Have you ever thought of visiting a city like a local? Because we believe it is the nicest way to discover a place and go off the beaten path! So, no matter how long you are planning on staying in Stockholm, here are some of the must-see attractions, viewpoints and other places to stop by.
Every time I travel, I want to see the main attractions in a city, which are usually the reason why a particular city or country is famous and recognized. Yet, when planning a trip, it can be tough to locate, read all about the main attractions, and, of course, see them all.
If you are spending a week in Stockholm, you will have plenty of time for it. However, if you spend just a weekend here, then it can be tricky – so here are the things I believe you should not miss when traveling to Stockholm.
Of course, the below list is quite extensive (10 things/districts), as it includes all my favorite areas to which I take my friends when they come over for a visit. You don’t have to see them all, but if you need a little inspiration, here you go!
It literally means the old town, so you know what to expect. It is a very picturesque island in the city, which, in my opinion, has the nicest streets and hidden places. The one thing that is less nice, is the number of tourists wandering around. However, if you go away from the main street, like take the parallel one, there will be no one and no souvenir shops. Here below is a list of attractions to see in this area:
- Stortorget (main square),
- The Royal Palace and Church (facing each other),
- The change of guards,
- The waterfront,
- The German Church.
Rådhuset is the city hall, located just by the water in the city center (on Kungsholmen island) and it is one of my favorite places in town. This is for two reasons: 1 – you can climb up the tower and this is the best view of the city center from above; 2 – the location is amazing, giving a great view of Södermalm and Riddarholmen. It is easily accessible, the ticket to go up the tower is rather cheap, but you might need to wait for your turn to climb up.
Kungsträdgården is a large park/area in the city center, where there is almost always something happening – a food or music festival, some sports demonstrations, or anything else! It is also an important crossing in the city, so you’ll probably walk through it at some point. All main districts, as well as many stores or shopping streets, are linked by this place. However, if you want to eat in the area, I would recommend going a few streets away for better places. If you are visiting Stockholm around April/May you can enjoy the amazing cherry blossoms, whereas if you come around wintertime, there are a lot of Christmas decorations as well as an ice-skating ring (accessible for free if you have your skates)!
Take the ferry from Slussen to Djurgården
This is quite a thing in the summer, but not that much after the peak season has passed. And that’s a shame because with an SL card (local transportation) you don’t pay anything extra to take the ferry, it is really fast to go from an island to another and you get a great view from the water. It is really nice and just an alternative way to see the city. The pictures might speak for themselves, so here they are!
Djurgården is the greenest island in Stockholm, where you’ll find a lot of parks, gardens, museums, and entertainment parks. I enjoy walking around this island and losing myself there, because once you leave the main road, you are alone in nature, close to the water and other animals or gardens. I really recommend going for a walk there along the water, as it gives another perspective of the city and shows how quiet and pretty it is, even though the buildings are just steps away.
Visit the TV Tower! It is apparently not a touristy place, but guess what, you get a gorgeous view on the archipelago, Djurgården, Lindigö, or the large Östermalm’s parks. It is somehow not a very popular sight – maybe because of the 70 SEK entrance fee – but the view is worth the price and there is a café/restaurant as well. If you go there, I recommend walking around the surrounding parks as it is very peaceful and usually empty compared to the buzzing city!
The City Library
Whether you like books or not, it is one of my must-see places in Stockholm. The architecture is like no other and the amount of books is rather impressive! The entrance is free of charge and the opening hours long enough, however, it tends to be closed on public holidays, so just check on their website before! The library is located in the Vasastan area, at the crossing between Odengatan and Sveavägen, which are some of the largest streets in the city – basically, you cannot miss it!
The hipster island, the place where there are so many cute cafés, cheap bars, and a party spirit! This is also a super nice area for vintage shopping and other historical hunts with nice and colorful buildings. And since it is an island, well, you have some pretty sea views all over! The island is quite large, so I gathered here some of my favorite things (I might write a more precise article about it soon, so just be patient for more Södermalm!):
- Greasy Spoon (food lovers, this is a place for you – and also because of breakfast all day every day!);
- Mariahissen and Monteliusvägen – for the view and great architecture;
- Eriks Gondolen – the platform, accessible via the paved streets;
- Fotografiska – for sure my favorite museum in the city;
- Hornstull – chilled and hipster area with a lot of nice food!
Strandvägen & Östermalm Saluhall
Östermalm is a very fancy area, and not my favorite to visit, except for 2 places that I particularly like: Strandvägen, a large avenue on the quays with a lot of boats and bars in the summer. It is usually crowded but the sunsets from there are really pretty – it is worth a walk and probably also a drink on the terrace!
There is also the Saluhall, understand it as the covered market, and if you come there around lunchtime there is plenty of kiosks from where you can get some yummy and fresh food. When traveling, I like going to marketplaces as it represents the culture and gives a lot of insights on what people normally eat, what is traditional, and what are the seasonal veggies and fruits. This market is a very well organized and typical Swedish food at every corner!
If you thought Gamla Stan was small, then I got an even smaller island for you! Yes, I promise it exists, and it is such a pretty place. Riddarholmen is an island that I like maybe a little more than others, the view from there is absolutely perfect and I think this is also the area with one of the nicest sunsets I’ve witnessed. This area is highly recognizable by its church with the see-through roof.
⇒ I hope this article has been useful and can help when planning your trip to our beautiful city! If you have any recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments!
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