If you are heading to the capital of Sweden, make sure you know the best places to visit in advance so you can make the most of a long weekend in Stockholm.
Stockholm is an excellent place for a short trip, as it’s easy to get around the picturesque streets and explore museums, historic buildings and inspiring views. See our guide on what to do and see and where to stay.
Start your weekend in Stockholm by exploring the ancient streets of Gamla Stan, the Old Town. As one of Europe’s greatest unspoilt medieval city centres it makes an excellent place to get to know the city.
Stroll around the narrow cobbled streets, admiring the colourful buildings and medieval frescoes. Browse the shops filled with local crafts and antiques, pop in to one of the many cafes or restaurants in the area for an authentic smörgåsbord, and learn about the Nobel prize and laureates in the Nobel Museum. Gamla Stan also has several churches that are worth a visit, particularly Stockholm Cathedral, historic Riddarholm Church, and the German Church.
After you’ve explored Gamla Stan, head to the main attraction in the area, the Royal Palace, official residence of the King of Sweden. This huge Baroque building has five museums and hundreds of rooms for visitors to explore, with the Armory and daily changing of the guard particular highlights.
For amazing views of the city, take the Metro from Gamla Stan to Globen and visit SkyView, the world’s largest spherical building, which has glass gondolas that take you 130m up.
If you plan to visit lots of museums and attractions in Stockholm, consider buying a Stockholm Card in advance to save money on your trip.
Delve into Stockholm’s past and head over to Royal Djurgarden. Make your first port of call the open air museum Skansen, which has 150 historic farms and houses. Residents in folk costumes perform tasks like baking and taking care of animals, and offer a look at traditional life. Skansen is also home to a zoo which features Scandinavian animals, such as reindeer, wolves and brown bears.
The nearby Vasa Museum, the most popular museum in Scandanavia, houses the world’s only preserved seventeenth century ship, the Vasa. This warship sank on its maiden voyage from Stockholm in 1628 and was recovered in 1961. It’s an awe inspiring sight, expertly restored to its former glory with incredible carvings and accompanying exhibits.
Djurgarden is home to beautiful parklands, historic ports, and elegant waterfronts that you can explore on a nice day. It also has many other fantastic Stockholm attractions, like the interactive ABBA The Museum, and social history objects at the Nordic Museum.
Afterwards head to Stockholm City Hall to marvel at the architecture and interiors, and then indulge in some retail therapy on Hamngatan and find the latest Scandinavian fashion and design.
No trip to Stockholm would be complete without a day trip on the water to the incredible Stockholm archipelago. The archipelago is made up of some 30,000 islands, with a range of incredible attractions for visitors.
You can explore ancient villages, castles, tiny cities, war museums, art galleries, stunning scenery and more on the Stockholm archipelago, and enjoy some fantastic food and drink. Taking a boat is the best way of getting around, but you can also reach some of the destinations by bus, train or bike.
Where to Stay
If mention of Abba piqued your interest then you might enjoy staying at the Rival Hotel in Stockholm, which is owned by Benny Andersson and has a Swedish movie theme to the rooms.
The renowned Grand Hôtel in Stockholm has been a popular destination for visitors since 1874, with an excellent location, five star rooms and great views over the water.
Hotel Skeppsholmen is in the heart of the city and makes a more affordable, yet elegant, place to stay, with spacious rooms and a peaceful location.
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