31 Best things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is the largest and capital city located in the south-eastern part of Sweden, at the mouth of Lake Malar. The city is the political, economic, and cultural center of Sweden, famous for its natural beauty, cultural attractions, clean, green environment, and high quality of life.

Stockholm is also known as the Venice of the north because the city is made up of 14 islands connected by a series of bridges, with scenic waterfront views.

Some of the best things to do in Stockholm are cultural attractions such as the iconic City Hall, Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and ABBA museum. The city is also home to many parks, forests, waterways, and a huge network of bike paths that offer plenty of outdoor activities. 

Stockholm consistently ranks highly in international surveys of quality of life, and it is known for its excellent healthcare, education, and public transportation systems. It also has a diverse and vibrant international community.

You can explore the attractions and neighborhoods of Stockholm on foot or public transport. Södermalm island has a laid-back air, Östermalm is the picture of refined elegance, and Norrmalm is a busy downtown, close to Gamla Stan, full of  tiny cobblestoned streets.

31 Best things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

1. Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan, also known as Old Town, is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval city centers. Gamla Stan encompasses areas of Stadsholmen island, and the tiny island of Helgeandsholmen, Strömsborg, and Riddarholmen.

The history of the Old Town dates from the 13th century but most buildings were built in the 18 and 19th centuries. Old Town is packed with cobbled streets, alleyways, and townhouses, as well as galleries and museums, such as the Nobel Prize Museum and Post Museum.

The main square of the Old town is Stortorget, which is surrounded by important landmarks such as the 18th century Italian Baroque style of architecture Royal Palace, which is the official residence of the Swedish royal family. You can see the daily changing of the guard outside. 

Within walking distance from the Royal Palace is the Storkyrkan, also known as Stockholm Cathedral and the Church of St. Nicholas. The church was built in the 13th century and home to the famous St. George and the Dragon sculptures.

You can take a hour free guided tour at the Swedish Parliament, or Riksdagshuset,  in Helgeandsholmen. This  Neoclassical style has a façade in neo-baroque style and wings in neoclassical style.

The main streets of the old town are Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan. Köpmangatan is the oldest street in Stockholm, starting from the main square, lined with shops, cafés, restaurants, and souvenirs shops.

While in Old Town, you can check out the Mårten Trotzigs alley, which is the narrowest alley in Old Town, only 90 centimeters at the narrowest point. 

There are plenty of great places to eat and drink in Gamla Stan such as Pharmarium, Den Gyldene Freden, Fem Små Hus, and Kryp In restaurants.

2. Djurgården

Kungliga Djurgården is an island located in Stockholm’s central. Djurgården was the Royal Game Park, a hunting ground for the royal queen and king, but it now offers plenty of things to do for tourists from green space to picnic and BBQ to numerous museums, restaurants, shops, and cafes.

The island can be reached by boat from Gamla Stan’s dock or by crossing a bridge south of Östermal. 

It is home to several parks and green areas. Gröna Lund amusement park is one of the oldest parks in the world, opened in 1880

You can find the Royal Djurgården Park on the island, and nearby is a fruit garden and a rose garden in Rosendals Trädgård.

Djurgården is home to many famous museums such as the Vasa Museum, ABBA Museum, Nordic Museum, Waldemarsudde Art Museum, Junibacken, and Skansen, which is Sweden’s first open air museum and zoo.

3. Stockholm waterways

Stockholm is made of fourteen islands on the shores of the Baltic Sea, which are separated by canals and waterways. There are both natural waterways and man-made canals.

The waterways are beautiful, clean and clear to look at, and even swim in its waterways. There are several canals built in the 19th century to facilitate trade and transportation.

The waterways of Stockholm are used for a multiple of goals, like transportation and tourism. The waterways are also home to fish, birds, and other wildlife where people enjoy fishing, boating, and outdoor activities on the waterways.

Ferries are a part of the public transport network in Stockholm, while there are a number of boat tour companies that offer sightseeing cruises on the waterways.

You can take a boat tour to explore the city. There are boats towards Lake Mälaren, as well as the Stockholm Archipelago.

Most boat tours depart from Nybroviken in Norrmalm. There are docks at Nybroplan, Strandvägen, and Nybrokajen.

4. Lake Mälaren

Lake Mälaren, also known as Lake Mälar, is Sweden’s third largest lake, located  in eastern Sweden. Lake Mälaren is a favorite place for locals and tourists for boat tours and fishing. 

The lake is home to more than 1,200 islands, as well as archaeological sites, castles, and museums such as Drottningholm Palace and Birka the Viking City.

You can find the Swedish royal family home at Drottningholm Palace on Lovon island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was abandoned in the 19th century, but later it was renovated and open to the public. 

On Björkö, you can find Birka the Viking City, home to Birka Museum. Birka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a perfect place to experience what life looked like during the Viking age.

You can take boat tours from Sweden’s capital, spend a couple of days on the lake to see the many popular attractions.

5. Skansen museum and zoo

Skansen is one of the best things to do in Stockholm for families and children. Founded in 1891, by Artur Hazelius, Swedish ethnographer, Skansen is an open-air museum and zoo, located on Djurgården island

The museum has historical buildings and dwellings to show the way of life in Sweden in the past. Covering 15 ha, Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum. There are plenty of things to do in Skansen, you can spend a half day here to explore the area.

Skansen has the appearance of a 19th century Swedish village that is home to a church, farms, a bakery, and blacksmith’s shop.

Stockholm Zoo has Scandinavia native  animals like moose, lynx, wolves, and bears, as well as a Lill-Skansen petting zoo, Skansen Aquarium and the Baltic Sea Science Center.

6. Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum is one of the best things to do in Stockholm because it is one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia. Located in Djurgården, the Vasa Museum is a maritime museum and houses the world’s best preserved 17th-century wooden ship, the Vasa.

Vasa Museum is located within walking distance from Stockholm Central Station, and it is easily reachable by buses, trams and boats.

The Vasa was built for the Swedish navy in the early 17th century as a warship but sank just minutes after launching on its maiden voyage in 1628. The ship was pulled up from underwater in 1961 and has been on display at the Vasa Museum since 1990.

Vasa Museum shows a wide range of artifacts and exhibits related to the ship and its time period, including weapons, tools, and personal items belonging to the crew. 

7. Modern Art Museum

Swedish Museum of Modern Art, also known as Moderna muset in Sweden, is a state museum located  in a 1930s warehouse, on Skeppsholmen island.  

Founded in 1958, Moderna muset displays local and international modern and contemporary art. The museum exhibits Scandinavian and Swedish art containing photography, sculpture, painting, and art film. 

The museum is open to the public and provides guided tours and activities for visitors of all ages.

8. The Medieval Museum

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm is conveniently situated in the Old Town neighborhood, north of the Royal Palace. The museum was built round the medieval monastery from Stockholm’s largest excavation in.

You can learn about the history of medieval Stockholm from the 1250s to the 1520, with its brick houses and booths, workshops, harbor and gallows. 

The museum has an underground exhibition featuring part of the original town wall from the 16th-century, a war ship, and a medieval graveyard.

The Museum of Medieval Stockholm has guided tours, workshops, and educational programs to teach youth and children. You can buy books and postcards from the on-site shop.

9. Junibacken

Junibacken is one of the best things to do in Stockholm for family and kids because it is the Children’s Museum in Stockholm that offers plenty ong things to do for young children.

Opened in 1996 by the Swedish Royal Family, the museum is devoted to the influential Swedish writer of children’s literature, Astrid Lindgren.

Located on the island of Djurgården, you find Sweden’s largest children’s bookstore, as well as theater performances, and interactive games.

Kids can take a train  ride on the Astrid Lindgren’s Story Train, visit Villa Villekulla, which is home to Sweden’s beloved fictional character, Pippi Longstocking, as well as Junibacken’s garden, a large Moomin playground.

Junibacken is also home to a restaurant, providing a break from running and playing.

10. Swedish History Museum

The Swedish History Museum, also known as Historiska museet in Swedish, situated  in the Östermalm district and is run by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

You can learn about Sweden’s history from the Mesolithic period to present day, as well as view gold and silver treasures, and a collection of objects from the Viking period and the Middle Ages.

The museum hosts temporary exhibitions, lectures, themed weekends for visitors of all ages.

11. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is one of the biggest and most dynamic palaces in Europe. The palace is the residence of the King of Sweden and is open to the public year round.

The palace was built by the architect Nicodemus Tessin in Italian baroque style in the 18th century. It has 600 rooms and 11 floors. You can visit the Royal Apartments, Hall of State, reception rooms, the stables, the Treasury, and the Armoury.

It is home to several museums including the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, Treasury with the regalia, and Tre Kronor Museum.

The Royal Chapel and the Riddarholmen Church nearby are open for the public during summer.

The palace also held several ceremonies and events throughout the year, including the Changing of the Guard ceremony, which takes place every day at noon.

12. Fotografiska

Fotografiska is one of the leading photography museums in the world, located in the Södermalm neighborhood, close to Slussen metro station. 

The museum was established by Jan and Per Broman in 2010,  attracting visitors from all over the world. It is famous for its exhibitions of contemporary photography. 

Fotografiska has four large exhibitions and 20 smaller exhibitions. There are also educational programs, events, and a restaurant, which provides a great view over the city, as well as Kastellholmen, Skeppsholmen and Djurgården.

The museum is open from 10am to 11pm everyday. There are guided tours and a ticket is valid for one and half hours in the exhibit halls.

13. The City Hall

Stockholm City Hall, also known as Stadshuset in Swedish, is one of the best things to do and see in Stockholm because it is one of the leading architectural examples of national romanticism.

The City Hall is the seat of the Municipal Council for the City of Stockholm. Created by Ragnar Östberg Swedish architecture, this 106-meter tall tower was constructed from eight million bricks with National Romantic style and has three crowns. 

The Nobel Prize banquet is held annually in the City Hall’s Blue Hal, on December 10th, which is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. 

You can buy designed souvenirs and presents at The City Hall shop.

There are guided tours held daily in Swedish and English. You can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy beautiful views of the city and surrounding waterways.

14. Strandvägen

Strandvägen is a 1.2km long street, packed with palace-like houses and cafés. The street is located in the Östermalm neighborhood, and spans along the eastern shore of Djurgården island. 

Strandvägen is home to many historic buildings, including the Grand Hotel, built in 1874, as well as Royal Swedish Yacht Club, and the Strandvägen 1 building.

The road is also lined with many trndy shops, restaurants, and cafes. You can take leisurely walks and bike rides though its tree-lined promenade and beautiful views of the water.

Strandvägen is a short walk from the famous Djurgården Bridge and is easily reached by public transportation, including buses, trams, and the metro.

15. Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde

Prins Eugen Waldemarsudde is Sweden’s most famous and visited art museum located on Djurgården island. 

It was founded by Prince Eugen, a Swedish artist and member of the royal family, who bequeathed his home and art collection to the Swedish state upon his death in 1947. 

The museum has a collection of paintings, sculptures, and works of art by Prince Eugen and other artists from Sweden and around the world. 

The museum is home to a beautiful park and gardens. There is also a restaurant, Café Ektorpet, and  a gift shop.

16. ABBA Museum

The ABBA Museum is dedicated to the popular Swedish pop group ABBA, located on the Djurgården island,  between Gröna Lund amusement park and the Liljevalchs art venue.

The ABBA Museum has a range of exhibits showing the history and music of ABBA. Visitors can listen to ABBA’s music, watch performances, and see the band’s stage clothes, memorabilia, and artifacts. 

The museum is also home to a recording studio, and a gift shop on site. The ABBA Museum is the must-see in Stockholm for fans of the ABBA iconic group.

17. Gröna Lund amusement park

Gröna Lund is an amusement park located on the island of Djurgården. Founded in 1883, it is one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe. 

Gröna Lund park offers a variety of thrill rides, including roller coasters, spinning rides, and water rides. 

The park provides live music, restaurants, cafes, and food stalls. This amusement park is open from April to September annually.

18. Monteliusvägen

Monteliusvägen is a 500 m long walking path, located inKungsholmen, close to the Rålambshovsparken park and the Söder Mälarstrand waterfront area.

The street is named after a Swedish archaeologist and cultural historian, August Montelius,.  

Monteliusvägen Street is lined with charming houses, and offers a beautiful view of Lake Mälaren, the City Hall, Riddarholmen, and the bay Riddarfjärden.

The street is also within easy reach of several public transportation options, including buses and the Stockholm metro. You can get to Monteliusvägen via the Centralbron bridge  from the central station.

Monteliusvägen is a great spot to visit Stockholm over New Years Eve, and watch fireworks from.

19. Nordic Museum

Nordic Museum, or Nordiska museet in Swedish, is located on Djurgården island. It was founded in 1907 by Artur Hazelius, who also founded the open-air museum Skansen.

one of the largest museums of cultural history in the Nordic countries, and has a collection of over 1.5 million objects from the Early Modern age until the contemporary period. 

Nordic Museum hosts a wide range of exhibitions on furniture, clothes, toys from Sweden and the Nordic countries . 

You can learn about the indigenous people in Sweden, the Sami at its exhibits. There are also shops and the restaurant serves traditional Swedish food.

20. Stortorget

Stortorget, also known as Grand Square,  is the main and oldest square in the old town of Stockholm. Founded in 1420, this square is home to the Nobel Prize Museum, which is dedicated to the Nobel Prize and its founders, and the Stock Exchange Building, which was built in the late 19th century.

You can also find numerous hospitality facilities such as the Chokladkoppen café , the Grillska Huset bakery, and the Pharmarium restaurant. 

The square is also a popular place for outdoor festivals & events, and is a hub of activity throughout the year. You can take photos at its colorful facades on the west side of the square.

21. Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is the 17 century most well-preserved royal castle and is a World Heritage Site. It is located on Lovön island  in Lake Mälar.

The palace was built in Baroque architecture by Nicodemus Tessin. The palace is home to a park, a Chinese Pavilion, and a beautifully preserved theater. 

The southern wing of the palace is the permanent home residence of the royal family. Public can visit the rest of the palace and ground daily.

Drottningholm is easily accessible from Stockholm by car , taxi, and public transport from the Stockholm Central, and by boat from the harbor at Stockholm City Hall. 

22. Södermalm

Södermalm, also known as Söder by locals, is a hipster and artsy district, located just south of theGamla Stan, and easily reachable from the public transport such as buses, trams, and metros.

Södermalm district is home to numerous vintage, fashion and design shops, as well as  beautiful views, food, and fika.

The neighborhood is home to several viewpoints, including Skinnarviksberget viewpoint, perfect place for fika with friends from its popular vantage point.

Known as formerly a working-class area, there are still  old small red wooden houses on  Nytorgsgatan, Stigbergsgatan or Mäster Mikaels Gata streets. 

It is now a trendy district attracting lots of students, young artists, and hipsters. It is easy to explore on foot the areas around Mosebake, Mariatorget, and SoFo. 

The SoFo neighborhood, is known for its independent boutiques and vintage stores, and the Slussen area is home to the iconic Slussen metro and bus station

Tourist landmarks in the Sodermalm are the Fotografiska Museum, the Church of Saint Sofia, and Stockholm City Museum. 

23. Canal Trip

Stockholm is made of 14 islands linked by 57 bridges, and many of the tourist sights are situated along the waterways. Taking a canal trip is a great way to see Stockholm from the water and learn about the city’s history and culture. 

The canal tours usually take from one and three hours. There are tours operated by traditional Swedish open-air boats with a roof to protect you from the sun or rain called saloppet or Mälardrottningen in winter and heated boats in winter.

It is recommended to book tickets in advance to ensure you get the tour that you want. Canal tours information can be reached from online website or at the tourist information centers.

24. Hallwyl Museum

The Hallwyl Museum, also known as Hallwylska museet in Swedish, is a museum of 19th and 20th century life in Stockholm, set in the former home of Count and Countess Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl. 

The Hallwyl Museum was built as a winter house for the couple. It was created by Isak Gustaf, Sweden renowned architect, who also designed the Nordic Museum.

The Hallwyl Museum has collections of art and historical artifacts between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of themes focused on the history and culture of Sweden. 

The museum also has a library and reading room that are open to the public, as well as a cafe and a shop.

25. Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm Public Library was founded in a Swedish Grace style by world-famous architect Gunnar Asplund. 

Stockholm Public Library is one of the largest libraries in Sweden, with a collection of more than a million books, as well as magazines, films, and  music. 

The library is also home to the Stockholm City Archives and Stockholm City Museum.

Stockholm Public Library is open from 10am to 9pm weekdays, from 11am to 5pm on weekends. Admission is free.

26. Norrmalm

Norrmalm is the modern and commercial neighborhood in central Stockholm, to the north of Gamla Stan. Norrmalm is also located close to the Royal Opera House, National Museum of Sweden, Oceanbus, and Stockholm Central Station.

Norrmalm is a shopping lover’s paradise, particularly on the Drottninggatan pedestrian shopping street. You can try tasty food at the Hötorget market.

Sergels Torg is a shopping mecca where you can find many shops, boutiques and department stores. It has a great public transport system, offering easy access to other parts of Stockholm.

27. Kungsträdgården

Kungsträdgården is a park in central Stockholm. In summer, the park has an open-air concert, and an ice rink during winters. 

With its central location and an open-air cafe, it is a popular spot for hangout. 

The park has four different areas including the Square of Charles XII,  Square of Charles XIII, the Fountain of Wolodarski,  and Molin’s Fountain.

The park is bordered by the quay Strömgatan in the south, Hamngatan in the north. It is also close to the Royal Swedish Opera, Handelsbanken’s headquarters and the Kungsträdgården Stockholm station.

28. Go for Fika

Fika in Swedish means coffee break with a biscuit or pastry. A fik is a term for a café, bakery or pastry shop. It is common for people In Sweden to have a fika break several times a day. 

There are many places to go for fika in Stockholm including cafes, bakeries, coffee bars, patisseries, and bistros. Places to go for fika are Fabrique, Vete-Katten, and Johan & Nyström.

29. Nobel Prize Museum

The Nobel Prize Museum, formerly the Nobel Museum,  is located in the former Stock Exchange Building in the heart of Stockholm, the Old Town. It is dedicated to the Nobel Prize, the prize awarded annually for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics.

The museum was opened in 2001. The museum has a permanent exhibition showing the history of the Nobel Prize and information about the Nobel Prize selection process,as well as the lives and achievements of the Nobel laureates.

It features exhibits on the Nobel Prize and its founder, Alfred Nobel, as well as interactive displays and multimedia presentations on the Nobel laureates and their contributions to science, literature, and peace.

The museum also hosts events and educational programs throughout the year, including lectures, seminars, and workshops. 

The Nobel Prize Museum has a bistro for lunch with Nobel chocolate, Swedish cakes, as well as a Nobel ice cream, and shop.

30. Swedish food

Swedish cuisine is known for its hearty and nourishing dishes, often featuring fresh, local ingredients such as seafood, game, and root vegetables. 

Famous Swedish food are  Gravad lax (cured salmon), Raggmunk (potato pancake), Köttbullar (meatballs), Smörgåsbord (traditional Swedish buffet), and Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns).

There are also many international cuisine options available in Stockholm, as well as a thriving food truck scene.

31. Stockholm’s spas

After a long day of walking and shopping to see beautiful Stockholm,you can relax at a spa. Stockholm offers a broad selection of spas and wellness centers. 

There are body massages, facial treatments, foot massages, and many other treats. You can try a classic Swedish massage, which is a type of therapeutic massage designed to relax the entire body, as well as hot and cold baths.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s Stockholm famous for?

Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden that is made of 14 islands. It is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful waterways, and many museums like the Vasa Museum, ABBA Museum,  and Nobel Museum. The city is also home to a thriving tech industry, with many successful startups and companies headquartered in the city.

Is Stockholm Sweden worth visiting?

Stockholm is well worth visiting because it is a beautiful city with stunning architecture, natural surroundings, and rich cultural history. There are many cultural attractions such as museums, galleries, as well as natural beauty such as parks and gardens.

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So there you have it, the best things to do in Stockholm for your next trip. If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment below.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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