Since I’m born and raised in Stockholm, I know my way around pretty well. In this travel guide, I will share all my local tips such as; how to get around, where to eat traditional Swedish food and where to party at night. Stockholm is a beautiful city that’s full of historic places, great shopping, beautiful landscapes and amazing architecture.
If you are looking for a insiders guide to the capital of Sweden, then you should check out this Stockholm Travel Guide!
Here’s your ultimate Stockholm Travel Guide:
Table of Contents
Things to do in Stockholm
Learn about Swedish history at Vasamuseet / the Vasa Museum
There’s one attraction in Stockholm that you simply cannot miss while you’re in town, and that’s the Vasa Museum. When in Stockholm, you just have to take a guided tour in the museum where you can behold the world’s only preserved ship from the 1600 century. This ship has more than 95 percent of its original parts and gets over 10 million visitors from all over the world each year.
Around the famous Swedish warship are some other interesting exhibitions for you to check out. Here you can get an insight of how it was to live on the famous boat. The Vasa Museum a classic sight in Stockholm and an attraction that you just have to visit during your stay in the capital of Sweden.
Stroll around Djurgården
Next to Östermalm lies a beautiful green and lush island in the central part of Stockholm. Djurgården is one of the most famous sights in the capital, both among locals and tourists. Djurgården offers many things to do and also beautiful trails and parks that are perfect for lovely walks.
On Djurgården, you will also stumble upon some of Stockholm’s best museums and attractions, such as Gröna Lund (amusement park), ABBA the Museum, Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum) and Skansen. It’s easy to get here by foot, tram or bus from Östermalm or with a ferry from old town / Slussen.
Skärgården / The Archipelago of Stockholm
20 minutes from the city center lies a fantastic world of 30.000 beautiful islands and islets. It’s something magical about the archipelago in Stockholm, and I can promise you that this is one sight that you don’t want to miss during your stay. The beautiful archipelago in Stockholm offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking for nightlife or just a relaxing experience of nature.
Skärgården is one of the most popular places to have a red summer cottage in Sweden – and here the locals spend their holidays celebrating midsummer and the famous “Kräftskiva” with their friends and family. If you ever visit Stockholm during summer, then you just have to visit the archipelago to see the Swedes in action!
Usually, I don’t recommend people to visit Skansen, since it’s a zoo. I don’t like parks where they keep animals in captivity.
But, there’s one reason why I think that you should visit Skansen – and that’s to see the traditional Swedish houses. Here they have collected some of the most traditional homes that Swedes used to live in before the industrialization – which is pretty cool!
FUN FACT: One of the traditional houses of Skansen, is the house that my grandma used to live in as a child. If you want to check this house out, it’s called ”Delsbogården.”
Take a stroll in Gamla Stan / Old Town of Stockholm
If you’re the kind of person that are interested in history and beautiful architecture of old buildings, then Old Town is a must for you. This old part of Stockholm is one of the most well-preserved old towns in Europe and also one of the most popular places to visit in town. The old quarters of Sweden’s capital play a major role in the history of Stockholm since it was here Stockholm was founded and where the horrible Stockholm Bloodbath took place.
Today this is one Stockholm’s most cozy districts that are full of cozy restaurants, lovely cafés, cool art galleries and souvenir shops where you can buy typical Swedish souvenirs such as; Viking hats, moose souvenirs and “I Love Stockholm” t-shirts. According to me, a visit to the capital is not complete without a stroll in old town.
Enjoy a cup of coffee and a fantastic view of Stockholm at Fjällgatan
Fjällgatan is one of the best places to enjoy a panoramic view of Stockholm. Fjällgatan lies on Södermalm; just a 10-minute walk from the subway station “Slussen.” Fjällgatan is a historic street in Stockholm and offers a café called ”Fjällgatans Kaffestuga.” Here you can enjoy delicious ice cream, a cup of coffee, cakes and pastries.
Fjällgatan is a must-visit place for all photographers out there, and it’s also free to visit.
Have a picnic at Monteliusvägen
On the other side of Slussen and Fjällgatan lies Monteliusvägen, which is a great spot for a picnic. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of old town, Lake Mälaren, City Hall and Riddarholmen. If you’re looking for a perfect spot to watch the sunset, the this is the place! Along with this road, you will find benches and tables where you can bring food and drinks and enjoy the view!
Kungsträdgården is a popular place among the locals during summer and spring to take a stroll, have a drink or a ”fika.” This is the perfect place to rest your legs – just buy an ice cream and sit down by the fountain and people watch for a while.
During spring, Kungsträdgården turns into a pink oasis with all the beautiful cherry blossom trees. At this time of the year, you will spot many locals and tourists taking their perfect Instagram pictures. During winter, you can go here and ice skate!
If you have some spare time during your vacation in Sweden, why not go to Stockholms one and only amusement park, Gröna Lund! This park is situated on Djurgården and offers fun rides for both children and adults. Since Gröna Lund lies in central Stockholm, many of the rides offer great views!
If you’re looking for a magnificent view of Stockholm and not afraid of heights – then I would suggest going for a ride in Eclipse, Katapulten, or Fritt Fall.
Gröna Lund is one of the top things to do for fun in Stockholm if you’re traveling with your kids!
NK – Nordiska Kompaniet
NK is one of the most popular and most famous shopping malls in Sweden and is located right in the middle of central Stockholm. NK offers a wide selection of cosmetics, clothes, accessories, designer bags, interior and also things for the little ones. At NK, you will find many exclusive brands that are both international and Swedish.
One thing that this shopping mall is especially famous for is its Christmas window displays. So, if you’re visiting Stockholm during Christmas, make sure to check it out!
Kungsgatan starts at ”svampen” aka ”the mushroom” at Stureplan and ends all the way up at the central station of Stockholm. This street offers both Scandinavian- and international brands such as Fjällräven, BikBok, Brandy Melville and also many stores that sell electronics. At Kungsgatan, you will also find two cinemas where you can watch movies in English language and eat popcorn!
Around Stureplan in Östermalm, you will find great shopping with a good selection of both international brands, designer stores and Swedish brands. There are three main shopping streets around Stureplan, which includes Birger Jarlsgatan, Kungsgatan, and Biblioteksgatan.
Birger Jarlsgatan offers stores with exclusive brands like Prada, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. While you are here, don’t forget to check out the parallel streets that also offers great stores.
Biblioteksgatan provides a variety of both international and Swedish brands such as Urban Outfitters, Filippa K, and Ralph Lauren. Here you can also find some more exclusive stores, including; Rolex, Burberry, and Karen Millen.
Drottninggatan is the major shopping street in Stockholm that stretch from the bridge ”Riksbron” to the park ”observatorielunden” in the district of Vasastan. Drottninggatan is one of the most popular and most famous shopping streets in Stockholm that offers more wallet-friendly stores like H&M, Zara, Weekday and many Scandinavian stores.
While you’re here, don’t forget to check out Åhléns City, a department store that offers a great variety of international brands!
Mall of Scandinavia
Mall of Scandinavia is Stockholm’s newest shopping mall that opened in November 2015. This mall is the largest shopping mall in Scandinavia with a total number of 225 stores. Mall of Scandinavia offers something for everyone, and if you want to shop till you drop on a rainy day, this is the place!
Other great shopping malls in Stockholm includes; Nacka Forum, Kista Galleria, Gallerian, and Täby Centrum.
If there’s something that the locals of Stockholm loves to do, then it’s partying the night away. The locals of Stockholm just love to party, and they take every opportunity to make life a little bit more festive. Whether it’s a Tuesday after work, a Friday night out, a Sunday out in the sun or a day at the amusement park with friends, Swedes just love to celebrate life with a beer or two.
When the sun comes out and when the weather turns a few degrees higher, almost every Swede go to an outdoor seating bar where they can enjoy a glass of wine, a beer or a drink. This is a pretty big thing in Stockholm, and I’m sure that you will notice it if you’re visiting Stockholm during summer.
There are many bars and nightclubs all around town that varies from age, class, and style. Stockholm offers everything from gay bars and middle-aged nightclubs to Hip-Hop clubs and outdoor lounges during the summer.
Stureplan / Östermalm
If you’re the type the loves to go clubbing, then this is the right area for you. Stureplan offers an excellent variety of fancy nightclubs for both youngsters and middle-aged people.
Södermalm is the hipster area of Stockholm and offers a great variety of cool bars, outdoor seating bars (during the summer) and also some live music bars. Södermalm is the place you want to go to if you are looking for a place where you actually can talk without shouting out loud!
How to get around in Stockholm
All the central sights and attractions in Stockholm lies pretty close to each other and can, therefore, be reached by foot. In my opinion, exploring Stockholm by foot is the best way, since you get some exercise and stumble upon hidden gems. It will take you about 25 minutes to walk from Slussen, through the old town to Sergels Torg by the main subway station “T-Centralen ,” and an additional 15 minutes from Sergels Torg to Stureplan that lies in Östermalm.
By T-banan (Subway)
Subway is a both an easy and convenient way to travel around town. The subway takes you to many of the sights in Stockholm and also to the suburbs. Inside all subway stations, you will find vending machines where you can buy your one-way tickets.
If you have some problem with planning your journey or knowing on which station you should go to, download the SL app to your smartphone. Just write in your current address and desired destination and the app will figure it out for you.
Where the subway line ends, a bus line begins. Therefore, if the subway doesn’t cover a particular area of Stockholm, a bus line will. You buy your ticket in a ticket booth next to the bus stop or in stores such as 7eleven or Pressbyrån. If you’re staying one week or so, then it will be much cheaper to buy an unlimited “one week” SL card which you also can buy at 7eleven or Pressbyrån.
The public bus is pretty easy to use, but I recommend you to download the SL app (Public Transport in Stockholm) to your smartphone and plan your journey there – simple, easy and effective!
Yes, Stockholm also has a tram system which takes you from T-Centralen to Djurgården. The tram is one of the best ways to get to Skansen, ABBA the Museum and Gröna Lund. Just like the bus or the subway, you buy your ticket beforehand or use your SL card when you get on board.
Recommended hotels in Stockholm
Grand Hotel is the fanciest hotel in town, and it’s here all world’s celebrities stay when they’re visiting Stockholm. The service is top-notch, the rooms are magical, and they also offer a lovely spa. This is one of the most central hotels in the city where you easily can walk to districts such as; old town, Östermalm, and T-Centralen. Nearby the hotel you will also find a subway station, buses and also the tram that takes you to Djurgården.
If you’re looking for the best and finest hotel in town, then this should be your first choice!
Mornington Hotel Stockholm City
This hotel lies in the district of Östermalm in central Stockholm and offers great value for the money. Here you can enjoy tidy rooms, a quiet location, a delicious breakfast buffet, and also a great gym in the cellar of the hotel. The staff at the Mornington Hotel is friendly and helpful, and you’ll find transportation, nightclubs, shopping and also great cafés and restaurants just around the corner!
Old Town Lodge – Hostel
If you’re seeking a budget hotel in central Stockholm, then this is the place for you. A nice and tidy hostel that offers dormitories with shared bathrooms and also private rooms. This hostel lies in the old town of Stockholm and is one of the cheapest and coziest hostels you will find.
The breakfast may not be the best, but hey, there’re several great cafés in the nearby area!
Food and drinks
When it comes to food, Stockholm offers food from all over the world. The restaurants of the capital serve everything from Italian- and Chinese food to American- and Thai food. It’s actually so that Swedes eat more often at these international restaurants than restaurants that serve traditional Swedish food. It’s because that the people of Sweden prefer to eat at home as the meals can be pretty expensive at restaurants – and at home, we often eat Swedish food.
Swedes don’t eat at restaurants that often, but one thing that they do enjoy is to take a ”fika.” Fika is a Swedish word for going out with friends or family and grab a cup of coffee, eat cakes and socialize. All around town, you will find several cafés offering lunch, coffee, cakes, pastries and of course, the delicious and famous Swedish cinnamon buns. A fika is a ”must-do” while you’re in Stockholm!
Tennstopet is a restaurant in central Stockholm that serve traditional Swedish food such as Skagen Toast (a Swedish shrimp sandwich), different kinds of dishes with fresh fish and of course the traditional Swedish cheesecake with cloudberries and whipped cream. I have eaten here several times with my family since my grandma loved this place, and I can honestly recommend it for those who want to try traditional food from Sweden!
Address: Dalagatan 50 in Vasastan, Stockholm.
Gondolen is one of the most famous restaurants in Stockholm that offers great panoramic views over the city. From here you can see the old town, Lake Mälaren, City Hall, Riddarholmen, the central parts around Kungsträdgården and Djurgården. Except having a fantastic view, the restaurant also offers gastronomic delights that have roots from the Swedish cuisine.
Address: Stadsgården 6, hop off at the subway station “Slussen.”
Good to know about Stockholm
Best Time to Visit Stockholm
The best time to visit Sweden is during late spring, summer or early fall. The winters can be pretty cold in Stockholm as the temperature can drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius. During early spring it’s pretty cold in Sweden, and so is it during late fall where it also rains a lot.
You’ll never know if it’s going to be good or bad weather in Sweden. Sometimes it rains all summer and sometimes it’s 35 degrees Celsius during the day. The Swedish summers are pretty unpredictable, and (Fun Fact) that’s why the people of Sweden loves to talk about the weather!
Climate in Stockholm
The Climate in Stockholm offers cold, partly snowy and cloudy winters and mild, partly rainy, partly cloudy summers. Spring and fall are a mix of these two seasons.
As I mentioned before, the weather in Sweden is unpredictable so you never really know if it’s going to be good, or bad weather.
The tap water is safe to drink in Sweden, and it’s tasty too!