The Best Hostels in Stockholm, Sweden

The Red Boat Hostel offers unique accommodation on the water in Stockholm, Sweden
The Red Boat Hostel offers unique accommodation on the water in Stockholm, Sweden | © agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lorna Turnbull
21 January 2021

Set on an archipelago of 14 islands, the “Venice of the North” effortlessly blends centuries of history with contemporary urban appeal. Stockholm isn’t known for being cheap, but it’s home to some budget-friendly hostels. One important thing to remember when looking at hostels in the city is that linens and towels come at an extra cost. Whether you prefer über-cool Södermalm, historic Gamla Stan or the glitz and glamour of Östermalm, here’s our pick of Stockholm’s best hostels so that you can keep your krona for exploring everything Sweden’s capital has to offer.

Birka Hostel

Hostel
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 Courtesy of Birka Hostel / Booking.com

Sleek, clean and minimal are words often associated with Scandinavian design, and they’re all on display at the Birka Hostel. Inside a former brewery, private rooms and dorms are simple but comfortable, and the communal lounge and kitchen are great places to mingle with fellow guests. Within proximity to the National Library of Sweden, this hostel has a plethora of shops on its doorstep, as well as being a short walk from Östermalm Market Hall, where you can indulge in Scandi delights such as elk stew. When the night falls, hit the public square of Stureplan for buzzy, upscale bars and nightclubs.

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Generator Stockholm

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 Courtesy of Generator Stockholm / Booking.com

Über-cool Generator brings its design-led hostels to the home of hipster chic. The apartment-style studios and private guest rooms wouldn’t look out of place in a hip hotel, with warm wooden accents and shiny red pods containing the bathrooms. Stop for a fika (a tradition of afternoon coffee and cake) in its well-stocked cafe. Finish your day at Bar Hilma, where you can kick back with a cocktail and live DJ set as night draws in.

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City Hostel

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 Courtesy of City Hostel / Expedia

On the up-and-coming island of Kungsholmen, City Hostel is a short walk from the impressive and slightly imposing Stadshuset – Stockholm’s town hall and setting for the Nobel Prize Ceremony. Clean and contemporary design alongside a wide range of rooms and dorms make this hostel an ideal base to explore one of Stockholm’s quieter islands. Boats moored in the marina turn into bustling summer bars, and nearby Rålambshov Park combines wooded trails, outdoor theatre performances and even a small beach to make the most of those never-ending Scandi summer days.

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Archipelago Hostel Old Town

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 Courtesy of Archipelago Hostel Old Town / Expedia

Island hopping and Stockholm go hand in hand – each of the archipelago’s 14 islands has a unique character. Sitting within the winding streets of Gamla Stan, the aptly named Archipelago Hostel lies just 320m (350yd) from ferry connections to Skeppsholmen, home to the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art), and Djurgården with its many attractions, including ABBA the Museum. You’re also within walking distance of the Royal Palace. The building’s original large sash windows let you plan your route from the comfort of your room or dorm so that you can immerse yourself in the story of Stockholm from the moment you step out the door.

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Skanstulls Hostel

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 Courtesy of Skanstulls Hostel / Booking.com

Leave sleek Scandinavian minimalism at the door when entering Skanstulls Hostel. Here it’s all about maximalism. The eclectic, mismatched decor creates a cosy atmosphere, perfect for channelling mys – the Swedish answer to hygge – on cold Stockholm nights. The hostel lies south of achingly cool SoFo, replete with buzzy bars and restaurants, vintage treasure troves and cutting-edge Swedish fashion boutiques.

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Castanea Hostel

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Courtesy of Castanea Hostel / Expedia

It’s all about location at the Castanea Hostel; it lies in the heart of Gamla Stan – Stockholm’s Old Town. One for history buffs, this hostel sits inside buildings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries; one was the former home of the royal castle’s carpenter. Spend the day among the area’s cafes, quirky shops and maze of cobbled streets before hitting the hay in the comfortable private rooms or dorms.

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  • City Backpackers Hostel Stockholm

    Hostel
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     Courtesy of City Backpackers Hostel Stockholm / Expedia

    Think of Stockholm, and saunas, fika and meatballs immediately spring to mind. Luckily, City Backpackers Hostel can give you the lowdown on all three before you’ve even stepped outside its door. Make the most of the complimentary sauna sessions and fika, and you can even join in on a meatball-making cooking class to round out your Swedish initiation. With dorms and private rooms as well as a co-working area available, you can mix work and pleasure while lifting the lid on the capital of Scandinavia.

    Långholmen Hotel and Hostel

    Budget Hotel, Hostel
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     Courtesy of Långholmen Hotel and Hostel / Expedia

    Långholmen Hotel and Hostel is on the site of a former high-security prison, restored and converted into a hotel with dormitories and private rooms. The island of Långholmen is beautiful year-round and makes for a wonderful stroll, even if you skip the guided tour of the prison grounds. Buses and the metro are available just across the bridge in Hornstull, southwest of the main city centre.

    The Red Boat Hostel

    Hotel Barge, Hostel
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     Courtesy of The Red Boat Hostel / Expedia

    Stockholm’s collection of islands are connected by many bridges – choosing to stay on the water is only natural, with converted ships and boats offering a fun accommodation alternative with incomparable views. The Red Boat, or Den Röda Båten as it’s called in Swedish, is a little more rustic-looking than a modern hostel, adding to the authenticity of the boat-stay experience. It comprises two houseboats, and although the rooms are compact, the views of central Stockholm’s waterfront are great. It’s reasonably priced with a great central location.

    Jumbo Stay

    Airport Hotel, Hostel, Hotel
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     Courtesy of Jumbo Stay / Expedia
    If you know your Concorde from your Jetstream and are a fan of all things flying, Jumbo Stay is the hostel for you. Make your home in a grounded jumbo jet located at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. No need for a tray table when you can relive the golden age of flying in a 1960s-inspired cafe and bar. Get your 40 winks in a cabin-style shared dorm or private room with views of the airport. If you’re feeling flush, go for the luxury suite housed in the plane’s cockpit, complete with a dazzling nightly show of those airport lights. Central Stockholm is just 20 minutes away on the Arlanda Express train or 45 minutes by bus.

    This is an updated version of an article originally written by Issy Häggström.

    These recommendations were updated on January 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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