Mar152017

Trip Report Stockholm NYO to Clarion Hotel Sign to Arlanda ARN

Two weeks ago I made my first trip to Stockholm via Skavsta Airport NYO when I arrived from Gdansk, Poland GDN on Ryanair. The deal for my travel was a $9 one-way fare from Gdansk to Stockholm NYO compared to $60 to fly into Stockholm Arlanda ARN on Norwegian.

I wanted to go into Stockholm City anyway for a stay at Clarion Hotel Sign before my flight home to California the next day on Norwegian Airlines from Stockholm ARN to Oakland, California OAK.

Flygbussarna airport transportation from Skavsta NYO to Stockholm City Terminal cost 139 SEK ($15.68 USD) for an 80 minute bus ride compared to 99 SEK ($11.16 USD) for Arlanda Airport ARN to Stockholm City Terminal on a 45 minute bus ride.

Skavsta Airport NYO

Skavsta Airport NYO is 100 km southwest of Stockholm near the city of Nyköping, Sweden. This is a small, rural airport. Currently there are about 24 nonstop flights with Ryanair and Wizz Air flying to airports across Europe from Stockholm Skavsta NYO.

My Ryanair flight touched down at 4:00pm. Outside the terminal there were several Flygbussarna airport coaches. As I understand it, the bus to Stockholm City leaves about 35 to 40 minutes after flight arrival. There are other bus routes, so look for signs.

Flygbussarna NYO coaches

Flygbussarna coaches at Stockholm Skavsta Airport NYO.

Flygbussarna NYO routes

Flygbussarna Stockholm Skavsta NYO airport bus routes.

Flygbussarna tickets

Flygbussarna credit card kiosk at the NYO airport bus stop sells tickets.

Flygbussarna tickets can be purchased online. There is also a kiosk inside the airport arrivals terminal. Tickets are valid for a ride up to 3 months from date of purchase. Online ticket price was 139 SEK ($15.68 USD).

Bus Ride to Stockholm City Terminal

The driver checked me in. Suitcases are stored in the outside compartments of the bus. There were sufficient seats on the bus for me to have two seats to myself. A toilet is on the bus if needed during the 80 minute bus ride.

I used the bus trip to snap some Sweden landscape photos.

Sweden church

A statistic I read during my trip is Sweden has more McDonald’s restaurants per capita than any other country in Europe with about one location for every 40,000 residents. In the USA there are about 1 McDonald’s per 23,000 residents.

Sweden McDonald's

One night last July in Stockholm, I got a little angry when I walked a couple miles across the city one night at 9pm and only found what I consider to be affordable takeaway hot food at McDonald’s and Max Hamburgers. Both undesirable choices, but less than half the price of food I saw anywhere else at Stockholm restaurants.

Max Burgers

Stockholm is a city built on islands. Sea water is all around.

Stockholm water

Where this is sea, there are boats.

Stockholm sea-2

I learned on a walking tour in Gdansk, Poland that there are very few rocks in that area of Poland on the Baltic Sea coast. Historically, large rocks were a resource imported to Gdansk from the rocky coast of Sweden.

There is a lot of rock around Stockholm. The subway system is mostly natural rock wall tunnels.

Stockholm rocks

This rocky hillside is covered with trails and benches. The light of day at sunset illuminated this landscape and architecture of Stockholm.

Stockholm train

The airport bus paralleled the same train tracks bringing trains and Arlanda Express into the city center.

Clarion Hotel Sign

Clarion Hotel Sign was built on a site that borders the train tracks in central Stockholm, about 300 meters from the Arlanda Express train station. My rooms have always faced the city park on the opposite side of the hotel from the train tracks.

Clarion Hotel Sign dusk

Clarion Hotel Sign

Flygbussarna bus stops are at an elevated street level above the Arlanda Express station. In Stockholm, I departed the bus and headed downstairs following signs to Arlanda Express. Out the station doors and a few minutes walk left to Clarion Sign had me in my hotel room about 2 hours after landing at Stockholm Skavsta NYO.

Clarion Sign room

Clarion Hotel Sign is 10,000 Choice Privileges for a reward night.

Stockholm train tracks

View from Clarion Hotel Sign of Arlanda Express station (track level of nearest building on left side) and Flygbussarna bus station (upper level right side of same building).

Upon arrival at the hotel, I quickly got myself back out the door to buy food for dinner and the next day’s flight long-haul flight to Oakland on Norwegian Airlines. Coop Centralen supermarket is on the lower level of Stockholm Central train station, below the street level McDonald’s.

After several trips to Stockholm, I found this to be the best place to buy hot food. But you have to get there before too late in the evening.

I purchased a whole hot roasted chicken for 52 SEK ($5.87 USD). I had purchased broccoli and brie in Gdansk and purchased hummus nd a baguette for about $5.00 in Stockholm.

On the way back to the hotel, I stopped by Systembolaget, Sweden’s government run liquor store to purchase a couple bottles of Eriksberg 500ml bottles of lager for 16.80 SEK ($1.90 USD). One of the aspects I don’t like about Sweden and Norway is real beer with alcohol is only sold through government stores. Supermarket beer is limited to 3.5% alcohol. The lowest price I have seen for a beer in Stockholm is 52 SEK for Czech beer in a Sodermalm pub.

Over the past couple years I have learned that I’d rather wait until I find a Systembolaget in Sweden rather than waste money to buy low alcohol beer at around the same price.

Eriksberg

Back in my hotel I ate dinner, drank some beer, worked on some writing and passed out.

The next morning Clarion Hotel Sign breakfast buffet filled me up early, more writing, packing and out the door to catch Flygbussarna to Stockholm Arlanda ARN.

Around noon, after checking in for Norwegian and boarding pass in hand, I found a little quiet spot in Arlanda airport, near the Arlanda Express escalator to the train cave. I drank my remaining Eriksberg, ate as much broccoli and hummus I could stuff in my body and carried the remaining broccoli, brie cheese and baguette on the plane for my 11 hour trip.

On the bus, I came up with a step-by-step guide for how to efficiently transit overnight through Stockholm airports. My routine may not help you as much as it will help me remember.

Stockholm Airports Overnight Transit Guide

Perfecting Stockholm transit travel.

1. Flygbussarna 139SEK ($15 USD) Stockholm Skavsta Airport NYO to Stockholm City Terminal.

2. Clarion Hotel Sign reward night for 10,000 Choice Privileges points ($45 during Daily Getaways annual sale).

3. Central Station Coop Market for hot roasted chicken 52SEK ($6), hummus ($3), broccoli ($2).

4. Systembolaget for real beer, not fake market beer. ($3.80) for 2 500 ml bottles Eriksberg.

5. Eat, drink, write, sleep at Clarion Hotel Sign and eat free hotel breakfast. Take city walks if time.

6. Buy Flyggbussarna bus ticket online or through app Stockholm city center to Arlanda Airport ARN 99 SEK ($11). Bus every 10 minutes.

7. Fly Norwegian Airlines home to Oakland, California for $111 to $150 one-way on my last 3 trips. I have not paid for checked bag, seat assignment or food on my Norwegian tickets.

8. Binge watch movies, preferably Norwegian language movies with English subtitles on Norwegian 11-hour flight home.

In February, I binge watched a six part 6-hour Norwegian thriller series Mammon.

Two weeks ago on my last Norwegian flight to Oakland, I watched a six part 4.5-hour Norwegian TV series Kampen Om Tungtvannet / The Heavy Water War about the World War II effort to sabotage heavy water production for the Nazi nuclear weapons development program run by Werner Heisenberg.

Heavy Water War

I really enjoy Norwegian flights on the 787 Dreamliner. No hassle on carry on luggage, frequently plenty of seats to get a vacant seat beside me and good inflight entertainment movies.

Also plenty of connectivity for USB power to charge phone and AC outlet for laptop computer.

Norwegian flight

A couple hours of sleep, some food and before I knew it, Oakland came into view. A weekend rate Costco rental car for $40 and a couple hours later I was home in Monterey, a bit tired in early evening with a 9-hour time difference from Sweden.

Seeing Monterey Bay is always a welcome homecoming.

Monterey Airport

View of Monterey Bay from Monterey Airport MRY.

Feb-March Trip Report: San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Sofia, Athens, Warsaw, Gdansk, Stockholm, Oakland

  1. Kensington, London touring Pubs and Thrift Stores

  2. My Square Foot–Holiday Inn London Kensington unkingly quiet

  3. Amsterdam Winds and Windows

  4. Park Plaza Amsterdam Vondelpark 66 stairs to room 36

  5. First impressions of Sofia, Bulgaria

  6. Free Sofia Tour Walk Winter Night

  7. Rocking out in Sofia

  8. Best Western Bonum Gdansk, Poland $39 suite
  9. Trip Report Aegean Airlines Gold elite status progress

  10. Cool Gdansk, Poland is hot tourism destination

  11. Flygbussarna connections to Stockholm’s four airports

  12. IHG Accelerate 2017 Achieved 44,323 points on 2 stays for $317

  13. Club Carlson 70,000 points earned, $470 hotel spent on 8 nights

  14. My London flight plan cranks up wife’s stress level to 11 after she misses flight

  15. My Aegean Miles+Bonus Blue Card arrived

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. Sure, most “cheap” alcohol is expensive at Systembolaget. Surprisingly it’s a monopoly approved by the EU to improve the overall health of the citizens (decrease wife beatings and reduce consumption on weekends). However the EU forces Systembolaget to may any possible alcohol containing drink available in any of its stores in Sweden. As a result, you can go to Systembolaget in the middle of nowhere and ask for a bottle of the finest wine in the universe and they will have to make sure you get it within a few days. In essence Systembolaget is as good as the best wine stores in France or Italy. And fine wines can be cheaper than abroad!
    The same goes for beer. Ask for that brand you can’t find anywhere else and they will do their very best to get it. I like to ask for some obscure Belgian beer and pick it up a few days later (on your return leg)
    Systembolaget is not there to help you get drunk at an affordable price, but rather guide you in finding something special.

  2. Thanks for the details on transit from Skavsta Airport – I saw the cheap Ryan Air flights, but didn’t consider it after looking at the map.
    The easy availability of buses and reasonable travel time makes this a good option!
    Also thanks for pointing out the Clarion Hotel – looks nice enough!

  3. @ABC – Last time I got ‘drunk’ in Sweden was at a Stockholm university student pub in 1993 when a local took me out to his local. Students kept buying me beers. They had a fun time trying to figure out the meaning of my American idioms common to my speaking pattern back then.

    I like the descriptive display of beers at Systembolaget. I probably have tasted 25 different Swedish brands of beer on trips through Sweden over the past year.

    While I was in the store buying Eriksberg, two other beer buyers were paying higher prices for American Budweiser.

    @FLL – I only drink coffee and water in the morning and water or beer the rest of the day.

    Not much to describe about accessing water when traveling in Europe. I turn on the hotel or bathroom tap to refill my water bottle.

    Finding beer is an integral part of my travel adventure. It has been that way since the 1980s. I worked at Pebble Beach Lodge, California in the wine cellar of their fine dining restaurants in 1984. That sparked my interest in fermentation science and I received my B.S. degree in fermentation science from University of California Davis in 1987.

    While I worked in enology labs at the university analyzing grapes, beer brewing was always my primary interest.

    Drinking beer has been part of my travel adventures since the 1980s. In the 1980s and 90s I traveled around the USA visiting microbreweries everywhere I traveled. That hobby transitioned to pub visits in the UK and Ireland in the late 90s.

    These days I simply try several different local beers in any country I travel. I seldom drink wine and very rarely taste any other alcohol.

    The price of things is my interest everywhere I travel. I love hanging out studying the price of food and common household items in grocery stores in other countries. Since beer is one of the primary items I buy when traveling, the price of beer comes up in most of my travel reports.

    This past year traveling in Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Bulgaria has been enjoyable for me due to the abundance of local beers in lovely pubs at cheap prices of $1 or $2 a pint.
    I walk for hours around a town or in the countryside and then rest at a pub with a beer and immerse myself in local culture for an hour, move on, repeat. That is my typical travel day.

    @Rupert – Clarion Hotel Sign is a great deal with Choice Privileges points. I’ll post another review for the hotel on my recent stay. It was my third stay in the past year and the first time I realized there is a rooftop swimming pool. It was filled with women in bikinis when the air temperature was 35 Fahrenheit and the thermometer showed the pool temperature 35 Celsius.

    There is also a Clarion on Sodermalm, Stockholm for 10,000 points per night that I have yet to stay. This seemed to me to be one of the trendiest areas of Stockholm for restaurants and pubs.

  4. Thanks for the Stockholm food report. I recall similar difficulties find affordable food there — even in supermarkets. I’ll soon need to feed a family there for a day, and then buy food for an overnight ferry trip. Are there multiple “coop” food stores in town, and is the one in the train station better? Six dollars for a whole hot chicken strikes me as a great deal for Stockholm. Is there a “hot foods” section of the store, and do they sell out as the day goes on? Do you have any other takeout options to recommend?

  5. @iahphx – The Central Train Station is one of the few markets I found in Stockholm with hot food. Hot food and bread does sell out. Try and be there before 7pm if you want hot chicken.

    One of the problems I had in Stockholm was finding supermarkets with hot food. I only found a couple of full size markets around the areas we stayed in the city.

    Takeaway food is mostly McDonald’s and Max. I found lowest priced food otherwise were Turkish doner cafes.

    For me, I find Stockholm to be one of the toughest cities I have stayed for discount food options. I tend to eat a lot of cold meals with salads and vegetables, bread, hummus, smoked fish and fruit mostly.

    Obviously there are many supermarkets in Stockholm, I simply did not see many of them walking around and several markets I found were located using my phone maps and Google Maps.

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