In 2016 I traveled to Stockholm to attend the Eurovision Song Contest live. By coincidence I was also in Stockholm during this Eurovision weekend, this time with my mother. The city trip (a gift for mothers day ) was already booked long before I had marked the dates of the Songfestival in my agenda.
We always watch the Songfestival together at home and make it a real party. I already saw us in our hotel room in Stockholm watching the Eurovision Song Contest … Fortunately I found a fantastic alternative just in time!
Eurovision Song Contest at Stockholm’s Hard Rock Café
I had searched all websites and newspapers in vain for a spot in Stockholm where we could watch the Songfestival on a big screen. No one in Stockholm could help us either. It seemed as if the Swedes watch the contest mostly at home. Don’t get me wrong: the Eurovision Song Contest is a big deal in Sweden. Maybe not as big as Melodifestivalen but still.
At the hotel they had directed us to a gay bar in Gamla Stan. When we passed by an hour before the final would start, there was nothing to see. We dripped off, disappointed. We were already on our way to our hotel when I suddenly remembered that Richard Herrey, who won the Song Contest in 1984 with Diggi-Loo Diggi-ley, was now the General Manager of the Hard Rock Café in Stockholm. So I was pretty sure we would be able to watch the Songfestival there.
We hurried to Vasastan and saw a whole line of people waiting in front of the door. Finding a table to eat something first turned out to be impossible, but we were able to get two stools at the bar. Not long after our arrival they posted the sign ‘full’ at the door. We were so lucky! The atmosphere was great and we had a fantastic evening. The Belgian song was appreciated by the Swedish people and we even received congratulations.
Where can you watch the Song Festival in Stockholm?
The list where you can watch the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm is currently fairly short. If you know a place where you can watch the Songfestival on a big screen in Stockholm, be sure to let us know in the comments, then I will complete this list.
Tip: check the website and / or the Facebook page of these addresses so you are sure that they organize it again this year + that you know what to expect. Sometimes it’s with a guest list / waiting list, sometimes it’s with an entrance fee, sometimes it’s an evening-filling program with dinner, etc.
Hard Rock Café (Vasastan)
Ett Ställe (Södermalm)
Södra Teatern (Södermalm) – not in 2019
Clarion Skanstull (Södermalm)
Stureplan (big screen outside – bring your own chair!)
Centralen, the central station in Stockholm, is a real hub. Buses, trains, metro, taxi, … everything leaves and arrives here. It can be a bit overwhelming if you are there for the first time. Fortunately, most signs in the station are also indicated in English. So if you are looking for the lockers, you will find them quite easily.
Lockers at Stockholm station
You’ve probably experienced it before: you’re on city trip and your hotel is not right in the center or you can not check in right now and you’re looking for a place where you can safely leave your luggage. Good news: you do not have to drag your luggage all the time because in Stockholm Centralen you will find different places where they have lockers. For just a few euros you can leave your luggage there for 4 hours. You can store your luggage for up to 24 hours for barely 1 euro more. There are 2 sizes: little ones that fit a hand-luggage box (36cm x 44cm x 60cm) and larger ones for larger suitcases (46cm x 60cm x 85cm).
Pay by card
The system is really simple. There are step-by-step explanations in English on the screens. In short: you choose an empty locker, put your luggage in it, close the locker and keep the closure down for 3 seconds and you pay by card. Keep track of your ‘kvittot’ or your receipt. This is where the code you need to reopen your locker is printed.
I always take a picture of the receipt. In case I lose the note, I can still get my luggage.
There are several places in the station where you can find lockers. Remember which ones you used! The station in Stockholm has several levels and a lot of corridors. It’s easy to get lost. Because I usually travel to the airport with Flygbussarna , I always take the lockers just at Cityterminalen (take the escalator upstairs). Especially when returning, I lose a minimum of time and can max my time in Stockholm.
Looking for other lockers in Stockholm?
Usually you can have your luggage stored at the hotel (for free). If your hotel is centrally located, this might be easiest.
You can also find (paying) lockers at Moderna Museet. If you know other places in Stockholm where you can leave your luggage in lockers, let us know something in the comments!
Spending the night in Stockholm is not cheap. But in general you can expect excellent price/quality. Yes, you often pay a bit more but you also get spacious rooms, excellent service and a lot of facilities in return. When I traveled to London a few years ago for a weekend trip, I immediately noticed prices of the hotel rooms in London were much higher than those in Stockholm and the comfort was significantly less. Rooms of 200 euros even had a shared bathroom in the hallway in London! My experience is that you get a lot more comfort and luxury for the same price in Stockholm.
Nevertheless, you can also stay at budget-friendly hotels in Stockholm. Loyal readers know that every time I visit Stockholm, I try to stay at a different hotel so I can give you the best tips for everyone’s budget.
Budget-friendly hotels in Stockholm
The hotel I stayed in during my first city trip to Stockholm: Motel L. The design hotel is located just south of Södermalm, half an hour walk from Gamla Stan, but with a tram stop just in front of the door.
A hostel with hotel-style: The Generator. You can also book a private room in this hostel. Basic but everything you need. After all, you are in Stockholm to explore the city, not to spend hours in your hotel room.
The comfort of the Scandic hotels but a bit more budget-friendly? Then try out Scandic Malmen. This is the cheapest Scandic hotel in the center of Stockholm. Scandic Malmen is located on Södermalm.
Comfort Hotel is located near T-Centralen, the main station in Stockholm where the Flygbussarna depart. Here I stayed the night before flying back home with Ryanair and therefore having to get up at an inhuman hour to get the bus to Skavsta.
Hotel Tégnerlunden is located in Vasastaden, on a quiet square, yet close to Drottninggatan. From the breakfast room on the top floor you have a beautiful view of the park and the buildings. Nearby is also Hotel Micro. This hotel offers compact budget rooms, mostly without a window.
Bentleys is located in Drottninggatan, the most famous shopping street of Stockholm. The old building has been beautifully renovated and throws you back in time for a soft price.