16 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Stockholm
Written by Bryan Dearsley and Andrew Birbeck Updated Apr 13, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
Known as the "Venice of the North" for its many waterways and lakes, Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, lies on a number of islands and peninsulas at the outflow of Lake Mälar into the Baltic.
This vibrant, modern city offers an astounding number of historic attractions, from architectural splendors like the Royal Palace to entire neighborhoods like Gamla Stan , Stockholm's Old Town district. If you want even more history, you can visit world-class museums like the Skansen Open-Air Museum or the Stockholm Medieval Museum, and if you're here for Vikings, the Vasa Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do.
Stockholm is also home to excellent art galleries and other world-class museums, but if you want to spend more time outdoors, it offers both expansive parks and seemingly endless waterways and islands to explore. The UNESCO-listed Drottningholm Palace is just a ferry ride away, and the central location makes day trips from Stockholm easy.
To learn more about the many tourist attractions and places to visit in this attractive European city, be sure to read through our list of the best things to do in Stockholm.
1. Explore Old Town Stockholm: Gamla Stan
2. relive sweden's seafaring past at the vasa museum, 3. get your bearings aboard a stockholm boat tour, 4. be a star at abba the museum, 5. take a stroll and see the sights of djurgården, 6. skansen open-air museum, 7. tour the royal palace (sveriges kungahus), 8. fotografiska: stockholm's photography museum, 9. see historic stockholm city hall (stadshuset), 10. the national museum of fine arts: nationalmuseum, 11. moderna museet, 12. roam the royal national city park, 13. get lost in time at stockholm medieval museum (medeltidsmuseet), 14. visit storkyrkan: the great church, 15. shop 'til you drop in östermalm, 16. take in the perfect "skyview", tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to stockholm, map of attractions & things to do in stockholm, more delightful swedish destinations and day trips.
Dating from the 1200s and crammed with must-see sights, attractions, cafés, authentic restaurants, and boutique shops, the area of Gamla Stan (Old Town ) is a living, breathing museum in its own right. It's often a first stop for tourists in Stockholm and is among the most popular places to visit in Sweden .
Plenty of souvenirs and gifts are available in the Old Town, and you will find yourself transported back to medieval times as you meander through a bewildering labyrinth of tiny, winding streets, many of which lead to (or from) Stortorget, the main public square.
If you want to be sure you see all the main points of interest while learning about each site's historic significance, take a guided walking tour of Stockholm Old Town . It lasts two-and-a-half hours and includes visits to highlights like the Royal Opera House, several churches, and more.
If visiting in winter, be sure to take in the marvelous Christmas Market , Julmarknad , an experience akin to finding yourself in a real-life fairy tale and among the best Christmas markets in Europe .
Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan, or Stockholms domkyrka), the Nobel Prize Museum (Nobelmuseet), and the Royal Palace are all located here and should be high up on any Stockholm sightseeing itinerary.
The incredible Vasa battleship, the main attraction at Stockholm's brilliant Vasa Museum ( Vasamuseet ) , was intended to be the pride of the Swedish Imperial fleet. Yet, in a forerunner of the Titanic disaster centuries later, this majestic 64-gun vessel sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.
An amazing salvage operation took place in 1961, and now you can marvel at this glorious time capsule, 95 percent of which is entirely original. The three masts on the roof of the museum are not just a tourist draw; they were reconstructed to the exact height and specifications of the original masts.
This is the most visited museum in Sweden , and rightfully so. More than one million people a year come here to enjoy the different exhibitions and watch the movie on the ship's history. A variety of other historic vessels are also located on-site, including an icebreaker, a lightship, and a torpedo boat.
Entry is free if you are under 18 years of age, and the museum offers a free phone-based audio guide just for kids. The museum is open daily (except holidays), and also offers a quality on-site restaurant.
Address: Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
The sea flows through the arteries of Stockholm, and during the summer months, the city is quite literally awash with boats of all shapes and sizes. Many city-dwellers own summer houses on the islands of the skärgården (archipelago) and spend, if not the entire summer there, then most weekends. It all makes for a Friday evening commute like no other.
Bearing all this in mind, experiencing Stockholm from the water is surely a must-do for any visitor. It's also a great way to get your bearings early on in your visit. Take a sightseeing cruise under the bridges of Stockholm or hop on one of the Stromma boat excursions like the Archipelago Tour.
There are also hop-on, hop-off options with a valid ticket lasting 24 hours. Best of all, cruises are available year-round and can be just as much fun in winter.
Few pop bands from the 1970s can still garner the kind of enthusiasm among fans that Sweden's ABBA does. To celebrate the continuing interest in Scandinavia's biggest music export, ABBA The Museum opened in 2013 and has attracted young and old alike with its unique interactive exhibits.
Using state-of-the-art technology, visitors can see computerized versions of themselves not only wearing the band's most iconic outfits, but can even dance and sing along with Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid.
Other highlights include a visit to a reconstruction of their recording studio , where you can try your hand at remixing some of their best-loved tunes, as well as the unique experience of seeing Benny's original piano seemingly playing itself, but in reality, being controlled by the star from his home.
You can also enjoy a thrilling virtual helicopter ride and the Waterloo exhibit, which faithfully recreates the band's winning performance at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England.
English language audio and guided tours are available. The adjoining music-themed hotel, Pop House Hotel , is a fun place to stay, with a convenient location. It offers clean, bright, and affordable rooms, with a restaurant and gift shop located on-site.
Address: Djurgårdsvägen 68, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, the island of Djurgården draws crowds of tourists and locals alike. It's particularly busy during the summer months of long lazy days and short nights.
The park forms part of the Royal National City Park , which is the perfect place for a stroll and picnic, as well as being home to several of Stockholm's top museums and other attractions.
Scattered about are pleasant cafés, restaurants, snack bars, and hotels. You can rent bicycles to explore the forest trails or, if you're feeling adventurous, take to the waterways in a canoe. The popular Vasa Museum and ABBA the Museum are located here, as is the open-air museum Skansen and Gröna Lund amusement park.
A fun way to arrive is by ferry from Gamla Stan or Slussen , both of which are on the T-Bana. Alternatively, jump on a tram from Norrmalmstorg , take the bus, or stroll from the city center, a journey of only 15 minutes. Drop by the Djurgården visitor center for more information.
The oldest open-air museum in the world , Skansen opened in 1891 on the island of Djurgården. This is a wonderful attraction for families, particularly those with young children, although tourists of any age will enjoy the visit.
More than 150 different buildings and houses were collected from all around the country and reassembled here. On display are distinct town districts, including manor houses, a bakery, the beautiful Seglora timber church, and a pottery, all brought to life by costumed living history interpreters.
Not only will you be treated to an authentic taste of Sweden as it once was, but you'll also have fun at the wonderful Skansen Aquarium and the Children's Zoo . A wide variety of creatures can be seen at the zoo, including moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, and seals.
You can visit the aquarium for an extra fee and see more than 200 animals of all types from around the world, including not only fish but also furry friends like lemurs and many species of monkeys. For traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord pay a visit to the Solliden Restaurant.
Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 11521 Stockholm, Sweden
A visit here could be a day out in itself. Located by the water's edge on the periphery of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus) is the official residence of the King of Sweden.
Interestingly, the Queen's residence lies elsewhere. It's on the beautiful island and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Drottningholm (Queen's Island), about a 45-minute ferry ride from Stockholm and an easy day trip .
A rich taste of the once-mighty Swedish Empire, this palace is one of the largest in Europe boasting in excess of 600 rooms and several museums. Dating from the 18th century and built in Baroque style, the palace houses many gems. Here, you can see Queen Kristina's silver throne and visit the Museum of Antiquities , the Royal Armoury , the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) Museum , and the Treasury .
You won't want to miss the daily changing of the guard. Known as the Royal Guards Ceremony , it starts at 12:15pm each day (1:15pm on Sundays) and takes place in the palace's outer courtyard.
Location: Slottsbacken 1, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden
Fotografiska is Stockholm's museum of contemporary photography and hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions throughout the year. The complex encompasses a café, restaurant, store, and gallery, and from the top floor, you can enjoy one of the most enviable views over the city.
The museum is now acknowledged as one of the world's premier photography venues, and there are always a variety of themed exhibits on display, each featuring several photographers.
The museum's restaurant is just as popular as its exhibits — serving organic, sustainably-produced cuisine, the restaurant on the top floor is acclaimed as one of the city's coolest eateries. Its weekend brunch is particularly popular with locals.
The gallery also hosts cutting-edge live and club music throughout the year.
Address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 11645 Stockholm, Sweden
Nestled at the water's edge and topped by three golden crowns, the City Hall (Stockholms stadshus, or Stadshuset) is one of Stockholm's most iconic buildings and stars in countless images and postcards of the city. Dating from 1923, the hall opened on that most Swedish of dates: Midsummer's Eve.
Housed within are assembly rooms, offices, works of art, and the machinery of civil democracy. The prestigious annual Nobel Banquets are held here. Recipients dine first in Blå hallen (The Blue Hall) and then move on to the formal ball in Gyllene salen (The Golden Hall), which has no less than 18 million mosaics adorning its walls.
A particular treat is the chance to view the city from the famous tower.
Address: Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm's impressive National Museum of Fine Arts , the Nationalmuseum, is a great place to get your art fix. Sweden's national gallery, it was established in 1792 as the Royal Museum and was renamed the Nationalmuseum after moving to its present location in 1866. It was fully renovated and modernized in 2018.
The architecture alone is worth seeing, particularly the interior with its massive central staircase and large galleries. Notable among its collections are over 500,000 drawings and sketches, numerous works by the Dutch Masters, including some by Rembrandt, as well as a sizable collection of sculptures. It also boasts the world's largest collection of portrait miniatures.
Guided tours are available, and a wide range of educational programs and workshops are provided. There's also a restaurant and gift shop on-site.
Address: Södra Blasieholmshamnen, Stockholm, Sweden
At Moderna Museet , you can dip your toes into one of Europe's foremost collections of art from the 20th century to today, featuring works by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Derkert, and Matisse. The museum exhibits everything from modern classics to contemporary art, including film, photography, drawings, prints, and whimsical outdoor sculptures.
Located on picturesque Skeppsholmen island, the building of Moderna Museet was designed by Rafael Moneo, a Spanish architect.
The museum offers a world-class program of temporary exhibitions, a children's workshop, a shop, a library, and a pleasant restaurant with beautiful views of Djurgården and Strandvägen . Guided tours are available.
The museum's second gallery lies in Malmö .
Address: Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm
The right-to-roam (allemansrätten) is an indelible part of the Swedish psyche. The Royal National City Park (Kungliga nationalstadsparken) is a six-mile-long, 27 square-kilometer green space surrounding and snaking into Stockholm and encompassing three royal parks: Djurgården, Haga, and Ulriksdal .
This, the world's first national urban park , is where tourists and locals flock to unwind. The forest harbors moose, foxes, deer, and many winged beauties, including rare birds. Fun things to do include enjoying the museums, castles, theaters, sports facilities, and historic homes.
Nature lovers will be in heaven exploring wilderness areas with centuries-old oak trees, streams, lakes, marshes, enticing swimming spots, and craggy hilltops. It truly is hard to believe you're in the middle of a thriving capital city.
Address: 115 21 Stockholm
Ever wondered what life was like in medieval Europe? Pay a visit to the Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Medeltidsmuseet), and you'll find out. Situated just a short distance from the Royal Palace, this fascinating attraction was built on an actual excavation site that unearthed and preserved a number of interesting finds from the medieval period.
The museum features a number of unique period structures, including part of the original city walls from the 1500s, old brick merchant's homes and workshops, as well as part of Stockholm's original port and its buildings. Interesting exhibits detail the city's history from around the 1200s through to the mid-16th century.
English language guided tours are available, and the museum also hosts walking tours with prior arrangements. If you want to bring home a bit of medieval Stockholm, be sure to visit their gift shop.
Address: Strömparterren 3, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden
Located in the heart of Stockholm's Gamla Stan district, Storkyrkan is the city's oldest church . Also known as 'The Great Church," or Stockholms domkyrka, it was built in the 13th century and is a remarkably well-preserved example of medieval architecture.
Highlights of this simple yet impressive hall church include its brick pillar-supported vaulted ceiling, as well as the many Baroque flourishes that were added later in the 1700s. More recently, the church has been the scene of important national events, such as royal weddings and coronations.
Numerous artifacts and furnishings survive from medieval times and can be seen as part of a visit or tour.
Address: Trångsund 1, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden
If it's Stockholm designer chic you're after, then look no further. Östermalm is the most exclusive district in the city. Here, international luxury labels rub shoulders with high-class Scandinavian design.
On Biblioteksgatan, there's an abundance of flagship shops and designer boutiques, while the neighborhood around Stureplan offers plenty of posh shops — some with sky-high price tags.
Lovers of art and interior design will enjoy Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken , which are located at the beginning of Strandvägen near Nybroviken.
Many of Sweden's top antique dealers lie around the Kommendörsgatan neighborhood, and be sure to drop by Östermalmshallen for the absolute best in Swedish fresh food and produce.
Situated on Stockholm's southern fringe, SkyView takes you to the top of the world's largest spherical building , the Ericsson Globe, which is one of Stockholm's modern landmarks. From 130 meters above sea level, you'll be treated to an unforgettable view over the entire city.
Tours aboard the gondolas take about 30 minutes and depart every 10 minutes, but be prepared for long lines at peak times of the day. After the trip, sightseers can visit the restaurant and souvenir shop.
Address: Globentorget 2, 121 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Sightseeing Tours :
- A convenient and flexible way to see the city's attractions is the City Sightseeing Stockholm Hop-On Hop-Off Tour . Accompanied by an audio commentary, this double-decker bus tour visits 14 different attractions, and you can hop on and off at any of the stops.
- If you're an active traveler who wants to explore the archipelago up close, the one-day Small-Group Stockholm Archipelago Kayak Tour is for you. This eight-hour kayak tour includes all equipment and instruction, so even those without experience can give it a try. The excursion also includes coffee, tea, snacks, and a lunch cooked over a campfire.
Stockholm by Night :
- For an edgier look at the city, consider The Original Stockholm Ghost Walk and Historical Tour , a two-hour tour of the city by lantern light, where you'll hear spooky stories about spirits, vampires, myths, and mysteries as you stroll Gamla Stan's medieval streets.
- If Sweden's Viking and medieval history excite you, the Viking History Half-Day Tour is a must-do. Along the way, you'll see runic stones at Täby; discover ancient inscriptions at Granby; and stroll the medieval streets of Sweden's oldest town, Sigtuna.
- The excellent underground railway system, the Tunnelbana (T-bana), takes you almost anywhere in the city. A highly efficient and regular bus network fills in any gaps between destinations. Alternatively, take the time to walk instead, as Stockholm is a terrific city to absorb on foot. The city also has an efficient network of bicycle lanes.
Save Money :
- Although Stockholm, like most of Scandinavia, can be expensive, good value can be found if you know where to look. One way to save a few kronor is to eat a main meal during the day and opt for something lighter in the evening. The Dagens rätt or Dagens lunch (daily special) is a great way to experience authentic Swedish fare at a fraction of the cost you'd pay in the evenings.
Sweet Treats :
- Swedes love coffee and cake, and they've even come up with a verb for it: Fika. To "fika" is to drink coffee, eat something small (and usually sweet), and chat. Be sure to indulge, as the cakes and pastries are delicious.
Sweden is known for its vibrant cities and quaint towns. From Stockholm, you can venture into the picturesque countryside for fun day trips , including a visit to the university city of Uppsala . A mere 35-minute flight from the capital, the gorgeous island of Gotland is a popular place to visit on vacation. On the western side of the country, Gothenburg has a milder climate than Stockholm and more of a European feel, while to the south of Gothenburg, both Helsingborg and Malmo lie only a short hop from neighboring Denmark , across the Oresund strait.
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The most unmissable experiences in stunning Stockholm
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tockholm Stadshuset at morning
Stockholm’s attractions are legion, from abundant waterways and green space to varied neighborhoods brimming with character and enough fascinating museums to keep you busy for a lifetime.
But even if you’ve only got a few days, you can see and do plenty. Whether you’re looking for history, culture or nature, here are our suggestions for places and activities that should be at the top of your list.
Every visitor to Stockholm heads to the Old Town , and for good reason. The cobblestoned streets lined with narrow buildings in warm ochre hues are a delight to wander around, especially once you get away from the touristy main drag, Västerlånggatan.
There are major attractions here, from medieval and Renaissance churches to the huge baroque Royal Palace . Yet much of Gamla Stan’s charm comes from simpler pleasures: a quiet square, a tiny alley, a hidden courtyard, or quirky delights such as Stockholm’s smallest statue, an iron boy just 5.9in (15cm) high, looking at the moon.
Stockholm’s red-brick City Hall topped with three golden crowns has been a symbol of the city since its completion in 1923. Visits are by guided tour only, with highlights including the Blue Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year, and the opulent Golden Hall, covered in mosaics depicting key events and people in Swedish history.
Across the courtyard, the 348ft (106m) tower has spectacular 360-degree views of central Stockholm. An elevator takes you halfway up, after which there are stairs and sloping walkways to the cupola.
Stretching along the Östermalm waterfront from Nybroplan to the Djurgården bridge, Strandvägen is Stockholm’s grandest boulevard. The north side of the street is lined with turreted Art Nouveau buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Along the south side, a waterfront promenade follows a quay dotted with cafés and restaurants.
Passenger ferries and sightseeing boats bound for the archipelago load at the western end. In summer Strandvägen is Stockholm at its liveliest and most beautiful, but it’s well worth a stroll in any season.
Known for its many museums, Djurgården is also a fine destination for nature and outdoor recreation. Once a royal deer park, the island has extensive woodlands and meadows crisscrossed by walking and cycling paths. Bicycles can be rented next to the bridge at the Djurgården Visitor Center and at Sjöcaféet, which also rents kayaks, canoes and pedal boats.
For a beautiful walk or ride, follow the path along the bay and canal on Djurgården’s north side from the blue gate (Blå Porten) near the bridge. It’s a little over 2.5mi (4km) to the island’s easternmost tip. About 20 minutes from the bridge, Rosendals Trädgård makes a delightful stop, with biodynamic gardens, a farm-to-table café, and a stone-oven bakery.
This custom-built museum tells the story of one of Sweden’s greatest failures: the sinking of the warship Vasa , just 20 minutes after setting sail under great fanfare from central Stockholm in 1628. Although built as an expression of Swedish military power, Vasa was fatally unbalanced, and a strong gust of wind was enough to cause her to list. Water flowed in through the open gunports, and down she went, only 0.8mi (1.3km) into her journey and just less than 394 feet (120m) from shore.
For over three centuries Vasa lay beneath the waves before being raised from the seabed in a dramatic salvage operation in 1961. The impressively preserved ship is the museum’s star attraction, but other exhibits provide background and context to this compelling tale of epic failure and amazing recovery.
The world’s oldest open-air museum, Skansen is Sweden in miniature. Since it opened in 1891, more than 150 buildings of cultural significance have been moved here from all over the country. In many of them, you can watch people in period dress making handicrafts or performing other traditional tasks. There are also various gardens representing different regions, as well as a zoo where you can see a variety of Swedish wildlife.
If you happen to be in town for any major holidays such as Walpurgis Night, National Day, Midsummer, St. Lucia Day, or Christmas, head to Skansen to experience traditional Swedish celebrations.
ABBA: The Museum
Four decades after splitting up, ABBA remains a pop music phenomenon and Sweden’s biggest musical export of all time. If you’re a fan, don’t miss this museum packed with memorabilia, from photos and letters to the group’s elaborate stage costumes and a replica of the Polar recording studio with original instruments and equipment.
Most entertaining are the many interactive stations where you can sing with the band on a hologram stage, try your hand at mixing music, dance like your favorite ABBA-avatar, or “try on” costumes in a virtual photo shoot.
For anyone interested in Scandinavia’s past, Historiska Museet is a must. Its Viking exhibit, opened in June 2021, showcases more than 2500 artifacts, with interactive stations exploring every aspect of Viking life. Another permanent exhibit picks up where the Viking exhibit leaves off, tracing Swedish history from the year 1000 to the present day, with a timeline on the floor to guide your steps.
Below ground, the glittering Gold Room displays more than 3000 gold and silver treasures, including three 5th-century heavy gold collars and a jewel-studded gold reliquary from the 13th century.
Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen
A tranquil green oasis in the heart of the city, Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen are a perfect break from Stockholm’s urban bustle. As you walk around these small islands, beautiful views unfold in all directions, with Strandvägen and Djurgården to the north and east, and Södermalm and Gamla Stan to the south and west. There are also interesting boats to admire, from the full-rigged sailing ship af Chapman (now a hostel) to 19th-century wooden boats and a lightship docked along Östra Brobänken.
For more than 300 years, Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen were the domain of the Swedish Navy. Though military operations have moved elsewhere, the triple-tailed Swedish naval flag is still flown daily from the roof of the small citadel on Kastellholmen as a symbol that the country is at peace.
The view from Södermalm
With steep cliffs rising straight from the waterfront, Södermalm is the place to go for panoramic views of central Stockholm. One justly popular spot is Monteliusvägen, a clifftop walking path just west of Slussen, opposite Stadshuset and Riddarholmen. A bit further west, central Stockholm’s highest point, Skinnarviksberget, is a good place to soak up some sun or enjoy a picnic while gazing out at Kungsholmen and Lake Mälaren.
Alternatively, head east from Slussen to the clifftop street Fjällgatan for a magnificent view encompassing Djurgården, Kastellholmen, Skeppsholmen, Gamla Stan and beyond.
Stockholm by boat
Stockholm may not be the only city dubbed the Venice of the North, but one thing is certain – you haven’t really seen the city until you’ve seen it from the water. At the very least, hop on the Djurgården passenger ferry for the 7-minute trip between Slussen and Djurgården.
For something more informative, take a Historical Canal Tour (scheduled to reopen again in 2022) around the islands of Kungsholmen and Långholmen, circle Djurgården on the Royal Canal Tour or travel Under the Bridges of Stockholm to visit both the Baltic and the Lake Mälaren sides of the city. Alternatively, choose one of the hop-on-hop-off boats that travel between key attractions on the Baltic side of Stockholm.
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Stockholm Travel Guide
Courtesy of Domingo Leiva/Getty Images
8 Best Things To Do in Stockholm
Updated May 8, 2023
Stockholm is a great escape for the relaxed urban traveler. Here you can take a public ferry to the picturesque Gamla Stan or take a leisurely stroll among the relaxing grounds of the lush Djurgården park island. The capital is also perfect for those
- All Things To Do
Gamla Stan (Old Town) Gamla Stan (Old Town) free
In Stockholm, travelers don't necessarily need to venture to one of the city's museums to learn about its past. Instead, stroll through Gamla Stan, the neighborhood where Stockholm itself was founded in 1252. Cobblestone streets, winding alleyways and colorful, classic architecture abound, creating a medieval atmosphere visitors can't seem to get enough of. But Gamla Stan's charming ambience isn't all the area has going for it. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's top attractions, including the Stockholm Cathedral, Parliament, the Nobel Museum (which houses exhibits about the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureates) and the Royal Palace . Gamla Stan is also where you'll find Stockholm's oldest street, Köpmangatan, and Mårten Trotzigs gränd alleyway, the city's narrowest pathway at only 35 inches wide at its smallest point.
Though travelers said there are plenty of cafes, shops and attractions here, some reviewers found Gamla Stan to be a tourist trap. Visitors said restaurants are often overpriced, and some were put off by the kitschy shops that catered to tourists. However, you don't have to spend money to get the best of Gamla Stan. Many tourists enjoyed simply strolling around the area and recommended everyone do the same, as they felt the scenery was the neighborhood's best asset. Gamla Stan is completely free to stroll through and aside from the various businesses that dot the area, is open for exploration 24 hours a day. For more information, visit the Stockholm Tourism Board's website .
Djurgården Djurgården free
In Stockholm, you don't have to travel far to experience the famous Swedish countryside. At Djurgården, you can get exactly that and so much more. The island of Djurgården is situated right next to the city center, accessible via various forms of public transportation (ferries included), as well as on foot thanks to the numerous bridges that connect to it from Östermalm. The island is one big green oasis, perfect for biking, strolling or picnicking. But there's more to this giant park than meets the eye. What lies within Djurgården is a treasure trove of activities, including some of the city's top attractions. Here, you'll find Rosendals Garden , Skansen , the Vasa Museum and 21 other museums, including one dedicated solely to the Swedish pop group ABBA. There's also an aquarium and amusement park, perfect for traveling families.
But don't worry, there are still plenty of spaces to unwind. Hit up one of the island's many coastal or canal pathways, or rest your legs at Isbladskärret, a small lake area home to numerous different types of birds and small herd of Scottish Highland cattle. In addition, there are plenty of eateries scattered around the island (previous visitors particularly recommend getting a bite at the greenhouse cafe at Rosendals).
Monteliusvagen Monteliusvagen free
If you're the kind of traveler who can't leave a new city without experiencing a vista or two, consider a walk along Monteliusvagen. At less than a half-mile long, this cobblestone-lined pathway may seem modest at first, but the views it offers of the Stockholm skyline pack a punch. The scenic path is perched atop the cliffs of Södermalm and faces Lake Mälaren, Riddarholmen (the small island adjacent to Gamla Stan ) and city hall, where some of the annual Nobel Prize award ceremonies and banquets are held. Sodermalm, the area where the Monteliusvagen is located, is akin to SoHo in New York City. The trendy neighborhood features a variety of shopping options, from designer to vintage stores, art galleries, bars and restaurants. And if you're still itching for more views during your time in Sodermalm, walk about a mile east and you'll hit the Fjällgatan viewpoint, found conveniently above Fotografiska .
Recent visitors said this short stroll is lovely and best experienced at sunrise or sunset. Some suggested taking food for a small picnic at the available benches, while others said those interested in photography would be hard-pressed to find a better place to take a photo of the city. Whichever way you choose to experience Monteliusvagen, you'll be greeted with fantastic views, according to reviewers.
Stockholm Archipelago Cruise with Guide
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Vasa Museum Vasa Museum
On its maiden voyage in 1628, the most powerful warship in the Baltic, the Vasa , was afloat only minutes before capsizing in front of stunned onlookers in the city's harbor. Hundreds of years later, the massive, 226-foot-long ship was completely salvaged. The ship was so big that it took more than a year for it to be raised from the surface of the seabed. The Vasa has been put back together and extensively restored since then, with more than 95 percent of the ship originally intact. Thanks to this meticulous restoration, the ship is considered the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world and the oldest fully preserved warship in the world. Today, the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, drawing in more than one million visitors a year.
In addition to the majestic ship, the museum houses a number of interesting exhibits about the vessel's history, including a look into what life was like at sea during that era, stories of the people onboard and a collection of artistic relics found on the ship. But the pinnacle for travelers is touring the Vasa itself. Recent visitors were in complete awe of the ship's incredible size and were amazed at the quality of preservation down to the smallest detail. Even those who admitted the attraction wasn't initially at the top of their must-see list left the Vasa Museum with a better understanding of why this facility is considered one of the city's top attractions. And speaking of the museum's popularity, don't be surprised if you encounter long lines and crowds during Stockholm's peak season (summer).
Founded in 1891, Skansen is not only the world's first open-air museum, but also its oldest. The attraction illustrates five centuries of Swedish history through its showcase of 150 historical homes and farmsteads sourced from different parts of Sweden. Visitors can stroll through an 18th-century wooden church, a farmstead from northern Sweden and the town quarter, which consists of various 18th- and 19th-century homes and shops as well as period garb-clad historical interpreters who can also showcase traditional activities, such as spinning and knitting, among many others. Skansen is also home to a zoo, which features 75 different species and breeds of Scandinavian animals, including wolverines, otters and Scandinavian brown bears, to name a few. And if you start to feel peckish during your tour, there are five fine and casual dining options to choose from on-site.
Recent visitors thoroughly enjoyed their time at Skansen. Travelers said the place is so big, you could easily spend all day there and never get bored. Many in particular loved the zoo animals and said this is a great place to bring kids. What's more, historical interpreters speak English (among other languages), so visitors were happy they didn't miss out on presentations offered. And if you're visiting in the warmer months, some recommend having a picnic among the property's scenic landscape.
Rosendals Garden (Rosendals Tradgard) Rosendals Garden (Rosendals Tradgard) free
Rosendals Trädgård is a public garden located on the island of Djurgården. When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, or simply a scenic place to rest your feet, Rosendals is your answer. The attraction is a market garden outfitted with fields, a rose garden, orchard, flower beds, a vineyard and green houses, offering plenty of opportunities to unwind alongside nature. There's also an educational garden specifically for children. In addition to plenty of green spaces, there is an artisanal bakery, farm shop that sells biodynamically grown veggies and a plant shop. In the summer months, visitors can go out and pick flowers for purchase on the property. There is also the regularly lauded Greenhouse Cafe. Located right alongside gardens of its own, the cafe serves casual bites, primarily sourcing from the veggies grown on-site. And recent visitors can taste the freshness. Many travelers found the food served at the cafe and bakery to be delicious, and dining alongside gardens significantly enhanced their experience. Others were happy they brushed elbows more Swedish people than tourists here.
Unless you plan on eating or purchasing something at the on-site shop, the Rosendal's Garden is free to explore. Hours, however, vary. From May to September the attraction is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (though closed from June 24th to 26th for Midsummer) and from October to December the garden is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Due to weather conditions, the gardens are closed to the public from January to April. To get to Rosendals, take the No. 69 bus to the Djurgården stop, walk over the bridge and follow the canal; signs to the gardens will become present. For more information, check out the garden's website .
Stockholm is full of unique museums. There's one dedicated to the band ABBA, another to a sunken warship (the Vasa Museum ), and of course there's Skansen , the world's first open-air museum. Fotografiska stands out in that it is entirely made up of contemporary photography. The museum presents four large exhibitions and 15 to 20 smaller exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing a variety of photography styles and subjects. Portraits, landscapes, black and white photos, series about war and even pregnancy have passed through Fotografiska. The museum aims to present a mix of unknown talents as well as big international names, some of which have included Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Nick Brandt.
Recent visitors offered mixed reviews of Fotografiska. Many travelers enjoyed the museum, raving about the interesting and thought-provoking photographs, while others felt the attraction was overhyped and overpriced. Some of those, however, admitted they weren't photography buffs to begin with. But what many did agree on was the top-notch dining options, as well as the stunning views of the waterways found within.
Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet)
While Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia actually live at Drottningholm Palace (some 20 minutes west of Stockholm), Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace) serves as their workplace and is the setting for most official receptions. It's also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are allowed to tour the Royal Apartments, Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. The name apartments are given to signify a series of state rooms, and there are about four different sets of apartments within the Royal Apartments including the Orders of the Chivalry, Guest, State and Bernadotte apartments – the latter of which contains 14 rooms alone. And we haven't even gotten into what's in the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. Safe to say it would be hard to see the palace in one afternoon. But if you are short on time, don't miss royal relics, including crowns and swords, found in the Treasury, or the Hall of State, found in the Royal Apartments. Today, the Hall of State acts as the venue for official functions, but up until 1975 it was the meeting place for parliamentary sessions. It's also the home of a silver throne that was gifted to the former Queen Kristina for her coronation in the 17th century. Whichever room you decide to venture into, expect truly grandiose interiors throughout.
Visitors were definitely impressed with the magnificent architecture and decor of the palace, and had a few suggestions on how to tackle the massive attraction. Many considered the Armoury a must-visit, as well as the changing of the guards ceremony. Others highly recommended paying extra for a guided tour, which some said greatly enhanced their experience of the palace. However you decide to tour the attraction, don't get discouraged if you don't see it all. With more than 600 rooms, it's one of the biggest palaces in Europe.
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15 Things to See & Do in Stockholm
Discover one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval centres, enormous palaces, and an array of stunning museums – all spread out over 14 gorgeous islands. Welcome to Stockholm, Sweden’s enthralling, elegant capital.
Whether you’re here for a Swedish honeymoon , city break, or Scandinavian road trip, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Stockholm. It’s a calm and charming capital city that boasts a surprising mix of cultural sights, outdoor fun, and fabulous cuisine.
To get inspired, read on to explore 15 of the best things to see and do in Stockholm.
1. Marvel at the beautiful Gamla Stan
On a visit to Stockholm, you’ll likely head to the city centre first. That’s Gamla Stan, the enchanting Old Town. With its pristine cobbled streets and colourful buildings, you’re sure to fall completely in love.
The bustling Stortorget square is one highlight of this fairy-tale district, perfectly placed to stop for a drink or just to watch people pass. Explore the attractive pedestrianised roads beyond the main square and you’ll find a rich array of delightful bars, cafés, and shops – plus so much more too.
Of course, Gamla Stan hosts many of Stockholm’s top tourist attractions as well, including the Royal Palace and the Stockholm Cathedral.
- Explore Stockholm on one of these top Swedish vacation packages
2. Discover world-class museums at Djurgården
Of Stockholm’s islands, one of the most popular to visit is Djurgården. It makes up a large part of the Royal National City Park, where local Stockholmers go to relax among the abundant forests and meadows.
For visitors to the city, the biggest draw to Djurgården is the island’s incredible array of museums. There’s really something for everyone.
ABBA the Museum, for example, tells the story of the career of Sweden’s greatest musical export. Here, you’ll get the chance to dress like ABBA, sing along, and write music yourself.
Alternatively, the Nordic Museum takes you further back in time, to the very origins of Swedish history. Or there’s Skansen, an open-air museum that shares exhibits on Sweden’s traditional people and ways of life.
Don’t miss the Vasa Museum, one of the most visited museums in all of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). It’s home to the world’s only preserved 17th-century boat, that sank in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage back in 1628. It’s an impressive, tangible part of history.
- Related: Top cities and towns in Sweden to visit
3. Explore Stockholm’s waterways
You may have heard people refer to the Swedish capital as the “Venice of the North”, thanks to its many waterways and splendid early modern architecture. Yet the similarities end there, and the city’s nickname doesn’t really do justice to Stockholm’s relationship with the water that surrounds it.
The whole Stockholm archipelago spreads across 80 kilometres (50 miles) and over 30,000 islands, divided by channels you can explore by boat. These range from the tiniest uninhabited islets to well-developed and bustling holiday resorts.
No visit to the city would be complete without taking to the water. In fact, it could be one of the most romantic things to do in Stockholm.
4. Take a dip in Lake Mälaren
Continuing your journey on Stockholm’s waters, why not visit Lake Mälaren, Sweden’s third-largest freshwater lake? Its easternmost bays are on the outskirts of the city and easily accessed from the centre.
If the city’s waters tempt you to a swim, Lake Mälaren is the best place to do it. In the summer, you’ll be in plenty of company. In fact, Stockholmers have been swimming here for centuries and the city’s warm summers make a dip a very attractive idea.
If not, Lake Mälaren also offers the opportunity for wildlife walks and scenic views. It’s definitely worth the trip out of town.
- Head to Stockholm during the warmest months of the year on a Sweden summer tour
5. Get lost in the vast Royal Palace
Back on dry land, one of the most fascinating ways to spend a day in Stockholm is in Gamla Stan’s Royal Palace. While still the official residence of the Swedish royal family, this 18th-century building is one of Stockholm’s most visited sights.
The Royal Palace is also among Europe’s largest palaces, boasting over 600 rooms. But the King of Sweden still works here today, so you won’t be able to visit them all yourself.
Nonetheless, the Palace offers an amazing amount to see and do. The Royal Apartments, for example, give you a glimpse into the real life of Scandinavian royalty. And the Museum of Antiquities is renowned for its collection of 17th-century Italian sculpture.
- Discover more palaces and castles on these Scandinavian royalty tours
6. Join the fun at Gröna Lund amusement park
We said that the island of Djurgården has something for everyone. For families on holiday in Sweden , and the young at heart, the island’s famed amusement park – Gröna Lund – is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Thanks to its city-centre location, Gröna Lund is smaller than the amusement parks you might be familiar with. Yet its miniature size doesn’t limit its offering, with rides that range from the thrilling to the family friendly.
In the evening, you could attend concerts by international musical artists. Seeing a gig beneath Stockholm’s long sunsets could be one of the best things to do in Stockholm at night!
7. Witness the history of geniuses at the Nobel Prize Museum
Sweden is the home of the Nobel Prize , the annual awards recognising some of the greatest minds in literature, science, and more. If you’re interested in the history and winners of the prize – and even if you didn’t think you were interested – there’s plenty of awesome things to see.
Of course, the Nobel Prize Museum is one of the best places for you to start. Its permanent exhibitions share an important story about the history of creativity. And you can enjoy guided tours, DJ sets, and events from Nobel laureates too.
8. Unwind in one of Stockholm’s spas
One of the best things to do in Stockholm as a couple is to visit a spa. With fantastic options across the city, you’ll be truly spoiled for choice.
Centralbadet, in the heart of Gamla Stan, is an ideal option for visitors. In a building dating back to 1904, you’ll find a typical Nordic sauna, an incredible swimming pool, and everything you’ll need to while away the afternoon.
Alternatively, to the southwest of the city, discover the Hellasgården park and lake. Stockholmers come here to dip in the ice pool before heading to the nearby sauna.
- Related: Nordic spa and wellness traditions
9. Try authentic Swedish food
Scandinavian cuisine is an increasingly popular option in hip eateries around the world. Yet one of the best places to try it in all its glory is Stockholm.
Check out the city’s food courts to sample the pastries, sweets, meats, or beers on offer. The Östermalm Market Hall, for example, is a Stockholm institution to the north of Gamla Stan. Alternatively, in the summer at Hornstulls Marknad, you’ll find contemporary street food stalls lining the waterway.
Of course, while you’re in town, try traditional Swedish delicacies such as Swedish meatballs (köttbullar), fried or cured fish, and reindeer. They’re easy to sample in many of Gamla Stan’s historic restaurants.
- Delve into the secrets of Sweden on these history and culture Scandinavia tours
10. Stroll around Södermalm
If you want seriously cool things to do in Stockholm, you’ll need to head to Södermalm – or just Söder, as the locals call it. It’s a district known for its hip and relaxed atmosphere, as well as its creative and trendy residents.
Explore vintage stores and boutiques, coffee shops and galleries, and bars open long into the night. For an afternoon stroll, there’s really nowhere better.
Södermalm is also where you can enjoy some of the best views over the city. The Skinnarviksberget, for example, is the highest point in Stockholm.
11. Visit the photography museum at Fotografiska
One truly unmissable destination in Södermalm is Fotografiska, Stockholm’s renowned photography museum. But like everything in this surprising district, Fotografiska is far from your normal gallery space.
That means you won’t find museum staples like permanent exhibitions or works for sale. Rather, Fotografiska’s work aims to inspire a better world through the medium of photography. As a result, it’s all about the experience – including political exhibitions, events, fine dining, and more.
Unsurprisingly, Fotografiska also has one of the coolest bars in this part of town.
12. Take the metro
Now, you might not think it sounds much like a destination. But Stockholm’s extensive metro is more than just a transit system. It’s a unique art gallery that’s worth a visit on its own.
Journey along Stockholm’s metro and you’ll see its diverse surprises yourself. Each station is eccentrically decorated in artworks, sculpture, rock formations, and mosaics, created by over 150 different local artists.
It’s an important part of Stockholm’s culture and a testament to its residents’ creativity. Try the blue line, which has some of the most exciting displays.
- Related: Cool facts about Sweden
13. Go to a show at the Royal Swedish Opera
If you’re looking for glamorous things to do in Stockholm at night, a trip to the Royal Swedish Opera might be the answer. Set in the 18th-century opera house across the water from the Royal Palace, this is the home of elegance, high culture, and serious talent.
Whether you want ballet, opera, or just a powerful symphony, you’ll find it on the programme here. Winter is a magical time to catch a performance. And during the summer you may have the opportunity to see the Royal Swedish Ballet perform in Vitabergsparken, a public park in Södermalm.
- Related: Guide to Sweden in summer & Guide to Sweden in winter
14. Climb the tower at Stockholm City Hall
With its solid red-brick façade and iconic tower, the Stockholm City Hall is one of the most recognisable features of the city’s skyline. It’s primarily an official building, hosting political and cultural events.
A look inside makes for a rewarding visit. For example, you can see the hall that hosts the Nobel banquet, where the world’s greatest minds receive their awards.
The highlight of the City Hall is the tower itself. Climb to the top to reach the three crowns of Sweden’s national coat of arms. It’s a truly jaw-dropping view over the city.
15. Chill out with fika
Finally, a trip to Sweden wouldn’t be complete without sampling one of Sweden’s best-loved traditions: fika .
Fika is the simple act of taking time out to enjoy a cup of coffee (or kaffi , in Swedish) and a snack. Yet the Swedes have made this ritual into an art. Fika’s not about just enjoying a pick-me-up. Rather, it’s time to socialise, check in with each other, and unwind.
You can enjoy fika at any café in Stockholm, in Gamla Stan or Södermalm.
- Related: The Swedish art of fika
Explore the best of Stockholm’s things to see with Nordic Visitor
Palaces and parks, saunas and spas, museums and markets – now you know what to do in Stockholm.
Book a trip with Nordic Visitor and we’ll take all the hassle out of your visit. We’ll organise your accommodation, activities, and regional transport in Sweden, plus any onward tours around Scandinavia.
What’s more, we’ll provide all the insights you need to experience Stockholm to the fullest. Our local travel experts are based in the Swedish capital and will share the best cultural highlights to suit you, as well as the top places to eat, drink, and relax too.
You could opt for an independent train trip or self-drive tour of Sweden to explore at your own pace. Or choose a small group tour of Scandinavia to discover Stockholm and other exciting places in the region, like Copenhagen and Oslo, with an expert guide.
Come and experience Stockholm for yourself. Get in touch to start your trip .
Wanderlust has taken Emma across much of the world, but it was Scotland that she made her adopted home. Aside from enjoying countryside walks, campervan weekends and gigs in Glasgow, you’ll often find her writing about European travel and plotting her next trip.
We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.
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5 Absolutely stunning places you should visit near Stockholm
I had been dreaming of visiting Stockholm for a very long time and it absolutely did not disappoint. I fell in love with the amazing locals and their approach to living a happy, world-healthy, inclusive lifestyle. I adored the mix of old and new, the delicious food and the incredible history. What I didn’t expect, was to leave Stockholm and fall even more in love with its surrounds. As part of our media trip, we were taken to places I had never even thought to visit, places I had never even heard about! If you’re thinking about visiting Stockholm and really want to make the most of your time and see more than the gorgeous city, I suggest visiting one, two (or ALL) of these beautiful spots. Here are 5 absolutely stunning places you should visit near Stockholm.
But first, watch this…
You’ll find Djurönäset , a hotel/resort, in Djurhamn, 40 minutes outside Stockholm but it’ll feel like you’re an absolute world away. If you don’t have access to a car you can catch the bus direct , which will take you around 50 minutes or so. There are scheduled local buses from Slussen Station in Stockholm (434 and 433) which will take you right there, just keep an eye out for the Djurönäset bus stop sign. Once there, you’ll have officially arrived in the Stockholm Archipelago and will be treated to some absolutely stunning scenery. We visited in summer and took an afternoon stroll around the property, wandering through some of the most beautiful woodlands I’ve ever seen – it was like stepping into a Swedish fairytale. We ended up along the water, sparkling under the afternoon sun and the perfect spot to just sit and relax for a while.
We spent the night at the hotel , dining at the on-site restaurant. The hotel has an almost old-world feel to it. I’ve never been on a summer vacation (in the American sense) but that’s what I imagine it to be like. Everyone was outdoors, making the absolute most of the beautiful weather and long summer days. It felt like we had escaped to the water for the weekend, living it up and lapping it up. I loved how peaceful it felt here and loved how easy it was to get from the centre of Stockholm. It’s a beautiful destination to just relax in a naturally beautiful place and escape the city, it’s also perfect for anyone wanting to see more of Stockholm but only has one or two nights (at a stretch) to spare.
Of all the places we visited in Stockholm’s Archipelago, I have to say Sandhamn was my favourite. There was just a magical feel the to island, it was one of those really special places that stay in your heart long after you’ve left. A little further away, it’ll take you close to two hours to get to Sandhamn, requiring a bus and ferry ride (that considered, 2 hours isn’t bad and the ferry ride is pretty gorgeous) The Destination Sandhamn website has some really great insight on how to get there.
We stayed at the Sandhamn Seglarhotel & Pub Almagrundet , a fantastic and historic spot located right in the heart of town along the water. The food here is delicious and, even if you aren’t staying there, I’d recommend popping in for lunch or dinner. Other top spots to grab a bite include Café Ankaret and The Inn Sandhamns Värdshus . We got the chance to explore the island on a guided tour with a very knowledgeable local, Peder Strauss of Sandhamns Guiderna, who also runs some very fun Rib Boat tours out to surrounding areas (another must do!) I loved exploring the picture-perfect forest hidden behind the main parts of town and watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen from the top of a rocky outlook. I loved this place and would really recommend making the time to visit – it’s probably best suited to those with 2 nights to spare but could also be done with one night, provided you got out there early to make the most of it.
I didn’t know what to expect before we visited Uppsala , like the other places I’ve written about I hadn’t heard of it. Funny thing, though, Uppsala has actually had a far greater impact on the world and our lives than we realise. This ancient city, founded in the 15th Century (damn, that’s old!), is known for being a University town. What’s so incredible about it, other than the beautiful old buildings you see everywhere, is the number of historically influential figures who studied, taught and lived in Uppsala, like Carl Linnaeus , the man responsible for formalising the modern naming system for organisms.
Seriously, it sounds nerdy, but Uppsala is amazing! We took a guided walking tour with local, Hans Odöö , and learned so much about just how many important and wonderful things happened in Uppsala. There are some fantastic museums around town, including a pretty incredible anatomical theatre. I definitely recommend joining a tour, to make the most of your time, as well as visiting the Linnaeus house, museum and beautiful gardens , the beautiful Uppsala Cathedral and more. You can get to Uppsala bus, which should take around 1 1/2 hours, and Destination Uppsala has some great information on how to get there . We stayed at the Clarion Hotel Gillet , which was really lovely and perfectly located, and dined at Miss Voon (a must-do!). I’d recommend Uppsala as a great spot for anyone with even a remote interest in history (trust me, it’s not lame, it’s amazing!). You could reasonably spend one night in Uppsala.
Another historically significant destination well-worth visiting, Sigtuna is conveniently located close by to Stockholm’s Airport. This makes it a really easy spot to pop on your itinerary, with one night in Sigtuna offering you enough time to get a feel for the lovely little town. Similar to Uppsala, Sigtuna offers an incredible amount of history, but this time you’ll find yourself lost in a world of Vikings. Sigtuna dates back to around 970AD (damnnn!) and is home to some amazing Viking artefacts, museums and stories, making it the perfect place to really get your history on and experience old-world Sweden.
We stayed at the Stora Bränbo , a really comfortable little spot in a great location. I’d definitely encourage visitors to join a guided tour of the city, just because there’s so much to see and you might walk past some really beautiful things if you don’t know where to look. Be sure to check out the Sigtuna Museum and, if you have time and transport, a visit to Rosersberg Palace is worthwhile too. Funnily enough, one of my all-time favourite meals in Sweden happened in Sigtuna at the Hotell Kristina , where the focus is on organic produce so the food has incredible flavour! Another great spot to grab a bite is the Sigtuna City Hotel , which serves up really delicious meals for in-house guests and visitors.
Located in the southern part of the Stockholm Archipelago it’s a little more effort to get to Utö but it’s well worth it. The Utö website offers some great detail on how to get there . The island here has a certain old-world peace to it, where you feel you could easily spend your days riding around on bikes, pausing to picnic at perfect lookout spots, exploring cliffs and beaches or reading a good book under the shade of a lovely old tree. Aside from the beautiful nature and a very fascinating history Utö is also home to Sweden’s oldest iron mines and you can spot old, preserved dwellings on the island as well as visit the mining museum.
To be honest, though, the real drawcard for Utö is the scenery. Rent a bike and explore by yourself, paddle around the stunning water on a canoe, play tennis, minigolf, boule or mini-golf, join a guided tour or simply relax and unwind on one of the gorgeous beaches. For the very best views of the area, be sure to visit the old windmill, dating back to 1719. We stayed and dined at The Inn Utö Värdshus Hotel, a historic spot that also serves up great meals. Be sure to visit the famous local bakery to try their renowned Utö bread . A trip to Utö is probably best suited to those with a couple of days to spare or adding a visit to an itinerary to explore the Archipelago.
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Stockholm Archipelago: 8 amazing islands near the city
Even if you’re just in Stockholm for a few days, taking a day trip into the amazing archipelago that stretches east from the city can be one of the most rewarding parts of your visit.
The Stockholm Archipelago is made up of tens of thousands of idyllic islands.
Needless to say, you won’t see them all. But it’s definitely worth exploring a few if you have the time, especially during the warmer months, when there’s endless potential for barbecuing, swimming and overnight stays.
Every summer, it seems like half of Stockholm’s population disappears into the archipelago to escape from the bustle of city life.
How many islands are in the Stockholm archipelago?
There are more than 24,000 islands to choose from, some with lively communities and others with nothing but serene rocky landscapes and stunning views of the Baltic Sea.
Some of the islands can be difficult to reach without your own boat, so we’ve put together a list of eight islands that can be visited easily using public ferries, and without shelling out for a guided tour (though there are some great ones available ).
Guided tours to the islands
If you really want to get away from it all, consider this private sailing tour , which takes you out to some of the lesser-visited islands in the archipelago.
You’ll even get the chance to visit a deserted island where you can swim, sunbathe and eat lunch before heading back to the city!
A slightly cheaper option is this guided kayaking trip into the Stockholm Archipelago . Run in small groups, it lets you spend a full day exploring with nice breaks for lunch and a traditional Swedish fika .
And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, how about this self-guided three-day kayak and camping trip ? All the camping and kayaking gear is provided, plus maps and compasses, so all you need to do is to head off and explore. You can set up camp on whichever island takes your fancy – a great way to really explore the archipelago.
But if you’re short of time and fancy a high-adrenaline trip to the Stockholm Archipelago, why not try this RIB tour ? It takes you past some of Stockholm’s waterfront sights, before whizzing out to explore some of the nearer islands.
Which islands can be visited from Stockholm on a day trip?
There are commuter cruise lines that connect many of the best locations to Stockholm proper, which makes planning an island day trip a total breeze.
One of the easiest islands to visit from Stockholm on a day-trip is Fjäderholmarna.
It’s just a thirty-minute boat ride away from the city centre, with ferries running regularly throughout the day. For more on Fjäderholmarna, see below.
Other islands within easy distance of Stockholm and good for day trips include Vaxholm, Dalarö and Gustavsberg, on the island of Värmdö, but just a 20-minute drive from the city.
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Get up to 50% off at Stockholm's top attractions, including the Vasa Museum, SkyView Stockholm and The Viking Museum, plus discounts on some of the city's best boat trips.
Is it worth visiting the islands in winter?
Although much of the archipelago freezes over in winter, routes to some of main islands are kept clear.
Indeed, many locals feel that the Stockholm Archipelago is at its best in winter, when it’s quiet with a picturesque covering of snow, and ice floating in the sea.
This Winter Kayaking and Fika Experience is a great way to see the islands of the archipelago in winter at their most atmospheric.
Alternatively, you can wrap up warm and cosy beneath reindeer skins or blankets and enjoy the views on this winter cruise around the island of Fjäderholmarna.
For more on visiting Stockholm in winter, click here .
Boats to the archipelago
The best and most affordable ferry company serving the Stockholm Archipelago is called Waxholmsbolaget .
Their English-language website is the best place to check for times, prices and other journey information, or just as easily use the Google Maps app on your phone to route the trip (it’s usually quite accurate).
This is the ferry company that locals and islanders tend to use.
The Waxholmsbolaget ferry terminal is at Strömkajen, just a few minutes’ walk from Kungsträdgården in the centre of the city.
Look for the geometric brass building by the water and you’ll see the boats docking right there.
There’s no need to book tickets in advance; you can buy onboard quickly and easily.
Another transport option is the Cinderella and Strömma Kanalbolaget boats from the pier at Strandvägen.
These sometimes have faster connections, but are also pricier and need to be booked in advance, and only run from the end of April to mid-October.
How to get around once you arrive at an island
Some islands such as Vaxholm are connected to the mainland by road bridge, so you can simply drive around them, or take the bus.
Others, such as Svartsö, are only accessible by boat and are best explored by renting a bike, walking or hiring kayaks.
So which islands should you visit?
All of the islands we’ve recommended are served by both ferry companies – for some of the year, at least – and are easy to visit from Stockholm.
Honestly, the little group of islands known as Fjäderholmarna is so close to the city centre that the only acceptable excuse for missing it is bad weather.
Fjäderholmarna is super easy to reach from Strömkajen (under 30 minutes by ferry), and is perfect if you want to make a quick half-day trip into the archipelago without spending much cash or travelling too far away from the city centre.
The one-way trip costs around 78 SEK on the Waxholmsbolaget ferry (Cinderella ferries also cover this route, but they are slower and more expensive).
Be aware that you may not get to see a specific sign or hear an announcement when you arrive because Fjäderholmarna is so close – if you get confused, just ask the captain to make sure you get to the right place.
Once you get to Stora Fjäderholmen, the main island, you can take a stroll along the seafront, or go on a short hike into the forest trails that run through the middle of the island.
Alternatively, play a few fun rounds of boule at Röda Villan, a popular restaurant set in a red wooden house that’s surrounded by mature trees.
Fjäderholmarna is a bit of a hotspot for artist studios, so there are lots of places to browse and buy handcrafted goods, from jewellery and ceramics to glassware.
A quiet road loops around the whole island, making it nice and easy to find the dock when you’re ready to head back to the city.
Vaxholm is known as the gateway to Stockholm’s archipelago – it’s relatively close to the city centre and is connected to the mainland by a bridge, but it’s also the first stop for most ferries heading further out into the archipelago.
To get there from Strömkajen in central Stockholm, take a Waxholmsbolaget ferry. A one-way journey costs 97 SEK and takes between one hour and 90 minutes, depending on what time of day you leave.
During summer, Cinderella boats also make the journey from Strandvägen in around 50 minutes, but you can expect to pay around 165 SEK for a one-way trip.
Vaxholm is a cute little hub that is a lot more developed than other islands in the archipelago.
Just be aware that, thanks to its proximity to the city, it can get very busy – especially during July and August, when coaches empty hoards of tourists onto the streets.
The boats to the island can also be busy. On the upside, Vaxholm is easy to get to, and there’s usually something going on, even outside of the main tourist season.
On arrival, you’ll probably want to explore the old town, where twisting alleyways are lined with picturesque houses, then peek into some of the island’s many souvenir shops and cafés.
If you’re a bit of a history buff you’ll want to visit Vaxholms Fästning, the huge fortress that was built to protect the capital from Russian invasion in 1544.
From mid-may to mid-September, boats run between Vaxholm and the fort every 15 minutes for 57 SEK per adult.
If you’re taking a Waxholmsbolaget ferry to Vaxholm, it may also make a stop at the fortress – ask the captain.
If you want to stay on Vaxholm, the Waxholms Hotell is located right by the ferry terminal, or try Kastellet Bed and Breakfast , at the fortress.
Grinda is often talked about as the bathing paradise of Stockholm – people from all over the city head there during the weekends to get their share of sun, swim and relaxation during the summer.
The Waxholmsbolaget ferry to Grinda costs around 116 SEK and takes about two hours, 30 minutes (compared to around 80 minutes on the more expensive Cinderella boat from Strandvägen).
It makes sense to get off at Södra (south) Grinda since you sometimes have to change boats to reach Norra bryggan (the northern boat dock).
Grinda is almost completely owned by Skärgårdsstiftelsen (the Archipelago Foundation), which helps to preserve the island’s natural beauty.
This makes Grinda particularly lush and clean, with totally free access to explore the forest or swim to your heart’s content.
You can find the majority of the island’s shops and cafes at Södra Grinda, including a traditional Swedish värdshus (inn).
If you’re feeling peckish, we’d recommend trying the traditional ‘Grinda loaf,’ the island’s famous baked bread.
And if you fancy staying the night here, try the Grinda Wärdshus , a lovely guesthouse, with rooms in traditional red-painted wooden houses a stone’s throw from the sea.
Svartsö is also reachable using the Waxholmsbolaget ferries from Strömkajen – it’s about half an hour past Grinda. A one-way trip costs around 143 SEK.
While Svartsö is actually one of the larger islands in the archipelago, with its own little community, the population is seriously small – less than 100 people live here all year round.
This makes this remote, lesser-known island an amazing spot to go out and enjoy some peaceful time with nature.
It’s probably best to dock at Ahlsvik, since there’s a small beach there perfect for sunbathing.
It’s also close to the island’s only restaurant, Svartsö Krog – a famously good, seasonal (but super pricey) place to eat if you didn’t pack a lunch.
Renting a bike is highly recommended on Svartsö; it’s a great way to check out the island’s surprisingly varied scenery – expect freshwater lakes, forests, open farmland, and views of the Baltic Sea.
If you fall in love with the island’s laid-back vibe, why not overnight at STF Svartsö Skärgårdshotell & Vandrarhem ?
This bright, modern and affordable hostel offers the perfect environment to rest and recharge.
Just beyond Svartsö, the pretty island of Ingmarsö is a haven for walkers. With unspoilt woods, remote lakes, marshlands and sandy bays, it’s a great place for hiking, swimming, fishing or simply enjoying the peaceful natural surroundings.
The Waxholmsbolaget ferry to Ingmarsö takes about four and a half hours and costs around 143 SEK, while the Cinderella boat takes about two hours, 10 minutes and costs around 210 SEK each way.
The island has a population of just 150 people but it’s well laid out with hiking trails and has basic facilities for visitors including a bakery, a restaurant and a few small shops.
You can also rent kayaks and bicycles for further exploration or even go on a trail ride around the islands on an Icelandic pony.
And if you fancy staying here, the lovely Norrgården farmhouse has six comfortable rooms offering bed and breakfast surrounded by lush gardens with pretty pastoral views.
It even has a museum of island life in one its former farm buildings!
Sandön is the furthest destination from Stockholm on this list, and you’ll need to take the Cinderella cruise line from the docks at Strandvägen to get there.
The trip takes 2 hours, 15 minutes, and needs to be booked in advance on their website. It costs around 230 SEK.
Sandön is a beautiful destination that’s well worth the time and cost of the trip.
Sometimes people get confused about the name of this island – to be clear, Sandhamn is the name of the pretty harbour village you’ll arrive at, while the island itself is called Sandön.
Sandhamn is a hub for Swedes sailing around the archipelago, and you’ll see tons of sailboats and yachts lining the piers all summer.
The town of Sandhamn is much posher than settlements on other islands near Stockholm, with many boutiques and retail shops in addition to the usual cafés and souvenir shops.
If you’re trying to avoid crowds, opt to rent a couple of kayaks and paddle around the island – there are some beautifully tranquil hideaways along the coastline.
There are also some really nice sandy beaches for sunbathing and going for a dip, as well many gorgeous spots to unpack a picnic lunch to complete your trip out into the archipelago.
Want to stay the night? There’s the comfy Missionshuset bed and breakfast just up from the beach on the island’s north coast (book ahead!).
If fancy visiting an island but don’t like travelling by boat, Runmarö is a good option. It’s just a short ten-minute boat trip from Stavsnäs, with boats running year-round.
Stavsnäs itself is a 50-minute drive from the centre of Stockholm, or you can take bus #433 from Slussen T-bana.
Runmarö is known as the authors’ island, since it provided inspiration to a variety of authors and artists, including Strindberg, the poet Tomas Tranströmer and artist Axel Törneman.
The island is home to an amazing number of orchid species – at least 27 – plus nine lakes, known locally as marshes.
There are no guest house or hotels on Runmarö, but plenty of cosy cabins and cottages to rent .
The pretty island of Möja is one of the easternmost inhabited islands in the Stockholm Archipelago. The ferry there takes almost five hours and involves a change of boats in Boda; the fare is SEK 173.
Home to pretty harbours and former fishing villages, it’s still popular as a boating and fishing destination, while its resident year-round population makes it a lively place, with cafés, restaurants and local shops.
Despite this, it’s a relaxing island with very few cars and only gravel tracks, so ideal to explore by bike.
The island lies on the edge of the outer archipelago, large parts of which are protected as marine reserves, so Möja is great place to hire kayaks and head out to sea to explore.
The STF Möja hostel is a lovely place to stay, where the rooms have sea or garden views. There’s a barbecue that guests can use outside, plus bikes and paddle-boards to rent.
Tips for visiting the Stockholm Archipelago:
- Plan your trip ahead of time: take careful note of the ferry schedules because it’s no fun to wait at the dock for the next trip (it can be hours between departures).
- Leave early, just in case: it’s better to be early than late when limited to the ferry schedule! This is especially important if you’re going to use the Cinderella boats and have booked your tickets in advance.
- If you’re on a tight budget, pack a lunch and bring it with you: prices on the islands tend to get expensive as they are small communities catered towards summer tourists.
- Do you want to stay overnight? Plan ahead to avoid full bookings, or pack some camping equipment for the ultimate archipelago experience; this option is highly recommended for Grinda.
- Definitely bring your swimming gear: even if you don’t plan for it, spending a day out on these dazzling ocean waters can make a swim become too tempting to resist!
- Bring cash. Most of Sweden is totally cashless , but you can never be too safe, especially out in the islands!
- Don’t forget insurance! The archipelago is generally safe but we strongly recommend getting a decent policy in place for your trip. It really can make a world of difference when things go wrong. For lots of different reasons , we recommend World Nomads .
See also: 8 cheap Airbnbs in Stockholm The best Stockholm boat tours and cruises How to spend a summer weekend in Stockholm
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Places to Visit in Stockholm
- Places To Visit
Places to See in Stockholm
Here's the list of best places to visit in stockholm:.
Experience the breathtaking vistas of Fjallgatan, a scenic viewpoint in Stockholm, Sweden. Overlooking the picturesque city and its waterways, this vantage point offers panoramic views of the iconic Stockholm skyline. Marvel at the charming old town, Gamla Stan, and the majestic Royal Palace. A must-visit destination for travelers seeking to embrace the beauty and charm of Stockholm's landscapes from the heights of Fjallgatan.
Skansen Open Air Museum
The Royal Palace
Stockholm City Hall
Best of Sweden
Royal National City Park
SkyView Stockholm is a remarkable attraction that offers a unique and thrilling experience to visitors. Situated on top of the Ericsson Globe, it features two glass gondolas that glide along the exterior of the iconic spherical building. From the highest point, 130 meters above sea level, guests can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Stockholm's skyline and surrounding landscapes. It's a must-visit attraction for those seeking a memorable and unforgettable perspective of the Swedish capital.
Best of Gothenburg
Storkyrkan, also known as Stockholm Cathedral, is a historic and iconic landmark located in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden. Dating back to the 13th century, this majestic cathedral showcases a blend of architectural styles and houses several significant treasures, including the stunning Vädersoltavlan painting and the intricate St. George and the Dragon statue. A must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and art lovers alike.
Royal Swedish Opera
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Home » Travel Guides » Sweden » 25 Best Things to Do in Stockholm (Sweden)
25 Best Things to Do in Stockholm (Sweden)
The capital of Sweden is a cosmopolitan city with a tangled old town, stylish young districts, a dynamic city centre. Spread across 14 islands on Lake Mälaren, Stockholm’s very environment encourages you to rove and see where you’ll end up. There are around 50 bridges in the centre alone, while ferries are a fun way to get about.
When it comes to fashion, design and music Stockholm is well ahead of the curve, and many of the coolest places to shop and go out are on the island of Södermalm south of the centre. The lion’s share of the museums and family days out are on Djurgården, a wooded island where the city goes for rest, culture and fun.
Let’s explore the best thing to do in Stockholm :
1. Gamla Stan
Begin by going back to Stockholm’s roots at one of Europe’s great medieval centres, spread over three islands.
You’ll be in the midst of a true Hanseatic trading city, where gabled shops and warehouses are painted various shades of gold.
These now host all manner of restaurants, many garnering international awards, as well as museums, studios, bijou boutiques, cafes and bars.
On the eastern side of the old town there’s a long sequence of parallel cobblestone lanes leading in from the water and dipping under passageways.
Come here to squeeze through Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, an alley that tapers to just 90 centimetres across.
The visionary teacher and academic Artur Hazelius founded what was the first ever open-air museum in the world on Royal Djurgården in 1891. The idea was to show future generations what life was like in Sweden before the Industrial Age, and it has been borrowed by hundreds of museums around the world.
More than a century Skansen it’s still the best museum in its class, in 30 hectares and with a large cast recreating rural scenes from all over Sweden down to the finest detail.
A Sami camp from the Arctic circle, a farm from the remote western Härjedalen province and a open-air zoo with wolves, lynxes, otters, grey seals, reindeer and moose are a few of the attractions.
Book online : Skansen Open-Air Museum Admission Ticket
3. Vasa Museum
An awesome relic from the 17th-century reign of the all-conquering King Gustavus Adolphus has been revived at this museum the west shore of Djurgården.
The Vasa was a 64-gun warship that went down on its first voyage in 1628. It remained in the deep until 1961 when it was lifted to the surface and slowly and painstakingly restored.
The vessel has almost all of its original material and is the only 17th-century ship of this scale to make it to the present day.
And with the ship came a payload of artefacts that tell us what it was like to sail on the Vasa.
These are in ten exhibition rooms, and there’s a multilingual movie about the ship and its resurrection.
Get tickets : Vasa Museum Entrance Ticket
4. Modern Art Museum
On the island of Skeppsholmen at the Baltic Sea entrance to the city is the pick of Stockholm’s superb institutions for modern and contemporary art.
The museum started out in the 1950s in a former military building before moving into this Rafael Moneo-designed edifice at the end of the 90s.
Some of the names that even casual dabblers will know are Picasso, Marcel Duschamp, Henri Matisse and Salvador Dalí.
People also come especially for the museum’s restaurant, which looks over to Djurgården.
There’s also a sculpture with works by Picasso, Dan Graham and Alexaner Calder.
5. The Medieval Museum
In the 1970s during the construction of an underground car park builders happened upon some of Stockholm’s medieval city walls.
This is under the Norrbro bridge and measures 55 metres, and is now one of the showpieces of the city’s medieval museum.
Here you can track the history of the city from its foundation in the 13th century to the 16th century at the end of the medieval period.
Kids can dress up in armour, while other pieces of old Stockholm that came to light in the dig are part of the fun, like a 16th-century warship and a medieval graveyard.
These mingle with recreated houses, taverns and workshops.
Based on the stories of children’s author Astrid Lindgren, Junibacken is a theme park aimed at young readers.
Lindgren’s contribution to literature is indisputable and is still one of the world’s 20 most translated writers.
Her most beloved character is Pippi Longstocking, whose house, Villa Villekulla, is the final destination of a whimsical train ride through the park.
The park is designed to kindle children’s natural curiosity and abounds with niches, tunnels and miniature houses to adventure through.
Junibacken also has the largest children’s bookshop in the country, and Storybook Square is a kind of hall of fame for Sweden’s long lineup of renowned children’s authors like Elsa Beskow and Sven Nordqvist.
7. Swedish History Museum
The Swedish History Museum is anchored in the art collection of the 16th-century King Gustav Vasa, which grew with subsequent monarchs as the Empire expanded.
Now you’ll get a full chronology of Swedish history from Prehistory to the present day, with special attention on the exploits of the Vikings.
The Gold Room is literally brilliant, with more than 3,000 objects across 3,500 years of Swedish history.
Unforgettable here are the gold collars from 300-500 made from melted down Roman gold coins.
The Viking collection is as rich as you’d hope, and has artefacts from the trading post at Birka and the Mästermyr tool chest.
8. Royal Palace
With more than 600 rooms Stockholm’s Royal Palace is up there with the largest palaces in Europe.
There are five museums in this mostly 18th-century complex, which isn’t just a historical relic: The King of Sweden still lives here, most royal events and receptions happen at the palace and all the various departments associated with the royal family operate in these plush environs.
Just a brief run-down of the must-sees includes the reception rooms, the royal apartments, the Rikssalen (Hall of State) and the Ordenssalarna (Halls of the Orders of Chivalry). Of the five museums, the Treasury is predictably lavish and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities has ancient Greek and Roman sculptures bought by the king during his trip to Italy in 1783-84.
Full day trip : 1-day Royal Palace and Castle Tour from Stockholm
By the water on Södermalm is one of the world’s top photography galleries.
The location is the old wharf at Stadsgården, and the attraction is in a repurposed customs building.
There are four high-profile exhibitions staged at Fotografiska per year, along with 20 smaller shows, so no two visits will ever be the same.
Just by way of intro, some of the photographers featured here recently are greats like Robert Mapplethorpe, Guy Bourdin, Irving Penn, and Akseli Vamunen (Young Nordic Photographer of the Year in 2016). The gallery’s restaurant is highly regarded and has started picking up awards, while you can contemplate Djurgården from a table at the top floor cafe.
Book online : Fotografiska Entrance Ticket
10. The City Hall
One of the buildings that makes Stockholm, well, Stockholm is the City Hall, unmistakeable for its 106-metre tower and spire.
Composed of eight million bricks it’s the perfect expression of the Nordic National Romantic style and was inaugurated in June 1923 400 years to the day after Gustav Vasa’s arrival in the city.
The dimensions of the spaces inside are spellbinding, most of all the Blue Hall where the Nobel Banquet is held every December.
After dinner, there’s a dance in the Golden Hall, which is adorned with 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
An integral part of any visit is scaling the tower and gazing over Stockholm.
Recommended tour : Guided City Hall Tour
Beside the water on Östermalm is one of the most exclusive addresses in the city: A boulevard and esplanade with views to Gamla Stan and Skeppsholmen, and tying Djurgården to the centre of the city.
Strandvägen was plotted in the late 19th century and completed in 1897 for the Stockholm World’s Fair.
The long row of palatial apartment buildings is in the Revivalist style, epitomised by Isak Gustaf Clason’s Bünsow Building, which looks like a Loire Valley chateau.
Stockholm’s tour boats and water taxis converge on Strandvägen, and the esplanade has scores of cafes and bars for a quick refreshment before carrying on your way.
Related tour : Stockholm Archipelago Cruise with Guide
12. Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde
There’s a snapshot of turn-of-the-century royal life at Prince Eugen’s estate on Djurgården.
Eugen was a man of leisure who threw himself into the art world.
He was a prominent collector and patron, and in his youth studied fine art in Paris.
Eugen’s collection, as well as his own landscape paintings, decorate his Art Nouveau house on an estate with buildings going back to the 18th century.
This is all on a small peninsula enveloped in mature oak woodland, facing the canal that links Stockholm to the Baltic and with the city’s skyline in the background.
The estate’s flower garden is a joy in early summer, and there’s also a sculpture garden with works by the likes of Auguste Rodin.
13. ABBA: The Museum
Whatever your opinion of Sweden’s biggest pop act there’s no getting away from their cultural impact.
More than three decades after they split up their music still pops up in movies, TV shows and of course their record-breaking musical Mamma Mia.
The museum brims with ABBA memorabilia and clever touches that fans will be wild for.
One is Benny Andersson’s piano, which is connected remotely to the piano in his house and plays whatever he’s playing at home.
There’s also a phone, Ring Ring, that only the four ABBA members know the number to.
At the immersive “Waterloo” exhibit you can step back to 1974 and relive the Eurovision Song Contest that ABBA won with “Waterloo”, to kick-start their career.
Tickets available online : ABBA The Museum – Walk In, Dance Out
14. Gröna Lund
Djurgården is also the scene for Sweden’s oldest amusement park, and although Gröna Lund first opened in 1883 it is very much up to date.
New roller coasters are unveiled every few years, like the state-of-art “Insane” on which you’ll spend half the ride upside down.
Another, “Eclipse” is a swing ride more than 120 metres in height.
Away from the white-knuckle rides the littler visitors will have the time of their lives on tea cups, carousels, bumper cars and romping through fun houses.
There are concerts in the park all summer, and Paul McCartney, Bob Marley and ABBA are a few of the big names to have played here.
Before or after a trip to Fotografista, mosey across to the wood and cobblestone path above the north coast of Södermalm.
In a city that has a replete with scenic views, this may be the finest of them all: You’ll get your best shots of the City Hall and Gamla Stan from this 500-metre trail, and the light at sunrise and sunset is dreamy.
Over Lake Mälaren you’ll watch the big ships hoving into view and the smaller launches darting back and forth.
There’s also an old-time feel about this residential neighbourhood, and lots of places close by to grab a cold drink in summer or warm up with “fika” in winter.
16. Nordic Museum
Artur Hazelius, founder of the Skansen Museum, also conceived this ethnographical attraction a few moments away on Djurgården.
The Nordic Museum spells out the cultural history of Sweden from about the 16th century onwards, showcasing its traditional costume and textiles, ceramics, jewellery, furniture and folk art.
You can also get a handle on the Sami, Sweden’s only indigenous culture, and dip into their history, beliefs and way of life.
Isak Gustaf Clason was hired to design the building and came up with an extraordinary Neo-Renaissance palace that was finished in 1907 after a 19-year construction and would be worth the visit alone.
A mandatory stop in Gamla Stan is the oldest square in the city at the highest point of the island.
Stockholm’s expansion in the High Middle Ages began at this very point, and you can be sure that Stortorget has seen some drama in its time.
One was the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520 when up to 90 people were executed in the square by Danish forces.
The cannonball in the wall at the corner where Skomakargatan joins the square is said to go back to this time.
Stortorget’s beauty is in its gabled houses from the 1600s and 1700s, and the Christmas market in December when treats like ginger snaps (pepparkakor) and mulled wine (glögg) bring plenty of cheer.
Included in : Sightseeing Tour by Segway
18. Drottningholm Palace
One of Sweden’s three World Heritage Sites is on the western outskirts of Stockholm.
Drottningholm is in the French style and was conceived in 17th century.
Refinements were made over the next few hundred years when each successive monarch left his or her own mark on the palace.
There are opulent salons from the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, but one of the remarkable details is the Palace Theatre, which dates to the 1700s and continues to stage performances to this day, unchanged.
The Chinese Pavilion, finished in 1769, is another marvel in an oriental-infused Rococo style and with interiors enriched with decorative works like porcelain and lacquered furniture gathered by the Swedish East India Company in the 18th century.
We’ve already taken in the scenery and visited Fotografiska, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg on this island south of the centre.
Södermalm, where Greta Garbo grew up, has a few ultra-cool neighbourhoods with quirky shops and interesting places to go out.
Try SoFo (South of Folkungagatan) for one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, vintage shops and hip restaurants and cafes.
Nytorget Square here is a fun night out in summer.
The same goes for Mosebacke, which had a bohemian reputation for as long as anyone can remember, and is just the place to go for designer shopping, live music and a craft beer or coffee.
The sight of Stockholm from the terrace of the Södra Teatern is not to be missed.
20. Canal Trip
So much of Stockholm’s charm lies in its waterways that you’d be remiss not to see the city from the water.
You could even say it’s the first thing to do in the city, as you’ll get your bearings and see the parts you’d like to explore deeper later on.
A favourite trip is to head east on the Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen, a canal on the side of Djurgården.
This was dug during the reign of Charles XIV in 1825. On the way out there are lush views of palaces and gardens, and as you loop back you’ll see the city in all its majesty.
You could also take a bridges, which takes around two hours if you want to dig a bit deeper.
21. Hallwyl Museum
In the 1890s the aristocratic couple Walther von Hallwyl and his wife Wilhelmina ordered this mansion in the centre of Stockholm facing Berzelii Park.
The architect was Isak Gustaf Clason, responsible for many regal properties around the city like the Nordic Museum.
Hallywyl House is in a faithful Italian Renaissance style and while it might seem historic, the palace was advanced for its day and had phones, plumbing, central heating and electricity.
The countess in particular was a prodigious art collector, and even ten years before she passed away the palace had been donated to the state because of its profusion of fine art, furniture, silver, tableware and expertly crafted fittings.
The drawing room, dining room and billiard room are all very swish, while the courtyard puts on concerts in summer.
22. Stockholm Public Library
A bibliophile’s idea of heaven, the central building for the Stockholm Public Library is one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, and changed the city’s relationship with books when it opened in 1928. That’s down to the monumental rotunda at the top of the building.
This is a gigantic hall encircled with bookshelves, and for the first time readers could seek out the book they needed by themselves without having to consult the librarians.
Gunnar Asplund designed the library, and it’s held as a shining example of the Swedish Classicist movement.
There’s no fee to enter, and many of the titles are in English if you’re in need of a quiet, rainy day activity.
If you’re young and fashion-conscious Stockholm’s revitalised city centre has all the chain stores, malls and old-school department stores to stay on point.
This area of Stockholm, also known simply as “City”, had an iffy reputation up to the 90s when it was brightened up and made pedestrian-friendly.
Now it’s a shopper’s paradise where there are flagships stores for international brands all along Drottninggatan, which is heaving on weekends.
Meanwhile Åhléns and the upmarket Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) are thriving Swedish institutions that have been here for more than a century.
Behind the Royal Palace is a park that has something happening in all seasons.
But Kungsträdgården is never more beautiful than in April when its twin avenues of cherry trees are in bloom.
Thousands of people show up for Körsbärsblommans Dag (Cherry Blossom Day) in this month for a walk under those pink canopies.
In winter there’s a skating rink in the part of the park known as the oktogonen (octagon), while if you pass by in summer you’re sure to catch some temporary installation or festival.
And if you just have time to kill you could catch a game of street chess.
25. Go for Fika
If you’re new to the country then Fika is the easiest part of Swedish culture to pick up.
It’s essentially a coffee break, with no set time but is always a social occasion.
People at work “fika” (it’s a verb as well as a noun) to chat for a few minutes over coffee and a snack.
The partner for your cup of coffee can be anything from cookies to an open sandwich (smörgås). But the tried and trusted option is probably cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) or if you want to be a bit more indulgent, a slice of apple cake (äppelkaka).
25 Best Things to Do in Stockholm (Sweden):
- Vasa Museum
- Modern Art Museum
- The Medieval Museum
- Swedish History Museum
- Royal Palace
- The City Hall
- Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde
- ABBA: The Museum
- Nordic Museum
- Drottningholm Palace
- Hallwyl Museum
- Stockholm Public Library
- Go for Fika
- Meet the Team
- Talk to The Broke Backpacker
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Budget Travel
- Work & Travel
- The Broke Backpacker Manifesto
- Travel Resources
- How to Travel on $10/day
Home » Europe » Sweden » Stockholm
13 BEST Places to Visit in Stockholm (2023)
The Swedish capital city is the perfect introduction to Scandinavia. It’s set across 14 islands on an archipelago which extends into the Baltic Sea.
A number of bridges and ferries connect these islands, making it easy to get around to see some of the best places to visit in Stockholm! The city is filled with exciting and interesting things to do – there are a number of cool museums, sprawling parks, and a couple of unusual attractions too!
In this post, I’ll take a look at the best places to visit in Stockholm. Hopefully, it will be a useful guide when planning your trip and show you some hidden corners of the city.
Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Stockholm:
These are the best places to visit in stockholm, faq on the best places to visit in stockholm, final thoughts.
Located on the western side of the island of Sodermalm, Hornstull is a lively, vibrant and up-and-coming area. Once a dodgy neighbourhood to be avoided at all costs, Hornstull is today a happening ‘hood home to independent shops, cosy cafes, hip hangouts and one of the coolest markets in old town.
- Excite your sense with savoury tapas at Ramblas.
- Hang out in the sunshine, go for a swim or enjoy a sauna at Tantolunden Park.
- Take in the views from the Skinnarviksberget scenic spot.
Eating Swedish meatballs that don’t come from Ikea in your home country sounds great, doesn’t it?
Before you do that, though, you’ll need to book accommodation and know where the coolest areas in Sweden are. Be sure to check out where to stay in Sweden and get the full low-down because there’s more than just Hornstull. Then, onto the good stuff…
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#1 – Gamla Stan – One of the nicer places in Stockholm to sightsee
- Take a leisurely stroll along the cobbled streets
- Be wowed by the colourful buildings
- Enjoy some of the best places to eat in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: There’s a reason why Gamla Stan is on every backpacking Stockholm travel guide . It’s one of the best-preserved historical centres in the whole of Europe and it’s where Stockholm was founded all the way back in 1252!
You could easily spend your whole break in Stockholm without leaving this area, as it’s full of Swedish history, historic attractions, great restaurants and bars, and some of the city’s top nightlife.
Indeed, some of the places that feature on my list are actually in Gamla Stan! The Old Town is centred around a pretty main square called Stortorget.
What to do there: There’s plenty to keep even the shortest attention spans indulged in Gamla Stan! Get lost along the narrow and winding streets (the narrowest alley is just 90cm wide) and admire the colourful buildings that line them.
In this district, you’ll find the national cathedral which is definitely worth a visit, and many tourist attractions which I’ll get to later in my list.
Pick up some souvenirs or handicrafts for family and friends in the shops along Västerlånggattan and Österlånggattan or head over to Riddarholmen and its spectacular church! If you’d like to make this area your best for a while, check out some of Stockholm’s best Airbnb’s nearby!
#2 – Skansen Open Air Museum – Awesome place to visit in Stockholm with kids!
- Step into the past at this cool museum
- Celebrate typical Swedish traditions here
- Explore over 150 farms and dwellings from all over the country
Why it’s awesome: Skansen Open Air Museum is one of the most interactive attractions in Stockholm . On the island of Djurgården and one of many attractions within the Royal Park, it was opened at the end of the 19 th century to show what life was like in pre-industrial Sweden.
So, nowadays you can visit working farms and typical Swedish dwellings from all over the country. This is a great place to put on your Stockholm itinerary if you’re travelling with the family!
What to do there: Discover houses and farmsteads from every part of Stockholm in the oldest open-air museum.
There are events on throughout the year, so if the cool exhibitions at the museum aren’t enough for you, the events will have you covered! In summer, there are singing, dancing, and concerts, while Winter means festive Christmas Markets!
No matter what time of year, the wild animals that call the museum home are sure to have everyone smiling. You’ll find typical pets in the Children’s Zoo, but more exotic animals in the Our Africa section and aquarium!
With a Stockholm City Pass , you can experience the best of Stockholm at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!
#3 – Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library) – One of the most incredible free things to do in Stockholm
- A beautiful example of Nordic classicism
- No entry fee!
- One of the most distinctive landmarks in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: In a city with a fearsome reputation for being one of the most expensive in Europe (if not the world) any free activity is a bonus. One such activity is visiting the Stadsbiblioteket, or Stockholm’s Public Library. What makes the library so special? Well, the main rotunda of the building is an architectural marvel. It’s also packed with 360-degree shelves for books in over 100 languages. It’s a bookworm’s dream!
What to do there: If you’ve got plenty of time to spare, why not take a book and spend the afternoon reading in this welcoming and peaceful setting. Even if you’re not into reading, it’s definitely worth adding a visit to the library to your Stockholm itinerary .
Climbing to the top of the rotunda and looking down on the stacks of books is certainly a mesmerising view! It’s also a great spot if you’re a digital nomad or visiting Stockholm on a working holiday, as you’ll be able to work here without being disturbed.
#4 – The Royal Palace – A great place to see in Stockholm if you love architecture
- One of the largest palaces in Europe
- The official residence of the Swedish Royal Family
- More than 600 rooms!
Why it’s awesome: So, the Royal Family’s living quarters aren’t open to the public but there’s still a large chunk of the Royal Palace you can visit and get to know Swedish history better! This incredible building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Stockholm, as it’s one of the biggest palaces in Europe. It consists of 600 rooms set over 11 floors, built in the Baroque style. It’s a Stockholm must-see for those interested in architecture.
What to do there: If wandering around and learning about the Royal Palace isn’t enough for you, you’re in luck! There’s more than enough to spend at least half a day here with the palace alone, but there are also 3 museums attached.
The first is the treasury – packed with regalia from Swedish Royalty. The other two are the Tre Kronor Museum and the Gustav III Museum of Antiquities. One of the best Stockholm vacation ideas if you visit Stockholm in the summer is to take a detour to the Royal Chapel!
#5 – Vasa Museum
- One of the best-preserved 17 th century ships in the world
- Spent 333 years on the seabed
- The most visited museum in Scandinavia
Why it’s awesome: In the 17 th century, a ship befitting a nation that wanted to create an empire was commissioned by the King at the time. That ship was Vasa. The giant floating fortress was always too ambitious, and problems began even while it was still in construction.
Less than one nautical mile from Stockholm on its maiden voyage, the boat capsized and sank. Although there were many salvage attempts, none were successful until 1961. Now, you can see the ship in all its glory at the Vasa Museum , one of the most popular attractions in Stockholm!
What to do there: You don’t only see the painstakingly restored Vasa ship at the Vasa Museum, but there are 10 other exhibitions at the museum. They deal with life on the ship (or what it was expected to be like – no-one ever really found out) and a film about the ship itself.
If you want to get into the gory details, it’s a good idea to take a tour of the Vasa museum with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. After you’ve finished, head to the restaurant which serves tasty food! This truly is a Stockholm must see!
#6 – The Nobel Museum
- Take a guided tour of the Nobel Prize Museum
- Relax afterwards with a coffee or an ice cream
- Another of the most important landmarks in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: The Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award in the world when it comes to academic, scientific, or cultural advances. This fascinating museum should be high up on your Stockholm itinerary if you want to learn more about the ideas which have previously won this prestigious Prize. There have been almost 600 prizes given out (at the time of writing) and every single one is detailed in this museum!
What to do there: As well as learning all about the previous laureates of Nobel Prizes, there are a number of things on offer. To get a really in-depth perspective of the importance of the museum’s work, take a tour with a knowledgeable guide, who will really make the exhibits come alive!
Once you’ve tired of the museum, there’s a great bistro where you can enjoy a spot of lunch or refuel with a coffee. And don’t miss the shop where you can pick up some cool mementos of one of the most important attractions in Stockholm!
#7 – City Hall and the Blue Hall
- Take a guided tour of City Hall’s grand ceremonial halls
- Relax afterwards in City Hall park
- One of the most iconic landmarks in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: Stockholm’s City Hall is famous for its grand ceremonial halls, including the Golden Hall and Blue Hall, as well as housing unique pieces of art. It is also the offices of over 300 city council members.
The Nobel Prize Banquet, or Nobelfesten in Swedish, is an annual banquet that takes place in the Blue Hall of City Hall on the 10th of December, after the Nobel Prize ceremony. The banquet is known as a formal dress event and there’s a multi-course dinner.
Of course, for tourists, you cannot attend the Nobel Prize banquet, but you can visit the hall and witness the ornate detailing and stunning architecture where this momentous event takes place.
What to do there: City Hall is only available to enter by guided tour , which takes place daily. On the tour, you’ll get exclusive viewings of the finest national romanticism artwork and architecture in Scandanavia.
#8 – Abba: The Museum – Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Stockholm
- See memorabilia from most successful Swedish band of all time
- Sing, dance, and try on outfits
- Record your own performance and download it!
Why it’s awesome: To some people, the Eurovision prize is just as important as the Nobel Prize (don’t ask us who) but winning was what really established Abba as one of the most successful pop bands on all time.
This cool interactive museum allows you not only to find out more about the fantastic foursome’s greatest hits and journey to superstardom but also to try your hand at some of the band’s greatest songs! So, take a chance on Abba: The Museum and I’m sure you’ll have a great day out!
What to do there: If you’re not careful, you can easily spend a lot longer than you intended to at Abba: The Museum. Easily one of the most fun attractions in Stockholm, it’s an interactive experience that will win over the heart of even the most pop music sceptic person out there!
Everything you do at the museum is recorded on your ticket: think photos, dancing, even recording your own version of Dancing Queen, and available to download online for 30 days after your visit. So, you’ll definitely make some unforgettable memories here – I’ll leave it to you decide if they’re good or bad!
If you want to learn more about Swedish music, consider taking a trip over to the Swedish Music Hall of Fame.
#9 – Drottningholm Royal Palace
- One of Stockholm’s three UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Royal Palace and royal national city park open to visitors all year round
- One of the most famous places in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: You’ve already seen the Royal Palace, the Royal Family’s official residence. So, let’s move on to Drottningholm Palace, which is the private residence (also known as the queen’s palace).
Although it’s their private residence, the palace and the gardens are still open to the public, who can enjoy a Baroque Garden, Chinese Pavilion, and theatre! As well as that, the rooms and salons inside the palace are stunning, with different influences from the 17 th century until now!
What to do there: Take a tour of this stunning palace to get an idea of how the Swedish Royal families of the past have lived. The best part of a guided tour is undoubtedly the Drottningholms Slottsteater (the Drottningholm Palace Theatre).
It’s said to be the best-preserved 18 th century theatre in Europe and it does still use the original stage machinery which is over 200 years old! After visiting the palace and the theatre, take a stroll in the beautiful Baroque gardens or the peaceful royal national city park.
#10 – Royal Djurgården – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Stockholm
- An oasis for nature lovers in the middle of the city
- Several other attractions on this list are in the park
Why it’s awesome: The Royal Djurgården is an island in the city centre of Stockholm, and the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. In days gone by, it was a park for gaming and hunting for the Royal Family, but now it’s open to the public.
Many attractions that have already come up on this list are in the park, such as Abba: The Museum, Skansen Open Air Museum and the Vasa Museum. In addition, you can head to the Gröna Lund Amusement Park for a fun time!
What to do there: You’d think after all the stuff I’d already mentioned, I’d have run out of stuff to do, right? Well, there’s so much going on in the Royal Djurgården that I’ve hardly got started. If you’re on a budget, then this is the perfect accompaniment to staying in one of Stockholm’s best hostels as it’s free to stroll around or go for a jog.
If you’re feeling a little lazier, you can always just take a picnic and lay down in the afternoon sun! There are a couple of museums that I haven’t mentioned above, and even a lake which is great for birdwatching!
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#11 – Stockholm Metro Art Gallery
- Witness incredible works of contemporary art on the city’s public transport system
- 90 out of 100 stations are elaborately decorated
- Stockholm vacation idea for budget travellers!
Why it’s awesome: If you travel to Stockholm, you’ll probably be getting around on the metro at some point. After all, there are over 100 stations that connect even the hardest to reach parts of the cities.
But you probably weren’t expecting that these journeys would be so beautiful! The metro stations are adorned in contemporary art, sculpture, mosaics, paintings, and installations. The price of admission is just your train ticket, so get ready to be amazed!
What to do there: Sometimes when you’re in a new city, you don’t want to travel on the underground systems. That’s because you’d rather be a street level, discovering new and unusual things to see – however with Stockholm, it’s the other way round! Well… it isn’t as it’s pretty out of the Subway too, but you get my point!
The incredible preservation of the stations is loved by tourists and locals alike, and it means that there’s very little graffiti, unlike some other major European capital metro systems!
#12 – Colour by Numbers
- Control the colours of the Telefonplantower
- A cool interactive exhibit
- One of the more unusual things to do in Stockholm
Why it’s awesome: Long ago, skyscrapers were just grey blocks that made the skyline impressive, but a little colourless. All that has changed in recent years, but Colour by Numbers is something really special.
At the time of writing, this is the only tower in the world where the colours can be customised from a passer by’s mobile phone. All you need to do is download an app to paint the tower in whatever colours you desire. This is without a doubt one of the coolest and most interactive landmarks in Stockholm!
What to do there: Download the app and customise your own building! What’s that though, you don’t have a smartphone? No problem! You can also just call a number which enables you to change the colours using the numbered buttons on your phone.
If you’re travelling from outside of the EU and you’re worried about roaming charges, fair enough. But ask yourself this, how many chances are you going to get to see your own design on a skyscraper?!
#13 – Ericsson Globe Arena (Avicii Arena)
- Witness the world’s largest spherical building!
- See a mile-wide view of Stockholm from above at SkyView
- One of the best places to see events
Why it’s awesome: If you love live events, be it live music or sporting events, then you need to take a trip over to the Avicii Arena, formerly known as the Ericsson Globe Arena or National Arena. It is the largest spherical building in the world and has been hailed as one of the best pieces of architecture in Sweden!
The Arena was renamed after the loss of the popular Swedish EDM artist Avicii in a bid to raise awareness for mental health.
The Arena is also the National Arena for the Swedish ice hockey team and can hold 13,850 people for sporting events, and 16,000 people for music events.
What to do there: if you’re lucky enough to witness an event there, great for you! If not, then you can visit SkyView, a kind of pod on tracks that takes you to the top of the building where you can see panoramic views of Stockholm.
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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Stockholm
What should I not miss in Stockholm?
If you only have a short time in Stockholm, then you should definitely make sure to visit Gamla Stan and walk the cobbled streets, enjoy some good food and marvel at the architecture.
Is Stockholm worth visiting?
If you have the money to spend, then Stockholm is worth visiting for a weekend.
What is Stockholm famous for?
Stockholm is most famous for the world’s first open-air museum and of course, the Abba museum.
Is Stockholm an expensive city to visit?
Yes, Stockholm is an expensive place to visit. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world.
So, that concludes my list of the best places to visit in Stockholm. I hope that you’ve found my list useful and informative and it’s beefed up your Stockholm itinerary!
You should also have a better idea of the coolest neighbourhoods in town and be thinking about where to stay close to some of the best attractions on my list.
You’ll hopefully also see that the Swedish capital is a wonderful place for a city break. With a rich selection of attractions in Stockholm, you’ll never be bored. There’s also a great food and drink scene as well as some pretty exciting nightlife!
I think my comprehensive guide probably has shown you not only how the best places to visit in Stockholm, but also how to see the city like a local. All that’s left for us now, is to wish you a fantastic holiday!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
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Must-Visit Attractions in Stockholm
Stockholm is loaded with things to do, but there are certain must-see attractions that should definitely be on your list of activities when visiting the Swedish capital .
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Abba: the musuem.
It’s the number one attraction in Stockholm and for good reason: not only is the interactive ABBA section wildly fun and informative, the Swedish Music Hall of Fame is in the same building (and included in your ticket price) and is in and of itself beautifully presented. ABBA was intimately involved in conceptualising the entire thing, and it shows.
It was called the mightiest warship of its time, and set sail in front of hundreds of people from Stockholm harbour – then sank less than 30 minutes later. And there it lay for more than 300 years, finally being raised in the mid-20th century in what became a world-renowned salvage operation. The museum where it sits today is a fascinating look into Swedish history.
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The Royal Palace
Stockholm’s Royal Palace is the official residence of His Majesty the King, but also houses a number of excellent attractions open to the public, such as the Royal Apartments, the Royal Treasury and the Museum of Antiquities. It’s a great place to spend the day (be sure to catch the changing of the guard) before heading over to Gamla Stan (The Old Town) next door.
With more than 150 buildings – homes, churches, schools, shops and workshops – transported from around the country, Skansen is a miniature historical Sweden. In addition to the buildings, the world’s first open-air museum also has native animals such as bears, wolves and seals, a children’s zoo and craftspeople creating items such as blown glass and pottery on-site. This is one for the whole family, with plenty of activities to hold everyone’s attention for the entire day.
Stockholm’s amusement park overlooks the water. It is not just filled with the usual rides and games, it also has a number of great restaurants and bars and hosts a series of summer concerts that attract top international acts. Be warned, though: these shows are incredibly popular, so plan ahead.
One of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, Stockholm’s Gamla Stan is filled with award-winning restaurants, cafés, bars, shops and a number of fantastic museums. The cobblestoned streets are pedestrian friendly and there you’ll find both the oldest street in Stockholm (Köpmangatan), and the narrowest (Mårten Trotzigs Gränd).
Located on the incredible island of Skeppsholmen, Moderna is home to an excellent collection of Swedish (and international) modern and contemporary art – think Picasso and Giacometti. It also hosts numerous exhibitions, such as the recent visit by celebrated performance artist Marina Abramović. Several excellent restaurants and an absolutely amazing gift shop round out the offering.
Since the moment it was opened by Annie Leibovitz in 2010, Stockholm’s Photography Museum has been a wildly popular attraction in the city. Each year, four major exhibitions are staged, complemented by around 20 smaller ones. The café on the top floor offers spectacular views across the water to Djurgården , and the gift shop is a treasure trove.
Revisit your childhood at Junibacken, which takes you into the world of Astrid Lindgren, Sweden’s world-renowned children’s author. Pippi Longstocking is of course an integral part of the museum, but you’ll also meet Emil, Karlsson on the Roof, The Brothers Lionhearted and many more. The Story Train exhibitions were designed by the Royal Dramatic Theatre, the bookshop is extremely well stocked and the restaurant offers not just great traditional Swedish food, but also killer views.
The Museum of Spirits isn’t focussed on ghosts, it’s focused on booze. Housed in Stockholm’s only two remaining 18th-century naval buildings, the museum looks at Sweden’s complicated history and relationship with alcohol. Sponsored by Absolut, the museum is home to the vodka-maker’s best-known art works, as well as different experiences, such as a room where you can experience what it feels like to be drunk. Unsurprisingly there’s a bar on the premises – and a very good restaurant.
Stadshus (City Hall) is one of the most famous buildings in the city and is the seat of Stockholm’s government. It’s also where the annual Nobel Dinner is held, and offers an absolutely fascinating tour which gives you the history of not just the building, but of Stockholm as well. A small café abuts the grounds and you can even swim in the waters that lap up against it.
Taking up nearly a third of the city’s real estate, Kungliga Djurgården (the Royal Game Park) is home to Stockholm’s top attractions, but is also a massive green oasis where city dwellers walk, run, bike and generally feed their need for nature. There are a number of excellent restaurants and cafés where you can rest before wandering the island a bit longer, or visiting yet another great attraction.
Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde
Originally the home of Prince Eugen, the building and grounds were deeded to the state upon his death in 1947. Prince Eugen was one of Sweden’s best-known landscape painters, and the museum (which is among the most visited in Sweden) houses many of his most renowned works, along with much of his collection. Temporary exhibitions are regularly staged in this spectacular building designed by renowned architect Ferdinand Boberg.
Royal Swedish Opera
The premier stage for opera in Sweden since 1773, Kungliga Operan offers not just the chance to see top-level talent, you can also tour the premises. The tour takes you backstage into the royal rooms, and gives a peek into the orchestra pit, as well as a thorough history of the building, which is fascinating in itself.
You’ll experience the best views in town from heart-stopping heights when you ride to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, Globe, in a glass gondola. The trip takes about 30 minutes and at the top you’ll take in 360-degree views of the city. Globe is home to some great shops and restaurants, and is one of the premier event venues in Stockholm.
The Nobel Prizes are arguably the most prestigious awards in the world. This museum not only gives you the history of the prizes, but also hosts numerous exhibitions focussing on subjects related to the various prize categories and the ceremony itself. But don’t think it’s all seriousness and science – recent exhibitions have looked at Nobel fashion and artists considering the Dalai Lama.
The Stockolm archipelago
The Stockholm archipelago is home to more than 30,000 islands that range from the lively sophistication of Sandhamn to the remote wildness of Möja. Whether you choose a day trip to one island, or island-hop for a weekend, there is no doubt you’ll come away somehow transformed by the beauty around every corner.
This one is for history buffs. The Army Museum takes you through Swedish history dating from 1500 to the present day. Looking at both wartime and peace, the three floors are filled with an astounding number of historical objects and trophies, as well as staged scenes and the Raoul Wallenberg Room, which looks at the man who saved tens of thousands of people from the Nazis.
Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral)
Built in 1279, Storkyrkanis a medieval church that is home to the legendary Vädersolstavlan, as well as numerous other unique objects. Regular religious services are held here, and it’s the go-to church for royal weddings, funerals for prominent citizens and those always-popular royal baptisms.
The National Museum of Science and Technology is Sweden’s biggest museum of technology and is devoted to allowing both kids and adults see, feel, touch and understand technology through interactive exhibitions. With everything from space and energy to the environment and the digital world coming under the microscope, this museum is enormous, good fun and wildly informative. Looking for travel inspiration for your next getaway? Browse our collections of Epic Trips , Mini Trips and Sailing Trips to explore the world with the help of our Local Insiders.
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The 20 essential travel tips for visiting Stockholm
Wondering whether to use cash, or whether to bare all at the sauna? We've got you covered.
You can plan out every minute of every day when visiting a city like Stockholm , and you’ll still get caught out by one tiny little thing. Train tickets. Cash only. That sort of thing. You might even get caught in an embarrassing foreign blunder, where you order a coffee at completely the wrong time.
Anyway, this is as true in the Scandinavian capital of cool as it is anywhere else. Want to know which stations to avoid, and what time you should eat cake? Do you bare all at a sauna, or keep your pants on? From metro tickets to how to say ‘hello’, here is every travel tip you’ll need for your first time in Stockholm.
RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Stockholm 🍽️ The best restaurants in Stockholm 🏘️ Where to stay in Stockholm 🛍️ The best spots for shopping in Stockholm
This guide was updated by Madeleine Hyde , a writer based in Stockholm. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines .
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The ultimate Stockholm guide
1. Access the airport the sneaky way
Many travellers don’t realise that apart from the expensive express train and coaches, you can get from Arlanda airport to the city centre by public transport. Follow signs to the local buses at any terminal, and look for the one that goes to Märsta station, which is on a commuter rail line. The whole journey to central Stockholm can be covered on a single ticket, which you can buy on the SL app.
2. Don’t bring a ton of cash
Stockholm aims to become a cash-free city in the coming years, and in fact, many cafes, restaurants and hotels already enforce this policy. So on your trip, it’s best to bring your bank card and only use cash if you have to.
3. Look beyond the metro lines
Booking accommodation in Stockholm can be dizzying. Which island is best? How much should you spend? And most commonly asked: Can they all be accessed easily? In the inner-city, the answer is yes. But it’s worth looking further, too: the prices of accommodation go down if you look along the commuter rail lines, rather than just the metro lines. Don’t be intimidated by these local lines; they’ll often get you to the city centre just as quickly!
4. Avoid the ‘stress tunnel’ at Centralen
An early sunset normally tempts Stockholmers to leave the office around 4pm and so for most of the year, this is our rush hour. Avoid the central station, ‘T-Centralen,’ at 4pm and at around 8 in the morning, if you can help it—this is when the ‘stress tunnel’ between the different metro lines is at its most congested.
5. On weekdays, breakfast is simple and healthy
In cafes, you’ll find mostly muesli and yoghurt or bread rolls with ham and cheese served in the morning hours. On weekends, however, it’s a whole different story. Popular brunch spots like Kitchen & Table and Greasy Spoon fill up quickly, so be sure to book ahead!
6. Pack your toughest boots
If you’re planning a winter trip, bring along some very sturdy shoes. From November through till March you can expect the ground to be covered in ‘slask,’ a grotty mix of melted snow and grit. It keeps you from falling over, but it will leave its mark on your footwear!
7. Have a whole Swedish conversation with just two words
Swedes are well-known for their English skills; you’ll hear and see English all around you in Stockholm. Still, if you want to try out some Swedish, you can do so with minimal effort. You can say hello or goodbye with just ‘hej’ or ‘hej hej’ (where the ‘j’ is pronounced like an English ‘y’) and ‘tack’ means both thank you and please, so it’s extra easy to be polite.
8. The flavours of fika
‘Fika’ is the Swedish coffee and cake ritual that means that the best cafes in the city will be full to the brim in the afternoons, especially on weekends. The traditional fika is with a cinnamon bun, but some cafes do their own variations: the rhubarb crumble buns at Fabrique, or the pistachio and blackcurrant version at Il Caffe are some favourites. It’s a crowded time, but well worth pushing in.
9. Saunas are for revealing all
Another Nordic ritual is stripping down in the sauna. In Swedish culture, it’s generally encouraged to keep things private—except for when it comes to the sauna. Don’t expect to bring anything but yourself and a towel, which is mostly for drying yourself off after you plunge into an icy-cold lake.
10. Save your clean-eating week for Stockholm
The vegan offerings in this city are unrivalled. You can order your coffee with oat, almond or soya milk in most cafes, get delicious vegan ice cream in stores or at Stikki Nikki, or try vegan pulled pork (called oomph ) in Max Burger, Vigårda and many other burger establishments.
11. Spend late night at a gallery
If you’re a night owl looking for something more intellectually stimulating than a night on the tiles, thank goodness for Fotografiska, the photography exhibition on Södermalm’s northern waterfront. After the rest of the galleries have closed, this former factory stays open until 11pm.
12. Lunch starts early in Sweden
Lunch is Sweden’s biggest meal of the day. Restaurants typically offer buffet lunches for a fixed price and start serving at noon sharp. Oh, and there won’t normally be any desserts on the table, but you can save your sweet tooth for later (see fika )!
13. Down-time in the summer
Swedes take holidays very seriously—normally, by disappearing off to their countryside cottages or island retreats on the archipelago. This means that at certain times of the year, Stockholm is a bit of a ghost town, especially after Midsummer in June and July. On the plus side, visitors get the city to themselves!
14. Island-hop in style for no extra cost
Your SL card (SL being the Stockholm transport system) can get you onto pretty much any transport, including some of the ferries that run between the inner-city islands. In the winter season, you can even use an SL ticket on ferries to the archipelago.
15. Buying alcohol here is a bit… systematic
The Swedish government has a monopoly on alcohol—if it’s over 3.5% ABV, anyway. For the strong stuff, you’ll need to head to government-owned Systembolaget, which close early afternoons on Saturday and don’t open at all on Sundays. If you fancy a 2% beer (affectionately known to locals as folköl , or ‘the people’s beer’), you can get these in any regular store.
16. Get a pint at 4pm
Rush hour is also the start of ‘After-Work’, a Swedish version of happy hour beginning around 4:30pm. Many pubs will serve a cheaper pint during these hours, and there’s even a club, Out of Office, that kicks off in the late afternoon instead of the late evening to cater to thirsty office workers. Download the club’s app for your free entrance ticket and dance your suit off.
17. Culture without the entrance fee
If beer and sauna culture don’t cut it, you can spend your Tuesday afternoon at a museum instead, without spending anything. The Nordic Museum has free entry on Wednesdays from 5-8pm, and the Nobel Prize Museum from 5-8pm on Tuesdays. The Modern Art museum on Skeppsholmen, meanwhile, has free admission the whole week round.
18. The two words you need for a cheap pint
Stockholmers are big beer lovers, and there are many great micro-breweries and craft beer establishments across the city to prove it. That’s not to say that your pint has to be anything fancy or expensive, however; at any bar, you can order their cheapest pint of beer simply by asking for a ‘Stor Stark.’
19. Drink in the evening sunlight in summer
In the summer, drinking goes outdoors. Bars reveal themselves in all kinds of innovative outside spaces, including under a bridge: Trädgården (the garden) opens under Skanstull bridge at the end of May. As a bonus, if you get there before 7pm you’ll avoid any entrance free and be offered cheaper drinks deals.
20. Plan ahead to avoid taxis
Taxis are very, very expensive in Stockholm. Especially boat taxis (yes, really!), which will come and get you if you’re stuck on an island in the archipelago. Plan ahead by checking the SL app for your best travel options. On weekends, the metro runs all night, but on weekdays your best bet after 1am might be a night bus.
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- 12 Places To Visit In Stockholm In 2023 For Experiencing Adventure, Heritage & Leisure
23 Mar 2023
Adorned with the glory of ancient cities, heritage museums, and serene landscapes, Stockholm is often called the, ‘beauty on the water’ by the Stockholmers. Despite its antique glories, this Swedish capital is becoming modern day by day. With touching the heights of growth and development, the city is turning into a marvelous destination for every kind of traveler.
From being home to mind-boggling attractions to offering breathtaking experiences, this city definitely knows how to make one’s holiday magical and memorable. So, if you’re still looking for that perfect yet non-cliche vacation spot, this is your place!
12 Places To Visit In Stockholm
To enjoy the best sights of this capital city, don’t miss out on these 10 places to visit in Stockholm as they are overloaded with adventure, history, and leisure experiences.
- Gamla Stan : The Medieval City Of Stockholm
- Fotografiska : Home Of Contemporary Art
- Djurgarden : The Summer Paradise
- Skansen Open-Air Museum : The Mini Sweden
- The Royal Palace : Abode Of The Sweden Majesty
- Vasa Museum : Ruin Turned Into A Treasure
- The City Hall (Stadshuset) : The Majestic Architecture
- Abba Museum : Where History Meets Music
- SkyView : A Marvelous Globe
- Royal National City Park : The Green Arc
- Östermalm : The Chic District
- Moderna Museet : Heaven For Art Lovers
1. Gamla Stan : The Medieval City Of Stockholm
This old town is the place where Stockholm took birth in the early 13th century. Located at the little island of Stadsholmen, the ancient and narrow cobbled streets gives a medieval vibe which is adorned with many souvenir shops, bars and restaurants. And before leaving make sure to not miss out the Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, which is the narrowest street of Stockholm. The Gamla Stan is one of places to visit in Stockholm for free and explore the historical treasures of the town.
Location: Stadsholmen Island, Stockholm Must Visit Attractions In Gamla Stan: Royal Palace, Nobel Museum, and Storkyrkan
Suggested Read: 10 Best Hotels In Stockholm For A Perfect Stay In The Finest City Of Scandinavia
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2. Fotografiska : Home Of Contemporary Art
Fotografiska is a paradise for the people crazy about capturing moments and one of the top places to visit in Stockholm , as this museum reveals a unique side of contemporary photography. The place hosts four unique large exhibitions and 20 smaller exhibitions annually which attracts a large number of audiences. This museum has perfectly preserved contacts sheets, burned rolls and cameras of past 100 years. Apart from this the main highlight of the place is the drink tasting session of Cava and Rose daily in the evening.
Location: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 116 45 Stockholm Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays: 9 am to 11 pm; Open till 1 am on weekends Tickets Price: SEK 130 (INR 1,010 approx.) per adult, and free for children under 12 years
3. Djurgarden : The Summer Paradise
Image Credit: Djurgården by Flickr
The Djurgarden is one of the best places to visit in Stockholm in summer . Just in the vicinity of the major attractions of Stockholm, this place is a perfect resort for a family picnic in a beautiful summer day. Surrounded by lush greenery and family friendly activities, this place can be explored by a relaxing walk alongside the island. Needless to say, this paradise is also counted amongst the cool places to go in Stockholm .
How To Get There: There are ferry rides which connects this island with other places
Suggested Read: 24 Best Places To Visit In Sweden While Exploring This Winter Wonderland
4. Skansen Open-Air Museum : The Mini Sweden
The Skansen Open-Air Museum is a miniature version of Sweden, located at the suburbs of the Royal Djurgarden. This is one of the world’s oldest open museum which is also a home to many native Scandinavian animals. This place boasts some of the spectacular views of Stockholm and traditions like the Midsummer, Walpurgis and the Lucia which are majorly celebrated in Skansen.
Location: Djurgårdsslätten, Stockholm Opening Hours: 10 AM-10 PM Ticket Price: 100-180 SEK (INR 780-1400 approx.)per person
5. The Royal Palace : Abode Of The Sweden Majesty
Witness the royalty at the Royal Palace which is one of the largest palace in Europe. This huge palace is the home of the majesty king of Sweden and hosts with over 600 rooms. It is open for public and holds around 5 museums within its boundaries. The palace has an Italian Baroque architecture, and showcases antiques, armory and royal costumes.
Location: 107 70 Stockholm, Sweden Opening Hours: 10 AM- 5 PM Tour Tickets Price: 20 SEK (INR 150 approx.) per person
Must Read: Sweden Honeymoon: Top 10 Soul-Stirring Destinations For A Romantic Escape!
6. Vasa Museum : Ruin Turned Into A Treasure
The Vasa museum is dedicated to the 17th century Vasa warship which sank in water and was salvaged after almost 333 years in 1961. It took many years to restore the original glory of this ship, and today it is world’s only preserved ship of that era and this restored treasure turned museum which attracts many people throughout the year.
Location: Galärvarvsvägen 14, Djurgården, Sweden Opening Hours: 8:30 AM-6 PM Ticket Price: For Adults: 130 SEK (INR 1,010 approx.), For Students: 110 SEK (INR 850 approx.), For 18 years old and below: Free
Suggested Read: Experience Stockholm Tour-Venice Of The North On Your Swedish Holiday
7. The City Hall (Stadshuset) : The Majestic Architecture
Being the venue of the Nobel Prize Banquet which is held on 10th December annually, makes this place iconic and a must visit attraction in Stockholm. Built in 1923, this red brick building is a living example of National Romanticism which is only open for public through guided tours. The guided tours take place daily in English and Swedish languages in certain hours.
Location: Hantverkargatan,Stockholm Opening Hours: 8:30 AM- 3 PM Ticket Price: 70-100 SEK (INR 550-780 approx.) per person
8. Abba Museum : Where History Meets Music
For the pop music lovers this place might be a cherry on the cake because this museum is one of the best places to visit in Stockholm . This museum is dedicated to the biggest pop music group of Sweden, ABBA ABBA comprising Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid. The museum has treasured everything related to the group including their stage costumes, gear and memorabilia along with an interactive exhibition which is housed at the Swedish Music Hall of Fame.
Established On: 2013 Location: Djurgårdsvägen 68, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden Opening Hours: 9 AM-7 PM Ticket Price: Per Adult- 250 SEK (INR 1,950 approx.), Per Student- 175 SEK (INR. 1,365 approx.), Per Child- 95 SEK (INR 740 approx.)
Suggested Read: 10 Quintessential Hotels In Sweden Fitting Every Pocket
9. SkyView : A Marvelous Globe
Capture the aerial view of Stockholm by standing at this SkyView building which is one of a kind. The Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building which ensures to give you 360 degree view of the city. Situated at a height of 130 meters (425 ft.), there are gondola cable rides connected to the building which departs in every 10 minutes. And just not the view, one can also explore the restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops adjacent to the sky view.
Location: Globentorget 2, 12177 Stockholm Opening Hours: 9 AM-7 PM Ticket Price: 150 SEK (INR 1,170 approx.) per person
10. Royal National City Park : The Green Arc
Image Credit: Visit stockholm
As unusual as it sounds, this national park is the first urban national park settled just amidst the city. This national park is stretched across six miles passing through the city in the shape of an arc. The lush greenery makes this place abundant with many species of animals like the deer, hares and even foxes and moose which one can witness the city premises. Along with this one can also relax and enjoy at amusement parks, theatres, museums which will make you feel like roaming in the middle of a jungle like city. So, if you’re looking for places to visit in Stockholm city that are perfect for nature lovers, this is the place to be.
Location: 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
11. Östermalm : The Chic District
One of the chicest places to visit in Stockholm, Sweden , this district must be on every traveler’s itinerary. From high-end labels to designer shops, this neighborhood flaunts it all. Some of the places you must stop by are Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken, and Östermalmshallen to witness and take home the authentic Swedish produce.
Location: Strandvagen, Stockholm, Sweden
12. Moderna Museet : Heaven For Art Lovers
If you think you’d run out of places and would have to look for places to visit near Stockholm for adding more uniqueness to your holiday, fret not. The Moderna Museet is the perfect place to soak up the foremost artworks of Europe by artists such as Picasso, Dali, and more. From modern classics to contemporary art, you can find it all here.
Location: Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm, Sweden Timings: 10AM-6PM Ticket Price: SEK 120–150 per person
Further Read: 15 Best Things To Do In Sweden For Treating The Explorer In You!
Sweden on your mind? Then don’t miss out these 12 places to visit in Stockholm. But before that, plan the best Stockholm vacation with TravelTriangle , and take one right away to enjoy the scenic landscapes of one of the most picturesque countries of the world.
Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.
Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places In Stockholm
Can you see the northern lights in Stockholm?
In Sweden, the northern lights are mostly seen only in the northern regions. However, it completely depends on solar activity, which is high, can definitely reach further to the south in Stockholm.
What is there to do in Stockholm in 2 days?
There’s a lot that you can in two days in Stockholm like you can visit Skansen, the Vasa Museum & the Waterways. You can take a tour of the Royal Palace and post that head out for a food tour & a shopping spree. Sipping a hot chocolate in the old square and taking a ferry ride to Djurgården, the greenest island, are also things you can add to your itinerary.
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9 essential travel tips for Stockholm visitors
Publish date : 4 May 2023
New in town, or just visiting? Here are some things that you should know.
1. No cash needed There's no need to exchange a lot of currency – Stockholm is a nearly cash-free city and at many restaurants, shops, and hotels the Swedish coins and bills have no value. With that said, don't forget to bring your debit or credit card!
2. Everyone speaks English Swedes start studying English in school before the age of 10, and we never miss a chance to practice our learning. In fact, it's often said that we love speaking English so much, that people who move here find it hard to learn Swedish.
3. The Stockholm airports Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) is the main international airport. It is located 42 kilometers north of Stockholm and 36 kilometers south of Uppsala. All major airlines and long-distance airplanes serve this airport.
Bromma Stockholm (BMA) is the most central airport and is used by smaller aircraft. Bra, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, and Finnair serve this airport, located 8 kilometers from the city center.
Stockholm Skavsta Airport (NYO) is located outside of Nyköping, and about 100 kilometers southwest of Stockholm. Ryanair and Wizz Air serve this airport.
Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST) is located outside of Västerås, and about 100 kilometers northwest of Stockholm. Ryanair serves this airport.
Read more about getting to and from the different airports here .
4. Midsummer – the unofficial national day Sweden's national day may be June 6, but the day we really put on our party pants is Midsummer Eve, at the end of June. Many locals head to the archipelago for celebrations, so Stockholm City can be quite deserted during the Midsummer weekend. But don't you worry – there are a lot of public events in the city center as well. You’ll find them in our events calendar .
5. Systembolaget has a monopoly on alcohol If you want to buy a bottle of wine or liquor outside a bar, you need to head to government-owned Systembolaget. And plan your weekend drinking ahead – the stores close early in the afternoon on Saturdays and don’t open at all on Sundays and during public holidays.
6. The subway is an art gallery The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world's longest art exhibit. Over the last few years, the interest has grown so big that SL (Stockholm Public Transport) now offers free guided art tours in English all year round. All you need is a valid subway ticket.
7. Getting around the city Stockholm is built upon islands and bridges. The Instagram-worthy views are everywhere, and the best way to catch them while discovering the city is on foot. So pack your best walking shoes and a portable charger! Here are our best Instagram spots.
8. Island hopping in the archipelago In the wintertime, you can use the SL card to go island hopping in between some of the 30 000 islands in the Stockholm archipelago. Just make sure you have a valid travel card. On the Djurgården ferries and the commuter ferries, the travel card is valid all year round.
9. After work – the happy hour out of office "After work" is the Swedish version of happy hour. Locals head straight from the office to bars and pubs to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, often to a slightly reduced price. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the most popular days for an after work.
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