The best places to visit in Stockholm and around

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

A citytrip to Stockholm is becoming more and more popular. That's not strange, because the capital of Sweden has a lot to offer! You can enjoy good food and drinks, culture, a wide range of shopping possibilities, architecture and the typical Swedish hospitality. The greeting 'jeh' or 'hej hej' (pronounced like hey) sounds friendly and is widely used. Visiting Stockholm for a weekend or a bit longer? You won't regret it! Especially because the average temperature in July and August is a pleasant 20-22 degrees Celsius (68 to 72 Fahrenheit). By the way, a winter city trip is never a bad idea!
In addition, Stockholm is also a safe city and there is also a lot to discover for nature lovers if you head up a little more to the north.

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Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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1. Gamla Stan (Old Town)

During a weekend in Stockholm, a visit to the Gamla Stan can’t be missed. The Old Town is without a doubt one of Stockholm’s most beautiful sights. The oldest part dates from the thirteenth century. Striking is that the building style of the buildings is North German, but the colors that are used -orange and dark yellow- make you think of southern Europe. In the shopping street Västerlånggatan you’ll find numerous small and cozy shops. The oldest church in Stockholm is also on Gamla Stan. The Storkyrkan is built in Gothic style, the marriages and coronations of the Swedish royal house are still being performed here. Finally, a visit to the Riddarhuset is very worthwhile. In this knight house, the Swedish nobility once met, it’s widely regarded as Stockholm’s most beautiful building.

stockholm gamla stan things to do

Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm. Undoubtedly the cutes neighborhood of the Swedish capital.

2. The museums

One of the most important things to do in Stockholm are the many museums that the city has. The main museum is probably the ‘National Museum’. This national museum, located on the Blasieholmen peninsula, has an extensive collection of drawings, sculptures, porcelain and paintings. Other great art or pieces of history can be found in the Vasa Museum. Here you can admire a 16th century ship. The ‘Vasa’ is the only ship from that period that is still in its original state. This warship  with 64 cannons sank on its first trip in 1628 and was later beautifully restored. During your search for the best places to visit in Stockholm, you probably also use the metro. In many subway stations, art is exhibited.

Vasa Museum - Best places to visit in Stockholm

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm. This impressive boat made me dream away of the pirate’s life for sure!

3. The Royal Palace and Town Hall

Those interested in the best places to visit in Stockholm can’t skip the city hall and the Royal Palace. The present Royal Palace was built on the foundation of a medieval castle and is still inhabited by the Swedish royal family. It’s therefore only partial open for visitors. However, in the basement of the palace there is an exhibition about the Swedish monarchy.
The town hall is a very visible. When walking through Stockholm you have probably already seen the building. Different halls are accessible to the public and if you want to climb the tower, you can. You have to walk a few steps, but afterwards you are rewarded with a beautiful view.

Royal palace of Stockholm things to do

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is permanently guarded by the royal guard.

4. Djurgården

Many of the things to see of Stockholm come together in Djurgården (translated: the zoo). This district was formerly part of the royal hunting areas. Today, this part of the city is a national park that is freely accessible. However, it’s still rich and therefore you’ll find many museums at Djurgården. The residents of Stockholm use Djurgården as a place to relax. After all, the island has lots of greenery and there are countless places where you can sit and relax in the sun. Also renowned is the Skansen theme park. This famous park also has an open-air museum and zoo. You can reach Djurgården with a historic tram.

Djurgarden things to see in Stockholm - Skansen

The Skansen theme park has aged a little, but for the kids it most definitely is a great activity!

5. Shopping

During a city trip to Stockholm, you must of course also do some shopping! In the glamorous Östermalm district you’ll find all the famous Swedish fashion brands. Södermalm, on the other hand, is famous for its intimate atmosphere, here are the cozy boutiques and smaller shops. Finally, at the Drottninggatan and Hamngatan you will find the big department stores such as NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), PUB and the famous Åhléns. Åhléns is open every business day until 9 pm. This way you can also do some more shopping after dinner.

Shopping in Stockholm - Things to do

Are you up-to-date with the Scandinavion fashion? Then you must go to all of the Swedish shopping malls!

6. Get on the boat!

Are you tired of walking along Stockholm’s most famous sights? In that case, it’s fun to take a little cruise. The city of Stockholm is located on fourteen islands and is often called ‘Venice of the North’ (there are of course more! Think of Bruges and Amsterdam…). During these tours – many of them leave from Strömkajen – you get a good picture of Stockholm’s history and contemporary architecture. Strömkajen is next to Gamla Stan, so you don’t have to walk far. Many things you must see in Stockholm are visible from the water.

Things to see in Stockholm - boat trip

Would you like to see a lot of Stockholm with just one excursion? Get on the boat!

7. Icebar from Stockholm

Scandinavian countries are also known for their ice cold temperatures. Winter or summer… A visit to the Stockholm Icebar is always nice! When you purchase your ticket you will be allocated a certain time to go in. Before you enter you will get a thermal jacket that turns you into a cute eskimo. Once inside you can enjoy the beautiful bar made almost entirely of ice, but also a free (alcoholic) drink in a -of course- glass of ice.

Things to do in Stockholm: Icebar

Do you want to plan an amazing excursion in Stockholm? Spend some time at the Icebar!

8. Skogskyrkogården: The forest cemetery

The Skogskyrkogården is located a little while from the city center with the public transportation, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth the time. This graveyard is not a boring one! Instead of having a sober domain with lots of gravestones, here the cemetery is in harmony with nature. The gravestones are placed amidst tall pine trees, respecting mother earth. If you happen to be in Stockholm during All Saints, head to Skogskyrkogården! On this day thousands of tea lights are put on the graves of loved ones and this cemetery becomes a fairytale-like place to visit in Stockholm.

Skogskyrkogarden stockholm

Definitely try to plan a visit to this UNESCO world heritage sight. It’s very impressive and inspiring.

9. Fika!

Although this article is about Stockholm’s best places to visit, I would also like to mention fika. In Sweden they drink coffee, a lot of coffee. But fika is more than just drinking a cup of coffee. Just see it as part of the Swedish lifestyle. The daily work is even (briefly) stopped and all of the Swedes are heading to a more quiet place. Then they enjoy a cup of coffee with a sweet sandwich called fikabröd and then they just chat with friends. The traditional fika times are 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. By that time all activities in Stockholm will end and the restaurants will overflow with people. You definitely should watch out for fika, it gives you a glimpse of Sweden’s life.

coffee in sweden fika

A nice cup of coffee is always a good idea, right?

Excursions in Stockholm

Not only in Stockholm there is much to see, in the vicinity there is a lot to discover as well. Are you curious about what tours and excursions in Stockholm cost? Look at these examples:


» All tours and excursions in Stockholm

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In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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