Our weekend in Stockholm turned out to be a great one to be in Stockholm, as the weather was perfectly warm and dry. The city is situated along the water, with various islands connected by bridges and ferries. It is a beautiful city to visit in the spring and summer when all the boats are out and the waterside cafes are open. The old town is full of character, as well great restaurants and cafes and shopping streets. One thing not to be missed is to enjoy fika-a Swedish coffee break consisting of either a coffee/tea and a kanebullar (cinnamon bun)-in the afternoon at one of the many cafes or coffee shops.
Top Things to do in Stockholm
Gamla Stan & Stortorget
Stockholm's old town dates back to the 13th century, and still consists of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and historic architecture to this day. Stortorget, the main old town square, is a nice area to people watch at a cafe or soak in the colorful buildings, once merchants’ homes. This is a great area to explore, shop, and eat in part of the city’s oldest areas.
Storkyrkan, or Stockholm Cathedral, is the oldest church in the old town and dates back to the 13th century. It is an example of Swedish Brick Gothic architecture and has a beautiful interior, comprising of historical works of art, including statues and paintings. The circular blue stained glass window above the altar was our favorite.
This main shopping street is pedestrian only and is located through the heart of Old Town. It is the best street to find boutique shops, souvenirs, restaurants, and ice cream and waffles.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is also located in Gamla Stan, and is the official royal palace and residence of the monarchy of Sweden. The offices of the King and other members of the Swedish Royal Family and the Royal Court of Sweden are located at the palace. A few areas of the palace are free to enter, including the Royal Chapel, but the Treasury, Museums, and Royal Apartments require tickets.
Tips: Find out what time the changing of guard is the day you are visiting (tickets are valid for the whole day) and witness the changing of the guards all over the different areas of the palace.
This centrally located park is full of fountains, outdoor cafes and greenery. It is a nice spot to take a stroll or even set up a picnic around the flowers in the nice weather. It is located adjacent to the park on the west is the Royal Swedish Opera as well.
A small, peaceful garden located in the center of the city between the main streets, Strandvagen and Birger Jarlsgatan. Due to its location, this urban park is a nice spot to take a rest in the middle of a long day of exploring.
Tips: Grab a seat and a cold drink at Berns Bistro & Bar and enjoy the lovely scenery over some refreshments.
The Vasa Museum is a top visited maritime museum in Stockholm, due to the amazingly intact 17th century 64-gun, 69 meter long ship on display. The story of the warship’s fate is quite interesting (it never made it out of the harbor after being built!), and more impressive is how well preserved the ship is after spending over 300 years under water.
The Royal National City Park is located on the island of Djurgarden and is the world’s first national city park.
Tips: Visit the garden centre, Rosendals Tradgard, open to the public. When walking over to the park from Ostermalm, walk along the northern path of the island to get to the park. The area is quite lovely and follows the water. There are also many cute cafes to stop at, like the Villa Godthem.
Skeppsholmen is an island across the water from Gamla Stan, offering amazing views of the old town and surrounding water. Walk along the Ostra Brobanken, located on the east coastline, to see all the historic ships and house boats.
Top Places to Eat and Drink in Stockholm
If you are looking for traditional Swedish food, like Swedish Meatballs, then look no further than Gastabud, located in Gamla Stan. This intimate and cozy restaurant serves authentic Swedish cuisine and will not disappoint!
Flickorna Helin Voltaire Cafe
Located on the island of Djurgarden, this cute cafe has a large outdoor terrace and is the perfect spot to enjoy fika (a cup of tea or coffee and a pastry, such as kanebullar). They also serve freshly made sandwiches and salads, very healthy and delicious.
Brod & Salt
Stop into Brod & Salt in old town, at the Jarntorget square, for delicous Swedish baked goods, including cinnamon and almond kanebullar. You won’t be disappointed!
During the warm months, visit one of the various pop-up bars and bistros along Strandvagen, right along the water, such as Strand Bistro. These cafes are the perfect spot to grab an afternoon refreshment while people watching and boat watching.
Getting to Stockholm Central from Arlanda Airport
Take the Arlanda Express and be at Stockholm Central in 20 minutes or so. You can purchase the tickets in the airport or at the kiosks on the platform, or even on their app. Thursday through Sunday, you can purchase 2 tickets for 350 SEK, instead of 280 SEK each, saving 210 SEK!