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“Gorgeous hotel in Old Town”
Review of Scandic Gamla Stan

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Scandic Gamla Stan
Ranked #47 of 155 Hotels in Stockholm
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

Rica Hotel Gamla Stan is a great option in the pretty Old Town area of Stockholm. It was a really easy walk from Stockholm Central (where the Arlanda Express goes to) or you can transfer to the Tunnelbana to get even closer to the hotel. It was maybe a 10 min walk from Stockholm Central or a 2 min walk from the Gamla Stan Tunnelbana.

My single room was more than big enough, cosily decorated with a lovely modern bathroom (with excellent hair dryer)! Breakfast was included and as other reviewers have noted, it's really excellent. Loads of options. My favourite was the mini pancakes with maple syrup!

The rooms were really quiet. In fact it was a very peaceful hotel. I would definitely stay again...Gamla Stan is such an atmospheric part of the city to stay in. But it's also a very convenient location for seeing the other sights of Stockholm. I walked everywhere but there are ferries to take you to the slightly further afield destinations like Skansen.

Thank ejcd84
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Reviewed April 19, 2013

My husband and I visited Stockholm from 21st-24th December 2012 and stayed here at the Rica.

We flew into Arlanda airport which is quite new and beautifully designed. We had a totally stress free arrival/departure. We also used Airport Cabs Stockholm for our transfer (I dealt with them by email in advance and they were very helpful).

The hotel itself is situated in a great part of town. It is in the Old Town, on the beautiful cobbled streets and local to the palace and cathedral. We stayed in a top floor room with beautiful views of the snowy rooftops in Gamla Stan. The room itself was beautifully decorated in a more traditional style - most of the hotels in Stockholm are extremely modern or brazenly stylish. This hotel has enough windy corridors and spiralling staircases to give you the feel of a smaller, boutique hotel.

The room had a small but very well finished shower room/toilet, tea and coffee making facilities, twin beds, some nice toiletries and a small seating area with a TV. We couldn't find any English channels, but we weren't in the room much anyway (you might find the odd film if you're lucky).

Breakfast had a great selection - english breakfast favourites alongside meat balls and pancakes. The cold selection of meats, cheese, bread and salads are more than enough to keep you going for a busy days touring of Stockholm!

The staff on reception are very polite and friendly. We were looking for some traditional Swedish food on our last night (23rd) but a lot of places were already shut for Christmas. The girl on reception gave us a couple of restaurants to try. We settled on Movitz - a basement restaurant which was very close and a must try if in the area. Eating in Stockholm is expensive.... around £70-80 for a meal for two in the more popular parts of the city.

This hotel offers easy access to the ferry to Djurgarden (leaves every 15 minutes or so, 3 minutes walk south of the hotel) and the t-bahn into the main city square.

We also invested in 'Stockolm Cards' before we went. These were quite expensive (about £60 for 48 hours each) but we worked out we probably got good value out of them. We used them, at the Vasamuseet, Palace, Treasury, Skansen, ferry and on the underground.

I would also recommed taking the walking tour with Free Tour Stockholm - we learnt some funny & historic facts about Stockholm in the hour or so we spent with them.

Stockholm is a really beautiful city. Seeing it in winter, all covered in snow, is not to be missed.

Room Tip: Choose a higher floor - there is a lovely roof terrace on the top floor that overlooks the rooftops.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Heather W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Gamla Stan was covered with a lite dusting of snow when we got there Mar 22. It's rather a magical looking place anyway, so this made it almost perfect in my book. The hotel was warm and happy, just a short walk to everything we wanted to do or see in Stockholm. I loved the staircase. Our room was very comfortable, other reviews cover it pretty well. Plenty of space to set out toiletries. I have allergies so I bring my own soap and shampoo, they provided a lemon scented body wash that my husband liked. Thrilled they had a hairdryer, since I was traveling light, I hadn't brought one. The room was very clean, well lit and comfortable. Our 17 & 19 years old sons arrived in Sweden a couple days after we had. I had originally planned to stay here only a couple days and then stay somewhere else the last couple days. I was trying to be cheap, there, I said it. After reading copious amounts of reviews I booked 2 more rooms for 2 more nights right here. We bought Stockholm cards and left the car parked in the underground bunker the Hotel referred us to in Sodermalm. It worked well. We took the train to the Arlanda Airport to get the kids. The transportation systems are enviable! The T bana is just a couple of blocks from the Hotel, at most. Since I had made multiple bookings I wasn't sure if the Hotel would be able to keep us in our happy room or move us elsewhere. As it turns out not only did we get to stay in our original room, the boys were put in a room directly across the hall from us. Couldn't get any better. Their room was perfect too. Clean and tidy, comfortable and well lit. The breakfast, which was included in the price, was just right for our family. Something for everyone, including the pescetarian. The breakfast room was nice and the buffet stayed very well stocked. The breakfast room attendant was very friendly and helpful. I got rather accustomed to having fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast, I might just have to buy a juicer if I can find one like they provided. The free wifi is a bonus when traveling, somewhere in our stay it became unavailable do to a problem with their router (?). I was thrilled, actually, a couple of facebook and Ipod free days with the boys was a treat. We had the Rick Steves Scandinavia travel guide with us, and followed his recommendations on restaurants/food et al. We ate a hearty Breakfast at the Hotel each of our 4 days. Lunch we would eat out, Grillska Huset on Stortorget one day, the Chokladkoppen 2 days and I don't remember the 4th. By dinner we often felt we had been snacking and eating so much that we just stopped at the Coop (grocery store) a couple blocks from the Hotel and grabbed something light for dinner to eat in our room. Nothing was far from the Hotel. We walked up and down the shopping street (Drottninggatan), Djugarden, Skeppsholmen and visited the Ice Bar for a drink. We visited the Modern Art Museum, the Aquarium, walked around Skanson, saw the changing of the guard, the Royal Palace. It was very cold outside and was honestly warmer in the Ice Bar that night that we were there. We took a boat as well. Our last day we all decided we would be just as happy just wandering through Gamla Stan as sightseeing anywhere else. We did the Rick Steves walking tour of Gamla Stan and shopped and were all happy with the day. We all came home with Gamla Stan souvenirs. Fortunately for our fisherman, one of the few fishing stores in Stockholm was just a few block from our Hotel, and his logo cap and shirt are treasures. We've been back home a little over a week and are planning our next trip.

Room Tip: Our room over looked Lilly Nygatan street which we enjoyed. I read it can be noisy on a party night...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank BallardBornJoanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Rica Hotel Gamla Stan for five nights at the end of March and in early April, 2013. Overall, this is an excellent small hotel. We had a room on the top (fourth) floor. We were given this because we requested a single, large bed. The bed was approximately a king, and quite comfortable. It consisted of two twin-sized box springs, with king-size foam pads totaling several inches in thickness spanning the box springs. This made for a somewhat softer-than-normal bed, but we slept well. The room had two dormer windows. These worked well: one housed the radiator, and the other a desk. Being fairly tall, I did have to be careful not to hit my head on the slanted part of the ceiling going down to the dormer. The room was a very comfortable size (many would call it large) by European standards. It had the king bed, nightstands on either side of the bed, and ample room to walk down either side of the bed. At the foot of the bed was a sitting area, with two chairs, a round table, and a sofa. The closet space was not huge, but adequate for two people.

The bathroom was also of good size, having only a shower. The shower had plenty of hot water no matter how early we started, and the pressure was good. It used a removable wand, and the arrangement worked well either as a shower or with the wand in your hand. There were even a towel warmer and a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. There was also adequate counter space to lay out a toilet kit, something often missing in hotel bathrooms.

One of the best features of the room was the lighting. There was a central light fixture on a dimmer, and when turned up, there was more than adequate light throughout the whole room at night. There were reading lights that could be turned on individually from either side of the bed. The lighting in the bathroom was also quite good.

The desk worked well, and had a good, simple, comfortable chair. There was a convenient place to plug in a computer, and the desk and chair were at the right height to comfortably use the computer. The room had Wi-Fi. We were given cards to log into the Wi-Fi at the front desk when we checked in, and told that would could have as many as needed during our stay for free. Each card provided 24 hours of access for one computer, and there was no problem using two computers at the same time (each with a different card). The bandwidth was quite good, although I wouldn't suggest trying to stream video.

The room was very clean, and it was kept clean quite well during our stay.

The radiator was quiet and did an excellent job of heating the room. Being on the fourth floor (and it being freezing plus or minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day and night the whole time we were there), the heat from the rooms below actually kept our room quite comfortable without having to use the radiator much. The windows in the room opened when we wanted fresh air. The windows were quite effective at keeping out noise when closed. Although the hotel is in a quiet location, there can be a few raucous people making noise in the middle of the night when the bars close, and you will hear these if you have the window open (but not if the window is closed). The hotel itself was very quiet: we never heard anyone else the whole time we were there.

The hotel even had an ice machine! Our room also had a mini-bar that was an ordinary refrigerator. By removing (and ultimately returning) some of the items provided, we were able to keep our own drinks cold in it.

The breakfasts (included in the room) were very good. Hot food included a good approximation to American bacon, scrambled eggs, Swedish meatballs, and Swedish pancakes. There was a nice array of cold meats; an excellent selection of cheeses, breads, and rolls; several types of juice; and coffee and tea. You could squeeze your own orange juice, and there were several types of fresh fruit most mornings. The food was kept well stocked, and we never found the breakfast area over-filled with people.

There were about three steps from the street up to the entrance to the hotel, and five steps from the lobby area to the lift (elevator). Other than those steps, the hotel was rather accessible, including the breakfast area. The lift was small (one person with luggage, two people without), but it worked reliably.

The front-desk personnel at the Rica were extremely nice and helpful. They were able to tell us how to get to wherever we wanted to go, and they always had time to help.

One tip regarding Rica hotels: you can join their frequent staying program online, and immediately get a program membership number. If you supply this number to the hotel when making a reservation, most of the hotels will give a 10% discount. Some hotels also have senior citizen discounts, although none were available when we booked the Rica Hotel Gamla Stan.

Some general notes about where to eat and stay in Stockholm and getting around may be useful. Gamla Stan is the old town, and the Royal Palace and the sights on an oft-recommended walking tour are all within a few blocks. The Rica Hotel Gamla Stan is a short two blocks to the tunnelbana or T-bana (the Stockholm metro, or subway). It is also about three blocks from a ferry that takes only 15 minutes to get to Skansen, a very large park with old buildings and demonstrations of crafts from all over Sweden, well worth at least a half day. The hotel is about four to five blocks from the Royal Palace (although that includes climbing a rather steep hill). From a sightseeing standpoint, the Rica Hotel and Gamla Stan are probably the best location to stay. However, food in Stockholm is quite expensive, and the restaurants in Gamla Stan are some of the more expensive in Stockholm. Inside and around the Central Station are a number of fast food places (the central station has a McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, several different sandwich shops, a kebab -- gyros -- place that is rather good, and a Chinese place, among others). These are not inexpensive, but they are significantly less expensive that most restaurants. When we were there, the basic meals at the fast-food places -- e.g., a hamburger, fries, and a drink -- were about 70 to 90 SEK. An entree (by itself) at one of the less expensive restaurants would typically start at 120 to 130 SEK, and soft drinks were 25 to 30 SEK and up. The T-bana stop two blocks from the Rica Hotel in Gamla Stan was only one stop from the Central Station. That made it very convenient for getting to the Central Station, and taking the T-bana or a bus to see the sights. We did find a modest pizza and pasta restaurant at the end of the next block on the street on which the Hotel Rica was located (turn right going out of the hotel). It had quite reasonable pizzas, and a very good, very large lasagna with salad for about 80 SEK.

As far as I can see, the other option for a location to stay would be near the Central Station. There are a number of hotels there, and they would be convenient to less-expensive food and to the hub for the T-bana and bus lines. However, we enjoyed the Rica Hotel very much, and the convenience to the T-bana station there and the sights at least partially offset not being immediately at the Central Station.

There are two grocery stores in the Gamla Stan T-bana station: compare prices, because one is less expensive than the other. There are also lifts (elevators) in this and most other Stockholm T-bana stations. This can be very useful if you have a problem with stairs, or if you have luggage or a stroller. There is a 7-11 about two blocks away from the Rica Hotel Gamla Stan: its prices aren't too bad, and it has hot dogs and hot sandwiches if you are looking for a light lunch in Gamla Stan. The Central Station has a COOP grocery store on the lower level that is quite large, and had the best prices we found anywhere for such things as soft drinks.

If you are going to be in Stockholm for several days, you should check into the various available transportation cards. I believe that one-, two-, and three-day cards, and week-long cards, are available, in addition to the Stockholm Card. The transportation cards cover the T-bana, the busses, and (for the week-long card) many of the ferries. The Stockholm card adds admission or a discount to a large number of museums. However, the difference in price between the Stockholm card and the week-long transportation card was such that you would have to visit a large number of museums to make the Stockholm card the better deal (particularly considering the senior discount on the transportation cards: there is no such discount for the Stockholm card). The transportation cards can be purchased from the Pressbyran (sp?) convenience stores in most T-bana stations.

If you are 65 or older, always ask for a senior discount. This is true for any admission, for the transportation cards, for train tickets, and for hotels. Some of the senior discounts are very significant. Similar discounts apply for students, if you have student ID (although check to see whether or not foreign student IDs are accepted). If you have a problem with stairs, ask if there is a lift at the major sights (e.g., the Royal Palace). There often is a lift that is not readily apparent.

The T-bana, the bus, or a combination of the two will get you almost anywhere in Stockholm. Taxis are very expensive. We took a taxi from the Central Station to the Rica Hotel, and in spite of assurances at the start that the driver knew where the hotel was located and giving him the address, he ended up shutting off his meter at 112 SEK, and spending another 10 minutes driving around until he finally found the hotel. When we left, we took the T-bana to the Central Station. Even though we had a large amount of luggage, we were able to roll it, and that plus the availability of lifts made using the T-bana quite practical.

One warning regarding the trains in Sweden: any price you are quoted online or in person at a ticket office is only good for the moment at which it is quoted. I went to the SJ ticket office at the Central Station five days in advance of travel, and asked for two tickets from Stockholm to Gothenburg. I was quoted about 424 SEK. I said I would ask my wife who was outside with our luggage if the time was OK. I returned in less than 10 minutes. The prices for all of the times during the day had approximately tripled! No one was surprised: Swedish trains are priced according to demand, and as tickets sell, prices go up.

In summary, the Rica Hotel Gamla Stan is a very nice hotel, and we felt it was an excellent value. Being close to many of the major sights and to the T-bana made it an effective and efficient choice. The size and comfort of the room and the helpfulness of the staff made staying there a neat experience. We would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: One tip regarding Rica hotels: you can join their frequent staying program online, and immediately g...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Engineer63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

This charming small hotel is situated in the Old town and is a convieniant starting point for your Stockholm visit.
Pros:
- Very nice old fashioned decoration.
- Central location , just over 100 m to the nearest MRT station
- Confortable beds
- Free wifi
- Over average breakfast standard.

Cons:
- No bar (but there are plenty nearby)
- No separate shower (just inside the tub) in our room
- Very small and old elvator (or take the steep old stairs). No place for disabled.
- No deposit box in the room.
- Poor lighting in the bathroom
- A bit expensive compared to the room standard.

Room Tip: Some rooms on the top floor have some roof top views. Just remember that the evelvator is very small...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lars W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We stayed at this hotel with friends between the 14 - 17 March 2013. What a lovely hotel it is in the Centre of Gamla Stan the historic heart of Stockholm within walking distance of all the major attractions. The staff are friendly and the rooms are of a good standard and spacious (Room 313).
Although not large the decor is of a good standard with pictures of the Royal family in the rooms and around the hotel. You do feel you are surrounded by a lot of history.The Hotel serves free tea and coffee in the reception area in the afternoon although this is not a large space. One of the great things about the hotel is the breakfast room which is light and airy with a large range of choice on offer which ranges from continental to pancakes bacon and eggs as well as meatballs. There is no reason for anyone to go hungry. The hotel provides free wi-fi. The hotel does have a lift which in itself is quant. It is small however and somewhat cramped although for our party this was not an issue. I would recommend the Hotel Rica and if it wasn't for the high cost of living in Stockholm would consider staying her again. My only observation was that the hotel does not supply the usual vanity provision in the bathroom but instead large bottles of shampoo affixed to the shower.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Keentraveller088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Charming hotel in Gamla Stan close to everything! Small comfortable room with all the comforts of home. It has an amazing breakfast buffet including fresh squeezed orange juice and three varieties of eggs! The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful. The hotel is a great base location from which you can explore Stockholm - very close to the palace, Parliament building, Opera house and downtown shopping. I will definitely be back!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank bcox0610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Scandic Gamla Stan

Address: 25 Lilla Nygatan, Stockholm 111 28, Sweden (Formerly Rica Hotel Gamla Stan)
Location: Sweden > Stockholm County > Stockholm > Gamla Stan & Riddarholmen , Södermalm
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#31 Romantic Hotel in Stockholm
#33 Luxury Hotel in Stockholm
#45 Business Hotel in Stockholm
Price Range: $141 - $264 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Scandic Gamla Stan 4*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's oldest and cosiest district. Hotel Scandic Gamla Stan is located in a charming 17th century building with a medieval atmosphere. Within walking distance of most of what Stockholm has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rica Hotel Stockholm

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