only thing I wanted to see that I didn't have time for was the art museum, and Stockholm has a lot of those.

Posted by
6005 posts

Regarding wifi, do many mention it? You need to remember that every guest that had great wifi probably didn't mention it. While I've never stayed at that hotel, personally I've never had an issue with wifi at Scandic.

And I think you are underestimating Uppsala a bit. There is certainly art there, and if you are interested in art there and if you are interested in art you should not leave without stopping by the art museum imho. There are also a couple of good art galleries. And if you like reading I can recommend that you stop by the Uppsala English Bookshop on Svartbäcksgatan, apart from being a great bookshop (World's best bookshop in 2018 according to the London book fair), they have a good selection of Scandinavian books in English.

You should also make sure you have some time for a fika while in Uppsala, the cafés in Uppsala are in my opinion in general better than the ones in Stockholm.

Posted by
26484 posts

You're right that only folks who have Wi-Fi problems are likely to mention Wi-Fi in their write-ups, but booking.com asks reviewers for numeric ratings in several categories (I think six of them), one of which is "Free Wi-Fi". That hotel's Wi-Fi rating is only 7.1, which is really low, so I think there's clearly something going on that affects more than just a few guests. A good Wi-Fi rating should be a given.

I'm off to Sundsvall this morning (where it looks like it will be a very, very rainy day), so staying on in Uppsala isn't possible. It will be easy to do a day trip from Stockholm if the big city doesn't hold up to my expectations.

Posted by
6005 posts

You can also ask the hotel about the wifi. But it also depends on how much bandwith you need I guess.

I hope you have a nice train ride as well a nice day in Sundsvall!

Posted by
26484 posts

I don't need much bandwidth; I'm not streaming video. But I've stayed in hotels where it was nearly impossible to connect after dinnertime. Perhaps the other guests were streaming video. It is maddening.

Sundstall is pretty. It's very overcast, but not much rain has actually fallen.

Posted by
10864 posts

Have you looked at the Scandic hotels? It is a Scandinavian chain with mid range rates. There are several in Stockholm, safe bets. Our Swedish
friends recommended the Scandic Hasselbacken on Djurgarden near many museums including VASA. . This is the King’s former hunting ground. We took ferries or walked across a small bridge to leave this island.

Posted by
9338 posts

I think acraven's Stockholm stay is in the past now since she said she was going August 2nd.

In regard to whether she knows about Scandic hotels, upthread she said:

I'm already a Scandic member, having stayed in one of their hotels earlier in the trip.

Posted by
26484 posts

Yes, I'm now in London. I ended up staying at the Best Western in the northeastern part of Gam,a Stan. It's a very convenient location for those who like to walk a lot, and there are also bus links to Sodermalm/Ostermalm/Norrmalm and a ferry link to Djurgarden and Skeppsholmen. I ended up spending a lot of hours walking virtually every block of every street in Gamla Stan, so this worked out well for me. Some of the streets are wall-to-wall people when there are cruise ships in port, so that's a major negative factor. One assumes the best-value restaurants are located elsewhere.