In the “Venice of the North” there is much to see and experience! There are sooo many things to do in Stockholm, the list of sightseeings is endless. Explore the historic old town, modern and hip districts, the museum island Djurgården and by boat in the extensive archipelago.
What do you learn in this article?
BIG5 Things to do in Stockholm
You don’t want to miss the sights? Find all tips and your checklist for your city trip to Stockholm here:
BIG5 Stockholm – Speed Date
Stockholm is incredibly diverse: rich in history, architecture, museums, full of green spaces and surrounded by the sea
Sweden’s capital is not exactly known for low prices – especially eating out can be expensive
Stockholm is a city at the water: do not miss to include a boat or ferry trip into the circular route and see the islands from a different perspective
Change cash! Sounds funny, but it was absolutely useless for me and costs fees when exchanging back. Even the public toilets are covered with credit card readers
Don’t tell your mother:
Some districts of Stockholm are affected by increasing gang violence – check the situation in the short term!
BIG5 Stockholm – Rapid Fire Q&A
- How many days should one plan for a trip? – Stockholm is unbelievably versatile and there is so much to see, so that my recommendation is at least 2-3 days.
- Stockholm rather in summer or winter? – Both. Every season has its own advantages and special features. In winter, however, the sightseeing time during daylight is very limited
- I only have a little time in Stockholm, what should I do? – Check out the suggestions for Stockholm in one, two or three days and combine the highlights yourself.
- Do you need a car or a Metro season ticket in the city centre? – Not necessarily, you can explore a lot on foot or with a few metro rides
- Is the Stockholm Pass worth it? – I don’t think so. There are indeed 60 sightseeings included in the passport, but depending on the validity period, you have to consider exactly how many things you really want to and can see during the day.
BIG5 Stockholm – Orga
Best travel time
It all depends on whether you want to admire Stockholm in the summer or in the winter. In summer, June, July and August are the warmest months, while for winter, March and April with snow are good alternatives to the very short and cloudy days from November to February.
Arrival & Departure
Visa: Check here if you need a visa for Sweden with your passport
- Flight: The international airports Arlanda (IATA: ARN), Skavsta (NYO) and Bromma (BMA) are directly approached by many airlines and have very good connections to the city centre by train and bus.
- Train: From Hamburg / Germany (once daily, ~ 11 hours, ~ 80 -200 Euro)
- Ferry: With the major Baltic Sea ferry lines from Scandinavia and the Baltic States such as Viking Line, Stena Line and Tallink / Silja Line
The next stop is… Gothenburg, Sweden’s north or Copenhagen
Recommended location: The walking distance to a metro station is recommended and simplifies the discovery tours. Or how about spending the night in a different way: on a boat!
- Budget: City Backpackers Hostel (Upplandsgatan 2a, Norrmalm, 111 23 Stockholm), great location, many amenities and even a sauna included!
- Medium: Lord Nelson Hotel (Västerlånggatan 22, 111 29 Stockholm), only curious 5 metres wide, with cosy rooms in good location
- Nobel: Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel(Nils Ericsons Plan 4, Norrmalm, 11164 Stockholm), ideal location for starting discovery tours
- Ship: STF Rygerfjord Hotel & Hostel(Södermälarstrand, Kajplats 12-14, Södermalm, 118 25 Stockholm), great location in Södermalm with short way to Gamla Stan
In Sweden you pay with Swedish Kroner (SEK)
Withdraw money: ATM’s are all over town, making cash virtually obsolete
Beer indicator: Alcohol is particularly expensive in Stockholm, which is expensive anyway. Beer: 6-10 Euro in the restaurant. But there are also cheap alternatives, e.g. in bars Norrmalms on Sveavägen for about 40 crowns (~3,70 Euro)
Costs for a taxi: It is best to avoid taxis, they are very expensive.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafés
- Woodstockholm (Mosebacke torg 9, 116 46 Stockholm), for more fancy food
- Paradiso (Timmermansgatan 24, 118 55 Stockholm), good selection of vegetarian dishes
- Blå dörren (Södermalmstorg 6, 116 45 Stockholm), genuine Swedish specialities, don’t forget to make a reservation!
- Under Kastanjen ( Kindstugatan 1, 111 31 Stockholm), cosy café in the heart of Gamla Stan and an absolute postcard motif
- Johan & Nyström (Swedenborgsgatan 7, 118 48 Stockholm, Sweden), a non-tourist, winding café with typical Swedish specialities in Södermalm
BIG5 Stockholm – Activities
- Walk on royal paths through Gamla Stan – the old town of Stockholm
- Enjoy the city panorama from Moneliusvägen
- Get to know life in the north – in the open air museum and zoo Skansen
- Take a boat tour in Stockholm’s beautiful archipelago
- Get infected by the “Fika” culture and relax with a cup of coffee
BIG5 Stockholm – Photo spots
- From the tower of Stadshuset with view to Gamla Stan, Riddarholmen and Södermalm
- View from Gamla Stan or Södra Järnvägsbron to the mountain in Södermalm with the historic houses and ships
- On the square Stortorget in Gamla Stan with the colourful historic houses
- From Mariaberget viewpoint on Monteliusvägen to Gamla Stan and the Stadshuset
- Shooting in Skansen photos of the typical Nordic animals like moose, bear and wolf
BIG5 Stockholm – Things to do off the beaten track
- Discover the impressive hall of Stockholm City Library
- Take a break in the full Gamla Stan in the cozy café “Under Kastanjen”
- Discover the artistically designed metro stations
- A “Fika” coffee break Rosendals Trädgård – picturesquely surrounded by greenhouses
- Take a trip back in time in the Mikaels gata farm with its old houses
BIG5 Stockholm – Culinary Journey
- Köttbullar – you should definitely try the famous meatballs outside IKEA!
- Strömming – the regional Baltic herring can be prepared in many different ways
- Canel bulls – the cinnamon buns typical for Sweden are even available at Lidl
- Coffee – according to their consumption the Swedes attach importance to very good coffee
- Tunnbrödsrulle – a kind of Swedish Döner Kebap: Sausages with puree in thin flat bread
BIG5 Stockholm – Communication
- Thank you – tack
- Yes – ja
- No – nej
- Hello – hej / god dag
- Bye / Goodbye – hej då / adjö
BIG5 Stockholm – Helpful Websites / Links
BIG5 Stockholm – Overview Map for your planning
Nordic noble – A perfect day in Sweden’s versatile capital
Just a day in Stockholm? Then there’s no time to lose! Granted, a really full day lies ahead of you, but it’s worth persevering!
Stockholm is one of the cleanest cities in the world, many green areas invite you to stay. You travel a lot by ferry and metro – but in our case of course mainly on foot.
ONE perfect DAY in STOCKHOLM – here is your overview:
Best suited for a screenshot 📷📝
Your morning in Stockholm
- Stadhuset with view from the tower
- Old town Gamla Stan
- Kungliga slottet (royal castle)
- Stortorget square
- Alleys of the old town like Prästgatan
Your afternoon in Stockholm
- Walk from Gamla Stan to Djurgården
- Alternative 1: Museums on Djurgården
- among other things: Nordiska Museet
- Vasa Museum
- Open-air museum Skansen
- Alternative 2: Trendy district of Södermalm
- Panoramic views: Katarina Hoissen, Mosebacken Terassen & Moneliusvägan
- Katarinenviertel with Mäster Mikaels gata
- Enjoy hip Södermalm
- Have a Swedish Fika
Your evening in Stockholm
- Restaurants of the city centre or Södermalm
- To an “oil” (beer) in SoFo
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Things to do in Stockholm: Your morning
Visit the Stadhuset and enjoy the view from the tower
The morning begins with a visit to Stadshuset, Stockholm’s prominent town hall. Freestanding and built of red bricks, hardly to be overlooked from many places in the city.
For those who are in a hurry, it is enough to walk through the inner courtyard and the archway to the sea and from there enjoy the view to Stockholm, but I personally recommend to take some time for the viewing of the Stadshuset.
One, if not even THE highlight of the visit is the ascending of the tower from which you have a great view over the different islands of Stockholm. Let your gaze wander from Norrmalm over Gamla Stan and Södermalm.
Blå Hallen, the “Blue Hall”, is where the banquet for the Nobel Prize winners takes place every year – it is also worth stopping by.
Go on. Along the promenade you walk across the Norra Järnvägsbron to the island of Riddarholmen. Together with Gamla Stan it forms the historicalcentre of Stockholm. Look around a little and admire the many historical buildings and the statue of Birger Jarl, the founder of the city. From Riddarholmen you have a great view back to Stadhuset and Södermalm.
Go on historical paths in the old town Gamla Stan
The route continues over the Munkbrohamnen. But do not turn straight off in direction to Gamla Stan, but walk a few metres further at the promenade.
From here you have a very good photo spot on Södermalm and the Monteliusvägen, the hill with the boats anchored in front of it is one of the most famous motives of Stockholm.
Let’s get in the fray! Through the metro station Gamla Stan you come to the famous quarter of the same name. It is still the old centre of Stockholm, at least concerning the tourism. Due to the narrow alleyways, the touristical hotspot of the city is still car-freetoday, a thing that makes it perfect for a relaxing walk of discovery. Well, as relaxed as one can be with all the tourist groups. You hardly find any real insider tips here anymore.
Royal Castle (Kungliga Slottet). Although it is an official residence of the Swedish royal family, they are rarely here and more often in Drottningholm. If it can be arranged in time, the changing of the guard in front of the castle at 12:15 o’clock is quite worth seeing – the tour through the castle is better skipped if you are short of time.
Past the Storkyrkan you will reach the Stortorget square with the Nobel Museum. The houses here are another well-known motif and typical for an old Nordic town. If you have time, visit the Järnpojke, a small sculpture.
Crossing the Köpmangatan you will reach a wonderful place with a big chestnut, a real treasure in the maze of alleys of Gamla Stan. The tree is the eponym of the cosy café “Under Kastanjen”, a not so secret secret tip. After the first few kilometres, you’ve certainly deserved a break, on to the first “Fika“.
Passing the café on your right, the Kindstugatan leads you further through the alleys of Gamla Stan. From here you have a great view down the hill to the sea and Södermalm. Passing the Tyska Kyrkan you turn left into the famous Prästgatan.
It could go on like this for hours. Gamla Stan is best suited for a discovery tour on your own. If you have the time and inclination, let yourself be driven through the small alleys, discover hidden courtyards, stop in cosy cafés or use the place to buy souvenirs.
Things to do in Stockholm: Your afternoon
The way is the goal: walk from Gamla Stan to Djurgården
In the afternoon the island Djurgården is on the program. To get there from Gamla Stan, there are four great possibilities:
On Schuster’s Rappen you walk past Kunglinga Slotet over Strömbron and turn right at Kunglinga Trädgarden towards Strandvägen. Follow Strandvägen with its beautiful houses to Djurgårdsbron, from where you can take great pictures.
But let’s be honest – the whole way there is already one photo motif after the other and being on foot gives you the flexibility to stop wherever you want. This walk takes a good 30 minutes.
Option number two: Less walking! You take the ferry directly from Slussen station to Djurgården. The trip has the character of a small sightseeing tour, passing the island Skeppsholmen and the installations on Kastellholmen.
The tram is another means of transport available to you. On line 7 there is also a historical tram with dining car. A real highlight to get to your destination while drinking coffee. Past the magnificent hotels on Strandvägen, this ride also has the character of a small city tour.
Possibility no. 4: You leave Gamla Stan via Strömbron, but turn sharp right onto Södra Blasieholmhamnen. Passing the magnificent Grand Hotel and the National Museum you will reach Skeppsholmen Bron, with its crown on the railing and at the same time the royal castle in the background also a great photo motif.
Stroll around the islands of Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen at will. From here you can take the ferry directly over to Djurgården or you can “go back to go” and choose option no. 1.
Things to do in Stockholm: Afternoon – Alternative 1: Museums on Djurgården
At Djurgården you are literally spoilt for choice, as there are many ways to spend the afternoon, depending on your personal interests:
The Vasa Museum – a historic ship as an attraction
A truly unique museum with a unique exhibit: the warship Vasa, which sank (!) on its maiden voyage in 1628. After salvage in 1961 and special treatment, the ship is now exhibited in a 34-metre-high hall with many original objects and rich background information.
The most popular museum in Stockholm!
Animal park and open-air museum Skansen
At Skansen open-air museum, old buildings, partly whole farms from all parts of Sweden have been collected and give a great insight into life in those days. Especially in summer there are many live demonstrations, e.g. in the glassblowing workshop, the smithy or the farms.
Enjoy the view from Bredablick tower over Skansen and the surrounding area.
The visit depends of course on the season. In summer there are considerably more shows and activities than in winter. You must also be aware that some animals, such as Björn (= the bear), hibernate and cannot be seen. But trudging through the heavy snow, passing old Swedish estates and farms and warming up with a coffee or mulled wine – at the latest since the “Michel from Lönneberga” movies a dream of many big and small visitors.
Things to do in Stockholm: The Nordic Museum
The Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet) houses the largest exhibition of Swedish cultural history. There are innumerable exhibits from different ethnic groups, some of which date back to the 16th century.
Things to do in Stockholm: Theme park Gröna Lund
A museum is too boring? How about a theme park? Big and small get their money’s worth in Gröna Lund. Exciting attractions with promising names like “Insane”, “Twister” or the steel roller coaster “Kvasten” (= the broom) are waiting for you!
In addition, the Abba Museum, the Viking Museum, the Botanical Museum, the Aquaria Water Museum and many more are within walking distance.
Celebrate the typical Swedish Fika culture
No matter what you choose: There’s definitely time for another Fika in the afternoon. There are a few cafés in Skansen, but my personal favourite is Café Petissan, wonderfully historically furnished and comfortably small, just right for cold winter days. In summer you can sit in the courtyard.
A Fika is more than just a break! In Sweden and Finland it is a real institution or tradition and refers to the deliberate interruption of an activity in order to have a drink – usually coffee – with friends, family or colleagues.
Interesting fun fact: Although they do not grow coffee themselves, the Swedes are runners-up in coffee consumption – only the Finns drink more.
Coffee is usually refilled free of charge everywhere in the cafés, with free still water available. The fun has – as so much in Stockholm – of course its price: a normal coffee costs approximately 40 crowns.
Insider tip: Another nice way to have a fika is Rosendals Trädgård, comfortably surrounded by greenhouses.
Things to do in Stockholm: Afternoon – Alternative 2: Södermalm
Panoramic views of the old town of Stockholm
No desire for museums or animals? Then let’s go to the Södermalm district.
You can go directly from Gamla Stan to Södermalm, but I still recommend the above mentioned walk to Djurgården first, as you can experience many more highlights.
Via Katarinavägen you can get directly from Gamla Stan to Södermalm, which nowadays are only separated by slussen (“the lock”).
Here you can walk or drive directly up to Katarinahissen (hissen = lift), a great viewpoint over Stockholm and the ferry harbour. You can get up by elevator (a little bit hidden in the building), the Mosebacke Trappor or the Harald Lindbergs Trappor.
If you have already walked up the stairs, the Mosebacken Terraces invite you for a refreshing drink with a view over the city.
Only a little further on you come to the Katarinenviertel with the famous street Mäster Mikaels gata. Here everything seems as if time has stopped. From the following Cornelis park you already have a great view to Stockholm, for another – absolutely worth seeing – the road continues a little further to Fjällgatan with its view point.
Over the plaza of the subway station Slussen and up the Hornsgatan, you pass the Hornsgatspucken that are typical for the hilly Södermalm and get to the historical houses at the Mariahissen.
Shortly behind it, the Monteliusvägen begins with a very special view to the panorama of Stockholm – specially from the observation deck Mariaberget.
A little further on, but with no less fantastic views, is Skinnarviksberget, which is very popular with locals, especially in the summer evenings.
Still not enough of walking? Then go on a discovery tour in hip Södermalm, which has been known not only since Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy.
This quarter actually reminds you a bit of the gentrified trendy districts in Berlin today. At any time during the last century, many artists and intellectuals were drawn out of the expensive inner city to “Söder”.
Hip Södermalm: Shopping, Shopping, Shopping & Fika
How about a little shopping on Götgatan, which is also sometimes called the “Brooklyn Stockholm”.
By the way, a great address for the famous Swedish Köttbullar is the restaurant “Meat balls for the people” (Nytorgsgatan 30, 116 40 Stockholm) – and the name is absolutely program!
So far the hip Södermalm is not hip enough for you? Try the southeastern part, called “SoFo” (South of Folkungagatan – Swedish: Söder om Folkungar, in reference to the famous SoHo district in Manhattan). Here you will find small shops and stores, partly with clothes that are far ahead of the rest of Europe as “trend”.
Another “Fika” – a typical Swedish coffee break – just has to be in after the long walk! In Södermalm there are wonderful cafés for this purpose, e.g. Café Mariaberget (Bastugatan 19, 118 25 Stockholm) right on Monteliusvägan or Johan & Nyström (Swedenborgsgatan 7, 118 48 Stockholm) near Metro Mariatorget.
Things to do in Stockholm: Your evening
If you choose alternative 1, it is best to take the tram back to the centre. You will not only pass the impressive Strandvägen, but also the Sergels sculpture (Sergels torg).
From here you can easily reach many trendy restaurants in the city centre from all over the world. Take a look around on Jakobsbergsgatan. For a well filled travel wallet, the “Smak” (Oxtorgsgatan 14, 111 57 Stockholm) is recommended.
Alternative 2: The best way is to take a ferry directly from Djurgården to Slussen. From here, all parts of the city can be easily reached on foot or by metro – no matter where you want to go.
You can go out and have dinner in Södermalm around Mariatorget square and the adjacent side streets. For the dinner itself I can recommend the restaurant Woodstockholm (Mosebacke torg 9, 116 46 Stockholm) or for a larger vegetarian choice the Paradiso (Timmermansgatan 24, 118 55 Stockholm).
You feel like going out and partying? The area “SoFo” in the south-eastern part of Södermalm is known for its distinct nightlife.
Have fun in Stockholm, the Venice of the North! You will love it 🇸🇪
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