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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Are you following me on Social Media?
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.