How to get around in Stockholm

Maddy  Savage

Aug 9, 2021 • 7 min read

Illuminated Stockholm Royal Opera in the Evening, Sweden

Illuminated Stockholm Royal Opera in the Evening, Sweden

Compared to many European capitals, getting around Stockholm is a breeze. Its compact size makes it a dream for visitors who are keen to walk or cycle between sights. Public transportation is reliable, intuitive, and clean.

Bus services run round-the-clock in the city center, while trains and ferries can help you get further afield. There’s also been a strong focus on accessibility for decades, designed to help those with visual and mobile impairments as well as parents with young children.

A blue subway train in Stockholm speeds past the platform

Known as the tunnelbana or t-bana to locals, Stockholm’s efficient underground network includes more than 100 stations. It runs between 5am and 1am on weekdays, with trains at least every 10 minutes at peak times of the day. Reduced services operate round-the-clock on Friday and Saturday nights. There are three color-coded lines (green, blue, and red).

These split into different branches once you leave the city center, so be careful to check that the end destination on the front of the train tallies with your direction of travel. The underground (alongside buses, trams, trains, and ferries) is part of Stockholm’s unified public transport network, known as SL , which has an excellent journey planner on its website or via its app.

An overview of a train as it makes its way from Gamla Stan in Stockholm

Stockholm’s commuter train network has been strengthened in recent years, with slick new stations built at major transport hub Stockholm City (which is connected to Stockholm Central station, also known as T-Centralen), and Odenplan, slightly further north. These trains are a quick and comfortable way to traverse the capital and a handy option for day trips outside the city center.

People entering bus at bus stop in Stockholm

Bus services supplement trains, trams, and subway lines in the city center, operating round-the-clock when the rest of the network has shut down for the night. They have a strong reputation for running to timetable, with any delays usually visible in the SL public transport planning app. And they aren’t just a way to get around urban areas – services regularly reach some of the most remote villages and islands within Stockholm’s borders.

A blue tram passes The Royal Palace in Stockholm

There are several tram lines connecting Stockholm’s outer suburbs, but for visitors, the most popular route is Line 7. This serves Djurgården island, where many of Stockholm’s most popular museums are based. You can board it from two stops in the city center, Hamngatan or Nybrokajan, both of which are just a short walk from Kungsträdgården or Östermalmstorg subway stops.

Steamboat on lake in Stockholm

Ferries are intertwined with Stockholm’s waterfront identity and for decades commuters lucky enough to live on the city’s coastline have been using them to get to work. SL network cards are valid on all commuter services to and from the city center, including the popular shuttle between Slussen and Djurgården ( route 82 ) which takes just a few minutes.

Waxholmsbolaget ferries run deeper into the archipelago – you can buy tickets onboard or use the SL app or an SL Access Card to pay (more information below). Note that single Waxholmsbolaget journeys are significantly pricer than normal SL single journeys, costing between 56 and 169 SEK for adults or between 38 and 112 kronor for over-65s, under 20s, and students.

A local’s tips for using the SL public transport network

A single journey ticket for the Stockholm subway, as well as buses, trams, commuter trains and short-distance SL ferries costs 38 SEK for adults, or 25 SEK for those under 20 or over 65, and registered older students. It’s valid for 75 minutes and includes as many station or line changes as you need during that period. You can also switch to any other forms of transportation within the SL network during your trip.

If you’re likely to be making more than a couple of journeys a day, you’re usually better off choosing a travelcard valid for 24 hours, 72 hours, or 7 days.

Illuminated Stockholm Royal Opera in the Evening, Sweden

Given the Swedish capital’s reputation as a tech-savvy, digitally-minded city, there are multiple ways to pay. But beware, you always need to purchase a ticket in advance of boarding.

Digital single tickets and travel cards can be bought using the free journey planner mobile app SL , which you then use to tap in at any one of SL’s readers upon entry to a station. Alternatively, you can buy a plastic SL Access card, on which you load prepaid credit or a travel pass. These are available at subway stations or Pressbyrån and 7-11 convenience stores.

For single-journeys you can also tap in using physical contactless bank cards connected to major card networks (Mastercard, Visa or American Express), or digital wallets such as Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Fidesmo Pay. But note that discounted fares for students and seniors aren’t available using these methods.

Full length rear view of young female commuter cycling on street in city

Stockholm is prepped for cyclists, with more than 100km of largely well-maintained bike lanes, including many that are gritted during colder months. The city council has put together a route map and a map of free pump locations .

Unfortunately renting a bike is trickier than it used to be, after a long-running city-wide bike-sharing system was stopped in 2019. However there are still decent rental spots including Rent-a-Bike in Östermalm and the similarly-named RentBike , which has a collection point on Kungsholmen. In the Old Town, try Gamla Stans Cykel .

High angle view of male and female friends riding electric push scooters and bicycle on road in city

There’s been a boom in app-based electric scooter companies operating in Stockholm over the past couple of years. It’s divided locals, with some embracing them as an innovative, convenient way of exploring the city, and others raising concerns about safety following an increase in accidents, especially in the evenings. Voi , Lime and Tier are the major competitors.

City view of many yellow and black taxis in line.

Taxis are pricey in Stockholm, but can be a good option for larger groups. The major operators are Taxi Stockholm and Sverige Taxi , which you can hail in the city centre, or book by phone, online or using the firms’ apps.

Beware of rogue operators with similar branding at major ranks such as Arlanda Airport and Stockholm Central Station. Uber is licenced to operate in Stockholm, alongside European competitor Bolt .

Gamla Stan district in Stockholm

Stockholm’s impeccable public transport system means you’re unlikely to need to rent a car during shorter stays, and finding parking can be tricky. But if you’re planning multiple-day tours or overnight trips in the region, most major European operators service the Swedish capital including Avis , Europcar and Hertz . Snapcar is a cheaper option, where you rent cars directly from owners in your neighborhood. You need to be 18 years old to rent a vehicle in Sweden, and to have held a licence for a minimum of two years.

Teenagers cross the street in Stockholm

City planners have long worked to ensure the Swedish capital is a walkable destination, with wide sidewalks, well-lit footpaths and thoroughfares in parks and residential neighborhoods, and strong marking and signposting when it comes to coastal or woodland trails. Many of Stockholm’s most popular tourist spots are within a 30-minute walk from one another.

If you don’t have a smartphone, free fold-out maps are available from city tourist information offices . When heading to nature spots outside the centre, you might want to enlist the help of a hiking app like Naturkartan or AllTrails .

Guide dog leading visually impaired women towards bus in city

Accessible transportation in Stockholm

Stockholm set a goal to become Europe’s most accessible city back in 1998, and it has made great improvements for those with visibility or mobility challenges, as well as parents traveling with small children.

There are lifts at every subway and train station on the SL public transport network. Subway trains and platforms are at the same level at nearly all stops, although some commuter trains require ramps. All city center buses have automatic ramps. Travel is free for one adult accompanying a child in a stroller. Stop names and journey progress is usually displayed on a digital screen, and via an audio system. SL also offers free phone advice on accessibility, as well as bookable guiding assistance .

Most major attractions are well-designed for wheelchairs, including ABBA The Museum , The Royal Palace , Fotografiska and Skansen . For a full list head to the Stockholm Museums website . The Association of Qualified Tourist Guides offers tours from locals fluent in sign language, and is specifically designed for small children.

Ramps suitable for wheelchairs and strollers are common at public staircases around the city centre, especially in locations close to public transport. Other initiatives include improved water access for wheelchair users at city beaches including Ångebybadet , Sätrabadet and Tanto strandbad.

You may also like: Top 10 free things to do in Stockholm Guide to Stockholm Pride

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The 20 essential travel tips for visiting Stockholm

Wondering whether to use cash, or whether to bare all at the sauna? We've got you covered.

You can plan out every minute of every day when visiting a city like Stockholm , and you’ll still get caught out by one tiny little thing. Train tickets. Cash only. That sort of thing. You might even get caught in an embarrassing foreign blunder, where you order a coffee at completely the wrong time. 

Anyway, this is as true in the Scandinavian capital of cool as it is anywhere else. Want to know which stations to avoid, and what time you should eat cake? Do you bare all at a sauna, or keep your pants on? From metro tickets to how to say ‘hello’, here is every travel tip you’ll need for your first time in Stockholm. 

RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Stockholm 🍽️ The best restaurants in Stockholm 🏘️ Where to stay in Stockholm 🛍️ The best spots for shopping in Stockholm

This guide was updated by Madeleine Hyde , a writer based in Stockholm. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines .  

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The ultimate Stockholm guide

Access the airport the sneaky way

1.  Access the airport the sneaky way

Many travellers don’t realise that apart from the expensive express train and coaches, you can get from Arlanda airport to the city centre by public transport. Follow signs to the local buses at any terminal, and look for the one that goes to Märsta station, which is on a commuter rail line. The whole journey to central Stockholm can be covered on a single ticket, which you can buy on the SL app.

Don’t bring a ton of cash

2.  Don’t bring a ton of cash

Stockholm aims to become a cash-free city in the coming years, and in fact, many cafes, restaurants and hotels already enforce this policy. So on your trip, it’s best to bring your bank card and only use cash if you have to. 

Look beyond the metro lines

3.  Look beyond the metro lines

Booking accommodation in Stockholm can be dizzying. Which island is best? How much should you spend? And most commonly asked: Can they all be accessed easily? In the inner-city, the answer is yes. But it’s worth looking further, too: the prices of accommodation go down if you look along the commuter rail lines, rather than just the metro lines. Don’t be intimidated by these local lines; they’ll often get you to the city centre just as quickly!

Avoid the ‘stress tunnel’ at Centralen

4.  Avoid the ‘stress tunnel’ at Centralen

An early sunset normally tempts Stockholmers to leave the office around 4pm and so for most of the year, this is our rush hour. Avoid the central station, ‘T-Centralen,’ at 4pm and at around 8 in the morning, if you can help it—this is when the ‘stress tunnel’ between the different metro lines is at its most congested.

On weekdays, breakfast is simple and healthy

5.  On weekdays, breakfast is simple and healthy

In cafes, you’ll find mostly muesli and yoghurt or bread rolls with ham and cheese served in the morning hours. On weekends, however, it’s a whole different story. Popular brunch spots like Kitchen & Table and Greasy Spoon fill up quickly, so be sure to book ahead!

Pack your toughest boots

6.  Pack your toughest boots

If you’re planning a winter trip, bring along some very sturdy shoes. From November through till March you can expect the ground to be covered in ‘slask,’ a grotty mix of melted snow and grit. It keeps you from falling over, but it will leave its mark on your footwear!

Have a whole Swedish conversation with just two words

7.  Have a whole Swedish conversation with just two words

Swedes are well-known for their English skills; you’ll hear and see English all around you in Stockholm. Still, if you want to try out some Swedish, you can do so with minimal effort. You can say hello or goodbye with just ‘hej’ or ‘hej hej’ (where the ‘j’ is pronounced like an English ‘y’) and ‘tack’ means both thank you and please, so it’s extra easy to be polite.

The flavours of fika

8.  The flavours of fika

‘Fika’ is the Swedish coffee and cake ritual that means that the best cafes in the city will be full to the brim in the afternoons, especially on weekends. The traditional fika is with a cinnamon bun, but some cafes do their own variations: the rhubarb crumble buns at Fabrique, or the pistachio and blackcurrant version at Il Caffe are some favourites. It’s a crowded time, but well worth pushing in.

Saunas are for revealing all

9.  Saunas are for revealing all

Another Nordic ritual is stripping down in the sauna. In Swedish culture, it’s generally encouraged to keep things private—except for when it comes to the sauna. Don’t expect to bring anything but yourself and a towel, which is mostly for drying yourself off after you plunge into an icy-cold lake.

Save your clean-eating week for Stockholm

10.  Save your clean-eating week for Stockholm

The vegan offerings in this city are unrivalled. You can order your coffee with oat, almond or soya milk in most cafes, get delicious vegan ice cream in stores or at Stikki Nikki, or try vegan pulled pork (called oomph ) in Max Burger, Vigårda and many other burger establishments.

Spend late night at a gallery

11.  Spend late night at a gallery

If you’re a night owl looking for something more intellectually stimulating than a night on the tiles, thank goodness for Fotografiska, the photography exhibition on Södermalm’s northern waterfront. After the rest of the galleries have closed, this former factory stays open until 11pm.

Lunch starts early in Sweden

12.  Lunch starts early in Sweden

Lunch is Sweden’s biggest meal of the day. Restaurants typically offer buffet lunches for a fixed price and start serving at noon sharp. Oh, and there won’t normally be any desserts on the table, but you can save your sweet tooth for later (see fika )!

Down-time in the summer

13.  Down-time in the summer

Swedes take holidays very seriously—normally, by disappearing off to their countryside cottages or island retreats on the archipelago. This means that at certain times of the year, Stockholm is a bit of a ghost town, especially after Midsummer in June and July. On the plus side, visitors get the city to themselves!

Island-hop in style for no extra cost

14.  Island-hop in style for no extra cost

Your SL card (SL being the Stockholm transport system) can get you onto pretty much any transport, including some of the ferries that run between the inner-city islands. In the winter season, you can even use an SL ticket on ferries to the archipelago.

Buying alcohol here is a bit… systematic

15.  Buying alcohol here is a bit… systematic

The Swedish government has a monopoly on alcohol—if it’s over 3.5% ABV, anyway. For the strong stuff, you’ll need to head to government-owned Systembolaget, which close early afternoons on Saturday and don’t open at all on Sundays. If you fancy a 2% beer (affectionately known to locals as folköl , or ‘the people’s beer’), you can get these in any regular store.

Get a pint at 4pm

16.  Get a pint at 4pm

Rush hour is also the start of ‘After-Work’, a Swedish version of happy hour beginning around 4:30pm. Many pubs will serve a cheaper pint during these hours, and there’s even a club, Out of Office, that kicks off in the late afternoon instead of the late evening to cater to thirsty office workers. Download the club’s app for your free entrance ticket and dance your suit off.

Culture without the entrance fee

17.  Culture without the entrance fee

If beer and sauna culture don’t cut it, you can spend your Tuesday afternoon at a museum instead, without spending anything. The Nordic Museum has free entry on Wednesdays from 5-8pm, and the Nobel Prize Museum from 5-8pm on Tuesdays. The Modern Art museum on Skeppsholmen, meanwhile, has free admission the whole week round.

The two words you need for a cheap pint

18.  The two words you need for a cheap pint

Stockholmers are big beer lovers, and there are many great micro-breweries and craft beer establishments across the city to prove it. That’s not to say that your pint has to be anything fancy or expensive, however; at any bar, you can order their cheapest pint of beer simply by asking for a ‘Stor Stark.’

Drink in the evening sunlight in summer

19.  Drink in the evening sunlight in summer

In the summer, drinking goes outdoors. Bars reveal themselves in all kinds of innovative outside spaces, including under a bridge: Trädgården (the garden) opens under Skanstull bridge at the end of May. As a bonus, if you get there before 7pm you’ll avoid any entrance free and be offered cheaper drinks deals.

Plan ahead to avoid taxis

20.  Plan ahead to avoid taxis

Taxis are very, very expensive in Stockholm. Especially boat taxis (yes, really!), which will come and get you if you’re stuck on an island in the archipelago. Plan ahead by checking the SL app for your best travel options. On weekends, the metro runs all night, but on weekdays your best bet after 1am might be a night bus.

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Getting around Stockholm archipelago

Island hopping, a scenic cruise or a longer stay on your favourite island? Here’s how to travel in Stockholm archipelago.

Stockholm’s vast archipelago starts just a short boat ride from the city centre and getting there could not be easier. The closest island Fjäderholmarna is just a 30-minute boat ride from downtown Stockholm, while Dalarö and Vaxholm are both an hour away.

Most locals take the Waxholmsbolaget ferries to the islands. Waxholmsbolaget runs regular boat and ferry services across the entire region, from Arholma island in the north to Landsort, on Öja island, in the south. The services are a part of the public transport system in Stockholm County and run all year round. During high season in the summer, there are several daily departures from Strömkajen in the city center, as well as departures from ports in other parts of the county.

To plan your trip, use the company’s journey planner ( ). It’s unfortunately only available in Swedish but it's fairly easy to use if you know the names of the jetties or islands you want to travel between.

Pick a boat ticket that suits you

Tickets are purchased on board the Waxholmsbolaget’s boats and are paid by Visa/Mastercard. It's not possible to pay with cash. Save the paper receipt and hand it over to the staff when you go ashore at your destination.

You can also buy period tickets for 5 or 30 consecutive days and travel as much as you like on all Waxholmsbolaget services. These tickets are perfect for island hopping.

The period tickets can be bought on board the boats, but they are loaded onto your SL-card (the card used for Stockholm public transport). You need to show the period ticket together with a paper ticket at ticket control. The paper ticket is printed out when the period card is scanned on board the boat.

Other options for exploring Stockholm archipelago

There are other ways to travel to and within Stockholm archipelago, too. Strömma Kanalbolaget is another ferry company trafficking the area. Their focus is on cruises, activities and sightseeing tours; it's a great choice for organised day trips and excursions in the archipelago and on lake Mälaren. You can also charter boats for your own events. The boats of Strömma Kanalbolaget depart from Nybrokajen in Stockholm City.

You can also travel with SL (Stockholm's County transport) on their shuttle boat line number 83 to the island of Vaxholm, a journey that takes an hour from the city centre. Buy a single or return ticket or use your SL-card to experience one of Stockholm's most popular archipelago islands.

Should you want to make shorter trips between islands or need transportation outside the ferry companies’ service area, a taxi boat is a great option, especially if you’re a larger group traveling.

Thanks to bridges, tunnels and car ferries, some areas in the archipelago, such as Yxlan, Vaxholm and Muskö, can also be reached by bus or car . Most islands are however car free. The best and most enjoyable way to get around Stockholm archipelago is by foot or bicycle , which can be rented on most of the main islands.

Boats at Nybrokajen in Stockholm City

The quays Nybrokajen and Strömkajen in Stockholm City are the departure points for archipelago boats.

Photo : Anna Hållams

Boat to Stockholm archipelago

Boats at Strömkajen in Stockholm City

Photo : Helén Pe

Useful links for travelers in the Stockholm archipelago

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Explore stockholm archipelago, from cabins to glamping – accommodation in the stockholm archipelago, sightseeing like a local in stockholm, sweden's archipelagos – seaside adventures and coastal gems.

The World Was Here First

The Ultimate 3 to 4 Days in Stockholm Itinerary

Last Updated on January 31, 2024

by Olivia Ellis

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

travel within stockholm

Planning the perfect 3 or 4 days in Stockholm itinerary can be a bit overwhelming when you consider how much this metropolis has to offer. The city of Stockholm is easily one of the most vibrant and cultured European and Scandinavian capitals.

The city itself boasts a wide array of art, gastronomic delights, green areas, fashion, and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. The history of the capital goes back to 1252, and on a trip to the city, you’ll take a walk through time beginning in the regal roots of Sweden to bustling, innovative modern-day Stockholm.

Whether you’re visiting for a few days or a long weekend getaway, Stockholm deserves a spot at the top of your travel bucket list.

Table of Contents

How Many Days in Stockholm?

The city of Stockholm is quite large in comparison to neighboring Scandinavian capital cities (such as Copenhagen ). This in itself can make it difficult to decide how long to spend in the Swedish capital.

When planning how many days to spend in Stockholm, it’s important to take note of which aspects of a trip are most important to you as well as your budget.

If you’re hoping to see most of the main sites in the center and are on a budget in Stockholm , 2 days is sufficient but it’ll be more of a rushed stay in comparison with 3 days in Stockholm. An extra day is ideal to visit the main sites and get to know the city better without being in too big of a hurry.

Finally, if you’re hoping to either explore Stockholm more and explore its diverse neighborhoods or head out of the city for a day trip, spending 4 days in the Swedish capital is enough time.

Beautiful Stockholm

Getting To & Around Stockholm

Arlanda Airport located in the nearby town of Arlanda is Stockholm’s main airport. Arlanda is also a main airport in Scandinavia so there are plenty of flights going in and out of other major European countries as well as internationally.

If you’re flying into the city, your best option to reach the city center is by train. The Arlanda Express is the only train system going to the city center (Stockholm Central Station) from the airport, which is different from other European airports that are connected by metro.

Tickets can be purchased at the airport kiosk outside of the terminal and cost 320 SEK on-way and 600 SEK return per adult and are free for children and reduced for youth. Another option for those not on a budget, is to organise a private transfer from the airport.

If you plan to reach Stockholm by train; either from another city in Sweden or perhaps neighboring Denmark or beyond, you’ll arrive at Stockholm Central Station. The city’s central station is conveniently located, with metro and bus transport available once you reach the station. You can view train schedules here .

Arlanda Airport

The city of Stockholm is composed of an archipelago of islands and is quite a unique layout for a city. This makes the city much larger in comparison to other European capital cities. Although it’s a big city, the central part of the city is quite compact, making it easy and quick to get around.

It’s enjoyable to walk around the city, passing historical monuments as well as modern architecture while taking in everyday life in Stockholm. If you’d like to venture into other neighborhoods in the city, you’ll likely need to take advantage of the city’s brilliant public transportation system.

The city transport consists of bus, tram, metro, and ferry. Stockholm’s public transportation system is also known as one of the greenest in Europe – with many buses running on eco-friendly fuels.

If you’re someone keen on art, mainly eclectic street art, you’ll find the Stockholm metro to be a museum in itself. Many of the stations are art-clad with work by various artists and set the tone for the style and heart of the city. Many visitors say that Stockholm’s metro is one of the most unique in the world!

Tickets for Stockholm’s public transport are all inclusive of one cost, meaning the cost per ticket won’t change depending on your mode of transport. There are various ticket options such as a 75-minute single ticket or day passes from 24 hours to 72 hours.

If you plan on taking public transport multiple times during the day throughout your stay, the passes are certainly worth it and quickly pay for themselves. Tickets and passes must be purchased before embarking and can be purchased through ticket machines at the station, via phone app, or through contactless payment at the turnstiles.

Due to a combination of the size of the city as well as the functionality and efficiency of the city’s public transportation, I’d recommend against renting a car during your stay. Although, if you prefer independence and plan to leave the city for onward travels, renting a car while traveling in Sweden is a great option.

Stockholm Metro Station

3 to 4 Days in Stockholm Itinerary

Stockholm tends to proudly claim the title of the capital city of Scandinavia, and during your time here, you’ll quickly understand why.

The city itself is the home to the most museums in the world (just under 100), as well as sleek Swedish design, stylish cafes, and rich, important history unknown to a lot of the world.

If you plan on visiting many of the paid attractions listed in this article, then consider purchasing a Stockholm Go City Pass to save money.

Day 1 – Gamla Stan and Royal Stockholm

Breakfast at bröd & salt .

There are few things more synonymous with Sweden than cardamom buns and coffee. Kardemummabullar (cardamom buns) are easily the most popular Swedish pastries and are divine.

Before heading to Gamla Stan to wander around the idyllic old town of Stockholm, I recommend fueling up with pastries and coffee at Bröd & Salt. Although the bakery is a chain, you’ll find splendidly made pastries to savor while you prepare for your day ahead and take in the surroundings.

I suggest heading to the location at the harbor across from Gamla Stan to enjoy stunning and caffeinated Swedish morning views.

Wander Around Old Town

If you’ve ever stumbled across photos of Stockholm in the past, they’re likely those of the picturesque Gamla Stan neighborhood. Although it is now quite a touristy area, it’s still completely worth spending time in.

Gamla Stan goes back to the 13th Century and this part of the city feels like you’ve stepped back into the medieval era. Strolling through the old streets and alleys of this classic and well-maintained area of the city is a true delight.

From the colorful buildings and cobblestoned streets to the all-around pleasant and delicate feel of the area, you’ll feel assured that you’re in for a treat while visiting the Swedish Capital City.

Most of the streets of Gamla Stan lead to/from Stortorget, the main public square, making it a great spot to first explore during your time in Stockholm. Spend a few ours getting lost here, but make sure not to miss sites like the Stockholm Cathedral, which is spectacular.

To learn more about the history of the area, consider booking this walking tour or this bike tour . You can also get a unique vantage point of the city by taking a short archipelago cruise .


Royal Palace

After eating decadent pastries and wandering through Stockholm’s Gamla Stan, head just a few minutes by foot to the Royal Palace, or Stockholm Palace to spend time at one of the largest palaces in Europe.

Today, the palace is home to the King of Sweden, and the palace was built in the 18th century in classic Italian Baroque style after the Tre Koner castle was burned down in 1697 in the same location. Thankfully, the palace is open to public visits and has a wide array of exhibits and rooms to explore during your visit. 

Don’t miss the parade of soldiers and changing of the guard to get an authentic Swedish royal experience every day at 12:15 PM.

Opening hours of the palace vary depending on the day of the week as well as the time of year, so plan before your visit.

Royal Palace of Stockholm

Day 2 –  Stockholm’s Diverse Neighborhoods & Museum Visit

Norrmalm neighborhood.

Stockholm has an abundance of unique neighborhoods and throughout this itinerary, you’ll experience quite a few of them. On day 2, I suggest first heading to the Norrmalm neighborhood.

Norrmalm is known to many as the center of the city, and is also a major cultural center for Sweden and the city of Stockholm. In Norrmalm, you’ll find the Stockholm Central Station, the Royal Swedish Opera, art museums, and the Stockholm Concert Hall.

This is also one of the largest commercial centers of the city, with some of the best Scandinavian and Swedish shopping in Sweden.

After wandering around the shops, make your way to the Kungsträdgården Park in Norrmalm to get a nature fix within the city and grab a coffee at one of the lovely cafes nestled within the lush, green park.

Stockholm Royal Opera House

Vasa Museum or Nobel Prize Museum

As mentioned previously, Stockholm has the wonderful reputation of being the city in the world with the most museums. With just under 100, there’s something for everyone and still more to visit and see beyond that. After spending time in Norrmalm, I suggest heading to a museum before grabbing dinner.

My recommendations for your first museum visit in Stockholm are the Vasa Museum and/or the Nobel Museum.

Located around 15 minutes from Norrmalm by metro on the island of Djurgården, the Vasa Museum is easily Stockholm’s, Sweden’s, and Scandinavia’s most visited museum. The museum itself is home to the Vasa Ship, a Swedish warship built in the 1600s that sank during its maiden voyage in 1628.

Incredibly, the entire ship was salvaged in 1961 after being located in the 1950s in the harbor of Stockholm. Witnessing the Vasa ship inside the museum is one of the most incredible experiences, taking in the complexity of such an old ship still in prime condition, with almost 98% of the ship in the museum still in its original form.

The Nobel Prize Museum is another superb museum option just a 20-minute walk from Norrmalm in Stortorget Square is the Nobel Prize Museum.

The Nobel museum displays information, history, and knowledge of past Nobel Prize winners, the past 100+ years of the Nobel Prize, and the founder of the Nobel Prize, Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist, Alfred Nobel.

The museum is also located a close walk to the Stockholm City Hall where the Nobel Prize ceremony is held each year.

Vasa Museum in Stockholm

Dinner in Sodermalm  

One of the most densely populated and popular neighborhoods in Stockholm is the Sodermalm neighborhood. Sodermalm is easily one of the trendiest places to visit in the Swedish capital, with stylish restaurants, green parks, art galleries, and the best restaurant scene in the city. Spending some time here is easily one of the best things to do in Stockholm.

Known as “Soder” to locals, Sodermalm is also a great area to stay in if you’re looking for cheaper accommodation than other areas of the city, with still a thriving and pleasant atmosphere. 

Herein lies the best spot to have dinner to close your second day in Stockholm. My recommendation is to head to Restaurant Pelikan to enjoy amped-up versions of classic Swedish comfort foods in an old-school style interior.

If visiting during a busy period (summer, spring, or the weekend), I suggest making a reservation in advance to guarantee a table.

Day 3 – Skansen Open-Air Museum & Swedish Street Food

Skansen museum.

By day 3 you’ll probably have a pretty good feel of the city and will be ready to branch outward and explore beyond. This is the perfect opportunity to head to the world’s oldest open-air museum, Skansen.

Built in 1899, Skansen is an open-air museum located on the Djurgården island of Stockholm and makes for a really fun stop on this itinerary.

The thoughts and inspirations behind the museum were to showcase everyday life in different parts of Sweden before the industrial era. The museum almost feels more like an amusement park without the rides, with exhibits spanning 75 acres.

These include a replica of a 19th-century Swedish small town including workers dressed as different craftsmen or everyday people from the time recreating scenes. You’ll also find a large open-air zoo and homes/farmsteads from all different parts of the country. 

The best way to reach Skansen from the center of the city is by various bus routes, with a journey time of around 20 minutes. Once you arrive, you’re transported back in time.

If for whatever reason, Skansen isn’t in your interest, there are plenty of other museums worth visiting. Maybe head to Fotografiska Photography and Cultural Museum , ABBA the Museum , or the Nationalmuseum. You could even opt to visit some of Stockholm’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Woodland Cemetery or Drottningholm Palace.

The main entrance to Skansen

Ö stermalm Neighborhood & Food Hall

After spending a day at the Skansen Museum, you’ll likely be hungry and ready to enjoy another delicious meal in the Swedish capital city.

For those seeing Stockholm in 3 days, this is also going to be your last day on the itinerary, so my recommendation is to make your way to the sophisticated Östermalm neighborhood to eat more tasty food at the Ostermalm food hall. Östermalm isn’t too far from the Skansen Museum, making it a great spot to head to close the day.

Spend time in this part of Stockholm with some of the highest property value while browsing the upmarket boutiques, more green parks, and maybe even The Royal Mews to get to know the horses of Royal Sweden. 

Afterwards, head to the Östermalm Food Hall, or Östermalm “Saluhall”. Sweden’s main food hall is easily one of the best in Europe and at the top of the list for best in the world.

Nowadays we’re more used to modern food halls in capital cities, but Stockholm’s goes back to 1888. You’ll find gorgeous Gothic architecture, traditional Swedish foods with exceptional ingredients, and many decadent Swedish foods and snacks to bring home.

Opening hours of the food hall vary depending on the time of year as well as the day of the week, so check the hours before visiting. You can book a food tour of this area as well if you want a guide to take you to some of their best spots!

Exploring Ostermalm

Day 4 – Uppsala or Fjäderholmarna

After spending 3 days in Stockholm, you may be ready to head out of the city and into a different part of Sweden. Luckily, there are many wonderful day trip options close to Stockholm, and no matter the time of year, you’re bound to enjoy your time exploring other parts of the country.

Day 4 of this Stockholm itinerary highlights two wonderful day trip options from Stockholm, with one summer option and one winter option. 

Winter Day Trip – Uppsala

If you’re visiting Stockholm in the winter and would like to head out on a day trip, a great option is to head to Sweden’s fourth-biggest city, Uppsala .

Just a quick journey by train from Stockholm’s Central Station, Uppsala was first founded in 1164 and is a city full of culture and history as well as the home to Sweden’s oldest university.

Spend your day wandering the medieval streets of this gorgeous university town, visit the Uppsala castle, and enjoy a warm coffee at a cozy cafe away from the cold winter air.

Train journeys from Stockholm Central Station to Uppsala Central Station take between 20-50 minutes.

Summer Day Trip – Fjäderholmarna 

One of the best ways to experience Swedish summer like a local is to head to the water and enjoy the sun and nature.

A convenient way to experience this while visiting Stockholm without having to head too far is to head to the Fjäderholmarna, or “Fjäder”, an island group part of the Stockholm archipelago. You can easily reach Fjäderholmarna by ferry in just under 20 minutes from the Stockholm harbor. 

I suggest visiting Stora Fjäderholmen, the main island in the Fjäderholmarna. Here you’ll find a quaint atmosphere on a small island, with artistic shops and galleries, sweet shops, a brewery, summer restaurants with fresh seafood (I recommend the Skagen sandwich), and a lush green area in the middle.

It’s a tranquil and pleasant summer atmosphere wandering the small streets, eating a wonderful meal, and sitting by the shore enjoying the sea and warm Swedish sun. 

While best experienced in summer, it is possible to take a boat cruise out to the islands in winter as well.

Fjaderholmarna island

Where to Stay in Stockholm

Scandic No 53 – Well-located close to Stockholm’s top attractions, this hotel is an excellent place to stay. Along with modern rooms, there is a bar, terrace and an exceptional breakfast each morning.

Downtown Camper by Scandic – Those looking for a bit of a luxury escape in Stockholm will love this 4-star hotel. Excellently situated close to the main sites of the Swedish capital, there are 2 on-site restaurants, a swimming pool, breakfast and lovely rooms to choose from.

Gamla Stan Apartments – If you’d like to experience Stockholm like a local or simply love the convenience of having your own space when traveling, these apartments are an excellent choice. There are a number of different-sized flats to choose from equipped with all the esentials.

Castanea Old Town Hostel – Budget and solo travelers will love this highly-rated hostel. It is centrally located within easy reach of all Stockholm has to offer, they have both dorm beds and private rooms available along with good common areas and self-catering facilities.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Stockholm hotels!

Whether you’re someone who’s always wanted to visit Scandinavia or are already well acquainted with the Nordic region, Stockholm is a great place to begin or continue your travels. Whether you’re on a short visit, or your trip consists of visiting Stockholm in 4 days, you’ll easily fall in love with the vibrant Swedish capital, its people, food, culture, and scenery.

Are you planning a trip to Stockholm? Do you have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!

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About Olivia Ellis

Olivia is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Michigan, USA, she is currently living in Athens, Greece exploring Europe and filmmaking. When she’s not travelling or writing, Olivia can be found cooking delicious new recipes from around the world, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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16 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Stockholm

Written by Bryan Dearsley and Andrew Birbeck Updated Dec 24, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Known as the "Venice of the North" for its many waterways and lakes, Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, lies on a number of islands and peninsulas at the outflow of Lake Mälar into the Baltic.

This vibrant, modern city offers an astounding number of historic attractions, from architectural splendors like the Royal Palace to entire neighborhoods like Gamla Stan , Stockholm's Old Town district. If you want even more history, you can visit world-class museums like the Skansen Open-Air Museum or the Stockholm Medieval Museum, and if you're here for Vikings, the Vasa Museum should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Stockholm is also home to excellent art galleries and other world-class museums, but if you want to spend more time outdoors, it offers both expansive parks and seemingly endless waterways and islands to explore. The UNESCO-listed Drottningholm Palace is just a ferry ride away, and the central location makes day trips from Stockholm easy.

To learn more about the many tourist attractions and places to visit in this attractive European city, be sure to read through our list of the best things to do in Stockholm.

1. Explore Old Town Stockholm: Gamla Stan

2. relive sweden's seafaring past at the vasa museum, 3. get your bearings aboard a stockholm boat tour, 4. be a star at abba the museum, 5. take a stroll and see the sights of djurgården, 6. skansen open-air museum, 7. tour the royal palace (sveriges kungahus), 8. fotografiska: stockholm's photography museum, 9. see historic stockholm city hall (stadshuset), 10. the national museum of fine arts: nationalmuseum, 11. moderna museet, 12. roam the royal national city park, 13. get lost in time at stockholm medieval museum (medeltidsmuseet), 14. visit storkyrkan: the great church, 15. shop 'til you drop in östermalm, 16. take in the perfect "skyview", tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to stockholm, where to stay in stockholm for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in stockholm, more delightful swedish destinations and day trips.

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 .

Plenty of souvenirs and gifts are available in the Old Town, and you will find yourself transported back to medieval times as you meander through a bewildering labyrinth of tiny, winding streets, many of which lead to (or from) Stortorget, the main public square.

If you want to be sure you see all the main points of interest while learning about each site's historic significance, take a guided walking tour of Stockholm Old Town . It lasts two-and-a-half hours and includes visits to highlights like the Royal Opera House, several churches, and more.

If visiting in winter, be sure to take in the marvelous Christmas Market , Julmarknad , an experience akin to finding yourself in a real-life fairy tale and among the best Christmas markets in Europe .

Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan, or Stockholms domkyrka), the Nobel Prize Museum (Nobelmuseet), and the Royal Palace are all located here and should be high up on any Stockholm sightseeing itinerary.

Vasa Museum

The incredible Vasa battleship, the main attraction at Stockholm's brilliant Vasa Museum ( Vasamuseet ) , was intended to be the pride of the Swedish Imperial fleet. Yet, in a forerunner of the Titanic disaster centuries later, this majestic 64-gun vessel sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.

An amazing salvage operation took place in 1961, and now you can marvel at this glorious time capsule, 95 percent of which is entirely original. The three masts on the roof of the museum are not just a tourist draw; they were reconstructed to the exact height and specifications of the original masts.

This is the most visited museum in Sweden , and rightfully so. More than one million people a year come here to enjoy the different exhibitions and watch the movie on the ship's history. A variety of other historic vessels are also located on-site, including an icebreaker, a lightship, and a torpedo boat.

Entry is free if you are under 18 years of age, and the museum offers a free phone-based audio guide just for kids. The museum is open daily (except holidays), and also offers a quality on-site restaurant.

Address: Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm sightseeing by boat

The sea flows through the arteries of Stockholm, and during the summer months, the city is quite literally awash with boats of all shapes and sizes. Many city-dwellers own summer houses on the islands of the skärgården (archipelago) and spend, if not the entire summer there, then most weekends. It all makes for a Friday evening commute like no other.

Bearing all this in mind, experiencing Stockholm from the water is surely a must-do for any visitor. It's also a great way to get your bearings early on in your visit. Take a sightseeing cruise under the bridges of Stockholm or hop on one of the Stromma boat excursions like the Archipelago Tour.

There are also hop-on, hop-off options with a valid ticket lasting 24 hours. Best of all, cruises are available year-round and can be just as much fun in winter.

ABBA The Museum

Few pop bands from the 1970s can still garner the kind of enthusiasm among fans that Sweden's ABBA does. To celebrate the continuing interest in Scandinavia's biggest music export, ABBA The Museum opened in 2013 and has attracted young and old alike with its unique interactive exhibits.

Using state-of-the-art technology, visitors can see computerized versions of themselves not only wearing the band's most iconic outfits, but can even dance and sing along with Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid.

Other highlights include a visit to a reconstruction of their recording studio , where you can try your hand at remixing some of their best-loved tunes, as well as the unique experience of seeing Benny's original piano seemingly playing itself, but in reality, being controlled by the star from his home.

You can also enjoy a thrilling virtual helicopter ride and the Waterloo exhibit, which faithfully recreates the band's winning performance at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England.

English language audio and guided tours are available. The adjoining music-themed hotel, Pop House Hotel , is a fun place to stay, with a convenient location. It offers clean, bright, and affordable rooms, with a restaurant and gift shop located on-site.

Address: Djurgårdsvägen 68, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden


A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, the island of Djurgården draws crowds of tourists and locals alike. It's particularly busy during the summer months of long lazy days and short nights.

The park forms part of the Royal National City Park , which is the perfect place for a stroll and picnic, as well as being home to several of Stockholm's top museums and other attractions.

Scattered about are pleasant cafés, restaurants, snack bars, and hotels. You can rent bicycles to explore the forest trails or, if you're feeling adventurous, take to the waterways in a canoe. The popular Vasa Museum and ABBA the Museum are located here, as is the open-air museum Skansen and Gröna Lund amusement park.

A fun way to arrive is by ferry from Gamla Stan or Slussen , both of which are on the T-Bana. Alternatively, jump on a tram from Norrmalmstorg , take the bus, or stroll from the city center, a journey of only 15 minutes. Drop by the Djurgården visitor center for more information.

Windmill at Skansen Open-Air Museum

The oldest open-air museum in the world , Skansen opened in 1891 on the island of Djurgården. This is a wonderful attraction for families, particularly those with young children, although tourists of any age will enjoy the visit.

More than 150 different buildings and houses were collected from all around the country and reassembled here. On display are distinct town districts, including manor houses, a bakery, the beautiful Seglora timber church, and a pottery, all brought to life by costumed living history interpreters.

Not only will you be treated to an authentic taste of Sweden as it once was, but you'll also have fun at the wonderful Skansen Aquarium and the Children's Zoo . A wide variety of creatures can be seen at the zoo, including moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, and seals.

You can visit the aquarium for an extra fee and see more than 200 animals of all types from around the world, including not only fish but also furry friends like lemurs and many species of monkeys. For traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord pay a visit to the Solliden Restaurant.

Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 11521 Stockholm, Sweden

The Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus)

A visit here could be a day out in itself. Located by the water's edge on the periphery of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Royal Palace (Sveriges Kungahus) is the official residence of the King of Sweden.

Interestingly, the Queen's residence lies elsewhere. It's on the beautiful island and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Drottningholm (Queen's Island), about a 45-minute ferry ride from Stockholm and an easy day trip .

A rich taste of the once-mighty Swedish Empire, this palace is one of the largest in Europe boasting in excess of 600 rooms and several museums. Dating from the 18th century and built in Baroque style, the palace houses many gems. Here, you can see Queen Kristina's silver throne and visit the Museum of Antiquities , the Royal Armoury , the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) Museum , and the Treasury .

You won't want to miss the daily changing of the guard. Known as the Royal Guards Ceremony , it starts at 12:15pm each day (1:15pm on Sundays) and takes place in the palace's outer courtyard.

Location: Slottsbacken 1, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden


Fotografiska is Stockholm's museum of contemporary photography and hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions throughout the year. The complex encompasses a café, restaurant, store, and gallery, and from the top floor, you can enjoy one of the most enviable views over the city.

The museum is now acknowledged as one of the world's premier photography venues, and there are always a variety of themed exhibits on display, each featuring several photographers.

The museum's restaurant is just as popular as its exhibits — serving organic, sustainably-produced cuisine, the restaurant on the top floor is acclaimed as one of the city's coolest eateries. Its weekend brunch is particularly popular with locals.

The gallery also hosts cutting-edge live and club music throughout the year.

Address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 11645 Stockholm, Sweden

The City Hall (Stadshuset)

Nestled at the water's edge and topped by three golden crowns, the City Hall (Stockholms stadshus, or Stadshuset) is one of Stockholm's most iconic buildings and stars in countless images and postcards of the city. Dating from 1923, the hall opened on that most Swedish of dates: Midsummer's Eve.

Housed within are assembly rooms, offices, works of art, and the machinery of civil democracy. The prestigious annual Nobel Banquets are held here. Recipients dine first in Blå hallen (The Blue Hall) and then move on to the formal ball in Gyllene salen (The Golden Hall), which has no less than 18 million mosaics adorning its walls.

A particular treat is the chance to view the city from the famous tower.

Address: Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm, Sweden

National Museum of Fine Arts (Nationalmuseum)

Stockholm's impressive National Museum of Fine Arts , the Nationalmuseum, is a great place to get your art fix. Sweden's national gallery, it was established in 1792 as the Royal Museum and was renamed the Nationalmuseum after moving to its present location in 1866. It was fully renovated and modernized in 2018.

The architecture alone is worth seeing, particularly the interior with its massive central staircase and large galleries. Notable among its collections are over 500,000 drawings and sketches, numerous works by the Dutch Masters, including some by Rembrandt, as well as a sizable collection of sculptures. It also boasts the world's largest collection of portrait miniatures.

Guided tours are available, and a wide range of educational programs and workshops are provided. There's also a restaurant and gift shop on-site.

Address: Södra Blasieholmshamnen, Stockholm, Sweden

Moderna Museet

At Moderna Museet , you can dip your toes into one of Europe's foremost collections of art from the 20th century to today, featuring works by artists such as Picasso, Dali, Derkert, and Matisse. The museum exhibits everything from modern classics to contemporary art, including film, photography, drawings, prints, and whimsical outdoor sculptures.

Located on picturesque Skeppsholmen island, the building of Moderna Museet was designed by Rafael Moneo, a Spanish architect.

The museum offers a world-class program of temporary exhibitions, a children's workshop, a shop, a library, and a pleasant restaurant with beautiful views of Djurgården and Strandvägen . Guided tours are available.

The museum's second gallery lies in Malmö .

Address: Exercisplan 4, 111 49 Stockholm

Haga Park, Royal National City Park

The right-to-roam (allemansrätten) is an indelible part of the Swedish psyche. The Royal National City Park (Kungliga nationalstadsparken) is a six-mile-long, 27 square-kilometer green space surrounding and snaking into Stockholm and encompassing three royal parks: Djurgården, Haga, and Ulriksdal .

This, the world's first national urban park , is where tourists and locals flock to unwind. The forest harbors moose, foxes, deer, and many winged beauties, including rare birds. Fun things to do include enjoying the museums, castles, theaters, sports facilities, and historic homes.

Nature lovers will be in heaven exploring wilderness areas with centuries-old oak trees, streams, lakes, marshes, enticing swimming spots, and craggy hilltops. It truly is hard to believe you're in the middle of a thriving capital city.

Address: 115 21 Stockholm

Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Medeltidsmuseet)

Ever wondered what life was like in medieval Europe? Pay a visit to the Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Medeltidsmuseet), and you'll find out. Situated just a short distance from the Royal Palace, this fascinating attraction was built on an actual excavation site that unearthed and preserved a number of interesting finds from the medieval period.

The museum features a number of unique period structures, including part of the original city walls from the 1500s, old brick merchant's homes and workshops, as well as part of Stockholm's original port and its buildings. Interesting exhibits detail the city's history from around the 1200s through to the mid-16th century.

English language guided tours are available, and the museum also hosts walking tours with prior arrangements. If you want to bring home a bit of medieval Stockholm, be sure to visit their gift shop.

Address: Strömparterren 3, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden

Storkyrkan (The Great Church)

Located in the heart of Stockholm's Gamla Stan district, Storkyrkan is the city's oldest church . Also known as 'The Great Church," or Stockholms domkyrka, it was built in the 13th century and is a remarkably well-preserved example of medieval architecture.

Highlights of this simple yet impressive hall church include its brick pillar-supported vaulted ceiling, as well as the many Baroque flourishes that were added later in the 1700s. More recently, the church has been the scene of important national events, such as royal weddings and coronations.

Numerous artifacts and furnishings survive from medieval times and can be seen as part of a visit or tour.

Address: Trångsund 1, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden


If it's Stockholm designer chic you're after, then look no further. Östermalm is the most exclusive district in the city. Here, international luxury labels rub shoulders with high-class Scandinavian design.

On Biblioteksgatan, there's an abundance of flagship shops and designer boutiques, while the neighborhood around Stureplan offers plenty of posh shops — some with sky-high price tags.

Lovers of art and interior design will enjoy Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken , which are located at the beginning of Strandvägen near Nybroviken.

Many of Sweden's top antique dealers lie around the Kommendörsgatan neighborhood, and be sure to drop by Östermalmshallen for the absolute best in Swedish fresh food and produce.

SkyView: The Globe

Situated on Stockholm's southern fringe, SkyView takes you to the top of the world's largest spherical building , the Ericsson Globe, which is one of Stockholm's modern landmarks. From 130 meters above sea level, you'll be treated to an unforgettable view over the entire city.

Tours aboard the gondolas take about 30 minutes and depart every 10 minutes, but be prepared for long lines at peak times of the day. After the trip, sightseers can visit the restaurant and souvenir shop.

Address: Globentorget 2, 121 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Sightseeing Tours :

  • A convenient and flexible way to see the city's attractions is the City Sightseeing Stockholm Hop-On Hop-Off Tour . Accompanied by an audio commentary, this double-decker bus tour visits 14 different attractions, and you can hop on and off at any of the stops.
  • If you're an active traveler who wants to explore the archipelago up close, the one-day Small-Group Stockholm Archipelago Kayak Tour is for you. This eight-hour kayak tour includes all equipment and instruction, so even those without experience can give it a try. The excursion also includes coffee, tea, snacks, and a lunch cooked over a campfire.

Stockholm by Night :

  • For an edgier look at the city, consider The Original Stockholm Ghost Walk and Historical Tour , a two-hour tour of the city by lantern light, where you'll hear spooky stories about spirits, vampires, myths, and mysteries as you stroll Gamla Stan's medieval streets.
  • If Sweden's Viking and medieval history excite you, the Viking History Half-Day Tour is a must-do. Along the way, you'll see runic stones at Täby; discover ancient inscriptions at Granby; and stroll the medieval streets of Sweden's oldest town, Sigtuna.

Getting Around:

  • The excellent underground railway system, the Tunnelbana (T-bana), takes you almost anywhere in the city. A highly efficient and regular bus network fills in any gaps between destinations. Alternatively, take the time to walk instead, as Stockholm is a terrific city to absorb on foot. The city also has an efficient network of bicycle lanes.

Save Money :

  • Although Stockholm, like most of Scandinavia, can be expensive, good value can be found if you know where to look. One way to save a few kronor is to eat a main meal during the day and opt for something lighter in the evening. The Dagens rätt or Dagens lunch (daily special) is a great way to experience authentic Swedish fare at a fraction of the cost you'd pay in the evenings.

Sweet Treats :

  • Swedes love coffee and cake, and they've even come up with a verb for it: Fika. To "fika" is to drink coffee, eat something small (and usually sweet), and chat. Be sure to indulge, as the cakes and pastries are delicious.

Luxury Hotels:

  • Presiding over the waterfront, opposite the Royal Palace and Old Town, the aptly-named Grand Hotel has hosted celebrities and Nobel Prize winners in its elegant suites and Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • Those who prefer contemporary Scandinavian style will enjoy the Nobis Hotel on Norrmalmstorg, a public square in the heart of the city.
  • Within walking distance of Gamla Stan and only two minutes from the train station, the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel is a reliable chain option in a fantastic location.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • A five-minute walk from Gamla Stan, in the trendy Södermalm area, the Hilton Stockholm Slussen offers beautiful views of the city.
  • The modern Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel , which shimmers in the heart of the city, is less than three kilometers from the Royal Palace and Old Town.
  • Travelers seeking a more historic ambience should consider the Sven Vintappare Hotel in the heart of Gamla Stan, which is steeped in 17th-century charm.

Budget Hotels:

  • Perhaps the most unique budget hotel options close to the historic sites are on the water — literally. The Rygerfjord Hotel and Hostel , Red Boat Hotel and Hostel , and Loginn Hotel are boat hotels with cozy cabin rooms within walking distance of the Old Town.
  • For those who prefer a hotel on dry land, Best Western Hotel Fridhemsplan offers a variety of room configurations, including family rooms, a five-minute train ride from the city center.


Sweden is known for its vibrant cities and quaint towns. From Stockholm, you can venture into the picturesque countryside for fun day trips , including a visit to the university city of Uppsala . A mere 35-minute flight from the capital, the gorgeous island of Gotland is a popular place to visit on vacation. On the western side of the country, Gothenburg has a milder climate than Stockholm and more of a European feel, while to the south of Gothenburg, both Helsingborg and Malmo lie only a short hop from neighboring Denmark , across the Oresund strait.

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Visiting Stockholm and Its Gorgeous Archipelago

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A long jetty in a river lined with boats. A large cathedral in the background is lit by the sun


Imagine strolling through a pine-scented forest that opens onto a sparkling lake, where you can take a refreshing dip as the sunshine’s rays warm you. That magical setting—which you can find all over Sweden—is just part of the appeal of summertime in the country, when it takes on a special enchanted feel. Residents head to holiday homes on the country’s many lakes and coastal islands to enjoy a Scandinavian version of dolce far niente. Days are spent hiking and swimming in spectacular settings and lingering over mouthwatering meals of cured salmon and pickled herring, followed by desserts made with just-picked berries.

And one of the surprising things about Sweden is that you don’t need to travel to the middle of the wilderness for an experience like this—you can find it right in the middle of Stockholm. Sprawling parks, beaches, hiking trails, and more make the city an ideal place to get outdoors and soak up the fresh air, as you explore some of the city’s 14 islands on foot, bike, and kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Plus, you’ll also be surrounded by Stockholm’s history, architecture, culture, and culinary magic. Everything from the Royal Palace to Michelin-starred restaurants and open-air museums for the whole family await your visit.

But Sweden’s sophisticated capital city won’t be the only spot you’ll experience on this itinerary. Right at the city’s doorstep is the Stockholm Archipelago, a collection of some 30,000 (!) islands clustered off the coast that move to their own rhythm and offer even more outdoor adventures—and delicious Swedish cuisine. These islands feature everything from close-knit communities to sparse rocky outcroppings, and hopping around them will give you a real chance to connect with the people as you connect with nature.

To truly experience Sweden, you need to be there to taste the freshness of the arctic char, smell the crisp pine-scented air, and feel the golden sunshine. And this itinerary puts you in the heart of the action.

Itinerary / 7 DAYS

Two women sitting on the docks.


Swimming in the middle of the city.

Edible Destinations by Epitourean


Edible destinations by epitourean.

People sit. around a picnic table in a park


DAY 1 Arrive in Stockholm

People sit on benches outside a hotel that flies a Swedish flag.

DAY 2 Sandhamn

Docks by the sea at sunset.

DAY 3 Sandhamn Continues

A city on a hill from the seaside.

DAY 4 Return to Stockholm

Two women sit on the docks by a river lined with boats


DAY 5 Kungsholmen

Two women sit on the rocks overlooking a city.

DAY 6 Södermalm

An older couple shop at a market


DAY 7 Return Home

Prawns on a dish with lemons

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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.

travel within 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.


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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stockholm, sweden scenic summer sunset view with colorful sky of the old town architecture in sodermalm district

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden

Come for the style, but be won over by old world glamour, new world Nordic cuisine, and yes, ABBA.

For museum lovers, Stockholm is heaven, with more than 50 museums and cultural institutions for all tastes, from the Viking Museum to the Swedish Museum of Natural History , to the ABBA museum , or if you’re a shopper, well, make haste to Bibliotekstan , a pedestrian-friendly haven of haute couture. From the elevated hipster cocktail-and-cuisine scene in Sodermalm to Michelin-rated chefs in Ostermalm, the city is a sure palate pleaser, just save room for sweets—the licorice here is next level. To help you make the most of 72 hours in Scandinavia’s cultural capital, here’s our curated guide for where to stay, explore, shop, eat and indulge in Stockholm.

grand hôtel stockholm

We love a hotel that’s a destination unto itself, and for 150 years, The Grand Hôtel Stockholm has been exactly that—unquestionably grand and THE place to stay for tourists, royalty and visiting politicians, rockstars, Nobel winners and movie stars. It opened in 1874 as Scandinavia’s first international luxury hotel, and has offered its signature high-touch hospitality every day since.

The hotel offers 70 spacious suites, including nine designed by Scandinavian notables including Susanne Josephson and Martin Brudnizki, but the standard rooms are beautifully comfortable too, and service across the board is five star. Honestly, given its century and a half of Stockholm history, you can absorb much of the city’s flavor without ever leaving the hotel, but with the best shopping, sight-seeing and dining all in easy walking distance, why not venture out?

Thursday Afternoon

colourful buildings stortorget, stockholm, sweden

Drop your bags then stroll across the bridge to Gamla Stan, where the Vikings first set up shop in 1000 CE. Today “Old Town” is Europe’s best preserved medieval city center, thanks to the small island becoming the Baltic shipping and trading hub in the 13th century, and home of the Royal Palace and Royal Chapel. Wander around its enchanting warren of narrow cobbled streets and 16th-century buildings in hues of ochre, rust and weathered green.

Not surprisingly, there’s excellent antiquing— Brinken Antik has a lovely collection of silver, bronze candelabras, plus carved wood toys—and a plethora of gift shops and local craft stores (fabulous yarn/wool at Makeri14 ), especially along Västerlånggatan. Up your IQ with a quick stop at the Nobel Museum , then reward your hard-working brain with licorice tastings at Lakritsroten .

Friday Evening

a fish on a plate with food

Before leaving Gamla Stan, savor an apothecary-esque cocktail at the Pharmarium , then head back to the Grand Hôtel for a traditional Swedish smörgåsbord dinner—an elaborate spread of all things pickled herring and smoked fish, boiled potatoes, fresh salads, and traditional meatballs and sweets, at Veranda .

Evidently there’s a science to how one smörgåsbords, and thankfully your server will guide you through, including the traditional shot of Aquavit with lager chaser, which we highly recommend.

Friday Morning

gustav vasa museum and nordiska museum, djurgarden, stockholm, sweden

Grab breakfast at the hotel's Veranda restaurant, which will fortify you for a morning of museum-going. Before heading out, ask the concierge if you can peek into the hotel’s regal, Versailles-inspired Hall of Mirrors, site of numerous galas and the first 29 Nobel Ceremonies.

Walk 20 minutes down the Strandvagen to Djurgården , where you can get carried away by museum after museum— the Viking Museum , the Spritmuseum (hello Absolut and spirits galore!), the Nordiska Museet , to name just a few. But if you’re a mere mortal and need to pace yourself, start with ABBA The Museum , because Mama Mia, you’re in Sweden . Even if you’re not a die-hard ABBA fan, you’ll enjoy learning how these four Swedes took the rock world by storm 50 years ago, winning the 1974 Eurovision award with their breakout hit, “Waterloo.” It’s interactive, informative, and a blast. Warning, take the museum’s tagline to heart: “Walk in. Dance out.”

Next, dance on over to the Vasa Museum , where you can time travel from 1970s-era rock stadiums to a 17th-century maritime marvel, and one of the world’s most remarkable discovery stories. Imagine a four-story tall, massive wooden ship—think Titanic, circa 1628—that sank on its maiden voyage right in Stockholm harbor, and sat 100 feet underwater for 333 years. Now here it is, fully restored, including its elaborate carvings. Truly, you have to see it (and smell that old wood smell) to believe it.

Friday Afternoon

grand hotel stockholm

For lunch, walk back down the Strandvägen toward Ostermalm’s Saluhall, Stockholm’s historic farmers' market and food hall, where you can find a bit of everything, from healthy wraps and juices to decadent seafood entrees, to smørrebrød, pizza and confectionaries.

Now it’s time for serious Scandi design indulgence, which means one thing: Svenskt Tenn . This mecca for Swedish home interiors is chock-full of furniture, fabrics, jewelry, home accessories and more. The legacy of design pioneers Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank remains vivid as you wander the two-story showroom where tabletop arrangements, classic Frank textile designs and bold new patterns entice. Before you leave, enjoy fika (Swedish custom of sweet treat and warm drink) at the Café Svenskt Tenn , in honor of Ericson, a tea aficionado.

Be sure to return to the hotel in plenty of time to cap your afternoon off with the full Nordic sauna and cold plunge experience in the Grand Hôtel’s luxurious spa.

royal swedish opera kungliga operan in stockholm at twilight, sweden, scandinavia

Begin your evening with cocktails at the hotel's Cadier Bar , where bar manager Anton Windmar’s imaginative menu, created anew each year, distills the essence of Sweden’s unparalleled natural beauty (archipelago, Northern Lights, meadow flowers…) into drink. Everything here is art, from the original watercolors accompanying each concoction, to the custom-created sculptural glassware designed for each drink, to the bar’s see-and-be-seen ambiance.

Then options include checking out what’s on offer at the stunning Kungliga Operan , Stockholm’s performing arts center, a few steps away from the hotel, or enjoying the intrepid culinary offerings at Ekstedt , home of award-winning wood-fired cuisine. If you prefer something more casual, Olli is a spunky neighborhood restaurant equally beloved for its playlists and satisfying Northern Italian food.

Saturday Morning

aerial view of nordic museum, stockholm, sweden

Today it’s back over to Östermalm and neighboring Norrmalm (both a 15-minute walk) for the ultimate Scandinavian shopping experience. First stop, Acne Studios , where you’ll find tastemaker Jonny Johansson latest men’s and women’s ready-to-wear styles in a showroom that was formerly a bank where a robbery/hostage crisis in 1973 gave rise to the term “Stockholm syndrome.”

Nearby, Rodebjer’s flagship studio offers playfully eccentric fashion for the woman “who wants to get on with her life while still looking and feeling good,” according to designer Carin Rodebjer. All Blues is a must for artisanal jewelry with distinctly Swedish clean lines and shapes. Totême , along Bibliosteksgatan, is sublimely sleek and chic, while Houdini , another Swedish brand, is a go-to for activewear (especially if it’s cold!).

To refuel after all that high fashion, how ‘bout down-to-earth hot dogs at the famed Stockholm Hot Dog Stand ? Alternatively, Restaurant Hantverket has a well-rounded menu for a more upscale midday meal. Or if you power through past lunch and can hold out until the delightful Tyge & Sessil opens at 4 p.m., treat yourself to wine and small plates from celebrity chef Niklas Ekstedt (especially if you didn’t go to Ekstedt for Friday dinner).

Saturday Afternoon

narrow alley in gamla stan, stockholm, sweden

If you’re up for another 30-minute stroll, walk back through Gamla Stan, or take the ferry from the hotel’s waterfront to the near shore of Södermalm, where along the water and looking back to the Grand Hôtel, the Fotografiska is Stockholm’s ode to contemporary photography.

Rotating exhibits feature world-class fine art photography from the likes of Cindy Sherman and Kary Lasch (on view through April 2024). The museum feels like an expansive, edgy gallery—easy to maneuver, with artwork presented in informative, engaging context. Save time for the gift shop, which has great gifts and souvenirs at good prices.

Saturday Evening

grand hotel restaurant stockholm

For your final night, indulge in either of Michelin-starred chef Mathias Dahlgren’s restaurants, Matbaren or Seafood Gastro, both culinary destinations in and of themselves yet conveniently located within the Grand Hôtel. Matbaren offers a seasonal seafood-forward menu in a modern, casual bistro atmosphere, while Seafood Gastro is a multi-course tasting experience centered around aquatic ingredients, that will, frankly, blow you away.

The custom-crafted plateware from Norway’s Odd Standard is as much a delicacy as the dishes themselves. Add wine pairings and you’ll have an evening beyond compare, not to mention a new-found appreciation for Sweden’s shining culinary moment.

Sunday Morning

kungsträdgården stockholm

After so much shopping, eating, and museum-going, spend your last hours in Stockholm taking in the nearby parks and green spaces, including the Kungsträdgården , also known as Kungsan or Stockholm’s central park. Watch ice skaters if you visit in the winter, or enjoy coffee at an outdoor café on warmer days.

The city’s slightly off-the-beaten path green oasis, Skeppsholmen , is a small islet just to the east of the hotel, where you can meander around the perimeter and take in incredible views of Gamla Stan and Strandvägen across the water. If you’ve got the stamina for one more museum, the contemporary art at Moderna Museet is certainly worth seeing.

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7 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Stockholm

Last Modified: April 8, 2024 //  by  Anda //   24 Comments

Stockholm is a great escape for the urban traveler. By virtue of its location on the shores of Lake Mälaren, Stockholm is considered one of the most beautiful European capitals. If you plan to visit it in the future, here are some things to know before you visit Stockholm.

Bridge in downtown Stockholm

Table of Contents

What to expect when you visit Stockholm

Stockholm first impressions, stockholm card – getting around in stockholm, credit cards in stockholm, best time to visit stockholm, the weather in stockholm, how much time should you spend in stockholm, they speak great english in stockholm, food in stockholm, where to stay in stockholm.

Stockholm is beautiful, clean, and easy to explore. It’s stylish and sophisticated with impressive buildings, grand boulevards, charming alleyways and relaxing green spaces. Spread across a whole chain of islands, the Swedish capital is virtually located on the water. So no matter where you go, you will enjoy great water views and cross a lot of bridges.

Architecturally wise, Stockholm is a mixture of traditional Neoclassic and modern architecture that seems to blend seamlessly in most parts of the city.

Street in Stockholm's Old Town

Stockholm is an unusual city. Despite being spread across 14 islands, Stockholm seems pretty well-connected and easy to explore. Due to the 57 bridges that connect the islands you don’t feel that Stockholm is in fact an archipelago.

Buildings in Downtown Stockholm

Stockholm is incredibly clean and well organized. You can roam the area at will by bus, subway, ferry, or train. Transportation however is not cheap, so your best bet is the  Stockholm Card that gives you free access almost everywhere in the county and entrances to most museums.

The best way to get to the city center from the Arlanda International Airport is the Arlanda Express. The speed train that travels at a speed of 200 km/hour is clean, carpeted and has comfortable seats and roomy luggage areas. The trip takes merely 20 minutes to the Central Station. Armanda Express has big sales quite often. It’s good to check the prices before you go and reserve the tickets on the Internet.

view of the Stockholm Central Station

Another good surprise was that you can use your credit card almost everywhere in Stockholm, even for very small purchases. You can actually get by without exchanging any Swedish Krona, which is very convenient. We didn’t know that, so we came prepared with a few hundred Swedish Krona, but didn’t have to exchange any more money after we spent our cash.

Summers are beautiful in Stockholm, not too cold, not too hot and with enough hours of light to allow you do anything you want. Sleeping is however difficult, since the light of dawn breaks at 4 am. June to August is typically the best time to visit the Swedish capital. While most European cities melt in the summer sun, Stockholm thrives during this time of year.

Stockholm at night

The weather in Stockholm however changes unbelievably fast. The first thing you’ll discover here is that forecasts are totally useless. It may be sunny and warm in the morning, then turn cold and windy in the afternoon. Or you may wake up to a gloomy rainy day that will become a spectacular sunny evening with clear blue skies sprinkled with fluffy white clouds. 

When you visit Stockholm you should be prepared to put on and take off your clothes continuously. Dressing in layers is the best idea.

This city has an impressive array of museums , parks , art galleries and great restaurants. If this is your first time in Stockholm, you should spend at least a week in Stockholm if you want to get a sense of the city and visit some of its main attractions.

By virtue of its location, Stockholm makes it very easy to venture outside the city limits for some nice day trips or  weekend getaways  in the beautiful Stockholm Archipelago.

View of downtown Stockholm

With so many attractions and cool places to explore, you can be sure you won’t run out of things to do in Stockholm  even if you have two weeks. You will probably need at least 3 days to cover most of the city’s attractions. But even if you one have one day in Stockholm you’ll still be able to see a lot.

My greatest surprise when I started visiting Stockholm was that everyone here speaks English. Even the older generation is fluent enough in English to be able to sustain a mundane conversation. This makes getting around the city really easy and it makes you feel welcome.

Stockholm skyline

Food in Stockholm  is outstandingly good but equally expensive. Prices start at around 150–200 SEK for a main course at a restaurant, but the sky is really the limit. There are however plenty of inexpensive places to eat in Stockholm, from food halls and snack bars to decent budget restaurants.  

No matter where you eat, Swedish food will not disappoint you. Starting with the hearty and diverse breakfasts that hotels serve and finishing with the elegant restaurants, there is something for every taste. You can taste everything, from traditional Swedish dishes to international extravagant delights.

Delicious food plate in one of Stockholm restaurants

Chances are that you’ll gain a few pounds during when you visit Stockholm.

Hotels in Central Stockholm are expensive and offer a minimal level of comfort. However, it’s very important to you stay close to the city center, especially if you only have one day in Stockholm . The rooms are clean but small, with barely any floor space to walk around. Nearly the entire room is taken up by the bed. There is not even enough space to put a small suitcase on the floor.

Hotel room in Stockholm

Most rooms offer a dressing mirror hanging on the wall next to a flat screen TV. There are no ironing boards, no sewing kits, no shoe polish utensils. Additional pillows and blankets are only on demand. Internet connection is not complimentary.

You can check prices here:

travel within stockholm

Furnishings are simple, with very modern lines, designed to save as much space as possible. The work desks are barely large enough to accommodate a laptop and a camera. The rest of your stuff will have to remain stored in your suitcase, as there are no dressers, or closets, or any other kind of flat surfaces around. Just a few pegs on the wall and a metal bar with hangers for your clothes.

Bathrooms at hotels in Stockholm

Bathrooms are equally tiny, with shower stalls that have no base, so the water leaks on the bathroom floor when you shower. We checked several 3 and 4 star hotels in the city center (in the $180-$250/night price category) and they all seemed to offer the same level of comfort. Breakfast however is complimentary and is excellent.

Colorful buildings in Gamla Stan

People in Stockholm are nice and polite, but not particularly friendly. They are rather shy and reserved and will surely not return your smile. This appears even more evident when you are in an eclectic group of tourists and people get involved in conversations with other travelers. But not with the Swedes. They will just act like they are not even there. Saying ‘hi’ or having eye contact with a stranger, even in an elevator in the same building, is not their style. The wall, or the scenery is way more interesting!

Visiting Stockholm on the bike

People in Stockholm love bikes and they use them in all weather conditions. What surprised me is that they leave their bikes on the sidewalks overnight without any security locks. It seems that the great majority of the population in this city owns a bike, so bike theft is not a concern. Sightseeing Stockholm on a bike is most likely the best way to get around and see the attractions.


  • 10 Fantastic Things to Do in Stockholm in a Week
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  • 5 Amazing Day Trips From Stockholm You Shouldn’t Miss

Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

travel within stockholm

Reader Interactions

December 16, 2019 at 1:27 am

Stockholm is an attractive city, I really plan to visit it 🙂

December 6, 2016 at 7:24 am

It’s nice that the locals feel that they can leave their bikes without a lock – you couldn’t get away with that in London ;-). Crime levels must be really low? I’ve been to Stockholm years ago but would love to return

December 4, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for this beautiful post Anda! 🙂 Stockholm is on my bucket list for way too long. I wanted to visit the city because of the most famous open air folk museum, where everything started – the first “skansen” in the world. But I didn’t read anything about the city itself – not until now. Thanks! 🙂

Anda Galffy

December 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Skansen is definitely a must see in Stockholm, but there are so many other great attractions as well.

Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

December 1, 2016 at 9:57 pm

You’ve taught me so much, starting with that first sentence. It’s really nice that many people speak English and that you aren’t required to use cash all the time. (I do find dealing with all the foreign coins confusing.) It sounds like the only real downside is how expensive everything is. Lovely city though according to your photos.

December 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm

To be honest, Michele, most Western European cities are equally expensive, so…

Paula McInerney

November 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Such a beautiful city. I am just in love with gorgeous European cities and towns.

November 29, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Me too, Paula, me too. I miss Europe so much, sometimes I feel like moving back there.

Angie (FeetDoTravel)

November 27, 2016 at 11:11 am

Of all the posts I have read on Stockholm, I don’t believe I have seen one quite so comprehensive and looking so sunny and inviting! I visited Stockholm in the winter when snow was on the ground so it looks very different and I would love to return and experience it in the summer as you did. #TheWeeklyPostcard

November 27, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Thank you, Angie. I can only imagine how different this city must look in winter.

Lyn aka The Travelling Lindfields

November 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

I agree with you that Stockholm is a beautiful city. We found it quite expensive for both accommodation and food but that is the only downside to an otherwise perfect European travel destination. We first visited Stockholm many years ago and English was prevalent even there. My experience is that the smaller European countries have many more English speakers than the larger ones do, simply because they need a second language for their own travel and English is the most useful.

November 27, 2016 at 8:00 am

I agree with you, Lyn. You will find more English speakers in a country like Romania than you will find in Spain.

November 26, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Stockholm looks really beautiful. It seems a bit pricey, but I would love to visit one day.

November 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Stockholm is such a great city and I see you were lucky to have perfect weather like I did when I visited (apparently just a week before that it was raining a lot). I loved how nice everyone is, it’s something I don’t always notice in every city I visit. Your photos are Gorgeous and they have surely made me miss the city. Hoping my next year summer plans work out so I get to visit Stockholm again.

November 27, 2016 at 8:13 am

I’d love to go back too, Vlad. There is so much to see in this city.

November 25, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I’ve never had a strong itch to visit Nordic Europe. I don’t why; the town and the food all look lovely.

Cat | For Two, Please

November 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

What a great informative post! Will definitely look into Stockholm Card to save some money!!

November 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm

This is a very thorough and fantastic post for first time visitors! One day I will make it to Sweden! It’s at the TOP of my list, after our honeymoon trip next summer! #TheWeeklyPostcard

November 25, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Hope you’ll get to visit Stockholm, Lolo.

Elaine J Masters

November 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Stockholm is on my list. Interesting about the few amenities in hotel rooms and not returning smiles!! I hadn’t thought of the Swedes as being so introverted. Will just have to research this on my own one day.

November 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Stockholm is a very attractive city and the food is really outstanding.

November 25, 2016 at 7:06 am

I’ve heard so many great things about Stockholm, and actually, you sold it to me on the first sentence: islands, bridges, and views of water — definitely my kind of place. But I knew it was too good to be true – or rather, too good to be cheap. I kind of suspected it would be expensive, but I’m pretty sure it was well worth the visit! Beautiful pictures as always, Anda.

November 25, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Yea, Stockholm was my kind of place too, Liz. However in winter I don’t believe it’s so appealing.

Albom Adventures

November 25, 2016 at 1:34 am

Stockholm looks very interesting. It doesn’t sound like a budget destination but I have heard and read great things.

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travel within stockholm

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Travel Guide

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Getting Around in Stockholm

By Public Transportation

You can travel throughout Stockholm county by bus, local train, subway (T-bana), and trams, going from Singö in the north to Nynäshamn in the south. The routes are divided into zones, and one ticket is valid for all types of public transportation in the same zone within 1 hour of the time the ticket is stamped.

Regular Fares -- The basic fare for public transportation (in Stockholm this means subway, tram/streetcar, or bus) requires tickets purchased from the agent in the tollbooth on the subway platform, not from a vending machine. Each ticket costs 20SEK ($4/£2), and allows travel to points within most of urban Stockholm, all the way to the borders of the inner city. You can transfer (or double back and return to your starting point) within 1 hour of your departure for free. For more information, search .

Special Discount Tickets -- Your best transportation bet is to purchase a tourist season ticket. A 1-day card, costing 100SEK ($20/£10) for adults and 60SEK ($12/£6) for ages 7 to 20 and seniors, is valid for 24 hours of unlimited travel by T-bana, bus, and commuter train within Stockholm. It also includes passage on the ferry to Djurgården. Most visitors will prefer the 3-day card for 200SEK ($40/£20) for adults and 120SEK ($24/£12) for ages 7 to 20 and seniors, valid for 72 hours in both Stockholm and the adjacent county. The 3-day card also is valid for admission to Skansen, Kaknästornet, and Gröna Lund. Kids up to 7 years of age can travel free with an adult. These tickets are available at tourist information offices, in subway stations, and at most news vendors. Call tel. 08/600-10-00 for more information.

Stockholmskortet ( Stockholm Card; is a personal discount card that allows unlimited travel by bus, subway, and local trains throughout the city and county of Stockholm (except on airport buses). You can take a sightseeing tour with City Sightseeing, where you can get on and off as often as you please. These tours are available daily from mid-June to mid-August. In addition, the card enables you to take a boat trip to the Royal Palace of Drottningholm for half-price. Admission to 75 museums and attractions is also included in the package.

You can purchase the card at several places in the city, including the Tourist Center in Sweden House, Hotell Centralen, the Central Station, the tourist information desk in City Hall (in summer), the Kaknäs TV tower, SL-Center Sergels Torg (subway entrance level), and Pressbyrän newsstands. The cards are stamped with the date and time at the first point of usage. A 24-hour card costs 330SEK ($66/£33) for adults and 160SEK ($32/£16) for ages 7 to 20 and seniors; a 48-hour card is 460SEK ($92/£46) for adults and 190SEK ($38/£19) for children and seniors; and a 72-hour card is 580SEK ($116/£58) for adults and 220SEK ($44/£22) for children and seniors.

By T-bana (Subway) -- Before entering the subway, passengers tell the ticket seller the destination, and then purchase tickets. Subway entrances are marked with a blue "T" on a white background. For information about schedules, routes, and fares, phone tel. 08/600-10-00.

By Bus -- Where the subway line ends, the bus begins; therefore, if a subway connection doesn't conveniently cover a particular area of Stockholm, a bus will. The two systems have been coordinated to complement each other. Many visitors use a bus to reach Djurgården (although you can walk) because the T-bana doesn't go here.

If you're driving around the Swedish capital, you'll find several parking garages in the city center as well as on the outskirts. In general, you can park at marked spaces Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm. Exceptions or rules for specific areas are indicated on signs in the area.

Taxis are expensive -- in fact, the most expensive in the world. The meter starts at 45SEK ($9/£4.50), and costs can range upwards from 307SEK ($61/£31) per hour. Those that display an illuminated dome light can be hailed directly on the street, or you can order one by phone. Taxi Stockholm (tel. 08/15-00-00; is one of the city's larger, more reputable companies. Unlike other Nordic nations, Sweden has not been successful at regulating its taxi industry. More than any other nation in Scandinavia, in Sweden, it's best to inquire before you get in whether the taxi is metered or -- if the driver is proposing a set price -- what the price will be.

Ferries from Skeppsbron on Gamla Stan (near the bridge to Södermalm) will take you to Djurgården if you don't want to walk or go by bus. They leave every 20 minutes Monday to Friday from 7:40am to midnight, and about every 15 minutes on Saturday to Sunday, 9am to midnight, charging 30SEK ($6/£3) for adults and seniors and children 7 to 12; passage is free for children under 7.

The best place to go cycling is on Djurgården. You can rent bicycles from Djurgårdsbrons Skepp o Hoj, Djurgårdsbron (tel. 08/660-57-57 ), for about 250SEK ($50/£25) per day. It's open May to August daily from 9am to 9pm.

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

10 Ways to Visit Stockholm on a Budget

A lovely view of the streets of Gamla Stan on a sunny day in Stockholm

Stockholm . It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. I love its historical architecture, the natural beauty of the archipelago, the wild nightlife, and the beautiful people that call the city home.

Throw in lots of parks, delicious cafés, and delicious food and you’ve got the recipe for one of the greatest destinations in the world .

In fact, I love the city so much I even tried to move there!

Over the years, I’ve developed a great network of friends in Stockholm and I’ve been there so much I feel like I know it like a local. If Stockholm didn’t suffer from arctic winter conditions (ok, a slight exaggeration), it would be the most perfect city in the world.

A lot of budget travelers skip visiting Stockholm (and Scandinavia in general) because it’s expensive. There’s no denying that Stockholm is pricey compared to other cities around Europe .

However, a visit there doesn’t need to break your budget. By following a few simple tips, you can drastically cut your expenses and make the city much more affordable.

That doesn’t mean it will be cheap, but these tips will definitely help you keep your budget intact as you explore this beautiful Scandinavian city.  

1. Take a Free Walking Tour

One of the first things I do when I arrive in a new city is take a walking tour. It’s the best way to learn about the city, see the major sights, and get your questions answered by a local expert.

Like most major cities in Europe, Stockholm has several free walking tours available. The best ones are run by Free Tour Stockholm who offer tours of the Old Town (Gamla Stan), highlighting the city’s best sights, history, and gorgeous arcitecture.

Tours are available in English, Spanish, and German. Each tour lasts a couple of hours and is free — just be sure to tip your guide at the end!  

2. Cut Your Food Budget

While grocery costs are comparable to most major cities in the world, eating out in Stockholm is incredibly expensive. I try to avoid dining out as much as possible as a result. Fortunately, there are are a few ways to lower your food budget without missing out.

Cook your own meals  – Groceries in Stockholm can cost 600-700 SEK per week, which is a great value when the average prepared meal is around 125–250 SEK. It’s much less expensive to cook your own food than eat out at restaurants. The cheapest grocery store chains here are Willy’s and Lidl.

Most hostels in Stockholm have a kitchen/self-catering facilities (as do apartments on Airbnb ). If you plan on cooking, make sure you choose accommodation that can facilitiate that.

Avoid sit-down restaurants  -If you still want to eat out, try to stick to street food or pizza. Additionally, Thai and Middle Eastern food are usually quite affordable as well. You can find filling meals for under 100 SEK. You’ll pay closer to 200 SEK for a basic meal at a restaurant with table service so avoid those as much as possible.

Additionally, skip anything on Drottninggatan (the city’s main shopping street) and sit-down restaurants in Gamla Stan. Both are overpriced.

Try the lunch buffets  – If you want to eat out at a restaurant, stick to lunch buffets. They usually cost around 120 SEK and are the best way to maximize your meal spending. Just arrive early to beat the rush. Two of the best buffet restaurants in the city are Herman’s and Hermitage. They both offer delicious home-cooked meals with tons of variety.

Refill your water bottle  – Bottled water here is expensive — it’s 22 SEK for a bottle! The tap water in the city is safe to drink (and is one of the cleanest in the world) so bring a reusable water bottle to save yourself some money. You can fill it up easily at most cafes. My go-to bottle is LifeStraw , since it has a built-in filter to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

3. Take Advantage of the Free Parks

The parks in Stockholm are free, and in the winter, there’s free ice skating. You can also wander Gamla Stan and Södermalm and just take in the city’s beauty. They’re a great place to relax, have a picnic, read, and people watch.

My favorite parks in the city are Djurgarden, Langholmen, Gärdet, and Ralambshovsparken. They have huge open spaces and are good for a number of outdoor activities or lounging around — especially on those long summer days!

4. Visit Free Museums

Museums in Stockholm are not cheap but there are a handful that are free (or at least offer free hours). Here are the best free museums and attractions in the city:

  • National Museum of Sweden
  • Museum of Natural History
  • The Museum of Modern Arts
  • The Swedish History Museum
  • The Maritime Museum
  • The Museum of Medieval Stockholm
  • National Library of Sweden
  • The Ethnography Museum

Be sure to check with the local tourism office to see if any other museums are offering free hours or exhibits. There are many free art exhibits and events that come to town, and they’ll have a list of them all. You can learn more about these museums in my free guide to Stockholm .  

5. Limit Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is not cheap in Sweden . If you want to destroy your budget, drink. If you want to have your money last a little longer, cut down on your alcohol consumption. Avoid wine (way overpriced), skip the clubs (overpriced cover), and stick to beer, which is the cheapest alcohol you can get.

If you do go out to drink, stick to happy hours. And if you plan on having a wild night out, buy your alcohol at Systembolaget (the government-run liquor store) and pre-drink to keep costs low. Just keep in mind that Systembolaget has limited hours and is closed on Sundays.  

6. See the Archipelago on the Cheap

The Swedish archipelago is absolutely beautiful — especially in the summer. Thousands of islands dot the region and there are numerous cruises and tours from the city that will take you around during the day (or during sunset).

But those tours are expensive.

If you want to see and experience the archipelago cheaply, take the public ferries to the outer islands. Tickets are 50–150 SEK depending on what island you visit (by comparison, day tours are 250 SEK or more).

Use Waxholmsbolaget for the most affordable tickets. From October to March, tickets are much cheaper so consider visiting in the shoulder season if you’re on a tight budget.  

7. Get Transportation and Tourist Passes

Stockholm metro tickets are costly (38 SEK per ticket), but you can buy an unlimited transportation card for 415 SEK (plus 20 SEK for the card needed) that’s valid for seven days (that’s only 62 SEK per day). There is also a 24-hour card for 160 SEK, and a 72-hour pass for 315 SEK.

While the city is incredibly walkable, be sure to get a pass if you plan on taking the subway or bus; all you need to do is use public transport twice a day to make the pass a better value than individual tickets.

And if you plan on seeing a lot of attractions or visiting a lot of museums, get the Go City Stockholm Card . It provides free entry to over 60 of the top attractions, including sightseeing tours, museums, and monuments. Single-day passes are 669 SEK and five-day passes are 1,569. While not cheap, if you do a lot of sightseeing you can easily save a lot of money.  

8. Use Hotel Points

Got hotel points? Use them! Using points and miles is the best way to save money when you’re visiting an expensive destination, whether it’s getting a free flight or free accommodation. Marriott and Hilton hotels all have locations here in the city that can be booked with points.

Free is always better than spending money.

9. Stay at the Cheap Hostels

If you’re on a tight budget, stay at the cheaper hostels in the city, like Lodge32 (there are cheaper hotels, but they have terrible ratings; this is the cheapest hostel with a decent rating). You’ll save upwards of 100 SEK per night doing this, which will add up after a few days of exploring the city.

Conversely, you can also stay at my favorite hostel in the city, City Backpackers . While not as cheap, they offer free pasta (which can save your food budget) and a free sauna (which is just a fun perk).

For other hostels in the city, check out my list of the best hostels in Stockholm !  

10. Use a Hospitality Network

Since accommodation is expensive in Stockholm, consider using Couchsurfing . It’s a site that connects travelers with locals who offer a free place to stay. You can cut out your accommodation costs and get to know the local culture, since there are a lot of hosts here who take part in a very active Couchsurfing community. They organize a lot of meet-ups (including weekly language exchanges), and this is a great way to make some friends.

Even if you don’t want to stay with a local, you can use the app to meet locals and other travelers for a coffee, a meal, or to visit a museum.

Airbnb is also popular here and is an affordable option for anyone looking for privacy but who doesnt want to pay for an expensive hotel.

Visiting Stockholm doesn’t need to bust your budget completely. Sure, it’s expensive but there are many ways to save money here. While it’s never going to be dirt cheap, it can still be affordable if you plan ahead and embrace the tips above.

Don’t let the prices keep you away from this underrated and oft-skipped destination. It’s worth every penny!

Book Your Trip to Stockholm: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:

  • City Backpackers

If you’re looking for more places to stay, here are my favorite hostels in Stockholm . If you’re wondering what part of town to stay in, here’s my neighborhood breakdown of Stockholm !

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Stockholm Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Stockholm for even more planning tips!

Got a comment on this article? Join the conversation on Facebook , Instagram , or Twitter and share your thoughts!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend only products and companies I use and the income goes to keeping the site community supported and ad free.

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A view overlooking the Old Town in sunny Stockholm, Sweden

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Färjor i Stockholm. Ett kryssningsfartyg ligger förtöjt utanför Slussen. Kväll. I bakgrunden syns Gamla stan. Ljuset från byggnaderna speglas i vattnet.

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Ferries and cruise ships

Publish date : 10 December 2021

Traveling to Stockholm by sea? Here's what you need to know.

Several major ferry lines operate in the Baltic Sea, and Stockholm's harbors are centrally located. Stockholm is also a popular cruise destination and every year around 300 cruise liners from all over the world arrive its the harbors. The approach through the beautiful Stockholm archipelago with its 30,000 islands is an experience in itself. Read more about ferries and cruising to Stockholm below, or see all vessel calls in the ports of Stockholm here .

All inner-city harbors are equipped for international cruise ship arrivals. Their central location makes Stockholm a unique cruise destination with city sights, museums, and galleries, shopping, cafés, and restaurants all within easy reach.

Piers in Stockholm

  • Nybroviken 5:  Right in the city center, 5 min walk to the Old Town.
  • Skeppsbron:  Next to the Royal Palace in the Old Town. Walking distance to most shops and attractions.
  • Mooring Buoy:  Right in the Old Town. Walking distance to most shops and attractions.
  • Stadsgården 160:  10 min walk to the Old Town; 20 min to the city center.
  • Stadsgården 165/167:  20 min walk to the Old Town; 30 min to the city center; 10 min by taxi or bus.
  • Värtahamnen 523:  3 km; 10 min by taxi or 20 min by bus.
  • Frihamnen 650:  3 km; 10 min by taxi or 20 min by bus.
  • Frihamnen 634/638:  3 km; 10 min by taxi or 20 min by bus.

Passenger terminals

  • Stockholm Cruise Center, Frihamnen 638
  • Stockholm Cruise Center, Stadsgården 165/167 , same building as the Fotografiska museum.

Both passenger terminals have toilets, souvenir shops, telephones, post boxes, internet access, and restaurants/cafes that are open during cruise calls.

Looking for more?

Anchors aweigh: enjoy stockholm from a boat.

Categories : Activities

Discover Scandinavian design through the hotels of Stockholm

Categories : Tourist attractions

Have a sustainable stay in Stockholm

Spend a night or two in the stockholm archipelago.

Categories : Excursions

Tourist information

Categories : Travel info

To and from the airports

27 handy apps to use in stockholm.


  1. Getting around in Stockholm

    A single journey ticket for the Stockholm subway, as well as buses, trams, commuter trains and short-distance SL ferries costs 38 SEK for adults, or 25 SEK for those under 20 or over 65, and registered older students. It's valid for 75 minutes and includes as many station or line changes as you need during that period.

  2. 20 Essential Travel Tips for First-Time Stockholm Visitors

    Avoid the central station, 'T-Centralen,' at 4pm and at around 8 in the morning, if you can help it—this is when the 'stress tunnel' between the different metro lines is at its most ...

  3. The official guide to Stockholm

    See & do. Eat & Drink. Live & Work. Visit Stockholm is your guide to Stockholm and the Stockholm Archipelago. Get tips on restaurants, cafés, bars, shops, events, exhibitions, and activities.

  4. 9 travel tips for first-time Stockholm visitors

    6. The subway is an art gallery: The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world's longest art exhibit. Over the last few years, the interest has grown so big that SL (Stockholm Public Transport) now offers free guided art tours in English all year round. All you need is a valid subway ticket. 7.

  5. Getting around Stockholm's archipelago

    Other options for exploring Stockholm archipelago. There are other ways to travel to and within Stockholm archipelago, too. Strömma Kanalbolaget is another ferry company trafficking the area. Their focus is on cruises, activities and sightseeing tours; it's a great choice for organised day trips and excursions in the archipelago and on lake ...

  6. 3 Days in Stockholm Itinerary: A Perfect Guide for First-Timers

    Norrmalm: Located in the heart of Stockholm, Norrmalm is perfect for first-timers as it's within walking distance of most of the city's main attractions and right next door to Gamla Stan. It's packed with great restaurants, bars, and cafes, pedestrian-only shopping streets, museums, and parks. Gamla Stan: The historic Old Town of ...

  7. The Ultimate 3 to 4 Days in Stockholm Itinerary

    This is the perfect opportunity to head to the world's oldest open-air museum, Skansen. Built in 1899, Skansen is an open-air museum located on the Djurgården island of Stockholm and makes for a really fun stop on this itinerary. The thoughts and inspirations behind the museum were to showcase everyday life in different parts of Sweden ...

  8. The Ultimate Stockholm Travel Guide • The Blonde Abroad

    This Stockholm travel guide is filled with travel tips to help you get the most from your trip! What to Expect in Stockholm. Language: The most widely spoken ... Hostel is located in the middle of Old Town. It's an affordable option for budget travelers, and you'll be within walking distance of a myriad of shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants ...

  9. What to see & things to do in Stockholm

    Enjoy a crisp day in Stockholm's nature, warm yourself with great music and food, or explore Stockholm's fascinating museums. One day in Stockholm - 24 hours of fun Springtime in Stockholm means cherry blossom trees, film festivals, the start och the long-distance running season, and arena ...

  10. 16 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Stockholm

    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.

  11. 7-Day Travel Itinerary to Stockholm and its Archipelago

    DAY 1 Arrive in Stockholm. After your overnight flight, you'll land in Sweden's capital. Prepare to be awed. Gorgeous Stockholm sits on more than a dozen islands, where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea, and the shimmering waters of its sophisticated setting are stunning any time of year.

  12. 15 best things to do in Stockholm on your next weekend break

    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 ...

  13. 3 Days in Stockholm: The Perfect Stockholm Itinerary

    Rather than end your 72 hours in Stockholm with another day in the city, think about going on a day trip. There are all sorts of remarkable places within reach that can be seen as a day trip from Stockholm. 1. Uppsala. One of the easiest places to reach from Stockholm is the university city of Uppsala, which is just to the north.

  14. Stockholm, Sweden Travel Guide: What to Do in Stockholm

    Next, dance on over to the Vasa Museum, where you can time travel from 1970s-era rock stadiums to a 17th-century maritime marvel, and one of the world's most remarkable discovery stories. Imagine a four-story tall, massive wooden ship—think Titanic, circa 1628—that sank on its maiden voyage right in Stockholm harbor, and sat 100 feet ...

  15. 7 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Stockholm

    Architecturally wise, Stockholm is a mixture of traditional Neoclassic and modern architecture that seems to blend seamlessly in most parts of the city. Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town. Stockholm is an unusual city. Despite being spread across 14 islands, Stockholm seems pretty well-connected and easy to explore.

  16. Top 12 best things to do in Stockholm

    On the entertainment side, many of Stockholm's most popular attractions and museums are located in Djurgården. Several of the ones mentioned in this article, as well as Gröna Lund, The National Museum of Science and Technology, Nordiska Musset, and more. Skansen Open-Air Museum - Beloved by visitors and locals alike, Skansen is the world's ...

  17. Stockholm Budget Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    1. Spend the day at Djurgarden Island. Djurgarden is an island right in the middle of Stockholm. You can take a walking tour, eat at a relaxing restaurant, enjoy the amusement park located here, and visit a historic Swedish village. There are a lot of easy walking paths and it's a popular spot for a picnic.

  18. Getting Around in Stockholm

    You can travel throughout Stockholm county by bus, local train, subway (T-bana), and trams, going from Singö in the north to Nynäshamn in the south. ... is valid for 24 hours of unlimited travel by T-bana, bus, and commuter train within Stockholm. It also includes passage on the ferry to Djurgården. Most visitors will prefer the 3-day card ...

  19. 10 Ways to Visit Stockholm on a Budget in 2024

    My go-to bottle is LifeStraw, since it has a built-in filter to ensure your water is always clean and safe. 3. Take Advantage of the Free Parks. The parks in Stockholm are free, and in the winter, there's free ice skating. You can also wander Gamla Stan and Södermalm and just take in the city's beauty.

  20. Public transportation in Stockholm

    By subway, tram, bus, ferry, or commuter train. Stockholm's local transportation network takes you almost anywhere. Visit Stockholm guides you to the right mode of transportation. To main content ... 27 handy apps to use in Stockholm. Categories:Travel info. To start page. Contact. Stockholm Business Region AB. Fleminggatan 4. SE-112 26 ...

  21. Travel Info

    Read about the do's and don'ts: 9 essential travel tips for Sweden and Stockholm Read about the do's and don'ts Arrow icon. Getting around Stockholm. Thanks to Stockholm's safe, punctual and efficient public transport system, you can quickly travel between different locations. In compact and cozy Stockholm, everything is right on your doorstep.

  22. Ferries and cruise ships

    All inner-city harbors are equipped for international cruise ship arrivals. Their central location makes Stockholm a unique cruise destination with city sights, museums, and galleries, shopping, cafés, and restaurants all within easy reach. Piers in Stockholm. Nybroviken 5: Right in the city center, 5 min walk to the Old Town.