Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and includes 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on the Baltic Sea archipelago. Stockholm is known for its old town, or Gamla Stan with cobble stone streets and colorful cottages. Inside Old Town is a 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, on the Nobel Prize. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between the islands. Stockholm is a charming swedish town that is filled with beautiful architecture and a mix between modern and old town medieval architecture. The city is filled with old beautiful kyrkas (churches) to explore as well as a huge open public square with a local flea market as well as lots of shops, coffee spots, restaurants and is a very walkable city. There are lots of fun day trips you can take between the islands surrounding Stockholm.
How to get there
The closest airport into the city is only a 15 minute drive and 10 kilometers away called Bromma airport. The other airport is called Arlanda and is 30 minutes outside the city.
Bromma Airport to Stockholm City
Flygbussarna Airport Coaches leave timed with flights arriving and departing from the airports. Bus time: 20 minutes (Bromma). This bus is really the main way coming from this smaller airport to get into the city. The bus leaves from terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5. The ticket price per adult is 99 SEK online or on the app, and 119 SEK in person or on the bus. Full information and schedule here.
Arlanda Airport to Stockholm City
The Arlanda Express train goes to and from Stockholm Central Station every 15 minutes during the day. The travel time is only 20 min. Tickets booked online are cheaper than on the train. These are the faster option of the trains. An adult ticket costs 295 SEK in person single trip, 570 SEK roundtrip. Online the single tickets for adults are 195 SEK. Full info here.
Commuter trains to Stockholm depart twice an hour from Arlanda and take around 50-60 minutes. This is the cheaper slower train than the Express train. The tickets cost between 32-64 kroner depending on your card or destination. Plan your trip and see price and schedule here.
Bus and taxi
You can also travel by bus or taxi. The Flygbussarna Airport Coaches leaves around every 10-15 minutes going to Arlanda Airport and back to the City Terminal (next to the Central Station) and the bus route is about 35-45 minutes. The bus leaves from terminal 2, 3, 4 & 5. The ticket price per adult is 99 SEK online or on the app, and 119 SEK in person or on the bus. Full information and schedule here.
Taxis take around 40 mins to central Stockholm. This is the most expensive option that takes the same time as the train and bus to get into the city center. Taxis charge a maximum of 675 SEK in the city zones. Taxi rates are found here.
This is a card that you can purchase that gives you access to a lot of tourist places, museums and historical sites in Stockholm to save you money on all the entry fees. You get free entry to over 60 attractions and museums including boat and bus tours of the city. There are hop on and off busses and boats to see different parts of the city or the local islands nearby. There is also a guidebook with maps you get with your pass. There is a 1-5 day option in buying the pass. A 1 day pass is $70USD, $99USD for a 2 day pass and $121 for a 3 day pass. This pass would include your transportation in and around the city as well as attractions so depending on your trip and length this could be worth it.
Top Attractions included: Vasa Museum, Hop on Hop Off Bus & Boat Tours, The Royal Palace, Skansen – Open air museum, Stockholm Panorama bus sightseeing, Drottningholm Palace, Nobel Museum, Fotografiska, Gröna Lund Tivoli, Under the bridges of Stockholm, Skyview, Junibacken, Daytrip to Birka by boat – Viking City, Nordic Museum, Royal Canal Tour, Tom Tits Experiment, Aquaria Watermuseum.
Details & booking here.
Things to do
Flea Market in Hötorget Sergel Ur plaza
This flea market is right downtown in the main shopping area with all the malls, shops and restaurants held in one of the large open plazas. There are so many antiques, old cameras, huge book bins, persian rugs, lots of pottery and tea sets and all kinds of unique vintage products for sale. This is a fun market to walk around that is open air and has some great deals. There were some really cool books for you book lovers. Be on the lookout for weekend sales in the plaza in the main shopping square.
Gamla Stan Old Town
This Old Town area of the city is filled with cobble stone streets that is a pedestrian area between colorful cottages. This area is filled with little shops, cafes and markets. There are lots of quality restaurants, pubs and shops near Stockholm’s Royal Palace. This is a hub of medieval architecture and the cultural hub, history, art and character of the charming city. This is definitely my favorite area of the now modern city. This portion is like stepping back in time with old charm. Stortorget is the colorful cottage lineup in the central part of Gamla Stan that is a classic picture of the area.Cafe Dox is a trendy cool craft coffee spot. Kaffekoppen is another classic cafe with home baked goods and is cozy. Cafe Shweizer is at the front of the Gamla Stan Old Town that is an upscale coffee shop as well as patisserie and home baked goods and food that are delicious. Jerusalem Kebab is a cheap spot for lunch in the Old Quarter that is delicious, kebab is the cheapest fast food that is still fresh in Europe most cities. The Royal Palace is here to visit, as well as Storkyrkan a beautiful gothic cathedral with the oldest image of Stockholm. The House of Nobility is another historical site to see in Gamla Stan, as well as Riddarholmen Church the resting place of many swedish monarchs. There is the Nobel Prize museum which is a popular tourist spot. Tweed and Pharmarium are two well known cocktail bar spots. Tweed is more a beautiful outdoor terrace with lights for good weather days, whereas, Pharmarium is a gypsy vintage den with craft cocktails and creative mixology. There are lots of cute nooks and areas to explore of the narrow alleyways in the brick and cobblestone of the Gamla Stan.
Have Fika at one of the cute hygge coffee shops
There are so many good cafes and coffee shops in the town. This is a huge part of the Swedish culture with, “fika,” essentially a sweets break in life. More than that it is a way of life and a concept in Swedish culture. It means making time for people and space to pause in the day and enjoy life, to connect. Fika can be by yourself as well, sacred space of just being in a day. There is a great article description here to read more. This is one of the Swedish cultural pieces I love so much. I am all about pausing to have some yummy snacks or treats and pause in the day. Take fika often in your day when you visit. There are too many cute cafes to visit. A list of some of our favorites were, Drop Coffee, Color Factory Cafe, Johan & Nystrom cafe.
This is an upscale cafe that is a mix between a coffee shop and restaurant with delicious home baked pastries and home made meals. They serve traditional Swedish food with fresh and local ingredients. They are famous for their soups, sandwiches, as well as their homemade pastries and cakes. The lunch special is 11am-2pm for 98 SEK.
Hours: 7am-8pm daily, 7am-9pm Fri & Sat
Explore the Metro Art (Tunnelbana)
It’s the world’s longest art exhibition, and artworks cover a total of 110km. Since 1950, artists have been incorporating art in the Tunnelbana stations using sculptures, paintings and installations. There are several stations that are worth a visit. Kungsträdgården puts on an impressive exhibition of broken sculptures that resemble ancient relics, and Solna Centrum station is lots of red in its wall paintings. You can buy a metro card for cheap and travel several blocks and stop to see each station and the different themes of art.
S:ta Clara Kyrkas Vänner, beautiful protestant church
This is a beautiful inside and out protestant church across from Central Station downtown. The church is open to the public and has mass on Sundays. We stumbled upon mass inside the church the day we went inside and it was peaceful and beautiful inside. Before 1989, it was the parish church in Klara parish, then it was incorporated into the Stockholm cathedral congregation based on the order of the Swedish Church.
Hours: Sunday – Friday @ 10:00am – 5:00pm Saturday @ 11:00 – 3:00pm
Kungsträdgården Public park & Kings gardens
This is a city-center park with a winter ice rink, concerts & events, art galleries, restaurants & cafes. There are fountains spraying and water to wade into in the heat of the summer. You will see families playing in the large fountain. There are blooming flowers in the spring and summer in the courtyard in huge pots. This is a fun central gathering in the city with lots of stairs and public seating to hang out. There is also a giant life sized chess game on the ground to play as well as turf to sit on. There are lots of events and free concerts that are put on in this park. The park is open 24 hours to the public.
City Hall Building
The Waterside government offices were finished in 1923 & made from red brick with a lantern-topped tower. The city hall is a prominent building as you walk across the pedestrian bridge to Gamla Stan. The building has a beautiful interior as well and is famous because the nobel prize awarding is held here. This is a great walk along the seaside on a beautiful day on the government grounds. There are benches that overlook the water as well. You can visit the Nobel Prize Museum in Gamla Stan on your way from the city hall building.
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm daily
Price: SEK 90- 120 high to low seasons for a guided tour in English. Full info and booking here.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace was made in the 13th century, Stockholm’s Royal Palace is one of the largest in Europe. The Palace is in Gamla Stan, and is the residence of the Swedish royal family and to the Royal Court. The whole palace cannot be toured but a beautiful portion of the grounds. That includes the treasury, the royal apartments and the armoury. The Changing of the Guard happens twice daily. This includes music, horses and soldiers. The guards come from their barracks on Östermalm, so the spectacle can be seen long before you get to Gamla Stan.
Hours: 10am-4pm daily
Price: An adult ticket is 160 SEK and for kids 7-17 years, the ticket costs 80 SEK. The tickets are good for visits to the Royal Apartments, the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. During the summer period, Gustav III Museum of Antiquities is also included. For a guided tour the rate will be 20 SEK more.
This is a trendy gourmet grocery store, market and hotel combined as well as a coffee shop in this fun colorful artsy spot. There are huge open stalls and the store as well as lots of seating to have some food or a drink. There are painted murals, signs painted onto the stairs that say, peace, love and other hippy quotes. There is a roofpark as well with tables to eat and hangout with a crazy rooftop view of the city. See their produce, restaurant menu, hotel and more here.
Hours: 7am-11pm Sun-Tues, 7am-1am Wed-Sat
Outdoor Gear Stores Shopping
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Vi kisar fortfarande lite ovant mot solen, men nu är våren faktiskt här på riktigt. Att ge sig ut i skog och mark är för fint för att låta bli. Behöver du inspiration? Packa ryggsäcken och kliv ut genom dörren. Det behöver inte vara svårare än så.😉 #vårkänslor #friluftsliv #naturkompaniet #utflykt #utinaturen
The Swedish culture is a cold area being in Scandinavia. The Swedes are outdoors people and are hearty people who brave the cold. They have great outdoors and adventure gear. I bought and loved their outdoor adventure line called Haglofs. They make gear similar to Patagonia with down jackets, fleeces and all kinds of other hiking and backpacking gear. Naturkompaniet is an outdoor and sports store that is the main brand that has several branches and stores in Stockholm. Naturkompaniet is more comparable to an REI with lots of small gear and geared towards hiking and camping and backpacking. All the outdoor gear stores are on Kungsgatan Street in the main mall and shopping area. They are all mostly in a row on that street. There is also Norrona which is more workout and running gear as well, Friluftsland, and Alewalds. These stores are the Patagonia, North Face and Mountain Hardwear of Sweden.
National Library of Sweden
This is the other public library besides the Stockholm public library further up north. The national library is large with grand crown molding, and tall vaulted ceilings with huge windows and lots of light. This is an amazing place to read or study and is beautiful. This is a great spot for any book lover to visit.
Hours: 9am-7pm Mon-Thurs, 9am-6pm Fri, 11am-3pm Sat, closed Sundays
Price: Free admission, no food allowed & you must check your bags for free at the entrance
Cocktails at Pharmarium
Pharmarium is a trendy cocktail bar in Gamla Stan Old Town. This is a vintage gypsy den vibe with a cozy and romantic feel. This is considered one of the coziest bars in Stockholm, and it is popular so its best to book a spot in advance. They have creative mixologists who excel in their craft and make drinks such as, “roses of gold.” They have old school black and white tiled floors, lots of warm wood and vintage furniture with quality food and drinks. Tweed is another quality cocktail bar with a gorgeous outdoor patio, with strung lights and seating for good weather.
Hours: 4:30pm-11pm Sun-Tues, 4:30pm-12am Wed-Thurs, 4:30pm-1am Fri & Sat
The Ice Bar Stockholm
The Ice Bar serves drinks in shot glasses and glasses made out of ice. There are unique drinks in a completely made out of ice bar and seating with ice sculpting an activity. This is a unique experience to do in Scandinavia. This was the world’s first permanent ice bar built in 2002. Sculptors renew it with fresh ice yearly. The bar is kept at 19 degrees fahrenheit and the bar has room for up to 60 people. The visit you book is for 40 minutes including a drink that is sculpted from ice as well for your glass. They provide a thick coat and warm gloves for your ice bar experience.
Hours: 4:30pm-12am Sun-Thurs, 3pm-1am Fri & Sat
Price: Adult entry and drink for SEK 199 online, and SEK 215 for a drop in. Book here.
At Six Hotel Rooftop bar with city views
At Six Hotel has a trendy rooftop bar with great views over the city. There is lots of comfy seating with couches, tables and chairs with outdoor and under some terrace covering as well. There are lots of plants and strung lights. The outdoor jungle rooftop is a comfy low key lounge area overlooking the city. This is a great place for a happy hour afternoon cocktail or a city lights view at night.
Hours: Weekdays 3:00pm to late, weekends 1.00pm to late (as quoted on their site)
Where to stay
Archipelago Hostel Old Town
This is one of the only cheap hostels in Gamla Stan, the charming Old Town of the city. This is the best option for a modern, clean and simple budget hostel. There are dorm rooms as well as two person private rooms.
Price: $30USD/night, book here
City Backpackers Hostel Stockholm
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This is one of the most budget hostels in the modern new area of the city close to all the shopping. This is more of a boutique budget hotel that is very new, modern, trendy and updated. There is lots of art and modern decor that is hipster. This is the best for your money in the city as a budget traveler.
Price: $53USD/night, book here
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#HOSCARS2018 WINNERS! 🏆 🎉 We’d like to thank our mum, our makeup artist, the cast and crew… Oh wait! Wrong acceptance speech. We’d like to thank our guests, teams and @hostelworld for making these amazing #HOSCARS2018 wins possible! No biggie, but we’ve been voted the Most Popular Hostel in #Stockholm, Best Hostel in #Denmark and Most Popular Hostel in #Venice.
Generator hostels are a quality modern name that is a solid choice throughout many countries in Europe. I have never not enjoyed my stay with this company. They offer a great budget option in Stockholm. There is a trendy cocktail bar inside the hostel, and there are 1 and 2 person private rooms as well as dorms. This is an upscale boutique hostel like a nice budget hotel. The rooms are light, and very modern filled with wood and edison bulbs and trendy fabric and decor. This hostel is close to Central Station and is conveniently located.
Price: $54USD/night, book here