Last Updated: 12/4/2023 | December 4th, 2023
The Stockholm archipelago is made up of over 24,000 islands — 200 of which are inhabited. The city is home to incredible old Europe architecture, lots of green space, art museums, and has a nightlife that’s hard to beat.
To help you make the most out of your next trip there, here’s a breakdown of its best neighborhoods as well as some suggested places to stay — no matter your budget!
But, before I get into that, let me answer some of the most common questions I get asked about staying in Stockholm:
So, with those questions answered, here’s a breakdown of each neighborhood with suggested accommodation for each:
Stockholm Neighborhood Overview
Where to Stay for History: Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s Old Town. It dates back to the 13th century and is the heart of the city. It’s where you’ll find many of the top tourist activities, such as the Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace, as well as all sorts of little shops tucked away down narrow alleys between medieval buildings. It’s touristy, but you can’t visit Stockholm without exploring this part of town. Staying here is a great option for anyone looking to be right in the center of the action. It gets super quiet at night too (an added perk).
The Best Places to Stay in Gamla Stan
- BUDGET: Archipelago Hostel Old Town – This hostel is centrally located in a 17th-century building. Though it’s very small, with only a few rooms and a small common area, this place is perfect if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
- MID-RANGE: Castle House Inn – Many of the rooms here have hardwood floors and large and classic wooden furniture, giving the inn a cozy and rustic feel. It’s in a wonderful central location for anyone planning to visit the popular sites nearby.
- LUXURY: Collectors Victory Hotel – This four-star hotel has a classic ambience inspired by its own antique maritime collection. Think antique shop meets bed-and-breakfast and you’ll get a sense of its atmosphere and design. Its restaurant sources local and organic ingredients, and it has a bar on-site, as well as a sauna and pool.
Where to Stay for Convenience: Norrmalm
Norrmalm is the modern heart of Stockholm, home to its central station as well as the massive shopping street, Drottninggatan. You’ll find everything in this area, from restaurants and shops to the Royal Opera to several lovely city parks. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the city and have more affordable options than Gamla Stan.
The Best Places to Stay in Norrmalm
- BUDGET: City Backpackers – This is my favorite hostel in Stockholm. Its mattresses and pillows are super cozy, and it has a huge kitchen, tons of common space, a free sauna, free pasta, and laundry facilities. It’s a very popular hostel, so book in advance!
- MID-RANGE: Scandic 53 – This hotel is located right near the central station, making it a convenient base to explore the city from (you can reach the airport in as little as 20 minutes from here as well). You’re also just a short walk from the Drottninggatan Gamla Stan. There’s free breakfast included as well (a nice bonus in a city as pricey as Stockholm).
- LUXURY: Scandic Grand Central – This charming hotel is located in a building from the 1880s but boasts a fitness center, sauna, and also bike rentals.
Where to Stay for Peace and Quiet: Vasastan
You’ll find plenty of green space in this part of town and it’s much quieter and less touristy than neighboring Norrmalm. It’s a very locals only area. While there isn’t a whole lot to see or do nearby, it’s easy to get to the city center from here and accommodations is more affordable here than in other parts of town.
The Best Places to Stay in Vasastan
- BUDGET: Lilla Brunn Hostel – This hostel is located in a historic brick house built in 1865. It’s a good option if you want something more upscale, as the rooms are quite spacious (many also have regular beds as well as bunk beds). The interior design has that classic Nordic minimalist feel, balancing rustic touches (like exposed stone and brick) with modern amenities. It’s a bit quieter too, making it a great place for anyone not looking to party late into the night.
- MID-RANGE: Unique Hotel – This cozy hotel has kept much its original early 1900s design. The breakfast buffet is decent and the Wi-Fi is fast. The hotel also has a small library and is generally quite quiet so it’s easy to get a good night’s sleep. There’s also a small park nearby as well as lots of places to eat or grab a drink.
- LUXURY: Best Western Plus Time Hotel – This is the perfect option for anyone looking for unparalleled luxury in the heart of the city. Located on a quiet residential street, almost every room boasts a sauna, a relaxation room, a heated bathroom floor, and a balcony.
Where to Stay for Partying: Östermalm
This is one of the more upscale areas of town, known for its high-class shopping district and affluent residents. It’s also the place to party as well, with tons of great bars and nightclubs calling the neighborhood home. It’s a hip area of town too. I personally think this is one of the nicest parts of town to stay in.
The Best Places to Stay in Ostermalm
- BUDGET: Unique Hotel Jungfrugatan – This on the higher end of budget accommodation, but this is a posh neighborhood without a lot of cheaper options. The rooms are basic, but they do offer private single rooms, making this a good option for solo travelers.
- MID-RANGE: Pärlan Hotel – This family-owned, three-star hotel has a classic feel with a modern twist. With wooden floors, fireplaces, and quaint balconies, it really does emulate the charm of Stockholm. And it’s just a couple metro stops from Gamla Stan too.
- LUXURY: Elite Eden Park Hotel – Boasting a gym, a sauna, free Wi-Fi, and an Asian-inspired restaurant run by Swedish chef Melker Andersson, this hotel is a great option for anyone looking to indulge. The breakfast buffet is incredible, and the staff are helpful and incredibly professional.
Where to Stay for Relaxing: Kungsholmen
Located across the water from Norrmalm, this is more of a laid-back area filled with pretty much only locals. It’s growing in popularity and offers plenty of restaurants and cozy cafés. It has a lot of green space and walking trails. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for something a bit quieter away from the busy city center (yet still convenient enough to get anywhere with ease).
The Best Places to Stay in Kungsholmen
- BUDGET: Lodge32 Hostel – This is a simple, eco-friendly hostel with a no-frills atmosphere. It’s a short walk to the central station and great for anyone on a tight budget who doesn’t need anything fancy.
- MID-RANGE: Connect Hotel City – This design hotel is sleek, new, and offers lots of nice perks, including a free sauna, writing desks and armchairs in the rooms, and free breakfast.
- LUXURY: Courtyard by Marriott Stockholm Kungsholmen – Next door to Rålambshovsparken, a spacious park, the Courtyard is a stylish choice for anyone looking for luxury but also some peace and quiet. The rooms are spacious, and there’s free Wi-Fi and a fitness center to help you relax and enjoy your stay.
Where to Stay for Cafes & Art: Södermalm
Södermalm (usually just referred to as Söder) is the artistic heart of Stockholm. You’ll find all sorts of shops and boutiques here, as well as some great cafés. It’s generally a bit more affordable and is a favorite district of locals. I stay in this part of town a lot because of all the good restaurants, bars, central location, and things to do.
The Best Places to Stay in Södermalm
- BUDGET: Skanstull Hostel – Skanstull is my second-favorite hostel in Stockholm. It was remodeled a few years back and has a brand-new, larger common area and kitchen (one of the nicest I’ve seen in a hostel in a long, long time).
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Söder – This hotel doesn’t look like much from the outside, but you’ll be surprised once you arrive. It’s modern and cozy, with comfortable beds and tons of great restaurants nearby. The Swedish breakfast here is delicious too.
- LUXURY: Clarion Hotel Stockholm – With a spa, fitness center, and some great views of the islands, you’ll be able to kick back and indulge at the Clarion. It has a top-notch restaurant that boasts an impressive menu of Central and South America cuisine, and there’s a terrace where you can eat and relax in the summer.
Whether you’re a budget backpacker or looking to indulge in a little Scandinavian luxury, Stockholm will have something to keep you entertained.
While Stockholm is not the most budget-friendly city in the world, it has a lot to offer. No matter what your interest or travel style, you’ll be able to find a neighborhood that suits your needs — as well as an amazing place to stay to help you make the most of your time in one of Scandinavia’s best cities.
Book Your Trip to Stockholm: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
If you’re looking for more budget places to stay, here for my favorite hostels in Stockholm.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Stockholm?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Stockholm for even more planning tips!