Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. No matter how often I come here, I am always amazed by it. Everything is just so photogenic and picturesque – the parks, the islands, the harbor, the historic colored houses dating back hundreds of years. Stockholm is beautiful. The city spreads itself out across fourteen islands and has a ton of museums, attractions, parks, and art to see while getting lost among the historic streets and buildings. I spent three months living here and now come back every year to visit friends and fall in love again with this Scandinavian gem. Stockholm isn’t the cheapest place in the world to visit but it’s worth every penny coming here and there are many ways to visit on a budget.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Stockholm
1. Walk around Gamla Stan
2. Wander around Skansen
3. Tour the archipelago
4. Visit the Museum of National Antiquities
5. Admire the ship at the Vasa Museum
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Spend the day at Djurgarden Island
An island right in the middle of Stockholm, there is a lot to do here. You take a walking tour, eat at a relaxing restaurant, enjoy the amusement park, and visit a historic Swedish village. There are a lot of good walking paths here too and it’s a popular spot for a picnic.
2. Enjoy the city by bike
Rent a bike (240 SEK per day) or treat yourself to a bike tour of the city. City Backpacker offers a 3-hour bike tour in the summer months for a reasonable price. The city is not traffic-y and the winding streets are so much fun to explore on wheels.
3. Enjoy Stockholm’s wild nightlife
Stockholm is known for their nightclubs and bars. It may be expensive but Swedes love to go out and party. Hit the clubs and party with the locals. Watch out for the blackjack tables (they have them at every club!). My favorites are Strand, Anchor, Retro, Underbar, 54, Utecompagniet, Rose, and Soap Bar. The main nightlife area is called Strueplan. Expect to pay 100-200 SEK per club just in entrance fees!
4. Tour the Royal Palace
Built between 1697-1754 and located on the east side of the Old Town, the Royal Palace is open to the public. A combined ticket to visit the treasury, reception rooms, and museum costs 160 SEK. The palace is closed when dignitaries are being hosted.
5. See the art at the National Museum
The National Museum contains art by Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya, Renoir, Degas, and Gauguin, as well as well-known Swedish artists such as Carl Larsson, Ernst Josephson, C.F. Hill and Anders Zorn. The collection is quite good, especially if you like Scandinavian artists. Admission is 100 SEK, with discounts available for students and seniors.
6. Explore the Medieval Museum
Located underneath the Royal Palace, this museum is one of the better history museums in the city (most stink). You learn a lot of good detail about medieval Sweden and life in Stockholm. It’s an incredible museum that teaches you a lot about how the city grew into what it is today. Admission is 100 SEK and free for anyone under 19.
7. Tour city hall
Stockholm’s city hall is a historic brick building that has guided tours every day until 2pm. You can go up to the tower, which provides pretty amazing views of Gamla Stan and the rest of the city. Admission is 100 SEK.
8. Walk along Monteliusvägen
This is a mile long walking path that offers fantastic views of Lake Mälaren. It’s a romantic place to watch the sunset in case you’re with a special someone. And, if you’re like me and not, it’s a good place to rest after a long day.
9. Check out some cool photography
Fotografiska is a large photography gallery with numerous expansive exhibits that showcase some of the best works in contemporary photography. There’s a bar on the top floor that also offers a great view.
10. Visit the ABBA museum
A visit to Stockholm wouldn’t be complete without checking out the quirky ABBA museum. Tickets are not cheap (admission is 195 SEK) but it’s a colorful way to experience Sweden’s legendary pop group.