Stockholm had us at first sight. It’s a modern, vibrant and colorful city. The people are friendly and open and it seems like they try everything to make life easy and comfortable for everyone. We would say it’s the perfect destination for every age group but we were especially surprised about how family friendly Stockholm and Sweden is in general.
There’s so much to see and to do in Stockholm that you should spend there a minimum of three full days. Don’t worry about the weather, there’s plenty to do inside and outdoor.
Our favorites are as follows:
Stockholm was founded in 1252 on the little island where you still find this well preserved old center. The old town of Stockholm is definitely a must-see. You can easily discover it by foot, it’s just a lot up and down over the characteristic cobblestone streets. Take your time and don’t forget to look up to see the beauty of the historic buildings. To take a rest just enjoy a Fika* (*a social cup of coffee, taking a break and enjoying quality time preferably with friends) in one of the many cute little cafés, restaurants or lovely shops.
On the highest point of the Gamla Stan you find the so called Stortorget. It’s the oldest square and it’s wonderfully preserved. Sit down there for a while and enjoy watching the crowd and the history. From here you can start finding your way through the narrow streets. Look out for Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, the narrowest alley in Gamla Stan with only 90 centimeters width.
Besides the beautiful buildings and inviting places you also find here several churches, the Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace, which is one of the largest ones in the world. Make sure to watch the changing of the guard which takes place every day all year round. During the week it starts at 12:15pm in the palace outer courtyard and at 1:15pm on Sundays.
Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world. It’s located at Stockholms green island Djurgården and easy to reach by tram, bus or even better with the Djurgården ferry.
Skansen will let you dive into the history of Sweden. Old farmhouses, churches, schools and other public buildings from all over Sweden were brought here and you feel like you traveled back in time. Actors bring life into this scenery and you have the chance to watch traditional folk dances, learn about Swedish crafts and taste typical Swedish cinnamonrolls and other dishes.
It’s also the the world’s only open-air museum with wild animals. All animals you can find in the Swedish woods you can also watch here such as elks, reindeers, lynxes and others. In the fabulous children’s area contains also a petting zoo where your children can get in contact with domestic animals like cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as small wild animals.
There’s something to do for everyone at Skansen and you can easily spend there the whole day!
For further information about Skansen take a look at the official website.
The Vasa Ship was built to be one of the biggest and the most powerful warships in the Baltic. Unfortunately it sank after only 1300 meters from when it set sails for the first time on the 10th of August 1628. 333 years later, the Vasa was found and got lifted out of the water. It was pulled to the shore where it could be excavated and conserved. The building the Vasa is presented was built around the ship. The Vasa is amazingly well preserved and the museum tells the whole history around really well.
We think the Vasa is definitely a must-see when in Stockholm. For more information take a look at the official vasa museet website.
The City Hall of Stockolm with its 106 meter tall tower is an outstanding building you cannot miss. It was built between 1911 and 1923 with eight million bricks. Stockholms Stadshuset is the workplace of Stockholm’s politicians and civil servants and contains several offices. The big ceremonial halls serve for meetings and parties such as the great Nobel banquet which is held here every year.
You can visit the Stadshuset only with a guided tour. Besides Swedish, tours are offered in English, German, English, Chinese, French and Spanish several times a day.
The tower is open during the summer months May to September. There’s an elevator half way up, the remaining steps, about 150, you have to climb. We promise the view is totally worth it!
Little tip, when you go there in the late afternoon, the sun stands in your back when looking down at the center of the city.
The art of the Subway
If you are in Stockholm on a rainy or cold day this activity is perfect. We had continuous sunshine but couldn’t miss to ride the metro neither. With a length of 110 kilometers Stockholm’s Metro is better known as the the world’s longest art exhibition.
In over 90 of the 100 subway stations of Stockholm you can find decorations, sculptures, mosaics, paintings, art installations, engravings, and reliefs by over 150 artists.
If you get tired of walking around in the city, make yourself comfortable and just drive from station to station! T-Centralen, Stadion, Solna Centrum, Kungsträdgården, Solna Strand and Tekniska Högskolan are just some of many you shouldn’t miss.
Norrmalm, Skeppsholmen, Södermalm
Every part or island of Stockholm is a little different and has its own flair. We liked the busy shopping streets of Norrmalm a lot, enjoyed the silence, the view and the museums on Skeppsholmen and the hip and vibrant atmosphere of Södermalm. Make sure to take your time to discover every part at least a little bit!
Where to eat in Stockholm
We are a big fan of eating local and we try almost everything, especially the traditional dishes.
Meatballs for the people
We couldn’t visit Sweden without eating traditional meatballs. If you’re thinking the same then make sure to dine at Meatballs for the People. They serve meatballs from different animals for example reindeer, moose, cow or bear and you can taste them all. The atmosphere is inviting, the waiters are among friendly and the food is delicious. To our plate we enjoyed homemade lingon juice.
Kafé Petissan and the Bakery at Skansen
This Cafe is by far the cutest cafe we’ve ever seen. They offer a huge variety of delicious cakes and typical sweets like chocolate balls. When the weather is nice you can enjoy your cup of coffee in the beautiful yard.
The old traditional bakery is just around the corner and offers delisious cinnamon rolls you should definitely try!
How to get around
The easiest way to get around is the subway. Inform yourself first about the prices and decide which ticket suits you the best. If you plan to visit many sights and museums, take a look at the Stockholmpass. With the pass you can use the public transport and get access to more than 60 attractions.
Inform yourself first about the prices and decide which ticket suits you the best. If you plan to visit many sights and museums, take a look at the Stockholmpass. With the pass you can use the public transport and get access to more than 60 attractions.
For shorter distances you can walk, rent a bike or use the rental scooters which seem to be the new way of transport. There are different companies, we recommend to check the apps.
To get into the city from the airport and back we recommend to take the flygbussarna.Check online if there are any offers, we got a discount for buying our tickets online.
More information about Stockholm take a look at the official homepage here.