Should I go to Stockholm in February?
January 19, 2011 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Taking a sudden trip to Stockholm? Is it worth it?

My husband is getting sent to Stockholm for a one-day meeting in two weeks (he just found this out yesterday). I could go along, and we could extend the trip. His plane fare and at least some of his hotel would be paid by his work, but we would be on the hook for my plane fare and any extended stay costs (hotel, food, etc). I'm really bad at having to make quick decisions that require me to change plans so drastically, and I'm concerned about the cost of a sudden trip to Europe.

The question is - should I just suck it up and go since I'll probably never have a chance to get there again? Is the cost going to be worth it? My theory is that if we wait until we have more time to plan and can get better deals, it will be less expensive than paying through the nose to get me there in less than two weeks.
posted by bibbit to Travel & Transportation around Stockholm, Sweden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Stockholm is a wonderful city, but it's hard to say whether it's "worth it" without knowing the difference in cost and without knowing your interests.
posted by muddgirl at 9:07 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Stockholm is awesome, and I've been there in the winter and loved it (it's pretty neat having all the touristy stuff to yourself). Go. Go to Gamla Stan and the Tre Kronor, then the Vasa and the Nordiskamuseet, and make it to Skansen on a weekend. Have fika daily. If you're staying long enough go to Uppsala also. Enjoy the Swedish winter.

But -- Sweden is expensive, even for Europe. The cost would absolutely be worth it to me, but I don't know what your financial situation is...
posted by brainmouse at 9:16 AM on January 19, 2011

it looks like the flight will cost ~$900 based on the location in your profile to Arlanda assuming you went the first week of Feb with a saturday night stay. Its highly unlikely you'll get tickets for $450 a piece even with a ton of advanced planning. So I think your logic is wrong there. Given your hotel would be subsidized partially I don't think you are going to have an opportunity to get to Stockholm any cheaper then this.

Go. it's a great city. (even if Feb isn't the best time to see it)
posted by JPD at 9:19 AM on January 19, 2011

You should go. Stockholm is great. It's my favorite city in the world other than Chicago.
posted by true at 9:21 AM on January 19, 2011

I don't think you are going to have an opportunity to get to Stockholm any cheaper then this.

I disagree, but it's been a few years since I've been. I think it would be a bit of a waste in February. New Years has some great parties, but after the 1st I think you should wait for warm weather. When the weather is warm the whole country is smiling.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:28 AM on January 19, 2011

Sweden is expensive
It really depends on what you're buying. This used to be a big deal, like, 15 years ago. I find that in many areas the difference to other European countries has shrunk considerably. For really expensive restaurants and food (not to mention alcohol) you need to be in Norway.
The weather mentioned by Civil_D, and especially the (missing) light, is more of an issue, and I was going to comment on that. If you're a museum/gallery/concert type, and/or fine with sitting in cafes, etc, there's no trouble. If you would like to explore the city on foot, you might end up disappointed. February is when everyone around here simply has had it and can't take any more. People are crabby and the streets can be foul.
posted by Namlit at 9:41 AM on January 19, 2011

I don't think you are going to have an opportunity to get to Stockholm any cheaper then this.

I disagree

let's be clear here - the taxes alone are $430 on each ticket. It's actually not possible to get there for $450 dollars unless some airline is having a crazy sale - and anyways, those sales tend to be this time of year.
posted by JPD at 9:46 AM on January 19, 2011

Go. Opportunities like this are the ones you are going to have amazing stories about. I've never been to Stockholm but if I had the opportunity to go with my husband for the price of one ticket, I would book that shit like yesterday, son.

Never pass up sudden travel opportunities.
posted by mckenney at 10:40 AM on January 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cliché alert! It's very often better to regret having done something than to regret not having done something. If you have the money, why not go? What else could you lose?
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 11:59 AM on January 19, 2011

I was in a similar situation last year. My boyfriend was being sent to Germany for work, and by luck was going to be there over a holiday weekend for me and one in Germany (Carnaval!). I decided to go with him and had a blast. It was cold and a little snowy, but it just meant that we would walk around for a while and then stop in a cafe. I would do it again if I had the money and opportunity. So my vote is to go for it.
posted by dormouse at 2:12 PM on January 19, 2011

Here is someone who lived in Stockholm for 8 years and moved to NYC last week.

Firstly, where do you live in the US? Winter in Sweden this year is far bitter than every year so if you are from southern part then you won't enjoy the trip. Plus, Stockholm is rather expensive place, otherwise, I would highly highly recommend it. Its one of the place everyone should visit but don't fall into tourist trap.
Lot of places are advertised as tourist places are they are a load of crap, so do the study carefully. Lonely Planet's Stockholm is a good book. The winter season will limit your 'off the beaten path' choices remarkably.

If you do fly across the pond, make sure to give a try to kanelbullar (Original version of cinnabon) with freshly brewed coffee.
posted by zaxour at 2:13 PM on January 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers so far! To answer some of the questions, I'd be flying from Chicago, so while I can handle the cold, it means a long flight.

In order to make this affordable, I would have to take a different (much cheaper, not-non-stop) flight than my husband. Which I'm not keen on. But yes, it's still cheaper (I think?) than both of us paying the full way and the chance is not one I should pass up.

If the trip gets approved for him we'll work out getting me over there too, if we can keep the costs down to something we can afford. I'm still thinking, though, that it might be better to include Stockholm in a better-planned, more-of-Europe trip, than this sudden undertaking.
posted by bibbit at 5:29 PM on January 19, 2011

Best answer: I'm still thinking, though, that it might be better to include Stockholm in a better-planned, more-of-Europe trip, than this sudden undertaking.

Well that's the key, right? You can take the crappier option, but then at least you know you'll go. Or you could plan a better option, but it's still abstract until you put some money into it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:42 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

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