Top Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Stockholm (Sweden)

by | Last updated in Apr 22, 2019 | 4 comments

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Residing on the island at the out-flux of Lake Malar flowing into the Baltic Sea, Stockholm has garnered a ton of popularity amongst travelers and tourists as of lately. But, is it worth visiting? Let this travel guide help you decide on your own! We covered about the best Stockholm sightseeing and attractions plus travel tips that can help you plan a trip to this beautiful capital of Sweden.

That said, are there other things that might be of interest in this destination? If you haven’t heard, Stockholm is a haven for people who enjoy Scandinavian design, fashion, and minimalism. If you’re interested in such topics and enjoys beautiful architecture, laid-back lifestyle, and history – then this is certainly your destination!

With all the Stockholm points of interest mentioned in this post, we’re pretty sure you’ll find something that might interest you!

 

Experiences and top things to do in Stockholm

Gamla Stan

Stoll the cobbled street of Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan, or the Old Town of Stockholm, is an old neighborhood and a perfect place for Stockholm sightseeing. It was founded in the 13th century. This medieval old town is one of the best preserved ancient towns in Europe, and it is one of the most famous Stockholm points of interest. Walk on the narrow, charming cobbled street as you browse the antique buildings standing in the neighborhood.

Gamla Stan is a haven full of mesmerizing museums, churches, shops, and cafes. You will feel like you have stepped into a world of a fairy tale as you enter the site. Some of the most notable buildings that you can find here are the Nobel Museum and the Stockholm Cathedral, which is Sweden’s National Cathedral. Most of the buildings here were built using the North German architectural style.

In the middle of Gamla Stan, you will find Stortorget which is the oldest square in this capital city of Sweden. It was the location of the dark part of Swedish history, The Stockholm Bloodbath that happened in November 1520. In this sad event, King Christian II, the ruler of Denmark ordered the killing of Swedish noblemen.

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Royal Swedish Opera House

Have A Cruise on A Bus with Ocean Bus

Stockholm is a city built over several islands and islets that’s why small straits separate some of the neighborhoods in Stockholm. To give a unique experience for tourists who visit Stockholm, and to make it easier for them to have a tour around the city, a traveling company offers a tour in Stockholm using an amphibious bus. The bus is designed to be able to move on the land and in the water, and it is named Ocean Bus.

Ocean Bus Tour is giving you a unique way to go Stockholm sightseeing. Feel the excitement as the bus enter the water. A funny yet informative guide will accompany you on this interesting tour in Stockholm. Ocean Bus Tour starts on Strömgatan, an area located near the Royal Swedish Opera.

GlobenTorget

Get High and check out Globentorget

Looking for something unique and what to see in Stockholm? Then you have to go to the Ericsson Globe located in Globentorget. Ericsson Globe is the world’s most massive spherical building. What makes this Stockholm landmark more unique is that two gondolas can take you go to the top of the building and having a beautiful view of Stockholm from above. The gondola ride, called SkyView, departs every 10 minutes, and each trip takes 30 minutes to complete.

The top of the round building is about 130 meters above the sea level, so when you are on top, you can have a significant scene of the city. Skyview is without a doubt one of the best spots to go sightseeing in Stockholm.

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Fika in Stockholm

Go for a fika!

A slang word for Café’s, fika is an absolute Swedish thing that means to go for a coffee to accompany a slice of cake or pastry. If you’re living in Sweden, you invite your friends for a ‘fika’ after work or during the weekends (or anytime, really) and as a tourist or traveler, you can do the same, as well so you can experience something very Swedish.

Visit Stockholm wrote a really good guide on where to go for a fika in Stockholm! Check it out and try some bullar with your kaffe in a nice coffee shop with an amazing atmosphere and maybe you’ll also find some other great places to visit in Stockholm along the way. Read it here.

Top Landmarks and attractions in Stockholm

Swedish National Library of Stockholm

Meet The Devil at the National Library of Stockholm

If you go to the National Library in Stockholm, you will find that this library has one of a kind collection: the Codex Gigas. The word Codex Gigas is loosely translated as Giant Book, but it is more popularly known as The Devil’s Bible because the books contain a large picture of the devil.

This antique book was made in a Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in Bohemia (Czech Republic) during the 12th century. It was taken to Sweden in 1648 as war booty, and now the book is preserved in the National Library, Stockholm.

Unfortunately, the book at the moment is not being displayed as the library is in the process of making new temperature controlled room for the book. Nevertheless, National Library is still worth your visit. The vast library is the home to many other antique manuscripts. It also has thousands of modern books in its collection.

If you are still curious about Codex Gigas, you can see the digitized version in the National Library website.

  • Opening hours: Monday and Thursdays 9AM to 7PM. Fridays 9AM to 6PM. Saturdays 9AM to 3PM.
  • Admission fee: Free
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The Nobel Museum

Visit The Nobel Museum

What to do in Stockholm? How about visiting a place that was inspired by ideas to change the world? Located in a former Stock Exchange building in Gamla Stan’s big square, The Nobel Museum has an impressive collection of information regarding the prestigious awards in the world.

The Nobel Museum, a notable Stockholm attraction, was built by great minds that aims to create valuable discussions and to spread knowledge about natural sciences and culture through creative learning with exciting designs mixed with modern technology and different interesting exhibitions.

ABBA: The Museum

Go Back to The Golden Era of Disco-Pop and visit ABBA: The Museum

Swedish singers for decades have been successful in making their ways to the top of international music scenes. Not only are they famous in Sweden, but their hits have been able to capture the hearts of music lovers all over the world. In the past, you must have heard Roxette, Ace of Base, Eagle Eye Cherry, and many more. More recent Swedish singers that have made their way to international success are Icona Pop, Avicii, and Zara Larsson. However, the most significant Swedish musicians that have become music legends are no other than the group ABBA. Many of their singles are still popular until now. Dancing Queen, I Have A Dream, Mamma Mia, and much more are still often played nowadays.

To honor their great success, a museum dedicated to showcasing the band’s music and memorabilia was opened in May 2013. In ABBA: The Museum, you can take a picture with the wax figures of the band members. You can also see replicas of the studio where ABBA recorded their hits. If you are a fan of ABBA or pop music, going to ABBA: The Museum should be put in your what to do in Stockholm list.

  • Opening hours: Monday and Tuesday 10AM to 6PM. Wednesday and Thursday 10AM to 7PM. Friday to Sunda 10AM to 6PM.
  • Admission fee: Check here for updated prices
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Vasa Museum

Sail to The Past at Vasa Museum

Located in Galärvarvsvägen, is one of the most famous places to visit in Stockholm, Vasa Museum. Vasa Museum has an interesting collection that displays the history of maritime in Sweden. This museum was first opened in 1990, and it is part of Swedish National Maritime Museums.

The most iconic item that you can find in this Stockholm tourism highlight is the warship, Vasa. It is a 17th-century warship that sank in 1628. It was not discovered until the 1950s, and in 1961 it was finally salvaged.

Outside the museum, docked on the harbor, four other ships have been turned into museum ships. Those ships are the icebreaker Sankt Erik (launched in 1915), the light vessel Finngrundet (1903), the torpedo boat Spica (1966) and the rescue boat Bernhard Ingelsson (1944).

Vasa Museum opens every day from 10 AM to 5 PM, but it operates longer every Wednesday. On those days, the museum closes at 8 PM.

Skansen Open Air Museum

Learn about Sweden at Skansen Open Air Museum

If you’re looking some of the best activities in Stockholm then make sure to head to Djurgården island, and you will see the world’s oldest open-air museum. Skansen Open Air Museum was first open for public on 11 October 1891. The founder of the museum, Artur Hazelius, wanted to showcase how the people from different parts of Sweden used to live before the Industrial Era.

Skansen stands on a large piece of land with the size of approximately 300,000 m². You can find replicas of houses and farmsteads from every single area of Sweden. Not only displaying buildings, but you can see craftsmen, such as silversmiths, tanners, bakers, glassblowers, and shoemakers, dress in traditional outfits performing their skills. You will feel like you have traveled back in time.

If you bring your kids here, they will enjoy their time in Skansen. There are plenty of exciting activities for kids available here. They can have a pony ride, visit the zoo, play with traditional toys, and many more. If you bring them here in the summer, they can try to do the chores that were usually done in the past.

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What to eat and restaurants in Stockholm to try

stockholm guide things to do in stockholm kannelbulle

Kannelbulle with your coffee for Fika

Kannelbulle is basically a cinnamon roll which is a well-loved pasty in Sweden. It is mostly eaten as a snack with coffee and this is something you can’t miss out! Swedes love their kannelbulle without a doubt.

stockholm guide things to do in stockholm toast skagen

Toast Skagen

I’ve lived a long time in Vaasa, a Swedish speaking area in Finland, where traditions and cultures mirror the local’s ancestors from Sweden and Toast Skagen is one of their staple favorites. That said, the same food culture can be found from its original founders – the Swedes enjoy this snack as much as the Finn-Swedes in Vaasa! Toast Skagen is basically a toast (duh) topped with chopped prawns mixed with mayonnaise, dill, and lemon juice. Try it when you see in it one of the many trendy cafés in Stockholm!

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stockholm guide things to do in stockholm swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam

Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam

Have you been to IKEA? If you have then I’m sure that one of the reasons (perhaps even the main reason) why you go there is because you’ll like to have some of the meatballs in the brown sauce they have in the cafeteria! So, why not get this Swedish dish while you’re in Stockholm? Pair it with a pint of local beer – you’ll love it.

Have extra time? Visit other places near Stockholm!

Drottningholm Palace

Visit the Royals at Drottningholm Palace

What to see in Stockholm? Just like some other European countries, Sweden is one of the few countries in the world that have a reigning Monarch. And the lives of the Swedish Royal Family has become one of the leading tourist attractions in Stockholm tourism. One place that you can go to if you want to know what is it like to be the king of Sweden during your trip to Stockholm is Drottningholm Palace.

Located in Drottningholm, on the island of Lovön which is a part of Stockholm County, this palace is the private residence of the King’s family members. The original stone castle on this site was built in 1580 by John III of Sweden. It was rebuilt in 1662 after there was a fire incident in the previous year.

In the 19th century, this palace was abandoned. King Charles XIV John of Sweden at that time thought that Drottningholm Palace was the symbol of the old dynasty. It was in 1907 where a massive restoration of the palace initiated. The process took four years to finish. In 1981, the current King’s family decided to move into the castle and to use it as their primary residence.

You can visit the Drottningholm Palace and the park surrounding it on almost any day of the year. However, visiting the insides is only open to the public at certain times (see below). The beautiful architecture and details are one of the things to see in Stockholm. In fact, the beauty of this palace has made Drottningholm Palace as the first place in Sweden that was put in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

Practical information and Stockholm travel tips

Why should you visit Stockholm?

Stockholm has been the top destination to visit if you’re interested in Scandinavia as it is well-known as one of the stylish cities in Europe. Not to mention, it has tons of attractions to see and as well interesting history, traditions, and culture. Roaming around Stockholm you’ll stumble upon lots of stylish and beautiful Swedes dressed like they’re there to impress but trust me, they don’t! Other than this, the Swedish way of life is so chill that you’ll never want to leave Stockholm.

When is the best time to visit Stockholm?

Well, this is all up to you! Stockholm is beautiful all year round and has a lot to offer for each season but the high season is, of course, in summer (June-August) when the weather is warm and the city is busy with activities. But of course, autumn (August-October) is also a marvelous time as nature change its hues from green to bright orange plus the weather is also still warm but cold at nights.

That said, winter (November-March) is great for winter activities such as skating, snow angels, and Christmas markets! But if you’re not a big fan of the cold but would like to see Stockholm during low season then come in spring (April-May) and witness the nature come back to life.

That said, winter in Stockholm is the best time to visit if you prefer lesser crowds but I do suggest to dress appropriately for winter when you plan to visit Stockholm in cold season so that you can enjoy the town without freezing your ass off.

Also, if you’re interested, you can also check out this list of awesome places to visit during winter in Europe!

Do you need a visa for Stockholm?

Stockholm is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days. You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry.

Where to book your flights to Stockholm?

Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.

Do you need an insurance?

Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need a travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.

Where to stay in Stockholm?

We’ve compiled the best design hotels in Stockholm and you can check it here, you’ll be surprised at how many awesome hotels there are to stay at! That said, if you’re in a hurry we recommended these top three places: Hotel Drottning Kristina StureplanHotel Kungsträdgården, and Lydmar Hotel.

If you’re on a budgeted trip, we recommend staying at (stylish) hostels that will cost you roughly about €25 per night. Here are our recommendations: Generator Stockholm, City Backpackers Hostel, and Stockholm Hostel.

How to save money sightseeing Stockholm?

We all know that Stockholm ain’t cheap. In fact, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit but this doesn’t mean you should break the bank visiting this fabulous city! To start, if you’re staying in Stockholm is a walkable city but if you prefer using the publish transport then we suggest that you purchase a transport ticket good for the day (€12) or, depending on how long you’re staying, they also offer 72 hours (€25) to 7 (€32) days public transport travel cards.

Other than this, if you’re planning to visit several museums and attractions during your stay then perhaps it smarter to buy a Stockholm pass that will give you the opportunity to visit 60 attractions with one single ticket. Also, it enables you to use the hop-on-hop-off bus and boat tours to other islands!

NOTE: You can only buy these tickets from SL centers located in Metro stations! You can’t purchase public transport tickets directly from buses or trams. Please buy your travel card beforehand to save you the hassle. Same note applies if you’re heading to the airport – buy it online or beforehand from SL centers!

Short on time? Go on a tour in Stockholm!

Here are our top recommendations:

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