Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for special places to stay in Stockholm, Sweden.
Have you ever seen those online videos about unusual and interesting hotels around the world? If you are like me, you probably thought that it would be way too expensive or out of the way. Or maybe you were skeptical that it wouldn’t be as good as it looked.
On my recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden, my friend and I stayed at two very unique hostels that were both accessible and relatively affordable in comparison to other accommodation in Scandinavia. Here, I am giving my review of what I liked, what I didn’t like, and whether I think it is worth your time and money.
So take a look at what it is like to stay in a hostel on a ship and a jumbo jet.
M/S Birger Jarl Hostel & Hotel
Location: Stadsgårdskajen 156,116 45 Stockholm
M/S Birger Jarl is a hostel, restaurant, and bar aboard a ship docked close to the Birka Cruises terminal. It operated as a cruise ship for over 60 years before being converted into a hostel in 2013. Now it is stationed within walking distance to the Stockholm Old Town, Gamla Stan, and Slussen train station.
There are 177 rooms, ranging from the Standard Twin with bunks and a shared bathroom to the Superior Double with a double bed. My friend and I stayed in the Standard Twin for one night, paying €25 each through a German online booking website. The M/S Birger Jarl currently advertises the same room for 499 SEK (€52.09 as at 15 July 2017).
In addition to the experience of sleeping on a ship, the M/S Birger Jarl also sets off on party cruises for certain dates. Read more on cruises.
- Price: The cost for a private room with twin beds at M/S Birger Jarl is similar to other hostels in Stockholm, which don’t have the added benefit of being a cruise ship.
- Location: M/S Birger Jarl is close to old town and public transport. Being on the water, it is far away from other buildings and roads, making it quieter than other hostels.
- Views: The view of Gamla Stan from the sky deck is incredible. I highly recommend watching the sunset here.
- Comfort levels: The cabins provide sufficient space for two people and the bunks are very comfortable to sleep on. Linen and towels are provided.
- Free luggage storage: Upon checkout, you can store our luggage for the day at no extra charge.
- Late check-in time: Check-in isn’t until 3:00 pm, which seems excessively late to me, compared to other hostels that I have stayed in.
- Shared bathroom: The Standard Twin shares a bathroom with the next cabin. As the bathroom is between the two rooms, there is an internal lock on each door. The problem we had was that our neighbors looked our door from the inside and then went out. We had to ask reception to open it for us and it took them three hours to come and fix it.
- No breakfast included: Breakfast is available on board but will set you back 95 SEK (€9.92 as at 15 July 2017).
- Poor wifi reception: The wifi didn’t function very well in our cabin. The website states that wifi is available in public areas, so it may not be available in rooms at all.
- Not wheelchair friendly: Due to stairs and steps throughout the ship, the M/S Birger Jarl is not wheelchair accessible.
Jumbo Stay Hostel
Location: Jumbovägen 4, 190 47 Stockholm-Arlanda
On our second night, we stayed in a jumbo jet model 747-212B, which has been converted into a hostel located close to the international airport of Stockholm-Arlanda. After being decommissioned, in 1998 the 450 passenger seats were removed from the aircraft and a hostel was built inside.
Jumbo Stay has 33 rooms with 76 beds in total. The most exciting rooms are themed, including the Engine Room (under the wings of the plane), Double Bed Ensuite Black Box ( at the back of the plane), and the ultimate Double Bed Ensuite Cockpit (in the front of the plane). On the lower price end, there are dormitory rooms available where you can rent a bed in shared room.
My friend and I booked the Twin Bed Room through an online booking website for €55.50 each. We stayed here on our last night in Stockholm. As we both had early flights the next day, the location was super convenient. To get to and from the airport, there is a free ALFA shuttle bus. Read more on how to find us.
- Viewing deck: Jumbo Stay has a viewing deck with chairs and tables on top of its left wing. Open during daylight hours. Non-guests of the hostel can also pay to enjoy the deck.
- Breakfast from 3:00 am: For those crazy early flights, you can still have your breakfast before heading to the airport. Breakfast was included in our room price but is not included in all.
- Lots of bathrooms: There are plenty of bathrooms available so I never had to wait to use one while I was there. Some rooms come with their own private bathrooms.
- Easy access from the airport: It couldn’t be easier to get to and from the airport on the shuttle bus, with a stop right outside Jumbo Stay.
- Elevator: There is a small (and slow!) elevator on the side of the plane to help those with bigger baggage. Only one person at a time though.
- Price: In terms of value, the price seems very steep. For almost the same price you could book a room at the Clarion (breakfast included) or Radisson Blue (breakfast not included) airport hotels.
- No shoes inside: I am guessing the idea behind this is that it saves on cleaning for Jumbo Stay or maybe it is to help preserve the carpets. Whichever the reason, the no shoes inside policy was a little too strange for my tastes. Would have been better if we were offered soft slippers on arrival.
- Small rooms: The Twin Bed Room did not provide much space to move around in and there is nowhere at all to sit. My friend and I stashed all our stuff along the wall, with her sitting on the bottom bed and me sitting in the corner on the floor to relax and chat. Not ideal.
- Not much to do: Apart from the viewing deck and cafe, there really isn’t anything to do at Jumbo Stay. My friend and I took pre-bought beers into our room and hung out there but it was pretty tame as far as parties go.
- Quiet: Forget any ideas of hostels being social. When we visited Jumbo Stay, it was eerily quiet and we only saw a couple of other people in passing. It seems that most people just come here to sleep between flights.
My final thoughts on these special places to stay in Stockholm
If you are planning to visit Stockholm and like the idea of a themed hotel, then I would tell you to go for it. M/S Birger Jarl is in a great location close to Stockholm Old Town and is reasonably priced. For those who are arriving late or leaving early from the airport, then Jumbo Stay is a unique airport hotel option.
However, if you are more interested in value for money than the idea of staying in a ship or jumbo jet converted into a hotel, then there may be more economical options available.
I am glad that I had the experience of staying at both M/S Birger Jarl and Jumbo Stay but felt that one night in each was enough time to enjoy the novelty.
I am no way affiliated with M/S Birger Jarl Hostel & Hotel or Jumbo Stay Hostel. My opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.
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