Top things to do in Stockholm: 13 beautiful sights to see [+ map]
The Swedish capital Stockholm is waiting for your next visit with its numerous sights. The largest city in Scandinavia is located on 14 islands and is therefore nicknamed the Venice of the North. With about one million inhabitants, the city combines a cosmological flair with unique nature. In addition, the metropolis also has a lot to offer in terms of history and culture.
Planning a trip to Stockholm and wondering what to do there? We will show you the most important tourist attractions and the most beautiful places in Stockholm - places that make the Swedish capital so unique.
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The Top 13 Sights to see in Stockholm at a Glance
We reveal the highlights for your next Stockholm trip, ranging from architectural splendors to hip neighborhoods and unique museums to outdoor experiences. In addition, we recommend some cool and beautiful hotels.
Want to go to Stockholm but don’t know what to see there yet? Then join us on a journey through one of the most distinctive cities in all of Europe and we’ll tell you what is to see there. Many of the places you can easily see in a single day. But even for longer stays, the city has a lot to offer. Below you will find our top sights in Stockholm at a glance.
- Gamla stan
- Stockholm City Hall
- Tyska Krykan
- Stockholm Castle
- Vasa Museum
- ABBA Museum
- Drottningholm Castle
- Skansen Open Air Museum
- Stockholm metro stations
- Gröna Lund Amusement Park
- Swedish National Museum
Map: All sights in Stockholm at a glance
On our interactive city map, you will find all sights in Stockholm at a glance. Have fun discovering the most beautiful places in the metropolis.
1. Gamla stan
In no case, you should miss the most famous sight in Stockholm: Gamla stan. Translated into English, this simply means “Old Town”. This is located on an island, which is built with buildings and cobbled streets from the 17th and 18th century. Since the island lies south of the metropolis, south of Norrmalm, and north of Södermalm, you are never far from Gamla stan in the city center.
Walking through the narrow and extremely charming streets of the Old Town, you will quickly feel transported to another time, when the current Old Town core made up the entire city of Stockholm. Among the many impressive buildings are the must-do’s Stockholm Castle and the churches Tyska kryken and Storkrykan. But even away from the most famous streets, you will quickly find many secret corners on Gamla stan that will leave you amazed.
Since the island is relatively well known touristically, you will find a large number of different tourist stores where you can stock up on plush elks, Abba figurines, and Swedish shirts. However, there are also several handicraft stores, such as glassblowers, traditional fashion stores, and producers of porcelain art. Especially in good weather, you should expect a large crowd of visitors, so we recommend visiting Gamla Stan in the early morning hours when you have the alleys almost to yourself.
2. Stockholm City Hall
What the Eiffel Tower is in Paris, the City Hall (Swedish: stadshus) is in Stockholm. This is considered one of the most famous and important sights in all of Sweden. Therefore, the high brick building, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century, adorns numerous postcards and postcards and is considered one of the most popular photo motifs.
Situated directly on the waterfront, it decorates the Stockholm coastline and is a flagship for the city and the whole country. At 106 meters, the tower of the City Hall towers at the southern end of the island of Kungsholmen (north of Gamla stan) and can be easily seen from many places in the city. You can also climb the tower. There are 365 steps leading up to it.
Inside the building, in addition to the city government, there are several ceremonial halls and courtyards, such as the Blue Hall (Blåhallen), where the annual Nobel Prize awards banquet is held. In addition, you can visit the Bell Tower, from which you can enjoy fantastic views over all of Stockholm.
Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm (Google Maps)
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Adults 100 kroner (about €9.50), children 40 kroner (just under €4).
There are 365 steps to the top of the tower
Tip: Especially in the evening, the view of the city hall from different perspectives is worthwhile, as the lights are then beautifully reflected in the water.
In the middle of the lively district of Norrmalm is the city park Kungsträdgarden, which was already built around 1650. However, this sight is more reminiscent of a large square with green areas in the midst of the city bustle. Nevertheless, Kungsträdgarden, which is often just called “Kungsan” in the vernacular, invites you to linger. It’s an amazing thing to do in Stockholm!
Although the park was initially closed to the public because it was a palace garden reserved for the royal family, nowadays it is one of the most beautiful public places in the Swedish capital. Often various events take place in the park, such as music festivals, diploma ceremonies or political demonstrations, which makes it easy for you to immerse yourself in the authentic life of Stockholm.
Whether you make yourself comfortable at one of the cafés, play a game of chess on one of the enormous game boards, or simply take a short breather in the shade of the numerous trees – a visit to Kungsan is definitely worthwhile.
⭐ Travel guide for your Stockholm vacation
We can highly recommend the following travel guide for your city trip to Stockholm. Just take with you the Lonely Planet Pocket Stockholm (get it here*). It provides you with good sights and special stuff. You should also take a look at The Monocle Travel Guide to Stockholm (get it here*).
4. Tyska Krykan
One of the most famous buildings in the old town and one of the most beautiful sights is the Tyska Krykan, which translates to “German Church”. This is because the church was built in the 15th century by German merchants.
Today, the church still belongs to a German-speaking congregation of the Church of Sweden. There is a German-language service every Sunday at 11 a.m., which, however, follows the Swedish style of masses. You can’t miss the imposing building of the church at all, as it towers far above the rest of the buildings in Gamla stan with its pointed roof.
5. Stockholm Castle
In the middle of Gamla stan, Stockholm Castle (Swedish: Stockholms slott or Kungliga slottet) houses the living quarters and offices of the Swedish family, including those of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Open to the public, there are five different museums directly in this attraction related to the noble family and their past. Don’t miss the Treasury and the Royal Armory.
The castle was built in the 18th century directly on the site of the former Tre Kronor (three crowns) castle. This was destroyed in a devastating fire in 1697, along with the libraries and archives stored there. Even today, the early history of Sweden is therefore often difficult to document and reconstruct.
In addition, you should not miss how directly in front of the baroque building every day at 12:15 (Sundays at 13:15) the changing of the guard of the royal bodyguards takes place. This is precisely planned and a real spectacle.
Kungliga slottet (Google Maps)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the chapel open until 12:00 p.m.
Adults pay 160 kronor, children 80 kronor
Changing of the guard is daily at 12:15 p.m. (Sundays at 1:15 p.m.)
6. Vasa Museum
You always wanted to see a real warship from hundreds of years ago? Then the Vasa Museum is definitely a top thing to do for you! It’s one of the most interesting places to go in Sweden. It exhibits the almost completely preserved war galleon Vasa, which sank in 1628 due to its structural instability, but was then recovered and restored.
Furthermore, you can see many exhibits that give you an impression of life in Sweden in the 17th century. Due to its historical significance and the well-preserved condition of the ship, the Vasa Museum is considered the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia and is therefore not really a secret place to go, but yet, a really fun thing to do in Stockholm!
Of course, a visit is especially good when it rains, when many other attractions are not available. The price varies depending on the month. For example, from May to September, adults pay 190 kroner (about 18 euros), and from October to April, only 170 kroner (about 16 euros).
Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm (Google Maps)
June-August 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; other months 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays until 8 p.m.
Adults pay 190 kroner (about 18 euros) from May to September; children free
The sunken warship is a highlight for kids
7. ABBA Museum
“Gimme, gimme, gimme”, “Mamma Mia” or “Dancing Queen” – the Swedish pop band ABBA, who became famous in 1974 with their victory at the Eurovision Song Contest, is a cult. For decades, they have thrilled music fans worldwide with their catchy songs and undisputed charm.
Since 2013, Stockholm now has the ABBA Museum, which is definitely one of the most fun but also interesting sights. In the museum you can go on a journey through the career of the four Swedes Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Fred (the first letters form the name of the band).
From original sound recordings to colorful outfits and instruments, you will find all kinds of exhibits that will make the heart of any fan beat faster. Since there are also some things to try out for yourself in the museum (such as recording songs in a mock recording studio), you should plan enough time and stay on site for at least two hours.
Djurgårdsvägen 68 (Google Maps)
10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Aug. 31, then 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, Thursdays until 8 p.m.
Adults pay 220 to 280 kroner (about 20 to 26 euros), children 80 to 110 kroner
An audio guide for 20 kronor (just under €2) is definitely worth it
8. Drottningholm Castle
Another wonderful thing to do on the way to Drottningholm is to visit this fantastic viewpoint: From the island Kärsön you have a spectacular view of the neighboring islands and the peaceful nature that surrounds you there.
To visit the picturesque Drottningholm Castle, you’ll have to get a bit out of the city center and take one of the streetcars and then a bus to the west of the city. However, the 45-minute drive to this attraction is definitely worth it once you arrive at the beautiful and peacefully situated castle, which is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the city.
The castle, which was built in 1580 for the Swedish queen, is still one of the main residences of the royal family. Due to the extremely worth seeing architecture Drottningholm is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as the “Swedish Versailles”.
But not only the castle itself is a real eye-catcher: Around the castle you will find the well-kept and peaceful castle garden, which is open to the public and can easily be explored on foot. With its romantic atmosphere, it is ideal for couples, among others.
An insider tip: Instead of taking the bus the last part of the way from Nockeby, you can also walk and see the beautiful forests and shores of the islands Kärsön and Lovön.
9. Skansen Open Air Museum
Skansen Open Air Museum is located on the outer edge of the city and is not to be confused with a conventional museum. In Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum with an accompanying zoo, you can see how people lived in different parts of Sweden before industrialization in a kind of original walk-in village. It’s an unusual thing to do and to see in Stockholm!
For this reason, in the village you will find, among other things, various shoemakers, bakers, silversmiths, and glassblowers who will display their arts and help you feel transported to another time. In any case, the Skansen sight offers unforgettable impressions that will make your stay in Stockholm unique.
Djurgårdsslätten 49-51 (Google Maps)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Adults pay 220 kroner (20.50 euros), children 70 kroner (6.50 euros)
Families should plan a full day here
Information: the central Bollnäs Square hosts regularly varying original events, such as a Christmas market or folklore concerts.
Södermalm is located just south of Gamla stan and is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Stockholm. Thus, the entire neighborhood is one of the most modern and exciting places to visit and one of the most popular and cool places to explore in the Swedish capital.
Here you will find numerous secondhand stores, cozy cafes and many different types of mainly young people. There are also all kinds of students and artists living here, which makes the neighborhood very colorful. You can stroll around Gätgatan and go shopping as well as try food from all over the world (including Sweden, of course) in one of the many restaurants.
There are also several great viewpoints, from which you have a fantastic view of the old town and the newer parts of the Swedish capital from above. Especially Monteliusvägen and Skinnarviksberget (both free of charge) stand out, as both are absolute photo spots. To get to these places, though, don’t be afraid to walk up stairs, as most of the way has to be climbed on foot.
11. Stockholm Subway Stations
In contrast to many other cities, many stations of the Stockholm subway feel more like a museum. These stations are colorfully decorated and often have a thematic reference to the environment in which they are located.
Therefore, we definitely recommend you to use public transportation or even take a tour of the metro stations to discover this sight. A one-way ticket costs 38 kronor (about 3,50€) and a 24-hour ticket for adults costs 160 kronor (about 15€).
Especially the following stations you should not miss:
The T-Centralen station, located in the middle of the city center, was painted by the Finnish artist Per Olof Ultvedt on the walls with blue giant leaves on a white background and therefore reminds you of a kind of victory hall. Just a few stops further, you can feel like you’re in the underworld at Rådhuset Station, with its deep red painted walls and solid pedestals.
Further north is one of our favorite stations, Stadium Station, which is completely covered in rainbows. One stop further, you’ll be at Tekniska Högskolan station, which displays artistic technical achievements on its wall in keeping with the adjacent technical college.
Further west you will find Tensta Station, located in a region with a large migrant population. Therefore, the artist wanted to leave a welcome message with his friendly white, blue and red paintings of animals, plants and lettering. Other recommended stops are Akalla, Solna Centrum, Kungsträdgården, Universitetet and Thorildsplan.
12. Gröna Lund Amusement Park
Just east of the city center you’ll find one of Sweden’s most visited attractions, Gröna Lund. In this amusement park, you can ride over 30 different attractions, such as roller coasters and FreefallTower, making a visit one of the most fun things to do in Stockholm.
The park is a popular destination for all families with children or visitors who like it wild. A special feature is that in the summer there are often pop concerts by international artists or dance events with salsa or bachata music.
From the center you can either use a streetcar to get there or take one of the ferries, which are included in the price of public transportation.
Lills Allmänna Gränd 9 (Google Maps)
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily during the vacations
Adults and children 10 years and older pay 295-525 kronor (about 27-49 euros)
Admission prices are lower during the week
13. Swedish National Museum
In the Swedish National Museum, renovated and modernized just a few years ago, you’ll find works of art from six different centuries. The total of almost 50,000 exhibits include paintings, drawings, and plastic art and are an absolute must-do for all art lovers who also want to learn something about Sweden’s history.
At the same time, the permanent exhibition of this attraction, which is free of charge, is extensive and large enough for anyone who wants to get an impression of Swedish art of the last centuries.
The special exhibitions, which change regularly, are only recommended if you have a lot of time and want to get an even deeper insight into specific topics. A visit to the museum is definitely worth it, especially if the weather is bad it’s a fun thing to do in Stockholm!
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2 (Google Maps)
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, closed Mondays
Only the special exhibitions cost 50-170 kroner (5 to 16 euros)
In the afternoon and during the week the prices are cheaper
Where to stay in Stockholm? – the best tips
In Stockholm, there really is a suitable accommodation for all tastes. If you want to stay more luxuriously, we recommend the five-star Nobis Hotel (check prices here*), which is located in the middle of the shopping district not far from many sights. In the old brick building with a cozy courtyard for sitting outside, you’ll quickly feel well taken care of. We also recommend the rich and delicious breakfast here.
If you want to spend a little less money, we suggest the modern and chic four-star Hotel Birger Jarl (check prices here*), where you can try traditional Swedish food. Again, you’ll be in a great location and less than 10 minutes from Stockholm’s nightlife district.
If you’d rather sleep in the hip Södermalm district than in the touristic city center, check out the three-star Hellstens Glashus Hotel (check rates here*), with its colorful and modern rooms and glass bathroom fixtures. The neighborhood is home to many trendy stores and restaurants, and Gamla stan (Old Town) is a 15-minute walk across the Centralbron Bridge.
You should also check out the four-star Hotel Hasselbacken (check prices here*), located on the island of Djurgården in the east of the city. From there, it’s a short walk to the Vasa Museum, ABBA Museum, Skansen Museum, and Gröna Lund. Hotel highlights include Swedish food in the restaurant and marble bathrooms.
Restaurants and food in Stockholm
An important event in Sweden, and therefore of course in Stockholm, is fika. Fika simply translates to coffee break. This is accompanied by cookies, Danish pastries, cakes or the famous cinnamon buns, Kanelbullar. Incidentally, fika in Sweden actually takes place twice a day. Namely, at 9:30 am and at 3:00 pm. The best cinnamon buns – and yes, this is of course a matter of taste – can be found at the Vallhallabageriet bakery in the Östermalm neighborhood on Valhallavägen Street behind Gustav Adolf Park.
We can recommend the following restaurants in Stockholm:
- Bakfickan Djuret (Google Maps) – hip and also a bit expensive.
- Restaurant Oaxen Krog & Oaxen Slip – the bistro to the famous restaurant (Google Maps)
- Röda Villan on Stora Fjäderholmen (Google Maps) – here you can get fresh fish with a view of the Baltic Sea
- Östermalms Saluhall – since 1888 you can find delicacies in the Stockholm market hall with antique stalls, highly recommended (Google Maps)
- Pelikan (Google Maps) – typical Swedish home cooking exquisitely cooked with attentive staff.
Facts and figures about Stockholm
- As the largest metropolis in the Nordic countries, Stockholm is often unofficially referred to as the capital of Scandinavia.
- The city was built on 14 islands, so you’re never far from a shore.
- Ferries are one of the public transportation options. With them, you can quickly and easily travel by water from one of the 14 islands to another. These ways are often faster than the ways over land by bus and train and besides, you get to see the city from a different perspective.
- About 30% of the city area is water and 40% of the land area is covered by green areas (forests, parks, grass, …).
- Stockholm is considered one of the cleanest cities in the world. This is not only due to the good waste disposal of the inhabitants: The city has extremely little industry and relies on green energy. In addition, there are many people who rely on hybrid vehicles or even their bicycles, thus polluting the environment less.
- The world’s first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm in 1901.
- “Stockholm” translated means “island of trees”.
I hope you enjoyed my article about the most beautiful sights in Stockholm and all the must-dos. The question of what you can do and experience in Stockholm, I think we have super answered. The city is an absolute crowd puller and is definitely worth a visit over a long weekend.