My Favorite Things To Do In Stockholm

Posted on 25. Jan, 2013 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Sweden

I love Sweden.

There’s no going around it, I’m afraid - no matter how much I try to hide it, I’m a sucker for all things Swedish.

Ikea. H&M. Alexander Skarsgard. Icona Pop. The Hives. And so on.

So you can imagine my excitement when I finally got to Stockholm during my Eurail.com stint across Scandinavia. I. was. in. HEAVEN. So much that I extended my stay to 8 full days instead of 5, like I had originally planned. And what I have been up to all that time, you ask? Let’s see…

Things To Do In Stockholm - Sightseeing

things to do in stockholm

Gamla Stan

Of course, a visit to Stockholm isn’t complete without a few hours in Gamla Stan - the oldest part of town.

Yes, it’s touristy, and yes, it’s overpriced - but as I always say, it’s popular with tourists for a reason. It’s gorgeous! The buildings are ancient and colorful, the streets are winding and uneven, and the Swedish flag is omnipresent. It’s also home to the Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace. A must-do!

Vasa Museum

If you had to visit just one museum, I would urge you to head to the Vasa Museum, located on the Djurgården island.  

The warship sank on its maiden voyage in the early 1600s, and wasn’t salvaged until the 1960s, a mere 300 years later - in an almost intact state. The vessel was supposedly one of the largest, luxurious (have a look at those carvings!) and heavily-equipped warships of the time - too bad it was short-lived! The museum as such explains a lot about the “Swedish Golden Age” and the importance of the Kingdom in the 17th century. Quite fascinating to say the least!

Ferry ride

But how do I get to this Djurgarden island, you ask? Easy! Hop on the scenic Djurgården ferry and explore Stockholm from the water!

The ferry service is part of the Stockholm Transportation office, and valid with your transportation title. There are several boarding spots spread around the city, making it very easy to hop on and hop off as you wish. It’s a really fun thing to do on a sunny day, and gives a whole new perspective on the city.

City Hall

While not the most obvious choice for a urban getaway, the Stockholm City Hall isn’t nearly as boring as it sounds.

The Nobel banquet is perhaps the biggest selling point of this attraction, with reason - every single one of the 18 million pieces mosaic-like wall was assembled by hand, and while it looks perfect, there’s a slight flaw that only the most attentive visitors will notice. I won’t spill all the secrets just yet, but know this - nothing is quite what it seems at the City Hall.

A few other suggestions:

Things To Do In Stockholm- Eating & Drinking

Fried herring

One of the most famous meals in Sweden is the pickled herring - however, since I’m not into fish all that much, and especially not raw, fermented fish, I decided to give this iconic dish a twist and have it fried, with a delicious herb butter and crackers.

The best place to do that is at Lisa Elmqvist’s restaurant inside Ostermalm’s Saluhall. Not cheap (there’s no lying about it - nothing in Stockholm is cheap) but definitely worth the expense if you are a foodie.

Cafés in Sodermalm

If you’re more the type to sit back, relax and enjoy the view, then you’ll be happy at one the thousands of cafés in Södermalm.

The hippest, trendiest island located south of Gamla Stan is full of quirky places like the one picture above - colorful furniture, mismatched  tableware and hipster baristas thrive there, where every new person you meet seems to be cooler than the previous. It’s artsy, it’s lively, and absolutely lovely.

A few good places to check out:

  • For meatballs: Bakfickan (Operahuset, Jakobstorg 12)
  • For drinks: Marie Laveau (Hornsgatan 66)
  • For coffee: Gilda (Skånegatan 79)
  • For a cool grocery store/restaurant: Urban Deli (Nytorget 4)
  • For vegeterians: Hermans (Fjällgatan 23B)

Things To Do In Stockholm- Miscellaneous

Late night walk in Kungsträdgården

One of my favorite things to do in Stockholm is, quite frankly, terribly unoriginal - I like to walk around.

Maybe in some cities it can get boring, but not here. The city has such a unique layout that every corner holds a new surprise, and where every island has a specific, precise identity. And with such gorgeous scenery awaiting at every turn, I really don’t think it’s overrated to walk around Stockholm and enjoy the show, especially at Monteliusvägen - Södermalm’s walking path.

(Also, at one point, your wallet will beg you to stop spending money, so this is an easy solution to that inevitable problem.)

Waterfront strolls

Disclaimer: I traveled to Stockholm with Eurail.com and visited the city thanks to the Stockholm Card. As always, all opinions are my own (I don’t need any convincing about Sweden, I’ll tell you that). Also, thanks to my friend Sandra the Stockholmer for showing me around her favorite spots!

Have you been to Stockholm? What do you think of these suggestions - would you add new ones?

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12 Responses to “My Favorite Things To Do In Stockholm”

  1. Sandra

    25. Jan, 2013

    Thanks Marie-Eve! it was great showing you around here in Stockholm and I am glad you had fun.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Vera

    25. Jan, 2013

    I’ve been to Sweden (as a kid), though not to Stockholm yet - but I will go this march:)! …Normally I’m quite bad at looking up things to do before traveling, but since it’s only going to be for a couple of days, I’ll have to plan this time - therefore this post comes in handy:) I love walking around, too, so if you say it’s really rewarding to do that in Stockholm, I’m already sold. Thanks for all the inspiration and ideas:)!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Andrea

    25. Jan, 2013

    Wow, City Hall is interesting…looks more like a temple than a government building!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Laura @Travelocafe

    25. Jan, 2013

    Vasa Is my favourite museum in Stockholm, and one of my favs in the whole world. I am happy to see you have enjoyed Stockholm. Great pics.
    I hope to get back soon.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Anis

    25. Jan, 2013

    Stockholm is a great city to visit! Chiming in with Laura, Vasa is a must-see. Even just wandering around, checking out the city by bike or on foot is fun.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Allie Sommerville

    26. Jan, 2013

    Like you, I thought the Vasa Museum was amazing. We were on an organised tour from our cruise ship, so didn’t have enough time to do it justice - it will be our first stop when we go again. Also didn’t have time to ‘do’ the Nobel Museum, but did have a great coffee there!
    City Hall was great - really interesting about the mosaics, and loved seeing the Nobel dining set.
    Thanks for the link to the vegetarian restaurant!
    I loved Stockholm!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      03. Feb, 2013

      You should go back then! Stockholm is always a good idea :)

      Reply to this comment

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