Stockholm has a wide variety of exciting sights and attractions. Tourists often start with a visit to the Old Town and the Royal Castle. The Royal Palace is sited on historic grounds and reportedly dates back to the 1200s, when Birger Jarl built a castle on the site. Sweden is a monarchy and just southwest of the city is Drottningholm Palace, which serves as the residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. There are also several historic churches, of which the royal church Riddarholmskyrkan is the most important being the only medieval abbey surviving in Stockholm dating from the Middle Ages.
In the middle of town is the Royal Garden or "Stockholm's living room" - an oasis where people come to hang out, eat well and relax. A little further away, out on Djurgården island is the city's popular amusement park Grona Lund, with exciting attractions and concerts. In the same area you will find Junibacken - a fairy tale world inspired by Astrid Lindgren's famous children's books. There is also Skansen with its museum and zoo, where you can see wolves and other wildlife.
The city is surrounded by water and in many places you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Kaknästornet has a 155-meter tower and from the top of the tower the views are striking. At the Globen arena, or the Globe, there is also the opportunity to take a gondola trip up to the peak, which is 130 meters above sea level. This attraction is called Skyview and when you see the view you will understand why.
With it’s 750-year history, Stockholm has a lot to tell and therefore there are many interesting museums for you to visit. In the vicinity of the Royal Palace you will find the Armoury, Medieval Museum and Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities. The warship Vasa sank during its maiden voyage in 1628, but the ship has been salvaged and is on display at the Vasa Museum on Djurgården island. We recommend you visit the ABBA the Museum while on the island.
The town also houses the Museum of Natural History - Cosmonova, Nordic Museum, the City Museum and the Technical Museum, which presents technology and development from a historical perspective. Aquaria is a living museum with a focus on aquatic creatures. Aquaria offers you the chance to see sharks and visit the rainforest. Hallwyl is a former private residence, which has been preserved in its entirety. This 18th century palace was ahead of its time and is decorated with unique modernity and beautiful art.
In Stockholm there are several interesting art museums. Besides Carl Eldhs Studio Museum there is also the National Museum, which shows old paintings by great artists such as Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn. Moderna Museet shows the current art and art installations. There is also the Museum of Photography.
Stockholm has a large range of accommodation and there is not usually any difficulty in finding a good hotel room. Different price ranges are available, you can find everything from luxury hotels with elegant guest rooms and suites to budget hotels and cheap hostels. Luxury hotels are often in a prime location on Beach Road, overlooking the water. Some of the budget hotels offer cabin accommodations, which means compact, simple rooms with no windows. Choosing a hotel that suits your needs and pocketbook can be difficult at times. A good method to find the right one is to study previous guest reviews and experiences.
Right in the center you will find popular shopping areas with boutiques, shops and malls, such as NK or Nordiska Kompaniet and Åhléns. In addition to these you may want to visit Haymarket with Hotorgshallen, which is Sweden's largest indoor market. Easy to reach, it is a few blocks away from the Central Station and there are good connections to the subway and bus. A little further away is also Östermalm and Stureplan and many other exclusive shops.
The Old Town is a popular shopping area, the streets are lined with unique little shops and in recent years Södermalm has also become a very popular shopping area. Many come here for the unique blend of craftsmanship, design and vintage items. Stockholm has several large malls and the one nearest the center is Liljeholmstorget, just a few subway stops away.
There are two airports serving the city. Most people who travel to Stockholm arrive through Stockholm-Arlanda Airport which is 40 km north of the city. From here you can comfortably commute to the city center with the Arlanda Express train or an airport shuttle. Stockholm-Bromma Airport has a more central location. Travel to and from this second airport can be either transfer by shuttle buses or the metro.
Most convenient is of course to travel by taxi. In Sweden there is free pricing, and prices can vary widely between taxi companies. Please ask about price before starting the journey, to avoid unpleasant surprises. There are some illegal taxi drivers and it is safest to travel with one of the city's reputable taxi companies. Valid taxi identification should always be visible in the car and the meter should be turned on.
Once in the city, there is a well-developed transportation system consisting of buses and metro, which has lines that extend both inside and outside the city. Stockholm Central Station is located right in the city center, close to Arlanda Express and the City Terminal. Many Swedes prefer to travel to Stockholm by train instead of by car, because the latter is often associated with traffic jams. Moreover, it is difficult and expensive to find parking in central city.
Some visitors to the city arrive by cruise ship from Finland, Riga or Tallinn. The Tallink and Silja Lines use an arrival terminal in Freeport, and from there you can find many buses into the center. Between Stockholm's islands there are several boat lines and even some running with a traditional steamer. If you want to get out to the more remote parts of the archipelago, there are also other ferry lines.
There are many ways to get around and experience the city. Stockholm is a nice city to walk in, and offers both private and public guided hiking tours and photo walks. Hop-on hop-off tour buses are a popular choice, where you yourself choose what to see and how long you want to stay in each place.
To get to see the city from another perspective, it is a nice adventure to travel by water. Gray lines offers a sightseeing boat trip called "Under the bridges of Stockholm". During the journey you pass fifteen bridges and locks and get to see several well-known neighborhoods. You can also find companies that provide private cruises.
If you are looking to explore the city on your own, you can island hop with any of Waxholmsbolaget’s numerous ferries and boat tours. It is also possible to take a kayak trip and or have a sailing adventure in the Stockholm archipelago. For the more daring visitor a ghost walk, roof tour, helicopter ride, or ride over the city in a hot air balloon might be of interest.
In Stockholm there are several large venues, as Globen, Stockholm Stadium and the Tele2 Arena. The largest is the Friends Arena and the surface here can be shifted as needed for different sporting events. At the ice hockey matches ice is of course preferred, whereas it can be gravel for other events such as the Stockholm Horse Show. The arenas are used also for football matches, sporting events and concerts. Hovet is another popular venue, where a good number of famous artists have had the roof off through the years.
The city also organizes other major sporting events, such as the Stockholm Marathon and Stockholm Royal Park Aquathlon. Other events that usually attract large numbers of visitors are cultural events and festivals such as Stockholm Pride (Pride).
Södermalm Södermalm offers an interesting and picturesque urban environment. Here you can find a variety of cozy cafés and boutiques - many with a focus on design, art, crafts and vintage. Tourists often come here to visit the Photographic Museum and or to enjoy theater performances at venues such as the South Theater or the Gota Lejon. On the western end of the island, near Hornstull you will find Tantolunden, a popular nature area with plantation cottages and lidos.
Östermalm The fine neighborhoods around Östermalm are adorned with many beautiful buildings with handsome facades. Östermalm and Norrmalm are also among Stockholm's hottest neighborhoods along with Stureplan square and boast exclusive nightspots, restaurants and shops. You will also find Östermalmshallen and Stureplan mall here.
Gamla stan Old Town wins many hearts with its narrow, cobblestone streets and quaint houses. You will find the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral and the beautiful Skeppsbrokajen, which invites strolling by the water. The area has many small shops, galleries, restaurants and cafes. Other attractions here include the Treasury, the Nobel Museum, the Royal Mews and the Royal Armoury. On Helgeandsholmen which is adjacent to Old Town the Reichstag and Museum of Medieval Stockholm can be found.
City In the heart of the city, a few blocks from Stockholm Central Station and the Arlanda Express there are several popular shopping areas, both major centers and smaller shops. Here you can also visit Sergelstorg square or the ”plate" and the city's cultural center, which is run by the Culture City Theatre.
Kungsholmen Kungsholmen is known for its beautiful parks and promenades. Many visitors go on one of the Strömma Canal Company’s day trips to the island. This is Stockholm's City Hall, which is one of the country's most famous buildings. In summer you can visit the high City Hall tower, which provides a great view of the city. It is also possible to tour the Golden Hall and Blue Hall, which are used as a banquet halls during the annual Nobel Banquet. In summertime many also take a dip at the popular Smeduddsbadet beach, or have a jog around the Norrmälarstrand waterfront boulevard.
Haga Near the center of Stockholm lies the leafy Haga Park. This English-style park harboring Haga Slott, which since 2010 has been the residence of the Crown Princess. There is also the Butterfly House and Haga Ocean, where visitors can view great white sharks up close.
Vasastan This central district is very picturesque and bears many traces of another time. One of the most famous local profiles in the area was the famous author Astrid Lindgren, who for 70 years lived in an apartment in Dalagatan, overlooking Vasa Park.
Djurgården The scenic area of Djurgården with the beautiful Rosendal Palace with its gardens and Rose's Garden Café is very popular among both tourists and the Stockholm locals. In addition to the Vasa Museum, there is also Skansen, Junibacken fantasy play land for children and the Tivoli Grona Lund amusement park. The newest audience magnets here are ABBA the Museum and the Swedish Music Hall of Fame.
The Archipelago Stockholm archipelago consists of 30 000 islands and there are inexhaustible opportunities for adventure. You do not need your own boat to get out because there is a wide selection of ferry routes, tourist boats and various boat trips Many tourists go on a day trip to one of the larger islands, Utö or Fjäderholmarna where there are plenty of cafes, restaurants and small shops. On Fjäderholmarna can also try a sample of Swedish whiskey, at the Mackmyra whiskey warehouse.
Birka On the island Björkö in Lake Mälaren, lies the remains of the former Viking town of Birka, which had its heyday in the 700's. Whether on a full or half day trip you can enjoy guided tours, refreshments and visits to the island's museum. Often in this charming Viking environment various special markets, spectacles, battle demonstrations and lectures are held.
Vinterviken Vinterviken is a scenic park area in a bay in East Lake Mälaren. For many years Alfred Nobel engaged in business here and many of the buildings related to his enterprises are preserved as historic. The former dynamite factory now houses a café and function rooms and in the surrounding garden there are plenty of picnic areas.
Långholmen Långholmen is a long narrow island between Kungsholmen and Södermalm. This was formerly a famous prison and a part of the prison now serves as a youth hostel. The area is popular for its beautiful nature and both locals and tourists enjoy this recreational area.
Stockholm has a rich nightlife offering a wide selection of pubs, bars and nightclubs and it is said that the hottest nightlife is at Stureplan. There are also a variety of cabaret and entertainment packages, some of which are at Wallman salons which usually include both the show and dinner. Many people appreciate humor and entertainment between courses, while others prefer the more traditional shows. Besides theater performances there are concerts, operas, ballets and musicals such as Kristina.
If you want to experience the best Swedish cuisine Stockholm had many good restaurants that blend the best of Swedish food traditions with new influences. Here you will find the world famous Opera Cellar, Restaurant Frantzen and Mathias Dahlgren's dining room, all of which are featured in the White Guide. Included among the more traditional eateries are the Tore Wretmans KB (Konstnärsbaren) and Gyldene peace - a traditional restaurant that is more than 300 years old.
There are plenty of pubs and nice bars - some with live music and entertainment. The city offers an immense range of pleasant cafes and patisseries, with good handmade pastries. Many gourmet restaurants offer unique menus, prepared with the best seasonal ingredients. In different parts of the city organized private courses in cooking can be found. If you are interested in special culinary experiences it is a good idea to find information on your interests even before you begin your journey.
Stockholm has a northern location and variations in weather can be extreme from time to time. The summer is usually warm and sunny, while the winter months are generally cold, with snow and ice. In the summertime it can be worthwhile to look for hotels with air conditioning - especially if you visit the city during July and August, which are the hottest months.
Stockholm is a relatively expensive city to stay in and it can cost a lot to snack and eat out. In the center and in the most attractive areas there are many really fine, award winning restaurants, but there are also plenty of affordable options. It may be worthwhile to seek a bit away from the most popular tourist areas.
At events like the Stockholm Marathon and Pride Stockholm Pride the hotels in town may book up quickly and at certain times it may be difficult to find a good hotel room. Therefore it is always a good idea to reserve well in advance - make a request to the desired hotel before you book the trip.
During some especially busy weekends and holidays, such as Christmas and Easter there may be limited open hours in museums and stores is. At those times that there may even be some changes in local transport timetables.
In Stockholm it is possible to book different types of packages, which can include both hotel and entry to attractions for example the Grona Lund package. There are also packages that include a show and dinner. The Stockholm Package also gives discounts on travel with public transport.
If you visit Stockholm the Stockholm card can be a convenient way to save money. It includes free admission to 80 different museums and attractions, sightseeing and unlimited free travel on public transport.