My quest to visit 50 countries by age 50 is in full swing. Headed over to Stockholm Sweden for number 38. So how did I get there using my flight benefits?
Grabbed a flight from JFK (New York) to Amsterdam on my airline. First class was open. Booked my ZED fare ticket on KLM to ARN. All green smiley faces so I hoped my chances were good.
I love AMS airport. You don’t have to leave terminal if you are transferring through here. So easy. It’s big and can be quite a long walk but not having to go through security checks is nice. You do quickly walk through passport control.
I arrived at 5:00am and the transfer desk opens at 5:30am, but I was able to check in on line. Proceeded to my gate and gate agents arrrived just before boarding. They cleared me and I hopped on. It’s a quick hour and 37 minutes flight time to Stockholm.
Arrival at the airport was easy. Just walked right out. Bought a ticket on the Arlanda Express into city center at a kiosk. Price was 295 sek or $32.30 US dollars. If you buy on the train it’s an extra $10. Expensive but cabs and Uber’s were estimating between $60-90. Also driving is upwards of an hour. Twenty minutes to the city center on the train. Terminal was spotlessly clean at airport. Another $20 from the central station to my hotel. So it ended up being $55 to my hotel.
I stayed at the Hotel Rival. Check out my review.
(Ugh, I had this whole post written and the syncing between my iPad and iPhone screwed up and everything is now deleted. How do you sync correctly? But I digress.)
After unpacking, showering and getting ready, I was on my way to sightsee, roughly 11am. The hotel informed me that most things were already closed for the winter. The concierge let me know that although the Hop On Hop Off Bus was running, most stops were now closed. I decided to head on the ferry over to the Vasa Museum. Vasa Museum was amazing. A must see.
I then strolled along the harbour to take the Royal Canal Cruise at 1:30pm. After a delightful 50 minute sightseeing cruise, I strolled around the old town.
I returned to my hotel and got some dinner. My whole sightseeing adventure took roughly 5 hours. I probably should have hurried and headed over to the Royal Palace before it closed.
Sadly most of my day consisted of gray skies, so many of my pics were very dull. Just before sunset, the clouds broke and I was able to capture a couple of beautiful photographs of the city. I think I would have enjoyed Sweden more in the summer months.
After a great nights sleep, I went to the buffet breakfast and got ready for my return flight to Amsterdam. I decided to Uber since I found out a cab or Uber to the airport is $55. Make sure you get a set price beforehand if you take a taxi. So the express train and cab or Uber were all the same. If I had stayed closer to the central station, the express train would have been worth it.
My flight left at 1:30 pm back to Amsterdam. Here was my biggest planning error. There were five flights to Amsterdam, 6:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 5:20pm. There was no availability on the 9:30am or 5:20pm. The 11:30am cancelled (which I heard KLM cancels at least one of the five flights frequently.). I should have just taken the earliest flight and caught the Delta 10am flight back to the USA. I would have saved at extra night at the airport.
But since I didn’t, I Arrived in Amsterdam at 3:30pm. Got a hotel at the airport, Yotel Hotel. Stay tuned for that review! With such a late arrival, it just seemed pointless to leave the airport. Dinner at Murphys Pub in the airport. Food was average. Atmosphere was like any pub, lots of drinking!
Took an early flight the next morning home. So took a 4 day round trip from Florida to Sweden. I made a lot of timing mistakes on this trip. I ended up sightseeing only those 5 hours in Stockholm the entire 4 days. Kind of a waste.