Elias Pelcastre

Being thrifty in Scandinavia

So Scandinavia is expensive, it’s not news and everyone who travels here knows they are going to have to shell out a few notes to really appreciate all that this corner of Europe has to offer.

Yet, as soon as I meet anybody in this area of the world the first topic of discussion always revolves around how poor we feel and how ridiculous the price of everything seems to be.

So, how to save money? It is possible to travel here on a budget if you’re prepared to cut certain luxuries out and plan your time well.

-Forget alcohol and meals out. This will hunk a large chunk out of your budget before you’ve even started to explore. If you want to drink, buy it from a store and relax in one of the many parks, at £7 a pint (minimum) alcohol in bars is quite simply not worth the money here. In addition all hostels come equipped with kitchen and modern equipment – take advantage of it and the supermarket deals.

-Cook with other people. Not only do you save money but the variety of what you can eat increases considerably. Oh and you make friends!

-Some museums have some days where there is free or discounted entry so if you are staying in the city for few days, it’s worth your while to plan visits corresponding to this.

-Use a student card to get into museums. As in I used my expired one the whole time in Scandinavia and despite the people working there studying it, it worked every time. You often save around 30% so it’s really worth it.

-Really research the museums and attractions you visit. It is likely you will only be able to afford doing a few so turn this into an advantage, really appreciate what you are going to see and make the most of it, instead of just wandering around aimlessly.

-Don’t use the high speed trains, there are slower options which are considerably cheaper for those of us who don’t value our time to be considerably expensive.

-Walk. The main cities in Scandinavia are not that big and walking around offers an insight into real life here. Although public transport can be relatively cheap, I was never in a position where I wished I’d taken advantage of it.

-Make the most of the green spaces and waterfronts. They are ubiquitous even in the very heart of these cities and many people take advantage of them by having picnics, a nap, people watching ops or just relaxing with friends.

Photos by Kitty Busz