Stockholm is one very cool European travel destination. Beautiful and vibrant, the Swedish capital offers loads to do, especially if you visit in the late spring, summer, or early fall. Read on to discover the best things to do in Stockholm, Sweden!
Built on an archipelago of 14 islands at the point where Lake Mälaren flows into the sea, Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia.
With gorgeous architecture, great water views, lively neighborhoods, and world-class restaurants, Stockholm is a joy to explore, whether you are in search of superb sightseeing, delicious cuisine, or exciting activities.
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We’ve visited Stockholm several times. Our very first visit left us completely smitten, and we’ve grown to love it even more on every return trip.
If you are considering a visit to the Swedish capital, my two cents: don’t hesitate!
THE Best Things to Do in Stockholm
There are so many exciting things to do in Stockholm that you would need weeks to make a serious dent in the list.
I suggest at least three days in this fabulous Scandinavian city; more if your itinerary allows. But if you only have one day in Stockholm, you can still visit some top attractions.
So here’s my curated list of eclectic things to do in Stockholm to help you get started discovering this fabulous city!
#1 Wander the pretty streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town
Exploring Stockholm’s stunning Old Town definitely deserves a top spot on your list of what to do in Stockholm!
Gamla Stan, as the Old Town is known in Swedish, is one of the best preserved historical centers in all of Europe.
In picturesque Gamla Stan, narrow cobblestone streets and colorful old facades transport you back in time: it’s here that Stockholm got its start all the way back in 1252. I took a zillion photos of the fabulous red and gold facades!
There are a host of topnotch Stockholm attractions to visit within Gamla Stan (read on to discover some of them!).
But make sure to allocate some time to just wandering the streets here. Take in the bustle of activity on Västerlånggatan, with its numerous shops, cafes and restaurants.
Move over to one of the quieter side streets to appreciate the beauty of the buildings. Pose for a photo in Mårten Trotzigs gränd, said to be the narrowest street in Stockholm!
Don’t miss the adjoining tiny island of Riddarholmen, which features the tall spire of Riddarholmen Church as well as Riddarhuset, a beautiful Baroque building where the Swedish nobility used to meet.
The digital Stockholm Pass includes 45+ attractions and is available in durations of 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Pick from must-not-miss options such as the Vasa Museum, the Nobel Prize Museum, SkyView, and boat tours of the archipelago and to Drottningholm Palace, Birka, and more.
Buy the Stockholm Pass now!
#2 Enjoy people watching (and hot chocolate!) in Stortorget
The perfect place for a break when exploring Gamla Stan is Stortorget, the main square in Old Town.
Looking at the pretty square today, it’s hard to imagine it was the scene of the Stockholm Bloodbath, when dozens of city elite were beheaded in a horrific massacre.
The white stones you see on the facade of Number 20, the pretty red much-photographed building on the west side, are said to stand for the people killed in the bloodbath.
But today the square is a fun lively place, perfect for people watching.
Make your way to Chokladkoppen, a popular cafe on the square with outdoor seating. Grab a comfortable chair that faces out onto the square, and have fun watching the goings-on while sipping their delicious hot chocolate.
Now doesn’t that sound like the ideal way to spend some time in this historic heart of Stockholm?
#3 Visit the Nobel Prize Museum
If you enjoy museums, pop into the Nobel Prize Museum, located in the Stock Exchange Building on the north side of the square.
Exhibitions here focus on the natural science, literature, and peace. It’s a small museum, but you can view lots of videos and artifacts about Nobel prize winners.
One interesting exhibition offers a look into the Nobel Prize Banquet, with details on the food, attire, decorations, and more.
Guided tours are offered (in English and Swedish) and are worth joining for the wealth of information you receive. The tours are about 30 minutes long.
Stop in at the gift shop before you leave: we found some cool little souvenirs here.
The Nobel Prize Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, generally from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. (9 p.m. on Friday).
#4 Be awed by the Stockholm Cathedral
In Gamla Stan, you’ll find Storkyrkan, the Stockholm Cathedral, with its dusky red-pink brick Gothic exterior.
The teal-colored cathedral tower is one of two tall spires in the Old Town you can see from almost anywhere in Stockholm, the other being that of Riddarholmen Church.
Built in 1279, the cathedral is the oldest church in Stockholm. Its formal name is actually the Church of St. Nicholas.
Over the years, Storkyrkan has served as the setting for many coronations and royal weddings and funerals.
Inside, admire the Royal Pews designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, and the Silver Altar with its namesake silver reliefs.
Don’t miss the famous wooden statue of St. George slaying the dragon, and Vädersolstavlan, the oldest known painting of the city of Stockholm.
Consider a guided walking tour of Gamla Stan. Walking with a local guide will ensure you do not miss anything of import, and you’ll learn a lot as you stroll! This highly-rated walking tour lasts 2 hours and has English commentary.
Book this tour now!
#5 Tour the Royal Palace in Stockholm
The magnificent Kungliga slottet is the official residence of the Swedish royal family.
The royal family do not actually live in the palace: it is used exclusively for official purposes. It was built in the first part of the 18th century, on the island of Stadsholmen, one of the islands that make up Gamla Stan.
The palace is huge, with over 600 rooms and several museums. The interiors are a mix of baroque and rococo, and many of the rooms are extravagantly furnished, with ornamental furniture, chandeliers, and tapestries.
Don’t miss the Slottskyrkan, the Royal Chapel, if it is open during your visit. Rococo embellishments were added to the baroque chapel in the mid 18th century, creating a beautiful blended look.
For the best experience of the palace, take a guided tour. The guide will recount the history of the palace and take you through the key areas, so you don’t miss something of import.
You can always choose to wander around on your own after the tour if you have the time and want to linger. Otherwise, opt for an audio guide and tour at your own pace.
#6 Watch the changing of the Royal guard
The perfect way to cap a visit to the Royal Palace is to view the changing of the guard in the courtyard of the palace complex.
The majestic 40-minute ceremony occurs daily, with a parade held daily during the summer and a few times each week at other times of the year.
On the day we visited, foot soldiers accompanied by a military band participated in the ceremony. On special days, you may see mounted soldiers as well.
The band plays several lively tunes. The ceremony concludes with the actual changing of the guard. It’s a wonderful display of synchronized movements, color, and music. We loved it!
To get a front row view of the ceremony for photos and video, arrive at the courtyard at least 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the event.
When you see guards preparing to set the cordon, stand just behind where the rope will be, and you’ll have an unobstructed view.
#7 Take a guided tour of Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm’s City Hall, made of eight million red bricks, is just about 100 years old.
Designed by Swedish architect Ragnar Östberg, Stockholm City Hall is a prime example of the National Romantic style of architecture.
With its tall tower, topped by three crowns, the building looks magnificent from across the water. You can see it from lots of places in Stockholm!
You can view the outside of Stockholm City Hall for free.
Wander the beautiful courtyard to admire the red brick walls, some covered by ivy. Stroll under the arches.
Walk in the courtyard outside the building for views across Lake Malaren. Gaze up at the graceful tower, silhouetted proudly against the sky.
To view the gorgeous interior, you’ll need to join a guided tour. Stockholm City Hall is the venue for the annual Nobel Banquet.
On the tour, you’ll see the Blue Hall, where the guests at the banquet have dinner. Östberg wanted to paint the bricks blue, but eventually left them as is.
You’ll also see the Golden Hall, with its stunning gold mosaic tiles. Here’s where the dancing happens, at the annual Nobel Banquet.
Along with the climb to the top of the tower, touring Stockholm City Hall was one of my favorite things to do in Stockholm.
#8 Climb the City Hall Tower for fabulous views!
If you love admiring beautiful rooftops from a high-up vantage point, head to the top of the tower at Stockholm’s City Hall.
From the viewing area at the top, you get fabulous 360-degree views of the city, and stunning aerial photos of Gamla Stan.
The tower climb is offered only during the summer months. There’s a fixed schedule, and each 40-minute time slot has a limit of just 30 visitors.
Tickets cannot be bought online; and, during peak season, may sell out early in the day for all the day’s slots, so plan on arriving early in the day to be assured of a spot.
There are 365 steps to the top, punctuated by passageways.
An elevator that holds 4-5 adults is available to take you part of the way up, but you still have to climb about 150 steps to get to the viewing platform.
Since waiting for the elevator will cut into viewing time at the top, show up at the tower entrance well ahead of the start time of your slot if you need the elevator.
Also, the passageway isn’t super wide, so if you are claustrophobic, you might want to skip the tower in favor of another up-high spot…Stockholm has plenty from which to choose!
#9 Relive a maritime disaster at the Vasa Museum
Stockholm has many good museums you can visit, but for a truly unique experience, head to the Vasamuseet on the island of Djurgården.
Here’s where you will see the restored 17th century warship Vasa, salvaged almost in its entirety in 1961, 333 years after it sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.
From the unique exterior of the museum, which features tall masts rising into the sky, to the fascinating exhibits inside, you will find a lot to discover and admire at the Vasa Museum.
Learn about life on board the Vasa, the people that were on the ship on her only voyage, and the process of the salvage.
For an enriching visit, start by watching the film that recounts the story of the ill-fated ship: it is screened every three hours.
Then take a guided tour (it’s included in the cost of admission and tours in English are offered every half hour). If you have more time, you can then wander around and see and learn even more.
Visiting the Vasa Museum is on most visitors’ list of top things to do in Stockholm, so visit at opening time or late in the day to escape the worst of the crowds.
The Vasa Museum is included in the Stockholm City Pass that you can buy in advance of your visit to the city.
#10 Do a day trip to Drottningholm Palace
If you plan to be in Stockholm for more than one day, do a day trip to Drottningholm Palace, the permanent residence of the Swedish royal family.
The gorgeous complex on Lovön Island includes, besides the palace and its extensive park-like grounds, the Court Theatre, the Chinese Pavilion, and some smaller structures.
The interiors of the palace are beautiful, with lavish furnishings and an impressive staircase as you enter. The present structure dates from the mid 17th century, although changes and additions have been made through the years.
From the formal Baroque Garden right next to the palace to the English park beyond, the grounds of the palace will wow you.
Stroll the pathways lined with mature trees, wander through the maze, admire the fountains and sculptures, or just sit and take in the beauty around you.
Don’t miss the Chinese Pavilion, with its color-themed rooms! Built as a birthday gift for Queen Lovisa Ulrika, the summer palace features Chinese lacquered screens and art objects.
The palace looks stunning as you approach it from the water, so I suggest taking the ferry if you can.
The ferry leaves from Stadshuskajen, right next to City Hall, and takes about an hour each way. Otherwise, take the T-bana (subway) to Brommaplan and then a bus to Drottningholm.
Plan on spending the better part of a day if you tour the whole complex. We had a break for a sweet treat at the cafe next to the Chinese Pavilion, and lunch at the restaurant near the boat dock.
#11 Cruise the Stockholm archipelago
Did you know that the Stockholm archipelago is made up of a mind-boggling mix of 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks? Exploring the archipelago should definitely be part of your Stockholm sightseeing itinerary!
If you visit Stockholm on a cruise, plan to be on deck as the cruise ship nears the city, because the approach through the archipelago is spectacular.
If you arrive in Stockholm by air, make sure you have a window seat so you can see it unfold below you as the plane approaches.
Accessing some of the major islands in the archipelago is possible by boat or bus, and of course by car. You can also choose from a variety of cruises for a more structured way to experience the archipelago.
If you prefer, you can pick one or two towns in the archipelago, do a tour to the island, and spend your time in the towns.
Once in the island town of your choice, you may be able to hike, swim, or bike, relax on beaches, or take in the sights, depending on the places you chose.
#12 Marvel at the beautiful Book Hall at the Stockholm Public Library
For a gander at a unique architectural structure in Stockholm, visit the Stockholm Public Library.
Built in the early part of the 20th century, the library building was designed in the Nordic Classicist style by Gunnar Asplund, one of Sweden’s most influential architects.
The building features a cylinder within a cube. Its bright orange exterior makes for stunning photos.
But the most dramatic feature of the library is definitely inside: the cylindrical Book Hall.
You’ve probably seen photos of the 360-degree hall on Instagram, featuring round open shelves of books. You can walk up a few steps to the top of the hall, to get a fabulous view of the hall and take photos.
The Stadsbiblioteket holds more than 2 million books and 2.4 million CDs and tapes.
It’s the first library in Sweden where visitors could access books on their own rather than asking library staff to fetch them: Asplund borrowed the idea from libraries in the United States he had visited.
Getting to the Stockholm Public Library by public transport is easy. From T-Centralen, the central subway hub, take the T-bana towards Hässelby Strand. Get off at the Odenplan station. From there, it’s just a 5-minute walk to the library.
For library hours, visit their official website.
#13 Walk up the Observatorielunden for fabulous city views
Right next to the Stockholm Public Library in the Observatorielunden Park is an uphill walk that leads to the Stockholm Observatory.
It’s a great place to stretch your legs: you’ll see locals making the trek up if the day is nice. But make sure you have your camera when you do this walk, because from the top of the hill, you get great city views.
Plus, this is the best place from which to capture the striking exterior of the Stockholm Public Library. There are benches at the top where you can see locals reading or relaxing. It’s a beautiful place to sit for a bit!
At the top you’ll also see the old Stockholm Observatory building, which dates back to the 18th century. The weather station here has measured the daily temperature every day since 1756!
Before you head back down, pop into Kafé Himlavalvet if it’s open, for amazing waffles with sweet or savory toppings. Yum!
#14 Enjoy a peaceful stroll at Skogskyrkogården
A visit to Skogskyrkogården (the Woodland Cemetery) is a must if you enjoy walking in nature.
Designed and built between 1917 and 1940 by Swedish architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigrud Lewerentz, Skogskyrkogården is a seamless blend of the natural and the man-made.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Skogskyrkogården is not just a place where you can immerse yourself in the quiet beauty of your surroundings.
It’s also a place for meditation, for reflection, for healing, and for recharging. It’s one of the lesser known Stockholm attractions, but so beautiful that I’d love to see it in every season.
Take in the beauty of the gently rolling hills that define the landscape here. Gaze in awe at the huge groves of mature trees.
Admire the giant granite cross, visit Greta Garbo’s grave, sit for a while in the meditation grove, or walk the Seven Springs Way to the Resurrection Chapel.
We spent about two hours at Skogskyrkogården, walking the beautiful paths and enjoying the serenity. If you want to see the inside of the chapels, you have to join a public guided tour or book a private tour.
To get to Skogskyrkogården using public transport, take the green metro line towards Farsta Strand and get off at the Skogskyrkogården stop.
When you exit the station, turn right and walk through the tree tunnel a short distance, and you’ll come to the entrance.
#15 Do a self-guided Stockholm subway art tour
One of the coolest things to do in Stockholm is a tour of the stunning subway art.
Stockholm’s subway art is not just spectacular, it’s also easy and convenient to tour on your own. For literally the price of a subway ticket, you have access to all the art in the longest art gallery in the world!
For a dedicated tour of Stockholm subway art, choose a weekend morning if your itinerary allows.
There are fewer regular commuters in the stations early in the day on a weekend, and you’ll be able to stand around and gaze at the art or take photos without people bumping into you.
The Stockholm subway system has several dozen stations and multiple lines. And you can see beautiful art in many of them, as a result of the efforts of multiple artists over the span of decades.
You can do some research beforehand and go armed with a list, or just pick a couple of lines and prepare to be surprised!
My favorites? T-Centralen’s blue platform, with its beautiful blue-leaved creepers: it’s gorgeous! Stadion, on the red line, features the dramatic much-Instagrammed rainbow against a bright blue sky.
On the blue line, Kungsträdgården echoes the beauty of the park above ground in beautiful art themed in red, green, and white.
#16 Savor delicious treats at a Stockholm bakery
You can’t walk more than a few blocks in Stockholm without coming across yet another little neighborhood bakery wafting delicious aromas out into the street. The Swedes obviously take their sweet treats very seriously!
Step inside and choose your favorites from the day’s goodies on display.
From aromatic saffron rolls and cardamom rolls to seasonal specialties such as semla (cardamom bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream), you’ll be totally spoiled for choice.
My favorite bakery from our most recent visit to Stockholm has to be Lillebrors Bageri. Everything we tried (and we popped in at least once and sometimes twice every single day for a whole week!) was simply outstanding.
But if you aren’t staying nearby, you can visit one that’s in your neighborhood (every bakery we tried was good!) Or try Fabrique, a well-known chain with locations sprinkled around the city and high quality offerings.
#17 Relax over a fika break
One of the most fun aspects of Swedish culture (that we were quick to adopt!) is the fika break.
Everywhere you go in Stockholm, you’ll see people enjoying fika breaks: at sidewalk tables on nice weather days and inside cozy cafes when it’s cold or raining outside.
What is a fika break? Put very simply, it is a break to enjoy a hot drink and a sweet treat (generally coffee and a cinnamon or cardamom roll).
You can fika on your own, but, more often than not fika is about relaxing in the congenial company of friends and colleagues, and connecting with them in a meaningful positive way. Isn’t that a fun concept?
One place where you must enjoy a fika break in Stockholm is Vete-Katten. The venerable institution has been serving up coffee (or tea) and pastries in its coffee rooms since 1928. Try their popular Princess cake, it’s delicious!
If you are a coffee connoisseur, make your way to Johan & Nyström in Södermalm for their handpicked varieties of coffee.
#18 Make time for retail therapy
Love shopping? Whether you want to browse or buy, you have tons of great choices in Stockholm. From big department stores featuring the latest in apparel and design to small quirky boutiques, you’ll find a lot to keep you busy.
We spent an entire morning on Drottninggatan, one of Stockholm’s most famous shopping streets. It’s lively but crowded on Saturdays, so pick another day if you prefer a quieter time.
My favorite bit? Drooling over the home and design section at Åhlens City: the collections are so stunning that you’ll want to buy everything in sight.
Another popular shopping street in Stockholm is Götgatan. A long street in trendy Södermalm, Götgatan is where you should head to browse the best boutique stores.
You’ll find lots of cafes and restaurants here as well, perfect to grab lunch after a morning spent shopping!
And if you love the top brands, make your way to Birger Jarlsgatan. Here you’ll find Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, among many other international brands.
You’ll also find the top Swedish brands, if you want to shop local.
#19 Ride the Ericsson Globe for breathtaking city views
One of the most exciting Stockholm attractions is the Ericsson Globe.
The gigantic white sphere is the venue for numerous concerts and sports events through the year. It looks stunning lit up at night.
If you love ice hockey, or there’s a show that interests you happening during your visit, you might want to attend an event here!
But the most exciting thing to do at Globen is Skyview, the external elevator.
Sit in a Skyview glass gondola and be transported to the top of the largest spherical building in the world for breathtaking views over all of Stockholm!
While I found it too high for good aerial photos, it is awesome to see the city spread out below in every direction.
Globen is one of Stockholm’s most popular attractions so you might encounter a line during the day in season. Plan to visit early or late in the day or book your tickets in advance. Skyview is included in the Stockholm Pass.
#20 Discover Stockholm’s neighborhoods!
Stockholm’s vibrant neighborhoods are a big reason why I love visiting the city. Spend a part of your time just wandering around the different neighborhoods and you will fall in love too!
Gamla Stan is, of course, a must on any Stockholm itinerary, no matter how short, because it’s such a superbly preserved medieval center. Gamla Stan’s beautiful facades and cobblestone streets are a joy to explore.
Djurgården not only has lots of museums and Stockholm’s theme park Gröna Lund, it also features lots of parks and green spaces, perfect for walking. To add to your pleasure, take the ferry across: Djurgården looks beautiful as you approach from the water.
Södermalm is considered the “cool” district. Browse the boutiques, enjoy a fika break in one of many cafes, admire the architecture, or people watch in Nytorget. Södermalm is one of my favorite parts of Stockholm. It has a lovely laid back vibe.
In Norrmalm, you’ll find busy shopping streets and great restaurants but it’s also a great place to just wander. Other than people watching, you can admire the beautiful architecture all around you.
If you want to experience Stockholm away from the tourist hubs, try Kungsholmen. We stayed here during a recent visit, and loved the quiet residential streets and the neighborhood bakeries.
Strolling on the wide sidewalks lined with pretty buildings and flower boxes was something I looked forward to every day of our visit.
#21 Stroll through Kungsträdgården
Set conveniently in central Stockholm, Kungsträdgården is a great place for a green break in the city. With lots of cafes and beautiful buildings on its periphery, the park is popular with locals and visitors alike.
Fountains and sculptures adorn the park. In season, you’ll see beautiful flower displays. There are lots of benches to sit and relax on a nice day.
Visit in May when the cherry blossom is in bloom for beautiful photos for your Instagram account and the opportunity to stroll beneath the gorgeous huge pink canopy. Head there early in the morning to avoid the throngs of selfie takers.
In the summer, bring along a picnic lunch and enjoy the lovely green grass under the shaded canopy of trees. Or grab some amazing street food to sample. Or relax on a bench with an ice cream and people watch to the sound of live music.
In winter, go ice skating in the park and enjoy the Christmas lights. Kungsträdgården looks stunning when it snows, so don’t let the cold deter you from a stroll in winter when the sun is out!
#22 Sample delicious cuisine
With multiple Michelin-starred restaurants, Stockholm offers lots of choices for outstanding culinary experiences.
During a recent one-week visit, we enjoyed some fabulous meals, and not just at Michelin-starred restaurants. If you are a foodie, you will love exploring the diverse options in Stockholm!
For a wonderful neo-Nordic meal, try Agrikultur, which has one Michelin star. The focus is on fresh seasonal Swedish produce, and vegetables feature prominently in every dish. They offer a set menu that changes daily.
You can request an entirely vegetarian menu, which, as a vegetarian, is a huge plus for me. For an even more special experience, choose chef’s table seating: you can watch the performance while you enjoy the product!
For inspired Asian fusion cuisine, visit Farang. Contemporary industrial chic decor and superb service complement the flavorful food. They offer set menus as well as the option to order à la carte. We did the latter, and loved everything we tried.
A non-Michelin Scandinavian cuisine option you must try is Portal Restaurant. Fresh seasonal ingredients are showcased in thoughtful preparations.
My husband loved his lamb dish (alternatively, you can order their signature quail dish). As a vegetarian, I thought my chèvre pudding with asparagus and peas was outstanding.
#23 Enjoy art and great views at Fotografiska Museum
I loved our visit to Fotografiska, Stockholm’s museum of photography. It features contemporary photography, and hosts several exhibitions each year.
The ambiance in the exhibition rooms is fabulous, with the lighting focused on the art, and the quality of the art on display was exceptional when we visited.
The museum is housed in a beautiful red brick Art Nouveau building. Located right by the water, it used to be a customs house. Although the inside has been renovated, the exterior has been preserved intact.
Don’t forget to visit the cafe on the top floor for a drink and a sweet treat. From here, you get gorgeous views of Gamla Stan as well as Gröna Lund, the theme park on the island of Djurgården.
The restaurant at Fotografiska is a great place for lunch or dinner, with a menu that showcases organic plant-based creations. Book in advance if you plan to visit for dinner!
#24 Admire the views from Monteliusvagen or Fjällgatan
Stockholm is a picture postcard city, with its gabled buildings, tall spires, and water everywhere. And there are lots of places in Stockholm from where you can appreciate the gorgeous views and take tons of photos.
Two of the best viewpoints we visited are in Södermalm. Both involve some trekking uphill, so wear comfortable shoes and go on a good weather day.
Monteliusvägen is a tiny street, and one of its most charming. It is just about 0.25 miles long, with lovely wooden houses on one side and gorgeous views over the water to Riddarholmen and Stockholm City Hall on the other.
Go at sunset for even more spectacular views. If you arrive early and bring some food or wine, snag a seat on one of the benches and enjoy a break with a view after the walk!
For equally lovely views of Gamla Stan, Djurgården, and Skeppsholmen, you can also go to Fjällgatan.
The walk along the water and the viewpoint are both scenic, and there’s a cafe where you can request a window seat and order some ice cream or a drink to enjoy while you continue to take in the views.
#25 Take your pick of more museums
I’ve listed the Vasa Museum and Fotografiska because I think they are must-visits, but if you enjoy museums, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Stockholm.
Especially if you happen to have a rainy day or two during your visit to Stockholm! Here are some other wonderful museums to add to your Stockholm sightseeing itinerary:
Skansen is a wonderful open-air museum, with several dozen historical houses and farmhouses from different parts of the country, and staff in period costumes.
Are you a fan of the music of the 70s group ABBA? Then make sure you visit ABBA the Museum! It’s a fun interactive experience, and you can virtually dress in an ABBA costume and perform as another member of the band!
The Royal Armory doesn’t take very long to tour, but it’s worth visiting if you enjoy royal history. It’s free, and features beautiful royal carriages, weaponry and royal attire. It is located underneath the Royal Palace.
And nearby on Stortorget is the Nobel Museum, where you can join a guided tour to learn more about Alfred Nobel and some of the Nobel prize recipients.
Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, and Dali: you’ll find works by these and other greats at the Moderna Museet.
And if you’re visiting on a weekend, check out their popular brunch buffet! For more art, head to Nationalmuseum, Sweden’s national art gallery. Lots of Swedish art is featured, but you’ll also find works by international masters here.
Admission to both art galleries is free, except for temporary exhibitions.
#26 Admire Stockholm’s beautiful architecture
You’ll find beautiful architecture in Stockholm no matter where you go. But a planned tour to view some of the best-looking buildings is worthwhile if you have the time.
If you enjoy Hop On, Hop Off buses, a panoramic tour by bus will allow you to efficiently get an overview of some of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city.
We did a panoramic tour offered by our cruise line when we visited Stockholm as part of a Northern Europe cruise, and I thoroughly enjoyed the overview of the buildings and landmarks.
Exploring the city center on foot after will let you get an even closer look at some of these buildings, including the Royal Swedish Opera, the bright red St. Jacob’s Church, the Riksdag, and the Royal Palace.
Not all the beautiful architecture in Stockholm is historic.
For a look at a couple of stunning modern architectural marvels, visit the Stockholm Waterfront (near the Stockholm Central Station), with its graceful exterior made of vertical metal spikes, or the Aula Medica, the dramatic new lecture hall at the Karolinska Institute.
Save with the Stockholm Pass
If your itinerary includes many attractions or activities with fees, consider the Stockholm Pass. It includes free admission to many of Stockholm’s top attractions and activities, including Drottningholm Palace, the Royal Palace, Skyview, the Vasa Museum, an archipelago cruise, the Hop On, Hop Off bus and boat, and the Nobel Museum. We found it saved us money and time on a recent week-long trip to Stockholm.
A notable exception to the included attractions is Stockholm City Hall (and the City Hall Tower). So if you are visiting Stockholm for just one day, and City Hall and the tower climb are part of your itinerary, the pass may not work out cheaper.
Also, the Stockholm Pass does not include public transport; you have to get a separate Travelcard to cover transportation. The Stockholm public transport system is remarkably efficient and convenient for zipping around the city, so I recommend getting the Travelcard.
Where to stay in Stockholm
Staying in the city center puts you in the heart of the action, and if you are visiting for one or two days, it makes sense to stay in the center.
At Six is a chic contemporary hotel in Norrmalm, just a 5-minute walk from Gamla Stan. Many rooms come with gorgeous city views. You’ll love the super comfy beds and the modern bathrooms! Check prices and availability!
The Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel is located in the center, right near Stockholm Central Station, with easy access to Old Town and City Hall, shopping, and great restaurants. Rooms feature comfortable contemporary furnishings and some of them offer great city views. Check prices and availability!
If you plan to visit Stockholm for several days and would like to experience a residential neighborhood and the option of self-catering, check out Sky Hotel Apartments in Kungsholmen. Not fancy, but very clean, comfortable, and a 5-minute walk from a subway station, these apartments come with a kitchen and access to laundry facilities. This is where we stayed when we visited Stockholm recently for one week. Check prices and availability!
So there you have it: my suggestions for 25 fun and fabulous things to do in Stockholm, Sweden. Have you been? What did you enjoy most about Stockholm? If you haven’t yet visited, I hope I have inspired you to plan a visit soon!
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