The Eras Tour-Ism Is Taking Taylor Swift Fans To Europe

The case for making concerts the new city break centerpiece.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 17: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO BOOK COVERS Taylor Swift performs at Friends Aren...
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When I landed in Stockholm on Wednesday May 15, 2024, it quickly became clear that this was not a regular day in the Swedish capital. I had barely passed customs when the demographic of tourists shifted from suited business travelers to quietly excited twenty-somethings. On the car ride to my hotel, one artist dominated the airwaves. Over the next couple of days, I would encounter countless bejeweled outfits, glittery cowboy boots, and arm-fulls of friendship bracelets. Conversations of “Taylor” drifted around every other corner.

That Friday night, Taylor Swift would perform the first of her three Eras Tour shows at the city’s Friends Arena. Of the weekend’s 150,000 concert-goers, an estimated 120,000 were expected to be traveling in from outside of Stockholm. I was among them, arriving in the city to experience a Marriott Bonvoy Moment, which included a three night stay at the Nobis Hotel Stockholm and premium tickets to see Taylor’s first ever performance in the city.

The tourism boom propelling me and other new arrivals isn’t exclusive to Sweden — according to data shared by United Airlines with Thrillist, Milan and Munich have seen a 40% increase in air travel bookings from the U.S. around each city’s Eras Tour stops. Lisbon, Madrid, and Edinburgh have seen a 25% increase. In short, Swifties are taking their fandom international.

Concert goers dressed as different Taylor Swift eras arrive for the Stockholm showCharlie Mock

All this travel begs the question: why fly longhaul and deal with jet lag when you could see the show locally? I spoke to three Swifties to find out why.

The Swiftie Catching Up With Her BFF

On night one of the Stockholm Eras Tour I meet Katherine, 25, who has flown in from New York for a seven night stay in the city. This is her second Eras Tour date (the first was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and third time seeing Taylor. A life-long Swiftie — “I still remember how excited I was when my dad got me [Taylor’s debut album] from the library,” she says — Katherine is armed with friendship bracelets and surrounded by fellow fans when I stop to say hi.

“As silly as it may sound to some people, the Eras Tour kind of became the excuse to come [to Sweden]”, she says. Katherine’s close friend lives in the country and the concert facilitated a long overdue reunion. “When we had the tickets all excuses for [not visiting] were gone. I could come hang out with my friend, see some of her country and that’s what started mattering way more.” Post-concert, Katherine visited museums and did some general sightseeing, as well as being shown around all of her friend’s favorite spots. “I got to check just about everything off my list that I wanted to do which was incredible!”

Katherine shows the friendship bracelets she had made for the Eras Tour in StockholmCharlie Mock

The Swiftie Who Found A Stubhub Bargain

Eras Tour-ism took Anna, 39, to her first ever Taylor show. Despite having been a fan since 2008 — she cites “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” as the tracks that made her a certified Swiftie — Anna didn’t get to see Taylor live until The Eras Tour in Paris this year.

“I went for the first time on May 9, 2024 and for the second time on May 10, 2024. The second night was [a] total impulse,” she says, having been able to find tickets for a little over $200 on Stubhub on the morning of the show. With resale tickets for Swift’s California dates the previous year going for anywhere between $800 and $11,000, snagging good seats for close to face value can feel too good to be true. In total, Anna spent five nights in Paris (two with Taylor) and was able to catch up with an old friend from college, visit museums and historical sights, and see the Moulin Rouge.

Anna outside the Paris La Defense Arena before attending the Eras TourAnna Mejorada

The Swiftie In Her Solo Travel Era

Hayley, 34, is a more recent convert to the Book Of Swift and was able to catch The Eras Tour in her hometown of Chicago last summer. “I left that concert fully believing it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see her live at the peak of her career,” she says, “I never anticipated being able to see the show again, especially because it was so expensive.” When the opportunity arose to see Swift for a second time in Lyon, France, Hayley jumped at it. “I still can't believe that I got a presale code,” she says, “I bought two VIP floor seats for the Lyon show and all in the total cost was less than one [resale price] ticket to the Chicago show.”

Like Anna and Katherine, Hayley has made plans around the concert to get the most out of her time abroad. She’ll start her trip by flying into Copenhagen, Denmark, and spending three days in the city solo — her plans include yoga classes, good food, and living like a local — before meeting up with a friend in Lyon for The Eras Tour. “I love the experience of attending concerts,” she says, “and being able to do so while on a trip abroad is an added bonus.”

Hayley Schueneman

So... Is The Travel Worth It?

A thousand times yes! The Eras Tour made the perfect centerpiece to a jam-packed four days in Sweden – seeing “Cruel Summer” live will not be forgotten quickly, and being among the first to see The Tortured Poets Department performed is a story I’ll tell for years. It’s true, I could barely keep my eyes open on the flight home, but more than anything I was giddy with highlights to share.

Taking a walking tour of Stockholm’s historical buildings was the ideal way to get geographically acquainted, while shopping at Acne Studios Archive and roaming through the trendy Södermalm thrift stores (think Brooklyn, but Scandinavian) showed me the fashion-forward side of the capital. We squeezed in exceptional meals – the Michellin-starred Restaurang Oxenstiernan and Operakällaren – and enjoyed a late night snack and post-concert debrief at Max, the country’s most well-known fast food joint, while some essential TikTok research directed me to Stora Bageriet (baked goods) and StikkiNikki (homemade gelato) for sweet treats.

Thanks to a strategic itinerary and the uncharacteristically warm weather, I saw more of Stockholm than I was ever expecting. The best part? It was all on top of the primary reason we were in the city to begin with.

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If a Swift-inspired city break is on your 2024 bingo card, Amsterdam, Milan, Munich, and Hamburg are among the many European cities with hundreds of tickets still available via resale sites like Stubhub. The closer the date, the lower the price: tickets for the Madrid show on May 29, 2024 are currently available for around €85, plus additional Marriott Bonvoy Moments and Eras Tour sweepstakes are set to launch throughout June and August.