Before we went we made a list of all the things to do in Stockholm that we wanted to get around during our visit. We then worked out the best way to combine at least a couple of these on each day. Once we’d done that we looked at the best way to get to and from those places and back to the hotel. That worked quite well. And this guide really helped.
The city centre is fairly compact and easy to get around by foot. We think this is the best way to see as much of any city as possible. We preferred the old town of Gamla Stan to the newer parts mostly because of the buildings and the history.
Get lost in Gamla Stan
Not literally. Just have a wander around this small island maze of streets served by the metro on one side. There are many shops, mostly selling souvenirs although you can spot some Swedish Designers, both fashion and interiors. There are also lots of restaurants, Ice Cream parlours, cafés, bakeries and confectionaries.
Sit in the Stortorget
Yes, just sit and watch the world go by. Stortorget is a small square in the middle of Gamla Stan and one of the oldest in Stockholm. Pretty and colourful, it’s home to Nobelmuseet (History of the Nobel Prize and its winners).
Take the ferry from Slussen to Djurgarden
We really enjoyed this. It gives an extra flavour of the local transport.
Djurgarden itself is very picturesque. And quiet. Take a walk along the water’s edge. Along the way you’ll pass the Abba Museum on the way to the Vasa museum.
Visit the Vasa
The Vasa Museut is one of the most enjoyable museums we’ve visited. And we’ve visited quite a few. A tall claim yes but we were all captivated by the amount and detail of the information provided here.
Not only in relation to the Vessel itself but also to the recovery and the preservation. The film, running on a loop, in the theatre is well worth watching.
It was good value for money too. You can easily spend a good few hours here. Both in the museum and outside. There are picnic benches and a cafe within the grounds.
See a Sunset at Stadshuset City Hall
Stadshuset City Hall is worth a visit. Visitors can take guided tours of the City Hall which now contain government offices. There is a charge which depends on the season visiting.
From the tower you can take in panoramic views of Gamla Stan with its colourful buildings.
It was beautiful here at sunset.
Copy the culture in Kungstradgarden
Over the water, north of Gamla Stan, is the main city area and Kungstradgarden. With open air events taking place it feels very cosmopoliton. You may well see people learning how to jive after work. Near here is the city’s main shopping street. We didn’t find IKEA but that’s another story!
Relax in Riddarholmen
To the east of Gamla Stan is the island of Riddarholmen. We took the metro to Gamla Stan but found ourselves walking towards Riddarholmen. As it happens this turned out to be a good thing.
If we hadn’t we’d have missed this very pleasant and relaxing place. Quiet but home to some pretty impressive buildings.
Get up the Gondolen
When we visited there was a lot of construction work in Slussen. However it is worth either taking the elevator or walking up the stairs to the Katarina Elevator and Gondalen.
It’s well sign posted. For reference, it is next to Mcdonalds and the metro station in Slussen. It provides panoramic views of the City. There is also a restaurant at the top which was closed when we visited.
These are the kind of views you can expect. You may not be lucky enough to see the cranes though!
Roam round a Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is easy to find on the north corner of Gamla Stan and is open to visitors. An entry fee is charged which includes a guided tour. There is a changing of the guard ceremony every day at around 11.45.
Embrace the Arts at the Royal Dramatic Theatre
Sweden’s national theatre is a beautiful building on the waterfront at Nybroviken bay.
You can take a guided tour through the elegant marble foyer and the main stage and get a fascinating look behind the scenes, including a visit to the theatre’s extensive wardrobes.
Eat, drink and be Merry
We enjoyed everything we ate in Stockholm. We do like to try as much of the local cuisine as we can as we feel this is a big part of the experience.
There are lots of small cafes, coffee shops and bakeries in and around Gamla Stan. As this is a tourist hot-spot some can be quite expensive.
In Nybrokajen we happened across a casual outdoor diner called Nybrogrillen. The meatballs, mash and lingonberry jam were a particular favourite. It was really good fast food. We were also able to find a Co-op so we could buy some jam to bring home.
There were plenty of fast food outlets such as MacDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken. We like to try these when we are away because the menus do differ to what we get in the UK.
Other things to do in Stockholm
We did have a rough itenery and got to do what we’d planned. However, for us, a big part of enjoying Stockholm was just having a bit of a wander and stumbling across things that were unplanned.
That was really relaxing and we saw some nice things along the way.
Stockholm is a beautiful city and we really enjoyed our stay. We created some very fond memories here and hope you do too.
Planning your trip
- Check Skyscanner to see who flies to Stockholm and the latest and best prices on flights.
- Search Booking.com to see what’s available in terms of accommodation.
- We always use Holiday Extras for airport parking and hotels as well as transfers in the UK.
- We love the DK Top 10 guidebooks and this one really helped us here
- Visit our Stockholm as a family page for more info such as how to get around
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