Stockholm’s waterfront views and charming cobbled streets are worth raising a glass to, but the Swedish capital is still among the world’s most expensive cities for drinkers. Even fairly average bars can be soberingly expensive, with small beers going for upwards of 60 SEK (around US $7).
Drinking in Stockholm doesn’t have to be expensive though, as long as you know the right places to go. We just pounded the city’s pavements with one mission: to quench our thirst at Stockholm’s cheapest bars.
They’re not especially swanky, but all of the places listed here serve up cold beers for less than 30 SEK – at the time of writing that’s about £2.50, €3.20 or $3.60. For that money, you’ll usually get a Swedish lager in a bottle or a glass. Craft beers and imported lagers cost a fair bit more.
You can see all of the bars we’ve recommended on the map below.
Retro Bar & Restaurang
Retro Bar has four locations across Stockholm, which means a cheap beer is never too far away. At the Sveavägen branch (pictured), happy hour runs from 1–8pm, when you’ll find a stor stark (big, strong draught beer) for just 29 SEK. All of these bars are pretty simple, with cosy inside areas showing live sports; some of them also have outdoor seating areas for affordable summer boozing.
Where: Sveavägen 120, Sankt Eriksgatan 22, Bondegatan 25 & Hornsgatan 136
More info: retrobar.se
Stockholm’s cheap bars aren’t always especially classy, but Restaurang Mosaik pulls off being both affordable and tasteful. Inside you’ll find diner-style booths with leather bench seats, which overlook the water and the railway line. During the bar’s ‘afterwork’ sessions (1pm–6pm), large beers go for 29 SEK. Even outside of these times you can get a glass of cold beer for a very reasonable 35 SEK.
Where: Sankt Eriksgatan 64
More info: restmosaik.se
Lion Bars have popped up all over the city. Drinkers young and old drop into the one at Sveavägen 74 at all times of the day, but if you’re on a budget then we’d recommend turning up between 1pm–8pm, when a cider or a large beer costs 24 SEK.
There’s another handy branch at Kornhamnstorg 61 in Gamla Stan (pictured). It’s one of the few cheap places to drink in the Old Town, and there are great water views from the little terrace out front. From Sunday–Thursday, large beers cost just 24 SEK before 8pm. Be sure to get in early in the afternoon to snag yourself a seat.
Where: Fridhemsgatan 34, Långholmsgatan 42, Kornhamnstorg 61, Sveavägen 39 & 74
More info: lionbar.se
Another chain, Dovas is a good option if you’re having trouble finding a decent förfest (a pre-party, where locals load up on alcohol before heading out on the town). A half-litre glass of the cheapest beer at the Sankt Eriksgatan bar in Kungsholmen costs exactly 30 SEK.
Where: Sankt Eriksgatan 53
When it comes to cheap drinks, Nivå 22 is a bit of an old favourite for Stockholmers. The bar is in a great location on Fridhemsgatan, near leafy Kronobergsparken. A big bottle of Norrlands Guld beer is only 28 SEK, while Heineken is 25 SEK and a big bottle of cider is 30 SEK. Nivå 22 has a cosy bottom level and a large open space upstairs – it’s great on summer nights, and heated during the winter.
Where: Fridhemsgatan 17
More info: niva22.se
Bar 08 is far enough from the touristy parts of Stockholm to be cheap, but it’s still within walking distance of the main train station (and even the Old Town, if you don’t mind a bit of a hike). The seating area out front is a nice place to watch the world go by as you sip your 25 SEK beer.
Where: Fridhemsgatan 18
More info: bar08.se
Hellströms Bar & Restaurang
Hellströms is handy for Stockholms Södra train station and is close to a couple of nice parks. The outdoor seating area fills up quickly on summer nights, and there’s usually a young crowd on weekends. A large Grängesbergs beer is always less than 30 SEK.
Where: Fatbursgatan 1
More info: hellstromsbar.com
Just like the name suggests, this bar is a real little treat for bargain hunters, with crowds visiting throughout the day to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and some of the cheapest beers in Stockholm. Order before 8pm and a stor stark here will only set you back 24 SEK.
Where: Roslagsgatan 2
This isn’t a bar but it’s still a useful place to know about. Sweden’s cheapest booze is always sold at Systembolaget (the country’s alcohol monopoly). When summertime approaches, locals often head to parks or beaches with a few drinks in hand to watch the sun go down. Just make sure you plan ahead, as the opening hours at Systembolaget are pretty restrictive.
Where: There’s a central branch at Drottninggatan 22 in Norrmalm.
Map of Stockholm’s cheapest bars