Let’s talk about all the tourist stuff you should probably do in Stockholm…or, at least, some of it Truth be told, wherever you go in Stockholm, there’s always something that makes you sigh in wonder and pull out your camera. If you are a tourist (or want to feel like one for a day), looking to journey through the Swedish capital but feel a tad overwhelmed, let our little guide get you started. You’ll be sure to discover much more along the way (we can’t wait to hear all about it! That’s what comment sections are for!).
Perched on the edge of the island of Kungsholmen and with its three crowns atop the tower, the City Hall is one of the iconic buildings in Stockholm. It’s where many couples in love choose to say ‘I do’ and it’s there that the Nobel Prize banquet takes place. From May to September you can climb up the tower (or take the lift half of the way up) and enjoy the kind of view that might even leave you thinking you’ve seen it all. But you haven’t, so come down and get ready to explore more.
111 52 Stockholm
Opening Hours (City Hall):
Daily guided tours: 10.00am – 3.00pm
Ticket price: vary according to season, 70-100 SEK/adult, 60-80 SEK/student & senior, 20-40 SEK/12-19 year old, free/under age 11
Opening Hours (Tower):
Tickets are issued for designated time slots every forty minutes from 9.10am – 3.50pm.
June – August 9.10am – 5:10pm (Closed October – April)
Ticket price: 50 SEK, free/under age 11
Gamla Stan (Old Town) is where Stockholm was founded in the 13th century; isn’t that mind-boggling? It encompasses the island of Stadsholmen and three islets of Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen and Strömsborg, with plenty of tourism attractions scattered here and there: the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet), the Royal Chapel (Storkyrkan), the Nobel Museum, the Post Museum, the Royal Coin Cabinet or Riddarholmskyrkan.
Even if you have neither the time nor the fancy to explore the world of royalty, Nobel Laureates or stamps, wandering the cobbled streets of the Old Town is enough to make you feel as though you’re part of history. You’ll be delighted by the colourful buildings and alleys so narrow that you’ll need to wait in a queue to enter them (psst: look for Mårten Trotzigs Grand: the narrowest alley in Stockholm).
Weather permitting, stop for a rest at one of the benches at Stortorget, preferably with a takeaway cinnamon bun. There are plenty of bakeries and cafes in the vicinity to keep you happy. There’s nothing quite like nibbling on sweet treats facing the charming facades in front of you. (Expert tip: in December, the benches give way to an adorable Christmas market, which means plenty of glögg!)
The Vasa Museum
The Vasa is a 17th century ship that sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm, 1628. It took 333 years until it was retrieved and another half a century to restore it almost entirely to its former glory. We won’t blame you for thinking “Another old ship… Do I have to?” Of course you don’t! But it would really be a pity if you didn’t. Adorned with hundreds of hand-carved sculptures and ornaments, she’s truly a beauty.
Check their site for the guided tours, which are included with admission fee and really enhance the experience with expert explanations and stories.
102 52 Stockholm
1 June – 31 August Every day: 8.30am – 6.00pm
1 September – 31 May Monday – Tue & Thursday – Sunday: 10.00am – 5.00pm, Wednesday: 10.00am – 8.00pm
Ticket price: 130 SEK/adult, 100 SEK/student, free/under age 18; Wednesdays (1 Sep – 31 May) 100 SEK/adult
This museum will suck you in with its dimly lit, spacious halls and you will never want to leave until you’ve seen the very last photograph on display. The compelling exhibitions are always well-curated, creating lasting impressions that you’ll want to discuss over a cup of coffee at the Fotografiska café or, better yet, at candle-lit dinner at the restaurant (both have a stunning view across the water to the Old Town and Djurgården). Do stop at the gift shop that sells prints from both previous and current exhibitions. If any of the pieces on display have stolen your heart, you can buy a reproduction poster (or at least a magnet) and hang it at home.
116 45 Stockholm
Sunday – Wednesday 9.00am – 11.00pm
Thursday – Saturday 9.00am – 1.00am
Ticket price: 120 SEK/adult, 90 SEK/student and senior, free for children 0–12
This world’s first open-air museum is very often referred to as “Sweden in miniature.” You’ll find complete farmsteads there, animals native to Scandinavia like elk, a traditional bakery and even a post office! The staff wear traditional costumes and you’re bound to stumble upon some of them churning butter or weaving handicrafts. There’s so much to see that you can easily take a whole day to visit. Remember to check to see if by any chance your visit coincides with any of the annual festivities, like Midsummer or Walpurgis Night. In Skansen, you’ll experience the full-blown, most traditional celebrations.
115 21 Stockholm
Opening hours & prices vary throughout the year, check online for further details.
ABBA The Museum
Mamma Mia! What a treat for ABBA fans! You can sing along with life-size holograms of the band, hop on the helicopter that was featured on Arrival album cover or you might get lucky and hear the piano that, thanks to some magic connection, plays whenever Benny Andersson plays his own instrument at his house.
115 21 Stockholm
Opening hours vary, see website for further details.
Ticket price: 195 SEK/adult, 65 SEK/children 7–15, free/under age 7 (extra 20SEK/adult and 10 SEK/children if you buy the ticket over the counter)
Gröna Lund is an amusement park perched on the island of Djurgården. Its recognisable silhouettes of carousels and steel coaster tracks are an important part of the island’s skyline. There’s something enticingly romantic about this place; who doesn’t love an old-fashioned merry-go-round and cotton candy? This place makes everyone – kids and adults alike – very happy. And even if you’re of the faint-hearted kind who would rather not take a roller coaster ride, there’s plenty more to enjoy: the tunnel of love, the house of nightmares, the fun house or… the kiddie coaster! There’s frequently also live music.
Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9
115 21 Stockholm
Closed until 29th September. Check online for updates.
Ticket price: 100 SEK/adult, free/under 6 & over 65s (Rides are at an additional cost)
If at one point during your wandering through Stockholm you see what looks like a gigantic golf ball looming in the distance, don’t rub your eyes in disbelief: you’re not delusional. It really is there! The Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building, where all kinds of major music and sport events are hosted. We recommend a ride from the top in the SkyView gondolas; you’ll have all of Stockholm at your feet.
121 77 Stockholm
Opening Hours (SkyView):
Monday – Friday: 9.30am – 7.00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Moderna Museet hosts a highly-esteemed collection of international and Swedish modern art. The permanent collection features works from the likes of Picasso, Duchamps or Dalí and is continually supplemented by temporary exhibitions. If you’re not running on a tight schedule, take your time during your visit. The museum is located on Skeppsholmen, an island with beautiful waterfront views you can take in on your way there or from the museum’s restaurant, MoMuMat. There are always a few exhibitions on – most of them free – and should you want to sit down to grab a bite, the restaurant, café and even the little coffee bar at the entrance are all worth visiting.
103 27 Stockholm
Tuesday & Friday: 10.00am – 8.00pm
Wednesday & Thursday: 10.00am – 6.00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Free admission to Moderna Museet Collection and most temporary exhibitions, but check the website for further details.
One of Sweden’s largest museums holds an extensive permanent collection covering Swedish history, ranging from prehistoric times to the present day. The major focus is on the Viking period and Middle Ages. The museum also features temporary exhibitions and events, especially on the weekends and during holidays. In the warmer months, make sure to take a fika break in the most charming courtyard adjacent to the museum’s café.
114 84 Stockholm
1 October – 31 May: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 12:00am–6:00pm; Wednesday 6:00pm–8:00pm; Saturday & Sunday 11:00am–6:00pm
1 June – August 31: Open daily 11:00am–6:00pm
1 September – 30 September: Open daily 11:00am–6:00pm, Wednesday 6:00pm–8:00pm
Admission is free!
Your little ones will appreciate this museum entirely dedicated to Swedish tales. Although the main focus is on Astrid Lindgren’s characters, kids will also be thrilled to hang out with Tove Jansson’s gang, the Mommins, and a whole lot more, especially in the Storybook Square. Make sure the children don’t miss the Story Train, taking kids on a magical journey through Lindgren’s world! Be sure to tag along; don’t we all need to face feisty mice and dragons in our adult world from time to time?
115 21 Stockholm
Opening Hours: check the website.
Ticket price: 159 SEK/adult, 139 SEK under 15, free for children under 2
Not your usual tourist stop. And doesn’t it feel great to be the kind of a tourist who blends in with the local crowd and gets the insight into their weekend rituals, like stocking up fresh produce for the week? It’s locally-sourced foods that are this market’s raison d’être. You’ll have the chance to try Swedish goat cheese, fresh cloudberries and the best kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) ever. We suggest you just pick up bits and pieces from a few stalls and do as the natives do; sit down on one of the benches (or even the curb) and dig in.
Katarina Bangata (walk from Götgatan)
Check the website for further information on which Saturdays the market is open.
From a vantage point
Katarinahissen (Katarina Lift)
The Katarina elevator has long been out-of-order (reopening is planned for 2019) but you can easily reach its top destination – the heights of Södermalm – by climbing the wooden staircase. Walk along what looks like a metal pier suspended in the air and enjoy the view right there or you can continue to Mosebacke Terrace, where you can sit back and enjoy both the view and a pint from the outdoor bar.
If sunsets and sunrises touch your soul, this is a place to go. Take in the view of Lake Mälaren and Riddarholmen stretching out in front of you right under the fiery skies.
Take a Walk
This is one of the most popular pedestrian streets in Stockholm, perfect for a day entirely devoted to shopping. If you need souvenirs for your loved ones, new clothes for yourself or want to revamp your kitchenware, Drottninggatan has it all. Fancy ending the day with dinner & movies? It’s all at your fingertips!
Should you find yourself visiting the City Hall, use that as a starting point for a walk along one of the most picturesque promenades in the city: Norr Mälarstrand. The walkway stretches for about 2 km along Lake Mälaren and is punctuated by many great places to sit down, get a cup of coffee or a tipple if the mood strikes you.
This green island is perfect for strolling, jogging or picnicking. It’s home to many museums: ABBA The museum, Skansen, Junibacken, Spritmuseum (The Museum of Spirits), Etnografiska must (The Museum of Etnography), Aquaria Vattenmuseum (Aquaria Water Museum), Vasamuseum, Biologiska museet (The Biological Museum), Sjöhistoriska museet (The Maritime Museum), Nordiska museet (The Nordic Museum), Tekniska museet (The National Museum of Science and Technology, Waldemarsudde. How convenient!
Ride the metro
Swedish Tunnelbana is like an underground museum. In fact, it’s often called the world’s longest art gallery. You’ll see what we mean when you check out these gorgeous stops: T-Centralen (blue line), Rådhuset (blue line), Telefonplan (red line), Högdalen (green line).
Have a favorite tourist destination in Stockholm that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments!