The Best Things To Do In Stockholm

Written By: Derek Ainsworth

As the capital city of Sweden, Stockholm has a lot to offer visitors from around the world. Beautiful architecture, an expansive number of islands and waterways weaving throughout the city, and the rich history gives it a subtle and natural appeal. Whether you’re interested in hopping in a van for a road trip around the city limits, or you plan to stay in the city center to soak up the historic ambiance and culture, your itinerary is sure to be packed no matter how long your visit to Stockholm is.

It’s waterfront location makes it especially beautiful – locals call their city ‘beauty on water’ and it’s no wonder why. Though it might seem like Stockholm is set in its ways, there are still many modern aspects and changes that go on to keep it at the forefront of any other Nordic and European city. Spread around various islands, one might think it would be hard to get around, but thanks to the plentiful bridges and public transportation, it’s easier to explore than you could imagine. Add in the frequent use of cycling as a primary mode of transportation and you’ll get anywhere you want within a short time and limited traffic.

Like many other historic cities, you’ll find an old-world vibe in Stockholm, as well as the modern neighborhoods. Dating back to 1252, the city has long been a factor in medieval living, as well as an important aspect in the life of Vikings. As you walk throughout the city, you’ll notice bits and pieces of the old city still peaking through in strategic areas. The overall design of Stockholm is simple, but elegant and at the forefront of modern architecture. Museums are dedicated to design and style – if you love industrial design, you’re definitely in luck with the variety of collections and exhibits. However, if museum hopping isn’t really your thing, there are enough shops and restaurants to keep you occupied before you head out and explore the surrounding landscape. When in Sweden, you’ll begin to notice one thing – the functionality and minimalist design is important for the lifestyle and the overall look of the city.


Stockholm Archipelago

The Stockholm Archipelago is a trove of natural wonders, with miles of glittering ocean dotted with thousands of islands, rocky coves, and sandy beaches. Extending roughly 37 miles (60 kilometers) east of Stockholm, the vast archipelago offers ample opportunities for scenic cruises, day tours, and multi-day island-hopping tours.


Grona Lund Tivoli

Close to the heart of Stockholm – on the island Djurgarden – have a break from sightseeing and take in some fun at Grona Lund Tivoli. This park packs in more than 30 rides, with fun for all ages, and has lots of places to relax and grab a nice meal. Make sure you try the rollercoaster, and check to see if there are any concerts on during your stay!


Stockholm Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet)

While still the King’s official residence, the Stockholm Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) is a stunning example of Baroque and Rococo architecture, with many rooms open to the public, including the beautiful Royal Apartments. Explore the museums, that take you through the history of the country and the role the palace has played throughout time, and witness the fascinating opulence of a bygone era.


Gamla Stan

Any trip to Stockholm just has to include a visit to Gamla Stan, the historic heart of the city. Stroll along the cobblestone alleyways and enjoy this beautifully preserved district, which dates all the way back to the thirteenth-century. Here you are close to several of the city’s popular landmarks, and as you move through the Stortorgot, remember that in the sixteenth-century this square was the site of a massacre that led to upheaval in the country!


Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet)

Five-hundred years of Swedish history is catalogued and brilliantly displayed at the magnificent Nordic Museum (Nordiska Museet), located on a beautiful island in the centre of the city. Founded in the nineteenth-century, you will be fascinated by the exhibitions that show the evolution of the country’s culture over the centuries, as demonstrated by furnishings, clothes and household items.


Vasa Museum

The naval history of Sweden is on display at the Vasa Museum, with the only intact seventeenth-century warship – the Vasa – that has been salvaged. The ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1628, and sat on the sea bed for over three-hundred years. This interactive museum – with recreated interiors of the ship – takes you on a fascinating journey of the battles of the past, and life as it is on the sea.



Life before the industrial revolution was so different to today, but a tour of Skansen will certainly bring it back to life! Stroll around the seventy-five acres, and explore more than one-hundred houses and workshops, displaying the crafts and lifestyles before machines became a new way of life. Then, visit the zoo that has a wide variety of Scandinavian animals on display, such as moose, bears and reindeers!



Sweden’s oldest town nestles around Lake Mälaren in the scenic, lakeland region of Lunda north of Stockholm. Nowadays a pretty town of brightly painted wooden townhouses, narrow streets, plenty of restaurants and low-key hotels, Sigtuna is crammed with classy souvenir shops and galleries along its meandering main street of Stora gatan.



With a history dating back to Viking times and a wealth of well-preserved medieval architecture, the picturesque city of Uppsala makes a popular day trip from Stockholm, located an hour north of the capital. Despite being Sweden’s fourth largest city, Uppsala’s charming small-town atmosphere and close-knit attractions make it easy to get around on foot or by bike.

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