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Stockholm, Sweden, June 6, 2017: View of strand on Langholmen island. Backside of people, dogs looking at city, sitting on stones, relaxing. Vasterbron bridge on background. Bright sun making shadows.

The 21 best things to do in Stockholm

Want to know what’s cool in Östermalm or Södermalm? Check out our guide to the very best things to do in Stockholm

Welcome to Stockholm , where its terrific ABBA Museum barely scratches the surface of all the incredible things there are to do here (obviously, you should still visit the ABBA Museum. It’s great). This city is full of great shopping opportunities, brunch spots, galleries and more; you just have to know where to look. 

Once you get into what Stockholm’s really about, you’ll find this city’s attractions range from cold water swimming and hidden gardens to lakeside food markets and indie cinemas doing breakfast screenings . You heard us! Whatever you’re into, Stockholm’s got it. Read on for its best things to do right now. 

RECOMMENDED: 🍽️ The best restaurants in Stockholm 🍷 The best bars in Stockholm 🏘️ Where to stay in Stockholm 🏛️ The best museums in Stockholm 🏠 The best Airbnbs in Stockholm

This guide was last updated by Phoebe Egoroff , 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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What to do in Stockholm

Djurgården’s world-class museums

1.  Djurgården’s world-class museums

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • price 2 of 4

Stockholmers are obsessed with nature, and nowhere is better than Djurgården’s tranquil waterside and woodland trails. If you’re into your art and history, this island also boasts several of the capital’s most significant museums. At the open-air Skansen , stroll through five centuries of Swedish houses and farmsteads and observe wild Nordic animals. The  Vasa Museum  is home to a giant 17th-century salvaged ship, while  ABBA: The Museum  combines nostalgic memorabilia with quirky interactive exhibits. And choruses, obviously.

Time Out tip:  Food options in Djurgården are pricey, so pack a picnic and tuck in on the waterfront behind the Vasa Museum, or find a spot off one of the grassy trails.

Sail through the 30,000-island archipelago

2.  Sail through the 30,000-island archipelago

  • price 3 of 4

Stockholm’s city centre consists of 14 islands, but that’s nothing compared with the tens of thousands that make up its sprawling archipelago. The three-hour ferry ride to the last island before Finland, Sandhamn, makes the Swedish capital feel endless. Forest-covered and dotted with brightly coloured cottages, the islands on your way range from the remote and unexplored to pristine tourist spots boasting boutique  hotels , galleries and long stretches of sandy beaches.

Time Out tip:  During the winter season (from September up until the end of April), some of the longer ferry rides are free. Check the Waxholmsbolaget and SL company websites for details and timetables.

Panoramic art gallery Fotografiska

3.  Panoramic art gallery Fotografiska

  • Specialist interest

In an old waterfront red-brick building that once belonged to the customs department, you’ll find a photography gallery with wall upon wall of striking images. Fotografiska has late-opening hours all week and broad rotating exhibitions on everything from feminism to global politics. You’ll also find one of the sleekest bars and best cafés in the city, with panoramic waterside views across Stockholm’s central islands.

Time Out tip:  If you’re in Stockholm visiting a friend, ask if they have a Fotografiska membership to bag yourself a reduced entry fee.

Challenge yourself at the Swedish History Museum

4.  Challenge yourself at the Swedish History Museum

Among the very best of  Stockholm’s state-owned museums is the Swedish History Museum. From a candid exhibit exploring Sweden’s heinous treatment of its indigenous minorities to another exploring the links between the Vikings and Nazism, this place challenges the very notion of a history museum – and history itself. 

Time Out tip:  Take Tram 7 from Central Station to the museum along opulent Strandvägen. Your ride is included on the metro card, and on national holidays they run vintage carriages with a tearoom on board.

Afternoon tea in SoFo

5.  Afternoon tea in SoFo

In Sweden, ‘fika’ (afternoon tea) is a daily ritual. Stockholmers usually seek out coffee, but a few of the capital’s best establishments also have a decent tea menu (see  Il Caffè ,  Pom & Flora ,  Café Pascal  and Socker Sucker ). For the flat white-inclined, SoFo, the area ‘south of Folkungatan’ on Södermalm island, has become a hotbed of trendy coffee shops. The baked goods of choice here include cinnamon and cardamom buns (plus saffron in winter), and if you fancy something savoury, there’ll often be rye open sandwiches or small rolls filled with cheese, egg or avocado.

Time Out tip:  For locals, fika time is strictly post-3pm, when the café-bakeries start to fill up. As a tourist, you can bag a quieter coffee break much earlier.

An apocalyptic underground art tour

6.  An apocalyptic underground art tour

Stockholm’s metro network is often dubbed the world’s longest art gallery for a good reason; most stations have art in some form or other. Carved out of rocks, many retain the feel of a newly discovered cave, vividly brought to life through rainbow colours, words (the university stop has the Swedish human rights declaration tiled like a crossword) and futuristic patterns. The blue line hosts some of the most daring designs, including its starting point, Kungsträdgården, which feels like some post-apocalyptic archaeological discovery. 

Time Out tip:  The SL metro card covers a vast public transport network in the Stockholm region, stretching as far as the airport (if you take a bus from Märsta). For the best value for money, buy a 72-hour or 7-day ticket.

Watch the sun set at Monteliusvägen cliff path

7.  Watch the sun set at Monteliusvägen cliff path

  • Walks and tours

Be sure to round off your sightseeing by watching the sun go down over the shimmering surface of Lake Mälaren. The best spot to do this would be Norr Mälarstrand, a leafy trail that provides views of the Old Town and its characterful spires. If you are lucky, you might glimpse the Northern Lights.

Time Out tip:  Don’t forget to pack an evening picnic to help you stay warm while sunset-watching. Nearby Slussen boasts many independent coffee shops.

Craft beer at eco-hub Hammarby Sjöstad

8.  Craft beer at eco-hub Hammarby Sjöstad

  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs

Off the beaten tourist trail, this industrial wasteland-turned-urban eco-district is worth a trip to check out its impressive energy-saving modern architecture (designed to reduce heat consumption) or bike along its pristine waterfront cycle lanes. To quench your thirst, drop by craft beer bar Nya Carnegiebryggeriet. Run by a team trained at the legendary Brooklyn Brewery in New York, it specialises in seasonal releases and limited-edition experiments. 

Time Out tip:  Turn up on a Wednesday, just as they put their latest brew on tap, and try it in 1/3 pint samples.

Hellasgården’s lakeside sauna

9.  Hellasgården’s lakeside sauna

  • Health and beauty
  • Saunas and baths
  • price 1 of 4

A bonding ritual and coping mechanism in the long winters, the sauna is an integral part of the Nordic culture – a must-do activity while you’re here. Sweat out your stress at Hellasgården, a recreation area inside Nacka nature reserve, a short bus ride from Stockholm’s Slussen station. Expect to strip off completely in their gender-separated saunas and find locals braving a dip in the icy lake, even when the temperatures are well into the minuses. 

Time Out tip:  It’s worth combining a trip to Hellasgården’s sauna with one of the hiking trails around the lake. Check the giant map at the main entrance for inspiration. There are also plenty of barbecue spots for public use.

Moderna Museet on Skeppsholmen

10.  Moderna Museet on Skeppsholmen

You can visit Moderna Museet ’s fantastic modern and contemporary art exhibitions any day of the week, but if you’re strapped for cash there’s free entry on Fridays from 6-8pm. It’s also home to a bookshop and café with a terrace overlooking the water across towards Östermalm’s lavish façades. You can reach the museum by footbridge from Kungsträdgården or by commuter ferry with your metro card. 

Time Out tip:  As one of the smallest central islands, Skeppsholmen makes for a beautiful brisk evening walk (with panoramic city-centre views).

Breakfast screenings at Bio Rio

11.  Breakfast screenings at Bio Rio

  • Independent

One of the best ways to tackle a weekend hangover in Stockholm is to nestle into the soft red velvet seats at the iconic 1940s cinema Bio Rio in Hornstull. On Sundays at 10.30am, it hosts breakfast screenings, where you can catch a retro or newly-released indie film while snacking on a simple smörgåsbord of yoghurt, muesli, fruit and an open Swedish sandwich, knocking back as much coffee as you like. 

Time Out tip:  Many of the films shown are in English or have English subtitles, but check in advance to make sure you don’t end up trying to make sense of an obscure Japanese arthouse offering via a Swedish translation.

Tantolunden’s hidden hillside gardens

12.  Tantolunden’s hidden hillside gardens

  • Parks and gardens

More than 100 allotments and brightly painted wooden cottages tucked away on Tantolunden’s hillside make this one of the city’s most colourful parks, and one of the city’s most  Instagram-friendly places . Think perfectly manicured flower beds and terracotta miniature homes you can cook or nap in. Elsewhere in the park, there’s mini-golf, two outdoor gyms and plenty of benches from which to watch passing boats during summer. In winter, it’s a well-trodden spot for a Sunday stroll or even a toboggan ride when the snow is falling.

Time Out tip:  Hike up the mound in the centre of the park to get some fantastic panoramic photos over the water towards Liljeholmen.

Swimming off Långholmen island

13.  Swimming off Långholmen island

Just a 15-minute stroll from urban Hornstull’s bustling coffee shops and bars is Långholmen island, home to a former prison that is now a hotel, restaurant and museum. The island is surrounded by coastal paths and greenery, making this an oasis within the city centre. With its modest sandy front, Långholmen beach is surrounded by flat rocks and a grassy bank where locals flock for picnics. As soon as summer hits, this is one of the Swedish capital’s most frequented swimming spots.

Time Out tip:  Långholmen’s bathing spots offer good-quality cold outdoor showers if you need to freshen up before heading back into the city. 

Light up Telefonplan tower

14.  Light up Telefonplan tower

The tower of the building that houses Konstfack, Sweden’s most significant design school, doubles up as a permanent interactive art installation. Simply step out at Telefonplan metro station after sunset and stand opposite the brutalist structure. On your way there, download the  Colour by Numbers  app, which lets you control the colour of the lights in the windows.

Time Out tip:  If you’re on the other side of the city, you can still watch the kaleidoscopic display on a live stream through the app. 

Sunbathe at Hornstulls Strand

15.  Sunbathe at Hornstulls Strand

This small stretch of sand on the edge of one of Södermalm’s most popular neighbourhoods becomes the ultimate gathering place when summer hits. There’s a jetty to swim from, mini-golf, ice cream and hot dog stands, plus panoramic views across the water towards the shiny Liljeholmen development. At night, crowds come out to drink, catch some evening sun and compete for blasting the loudest stereo. Floating oasis bar  Loopen  serves drinks until the midnight sun takes its short break.

Time Out tip:  This is a prime swimming spot, but taking a dip here is only for the (extremely!) brave – until June at least. Some warmer water can be found at Brunnsviken, the lake by Stockholm University. 

Subterranean games mecca Ugglan

16.  Subterranean games mecca Ugglan

In the heart of Stockholm’s Brooklyn-inspired SoFo district, Ugglan is where locals seek out fun and games on gloomy winter evenings. An after-work social hotspot, Ugglan is the place to indulge in table football, darts, boules, shuffleboard and air hockey, play with arcade machines, or join in a game of round-the-table ping pong. There’s locally brewed beer on tap and decent street food to soak it all up.

Time Out tip:  If you’re in a big group and keen to stay the whole evening, the food and activity package deals are well worth it, giving you fixed time slots for up to three games and access to an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Street food at Hornstulls Marknad

17.  Street food at Hornstulls Marknad

  • Markets and fairs

Every weekend from Easter until the end of summer, Hornstull’s waterfront is home to a flea market of vintage clothing, knick-knacks and local handicrafts. You’ll also find a selection of food trucks serving things like crêpes, Vietnamese sandwiches, vibrant veggie curries and punchy burritos. Tuck into your food on the wooden seating platforms overlooking the water. Mid-afternoon (if the sun is out), you might find local bands setting up for a gig.

Time Out tip:  To avoid the throngs by the food trucks, take your pickings for a picnic in neighbouring  Tantolunden park .

Open-air club Trädgården

18.  Open-air club Trädgården

No trip to Stockholm between May and September is complete without a visit to the city’s outdoor party spaces. Rooftop bars  Slakthuset , in a former slaughterhouse, and  Tak , on a revamped square in brutalist Norrmalm, are the most talked-about locations. But the epicentre of summer nightlife on Södermalm is Trädgården, a massive courtyard dance area with burger shacks, table tennis and a jigsaw of bars bedecked with fairy lights. 

Time Out tip:  Entry is often free before 8 pm; check Trädgården’s social media for the latest information. The vibe here is very casual, but be aware that temperatures can drop quickly (should you turn up in your favourite summer shorts).

19.  Get a drink in one of the world’s best bars

If you’re in a cocktail mood, look no further than Lucy’s Flower Shop , our favourite bar in Stockholm (it’s previously also found its way onto the World’s 50 Best ). Once you pay a visit you’ll understand why. Tucked away behind a secret door in an abandoned flower shop, what awaits is a colourful oasis with a Scandi-cool edge, boasting a short yet creative menu of exceptionally good cocktails. Lucy’s Flower Shop is open from 5pm – 1am and closed on Mondays. 

Time Out tip: Due to its popularity and small capacity, Lucy’s Flower Shop can often be fully booked weeks in advance; book well ahead to avoid disappointment.

Shop at Södermalm’s second hand stores

20.  Shop at Södermalm’s second hand stores

If you’re going to hang out in Stockholm’s trendy Södermalm neighbourhood, you may as well embrace the local style and shop for new garms at one of the neighbourhood’s many second-hand stores. All within walking distance from each other, you can spend an afternoon or even a whole day browsing POP Stockholm , Beyond Retro , and HUMANA . It’s not uncommon for certain stores to be closed on a Monday, so make sure you check their opening hours before heading out.

Time Out tip: Head to HUMANA’s  Instagram page to get a first look at the new vintage arrivals in-store; they add around 200-500 pieces to their collection every day.

More great things to do in Stockholm

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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.

Colourful buildings in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

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.

Fall in Djurgarden, Stockholm

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.

A pretty green island in the Stockholm archipelago

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

The Royal Palace in Stockholm

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!

The Nobel Academy buildling in Stockholm

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

Ostermalm's Saluhall food market in Stockholm

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.

View of the river and Sodermalm district in Stockholm

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.

Inside the Stockholm metro with artistic murals

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.

Snow and the Royal Swedish Opera in winter

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 .

Enjoying Fika with friends in Sweden

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 .

emma blog profile

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.

Getting there

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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  • 40+ Fun Things to Do (as a Tourist) in Stockholm
  • See & Do

Looking for things to do as a tourist in Stockholm? Whether you’re a culture seeker, nature lover, foodie, or traveling with the kids, you’ll find that this beautiful capital city has a broad selection of sightseeing options and attractions for your Nordic adventure.

  • Feed Your Senses at Stortorget
  • Hop-on Hop-off with RED Sightseeing
  • The easiest way to discover Stockholm
  • Go Dragon Hunting at the Great Church
  • Museum Hop at The Royal Palace
  • Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Järnpojke
  • Watch the Sun Set at Monteliusvägen
  • Fotografiska: No Ordinary Museum
  • Skeppsholmen
  • Immerse Yourself in Modern Art, Architecture and Design
  • Discover the culinary Stockholm with Moveat
  • The city's most delicious activity
  • Skansen: Living Scandinavian History
  • ABBA The Museum: Pop Back to the 70's
  • Vasa Museum: Maritime Time Machine
  • It’s Child’s Play at Junibacken
  • Have a Farm-to-Table Lunch at Rosendals Garden
  • Get a Shot of Adrenaline at Gröna Lund
  • Enjoy an evening of mini-golf, food and drinks at Swing by Golfbaren
  • A unique minigolf experience in central Stockholm
  • Stroll Along Strandvägen
  • Brunch While Cruising the Archipelago
  • Bergius Botanic Garden
  • Norrmalm / City
  • Mid-Century Metro
  • Opera Anyone?
  • Get Classy at the Stockholm Concert Hall
  • Kungsholmen
  • Swim at Råmlambshov Park
  • Hunt for Sculptures at Stockholm City Hall
  • Ramble Around Royalty at Drottningholm Castle
  • Build Your Stockholm Itinerary

S tockholm is located on Sweden’s southeast coast, built on an archipelago of fourteen islands where freshwater Lake Mälaren meets with the Baltic sea. Let’s explore some of Stockholm’s islands and districts to discover activities to fill your vacation itinerary.

We’ll start with the most iconic district in Stockholm…

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Gamla Stan , (‘Old Town Stockholm’) is located on the island of Stadsholmen (and officially Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg) in central Stockholm.

At Stortorget , (‘Grand Square’) and throughout the entire island, your eyes will enjoy exploring the architecture of the iconic colorful old buildings while your taste buds savor a bite from one of the many cafés . If you’re looking for souvenirs, you’ll find some quality shops here too.

Stortorget in Old Town, Stockholm

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Stockholm Travel Guide: 32 Best Things To Do & See in the Swedish Capital

Stockholm Travel Guide: 32 Best Things To Do & See in the Swedish Capital

The venice of the north.

Stockholm, Sweden’s capital , is super cosy!

As Alexander’s grandmother and grandfather live just south of the city, we have been lucky to visit Stockholm countless times over the years in all seasons.

“Fika”, old streets, walks along the canals and nice interior design shops… That’s just some of the things we love most about Stockholm.

You can easily spend a weekend in Stockholm – or several days – because there is so much to do and see at the many islands in the archipelago (which has given the city the nickname the Venice of the North).

In this travel guide to Stockholm, we share the best things to do and see as well as tips and recommendations for where to stay, good restaurants and cafés, how to get around and much more.

Where to stay in Stockholm?

  • Budget: STF Zinkensdamm Hostel – Hostel five minutes from the beach in Södermalm.
  • Value for money: Backstage Hotel Stockholm – Nice hotel close to nature on Djurgården.
  • Luxury: Grand Hôtel Stockholm – Stockholm’s finest hotel.
  • Search for the best value accommodation in Stockholm here .

Table of contents

Best things to do and see in Stockholm

Where to stay in stockholm, best restaurants and cafés in stockholm, how to get around stockholm, how to get to stockholm, our best tips for visiting stockholm.

Stockholm narrow street

Stockholm map and geography

Stockholm is spread over several different islands and islets. The central part of the city is located on 14 islands , all of which are connected by more than 50 bridges .

Stockholm’s archipelago consists of more than 20,000 islands (some say 30,000!), which spread east from the city towards the Baltic Sea.

Stockholm City Card

We’ll start this guide to Stockholm by mentioning an all-inclusive pass to the city: Stockholm City Card .

It’s a really great idea if you want to experience several museums or go on sailing trips in the archipelago.

You get access to more than 50 attractions and tours in Stockholm which you can visit freely for either 1 day, 2 days, 3 days or 5 days.

The card is valid, among other things, for:

  • Going on an Archipelago Sightseeing Cruise with a guide.
  • Sailing to Drottningholm.
  • Visiting the Vasa Museum.
  • Going up to SkyView Stockholm.

Some of Stockholm’s biggest and best highlights , in other words.

Several of the things to do and see in this travel guide to Stockholm are included in the Stockholm City Card, so we will mention it again later.

If you want to check out the prices and which museums, attractions and tours are included, you can read more about the Stockholm City Card here ( adlink ).

Tip: Remember to check the digital guide you receive after your purchase to see the updated list of included experiences and attractions, opening hours and specific booking instructions.

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Victoria in a colourful street in Stockholm's Gamla Stan

Since you are reading this travel guide, you are probably wondering what to do and see in Stockholm.

Well, we have been to Sweden’s capital many times and still find new exciting shops and cafés to visit as well as parks and museums we haven’t been to before.

There are plenty of sights and attractions for both a weekend trip and a longer stay.

In our opinion, here are the best things to do and see in Stockholm:

  • Gamla Stan – The old town
  • Stockholm Palace – The royal residence
  • Stockholm Cathedral – The royal church
  • The Parliament House – The legislative assembly
  • Riddarholmen and Riddarholm Church
  • Stockholms Stadhus – The City Hall
  • Walk along the canals
  • Canal cruise – See Stockholm from the waterside
  • Djurgården – The green lungs of Stockholm
  • The Vasa Museum – A well-preserved 17th-century warship
  • The Viking Museum – Norse mythology and an interactive exhibition
  • Skansen – The world’s oldest open-air museum
  • Gröna Lund – Stockholm’s amusement park
  • Rosendal Garden and Rosendal Palace
  • Junibacken – A fun playground for children
  • Candlelight Concert – Live performances with thousands of candles
  • Södermalm – Hip atmosphere and great food
  • Fotografiska – Museum of Photography with a view
  • Katarinavägen – View of Gamla Stan
  • Skinnarviksberget – Natural view of the city
  • Sofia Church and Vitabergsparken
  • Östermalm – Fancy shops and beautiful architecture
  • Östermalms Saluhall – Food market for aestheticians
  • Norrmalm – Shopping and culture in the centre
  • Hallwylska Museet – A luxurious family mansion
  • Paradox Museum – Optical illusions for children
  • More parks and green areas in Stockholm
  • SkyView – View of Stockholm from the Globe
  • Stockholm’s metro stations – An underground art gallery
  • Hop-on hop-off bus tour – See the best of Stockholm
  • Shopping – Everything from vintage shops to Swedish chain stores
  • Drottningholm Palace – Royal castle from the 17th century

1. Gamla Stan – The old town

Stockholm’s old town Gamla Stan is a must-visit when in Stockholm.

The area is located on an island in the middle of the city ( Stadsholmen ) between Norrmalm and Södermalm and it’s lovely to stroll through when walking from one district to the other.

The streets of Gamla Stan are narrow, old and really cute .

And yes, it is a bit touristy with souvenir shops and slightly more expensive food options… But the area is still super charming!

Our favourite streets in Gamla Stan:

  • Västerlånggatan with the many shops.
  • The more quiet Prästgatan , which, among other things, includes The German Church.
  • Köpmangatan (Stockholm’s oldest street).
  • Österlånggatan , where there are several small galleries and special shops.

Also, don’t miss Stortorget with the beautiful coloured houses and The Nobel Museum as well as the narrowest alley of Stockholm: Mårten Trotzig’s Alley .

In Gamla Stan, you will find Stockholm Palace , Stockholm Cathedral and the Parliament House – all of which we will get into in more detail below.

The coloured houses on Stortorget

2. The Royal Palace – The royal residence

If you are interested in history , royal families or as Victoria loves historical drama series and movies about the royals, you can’t miss The Royal Palace ( Kungliga Slottet in Swedish).

Even though it’s the royal couple’s official residence and workplace , large parts of the castle are open all year round.

The Royal Palace is built in Baroque style and we were really impressed with the pompous rooms , the art and the gold details in the old castle.

It’s like stepping into a movie! It’s also fun to experience if you have watched the Netflix series Young Royals .

In addition to the castle itself, the entrance ticket also gives access to the Royal Treasury ( Skattkammaren ) with incredible royal crowns and weapons as well as the Museum Three Crowns ( Tre Kronor ), where you can learn more about the development of the old Tre Kronor Palace from a defence fort to a Renaissance palace.

See opening times, prices and different types of tickets on their website .

Stockholm Palace staircase

3. Stockholm Cathedral – The royal church

Right next to Stockholm Palace (described above), you’ll find Stockholm Cathedral ( Storkyrkan in Swedish).

The cathedral, which is also called Sankt Nikolai Kyrka , is the oldest church in Stockholm.

Inside the church, there is, among other things, a famous statue of Saint George and the Dragon, a beautiful organ and an impressive altar.

It’s worth checking out if you are in Gamla Stan.

By the way, this is the church in which Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria married Daniel .

The church can obviously be seen from the outside for free, but (unfortunately) going inside costs a little bit .

You can buy a ticket at the entrance.

Tip: The entrance fee to the church is included if you have the Stockholm City Card ( adlink ).

Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan)

4. The Parliament House – The legislative assembly

The Parliament House is called Riksdagshuset, and it is the seat of the Parliament of Sweden .

The building is located on a small island, Helgeandsholmen , just north of Gamla Stan, and it’s open to the public ( read about visiting the Riksdag here ).

It’s an impressive building and it’s worth passing by to admire even if you don’t intend to go inside.

The Parliament House (Riksdagshuset)

5. Riddarholmen and Riddarholm Church

Riddarholmen is located on a small islet west of Gamla Stan.

On the cute little streets , you will find the town court, Birger Jarl’s tower, the Gamla Riksarkivet and lots of beautiful views of the water.

Riddarholmen Church is a beautiful burial and memorial church where former Swedish regents are buried.

The church is open to visitors during the summer season and also arranges several concerts throughout the year.

Riddarholmen Church

6. Stockholms Stadhus – The City Hall

The city hall , Stockholms Stadhus, was built between 1911 and 1923 and it was designed by the Swedish architect Ragnar Östberg in a national romantic style.

There are tours of the city hall almost daily ( read more about times and prices here ).

The city hall is located next to the water at the tip of Kungsholmen , where you can get a great view of Riddarholmen and the western part of Södermalm from the City Hall vantage point ( Stadshuset utsiktspunkt ).

In addition to being the seat of Stockholm’s municipality, it’s also where the Nobel Prize is awarded every year in December in the magnificent halls.

Stockholm’s City Hall - seen from Södermalm

7. Walk along the canals

One of the most characteristic features of Sweden’s capital is the many canals and waterways that wind through the city.

In fact, there is so much water that Stockholm is sometimes called the Venice of the North .

Taking the time to walk along the canals is definitely recommended!

Enjoy the views over the water from the many bridges and roads along the waterfront, for example from Strandvägen , which runs from Norrmalm to Djurgården, North Mälarstrand a little west of the city hall, or Söder Mälarstrand just on the other side on the western part of Södermalm.

This is Karlbergskanalen (the Karlberg Canal) which is close to the City Hall in the St. Erik area on Kungsholmen

8. Canal cruise – See Stockholm from the waterside

You can also choose to see Stockholm from the water by going on a canal cruise.

Several companies offer boat trips in the canals where you get a unique perspective on the city and pass several of the best sights in Stockholm.

There are also several different types of boat trips included among the experiences you can get with a Stockholm City Card ( adlink ).

Going on a canal cruise in Stockholm is definitely a wonderful way to see the city.

9. Djurgården – The green lungs of Stockholm

The island of Djurgården is a beautiful oasis in the middle of Stockholm which is especially nice to visit in the summer because of the large green areas.

Rosendals Trädgård (the Rosendal Garden) with Rosendals Slott (the Rosendal Palace), Ekoparken, Djurgårdens Bokskog and Frisens Park take up a large part of the island.

The historic open-air museum Skansen is worth a visit on a day with good weather, too.

Near the water, you will find the amusement park Gröna Lund , ABBA The Museum and other popular museums such as the Vasa Museum , The Viking Museum , The Nordic Museum and the children’s park Junibacken .

Below we go into more detail about several of the experiences and sights on Djurgården.

Djurgården sign with things to do

10. The Vasa Museum – A well-preserved 17th-century warship

The Vasa Museum is one of Stockholm’s most famous museums and iconic landmarks .

The Vasa Ship sank in 1628 shortly after it sailed from the port of Stockholm on its maiden voyage.

Around 300 years later, the ship was raised from the bottom of the sea and restored. Now it can be experienced up close.

Alexander naturally visited the Vasa Museum as a child with his Swedish family – because it’s truly an exciting museum for children where you, among other things, can play between the cannons and imagine being inside the ship.

On our most recent trip to Stockholm, we both visited the museum and it was impressive to see the gigantic ship from six different floors . That way we could soak in all the details and see the ship from all angles.

There are several small exhibits, including a screening of a 17-minute documentary about the ship’s history.

The Vasa Museum is included in the Stockholm City Card ( adlink ) which gives access to more than 50 experiences and sights in Stockholm.

You can also buy your ticket online ( adlink ) or at the museum entrance.

Children up to 18 years old can enter The Vasa Museum for free.

The Vasa Museum big ship

11. The Viking Museum – Norse mythology and an interactive exhibition

We have to admit that we didn’t have high expectations for the Viking Museum. But we were positively surprised and really enjoyed our visit.

Here, you can learn about Norse mythology , Scandinavian history and of course the Viking way of life .

If you have seen Viking-themed TV series like Vikings, The Last Kingdom or Norsemen, it’s fun to see some of the more in-depth descriptions of the characters you know from the screen.

The museum is right next to the Vasa Museum on Djurgården, so it’s easy to combine a visit to both – and that’s exactly what we did.

Something that made the Viking Museum special was a small “ride” called Ragnfrid’s Saga , where you sit in a carriage (like in an amusement park) that takes you on a journey back to the Viking Age and tells the story of the fate of a Viking family.

In the course of 11 minutes, the carriage takes you through different rooms with figures, exhibitions, videos as well as light and sound installations. It was really well made!

You can choose to hear the story in English, Swedish and several other languages.

Visiting The Viking Museum, like the Vasa Museum, is also included in the Stockholm City Card ( adlink ).

Alternatively, you can buy tickets online ( adlink ) or at the entrance.

Alex acting like a Viking at the Viking Museum

12. Skansen – The world’s oldest open-air museum

It has been quite a few years since we visited Skansen but we still include it in this travel guide to Stockholm as it’s a really cosy place.

At the world’s oldest open-air museum, you can travel back in time and learn about how the Swedes lived in the 16th century and up to the first half of the 20th century.

There are 150 historic houses and farms from all over Sweden.

During the summer season, there are singing, dancing and concerts at the outdoor museum while the winter season includes a Christmas market and Christmas concerts.

We have to admit that we are a bit conflicted about the fact that Skansen also has enclosures with wild Nordic animals, an aquarium and a children’s zoo with farm animals. As vegans and animal lovers, we don’t think animals should be kept in captivity like that.

13. Gröna Lund – Stockholm’s amusement park

Gröna Lund is Sweden’s oldest amusement park and it’s beautifully located next to the water on Djurgården.

If you are travelling with children , this is a fun place to spend the day.

There are around 30 rides , lots of stalls with games and lotteries as well as several restaurants and snack stands.

In addition, there is also entertainment for children, concerts and dance evenings.

Read more about Gröna Lund’s opening hours, prices and events on their website .

Gröna Lund rides

14. Rosendal Garden and Rosendal Palace

Go for a walk, relax in the sun or enjoy the many flowers and plants in the large green garden in the middle of Djurgården.

In Rosendals Trädgård (the Rosendal Garden), you’ll find biodynamic fruits, vegetables and flowers (which you can buy and take home with you).

There is a cute greenhouse café with lunch dishes, coffee and cake, too.

Apart from that, the garden also has a cool labyrinth and the beautiful Rosendal Palace from the 19th century ( read more about opening hours and prices here ).

Rosendal Palace

15. Junibacken – A fun playground for children

We have not visited Junibacken ourselves, but if you are in Stockholm with young children , you should definitely check it out.

The children’s museum is a cultural centre for children (and childlike souls) , and it has a theatre, interactive exhibitions, places to play, a large bookstore with children’s books and many references to Astrid Lindgren’s world.

Among other things, you can “lift up” Pippi’s horse and ride a story train that takes you through several of the well-known Astrid Lindgren stories.

It’s recommended to buy tickets in advance – they can be purchased online here ( adlink ) or at the museum entrance where they cost a little more.

16. Candlelight Concert – Live performances with thousands of candles

Stockholm is already one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Now you can experience a special night with Candlelight Concerts; musical events by Fever that put on unique shows with classical music, tributes to contemporaries (like Sweden’s very own ABBA) as well as other genres like ballets and even anime.

What they all have in common, though, is the intimate settings and the thousands of candles . It sounds and looks so beautiful!

Read more about what’s on and book your Candlelight tickets here .

Candlelight concert

17. Södermalm – Hip atmosphere and great food

Södermalm, often called Söder , is a large area in Stockholm south of Gamla Stan with lots of green parks, cosy cafés and restaurants, thrift shops, interior design and clothing stores.

The hippest part of Söder is the SoFo district (South of Folkungagatan), where you’ll find many creative and innovative fashion stores, designer shops, small galleries and trendy eateries.

Further down, we’ll mention some of the best things to do and see in Södermalm.

Södermalm's roofs seen from the vantage point on Skinnarviksberget

18. Fotografiska – Museum of Photography with a view

With a beautiful view over the water and Stockholm’s small islands, the museum Fotografiska is located in an old customs station building in the northernmost part of Södermalm.

The modern photography museum is often recommended as one of the best things to experience in Stockholm – and for a good reason!

When we stopped by, there were three exhibitions at the museum and we were particularly fond of the News Flash exhibition which displayed unique news photographs from different decades.

The museum shop is also quite cool with many books, posters and Swedish design objects.

Furthermore, the museum is open from 10 am to 11 pm every day which can be convenient if you have more energy in the evening when all the other museums and shops are closed.

You can see the current exhibitions on Fotografiska’s website .

And if you have already considered buying a Stockholm City Card ( adlink ), you will be pleased to hear that Fotografiska is also included in the pass.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets online ( adlink ) or at the entrance, where they (according to the museum) typically are more expensive.

Children up to the age of 13 enter for free.

Fotografiska exhibition

19. Katarinavägen – View of Gamla Stan

Katarinavägen is technically not a thing to see in Stockholm but nevertheless, we think it should be mentioned in this travel guide.

The road starts at Slussen and if you continue further up, you’ll get a nice view of Gamla Stan and the rest of Stockholm.

When we visited in February 2023, a fence had been put up in connection with some road work, so the view wasn’t the best. Luckily, you could still see – and take pictures – through the fence.

The view towards Gamla Stan from Katarinavägen

20. Skinnarviksberget – Natural view of the city

Another scenic view of Stockholm can be seen from the top of Skinnarviksberget.

In the northwestern part of Södermalm, you can go up to a small cliff , from where you can see the town hall Stockholms Stadshus, among other things.

It’s free and we can imagine it’s a lovely area in the summer or around sunset.

View of Stockholm from Skinnarviksberget

21. Sofia Church and Vitabergsparken

If you are in the eastern part of Södermalm – east of SoFo – it might be worth checking out Sofia Kyrka (Sofia Church) and Vitabergsparken.

The church is quite special from the outside (nothing too special from the inside though) and we can imagine that the park is beautiful in the summer.

Sofia Church in Stockholm

22. Östermalm – Fancy shops and beautiful architecture

North of Djurgården and east of Norrmalm, one of the finest areas in the city with some of the highest property prices is located: Östermalm .

Here you’ll find designer shops, fancy bars, classy restaurants, green parks, Stureplan Torv , theatres and museums (for example Dramaten and Historiska Museet ).

It is a lovely area to walk around with beautiful architecture.

View by the water along Strandvägen in Östermalm

23. Östermalms Saluhall – Food market for aestheticians

One of the popular experiences for both locals and tourists in Östermalm is to stop by the beautiful market hall Östermalm’s Saluhall.

The market is from the end of the 19th century and you can buy fresh ingredients , get a bite to eat or have a drink from one of the many stalls.

And even if you don’t want to buy anything, you can just take a look inside, because it’s simply a stunning building .

Östermalm's Saluhall

24. Norrmalm – Shopping and culture in the centre

Norrmalm – the large area in the middle of Stockholm – brims with (Swedish) fashion and design shops along the shopping street Drottninggatan as well as on the smaller streets near it and in the shopping centre called Gallerian.

In addition, you will find lots of restaurants and cafés in different price ranges.

Norrmalm is also where you’ll find Stockholm Central Station , The Royal Swedish Opera , Stockholm Concert Hall , St. Clara Church and Sergels Torg with the Cultural centre Stadsteatern and the park Kungsträdgården .

Kungstornen

25. Hallwylska Museet – A luxurious family mansion

As we have already mentioned earlier in the guide, Victoria has a thing for historical dramas and luxurious residences .

Although Hallwylska Musee is not a royal residence, the family that lived there was extremely well off – and you can see their beautiful rooms and all the fine things they have collected at the museum today.

It is free to visit the museum on Wednesdays (when it’s also open for longer).

See prices and opening hours on their website here .

Hallwylska Museet

26. Paradox Museum – Optical illusions for children

If you are in Stockholm with children, they will love to experience the Paradox Museum.

The museum is full of interactive experiences and optical illusions where you can take cool pictures.

Buy tickets online here ( adlink ).

27. More parks and green areas in Stockholm

We have already mentioned several parks in Stockholm city but if you want to check out even more parks for a relaxing time or a picnic in the summer , these are great options:

  • Observatorielunden
  • Humlegården
  • Tantolunden
  • Drakenbergsparken

Rålambshovsparken , Hagaparken , Skogskyrkogården (the Forest Cemetery) and Nackareservatet are a bit further away from the city but they also look lovely.

Gustav the III's pavilion in Hagaparken

28. SkyView – View of Stockholm from the Globe

The world’s largest spherical building , the Stockholm Globe Arena (which is now called the Avicii Arena ), is just south of the central part of Stockholm.

Large music, sports and cultural events are held here, and along the outside of the round building, you can get a ride in a glass gondola and get a “sky view” over Stockholm.

If you already have a Stockholm City Card (adlink) , a ride in SkyView is included. Remember to check whether you need to book a visiting time in advance.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets here (adlink) .

29. Stockholm’s metro stations – An underground art gallery

The metro stations in Stockholm deserve their own spot in this travel guide because many of them are worth a visit just for their special designs.

The metro system has been called “the world’s longest art gallery” and there are more than 90 subway stations decorated with paintings, rock formations, sculptures, mosaics, installations and more.

And it’s almost like walking into an art exhibition as so much work has gone into making them unique and exciting .

The metro system is also called tunnelbanan or t-banan.

Some of the most beautiful metro stations in Stockholm:

  • T-Centralen – especially the blue line with blue plants on a white background.
  • Stadion Station is built into the mountain and has, among other things, a beautiful rainbow painted on the wall.
  • Solna Central Station is red and green with cool nature details.
  • Kungsträdgården Station is green with references to the old French garden that once lay above ground.
  • Tensta Station illustrates acceptance, equality and love with pretty paintings.
  • Rådhuset Station has the bedrock is exposed and unsculptured which resembles a large cave.
  • Tekniska Högskolan has a technology theme with quotes from the history of science mixed with paintings and sculptures that refer to the four elements and the laws of nature.

You can see more cool metro stations on Instagram if you search for #stockholmmetro or #metrostockholm .

Stockholm metro station

30. Hop-on hop-off bus tour – See the best of Stockholm

The classic hop-on hop-off buses also exist in Stockholm and you should consider going on a tour if you don’t have much time in the Swedish capital, or if you prefer to walk less .

The buses drive directly to many of the best attractions in Stockholm (including top sights like Stockholm Palace, the Vasa Museum, Gamla Stan, Gröna Lund and the City Hall).

You can easily jump on and off as you like in either 24 hours or 72 hours or you can stay on the bus and see most of town from the comfort of your seat.

See prices and read more about which sights the buses stop at here (adlink) .

31. Shopping – Everything from vintage shops to Swedish chain stores

Stockholm has it all when it comes to shopping.

The city is full of thrift stores, flea markets, design shops, antique shops and, of course, interior design in all price ranges (including the world’s largest IKEA).

In many places, you will find Swedish chain stores such as H&M, Weekday, COS, & Other Stories, Arket, Tiger of Sweden, Acne, Fjällräven, Filippa K, Lindex and the like.

Stockholm’s largest shopping street Drottninggatan (in Norrmalm) is a long pedestrian street with all kinds of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.

Biblioteksgatan on the border between Norrmalm and Östermalm is a good place to go for more exclusive shops such as Mulberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and the like. The most expensive shops are located on the nearby Birger Jarlsgatan .

Some of the best vintage and thrift shops are Beyond Retro, Arkivet, Judit’s Second Hand, Humana Second Hand, Emmaus, Modern Retro Vintage and Myrorna – and Södermalm in general is probably your best bet if you’re looking for those kinds of shops.

For large shopping centres , you can check out NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), Gallerian, Åhlens City, Mood Stockholm and Sturegallerian.

The flea market Hornstull’s Market can be visited every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from the beginning of April to the end of September along the southwestern part of Södermalm. Second-hand clothes, books, art, antiques, delicacies and street food are sold here and live music is often played.

There is also a daily fruit and vegetable market on Hötorget – and at the weekend there are various other stalls, too.

The shopping street Drottninggatan

32. Drottningholm Palace – Royal castle from the 17th century

Unfortunately, we have never been to Dronningholm Palace and it was closed on weekdays during our last trip to Stockholm – but next time we must go there!

The large well-preserved royal palace from the 17th century is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and surrounding it, there’s a beautiful palace garden in baroque style, a fountain, an English landscape park with canals and bridges, a Chinese pavilion and a theatre.

The Swedish king and queen live in the palace’s south wing , so that part is closed but the rest of the palace is open to the public. And it looks pompous.

A boat trip to Drottningholm is included in the Stockholm City Card ( adlink ) from May to September and as far as we can see, it takes about 50 minutes to sail to the island of Lovön, where it is located.

See opening times, entrance prices and get more information on the palace’s website .

We can imagine that it’s a fantastic experience if you have plenty of time in Stockholm or already have seen many of the sights in the city.

Dronningholm Palace

Map of the best things to do and see in Stockholm

Find all the best sights and attractions in Stockholm on the map below.

Although it’s easy to get around Stockholm, it will be convenient for most people to live relatively centrally in the city.

The most central areas are Gamla Stan (Old Town), Norrmalm and Östermalm . Here, you will find many of the best hotels in Stockholm as you will be in the middle of the action and close to all the most famous sights and attractions.

Södermalm and Vasastan are great if you want to be a little further away from the inner city and live more like a local. We think most of the city’s best eateries can be found here – and it’s still easy to get into the city.

On Djurgården , you will be very close to the centre and especially Östermalm but at the same time, you will stay in a very quiet and green area. It’s also a really nice option.

Find great hotels in the different areas below or scroll further down to see the best hotels in Stockholm divided by price range.

Search for the best and cheapest hotels in each area here:

Södermalm .

  • Östermalm .
  • Djurgården .

Here are our favourite hotels in Stockholm divided by price range:

Luxury hotels in Stockholm

  • Grand Hôtel Stockholm – The finest hotel in Stockholm. Norrmalm .
  • Bank Hotel – Gorgeous and lavish. Norrmalm .
  • At Six – Hotel with a subdued, exclusive colour palette. Norrmalm .
  • Hôtel Reisen – Gamla Stan’s most luxurious hotel. Gamla Stan .
  • NOFO Hotel – Close to several of Stockholm’s best eateries. Södermalm .
  • Hotel Diplomat – Sophisticated 5-star hotel. Östermalm .
  • Ett hem – Luxurious, exclusive atmosphere with only 12 rooms. Vasastan .

Value for money hotels in Stockholm

  • Hotel With Urban Deli – Close to everything and with a roof terrace. Norrmalm .
  • Victory Hotel – Hotel with a sailor theme. Gamla Stan .
  • Nobis Hotel Stockholm – Sleep well in Östermalm. Östermalm .
  • Backstage Hotel Stockholm – Djurgården’s best hotel. Djurgården .
  • Hotel Hasselbacken – Perfect place to relax after a day in Stockholm. Djurgården .
  • Best Western Plus Time Hotel – Cosy “standard” hotel. Vasastan .

Budget hotels in Stockholm

  • City BackPackers Hostel – Shared dormitories and shared bathrooms for budget travellers. Norrmalm .
  • Generator Stockholm – Centrally located with dormitories. Norrmalm .
  • Castle House Inn – A good and cheap option for some very central accommodation in Stockholm. Gamla Stan .
  • STF Zinkensdamm Hostel – Hostel in Hornstull. Södermalm .
  • Hostel Dalagatan – Great prices at a slightly secluded location. Vasastan .

Grand Hôtel Stockholm

Since we eat plant-based, we have visited cafés and restaurants in Stockholm with great vegan options and these are the ones we have included in this guide.

But don’t be alarmed if you normally don’t eat plant-based foods. We have included the places because the quality is amazing and the food has plenty of taste – for all types of eaters!

We had breakfast at the cute little plant-based cafe À La Lo and were really impressed with their “frozen banana yoghurt” which was a smoothie bowl with lots of fresh fruit and granola.

Their Croque Mon Dieu with “cheese”, smoked tofu, tomatoes and (perhaps a little too much) mustard was perfectly crispy and delicious.

The coffee comes from The Belleville Brûlerie roastery in Paris and they bake their own cakes.

If you want to come by at the weekend, make sure to come early or reserve a table in advance.

A smoothie bowl and a croque mon dieu

Vegan Mahalo has two cafés in Stockholm – one in Vasastan on Odengatan (close to À La Lo) and one on Hornsgatan in Södermalm .

We tried the latter and it was nicely decorated and had plenty of seating.

They had a good selection of breakfast options but we love smoothie bowls and of course, we had to try one of their three options. We ordered a pretty pink “pitaya” (dragon fruit) smoothie bowl with delicious toppings and a sinful stack of pancakes with whipped cream, fresh berries and syrup.

Their quinoa croissants tasted a bit too healthy for our liking but plus points for having vegan croissants at all!

Victoria enjoyed a Golden Latte which was creamy with a good, not too-strong spice mix (turmeric, ginger, pepper and cinnamon).

Vasastan and Södermalm .

Pancakes and a smoothie bowl

Piccola Nonna Pizza

When we passed by Piccola Nonna Pizza, two nice ladies were behind the counter making pizzas to go and to stay in the cosy, small shop with Italian pictures and artefacts on the walls.

The place is known for making great Neapolitan pizzas (with a thick, soft edge and bottom), and it’s our favourite kind of pizza.

We tried a Potato pizza with pesto and one with nduja – both were really good!

Piccola Nonna's vegan Neapolitan pizzas

Falafelbaren

Fresh falafels are the best and at Falafelbaren, they serve them in pita bread with homemade red cabbage, pickles, tomatoes, cucumber and tahini sauce – just as it should be.

Falafelbaren in Södermalm

Drop Coffee

The specialty coffee shop Drop Coffee serves some of the best coffee in Stockholm .

Here we filmed a few shots for our coffee documentary Shade Grown Coffee .

Drop Coffee

Delivore and Goodstore

Not far from Piccola Nonna Pizza, there’s a café called Delivore .

It doesn’t look like much from the outside but we had the best Snickers cake with chocolate, caramel and peanuts.

We already had lunch and weren’t that hungry, but we simply had to try it and we’re so glad we did. Yum!

In the same store, behind Delivore, there is a hidden 100% plant-based supermarket : Goodstore .

You have to know it’s there because it’s not really something that’s advertised to the street – but if you’re vegan, vegetarian or just curious about alternatives, you should definitely stop by.

We came home with “salmon”, “shrimp”, “sausages” and various snacks that we had never seen in Denmark before.

Fern & Fika

The atmosphere was lovely at Fern & Fika, which is located all the way west in Södermalm close to Hornstull Station.

We got a black coffee from Gringo Nordic and a chai latte as well as a raw raspberry chocolate cake which was amazing – and there were many other delicious dessert options in the display case.

Cake and coffee from Fern & Fika

Kafé Plattan

In the big Kulturhuset at Sergels Torg and T-Centralen metro station in the middle of Norrmalm, you will find the 100% plant-based Kafé Plattan on the bottom floor.

While Kulturhuset (the House of Culture) has a shopping mall vibe, Kafé Plattan has actually made their corner really nice.

In the display case, they have several dishes ready to be heated and eaten in the café or taken away. At lunchtime, there is an even bigger menu.

We tried a sandwich with pesto and a hoisin “duck” wrap .

And then Victoria couldn’t help herself, so she had to try a vegan semla (a traditional Swedish sweet roll) with almond filling and whipped cream – it was tasty!

Kafé Plattan, Stockholm

Normally we wouldn’t recommend dining in the middle of a touristic area as the prices are often higher and the quality lower…

And while the prices are perhaps a bit higher at Verte, which is located in Gamla Stan , the quality of the food followed!

Their plant burger was absolutely perfect and for a few extra Swedish kronor, we could replace the regular fries with sweet potato fries which we loooove.

We also had a bowl with “chicken” in BBQ sauce , black rice, avocado, mango, bean sprouts, chickpeas, sriracha mayo and more. Super delicious!

Gamla Stan .

Verte vegan

It’s amazing walking around in Stockholm – it’s safe , clean and there are a lot of interesting things to see on the way.

The pavements are wide and pedestrians can walk everywhere in the city.

If you want to experience many of the sights we have included in this travel guide to Stockholm, you must prepare to walk several thousand steps a day .

You can for example use public transport for the longest distances and then walk around the different areas between all of the museums, parks and iconic buildings.

Public transport

Stockholm has a very good public transport system with several bus lines, metro (also called tunnelbana or t-bana), trams and boats.

If you take the metro , you can get an art experience too, as most of Stockholm’s subways are beautifully decorated. Check out number 28 of the best things to do and see in Stockholm further up in the guide to see which stations are extraordinarily cool.

A one-way ticket is valid for 75 minutes and can be purchased in SL’s ticket machines, in the SL app or directly on the bus and subway using a contactless credit card, Apple Pay or similar.

The price per trip for an adult was 39 Swedish kronor in 2023.

The 8 Best Things to Do in Båstad, Skåne in Southern Sweden

Of course, you can drive around Stockholm (as locals obviously do to some extent) but for tourists, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Parking in Stockholm can quickly become a nightmare and it’s expensive . It’s not unusual with prices from 90 to 120 Swedish kronor per hour or a 24-hour ticket for 400 Swedish kronor.

There are of course several hotels that offer parking if you travel with a car.

The bike lanes in Stockholm are good (and there are many) so it is definitely an option to bike around the city .

In the summer, we imagine it’s a nice way to get around in the sunny weather.

There are several bicycle rental companies with both regular bikes and electric bikes.

Read more about the various options for renting bicycles here .

Renting a bike in Stockholm

Drive to Stockholm

Although it is not great to experience Stockholm with your own car, it is certainly possible to drive to Stockholm from other locations in Sweden or its neighbouring countries.

The trip from Copenhagen in Denmark is 650 kilometres, which takes ~8 hours to cover. From Oslo in Norway , you’ll be driving for about 6.5 hours with a length of 520 kilometres.

From Gothenburg, there are 460 kilometres to Stockholm and a journey time of just over 5 hours, while the trip from Helsingborg is 550 kilometres, which according to Google Maps takes about 6 hours.

We would recommend that you either park your car at your hotel car park/parking garage , or alternatively find a free parking lot outside the city and take public transport back in.

With a little research, we have found free parking in the suburbs of Liljeholmen and Solna , but check for yourself what applies at the time you visit the city and whether the free parking is valid for only 24 hours or for several days.

cool places to visit stockholm

Train to Stockholm from Denmark or Norway

The best way to get to Stockholm from Denmark or Norway is in our opinion by train.

Stockholm Central Station is located in the heart of the city, and it’s easy to get everywhere from here by public transport.

The journey from Copenhagen Central Station to Stockholm Central Station only takes a little more than 5 hours if you hop on an SJ express train (fast train).

From Oslo Central Station , the train ride takes about 5.5 hours.

It is also possible to travel to Stockholm with Snälltåget (a different train company) from Malmö , which takes approx. 6 hours, or from Helsingborg , where it takes 5-6 hours.

Find train tickets and see prices on SJ’s website .

Fly to Stockholm

There are many flights from Europe and the rest of the world flying into Stockholm every day.

The main airport is called Arlanda and it’s located 45 kilometres north of the city.

If you take the (slightly expensive) train Arlanda Express , you can reach Stockholm from Arlanda in just 20 minutes.

If you want to make it a little cheaper, you can take a bus from Arlanda to the train station Märsta and then take the train to Stockholm from there. That takes ~45 minutes in total.

There is also a less-used airport in Bromma, which is somewhat closer to the city.

You can use our adlink below to find the cheapest tickets:

Find the cheapest tickets to Stockholm on Momondo .

Sergels Torg at dusk

  • Remember a good camera – here’s a guide to the gear we use .
  • Drink tap water . The water quality in Sweden is excellent. You can easily drink water from the tap.
  • Walk around . Walking from one place to another is often the best and most pleasant way to get around Stockholm.
  • Take the subway . You can also take the metro and enjoy the art installations on the stations.
  • Consider buying a Stockholm City Card (adlink) where you get access to more than 50 sights and attractions in Stockholm. In summer, there is also free transport with selected hop-on hop-off buses and boats.
  • Explore the parks . The parks in Stockholm are great places to relax and breathe some fresh air.
  • Don’t forget fika . Having a cup of coffee and something sweet is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
  • Credit cards can be used virtually anywhere, so you don’t need to carry cash. In fact, not every shop accepts cash.
  • Travel insurance (adlink) is important. Never travel without it.

Brantingtorget

Thanks for reading along

Thank you for reading our travel guide to Stockholm. We hope it has been helpful!

What do you think of Sweden’s capital? Are any of the things to do in Stockholm on your list yet?

If you’ve already been there, it would be great to hear your best tips and tricks.

Don’t hesitate to ask us anything in the comments below if you haven’t been to Stockholm yet. We are happy to help.

Stockholm with frozen water

Pin for later:

Stockholm Travel Guide: 31 Best Things To Do & See in the Swedish Capital

Our favourite travel resources:

  • Booking.com for cheap hotels.
  • Momondo for the best flight deals.
  • SafetyWing for travel insurance. We also like World Nomads and True Traveller . All three compared here .

Our camera gear:

  • Panasonic GH5 . Used for all of our photos and videos.
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro . Best drone out there!
  • Sirui Tripod . Lightweight and strong.
  • See all of our camera gear here .

Related articles:

  • Helsingborg, Sweden Travel Guide : 11 Best Things To Do & See - Everything you need to know about Helsingborg in Sweden, including what to do, where to stay and our best tips
  • Day Trip to Malmö From Copenhagen: How to Get There & What to Do - Discover the charm of Sweden’s 3rd largest city just 40 minutes by train from Copenhagen
  • Mölle and Kullaberg Nature Reserve: Breathtaking Slopes and Hiking Trails in Scania, Sweden - Hiking with great views over Kattegat and Öresund in Southwest Sweden
  • City break in Lund, Sweden: 6 Amazing Things to Do - A day in the charming university city in Scania
  • Hiking in Söderåsen National Park in Scania, Sweden - A beautiful afternoon with lush forests, high cliffs and flowing streams

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The most unmissable experiences in stunning Stockholm

Annika Hipple

Aug 27, 2021 • 6 min read

tockholm Stadshuset at morning

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.

Lamps light up the alleys leading to Kopmantorget (Merchants Square) in Gamla Stan at dusk.

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.

Golden room in Stockholm town hall

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.

Sweden, Stockholm, Strandvägen street, harbour, boats, floating restaurant,

Strandvägen

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.

A path winding its way through the greenery of Djurgården

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.

The recovered Vasa ship in Stockholm

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.

A woman with her back to the camera in period costume at Skansen

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.

The glass exterior of ABBA: The Museum in Stockholm

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.

Viking rune stone at Historiska Museet

Historiska Museet

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.

Moored on the western shore of the islet Skeppsholmen, the af Chapman tall ship youth hostel

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.

Young People Resting In Skinnarviksberget Mountain Party Place During Summer Sunset

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.

A rowboat paddles near the Norrbro Bridge in the evening with the Stockholm Palace in the background

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.

You may also like: Best places to swim in Stockholm The best things you can do for free (and nearly free) in Stockholm How to get around in Stockholm

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Inspired By Maps

30 Fun Things To Do In Stockholm: Sweden’s Majestic Capital City!

Posted on Last updated: March 27, 2024

Categories Sweden , City Secrets Unveiled

30 Fun Things To Do In Stockholm: Sweden’s Majestic Capital City!

Expert travel storyteller Jordan Adkins, founder of InspiredByMaps.com, brings a decade of adventures across 101 countries and 450+ UNESCO sites into rich, off-the-beaten-path narratives, melding ecological expertise with genuine, seasoned travel insights. His full bio can be found here.

Beautiful, vibrant, and cosmopolitan, Sweden’s capital is a by-word for cool in Europe for good reason. It also somehow manages to be hip, trendy, and 100% welcoming all at the same time – with plenty of photogenic spots thrown in for good measure.

Whether you’re spending a weekend, a week, or a month here, it’ll definitely be time well spent. There are masses of amazing things to do in Stockholm, whatever your holiday style is.

Lovers of the outdoors will adore the fact that the city is spread along islands at the Baltic sea, effortlessly incorporating the ever-changing water. This glorious location means you’re never far from nature and a chance to swim in a lake, walk in the nearby forests or hop on a ferry to an island.

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If exploring history is more your speed, then Stockholm’s got plenty of cultural heritage to offer you. Its historic center is one of the best-preserved on the continent, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find more charming cobbled streets. Then there’s the wealth of museums and galleries on offer. You might want to see an impeccably salvaged warship from the 16 th century or the original ABBA costumes – you can do both here, as well as much more.

Despite its depth of history, Stockholm is definitely no stick-in-the-mud city that relies on its ancient past to entice visitors. It’s a thoroughly contemporary place where artists, designers, and creators are always pushing boundaries.

You’ll see effortless style all over the place, whether it’s in the hip coffee shop down the road from your hotel or the outfits you see on people in the street. It’s a really inspiring place to spend time, and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and creative.

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Speaking of creative, we have to talk about the food. ‘Swedish cuisine’ might not mean anything to you right now, but it will after your time in Stockholm. It’s not all about meat and lingonberries, although these are sometimes incorporated. Classic dishes are given contemporary twists, or the hot chefs on the scene are creating something totally new. Wherever you’re eating, you can be sure that the ingredients are fresh, and often local.

After all, when you’re surrounded with so much nature, you’ve got to do something with that abundance of produce!

We can’t pretend that it’s a cheap place. Riga , Tallinn or even Helsinki this is not. And with so much to see and do Stockholm, it can be challenging to prioritize cost. We know you’ll want to soak up as much as you possibly can, which is why we’d recommend a tourist card to help you save money and time.

Especially in a city as packed full of attractions as Stockholm, using a tourist card is one of the best ways to see as many of these as possible without breaking the bank. This is where the  Stockholm Pass comes in, a discount card that helps you see much more and go much further than you otherwise could. We also found this was a good strategy in Gothenburg and Bergen.

Having said this, much of the joy of being in Stockholm will come from sitting in a trendy café watching the world go by, getting into the cultural practice of Fika . But in between Fikas, you might want to explore a bit. If you’re in need of some inspiration to plan your trip, here are some of our favorite fun things to do in Stockholm.

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30 Fun Things To Do In Stockholm: Sweden’s Majestic Capital City! 🇸🇪

Page Contents

1. Travel Back In Time In Gamla Stan, The Historic Core of Stockholm

2. dine in a furniture store at woodstockholm, 3. get regal at the royal palace, 4. expand your mind at the moderna museet, 5. see drottningholm palace on its private island, 6. admire the grand stockholm public library, 7. have fun at gröna lund amusement park, 8. take your time exploring fotografiska, 9. find some peace in reflection at skogskyrkogården, 10. relax for the night with at the nostalgic victoria cinema, 11. delve into the viking age on a day trip from stockholm, 12. wander the historic östermalmss market, 13. see stockholm’s top highlights on two wheels, 14. shop in a different era at the nk department store, 15. explore the re-imagined hammarby sjöstad, 16. get jazzy with a night out at fasching, 17. see an icon from swedish history at the vasa museum, 18. escape into the world of artipelag for the day, 19. explore stockholm’s iconic city hall, 20. fuel yourself for the days adventures at drop coffee, 21. take a chance on abba the museum, 22. tempt yourself with the gorgeous works of kaolin, 23. be inspired to greatness at the nobel prize museum, 24. hang out with the cool kids at trädgården, 25. enjoy the nature on your doorstep with a guided archipelago cruise, 26. head underground to explore stockholms metro art, 27. try out those famous swedish meatballs, 28. visit sven-harrys konstmuseum, a home for art and people, 29. enjoy the summer sunshine at tak rooftop bar, 30. stay at the hip & cool hotel berns.

Stunning Gamla Stan has stood at the heart of Stockholm since the 13 th century and has been incredibly well preserved. Gabled buildings painted yellow, gold, and orange line atmospheric cobblestone lanes. Famously, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd narrows to a teeny 90 centimeters.

The area stretches across three islands. It’s a gorgeous place to simply wander through, getting a sense of what Stockholm was like when it was one of the main ports on the Hanseatic trade route.

In summer, the houses seem to glow in the sunshine; on a snowy winter’s day Gamla Stan is astonishingly picturesque (although those steep streets are harder to negotiate!). Amongst the unique frescos, you’ll find various attractions, including Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, and the enormous Royal Palace. As well as these places to visit, there are also lots of renowned restaurants, cute cafes, and independent shops to explore to your heart’s content.

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This incredibly chic furniture store, bar, and bistro concept is the talk of Stockholm and a great place to treat yourself for a night out.

Opened by local furniture designer Johan Edvardsoon this space is an extension of his divine showroom next door. As you can imagine, the interior is perfection, though the food doesn’t disappoint either. Woodstockholm proposes an ever-charged themed menu, concentrating on organic wine and hearty food. The chef’s inspiration changed frequently, so expect the unexpected.

You’ll need to book in advance to ensure a seat. In the summer, the showroom doubles as a wine bar – if you want to just stop by and admire the space with a drink in hand.

Woodstockholm | what to do in stockholm

There’s no way this enormous Baroque-style Royal Palace wouldn’t be on our list of things to do in Stockholm.

Aside from the gorgeous rooms and five museums, it’s actually still the King’s official residence, so you could catch a glimpse of Swedish royalty (disclaimer: we are in no way guaranteeing this). With 608 rooms, this is the biggest palace in the world that’s still be used by the monarchy. It was built in the early 18 th century, incorporating the ruins of Tre Kronor castle, which stood on the site and burnt down in 1697.

As you can imagine, it’s incredibly lavish both inside and out. Ornate gilded cornices decorate high ceilings, a silver throne looms over the Hall of State, and the Armory is full of armor (of course!), costumes, and elaborate carriages. The Changing of the Guard takes place every day at about lunchtime and is well worth seeing.

You could also see if you come across any of the ghosts that are said to haunt the palace if you dare! Guided tours will give you more information in a lively way.

Free with the Stockholm Pass.

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A museum for the future in Stockholm with one of the foremost collections of modern and contemporary art: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, Meret Oppenheim – you name it, you are likely to find it here.

The Moderna Museet opened in 1958 and since then has assembles, preserves, and sharing groundbreaking works. The art collection held within encompasses around 130,000 works in various media, of which only a fraction are on display at any one time. However, three areas of art are mainly focussed on: Swedish and Nordic art, French-oriented modernism, and American art from the 1950s and 60s.

There is also a fantastic sculpture garden. The Museum’s acquisitions of the famous and obscure ensure it is always evolving and relentlessly relevant. Constant changes, thought-provoking insights, and unorthodox works are a given here

Even better? Touring the permanent collection is always free of charge. However, some of the temporary exhibitions do have entrance fees. 

Moderna Museet | what to do in Stockholm

After visiting both the Royal Palace and Drottningholm Palace, the royal residence on its own private island, you’ll be wondering how you can marry into the Swedish royal family and get to live here!

Like many royal residences of the time, Drottningholm was initially inspired by Versailles. Sidebar: is it just us who loves the thought of all these 18th-century monarchs trying to ‘Keep Up With The Joneses’? Since then, Drottningholm has undergone many changes dependent on the tastes of Swedish monarchs over the years.

Now it stands as a gorgeous example of regal architecture, while also housing the royal family. It’s absolutely beautiful, as well as being exceptionally well-preserved; no wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lavish salons, ornate bed chambers, a golden library, atmospheric galleries — all are on show to the public. For many, the gardens are the real attraction.

The Baroque Gardens are landscaped in the French style, while the area around the famous Chinese Pavilion is wilder and more natural. Keep your eyes peeled for the King lurking around the hedge groves!

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Devised by world-famous Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund, the Stockholm Public library is one of the city’s most distinguished structures. This vibrant orange ode to literature has become a hotspot for Instagrammers who relish it’s “Swedish Grace” architectural style, but make sure you enter the rotunda of the building to revel in its full glory.

A haven for bibliophiles, the Stockholm Library is often listed amongst the world’s most beautiful libraries along with Singapore’s library@orchard or the Ottawa Library Of Parliament. Anyone is free to enter and explore their collection of over 2 million books. In fact, the building is specifically designed to ensure everyone feels welcomed.

Stockholms Stadsbibliotek | stockholm sightseeing

A ferry stop away, you’ll find this magical fairyland packed with lights, color, and entertainment. It’s a purely summer place, open from late spring to September, and has those summer vibes.

While it’s small, this simply makes it feel more intimate and almost like you’re in a retro fairground. It’s been around since the 1880s, making it Sweden’s oldest amusement park. The park was actually built around 19th-century buildings, giving it a unique feel.

There are about 30 rides. There are options for the adrenalin junkies – the Free Fall drops you 80 meters in six seconds, so don’t eat before it – and for those of us who prefer something a little more chilled, like a pretty circus carousel. As well as these, you can go on classic rides like a tunnel of love or explore the funhouse.

There’s even a rollercoaster built especially for families, the Kvasten. When you need a break, there are lots of places to stop and eat. The location by the water is also perfect for a stroll with some candy floss.

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Fotografiska opened in 2010 and quickly became one of the top things to do in Stockholm as word got out of its avant-garde photography exhibitions.

One of the world’s most significant gathering places for photography, Fotografiska’s vision is to inspire a more conscious world through social debate. They seek to achieve this by manifesting photography that generates commitment and converges on important issues of the day. There are typically 5 temporary exhibits at any one time in their 5500 m2 exhibition space, each looking at contemporary topics.

Housed at Stadsgården, an Art Nouveau style former customs house dating from 1906, the contrast between the past and present makes Fotografiska even more captivating. While it is not a museum (as it is for-profit and has no permanent exhibits), a visit here offers a unique opportunity to reconsider our world from new angles. There is also an award-winning restaurant and eclectic gift shop.

A confluence of art, good food, music, design, and open mindsets, the concept of Fotografiska has been so popular they have also recently opened a satellite gallery in Telliskivi, Tallinn.

Fotografiska Stockholm | places to visit in stockholm

Known in English as ‘The Woodland Cemetery,’ this beautiful World Heritage Site is both moving and architecturally fascinating. Here is where life and death come together, as the tombstones rest quietly amidst green grass under pine trees. It was built between 1917 and 1920 after two young architects won a competition to design a new cemetery. You can imagine that at this time, towards the end of the First World War, death was on many people’s minds, and it has been treated here with gentleness and respect.

The cemetery consists of pastoral landscape, a grove of pine trees, a large pond, a meditation hill, and chapels and a crematorium in a functionalist style. Every detail was designed by the architects, and it reflects the development of architecture from Nordic Classicism to functionalism. There’s an arresting black granite cross that you see immediately on arrival, which creates a vista based on a painting.

Skogskyrkogården is a unique place to visit, one where you can appreciate design but also take some time in the stillness to reflect on our mortality and what it means to be alive.

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Victoria is an absolute classic, a lovely vintage cinema in  Södermalm which showed its first film back in 1936. The classic red neon sign outside has made it a local landmark for over 80 years and has its reputation for experimental film.

The interior fit-out harks back to the golden age of cinema with a mermaid fountain and marquetry cinema doors. However, a larger cinema chain has recently been taken over, and Victoria is decidedly less bohemian these days. Still, you can find some curious gems on their upcoming features, and enjoy a glass of wine in their beautiful glass-fronted cafe before the screening.

Be sure to get a seat towards the back, as the front row is only a few meters from the screen. 

Biograf Victoria Stockholm Svenska Bio | things to do in stockholm sweden

Being honest, when anyone thinks of Scandinavia, they think of Vikings (it’s hard not to when you get to Stockholm, and you’re surrounded by tall, beautiful blondes, to be honest!). So why not embrace that association and actually learn something more about it at the same time? This 8-hour trip in the countryside surrounding Stockholm takes you into the wildness of Sweden and shows you some of the key relics from Viking history.

Bridges, runestones, grave fields, and more are included as a guide tells you more about this significant historical period. Visit Old Uppsala, where the famous grave mounds of Viking kings are, and its nearby city, where you can see the biggest church in the Nordic countries. You can also go on a guided walk of the oldest town in the country, Sigtuna.

There’s even a Viking parliament ruin where you learn about the system of governance at the time. Enthusiastic guides ensure this is an excursion you won’t forget. 

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A charming and well-preserved market hall that speaks to Stockholmers’ enthusiasm for great food over the last 130 years. A veritable sanctuary for connoisseurs and gastronomers, this brick cathedral on a corner of Östermalmstorg is one of the best places to shop, dine, take photos and let your tastebuds wander.

Recently closed for a four-year renovation, the Östermalms Market Hall reopened in 2020 its a stark, new modern addition. Quintessentially Stockholm, perch yourself at one of the chic counter service restaurants or try some delectable cheese, chocolate or pastries.

Run by a collective of 17 traders, many of who have run their stalls as family businesses for generations. However, all are united in their passion for delicious food and personal interactions with customers.

A little bit of everything, and an excellent spot for a quick meal on the go before exploring more of Stockholm.

Östermalms Saluhall | stockholm points of interest

One of the wonderful things about Stockholm is how easy it is to get around. Naturally, the public transport is great, but we’re not talking about that. Cycling around the compact city centre is a lovely way to see the beautiful streets, pretty buildings and meandering coastline.

This engaging bike tour takes that cycling experience and makes it even better. A local guide takes you around the main sights, making sure you don’t miss anything and telling you the stories behind all the places you glide past.

After meeting in the middle of the city, you’ll spend two hours exploring Gamla Stan, the islands surrounding it, and the national port. It’s great to be able to ask questions about everything you see (no more Googling obscure facts!), and your guide is sure to tell you even more than you expected! The only difficult thing about the tour will be giving your bike back at the end.

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The Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) Department Store, founded in 1915, is Stockholm’s most extravagant department store and is filled with timeless elegance. While department stores worldwide continue to modernize/ homogenize, NK has stayed the course and remains a bastion of class and sophistication.

Shopping here is a real experience from the moment you step inside its magnificent art nouveau building: marbled staircases, arched glass ceilings, traditional signage, and service beyond compare. While NK originally stated in Gothenburg in 1864, Stockholmers are understandably proud of it and continue to patronize it with zeal.

You’ll find everything within its six floors from Swedish and international fashion to fine foods, cosmetics, tableware, and even an excellent collection of books in English.

Nordiska Kompaniet NK | places to visit in stockholm

Hammarby Sjöstad, in the 1990s, was a run-down, unpleasant, and polluted inner city of Stockholm. Fast forward thirty years, and thanks to a thriving urban renewal plan, this is now one of Stockholm’s most engaging residential districts. Located in a goldilocks zone between the hectic metropolitan core and the green, nature-filled periphery of the city 

Hammarby Sjöstad offers a beautiful mix of apartments, cafes, offices, and boutique shops with a focus on culture and entertainment. It is undoubtedly one of the world’s most outstanding examples of sustainable city planning solutions. It is worth spending a few hours investigating its modern architecture, hip restaurants, open spaces, and waterside walkways.

Try lunch at the minimalistic  Kärlek & Mat  or ice-cream at the fun  Cafe Gården Hammarby Sjöstad  before climbing to the top of Hammarbybacken for panoramic views over Stockholm. The more adventurous can rent a kayak and explore the canals on their own. Getting to Hammarby Sjöstad is easy. Just take the free ferry from Södermalm or the tram from the Gullmarsplan metro line station. 

Hammarby Sjöstad | things to do in stockholm in winter

A distinguished jazz club in Stockholm that hosts both emerging talent and international legends. Open since 1977, purchase a ticket for popular shows in advance or stop by the mezzanine bar on the night to try your luck.

Mondays are more impromptu with no agenda set, fewer crowds, and more locals, making it better to drop in. Dim, crowded, and always vibing, Fasching is a rare space with a genuine admiration for different types of jazz/blues that manages to remain simultaneously old-school and hip.

On the weekends, the area turns into a nightclub around midnight should you feel like staying out even later.

Fasching Jazz stockholm | things to do in Stockholm

The enduring appeal of this popular museum lies in its time-capsule-like quality. The 69-meter warship Vasa sank in front of hundreds of onlookers on its maiden voyage in 1628, dealing Sweden’s economy and navy a heavy blow. It’s now the striking centerpiece to the Vasa Museum, which is easily findable because of the three tall masts on the roof.

How did a ship go from a wreck to the middle of a museum you ask? Thanks to the pollution in the Baltic sea that managed to starve off any wood-eating microorganisms for the 333 years Vasa was on the seabed, and to a painstaking salvaging process in the early 1960s.

Nowadays, visitors reap the benefits of these efforts as they get up close with the remains. 95% of the ship we see today is original, and there’s constant work ongoing to preserve it. Vasa represents a considerable part of Sweden’s past; it also tells us a lot about shipbuilding and the navy at the time.

The exhibits include collections of items that were salvaged from the ship: the crew’s personal belongings, navigational tools, and decorations. It’s genuinely fascinating, even if you’re not a maritime nut!

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Artipelag is an international venue for art and food – superbly positioned on Värmdö island in the Stockholm Archipelago, just 20 minutes from the city center of Stockholm.

The name ‘Artipelag’ is a combination of Art, Activities, and Archipelago and opened in 2021. The remarkable building covers an area of approximately 10,000 square meters, making it one of Sweden’s largest museums. In harmony within its 22 acres of surrounding natural scenery with pine trees, cliffs, and nature paths – all of which are free to visit. The diverse exhibits require admission charges but are generally world-class and not to be missed by art lovers.

A boundary-crossing destination of art exhibits, energy, serenity, and food; there is something for everyone here. If you have the time, Artipelag should be high on your list of things to do in Stockholm.

Free entry and boat tour with the Stockholm Pass.

Artipelag | top things to do in stockholm

The 106-meter-high red brick tower of Stockholm’s City Hall (Stadshuset in Swedish) is an integral part of the city’s skyline. The golden Three Crowns at the top have soared above the waterfront since its completion in 1923; the building used over eight million bricks in its construction. On a calm day, the reflection in the water is striking, and the warm red of the building against a blue sky is mesmerizing.

While it is still the workplace for civil servants and politicians, Stadshuset is probably best known for hosting the Nobel banquet in its lavish Blue Hall. Similarly, lavish events are held in the Golden Hall, which has 18 million gold mosaic tiles (home décor inspiration anyone?). Guided tours are the best (and only!) way to see around the interior of the building; you should also make time to stroll around the neighboring park.

For an extra fee, climb to the top of the tower and drink in the incredible views.

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Drop Coffee is a small coffee roastery founded in 2009 as a coffee bar by Mariatorget, focusing on delivering tasty and sustainably produced coffee. They visit all the producers they source coffee from around the world, including El Salvador , Nicaragua , and Bolivia.

And they then roast the coffee themselves ack in Stockholm with complete focus on the sweetness and vibrancy. It was an overnight success. They have won a bevy of awards – and have now opened a bigger roastery in Rosersberg, north of Stockholm, to keep up with demand. You can still stop by their minimalist cafe, to sample their punchy filter coffee or flagship cortados, served with an almost laboratory-like precision.

Stockholm has a range of beautiful cafes, but this spot is an absolute must for coffee and caffeine lover. Their tasting assortment of roasted beans also makes a great souvenir to bring home.

Drop Coffee | what to visit in stockholm

For fans of Sweden’s most-loved Eurovision entry, this museum one of the first things to do in Stockholm. A sensory abundance, the interactive exhibits and fantastic collection of memorabilia is a gift that keeps on giving. As the website says, you’ll walk in and dance out.

Even if it were only memorabilia here, we’d still enthusiastically recommend it. Seeing the platform boots, sequined jumpsuits, and instruments in real life is fascinating and really puts the band’s achievements in a historical context.

But this isn’t only about looking at things; you also get to take part! You can join the group as their 5 th member in a hologram experience, trying on a virtual costume; you can even wear a replica of the shiny outfits they used to don for their performances. If you’ve got time you can watch movies about their story and there are temporary exhibitions like ‘MAMMA MIA! Behind the movie magic’.

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Kaolin is an artist-owned gallery / retail location for ceramics focussing on tableware and ornaments. Founded in 1978 near Mariatorget, the collective has around twenty-five potters who produce bespoke objects and sculptures in their own workshops and kilns all over the country.

In this beautiful gallery, they then show one-artist exhibitions by the members and frequently invite exciting exhibitors from both Sweden and abroad. Recently, they have focused on presentations from the Scandinavian countries, mainly Denmark.

Kaolin serves as an essential gathering place where the artists can exchange expertise and information while making connections to art societies, collectors, and those interested in ceramics. What making it of particular interest to tourists is that every member works in the shop so you can get stimulating immediate contact with the artists and their work.

Stop by to admire this unique works of art, just don’t blame us when you leave with more than you intended.

Kaolin | Artist Collective in Stockholm

In Gamla Stan, situated in a building that was previously the Stock Exchange, the Nobel Prize Museum brings together the history of the prestigious Prize along with stories about its winners.

It was opened in 2001 to celebrate the centenary of the Nobel Prize and aims to be an engaging and thoughtful reflection on the achievements of the prize winners. In this aim, it definitely succeeds. We left feeling humbled and inspired by the intelligence, creativity, and compassion that exists in the world (we don’t know about you, but sometimes we need to be reminded of that!).

Cultures of Creativity is the permanent collection that looks at what encourages creativity, prompting visitors to analyze the reasons for themselves. Temporary exhibitions focus on more topical issues, like the 2018/2019 exhibition about Martin Luther King Jr. The Nobel Museum also hosts film screenings, debates, performances, and workshops related to science. The kids’ Bubble Chamber gets kids engaged with the concept of the Prize. Being totally honest, the shop is also one of our favorite spots – there are tons of exciting things to buy, so it’s a great place for souvenirs.

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The mother of all outdoor summer clubs established under the Skanstull bridge in Södermalm. Between May and September, over 4,000 people gather here for most nights for club events that provide music festival feels without leaving the city.

But you can even visit Trädgården during the day for a more relaxed vibe with frequent live performances, food trucks, a cinema, table tennis and beer in plastic cups. Look out for their Daytime Sessions, which attract noted EDM, garage, and house DJs and are quite the sight to behold in typically mild-mannered Stockholm.

For any significant events, arrive early to avoid the insane lines (even if you have your ticket in advance). Or for something a little different – visit Trädgården on Sundays for their popular flea market.

Trädgården | Stockholm Alternative Things To Do

Stockholm’s archipelago is easily one of the most beautiful coastlines we have experienced. Some of it feels so secluded and remote that it’s hard to believe a capital city is only minutes away. Cute red houses dot the hillsides of the thousands of islands; wind rustles in the grasses and leaves, deep blue water laps the many shores.

You can enjoy all of these sights from the decks of a classic archipelago boat , built in the first half of the 20 th century, for two and a half hours. A passionate and knowledgeable guide will add to the experience by telling you the history of the area and the different sights you pass along the way. The spectacular scenery combined with the interesting stories gives you a real taste of Sweden, particularly how people live outside the capital.

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To add to its list of hip credentials, Stockholm’s metro system boasts varied and fascinating artwork in almost every station. That’s right – there’s no bog-standard, utilitarian public transport here.

The underground in Sweden’s capital has even been dubbed ‘the world’s longest art gallery.’ You’ll see murals, of course, but also mosaics, sculptures, installations, engravings, and reliefs. Over 150 artists have contributed, so there’s a massive range of work to see. Around 90 of the 100 stations have some form of art – and each still manages to have its own unique appeal.

So how are you going to see the best of it (beyond going from station to station looking for the best pieces?). By following our separate Stockholm subway art guide – obviously!

Stockholm Metro Art

Sweden’s best-loved foods, meatballs, can be found all over Stockholm – in fact, if you told us you were not able to find them, we would probably say you ended up in another Nordic capital – Copenhagen , Oslo or Helsinki perhaps. And even then, they are rather easy to find. 

If you are stuck for time, you could head to the nearest IKEA — ticking off two famous icons of Sweden at once. However, there are so many other places to try these deliciously flavored meatballs,  smothered in the most amazing rich and creamy gravy.   You could head to the famous Bakfickan, next to the Opera House, where each part of the dish is served separated so you can combine together for you preferred flavor profile – or head to the quirk Meatballs for the People with, well, meatballs served to perfection with in-season meat and sauces.

There is no one best place to go, but for our two cents head to Glashuset Restaurant and Bar in the hipster Södermalm area.  Between the unique glass facade and the brick walls from the former metalworks, you’ll find a hip spot where exotic flavors combined with updated Nordic classics – including meatballs – to tell a new story. Traditionalists be dammed, this is meatballs for the 21st century!

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A multi-purpose space established by Swedish builder Sven-Harry Karlsson that provides a unique setting where guests can enjoy one of Sweden’s largest private collections of Nordic art.

Inside the strikingly golden building are Sven-Harry’s art museum, Sven-Harry’s “home,” a restaurant, apartments, and commercial premises. The Museum and gallery have a broad and varied spectrum of contemporary and classical art and continuously endeavor to expand the concept of art through exhibitions, collaborations, and discussions.

The 400 square meter art gallery consists of three large halls. On the lower ground floor, there is a media room, where they show films linked to the current exhibitions. On the roof, is the crowning glory, a replica of Sven-Harry’s former home, the 18th-century manor Ekholmsnäs. It is surrounded by a terrace with sculptures and a fabulous view.

The collection includes works by Ernst Josephson, August Strindberg, and Helene Schjerfbeck while the art is complemented by furniture by Gio Ponti and Georg Haupt, and carpets by Märta Måås-Fjetterström.

As Sven-Harry says: “It all goes together, carpets, furniture, the room, and the art – it’s a totality, and that is how it should be shown.”

Free entry with the Stockholm Pass

Sven-Harrys konstmuseum | what to visit in stockholm

We couldn’t reach the end of our suggestions for things to do in Stockholm without encouraging you to spend time up in the rooftops. It’s something that’s mainly possible for summertime visitors but is well worth doing.

There’s nothing like chilling in the sunshine with a cool drink in hand, looking out over this spectacular city. Tak Rooftop Bar is one of the best places to do this, offering creative cocktails, beer, wine, and sake. This last option links in with its Japanese theme and raw food at its restaurant.

A bright, airy space with minimalist décor, it’s the guests that provide the vibrancy at Tak. There’s a chilled-out atmosphere during the day, while in the evenings, DJ sets give things a livelier feel. You might think you’re only stopping in for one drink – don’t be surprised if you’re still there 5 hours later. There’s something hypnotic about the 360-degree view from this 14th-floor spot, especially if you arrive at dusk to watch the sun go down on the city. Oh, and did we mention the drinks were delicious?

Summer or winter, Stockholm is always a wonderful place to visit. If you can’t fit all of these things into one visit, simply come back again!

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Hotel Berns is in one of those buildings that’s so gorgeous; you can’t believe you can actually stay there. But you can! This landmark hotel is right in the middle of Stockholm, in Berzelii Park, and right on the waterfront. The classic building is in pleasing contrast with the contemporary, minimalist interiors that are brightened up with splashes of color, compelling photography, and original features. The round windows give some of the rooms a ship feel, which we enjoyed!

All of the 82 rooms are exquisitely comfortable, well-designed, and equipped with everything you could possibly need. If you’re feeling fancy, request the in-room bartending for a drink or two before dinner. The restaurant moves away from minimalist in interior design terms, boasting three extravagant chandeliers, a mirror covering a whole wall, and plush velvety gilded chairs.

Seriously, the breakfast dining hall has to be one of the best places to wake up in the world! To make it even better, the Asian-inspired food is also delicious. Summer guests can enjoy the added treat of music on the Terrassan bar (one of five in total).

With early breakfasts, long lunches, and never-ending nights at one of three Berns nightclubs, this fun hotel invites you to be seduced by their buzzing and vibrating atmosphere. Welcome to the house that never sleeps! There are three full-time club venues operated by Berns, and one  Stora Salongen – The Great Hall – offering one of the most stunning dance floors in Stockholm! 

What is not to love at Hotel Berns, right?

Stay At The Hip & Cool Hotel Berns

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15 best things to do in Stockholm on your next weekend break

Get the lowdown on the best things to do in stockholm from the pomp of the royal palace to paddle-camping trips around the archipelago.

cool places to visit stockholm

I slands, Vikings and cities built on the sea. Saunas, smorgasbords and breakfasts of pickled herring. Real royalty and the pop royalty that is Abba. Minimalist design, clean living and people who are model-gorgeous, minted and blond, blond, blond. Let’s face it, you go to Sweden with expectations — and the capital Stockholm will fulfil many of them, while perhaps blowing away the more tired clichés with its bracing Baltic breezes.

Seen from the plane, Stockholm barely even registers as a city, let alone a capital; its intricate web of forests and islands are a haze of green and blue. And while you’ll find big-hitter sights — from a royal palace rivalling Versailles to a museum devoted to a gloriously restored shipwreck and one of Europe’s most adorable old towns — it’s the natural setting that will grab you. Whether you’re crossing a bridge as dawn lights up the archipelago, kayaking to a remote island where sea eagles wheel, or skiing above the city as the snow falls, the Swedish capital slips a generous shot of the outdoors into the urban; the life to go with the style. Here are the best things to do in Stockholm.

Main photo: cafés in Gamla Stan (Getty Images)

The Abba Museum (Alamy)

1. Sing your heart out at the Abba museum

It’s impossible to hold back from belting out Mamma Mia , Waterloo and Dancing Queen with all the heartfelt gusto of Agnetha and Frida as you brazenly bop around this temple to Abba. This feel-good museum is sheer heaven for fans, jam-packed with memorabilia from original photos to letters, instruments (Bjorn’s guitars, Benny’s piano), gold records and album covers. Better still, you can sit in the helicopter that featured on the 1976 Arrival album cover, mix music and try on costumes virtually (who could resist those glittery flares?).

Stortorget in Gamla Stan (Getty Images)

2. Rewind time in Gamla Stan

A delicious nugget of Sweden’s past, Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town. And what a beauty it is, with cobbled streets, café-rimmed plazas, Renaissance architecture and watery views to make you constantly lunge for the camera. The island is bookended to the north by the Royal Palace, which sidles up to other attention-grabbers such as Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm, with its parade of colourful step-gabled townhouses, and the city’s cathedral, Storkyrkran. Further south, see if you can locate Marten Trotzigs Grand to squeeze through Stockholm’s narrowest alley (90cm wide at its narrowest point). To dodge Gamla Stan’s biggest crowds, visit in the early morning as the city is just starting to wake up.

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Skiers at Hammarbybacken (Alamy)

3. Ski above the city at Hammarbybacken

A capital city where you can ski? Well, in Stockholm you can carve slopes with knockout views of the skyline as soon as the flakes fall at Hammarbybacken. The seasonal dump of snow attracts Stockholmers to the peak’s five pistes (including blue, red and black ones) and snowpark. There’s ski rental and a café for fika (coffee and pastries) and you can tram it back to town in time for an afternoon gallery fix. Alternatively, head down to Hellasgarden, where you can cross-country ski through frozen forests, ice skate, toboggan, or take a sauna before plunging — if you dare — into an ice hole carved into the lake.

The Veranda restaurant in the Grand Hotel (Magnus Mårding)

4. Splash out on a smorgasbord at the Grand Hôtel

With compelling views across the water to the Royal Palace, Stockholm’s swanky Grand Hôtel has welcomed a roll-call of celebrities since opening in 1874, from Einstein to Greta Garbo. Many have been partial to the smorgasbord served in the Veranda restaurant. It’s a help-yourself feast of herrings, gravlax, meatballs with lingonberry jam, cheese, eggs, charcuterie and salads, all polished off with the hotel’s Grand Aquavit, a fiery schnapps spiced with caraway, anise and fennel. Book ahead and go for a window seat if you can.

Kayakers in the Stockholm archipelago (Getty Images)

5. Kayak the Stockholm archipelago

Islands shape Stockholm the way skyscrapers shape Manhattan. This is a city sculpted by the sea; a city crosshatched with bridges and canals that gives way to the bright light and piercing blue water of an archipelago of some 30,000 islands, islets, skerries and nameless specks of rock. To truly appreciate the silence, solitude and pristine nature on Stockholm’s doorstep, an overnight kayak tour is the way to go. You’ll get to paddle in quiet exhilaration between islands, glimpse birds and wildlife such as sea eagles, migratory geese and seals, camp out under the stars and take a chilly morning dip in the Baltic.

Freshly baked traditional cinnamon buns (Getty Images)

6. Eat cinnamon buns at Bageri Petrus

Stockholmers can argue the toss for days about where to find the city’s best kanelbullar (cinnamon buns), but those at Bageri Petrus in the capital’s hip Sodermalm neighbourhood come pretty close to perfection. Moist, syrup-filled, cinnamon-tanked and topped with crystallised sugar and almond flakes, they taste as though they’ve been baked by angels. The cinnamon bun, incidentally, is sacred to Swedes, who scoff an average of 316 of them a year and even celebrate Cinnamon Bun Day (October 4).

Moderna Museet (Alamy)

7. Explore Moderna Museet

On the central island of Skeppsholmen, Stockholm’s unmissable modern art museum is way up there with Europe’s finest art galleries, racing joyously through the 20th century in paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs. The permanent collection shines with works from the likes of Picasso, Dalí, Matisse, Warhol, Damien Hirst, Francis Bacon and Meret Oppenheim. There’s also a strong collection of Swedish and Nordic art. Admission to the permanent collection is free, but there is also an exciting roster of temporary exhibitions.

The pool at Centralbadet (Alamy)

8. Swim at Centralbadet

There’s no more gorgeous place to take a dip in central Stockholm than this art nouveau bathhouse, opened in 1904, with its Roman bath illuminated by stage lights and fringed by palms and foliage. It’s bang on the shopping drag of Drottninggatan, but easily missed (look out for the curvaceous entrance). Hydrotherapy baths and a series of saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools are the perfect prelude to a classic Swedish massage, and in cold months the sun therapy lamps in the orangery ward off the winter blues.

Part of the Viking exhibition at the Swedish History Museum

9. Meet the Vikings at the Swedish History Museum

The Historiska Museet delivers an engaging romp through 10,000 years of history, from the Stone Age to the present day. The clincher is the new Viking exhibition, the world’s largest, which centres on the Yggdrasil (a sacred ash tree) and dives deep into the myths and realities of the bloodthirsty, horn-helmeted warriors, with interactive displays sailing through themes from shipbuilding to rune carving and cosmology. Linger, too, for exhibitions on medieval art (including a sensational stash of altarpieces), the brutal Battle of Gotland and to see the fabulous plunder lining the Gold Room. There’s no need to book and entry is free.

10. Blow the budget at Frantzen

The cherry-on-the-cake of a visit to Stockholm is scoring a table at one of its Michelin-starred restaurants. There are some phenomenal places where you can fritter away your life savings on dinner: none finer than three-starred Frantzen. Ring the bell, push open the heavy oak door and sample Bjorn Frantzen’s mind-blowing cooking in dark, chicly understated surrounds. Nordic and Japanese flavours cavort scandalously in dishes such as langoustine with crispy rice and ginger emulsion. There are just 23 covers, so don’t take any chances when it comes to bookings. Reservations open at 10am on the first of the month, so make sure your finger is hovering over that button at 9.59am.

The Stadtshuset (Getty Images)

11. See the view from City Hall

Approached from the water, the Stadtshuset is at its most impressive, rising like a romantic vision in red brick, topped by a spire and the three heraldic crowns of Sweden. Join a guided tour for a peek at its astonishingly opulent interior, of which highlights include the Golden Hall, dazzling with 18 million gold mosaic tiles, and the vast, colonnaded Blue Hall where the Nobel prize banquet is held. In summer (May to September), you can take the lift part way then hoof it up the stairs to the top of the tower for dress-circle views over whole of Stockholm.

The Vasa Museum (Alamy)

12. Sail across to the Vasa Museum

Think ship in a bottle supersized. Purpose-built to showcase the breathtakingly well-preserved wreck of the Vasa warship, which capsized and sank within 20 minutes of setting sail on its maiden voyage in 1628, taking much of the crew with it, the Vasa Museum is extraordinary. Built to trumpet the power of the Swedish military and the glory of King Gustav II Adolf, the ill-fated ship was salvaged in 1961 after three centuries at the bottom of the sea. Artefact-rich exhibits lend insight into navigation, life on board and warfare, but the meticulously restored ship itself is the showstopper, its prow, embellished with mythological and religious woodcarvings, as intricate as any altarpiece.

Traditional Swedish houses in Skansen (Alamy)

13. Discover Djurgarden

A day is never enough for Djurgarden. A former royal hunting ground, this is Stockholm’s most enticing green escape, with trail-woven beech, oak and spruce forests, meadows and beaches for summer picnics, and winter ice-skating tracks. Besides this, you’ll find an unrivalled stash of museums: the Abba Museum, Vasa Museum, Nordiska for cultural history in a neo-Renaissance castle, open-air Skansen with its folksy farmsteads, and Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde with Nordic art, sculpture gardens and dreamy views. Stop for coffee at waterfront Sjocafeet, where you can rent bikes, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. Or head to lovely Rosendals Tradgard, a biodynamic farm, garden café and wood-fired bakery for lunch.

Fabrics at Svenskt Tenn (Alamy)

14. Go mad for Swedish design

This two-hour design tour of Stockholm is game-changing if the only Swedish designer you can name with confidence is Ikea. Guides give the inside scoop on the history and meaning of classic Swedish design — the perfect symbiosis between form and function, style and sustainability — as they whizz you around some of Stockholm’s most innovative design stores and boutiques (Svenskt Tenn is a real highlight). A couple of hours spent gazing lustfully at the cream of modern, minimalist Swedish design might inspire you to part with some serious cash and go on a Marie Kondo-style decluttering spree back home.

The throne room in the Royal Palace (Getty Images)

15. Tour the Royal Palace

As palaces go, Stockholm’s Royal Palace punches high. The king’s official digs are vast, with more than 600 rooms on 11 floors. A guided tour helps you get a grip on the baroque state apartments. Top billing goes to the insanely opulent Karl XI’s Gallery — a riot of gold, marble, stucco and chandeliers inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles – and Queen Kristina’s silver throne in the Hall of State. The carriages and costumes of the Royal Armoury, the crown jewels in the cellar vaults and the antiquities museum are worth a look too. Time your visit to the Royal Palace to coincide with the changing of the guard (12.15pm on weekdays; 1.15pm on Sundays).

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Top 10 things to do in Stockholm

Delve into the captivating charm of Stockholm, where the stunning archipelago, enchanting old town, and vivid cultural scene beckon you to discover their hidden gems. From majestic palaces and historic neighbourhoods to picturesque islands and renowned museums, Sweden's dynamic capital guarantees an unforgettable adventure.

Whether you're drawn to history and culture or eager to soak up the city's lively ambience, Stockholm caters to all tastes with numerous things to do and places to visit. Immerse yourself in these top 10 attractions and maximise your experience in Sweden's capital.

Djurgården, Stockholm

Djurgården is a part of the Royal National Citypark also known as The Ecopark. It is the first national city park in the world and it includes 27 km2 of nature and cultural values

Photo : Yirui Aries/Visit Sweden

The Royal Palace

Photo : Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Flower shop in Old Town

Photo : Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Moderna museet, Stockholm

Photo : Agence les Conteurs

Stockholm City Hall

Photo : Henrik Trygg/Visit Stockholm

Spend a day at Djurgården

Explore the island of Djurgården, home to some of Stockholm's most popular attractions. Visit the Vasa Museum to see the remarkably well-preserved Vasa warship, discover Swedish pop music history at the ABBA Museum , and experience Swedish cultural heritage at the open-air museum Skansen . Don't miss the thrill of Gröna Lund amusement park, the enchantment of Junibacken , or the tranquillity of the Royal National City Park.

Visit Stockholm's Royal Palaces

Discover Stockholm's royal history by visiting Stockholm's Royal Palace . Take a tour of its magnificent halls and chambers, then make your way to other royal residences such as Drottningholm Castle, Rosendal Castle, and Ulriksdal Castle. Each location offers a unique glimpse into Sweden's regal past and present.

Stroll around in Stockholm Old Town

Take a step back in time as you stroll through Stockholm's charming Old Town. Explore narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and iconic landmarks such as Stockholm Cathedral and the Nobel Prize Museum . Check out the quaint shops and cosy cafes hidden away in this medieval treasure trove.

Enjoy contemporary art at Moderna Museet

Immerse yourself in contemporary art at Moderna Museet . Explore its extensive Swedish and international art collections, including works by Picasso, Dali, and Warhol. Don't miss the museum's stunning waterfront location on the island of Skeppsholmen.

Ceremonial splendour at Stockholm City Hall

Marvel at Stockholm City Hall's architectural glory. Take a guided tour to admire its grand ceremonial halls, stunning murals, and magnificent view from the tower. Stockholm City Hall is also famous for hosting the annual Nobel Prize banquet.

Archipelago

Stockholm archipelago.

Photo : Henrik Trygg/imagebank.sweden.se

Fotografiska in Stockholm

Photo : Erik G Svensson

Monteliusvägen, Södermalm

Photo : Tove Freiij/imagebank.sweden.se

Östermalms saluhall, Stockholm

Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Photo : Linn Ahlgren/Nationalmuseum

Go island-hopping in the Stockholm archipelago

Embark on an island-hopping adventure in Stockholm's archipelago . Use your SL ticket to easily visit islands such as Fjäderholmarna, Grinda, Utö, and Vaxholm using public transportation. Each island has its unique charm, from quaint villages to picturesque coastlines, offering breathtaking scenery along the way.

Swing by Fotografiska

Experience the art of photography at Fotografiska , one of the world's largest photography museums. Fotografiska hosts captivating displays showcasing the works of both Swedish and international photographers, with four unique main exhibitions and approximately 20 smaller exhibitions annually.

Discover hip and trendy Södermalm

Head to the trendy district of Södermalm, known for its bohemian atmosphere and panoramic views. Walk along Monteliusvägen, overlooking Lake Mälaren, Stockholm City Hall, and Riddarholmen. Discover hip boutiques, cosy cafes, and vibrant street art as you explore this dynamic neighbourhood.

Indulge in Östermalms Saluhall

Treat your senses at Östermalms Saluhall , Stockholm's historic food market dating back to the 1880s. The market reopened after extensive renovations in 2020 and offers a tempting array of fresh produce, gourmet delicacies, and traditional Swedish specialities.

Explore Nationalmuseum

Discover Swedish art and design at the Nationalmuseum . The museum houses an extensive array of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts dating from the 16th century to the early 20th century. Delve into the evolution of applied arts and design and admire around 5,000 carefully selected objects displayed chronologically, offering a captivating journey through the museum's galleries.

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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

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.

Skansen

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

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

Modern Art Museum, Stockholm

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

Stockholm 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.

6. Junibacken

Junibacken

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

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

Royal Palace, Stockholm

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

9. Fotografiska

Fotografiska, 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

City Hall, Stockholm

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

11. Strandvägen

Strandvägen

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

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

ABBA Museum, Stockholm

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

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.

15. Monteliusvägen

cool places to visit stockholm

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

Nordic Museum, Stockholm

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.

17. Stortorget

Stortorget, Stockholm

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

Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm

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.

19. Södermalm

Södermalm, Sweden

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

Stockholm Canal Cruise

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

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

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.

23. Norrmalm

Norrmalm, Stockholm

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.

24. Kungsträdgården

Kungsträdgården

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

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
  • Fotografiska
  • The City Hall
  • Strandvägen
  • Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde
  • ABBA: The Museum
  • Monteliusvägen
  • Nordic Museum
  • Drottningholm Palace
  • Hallwyl Museum
  • Stockholm Public Library
  • Kungsträdgården
  • Go for Fika

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The 15 Best Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

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The Best Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

A city overflowing with cultural gemstones, enchanting beauty, and well-preserved history, there are countless things to do in Stockholm. From world-class museums and thought-provoking galleries to dazzling UNESCO World Heritage Sites and imposing palaces, there are so many incredible places to visit here that you’ll never have enough time, no matter how long you’re visiting!

Despite looking like it hasn’t changed in hundreds of years, Stockholm certainly isn’t stuck in the past. The city’s captivating Old Town twists and turns with the vibrant city center and trendy modern districts merging into a single destination that’s both old and new, sleepy and dynamic, traditional and progressive.

Spread across 14 islands on Lake Mälaren, it’s almost like Stockholm has been purposely designed for exploring. Put on some comfy walking shoes, leave Google Maps untouched, and simply wander. You never know what magical things you might come across!

With such a huge choice of things to see and do, it can be tough to know where to begin. To make your vacation planning easier, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Stockholm. Add these exciting activities to your Stockholm bucket list, and you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time exploring Sweden ’s stunning capital city.

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

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15 cool and unique things to do in Stockholm

1. get your bearings with a boat tour.

Best Things to do in Stockholm: Boat Tour

Even though it’s pretty compact, it’s still easy to get lost in Stockholm. One of the best ways to get a feel for the city is to sign up for a boat tour on your first day. There are all kinds of boat tours to choose from. So whatever type of experience you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it!

The Royal Canal Boat Tour is one of the most popular. On this 50-minute trip, you’ll leave the city behind and sail around Djurgården. The picturesque island is well known for its magnificent museums, impressive historical sites, and wonderfully green landscapes. On your way back, you’re treated to an amazing view of the city’s skyline.

Unique Things to do in Stockholm: Boat Tour

To get a feel for old Stockholm, sign up for the Historical Canal Tour instead. This adventure begins at the iconic City Hall and travels through narrow canals, passing the picturesque shoreline and the gorgeous buildings found along it. 

During your 50-minute ride, you’ll sail around Kungsholmen and see all kinds of fascinating places with rich histories. Keep an eye out for the hotel that was once a prison!

2. Wander around the First-Ever Open-Air Museum at Skansen

Must do things in Stockholm: Skansen

A visit to Skansen is not only one of the most unique things to do in Stockholm, but it’s also one of the most unique things to do in the world! This is because Skansen is the first and oldest open-air museum on the planet.

Launched in 1891 by visionary teacher and academic Artur Hazelius, Skansen aims to show future generations what everyday life was like in Sweden before the Industrial Age made its impact. The huge museum covers more than 74 acres (30 hectares) and is bursting with blissful rural scenes you’ll struggle to believe are real!

Stockholm Bucket List: Skansen

Over 150 houses and buildings were rounded up from all over Sweden and reassembled in the museum. As you explore, you’ll discover town districts, manor houses, a church, and a bakery. To help you picture what life was like back then, there are staff members dressed in costumes “living” in the village, all going about their daily lives.

As an added bonus, Skansen also includes a zoo and an aquarium home to more than 200 animals and sea creatures from around the world. It costs a little more to enter, but it’s worth it!

Buy Your Admission Ticket

3. Enjoy Free Entertainment with Parkteatern

If you’re visiting during the summer, one of the most fun things to do in Stockholm is to watch one of the many performances organized during Parkteatern . The annual cultural event takes place in public locations throughout the city, and all the shows are free to enjoy!

From dance performances, famous musicals, and music concerts to theatrical plays, instrumental concerts, and children’s shows, there’s absolutely tons going on. The events are held from June to September, and many of them take place in city parks. 

Taking in a show is the perfect way to enjoy the cool outdoor air during the evening while getting a little culture. Plus, it’s all for free!

Dates, performances, and locations change each year. So it’s best to check the official website to see what will be happening when you’re in the city. And because there’s no charge, spaces fill up fast. So pack yourself a picnic, get to your chosen spot, and make a day of it.

4. Ramble Throughout the Royal National City Park

What to do in Stockholm: Royal National City Park

When you need a break from all the Stockholm sightseeing, one of the best things to do is head for the Royal National City Park. This sprawling six-mile-long green space winds its way around the city and incorporates three royal parks: Djurgården, Haga, and Ulriksdal.

Stockholm’s Royal National City Park is the place where people go to relax and forget about hectic city life. Although, you’ll find there are so many amazing things to do here that you might end up more tired than you were to begin with!

Stockholm Things to do: Royal National City Park

If you love nature, you’ll have an incredible time exploring the wilderness zones. From centuries-old trees and craggy hilltops to secret swimming spots and rippling streams, this park is a haven if you like spending time outdoors. Visit at the right time of year, and you might even spot the deer, fox, and moose that live in the park.

If you prefer more traditional tourist attractions, you’ll never get bored with the theaters, museums, castles, and historical homes also found here.

5. Feel Like Royalty at Stockholm’s Royal Palace

Cool Things to do in Stockholm: Royal Palace

If you’ve got a whole day to spare and you’re left wondering what to do in Stockholm, spend it exploring the city’s Royal Palace. Encompassing more than 600 rooms, the palace is one of the largest in Europe and can easily entertain you for an entire day – if not longer!

The 18 th -century Baroque complex is home to the King of Sweden and is where many royal events and receptions take place. If nothing exciting is happening during your visit, you’ll still have a fantastic time wandering around the palace’s five museums.

Unique Things to do in Stockholm: Royal Palace

The Treasury is the most exceptional museum, where you can see the royals’ most important possessions, including sparkling crowns and heroic swords. Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities is also worth a visit. Here you can admire a magnificent collection of Greek and Roman sculptures bought by the king during his trip to Italy in 1783-84.   

Don’t forget to make time for the changing of the guard ceremony! It begins at 12:15 pm each day (except on Sundays when it starts at 1:15 pm) and lasts for 40 minutes.

6. Forget IKEA and Try Authentic Swedish Meatballs

Must do things in Stockholm: Authentic Swedish Meatballs

You can’t possibly visit Stockholm without trying one of Sweden’s most iconic foods – meatballs! Made from a combination of ground veal and pork, eggs, milk or cream, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, these bite-sized treats are simple yet delicious.

In Stockholm, you’ll most often see them served with a generous scoop of mashed potatoes, rich gravy, lingonberry jam, and pickled cucumber. You’ll find the emblematic meatballs available in practically every restaurant and food kiosk throughout the city. But here are a couple of the best places to try them:

What to do in Stockholm: Authentic Swedish Meatballs

Bakfickan understands that sometimes the side dishes play just as big a role as the main dish. Here they take just as much care with their mashed potato and lingonberry sides as they do with their meatballs, making a delicious and well-rounded meal.

Meatballs for the People is another great place for meatballs if you grow tired of the regular version. This cool restaurant serves up a bunch of different types of meatballs made from ingredients such as elk, salmon, and beef. They also serve special snacks and beers for dogs!

7. Sail the Seven Seas at the Vasa Museum

Best Things to do in Stockholm: Vasa Museum

One of the best things to see in Stockholm is a giant 17 th -century ship. And there’s only one place to see it – at the Vasa Museum ! Originally owned by the all-conquering King Gustavus Adolphus, the Vasa was a colossal ship that went down on its maiden voyage in 1628.

The ship was stuck underwater until 1961, when it was taken back to the surface, lovingly restored, and placed in this fascinating museum. A staggering 95% of the ship is entirely original. Even the three towering masts were reconstructed to the exact heights and specifications of the originals.

Stockholm Things to do: Vasa Museum

As well as the giant 64-gun warship itself, the Vasa Museum also displays a treasure trove of artifacts, which were discovered at the same time. Through the 10 exhibition rooms, an explanatory movie, and countless relics, you can easily imagine what life was like on the Vasa. 

In addition to the main attraction, Vasa Museum is also home to a handful of other historic vessels. Take the time to explore, and you’ll find a torpedo boat, lightship, and an icebreaker.

8. Treat Your Taste Buds at a Crayfish Party

Unique Things to do in Stockholm: Crayfish Party

Crayfish is one of the best things to eat on a lazy summer day in Stockholm. In fact, the delicacy is so loved that locals hold crayfish parties (kräftskivor in Swedish) throughout August and September!

These parties are designed to mark the end of summer and are a great excuse for a final get-together. Crowds of people gather in outdoor spaces with party hats and glowing lights, making the most of the final warm evenings. Big pots of crayfish are boiled along with salt, dill, and beer. The crayfish are chilled until they reach their perfect temperature, after which they’re devoured straight from the shell.

Cool Things to do in Stockholm: Crayfish Party

You might not have the chance to join in on a crayfish party, but there are plenty of other places you can dig into the delicacy. B.A.R. is a great place to try the dish. At this eatery, you can choose fresh crayfish from the counter, and the chef will cook it for you on the spot.

9. Fall in Love with Photography at Fotografiska

What to do in Stockholm: Fotografiska

If you’re an avid photographer (or like the idea of becoming one!), one of the best things to do in Stockholm is to spend an afternoon at Fotografiska . Set inside a repurposed customs building by the water in Södermalm, this museum is home to one of the greatest photography art galleries in the world. 

Each year, Fotografiska is divided into four excellent exhibitions bursting with magnificent examples of contemporary photography. Some of the photographers who’ve displayed their work here in recent years include Akseli Valmunen, Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin, and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Stockholm Things to do: Fotografiska

As well as the eclectic rotating exhibitions, the art gallery also hosts cutting-edge music events throughout the year. Be sure to check the website to see if there’s anything interesting happening during your visit.  

If you’re feeling hungry, stop by the gallery’s top-floor cafe. Here you can soak up some of the most beautiful views over the city while digging into creative dishes made from organic and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Get Your Entrance Ticket

10. Loosen Up at the Stockholm Jazz Festival

Best Things to do in Stockholm: Jazz Festival

Stockholm hosts all kinds of incredible events throughout the year, and one of the best for music lovers is the Stockholm Jazz Festival . Held across 10 days each October, this music festival is the largest of its kind in Sweden and includes around 160 live music concerts spread throughout the city. 

The event first began in 1980 and has since grown bigger and bigger. Today, famous jazz artists from all over the world travel to Sweden’s capital for the chance to perform. Some of the most recent artists include B.B. King, Eva Dahlgren, Louise Hoffsten, and Peter Asplund. 

Cool Things to do in Stockholm: Jazz Festival

The Stockholm Jazz Festival was originally hosted in one single location, but performances now take place in more than 60 venues all over the city. The venues are all indoors, so you don’t have to worry about fall weather ruining your plans. Dates, locations, and performances change every year, so make sure you check the website for the current program!

11. Find the Best Views of the City at Monteliusvägen

Must do things in Stockholm: Best Views of the City at Monteliusvägen

For the best sights in Stockholm, head to Monteliusvägen. Just a short walk away from the remarkable Fotografiska gallery, Monteliusvägen is a quarter-mile walking path that will reward you with views almost too beautiful to be true!

From the glistening waters of Lake Mälaren and the standout Stockholm City Hall to the islet of Riddarholmen and the emblematic Gamla Stan, you can see all the best parts of Stockholm from this single small path. For the ultimate shots, visit at sunrise or sunset when the lighting is just perfect. 

Stockholm Bucket List: Best Views of the City at Monteliusvägen

Even the other side of the path is stunning. It’s lined with charming houses that will make you feel like you’re walking through the pages of a fairytale book. Along the path, you’ll also find a handful of places to stop and sip a glass of wine in the summer or cozy up with a cup of coffee in the winter.  

12. Discover Your New Favorite Artist at Moderna Museet

What to do in Stockholm: Moderna Museet

Moderna Museet is the art gallery to visit when you think you don’t like art galleries. Home to one of the most spectacular European collections from the 20th century up to today, Moderna Museet features pieces by famous artists such as Matisse, Derkert, Dalí, and Picasso.

Within its walls, you’ll find art of all types, including prints, drawings, photography, and films, covering almost every subject from modern classics to contemporary art. Step outside, and you’ll find some bright and colorful sculptures to admire, too. With such a huge variety of artwork on display, you’re bound to find at least one piece that turns you into an art lover.

Stockholm Things to do: Moderna Museet

In addition to the permanent displays, the art gallery also offers a world-class selection of temporary exhibitions rotated throughout the year, hands-on workshops for kids, a great gift shop, and a comprehensive library. If you end up spending longer admiring the artwork than you thought, there’s also a fantastic restaurant, which rewards diners with views of Djurgården and Strandvägen.

13. Feel Like a Kid again at Gröna Lund

Cool Things to do in Stockholm: Gröna Lund

Spending a few hours at Gröna Lund is one of the most fun Stockholm activities there is. Hidden away on the island of Djurgården, Gröna Lund is the oldest amusement park in Sweden. It first opened in 1883, although you’d never know it! The park is filled with family-friendly attractions that are just as modern as any other theme park. 

If you’re up for a thrill, head for Monster. One of the park’s newest rollercoasters, Monster flies at 55 miles per hour, sends you upside-down four times, and peaks at a height of 112 feet! 

Fun Things to do in Stockholm: Gröna Lund

If that’s a bit too much for you, there are plenty of other rides and rollercoasters to choose from. There are also tons of gentle attractions for kids, making Gröna Lund one of the best places in Stockholm to visit as a family. 

As well as all the rides and attractions, the amusement park is also a great place to catch concerts. Throughout the summer, all kinds of artists from across all genres and ages take to the stage here. From Paul McCartney and My Chemical Romance to Dua Lipa and Tom Jones – you’ll find a range of famous artists playing here! 

14. Get Lost in Gamla Stan  

What to do in Stockholm: Gamla Stan

One of the must-do things in Stockholm is to spend time exploring Gamla Stan, also known as Old Town. One of the best-preserved medieval city centers in all of Europe, Gamla Stan feels more like an open-air museum than a bustling town.

Take a walk along the pedestrianized streets, and you’ll discover countless beautiful sights that will leave you speechless. Gabled houses dating back to the 1600s, artisan boutiques selling handmade crafts, and bakeries laden with sweet local treats straight from the oven are just a tiny example of the amazing things you’ll find here.

Stockholm Bucket List: Gamla Stan

The two main streets are Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan. We recommend you start with one and see where your feet take you. With so much whimsy around every corner, you really can’t go wrong!

If you prefer your day to be a bit more organized, plan to visit the Storkyrkan Cathedral, Nobel Prize Museum , and the Royal Palace. If you’re visiting during the winter, you’ve absolutely got to make time for the Julmarknad Christmas market, too. 

Take a Walking Tour

15. See What’s Happening at Kungsträdgården

Best Things to do in Stockholm: Kungsträdgården

Whatever time of year you visit Stockholm, there’s always something exciting happening at Kungsträdgården. A hidden park tucked away behind the Royal Palace, Kungsträdgården is a lively place where people gather to sip coffee at open-air cafes and have a good time.

In the spring, the park is filled with thousands of people eager to celebrate cherry blossom season. At this time of year, the trees are covered in delicate pink flowers that look amazing in photos! In the summer, Kungsträdgården holds fantastic open-air concerts, while in the winter, part of the park is purposely frozen over and becomes a dedicated ice rink.

Stockholm Bucket List: Kungsträdgården

Even when there’s nothing organized going on, you’ll still find lots to do at Kungsträdgården. The pathways are lined with restaurants dishing up seasonal cuisine, as well as art galleries displaying remarkable pieces by local artists. 

You’ll also find ancient plazas, gorgeous fountains, sunken pools, and flower-studded gardens to explore. Locals have nicknamed the place “Stockholm’s outdoor living room,” and when you see it in person, it’s easy to understand why!

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Stockholm. What’s your favorite thing to do in Stockholm? 

Planning a trip to Sweden? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!

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The Best Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

Frequently Asked Questions

A visit to Skansen is not only one of the most unique things to do in Stockholm, but it’s also one of the most unique things to do in the world! This is because Skansen is the first and oldest open-air museum on the planet. Launched in 1891 by visionary teacher and academic Artur Hazelius, Skansen aims to show future generations what everyday life was like in Sweden before the Industrial Age made its impact.

You can’t possibly visit Stockholm without trying one of Sweden’s most iconic foods – meatballs! Made from a combination of ground veal and pork, eggs, milk or cream, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, these bite-sized treats are simple yet delicious. In Stockholm, you’ll most often see them served with a generous scoop of mashed potatoes, rich gravy, lingonberry jam, and pickled cucumber.

Stockholm hosts all kinds of incredible events throughout the year, and one of the best for music lovers is the Stockholm Jazz Festival. Held across 10 days each October, this music festival is the largest of its kind in Sweden and includes around 160 live music concerts spread throughout the city.

For the best sights in Stockholm, head to Monteliusvägen. Just a short walk away from the remarkable Fotografiska gallery, Monteliusvägen is a quarter-mile walking path that will reward you with views almost too beautiful to be true! From the glistening waters of Lake Mälaren and the standout Stockholm City Hall to the islet of Riddarholmen and the emblematic Gamla Stan, you can see all the best parts of Stockholm from this single small path

Spending a few hours at Gröna Lund is one of the most fun Stockholm activities there is. Hidden away on the island of Djurgården, Gröna Lund is the oldest amusement park in Sweden. It first opened in 1883, although you’d never know it! The park is filled with family-friendly attractions that are just as modern as any other theme park.

Nicola Quinn

Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since. From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places. The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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Home » Europe » Sweden » Stockholm

13 BEST Places to Visit in Stockholm (2024)

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.

Hornstull, Stockholm

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…

cool places to visit stockholm

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#1 – Gamla Stan – One of the nicer places in Stockholm to sightsee

Gamla Stan

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  • 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!

Skansen Open Air Museum

  • 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!

cool places to visit stockholm

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#3 – Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library) – One of the most incredible free things to do in Stockholm

Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library)

  • 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

The Royal Palace

  • 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

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

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!

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#7 – City Hall and the Blue Hall

City Hall Stockholm

  • 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

Abba: The Museum

  • 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

Drottningholm 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

Royal Djurgården

  • 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!

#11 – Stockholm Metro Art Gallery

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

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)

Tele2 Arena Stockholm

  • 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.

Get insured for your trip to Stockholm!

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

cool places to visit stockholm

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Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

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!

cool places to visit stockholm

Christina Grayt

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The Frugal Expat

16 Unmissable Things to Do in Stockholm on Your Visit

Steve Cummings

May 1, 2024

Stockholm

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Stockholm is a fantastic city to visit, with lots of cool stuff to do. 

Whether you're there for a weekend or longer, you will always have things to explore. Getting around is easy, too, with their unique metro stations that can take you all over the city.

We've compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Stockholm.

1. The Vasa Museu

The Vasa Museu

This has to take the top spot of things to do in Stockholm. From the pictures and reviews, you might be thinking, “Is this museum of a boat really that good?” Let us tell you, it is. We were blown away When we visited, and it can't be described until you visit the place. 

The ship is massive, and its detail is unreal. It's hard to think about the amount of work that went into it, only for it to sink on its maiden voyage in 1628.

We recommend booking your ticket online as this museum can get very busy, but it's worth going and should be near the top of your list of things to do in Stockholm.

2. The Viking Bar

The team at the Frugal Expat loves a good pint of beer, and we have tasted many over the years on our adventures. 

One of the standout bars for us in Stockholm was the Viking Bar. It can be found in the Old Town and has a lovely old feel. We were greeted by a guy who looked like a real-life Viking, about 6ft 5, with a massive beard. 

When you sit down to eat, he announces your family name to everyone else sitting down, and everyone cheers. The food here was great, and we also tried some mead, an old-fashioned form of alcohol. All the drinks are served in clay vessels, adding to the bar's authenticity. This is definitely one of the cool things to do in Stockholm.

3. Explore Gamla Stan (The Old Town)

Old Town of Stockholm

Gamla Stan, Stockholm's historic old town, is like stepping back in time and is one of the free things to do in Stockholm.

It can be found on a central island and is the location of the magnificent Swedish Royal Palace. As you wander through Gamla Stan, you'll be walking past beautifully preserved buildings and down some of Sweden's narrowest alleys.

The architecture, a mix of structures from the 1700s and 1800s, adds to its allure. Gamla Stan isn't just about the past; it's alive with busy streets filled with cafes, shops, and a busy waterfront, ideal for sunset views.

If you can, time your visit to be at Christmas, as this is when Gamla Stan truly comes alive with its festive spirit enveloping the cobbled streets.

4. Abba Museum

The ABBA Museum is a fun place for both groups and solo visitors, and I think it should be on your list of things to do with families in Stockholm. 

If you've grown up listening to ABBA's music, you'll love the mini karaoke room where you can sing their songs, and it's a nostalgic trip, especially for those who've been fans since the 70s.

Even though there might be a line for tickets, it moves quickly. Inside, you can walk through ABBA's history and see its achievements. The museum has lots of cool stuff, like their personal items, costumes, and even cars, which are great for taking pictures.

One of the best parts is a room where you can pick an ABBA song and then sing and dance on stage with holograms of the band, and it feels almost real.

Admission is $26, which we think is pretty good!

5. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is one of the best things to see in Stockholm. 

You can get a ticket for SEK 160 either online or at the palace. This ticket gets you into two main areas – the treasury, where you can see the crown jewels and other royal items, and the living suites and apartments that are now part of the exhibitions. 

See if you can time your visit on a Saturday at noon, as you might also catch the changing of the guards in the front courtyard.

You'll find several museums with art, artifacts, and royal collections, including the crown jewels. 

You can get audio guides in many languages to learn more about everything you see, and we recommend you get one of these.

The building itself is vast and has beautiful Baroque architecture with statues and artwork on the outside, but be ready for a lot of walking and stairs, so wear comfortable shoes.

6. Kungsträdgården Park

Kungsträdgården Park

Kungsträdgården Park is a beautiful garden right in the middle of Stockholm.

It's a peaceful spot with water bodies and statues, making it a nice break from the busy city center.

Around the park are plenty of restaurants and beer bars where you can relax and enjoy the view of this green oasis. It's a great example of how the Swedish government has kept history and nature alive in a modern city.

The park is a popular place and worth a visit when you're in Stockholm. You'll see lovely tulips blooming if you're there during the right season, like spring. 

7. Kungliga Djurgården

Kungliga Djurgården is one of the best places to visit in Stockholm. 

It's a massive park with gardens, historic buildings, theme parks, and a forest, and walking around Djurgården, you feel far away from the city. 

While exploring, you should check out the Rosendal Garden cafe, which is pretty in an old greenhouse. The cafe is surrounded by plant sheds and gardens where they grow their produce. 

There are so many things to see and do in Djurgården that you can easily spend a whole day there. One of the fun things to do in Stockholm is hopping on the electric scooters as it's an easier way to get around, and there's no traffic on this island.

Skansen is one of the unique things to do in Stockholm, as it's the world's first open-air museum, which opened in 1891. 

It's like walking through five centuries of Swedish history, and the park has over 150 historical buildings and dwellings from all across Sweden, which have been taken apart and put back together at Skansen over an area of 300,000 square meters.

You'll meet people dressed in clothes from different historical periods, and you can even watch traditional Swedish people dancing in the evenings in the summer.

One of the highlights of Skansen is the zoo, which has domestic and wild Nordic animals like bears, wolves, and lynxes. They offer guided tours in English during the summer and December. There's also a Children's Zoo, where kids can meet and learn about different animals.

9. Östermalm Saluhall

Östermalm Saluhall

Östermalm Saluhall is an upscale indoor market that sells fresh, quality produce. 

As well as the market stalls, there are various restaurants and bars. 

You can order food and drinks (most places serve alcohol but also offer free water) and then sit in the eating area of the restaurant you ordered from. This setup works well when you are with many people who want to order different things. 

It's a popular spot, so it can get crowded. One thing to note is that there are few seating options for customers who just want coffee and cake. Put this down as one of the best places to eat in Stockholm during your visit.

10. Fotografiska Stockholm

Fotografiska is the place to see photos from famous photographers, and it has amazing views and great food.

Visitors like the museum because it has lots of photo exhibits and gives information about the photos.

The restaurant at the top of the museum is what many people come here for, as it has fantastic views across the lake. It's a good place to see Stockholm from above. 

A cool thing about Fotografiska is that it's open until 11 PM, which means you can visit in the evening after walking around Stockholm all day. You can spend a pleasant evening looking at photos and then have dinner at the restaurant while enjoying the best views of Stockholm. What could be better?

11. Hallwyl Museum

This is the former home of Countess Wilhelmina von Hallwyl and her family, who collected a vast amount of art, porcelain, and antique furniture, making this one of Sweden's most extensive collections.

The house has many rooms to explore, like the dining room, various salons, a smoking room, a weapons room, a billiards room, and a porcelain room. 

Admission costs $7 for adults, which is what we like at the Frugal Expat, and there's an option for guided tours of all floors.

This historic home stands out for its elegance and the vast collection of original art, furniture, and artifacts and shows the lifestyle of the highly wealthy from centuries past.

12. Swedish History Museum

This is one of the largest museums in Sweden and attracts tens of thousands of people every year. Families will love it, making it one of the best things to do with kids in Stockholm.

One of the main attractions is its vast Viking exhibition, which is one of the biggest in the world, with gold and silver treasures in the Gold Room and unique Medieval Art. 

The layout of the museum is really interesting. One exhibit shows five bodies that were found intact, along with stories about how they died. There are also sections on Vikings, the history of Sweden's past monarchs and wars, and Medieval art. 

The museum is free after 5 PM on Wednesdays and stays open until 8 PM, but if you visit on another day, the admission fee is 14 dollars. It's free for kids and young people up to 19 years old.

13. Sodermalm

Sodermalm is a busy and lively district and one of the most densely populated areas in Scandinavia. It's primarily a residential area but also offers some lovely views and architectural sights. 

Visiting Sodermalm is a great way to see everyday life in Stockholm. We think It's a beautiful part of the city that's less crowded with tourists than places like Old Town. This makes it a more relaxed and one of the better things to see in Stockholm, and there are plenty of restaurants here, adding to the area's laid-back vibe.

14. Enjoy Fika

Caffè Latte

Fika is a Swedish tradition about taking a break, usually with a coffee and something sweet to eat.

In Stockholm, you'll find many cozy cafes where you can experience Fika. Each café has its unique atmosphere and selection of treats where you can try classic Swedish pastries like cinnamon buns or something more unique to each café.

It's also about slowing down and enjoying the moment.

15. Junibacken

Junibacken is a magical place and is one of the best things to do with kids in Stockholm. 

There are theater shows to watch, and the Story Train is popular as it takes you on a journey through the stories of Astrid Lindgren, and it's something kids love. 

There's a Cosy Corner in the bookshop where you can find books in many languages, which is a great spot to relax and read together.

Junibacken was created in 1996, all thanks to Astrid Lindgren. It's an excellent place for families, especially if you have kids between 2 and 10 years old.

16. Nobel Prize Museum

The Nobel Prize Museum is all about celebrating big ideas and the people who come up with them and shows how creativity, bravery, and hard work can change the world. 

The museum focuses on the different areas of the Nobel Prize, like science, literature, and peace, and offers exhibitions, programs for schools, talks, and discussions about important topics.

It's a small but educational museum that tells the story of the Nobel Prizes and the people who have won them for over 100 years. 

The entry fee is about $8, but students get in for about $4, making it one of the cheap things to do in Stockholm.

Final Thoughts

Stockholm has a bit of everything, and we hope you liked reading about it as much as we liked writing about it. 

If you've got any thoughts on what the best things in Stockholm are or your own stories about Stockholm, we'd love to hear them in the comments.

cool places to visit stockholm

I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more.  And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.

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30 Best Things To Do in Stockholm

Stockholm is a city full of fun things to do. Since several of these gems are hidden from the naked eye, you’ll want to make sure you plan ahead.

Explore our carefully crafted list of the 30 best things to do in Stockholm.

Looking for Things To Do in Stockholm?

Stockholm is full of lots of fun and out of the box activities. The options are endless.

In Sweden’s capital, you’ll find everything from museums and the more traditional sightseeing spots to unusual artifacts and locations.

Let’s explore some exciting ways to fill the itinerary of your Swedish holiday.

1. Spend the Afternoon in “City”

Christmas capture of Sergels torg, Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is obviously a large city, but locals refer to the area in the center as either “City.”

The real name of this area is Norrmalm , and it was known as a sketchy, rundown area of town until it underwent a total makeover in the 1990s. This neighborhood is now known as a great shopping district.

If shopping isn’t your favorite, do not fret! Norrmalm is the perfect place to grab an ice cream cone and take a stroll. This neighborhood is the most beautiful in the spring when it is decorated by cherry blossoms in bloom.

2. Visit the Royal Palace

Royal Palace and Church of St. Nicholas (Storkyrkan), Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm’s Royal Palace is one of the most marvelous residences in all of Europe. Its vibrance and grandeur is on par with the general Stockholm atmosphere.

To this day, the King and Queen conduct operations from this location. The palace triples as workplace, living space and symbol of Swedish culture.

The architecture of this palace was built with baroque stylistic elements. It was designed by Nicodemus Tessin.

3. Museum Hop

National museum of art Stockholm, Sweden

Museums are a wonderful choice for history buffs, art fanatics and those who are looking to fill some space on their itineraries.

Stockholm is full of wonderful museums that include a multitude of exhibits that relate to everything from medieval history to modern art. You’re sure to find a museum that piques your interest!

Best Museums in Stockholm

  • Vasa Museum
  • The Medieval Museum
  • Swedish History Museum
  • Modern Art Museum
  • Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde

4. Be Awed by Drottningholm Castle

Detail from the grounds of Drottningholm palace, a Unesco cultural heritage site in Sweden. Summer with the Baroque garden in the foreground

Drottningholm Castle , Stockholm’s most beautiful and best preserved palace, dates back to the 1600s.

It is one of the homes of the King and Queen, but they only live in a small wing. The rest of the palace is open for visitors.

Aside from the elaborate decorations and interior design, the garden of the palace is one of the most phenomenal features. It is very popular to take wedding photos in this beautiful garden.

The Drottningholm Castle Church is one of the most famous components of the property.

5. Stroll Down Strandvägen

Strandvägen is the boulevard that serves as the main drag through the center of Stockholm.

This is the most posh street in all of Stockholm since it is lined on one side by docks full of luxurious boats. Since it’s on the water, the view is absolutely amazing.

This street was considered to be run down throughout the 19th century, as it was inhabited by people of lower income and social standings, but it has made an impressive comeback since this time.

6. Have a Picnic at Rosendals Trädgård

The Garden Cafe at Rosendals Trädgård is the perfect place for an outdoor lunch.

Nestled in acres of garden and greenery, this patio cafe is simply delightful.

While you’re welcome to admire the beauty of Rosendals Trädgård, there is so much in store for those with a green thumb or two. The plant shop offers a variety of garden supplies and preserved seeds.

Rosendals Trädgård also sells a plethora of wonderful flower arrangements. If you’re into floral design, you can buy pre-cut flowers and create your own bouquet.

7. Visit the Birthplace of Stockholm Syndrome

Norrmalmstorg in the center of Stockholm, Sweden.

Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological syndrome that was named after an unfortunate occurrence in none other than Sweden’s capital. It is described as a phenomenon where victims become sympathetic of their abusers.

The first recorded case of Stockholm syndrome was after some robbers held up a bank at Norrmalmstorg . After several people were shot and injured and the police were able to gain control of the situation, the hostages expressed their concern for the robbers.

The victims plead for fair treatment of their persecutors. Nils Bejerot, a criminal psychiatrist, named this odd behaviour “Norrmalmstorg Syndrome,” which later evolved to Stockholm Syndrome.

8. Take the Kids to Junibacken

Bringing your kids on vacation can be a blast as long as you have plenty of fun activities lined up to keep them occupied.

Junibacken is a children’s theme park that will show your kiddos the time of their lives. They will feel like they are stepping into a story book.

The activities at Junibacken range from train rides to fun in the garden. Your children will be introduced to a plethora of characters that are so carefully brought to life.

Even though this theme park is geared towards the little ones, you’re bound to travel back to your childhood as you reminisce on your favorite childhood stories.

9. Jam Out at ABBA: The Museum

Visit Abba the Museum in Stockholm

Are you ready to take your chance at fun? Here we go again!

Stop by ABBA: The Museum to jam out to your favorite tunes from the band that wowed the world throughout the 70s and 80s. This museum is dedicated entirely to Sweden’s own ABBA and their various works throughout the past half of a century.

ABBA: The Museum is full of interactive exhibits that are fun for the whole family.

10. Snack Through Stockholm

We wholeheartedly believe that the best way to get familiar with a new city is by enjoying their most stellar dishes at their best restaurants.

Stockholm is full of good eats, so you’ll never have to worry about having an empty belly.

While many people know Sweden for their Swedish meatballs (thanks to Ikea), there are so many more delicious dishes that you can try. Bread and fish are the base of many Swedish dishes, but the Swedes have a few unique dishes that are actually quite popular with the locals.

If you can get past the image of Rudolph guiding Santa’s sleigh in the sky, you have to try reindeer. It is best sauteed and served with a potato side.

Where to Eat in Stockholm

  • Nystekt Strömming
  • Vete-katten
  • Järnvägsrestaurangen
  • Garlic & Shots

11. Take a Dip in Storkyrkobadet

Storkyrkobadet is an underground pool in the old part of Stockholm. This is one of the most interesting spots in town, dating back to the middle of the 18th century.

For a few euros, you can swim in this bath with locals and tourists from around the world. The pool can be rented out for events, and you can buy either one-day passes or a multi-visit membership. Only cash in the Swedish currency is accepted.

Men are welcome in the pool on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday, and women can come on Mondays and Thursdays. Face masks, bath bombs and more are available for purchase upon entry.

12. Control the Colour by Numbers Tower

The Colour by Numbers tower in downtown Stockholm is one of the most interesting attractions in the city. This tower lights up, and you can control the color of the lights from your phone.

You can make requests by phone call or by their smartphone application . Follow the instructions on their site to choose the color.

The Colour by Number app allows you to create your own RGB color, which gives you total control of the reds, blues and green hues in the shade you pick.

13. Stop by Gamla Stan

Stockholm, Sweden, Old town and town square

Visit the oldest spots in Stockholm on the little island of Gamla Stan .

Often referred to as the “Old Town,” Gamla Stan is rich in history. This area of town dates back to the mid 13th century.

When you get to the Old Town, you’ll likely notice the buildings that are all colored a bright shade of yellow or gold.

Some of the most famous attractions in this part of Stockholm include the Nobel Museum, Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral.

14. Check out Stortorget

Stockholm tourists enjoying colourful Stortorget bars restaurants at sunset Sweden

When you’re in Gamla Stan, you’ve got to make a stop at Stortorget .

Stortorget is the oldest square in Gamla Stan, making it the oldest square in all of Stockholm. As in most of this island, Stortorget is known for its iconic colorful homes and buildings.

From jovial market days to grave persecutions, every corner of this square has a grand story to tell.

15. Read a Book at the Stockholm Public Library

Also known as Stadsbiblioteket , the Stockholm Public Library is the perfect place to spend an afternoon escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.

Stop by Stadsbiblioteket to read a book in a cozy corner of the library. They have a large collection of English books, so you’ll certainly find something that excites you.

16. Enjoy the Art at Färgfabriken

If you’re a fan of modern art, Färgfabriken is the place for you.

Stop by this wonderful art museum to enjoy a variety of exhibits that celebrate the work of a collection of contemporary artists.

This museum offers classes and expos for artists who are exploring their talents and wish to further their abilities.

17. Fika for a Few

Need a break from your busy day? Take a quick fika.

Fika is basically an indefinite coffee break that the Swedes take throughout the day. The literal translation is “coffee and cake break.”

Many Swedish businesses incorporate a fika into the daily schedule. The two fika times are typically around 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

This break allows busy people a chance to step away from their work and socialize. This tradition plays into the Swedish attitude towards shorter work days and their effect on productivity.

18. Gaze at the Sweden Solar System

Solar system isolated on black background

Copenhagen is the home to the world’s largest solar system model. The Sweden Solar System is spread across the city with different buildings and statues representing different parts of the solar system.

The Globe Arena is the largest spherical building in the world, and it represents the sun.

Download the solar system map , and start your journey around the universe. This activity offers a wonderful way to explore Stockholm.

19. Have a Day of Play at Sweden’s Oldest Amusement Park

Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm Sweden.

Northern Europe doesn’t play around when it comes to amusement parks.

Gröna Lund , the oldest amusement park in Sweden, is loaded with fun for the whole family. They’ve got everything from kiddie rides to scare house for the grown ups.

Some nights, the park doubles as a concert venue. Big names from all different genres of music headline shows at the park. Tickets to the concert are included in the admission rate with season passes, which are very affordable.

Season passes, which are called “Green Cards,” are just under 30 euro for adults. This pass allows admission to the park and concerts from April to September. This pass is perfect for those planning an extended stay in Stockholm.

20. Check Out The Cuckold of Skeppsbron

A cuckold is traditionally known a man whose wife cheats on him, and Stockholm has a famous one.

The Cuckold of Skeppsbron is a mysterious work of art that is sculpted on the streetside of a home. Legend has it that Carl Smitt was the owner of this building when his wife cheated on him with another man.

To put her to shame, he had her vagina sculpted and mounted so that all passerbys may see. Above her lady parts, he is depicted as an enraged man.

The sculpture was carefully constructed so that on rainy days, water drips down from his eyes like tears. The tears splash onto his wife’s genitalia below.

21. Geek Out at the Pionen Data Center

The Pionen Data Center is a sci-fi nerd’s dream. This Cold War nuclear bunker turned internet service provider is decorated like a scene from a sci-fi movie.

This Bahnhof owned office is certainly not your typical sightseeing destination, but it is a cool one!

22. Skim Devil’s Bible

The Codex Gigas, or the Devil’s Bible, is a bit of a twisted artifact, but an interesting one nonetheless.

This manuscript is a rendition of the Holy Bible. It was written by a Benedictine monk at some point in the 13th century. In addition to a complete copy of the Old and New Testament, it includes a full page picture of Satan.

The Codex Gigas is stored in a dark, cool room in the National Library of Sweden in order to preserve the condition.

23. Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms at Kungsträdgården

First cherry blossom and fountain, Kungstradgarden

If you find yourself in Stockholm in April, you cannot miss the beautiful cherry blossoms at Kungsträdgården.

This garden, whose name is literally translated to “King’s Garden,” behind the Royal Palace is a breathtaking one. It is the perfect place to stroll on a sunny day. You could even enjoy a lovely picnic with your pals!

Its scenery makes Kungsträdgården is a great place to enjoy nature as you relax and unwind. It is crazy how beautiful surroundings can make you feel at ease in the middle of a crazy city.

24. Take a Paddan Boat Tour

Paddan Boat Tour in Stockholm, Sweden.

Touring a city by boat give a different perspective that your typical walking or bus tour. Stockholm’s paddan tours takes you through old canals and under dozens of beautiful bridges .

Consider taking a guided tour on one of your first days in the city so that you can scope out locations to visit for the rest of your trip.

Contact us today to learn more about our amazing tours.

25. Shop at Hornstull Marknad

The Hornstull Marknad is an open air flea and farmers market that operates every weekend on the Hornstull Strand.

A variety of vendors bring their art, crafts, jewelry and more to sell to those passing by. Booths are available to public vendors who are selling anything except food, drinks and other things that can be consumed.

Permanent vendors do sell food, so stop by for some good eats if nothing else!

26. Hop Over to Södermalm

Södermalm in Stockholm, Sweden.

Island hopping is a must in the Stockholm archipelago. The one of the most magnificent islands is Södermalm .

This central island is known for its classic architecture and endless entertainment. It is rich in cute cafes and beautiful parks.

Södermalm is a wonderful area to walk around on a sunny afternoon. It’s a truly happening place!

27. Reconnect with Nature at Skogskyrkogården

Although Skogskyrkogården is actually a cemetery and crematorium, its gorgeous lands often serve a as a destination for those who are looking to spend some time connecting with nature.

The property of Skogskyrkogården includes a variety of religious buildings and monuments. The most popular include chapels and religious symbols.

Skogskyrkogården is a wonderful place to explore in the summer months when the grass is green and lush. But when the days become shorter and the weather becomes colder, you won’t find a more beautiful place in Sweden than this winter wonderland.

28. Overlook the City from Monteliusvägen

In the mood to get out and move? Monteliusvägen is a half of a kilometer walking trail that offers a great view of the city.

Since the trail is slightly elevated, you can clearly see some of the most famous attractions in Stockholm, including Lake Mälaren.

The trail gets a bit steep in some areas, but it is said to be one of the most romantic spots in all of Stockholm. Take your honey out for a walk to watch the sunset. You’ll fall in love all over again!

29. Stop by The City Hall

Stockholm City Hall with reflection on water at morning, Sweden.

Stockholm’s City Hall is a phenomenal multi-purpose building that has practical uses for locals but serves as a beloved tourist destination.

In addition to local meetings and activities, the City Hall is a popular venue for large events. It’s wonderful architecture and elaborate design make it a beautiful location for a wedding or grand party.

This venue is quite larges, as it holds up to 1200 people. If you are looking to have a destination wedding, this could be the place for you!

30. View the Famous Photos at Fotografiska

The ability to capture a still from a perishing point in time is so beautiful. Photography is an underrated form of art. Fotografiska is an art gallery that only features photos.

Everything from styled and staged photo shoots to more natural candid shots can be seen in this museum. The exhibits are ever changing, so if there is one you’d like to see make sure that you’re visiting at the right time!

Fotografiska has spin off locations in NYC, London and Tallinn, but the location in Stockholm is the original.

Other Great Destinations in Northern Europe

Here at Hekla, we’ve been traveling Northern Europe for over two decades. We’ have found the most delicious restaurants, coolest bars and most fun things to do.

30 Incredible

If you’re interested in adding more stops to your Northern European holiday, you have to check out our travel guides to other wonderful destinations.

  • 30 Incredible Things to do in Copenhagen
  • 25 Best Things to do in Denmark
  • Fun in Reykjavik
  • Iceland’s Golden Circle
  • Visit the Blue Lagoon
  • What to do in Faroe Islands

Where will your travels take you?

Visit Stockholm

Sweden’s vibrant capital is a great travel destination or additional stop for any Northern European holiday. You can’t go wrong with a trip to Stockholm.

The most exciting experiences in Stockholm are the unique ones. Don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path and create an adventure of your own.

Hekla has a few tours that make stops in Stockholm. Will you be joining us?

Book your flight to Stockholm today with Hekla!

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12 Top-Rated Day Trips from Stockholm

Written by Andrew Birbeck and Karen Hastings Updated Apr 13, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Swedes love the outdoors, and the picturesque countryside around Stockholm , with islands, woodlands, lakes, and coastal towns, offers plenty of opportunities for adventures and day trips.

Excellent road, rail, and ferry links will take you wherever you want to go, and you'll find many of Sweden's top places to visit just a short hop from the city. Fairy-tale palaces, spectacular waterways, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Viking relics, and medieval villages await.

More than 30,000 islands lie in the sprawling archipelago, and many are close enough for a short (or long) day trip. You can easily take a ferry or sightseeing boat trip from Stockholm to explore them and see all their top attractions.

Plan your Swedish adventures with our list of the top day trips from Stockholm.

1. Drottningholm Palace: The Queen's Castle

2. sigtuna: sweden's first town, 3. visit the ancient university city of uppsala, 4. the viking settlement of birch island (björkö), 5. boat trip across lake malar to historic mariefred, 6. medieval gripsholm castle, 7. modernist enskede woodland cemetery (skogskyrkogården), 8. venture into the archipelago to visit the fortress of vaxholm, 9. the seaside resort of saltsjöbaden, 10. explore lake malar (mälaren), 11. the island of sandhamn, 12. stora fjäderholmen, map of day trips from stockholm.

Drottningholm Palace: The Queen's Castle

A UNESCO World Heritage Site , stunning Drottningholm Palace (Drottningholms slott) dates from the 17th century and was built for Queen Eleonora. Today the palace is the residence of the Swedish Royal Family.

It lies on the island of Lovö, roughly 11 kilometers west of Stockholm center — a journey of about 45 minutes by boat.

In the beautiful park, with its terraces and avenues of lime trees, are various bronze sculptures brought back from Denmark and Bohemia as trophies of war. In 1774, Drottningholm was bequeathed to Queen Luise Ulrike (sister of Frederick the Great) as a wedding gift, and new wings were added, along with the Chinese Pavilion .

The 18th-century Palace Theatre (Drottningholms Slottsteater) is still frequently used for performances and has stage machinery dating back to the reign of Gustavus III. Scenery and costumes from the period are displayed in the theater museum.

The palace's two large gardens, designed in Baroque and English styles, date from around the same period and are certainly worth seeing.

English-language guided tours are available, as are fun workshops and programs for children. A gift and souvenir shop is located in the visitor center.

Address: 178 93 Drottningholm, Sweden

Sigtuna: Sweden's First Town

Famous as Sweden's first town , Sigtuna is a major tourist draw and one of the best places to visit in Sweden for an authentic Swedish travel experience. If you want to see picture-postcard Sweden packed with things to do, this is your destination.

Founded in 980 CE, in the final century of Viking times, Sigtuna sits on the shore of Lake Mälaren , in the country's Uppland region. Today, you can see Sigtuna's history in the ruins, rune stones, medieval churches, and other historic buildings that still stand. At Stora Gatan , the boutiques and craft shops are fun to browse.

An easy way to visit Sigtuna and soak up some of its rich history without the hassle of driving is on the Viking History Half-Day Tour from Stockholm . On this five-hour tour, you have time to explore the quaint streets and shops of Sigtuna and stop at some fascinating historical sites, including an old Viking parliament, a Viking causeway at Täby, and Sweden's largest runic stone in Granby.

Sigtuna is located just 45 minutes north of Stockholm and about 30 minutes from the university town of Uppsala.

Uppsala Cathedral

Famous as a medieval university city (the university was established in the 1400s), Uppsala boasts an amazing history and draws visitors from across the globe.

It's an easy 70-kilometer drive or train trip northwest of Stockholm and just 25 minutes' drive from the city's Arlanda Airport.

This is Sweden's fourth-largest city; however, that's easy to forget, as the town has a laid-back feel, particularly if you're meandering through the winding streets of the old town, where you will find many of Uppsala's tourist attractions .

Highlights include the magnificent 13th-century cathedral (Domkyrka), the place of burial for Sweden's kings and queens, and the University Museum (Gustavianum). It's also fun to wander around the university grounds and the Botanical Gardens (Botaniska trädgården), then relax in one of the many waterside parks and cafés.

If you'd like to visit Uppsala without the stress of having to find your own way around, consider the Viking History Tour from Stockholm including Sigtuna and Uppsala . This full-day adventure combines an illuminating visit to Viking historical sites like Jarlabanke's bridge and the Viking graveyard at Broby with a stop in Sigtuna and a guided tour of Old Uppsala.

Birka on Birch Island

Birka (Vikingastaden) , on Birch Island (Björkö), is only about 30 kilometers west of Stockholm and is another of Sweden's oldest towns to include on your travel itinerary. During Viking times, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was the central hub and the most important trading post in the Mälar Valley.

Established in the 8th century, Birka attracted travelers from near and far, and a wealth of ancient remains have been excavated and studied from Viking settlement sites and burial grounds since the 19th century.

During summer, boat tours with Strömma Kanalbolaget depart from the dock at City Hall. Guided tours are available, and you can dine at the island's restaurant.

Mariefred

A boat trip on Lake Malar (Mälaren) to the picturesque town of Mariefred takes around three hours and is a relaxing and scenic excursion. The town's origin and name come from the monastery of Pax Mariae, which was founded here in 1493.

The town's main landmark is a hillside 17th-century church. Below that is the oldest part of the town, with wooden houses running down to the lake. In the market square, to the north of the church, stands the Town Hall , built in 1784 and now housing the regional tourist center, and on the west side, beyond Stallarholmsvägen , lies the ruined church of Kärnbo .

Gripsholm Castle dominates the landscape. To get here, take a nostalgic voyage aboard the historic steamship S/S Mariefred — the vessel was built around 1900 — from City Hall, Stockholm.

Medieval Gripsholm Castle

A visit to historic and beautiful Gripsholm Castle (Gripsholms Slott) will immerse you in four hundred years of Swedish history. Located on the shores of Lake Mälaren , this royal castle rises over the pretty town of Mariefred .

Gripsholm is sometimes called Gustav Vasa's castle, as the king built it here in 1537. A must-see is the Swedish State's collection of portraits, featuring famous Swedes from the days of Gustav Vasa to ABBA musician and composer, Benny Andersson. Wander around the beautiful castle grounds and Hjorthagen nature reserve where royal deer graze.

Address: 647 31 Mariefred, Sweden

Modernist Enskede Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården)

Created by the famous modernist architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz, Enskede Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården) is a place of stunning beauty set on a boulder ridge cloaked with pine trees.

Reflecting Nordic philosophy on the themes of life, death, and nature, the cemetery covers an area of about 250 acres and is hailed as one of the most significant works of these modernist architects.

Within the grounds lie a number of beautiful chapels and a visitor center. The Woodland Cemetery was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and is a short trip from Stockholm city center.

English language guided tours and audio guides are available year-round, and a good café is located in the visitor center.

Address: Skogskyrkogården12233 Enskede

Vaxholm Fortress

The largest museum in Stockholm's archipelago, Vaxholm Castle (Vaxholms fästning) — also known as Vaxholm Fortress Museum — lies on the island of Vaxö , northeast of Stockholm, in the channel used by ships and boats headed to the capital.

The fortress was given its present form in 1839, but immediately after the rebuilding, it lost any military significance since its walls couldn't withstand modern artillery. It now houses a museum with a collection of material from its days as a fortress.

During the 19th century, this was a favorite summer resort with Stockholmers. The little summer houses, with carved decorations and enclosed verandas, are relics of that period.

Address: Kastellet 1, 185 99 Vaxholm, Sweden

Grand Hotel Saltsjöbaden

Around 20 kilometers southeast of Stockholm — a journey of just 25 minutes by train — on an inlet in the Baggensfjärd , is the small residential town of Saltsjöbaden. This fashionable seaside resort features a yacht marina, grand hotel, golf course, and tennis courts.

For those with enough courage to brave the elements, there's an open-air bathing pool ( Friluftsbad ). This is a favorite day trip destination for Swedes, who like to come here and soak up some sunshine and salty sea air. Top things to do include dining by the water, lounging on the beach, or boating in the bay.

Lake Mälaren

Lake Malar (Mälaren), Sweden's third largest lake, lies immediately west of Stockholm. This 117-kilometer-long waterway extends through the provinces of Västmanland , Södermanland , Uppsala, and Stockholm to the Baltic . Numerous arms and inlets indent the shores. Vessels sail from the Baltic to Stockholm on the Södertälje Canal and Hammarbyleden .

Around the shores — which are partly fertile and partly rocky — lie castles, manor houses, and sprawling estates. More than 1,000 islands dot the lake, and boat services run to many of them (including Björkö ) in summer.

The principal towns on Mälaren are Stockholm , Västerås, and, farther north, Uppsala.

The Island of Sandhamn

Sandhamn is one of the outer islands of the Stockholm Archipelago, as it meets the open Baltic Sea. On a summer day, it's a busy place, filled with people relaxing over coffee and fika in the many cafés , sunning on its beaches , and browsing in its little shops around the fishing port.

There are walking trails through the forest of windswept pines, and a little museum tells about the island's history. You can get there by ferry from central Stockholm.

Cottages on Stora Fjäderholmen

Stora Fjäderholmen is the largest of four islands in the Fjäderholmarna group. Several ferry operators provide service from Stockholm several times a day during the summer tourist season, which is typically May through mid-September.

The island is part of the Royal National City Park , a notable tourist destination not only for its natural beauty but also thanks to its bountiful shops selling hand-made crafts and local goods, as well as several good restaurants.

If your ferry arrives at the main ferry port on the north side of the island, you don't have to walk far to find shopping and dining, with several options right on the waterfront or within a short stroll. If you are looking for a quieter place to grab a meal with an ocean view, head to the northwest corner of the island for lunch (and maybe a game of pètanque) at Röda Villan .

If you walk south along the eastern side of the island, you will find a small harbor that's home to smaller local boats. Just beyond this is the workshop of Föreningen Allmogebåtar , a local organization dedicated to preserving the building techniques of traditional Nordic boats, which has several fine examples on display.

Continue south and find even more shops along the waterfront, selling everything from locally made textiles to handcrafted candies. Although the short half-hour ferry ride allows you to visit for only part of a day, and the island is small enough to walk about in just a couple of hours, you may want to plan for more time to just explore and appreciate the scenery.

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16 fun, easy day trips from Stockholm

There are enough centrally located sights and activities in Stockholm to keep you occupied for a week or more. Sometimes, however, you just want to leave the big city behind and get a quick taste of the ‘real’ Sweden.

These day trips from Stockholm are all easily achievable with public transport – leave early in the morning and you’ll be back downtown in time for dinner.

Organised day trips from Stockholm

All the places we recommend here can be reached by public transport, but sometimes it’s easier quicker and more fun to go on a guided tour – especially if you’re a solo traveller.

So, here are some of our favourite organised day trips from Stockholm.

We love this tour of Viking culture history and sites round Stockholm, which takes in a Viking and iron age grave field, a Viking bridge and Sigtuna (see below), Sweden’s oldest city, founded in Viking times.

One of the best way to explore Drottingholm is on a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide who can give you all the inside gem on the palace and its royal residents.

This tour includes the boat trip, admission fees with skip-the-line entry, lunch and a Blue Badge guide.

And if you want to escape the city, we suggest this tranquil day hike in the woods and pine forests around Stockholm. You’ll hike to the top of rocky plateau to admire the views and cook lunch on a campfire. 

Since Stockholm is all about the water, this kayaking trip through the archipelago is our top choice.

You’ll paddle round the pretty islands and waterways, stop at a beach to cook an organic lunch on a campfire, maybe even brave a quick dip in the Baltic, then have a fika stop on the way home.

One of the oldest cities in Sweden and with a university that’s been around for more than 530 years, Uppsala is just 40 minutes from Stockholm by train.

Uppsala is easy to visit on a day trip from Stockholm

On a day trip from the capital you’ll have time to check out Domkyrkan – the biggest cathedral in all of Scandinavia – and the university’s splendid Carolina Rediviva Library, which is stacked wall to wall with books.

Another reason for visiting Uppsala is to take a peek around its castle, which played a crucial role in Swedish history and is now home to three museums.

Getting there

Regional trains depart from Stockholm’s central station, taking around 40 minutes to reach Uppsala (the station is in the centre of town). See our main Stockholm guide for more information on taking the train .

Or an easier option is this day-trip from Stockholm that includes a guided walking tour of Uppsala.

2 Skogskyrkogården

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly far from Stockholm’s city centre, but it still makes an excellent half-day trip.

Skogskyrkogården is one of the possible day trips from Stockholm

Skogskyrkogården (the woodland cemetery) is a World Heritage Site – impressive considering that, having been founded in the early 1900s, it’s far younger than most other places recognised by Unesco.

Why should you go? To walk among the huge pine trees, interspersed with row after row of low headstones, and to see the architectural beauty of a place that was designed to help mourners at a difficult time of their lives (processional routes around the vast park were specially designed to evoke feelings of hope and reconciliation).

More prosaically, Skogskyrkogården is the final resting place of the actress Greta Garbo – if you want to see her grave, it’s at plot 12A.

From Gamla Stan in the centre of Stockholm, take the green tunnelbana (subway) line towards Farsta Strand and get off at Skogskyrkogården.

The journey takes around 15 minutes, and the park’s main entrance is just around the corner from the subway station.

3 Nacka Nature Reserve

The Nacka Nature Reserve is a beautiful place for a walk, a swim or a picnic in beautiful woods and lovely lakes.

Nacka Nature Reserve is just a 20-minure metro ride from the centre of Stockholm

You can hike through woods and valleys, over hills and granite cliffs and along sandy lake shores. And look out for wildlife, including beavers, moose, deer and foxes.

We think the way to see the best of the park is on a tour. The tour has an expert guide, who’ll come to the park with you on a local bus, take you to the best spots and also cook you a tasty organic lunch on a campfire.

If you want to travel independently, you can get to Kärrtorp on the T-bana from Slussen in 20 minutes. From there it’s a 30-minute walk into the park.

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Although plenty of tourists fly to Västerås (cleverly, the airport is branded as Stockholm Västerås), few stick around to see the sights.

There are Iron age burial stones called Anundhog, near Vasteras.

However, this small-ish city around 100km northwest of the Swedish capital is a pretty place to explore, with higgledy-piggledy cottages edging the river that runs through its centre.

We think it’s one of the best side trips from Stockholm.

In summertime, the beaches that skirt Lake Mälaren are perfect for a dip. Johannisberg, around 6km southwest of the city centre, is one of the easiest spots to reach.

Otherwise you might fancy making the trip to Anundshög , Sweden’s biggest burial mound.

Some nine metres high, it dates back to around 900 AD. Around the site you can also see a collection of standing stones arranged – in ancient Scandinavian style – to resemble ships.

If you decide to spend the night in Västerås there are a couple of interesting places to stay, including the STF Sala Silvergruva hostel , in a a traditional old wooden building that was originally built as housing for workers from the local silver mine.

Frequent trains (roughly every half an hour) connect Stockholm’s main train station with Västerås. The journey takes around an hour.

5 Boda Borg, Oxelösund

For a completely different kind of day tour, head for Boda Borg in Oxelösund, around two hours from central Stockholm.

Boda Borg is a fun activity centre where visitors solve a series of challenges.

At this fun activity centre visitors try to solve a series of mental and physical challenges (if you’ve ever seen The Crystal Maze, you’ll know what we mean).

The tasks, which include trying to escape from a fake prison cell, are completed in small teams of three to five people, calling for plenty of teamwork and a bit of lateral thinking.

Boda Borg is around 120km southwest of Stockholm. Note that you should reserve a place – don’t just turn up.

The easiest option is to drive, but it is possible to get there and back in a day using public transport.

Take the Flixbus service from City Terminalen in Stockholm to Nyköping’s bus station (1 hour, 25 minutes), and then change to bus 715 for the final, 20-minute journey to Oxelösund. Get off at Oxelögatan; Boda Borg is a short walk to the east.

Nyköping might seem like an odd place to visit on a day trip from Stockholm, but if you’re flying home from nearby Stockholm Skavsta (it’s just ten minutes away from Nyköping by road) then it’s worth having a look around the city.

Nyköping has a medieval castle near Stockholm.

Chief among Nyköping’s sights is the medieval castle known as Nyköpingshus, which now houses museum exhibits.

If you’re here during summer, we’d suggest making the trip out to the city’s guest harbour – it’s a popular stopping-off point for wealthy Swedes on yachting holidays, and has boats and bikes available for rent.

Hourly train services run from Stockholm’s central station, taking an hour to reach Nyköping, or take the  Flixbus  (see above).

Arriving into Stockholm Skavsta Airport? Jump on LänsTrafiken bus 515 just outside the terminal – the journey to Nyköping takes 15 minutes.

7 Tyresta National Park

Go trekking in the Tyresta National Park, a wooded wilderness reserve just 15 miles from the centre of Stockholm.

cool places to visit stockholm

Trails of various lengths wind through the ancient woodland past rugged rocks and large lakes, dotted with sandy beaches.

Hiking, kayaking, camping and, in winter, ice-skating on the frozen lake are all popular activities here – or just enjoy the peace and quiet and reconnect with nature.

We love this sunset hike in the park , that includes an experienced guide who can help you spot the wildlife that lives in the park, and a picnic supper in the forest.

To get to the main entrance at Tyresta village on public transport, take buses #807 or #809 from Gullmarsplan T-bahn station in the south of the city.

8 Tom Tits Experiment

If you’re travelling with kids and fancy leaving the city behind, but would still rather avoid a long trip away from Stockholm, consider visiting  Tom Tits Experiment (entrance fee included in the Stockholm Pass ). 

Tom Tits Experience  is full of interactive science experiments.

Around 30km southwest of Stockholm in Södertälje, this strangely named complex is full of interactive science experiments, and will keep inquisitive kids occupied for a few hours.

There’s plenty of fun stuff for adults too – see our guide to exploring Stockholm with kids for more information.

Tom Tits is easy to reach with public transport. Ride the train from Stockholm’s central station to Södertälje Centrum and then start walking north along the pedestrianised street that runs through the town centre. 

You’ll reach the science centre after around 10 minutes.

9 Drottningholm Palace

Perhaps the single most popular day-trip destination from Stockholm is Drottningholm Palace .

Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family in Stockholm.

This isn’t the Swedish king’s official residence (that title is given to Kungliga Slottet in central Stockholm), but it is where he spends most of his time.

Built on an island, the palace itself shares space with carefully tended baroque gardens and a theatre that was built way back in 1766, and is still in use today.

You can tour the grounds and palace (apart from the bit the royal family inhabit) all year round, though opening hours are limited to weekends during the winter.

Entrance to the palace is included on the Stockholm Pass . There’s more on visiting the palace from Stockholm in this guide .

In summer, the nicest way to get there is on a boat trip (included in the Stockholm Pass ), which takes around an hour to reach the palace. 

A cheaper, less scenic option is to take the T-bana (subway) to Brommaplan. Once there, change to bus 176 or 177 and get off at Drottningholm.

Or, if you really want to push the boat out, how about this private tour of the palace with your own expert guide, skip-the-line entrance tickets and return ferry tickets?  

Lying on the shores of Lake Mälaren, Sigtuna is a picturesque place dotted with ancient rune stones – about 150 in total in the surrounding area – and historic 12th-century ruined churches.

Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden.

Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna was founded more than 1000 years ago by the Viking King Erik Segersäll. 

Its cobbled streets are lined with painted wooden cottages, and it’s a pleasant place just to wander around and breathe in the history.

We think the best way to explore Sigtuna is on this day-trip from Stockholm that includes a city walk round Sigtuna’s rune stones and historic remains, as well as a stop-off in Uppsala.

In summer, you can take a boat trip to Sigtuna ( included in the Stockholm Pass ), or you can get there by train and bus in under an hour. 

SJ regional trains run regularly from Stockholm central station to Märsta, from where you can get bus #575 onto Sigtuna.

11 Mariefred

This pretty village lies on the southern shores of Lake Mälaren, with narrow cobbled streets, timbered cottages and pretty squares.

The pretty village of Mariefred  lies on the southern shores of Lake Mälaren, near Stockholm.

However, it’s the imposing Gripsholms slott (or Gripsholms castle) that’s its main attraction, built on an island just a short walk from the village centre.

The original castle was started in the 14th century by Bo Johnsson Grip, though later sections were added in the 16th and 18th centuries. 

If the castle looks familiar, it may be because the cover of ABBA’s Waterloo album was shot here!

Entrance to the castle is included on the Stockholm Pass .

Mariefred can be reached in under an hour from Stockholm’s central station. Take the train to Läggesta, then change onto bus #303 or #305 to Mariefred.

12 Wolf tracking

This is one trip where you really do need a guide to have the best chance of seeing the elusive wolf in its native habitat.

Go wolf trekking on a day trip from Stockholm.

Wolves live wild in the Swedish wilderness, but are very wary of humans, so you’ll need the expert knowledge of a guide, who can help you follow their tracks and listen out for their howls.

This tour also provides binoculars and night vision glasses to improve your chances of seeing them, and a campfire barbecue.

Take the T-bana from Slussen to Malmövägen station, from where it’s a five-minute walk to where you’ll meet your guide on the corner of Ystadsvägen.  

13 The Stockholm Archipelago

Regardless of the time of year, a quick day trip into the Stockholm Archipelago is the perfect way to escape the city.

Stockholm Archipelago

There are thousands upon thousands of islands to explore, but to reach most of them you’ll need a lot more than a single day (a private yacht would be useful too). Luckily there are plenty of options within easy reach of the city centre. Here are a few of our favourites:

The fact that the little island of Vaxholm is so easy to reach by boat (and indeed road) means that it can get very busy. Even so, it’s packed with pretty wooden buildings and places to eat and drink, and provides a gentle introduction to the wider archipelago.

There’s also an impressive fort just offshore, which houses a museum. In summer, water taxis make the trip between Vaxholm and the fort every 15 minutes.

Our favourite way to explore Vaxholm is by kakak. On this fun day-trip , you’ll paddle round the island, looking out for wildlife then moor up one of the beaches for a tasty picnic lunch.

A little further out into the archipelago and with more of a relaxed feel, despite its popularity with Stockholmers, Grinda has some excellent beaches.

The majority of the island is given over to rocky forest, so it’s a lovely place to explore on foot and have a dip.

And if you want to stay the night, its home to the lovely   Grinda Wärdshus , a renovated traditional wooden guest house. 

Finnhamn just about near enough to Stockholm to reach on a day trip, but you’re much better off spending the night on the island if possible.

The forested island is beautifully serene and is crowned by a cosy hostel . 

There’s a sauna available for hire by the water’s edge – otherwise there’s little to do here except wander along the woodland trails and enjoy the isolation of being far out among the islands.

A sleepy place in winter, the car-free island of Sandön has a resident population of just 120 people. 

But in summer, the pretty village of Sandhamn with narrow cobbled alleyways and a lively harbour front attracts day-trippers from Stockholm and is a popular stopover for sailors and the yachting set.

The island has several lovely sandy beaches and a comfortable hotel if you’re tempted to stay the night.

Getting to the archipelago

There are plenty of boats and ferries out to the islands of the Stockholm archipelago – and some can even be reached by bus!

For full details of how to get to each island, see our ultimate guide to 10 of the best islands in the Stockholm archipelago and how to get there.

Easily reached by boat on a day trip from Stockholm, the preserved Viking settlement of Birka is a must if you like history.

Birka near Stockholm is home to runestones and Viking remains

The village sits on the island of Björkö in the middle of Lake Mälaren, and served as an important trading hub between the ninth and tenth centuries.

As well as an excellent museum, which provides a good introduction to Viking activity in the area, Birka is home to a Viking village with reconstructions of typical dwellings.

Strömma runs boat tours to Birka from the quay near Stockholm City Hall , including entry to the museum and a guided tour of the site (May–September only).

A full-day trip out to Birka, including entrance to the Viking village plus the return boat trip is included on the  Stockholm Pass .

15 Helsinki

Ok, so it’s not really doable as a day trip (unless you fly), but it is possible to do an overnight ferry journey from Stockholm to Helsinki and back, that gives you a full day to explore the Finnish capital.

You can take an overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki

Boats leave Stockholm in the late afternoon , arriving in Helsinki the following morning. After a day in the city, you can re-embark the ferry for the overnight trip back to Stockholm.

If you book far enough in advance the trip can be real bargain. 

Prices start at €130 per person for this  two-night cruise that includes a four-bed cabin, plus two buffet breakfasts – which is about what you’d pay for accommodation alone in the city!

For all lowdown on the journey and how to book, see our guide to  the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki .

16 Side trips from Stockholm to see the northern lights

Being able to see the northern lights in Stockholm is an extremely rare occurrence.

Take a side trip from Stockholm to see the northern lights

You could feasibly take a day trip to the far north of Sweden to see the aurora, but it would involve taking a domestic flight very early in the morning from Stockholm to a northern city such as Luleå , Gällivare or Kiruna , and then heading out into the countryside for some proper dark skies.

Even then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see any lights before your flight back to Stockholm (it could be cloudy, or there could simply be a shortage of solar activity).

The best advice is to allow at least a few days in the north of Sweden to maximize your chances of seeing the aurora. Kiruna and Abisko both make excellent bases. Here’s our full guide to seeing the northern lights in Sweden .

See also: Where to go hiking near Stockholm Taking the Stockholm to Tallinn ferry 6 of the best food tours in Stockholm

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Sofia

I’m loving your website, thanks for sharing such useful information! I’m planning my husband’s and my trip to Sweden in June. I’d like to know if you have information about wildlife safaris, hikings and such, also on a budget.

Routes North

You’re welcome Sofia! We have a couple of articles about hiking/camping (just use the search bar at the top right of the screen) and we’ll be adding more on wildlife soon!

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    1. Vasa Museum. 34,362. Speciality Museums. The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the seabed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the world's only preserved 17th century ship.

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    1. Explore Old Town Stockholm: Gamla Stan Colorful buildings in Old Town Stockholm. 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.

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    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 ...

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    1. Vasa Museum. 34,359. Speciality Museums. The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the seabed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the world's only preserved 17th century ship. See full details. See ways to experience (44)

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    Ceremonial splendour at Stockholm City Hall. Marvel at Stockholm City Hall's architectural glory. Take a guided tour to admire its grand ceremonial halls, stunning murals, and magnificent view from the tower. Stockholm City Hall is also famous for hosting the annual Nobel Prize banquet. 5 / 5.

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