23 Things to Do in Stockholm Sweden

Are you looking for things to do in Stockholm? Living in the southern part of Sweden, it was always a treat going to the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. I fly or take the train, and usually spend a couple of days each time I go. Strolling around Stockholm’s old city and Strandvägen is always something I enjoy.

My dad, back in the day, was one of the guards at the castle. He happily tells us stories about it, and it gives the changing of the guards with the beautiful castle in the background a special meaning. What becomes your highlights depends on your interests. Listed here are a few of the many things you can do in Stockholm, Sweden.

7 Things to Discover in Old Town

Stockholm’s Old town is not just an area for history buffs. When you go to Stockholm, a visit to the Old town is a must. The colorful buildings, narrow cobblestone streets give this part of town, a special feeling.

The Royal Palace – you cannot go to Stockholm without at least walk by the Royal Castle. This beautiful 600+ room baroque-style building is the home of the Swedish Royal family. The Palace is also the place where many of the official receptions are taking place. The Royal Palace, or at least parts of it, along with three museums, is open to the public all year round.
The Royal Guards ceremony – the changing of the guards – takes about 40 minutes, and it can be enjoyed daily around lunch.

Uppland Runic Inscription 53 – discover a part of Viking history, like the Uppland Runic Inscription 53, a Viking runestone hidden on a street corner. The runestone is one of three runestones found in the old part of Stockholm.

Ribbinska Huset – at Stortorget, meaning large square, part of Stockholm old town, you will see the Ribbinska Huset. The colorful red building is often seen in pictures but with a dark history. The white stones in that red building were added, to the building in 1628. The stones are said to represent the 82 people that were killed by the Danish king at the historic event Stockholm Bloodbath.

Mårten Trotzigs Gränd – this narrow alley is just over two feet wide and the narrowest alley in Stockholm, connecting two main roads, with a staircase. The alley, named after the German Mårtan Trotzig, which owned areas around the narrow stairway.

Järnpojke – iron boy, this is the country’s tiniest public monument, displaying a small boy looking up at the moon. This little iron boy is loved by the locals, and you can tell that they enjoy taking care of him. They dress him in sunglasses during summer, and hats and scarfs during winter. The iron boy was made in 1967 by Liss Eriksson, a Swedish artist. People believe that if you rub his head or give him a small gift, that it will bring you good luck.

Wooden Horse Museum – I’m sure you are familiar with the Swedish red wooden Dala horse. Visit this tiny museum inside a souvenir shop in the old town. In the back of the shop, Runstenen, you can view Dala horses from different makers, years, and regions. This tiny museum is worth a stop walking through Stockholm’s old town.

Old Town Walking tour – these tours can be made private, in small groups or larger groups. To get the best experience, find a guide that will take your travel party, or join a smaller group. They will show you all the highlights and some of those hidden treasures;

6 Things to Explore on Djurgården

You can get to Djurgarden island by boat, ferry tram, bus, or by walking. It offers many different museums and activities, here are a few of them;

Skansen Open Air Museum – fun for the whole family Skansen offers houses and farmsteads from different part of the country. Discover Sweden’s history at the world’s oldest open-air museum. Open all-year-round, offering Swedish celebrations like midsummer in June and Christmas market in December.
Skansen is a place where history meets Swedens modern today. You can also enjoy Nordic wildlife, a children’s zoo, aquarium, and more.

Vasa Museum – the Vasa ship, built to be a well-armed, large fortress. Top-heavy and with construction issues, the Vasa ship sailed less than a nautical mile before it started to sink, on August 10, 1628. The ship sank quickly and laid on the bottom of the ocean, underwater, for about 333 years. 1961, Vasa was brought to the surface. Today Vasa is an important piece of Swedish history and can be viewed at the Vasa Museum.

Gröna Lund Amusement Park – This amusement park, located by the water in the heart of Stockholm, offers not only fun rides but also live concerts, events, and restaurants. The park is open during the summer months. It also opens up for Swedish fall break and Halloween. Spend the evening or the day for some fun for the whole family.

ABBA Museum – waterloo, dancing queen, the winner takes it all, or maybe Fernando, if these are your favorite songs, then a visit to the ABBA museum should be added to your Stockholm to-do list. Enjoy interactive exhibits, both permanent and temporary, to learn more about ABBA and the four people behind the pop-group. Listen to their music, see their records and costumes, and get on stage. As they say on their website, you will walk in and dance out.

The Nordic Museum – this history museum tells stories of how the Nordic people lived, ate, dressed, and celebrated their traditions since 1500. Quite a few things have happened since then. Explore the many exhibits, located in a beautiful building, fun, and educational for all ages.

Junibacken Children’s Museum / Activity House – If you are bringing younger kids to Stockholm, explore theater, song, music, and exhibits at the children’s culture house, Junibacken. It all started with Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking, and one of the most famous writers in Sweden. She didn’t want to be a part of an “Astrid Lindgren house”, but a place where all authors and illustrators could contribute, that she wanted to support. A unique, forward-thinking culture house for kids, that’s Junibacken.

 

3 Viking Experiences

Aifur – for foodies, and people interested in Viking history, Aifur is a restaurant to try. Located in a basement in the old town of Stockholm, you will find yourself enjoying a Viking meal. Decor with walls decorated with weapons, furs, and skin. A unique experience where you feast on root vegetables, lamb, reindeer, and enjoy a Viking drink. Make a reservation, Aifur is popular.

Vikingaliv Runestone / Viking Museum – vikingaliv means Viking life. The runestone, located outside of the Viking museum, was created by a modern-day runemaster. He used traditional Viking rune methods.

At the museum, you can experience exhibits about the Viking age, get a guided tour, and enjoy Ragnfrid’s saga, a Viking ride taking you on a Viking journey.

Do a Guided Viking Tour – you can do a guided Viking tour either in the city or outside of Stockholm. When you take a tour outside of the capital, you will get to explore more of the surroundings and learn more about the Vikings. These tours are often half-day or full-day tours.

 

Amazing Buildings

You’ll find amazing buildings around the city. We already talked about the castle and some of the other unique buildings, but one that has become a landmark for Stockholm is the city hall.

The Stockholm City Hall – a beautiful building from a distance, but wait until you get inside. Take a guided tour through the city hall rooms like Blå Hallen, the blue hall, and the Gyllene Salen, the golden hall. These halls are where royalties, Nobel price laureates, and guests enjoy their Nobel banquet. They serve dinner in the blue hall. The dance takes place in the golden hall. To get inside of the City hall, you have to book a guided tour.

 

4 Places Art Lovers Will Enjoy

Fotografiska – are you into photography? Fotografiska offers four main exhibits and about fifteen to twenty smaller ones per year, displaying photos from well-established photographers along with new and upcoming ones. The museum is located in an Art Nouveau style, industrial building, from 1906, and is a popular attraction in Stockholm. When writing this, Miles Aldridge, and Arno Rafael Minkkinen, are on display.

Moderna Museet – here you will find modern and contemporary, international and Swedish, paintings and sculptures – art at its finest. Enjoy a guided tour around the museum, do a workshop, or stroll around on your own. Moderna museet have an outdoor area with sculptures, and inside you can enjoy permanent and traveling exhibits.

Stockholm Metro System – art in the metro system? Yes, Stockholm has more than 100 metro stations, and most of them offer some art, paintings on the walls, mosaic, and even sculptures. The great thing is, they include the art displays in the train ticket price. When you go to Stockholm, you most likely use the metro anyway, enjoy the art at the same time. Kungstradgardens metro is one of the beautifully decorated train stations.

Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde – a more classic setting and art museum, is the Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde. Here you can visit the artist’s home, his art collection, park, and gardens. They have different exhibits, but you can also enjoy the landscape painter Prince Eugen’s work like the cloud and the old castle.

 

2 Stockholm Tours to Enjoy

Do a Walking/Biking Tour with the Theme of Your Choice – you can do general sightseeing of Stockholm to get the main highlights, but you can also do a food tour, “Fika” tour, castle tour, or maybe a ghost walk.

Do a Boat Tour – Stockholm is scenic, beautifully located surrounded by water. Get out on a boat or canal tour to see more of the archipelago.

–> 29+ Walking, Biking, and Boat Tours in Stockholm Sweden

 

Stockholm has so much to offer; the Royal castle, old town, Djurgarden with museums that never end, shopping, tours, and friendly locals. Don’t forget to take a moment, slow down and enjoy a Swedish Fika, coffee, and cookie around 3 pm. It will give you the extra energy to keep going for the rest of the day.

What is on your list of things to do in Stockholm, Sweden? Did I forget anything? Feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section below,

 

 

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Written by 

Born and raised in Sweden, now living in the US, Veronica has a passion for Scandinavian travel. As a former product design specialist with a Scandinavian tour operator, she has extensive knowledge of tour planning and the Scandinavian countries.

6 thoughts on “23 Things to Do in Stockholm Sweden

  1. Stockholm is one of my favorite cities but sadly, I haven’t been there for quite some time. I love all the “Viking” stuff and the Vasa Museum was great to see. And just walking around and enjoying all the historical buildings and architecture is one of the things that I’ve enjoyed the most so far. But I don’t know anything about the Skansen Open Air Museum and that sounds like something I’d like. You mention that it’s open year-round….don’t you get a lot of snow during the winter? Does that become a problem there with an open-air museum like this?

    1. If you enjoy Viking history you should do one of the day trips that takes you outside of Stockholm, to Sigtuna and other surrounding areas. You will see a lot of interesting landmarks and Viking related history.
      The Stockholm area usually get some snow during winter. This makes for a perfect setting for Skansen specially around Christmas, when they have a Christmas market. At the Christmas market you can get food, gifts, and candy. The kids can dance around the Christmas tree, and they have Christmas carolers. A lot of fun activities going on, but they also do have indoor activities if you prefer that.

  2. Wow! Your dad was one of the guards at the castle! That must have been special. I imagine the guards dressing in bespoke customs and all.

    Amazing places in Stockholm – thanks for sharing – I hope to visit one day in the future.

    I’d love to have the Viking experience but I wonder if you had to narrow it done to 3 things you must see – which of the 23 would you recommend?

    Cheers
    Femi.

    1. Yes, the changing of the guards is a pretty cool experience. My dad loves talking about it lol.
      It is hard to limit it to 3 must see things, but I would probably say;
      1. Exploring the old city with the castle
      2. I enjoy boating so doing an archipelago tour is always fun
      3. Depending on your interest visit one of the many museums, Skansen, Vasa, Fotografiska… One I have not tried but probably will do next time is the ABBA museum 🙂

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