While in Scandinavia, Kevin and I visited Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm is Sweden’s capital city as well as the largest city in Scandinavia. Though Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia, for the most part it remains quaint and peaceful throughout the year. During our time in Stockholm, Kevin and I were able to explore and experience a little bit of everything. We enjoyed great food, visited several amazing museums, and explored a lot of the city’s history. We truly believe that like other Scandinavian cities we have traveled to, Stockholm has a little something for everyone! With that in mind we have written this Stockholm travel guide to share our top things to do in Stockholm for two days with all of you!
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Top Things to Do in Stockholm, Sweden
Here’s a shortlist of our top recommendations on things to do in Stockholm:
- Spend a Few Hours in the Vasa Museum
- Hang Out in ‘The King’s Garden’ (Kungstradgarden)
- Walk Along Strandvagen
- Check out Stockholm’s Metro Art
- Explore Old Town (Gamla Stan)
- Visit the Royal Palace of Stockholm
- Check Out Riddarholm Church
- Visit Stortorget & the Nobel Prize Museum
- Stand in Stockholm’s Narrowest Street
- Wander Down Vasterlanggatan Street
- Where to Eat in Gamla Stan
- Sara’s Art & Coffee
- Cafe Schwiezer
- Barrels, Burgers & Beer
- Other Places we Recommend Trying in Stockholm
- Pickwick Pub & Restaurant
Need to Know Basics
Sweden is a beautiful country made up of islands, lakes, snowy mountains, and lush green forests. In addition to being naturally breathtaking, Stockholm in particular, is full of incredible historical buildings and sites!
The Language: The official languages of Sweden are Swedish, Finnish, Romani, and Yiddish. However, a large percent of the Swedish population speaks English as well, so it is quite easy to talk to locals and get around the city!
Currency: Sweden’s currency is the Swedish Krona. Currently , $1 USD is equivalent to 10.36 SEK.
The Climate: The climate in Stockholm, Sweden is characterized by cold winters and pleasant, warm summers. During the winter, temperatures on average range from 25 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit while the summers reach average temperatures of 45 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
Credit Cards vs. Cash: The majority of businesses in Sweden accept both debit and credit cards, so no need to worry about exchanging cash during your trip here. However, if you do feel the need to use an ATM to take out money we recommend getting a debit card without foreign transaction fees. One card that Kevin and I recommend is the Charles Schwab Investor Checking card!
Getting Around: Public transportation is the most convenient way to travel when exploring Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm Public Transport is responsible for buses, underground trains, commuter trains, trams, and certain ferry lines.
Fun Fact: Sweden is the 18th safest country in the world, making it a great place for tourists to travel to. Though it is very safe, make sure to take normal precautions while traveling through the country.
Where to Stay
Kevin and I stayed at Sheraton Stockholm Hotel and loved it! The hotel room was large and very clean and we both agree that this hotel was in the perfect location. From the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel, we were in walking distance to everything we wanted to visit and explore!
Our Recommendations on What to See and Do...
1. Spend a Few Hours in the Vasa Museum
Kevin and I cannot stress visiting the Vasa Museum enough! This is something that really interested Kevin, however once we were inside the Vasa Museum I was just as interest as he was.
The Vasa Museum is one of Stockholm’s most popular museums hosting around 1.5 million visitors per year. Inside the museum, guests can see and learn about the preserved warship, Vasa, which was built in 1628. Not long after leaving the port, 1,000 meters to be exact, the Vasa sank to the bottom of Stockholm’s bay. It is here where the ship remained for 333 years before being salvaged and preserved for the purpose of the museum. During our time in the museum, Kevin and I learned that the Vasa remained in such good condition in the bay because of the salinity of the water.
To this day the Vasa is the world’s best preserved 17th century warship, so you’ll definitely want to check it out!
Pricing & Hours of Operation
Adults: 150 SEK per person
Children 18 & Under: Free
The Vasa Museum is open September 1st to May 31st daily from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. However, on Wednesdays the museum is open from 10:00 am until 8:00 pm.
2. Hang Out in 'The Kings Garden' (Kungstradgarden)
Kungstradgarden is one of Stockholm, Sweden’s oldest public parks. This park was named Kungstradgarden, or “The King’s Garden,” after being the site of the Makalos Palace from 1643 until 1825. After the palace burnt down, the park landed under the care of Stockholm City Council who preserved it and opened it to the public in 1875.
Today Kungstradgarden, is still open to the public and now it contains several small cafes and shops where locals and tourists can enjoy some shopping, a bite to eat, and the great outdoors.
In the winter, Stockholm even assembles an ice rink in the park for those who want to get together and ice skate under the stars!
3. Walk Along Strandvagen
For those interested in high-end fashion, beautiful historic buildings, and lavish restaurants you ought to take a walk along Strandvagen. Strandvagen is part of the most exclusive district in Stockholm, which is a far cry from the slums that it used to be back in the 1800’s. Now Strandvagen’s harbor is bursting with luxurious yachts while its shoreline is packed with some of the best shopping and restaurants you can find in Sweden’s capital.
Regardless of the time of of day, Strandvagen is worth the walk. During the day it is busy with locals and tourists going to work, shopping, or meeting friends for a quick bite. In the evening, Strandvagen is lit up by the beautiful yachts that are docked in the harbor.
4. Check out Stockholm's Metro Art
Stockholm’s Metro Art one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Stockholm is famous for its artwork and the metro is no different. To this day, Stockholm’s Metro Art is the world’s longest art exhibit, 110 kilometers to be exact, with over 90 decorated subway stations. Each station is decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, or engravings by over 150 different artists.
For those who wish to experience Stockholm’s Metro Art, all you have to do is purchase a subway ticket and enjoy the ride to the different stations! Subway tickets in Stockholm are generally valid for one hour and 15 minutes and cost about 44 SEK. For those who want more time, it is possible to purchase a ticket that is good for 24-hours.
5. Explore Old Town Stockholm (Gamla Stan)
This is easily Kevin and my favorite area of Stockholm. We spent our entire second day in the city exploring Old Town and loved every second of it!
Gamla Stan, or Old Town, is known for its various historic sites such as the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Prize Museum, the Royal Armory and more. In addition to amazing historical sites and museums, Gamla Stan is also home to many local cafes, restaurants, and shops. Days can be spent wandering around the narrow cobblestone streets and taking in all the colorful unique buildings here.
Below are just a few of our favorite places to visit in Gamla Stan.
Visit the Royal Palace of Stockholm
The Royal Palace, located on Lilla Vartan, is one of Europe’s largest palaces. Much like Buckingham Palace, The Royal Palace is both the official residence of His Majesty the King and also the setting for the majority of the monarch’s official receptions. On top of all that, The Royal Palace is open to public visitors year round.
The Royal Palace of Stockholm was built in 1697 and features authentic Baroque-style architecture. What is that? Baroque-style architecture is European architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries that is characterized by ornate detail. After seeing the palace from the outside and visiting the inside, it is just that!
Pricing & Hours of Operation
Adults: 160 SEK per person
Students: 80 SEK per person
Children 7- 17: 80 SEK per person
The palace is open daily from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm during the winter months, October through April. From May until September the palace is open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm daily. Additionally during the summer, Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities and the Royal Chapel are also open to guests as well.
Check out Riddarholm Church
Built in the late 1200’s, Riddarholmen Church is Stockholm’s only remaining medieval cathedral. This church, though well known for its beautiful architecture, is the last resting place of the Swedish monarchs. A few of the monarchs that are buried here are Gustav II Adolf, Karl XII, Gustav V, and more, with Queen Kristina being the only exception.
Between the months of May and September, Riddarholm Church is open to visitors. Pricing and tickets can be found and purchased online through the Riddarholm Church website.
Unfortunately, since Kevin and I visited Stockholm in the winter we were not able to go inside Riddarholm Church. However, we did enjoy seeing it from the outside!
Visit Stortorget & the Nobel Prize Museum
Stortorget is the main square in Gamla Stan and one of the most picturesque! This square though beautiful, plays a large part in the history of Stockholm. Stortorget is the site of the original settlement that eventually became Stockholm. By the 1400’s, Gamla Stan was home to 1,600 residents as well as various different businesses.
Inside Stortorget, you will find the Swedish Academy, the Nobel Prize Museum, the Nobel Library, and the community well. Unfortunately, the well dried up years ago but to keep the tradition alive, Stockholm has connected the well to the municipal water supply so it can still be used today!
Although this square is frequently visited by both locals and tourists, it brings in the majority of its visitors during Christmas time when it hosts its annual Christmas market! If you have to opportunity, Kevin and I definitely recommending checking that out.
As stated before, one of Stockholm’s most visited museums can be found in Stortorget, the Nobel Prize Museum. The Nobel Prize Museum is a museum containing exhibitions rewarding those who have “contributed great benefits to humankind.” The goal of the Nobel Prize Museum is to organize public gatherings and exhibitions where people can come together to challenge the status quo and contribute to creating a better world for all of us.
Stand in Stockholm's Narrowest Street
While visiting Stockholm make sure to visit Marten Trotzigs Grand, the narrowest alley in the city. This alley consists of 36 steps and gets as narrow was 90 centimeters at its most narrow point. Since this street is so narrow, it is hard to find. For those who want to look for it, Marten Trotzigs Grand connects Vasterlanggatan and Prastagatan and is next to Brod & Salt.
Wander Down Vasterlanggatan Street
Vasterlanggatan Street is one of the oldest streets in Stockholm, Sweden. Over time this street has played a big part in both the history of Stockholm as well as present day.
Currently, Vasterlanggatan Street is Gamla Stan’s largest shopping street, 1,607 feet to be exact, and is a common area for both locals and tourists to hang out, shop, and grab a bite to eat or a drink with friends. However during medieval times, Vasterlanggatan Street was known as “the long street west of the wall.” The wall was Stockholm’s defense wall that was removed in the 15th century when Stockholm grew out its allocated space. Once this happened Vasterlanggatan and Osterlanggatan quickly became the main streets of the city.
Kevin and I definitely recommend spending a few hours walking around this area, this was one of our favorite areas in Gamla Stan!
Food & Drinks in Stockholm, Sweden
Where to Eat in Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is full of amazing restaurants and bars. Below are three places where Kevin and I ate and that we would recommend to you. That being said, these are by no means the only places to eat in the area, these are just the places we really liked!
Sara's Art & Coffee
This place is EXCELLENT! If you are looking for a cozy and super cute cafe in Gamla Stan I totally recommend Sara’s Art & Coffee. The moment you walk in the door Sara’s Art & Coffee feels homey and relaxing, and the smell of the freshly brewed coffee and baked goods will make you want to spend the entire afternoon!
Our Recommendations: Kevin and I tried the Dreamy Hot Chocolate and Swedish Pancakes.
Sara’s Art & Coffee is open Monday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm; Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm; Saturday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm; and Sunday from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm. Also Sara’s Art & Coffee is located on Vasterlanggatan Street!
Cafe Schweizer, founded around 1920, is another awesome cafe on Vasterlanggatan Street.
This cafe was originally opened by swiss immigrants who came to Sweden in the late 1800’s. Originally Cafe Schweizer was a “Schweizeri” which was defined as a coffee shop where liquor was served. However since then it has been reestablished into the beautiful cafe it is now!
Our Recommendations: Kevin and I came in for a quick treat while sightseeing so we just ordered one classic semla to share. A classic semla is a swedish pastry made from a bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream!
Cafe Schweizer is open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm, and finally Sunday from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm.
Barrels, Burgers & Beer
If you are looking for a good burger in Gamla Stan we recommend checking out Barrels, Burgers & Beer. Kevin and I dined here for dinner on our last night in Stockholm and couldn’t have been more impressed.
Barrels provides guests with an atmosphere where everyone feels right at home. At Barrels Kevin and I were along both locals and tourists who were enjoying the evening out with friends. Not only was the environment welcoming and enjoyable, but the food was also incredible!
Our Recommendations: Kevin and I recommend trying the southern fried chicken, veggielicious burger, and a side of fried cauliflower.
Barrels, Burgers & Beer, Gamla Stan location, is open Monday through Wednesday 4:00 pm until 10:00 pm, Thursday 11:30 am until 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am until 12:00 am, and Sunday from 11:30 am until 9:00 pm. Also for those interested, Barrels is located on Stora Nygatan in Old Town.
Other Places we Recommend Trying in Stockholm
BrewDog in Sodermalm
While exploring Sodermalm, Kevin and I stopped in BrewDog for a quick drink.
BrewDog was started in 2007 by two Scottish men with a “mission to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as they were.” In 2013, BrewDog opened their first location in Stockholm, Sweden. But that’s not it, BrewDog has quickly become one of the fastest growing food and drink companies in the United Kingdom!
BrewDog is open Monday from 12:00 pm until 11:00 pm, Tuesday through Thursday from 12:00 pm until 12:00 am, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm until 1:00 am, and Sunday from 12:00 pm until 11:00 pm.
Pickwick Pub & Restaurant
On our first night is Stockholm, Kevin and I went to Pickwick Pub & Restaurant.
Pickwick Pub & Restaurant was started over 20 years ago and offers customers a variety of beers in addition to a well composed wine list and whiskey selection. Although Pickwick is a great place to enjoy a beer or a few cocktails, Pickwick also offers delicious food served by warm and friendly staff!
Our Recommendations: Kevin and I recommend trying the meatballs with mashed potatoes and the homemade swedish hash. We also enjoyed two locals beers while we dined here!
Pickwick Pub & Restaurant is open Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am until 1:00 am, and Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am until 12:00 am. This pub is located on the corner of Drottninggatan and Fredsgatan.
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For those of you planning your next trip and considering going to Stockholm we hope this post helped seal the deal. In addition to being the largest city in Scandinavia and Sweden’s capital, Stockholm has so much to offer. Stockholm is full of beautiful history, exciting museums, delicious food, and above all friendly locals. Days can be spent wandering around the city and taking in all the amazing sites. Also much like the other Scandinavian cities, Stockholm has a little something for everyone. That being said we hope you enjoyed our top things to do in Stockholm for two days and hope it helps you plan your next getaway!
Until next time.