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Alcohol is not cheap in Sweden. Especially not in Stockholm. There’s just no way around it. Stockholm is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most expensive cities and a night out can easily add up. It doesn’t have to, though.
What to order
First, learn the lingo. The Swedish word for beer is “öl,” the ö being pronounced kind of like the awkward “uh” that ends up filling space in all those speeches you had to give in high school. Most people when ordering a beer though don’t ask for an “öl,” they ask for a “storstark,” literally meaning “big and strong.” This will result in you being served house beer on tap. Usually a Swedish brand, Falcon, Pripps, or Spendrups.
Where to go
Start your night at Mest on Götgatan. There are two subway stations close by (Slussen and Medborgarplatsen). Until 9 PM, a storstark will run you 29 SEK (about €3). In a city where it isn’t unheard of to pay over 50 SEK (about €5) for a beer, this is a great place to start.
If you find yourself out on a Thursday night and need an English language fix (despite the fact that finding a Swede who doesn’t speak English is about as rare as a unicorn sighting), head over to Southside Pub. The Irish pub is two subway stations south of Slussen at Zinkensdamm. On Thursday nights, Southside hosts a free pub quiz. You’ll have the opportunity to test your knowledge of obscure trivia against a surprisingly international crowd. Plus, you’ll have the chance to win a beer or two.
Any other night of the week, just one subway station north of Slussen at Gamla Stan is the Liffey, another Irish pub. This one doesn’t offer a quiz on Thursday nights, but instead stand-up comedy. In English. Often times by Swedes. The show will cost you a 50 SEK (about €5) “donation,” which was by far the most mandatory “donation” I have ever experienced. Every other night of the week, the Liffey offers live music at one of their two stages.
Of course, after a night of music, trivia, and laughs, a kebab is necessary. Head back towards Medborgarplatsen. Just a couple of blocks south of the subway station on Götgatan, you can get a kebab in a pita for about 30 SEK (about €3).
In the end, depending on just how many of those storstarks you decided to have, you’ll have managed to explore Stockholm’s nightlife on a budget any Cheapo would envy.