Sweden is one of the most affordable travel destinations in Western Europe. This statement would have raised some eyebrows a few years back, but it has become reality. So why not go to Stockholm this year? Leaders from both continents may have different opinions about world politics, but US travelers love Europe, just like Europeans love to see the US. Some American tour operators and travel agencies even expect to sell more trips to Europe this year than ever before.
That is remarkable. The dollar-euro exchange rates make a European vacation far from cheap nowadays. If you want to see Europe without losing too much money, you should pick destinations that have not switched to the euro. Sweden is a great choice. Sweden is an EU country (no visa required for Americans), but the Swedes still pay with crowns, not with euros. To check if prices in the Nordic country are really that much lower, I compared prices of three well-located three-star hotels in the Swedish capital Stockholm with similar hotels in the popular capitals of two euro-countries, Paris and Rome.
The difference was incredible. Rates in Stockholm started between 113 and 125 US dollar per night. In Rome you had to pay between USD 155 and 184 and in Paris between USD 167 and 222 USD.
And those are just hotel rates. Restaurant prices in Stockholm have gone down in recent years as well, at least for foreigners. I also went to a popular airline ticket seller and searched for the lowest airfare.
The cheapest ticket from New York to Stockholm cost USD 851, while the best tickets to Rome and Paris cost USD 897 each. But hey, you're not picking a travel destination because of money alone! You want to see something too! Well, don't worry about that. Stockholm is often called the most beautiful capital in the world, and rightly so. The city is built on 14 islands and has another 24,000 just around the corner.
Wherever you go you will always get a glimpse of water. It's a very green city too. Stockholm is the only capital in the world with a legally protected national park within the city borders. And that's not all.
There's a well-preserved old town centre with medieval streets and alleys. The city has about 100 museums that are all different and appealing to all ages ? and many even have free admission. The vibrant nightlife and modern shopping district keep you busy after sightseeing, while the relaxed atmosphere and stunningly clean streets only add to your holiday mood. See you in Stockholm this year? You should be there already! .
By: Marc A. De Jong