Travel guide of Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is Sweden’s largest city and capital. It is also the largest city in the Nordic region and is marketed with the motto The Capital of Scandinavia. Like all major cities, Stockholm has everything you can now be interested in. Stockholm is a characterful city full of scenic hikes, breath-taking views, world heritage sites, over 100 museums, and plenty more.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. The inner city is made up of 14 islands across Lake Mälaren and three streams into the brackish Baltic Sea, with the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands, islets and skerries. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways, and another 30% is made up of green areas. Air and water are said to be the freshest of any European capital.

Stockholm is the largest in Scandinavia and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some of Europe’s top ranking universities, such as the Stockholm School of Economics, Karolinska Institute, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University. It hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall. One of the city’s most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. The Stockholm metro, opened in 1950, is well known for the decor of its stations; it has been called the longest art gallery in the world.

As a capital, there are many of its most popular attractions, shops, and restaurants are concentrated in the central areas. The surrounding areas and suburbs are also full of exciting activities and great food. It’s easily walkable with a welcoming atmosphere and new things to see and do are popping up all the time. According to the City of Stockholm’s Visitors Board, the city’s ‘top 10 attractions’ include the Old Town, Stockholm Castle, the Vasa Museum, Stockholm City Hall, the Modern Museum and Skansen.

Stockholm is a huge city, if you want to discover and explore more hidden treasures, which are all great spots to visit, more understanding and planning is require. Stockholm’s hidden treasure adventure create genuine and unforgettable experiences for people who love exploration and adventure. Gain access to the cultural and natural highlights that exist in and around the beautiful city, with great emphasis on quality through practice, fresh and delicious food, outstanding hospitality and careful consideration for the environment every step of the way, experience a journey away from the ordinary tourist trails to create an adventure of your own.

There are plenty of both local and national specialties to take with you. In the tourist areas in the city, there are plenty of shops focused on tourists from both Sweden and abroad. The Swedish tourist may be content with some local specialty such as postcards or handicrafts from Skansen. The foreign tourist can, for example, bring Swedish crystal glass.

Due to post-glacial rebound, much of today’s Stockholm used to be under water. As the rising land cut off Mälaren from the sea in the 13th century, Stockholm became an important trading post. In the 15th century Stockholm replaced Uppsala as the effective capital. Stockholm was an associate of the Hanseatic League, and since its liberation from Denmark by King Gustavus Vasa in 1523, Stockholm has remained Sweden’s most important center of commerce, although Gothenburg later became the largest international port. During the 17th century, Stockholm was the base of the Swedish Empire, with a land area twice the country’s current size, nearly encircling the Baltic Sea.

Much of the inner city plan was laid out in the 19th century, and the inner city still contains buildings from all ages since the 15th century. Like the rest of Sweden, Stockholm was largely untouched by the World Wars, but, particularly between 1955 and 1975, hundreds of old buildings in Norrmalm were demolished in a large-scale modernization process, emulating similar projects in other European cities.

Since 1901, Stockholm has hosted the annual Nobel Prize ceremony for all categories except the peace prize, which is handed out in Oslo. In the 20th century, metropolitan Stockholm sprawled out across most of Stockholm County, with the development of the Stockholm Metro, famous for its contemporary art. 1950s suburbs such as Vällingby became a model for suburban development in other cities. While most of the attractions are in the inner city, a majority of the citizens live in the suburbs.

As of the 21st century, Stockholm struggles to become a world leading city in sustainable engineering, including waste management, clean air and water, carbon-free public transportation, and energy efficiency. Lake water is safe for bathing, and in practice for drinking. Some new neighborhoods with state-of-the-art technology in this field are Hammarby Sjöstad, Norra Djurgårdsstaden and Hagastaden.

Built on 14 islands, Stockholm is widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful capitals. From medieval buildings and lush green parks to modern skyscrapers and colorful ‘funkis’ buildings, learn more about the unique character of each district.

Stockholm’s suburbs sprawl out across most of Stockholm County. The administrative borders of districts and municipalities may differ. The outer parts of the county consist of Norrtälje, Sigtuna, Norrort, Stockholm Archipelago, Södertörn and Södertälje.

Norrmalm District
The central business district, also known as City, contains several museums, hotels, restaurants, shopping venues, a casino, the Royal Opera, the Concert Hall and other performance stages, and the central rail and bus station. It includes Skeppsholmen, an island known for its museum.

Vasastan and Hagastaden District
Vasastaden contains the Stockholm Public Library, the Stockholm Observatory, and several second-hand stores for records, clothing and nostalgia items. Hagastaden is a neighbourhood under construction, dominated by the Karolinska University Hospital.

Östermalm District
A borough with urban boulevards, the National City Park and the Stockholm Harbour with several cruise ship terminals, the Stureplan square with upmarket shopping and nightlife, as well as Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology, and several museums.

Djurgården District
Many of the most popular museums and attractions in Stockholm can be found at Djurgården. A park island with venues such as the Skansen open air museum, the Gröna Lund amusement park, the Vasa Museum, ABBA The Museum and the Rosendal Palace. But the island is also the greenest of them all, part of the National City Park, with vast areas of forest and open spaces. Seeing as Djurgården is a hub of beloved attractions and museums, also makes it one of the most visited areas in Stockholm. No matter the season, a walk along Djurgården is beautiful. In some areas, you will have difficulty imagining you’re in the middle of a big city.

Gamla Stan District
The Old Town; an island which the Royal Palace and the Swedish Parliament located. Gamla Stan is like a living, pedestrian-friendly museum, filled with sights, restaurants, cafés, bars, and places to shop for souvenirs. The narrow, winding cobblestone streets, with their buildings in different colors, give Gamla Stan its unique character. Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan are the district’s main streets, but head off the beaten track to get the true feel of the island. There are several beautiful museums and attractions here, for example, the Royal Palace. Lately, Gamla Stan has become a virtual gastro-island, with quite a few excellent and award-winning restaurants to chose from. The adjacent island, Riddarholmen has an important church and several historic government buildings.

Södermalm District
A rugged island with buildings of all ages, with several viewpoints for the inner city. The more or less bohemian area nicknamed SoFo (south of Folkungagatan) has many restaurants and pubs, as well as specialist shops and boutiques. The blocks south of Folkungagatan in Södermalm are packed with interesting, cool and creative shops specializing in clothing, design, jewelry, knickknacks, vintage, houseware, music and much more. Several fashion brands have their own stores in this district. There are also scores of restaurants and cafés. The atmosphere is laid-back, in the warm months, Nytorget Square is a bustling social scene.

The major north-south street Götgatan, has many bars and shops, especially around the Medborgarplatsen square. Södermalm also includes some areas immediately south of it, featuring the Eurovision venue Globen, plus the mainland part of Nacka. Södermalm is more than just trendy shops and cozy cafés. It’s also an area with diverse architecture, popular city parks and great stories to tell.

Kungsholmen District
An island in the western inner city, with the Stockholm City Hall at its eastern edge. Further west, a collection of relaxed neighbourhood bars and restaurants can be found. West of the Fridhemsplan transport hub, the island is more suburban. There are several parks and beaches.

Västerort, Solna and Sundbyberg District
The western suburbs are dominated by Stockholm-Bromma Airport. Vällingby, founded in the 1950s, is one of Europe’s first planned suburbs. Solvalla is a horse-race stadium. Kista, a center of information technology, contains Stockholm’s only two skyscrapers. Solna and Sundbyberg, just north of Stockholm, two cities in their own right. Solna is the home of the 50,000-seat Friends Arena, the Royal park Hagaparken, and the Karolinska Institute, a medical institution.

Söderort District
The southern districts of Stockholm municipality contains Stockholm International Fairs and the Woodland Cemetery, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lidingö District
A suburban island just east of Stockholm, containing the Millesgården sculpture museum; the Ekholmsnäs ski slope; and Elfvik: a farmland with an array of conference hotels.

There unique UNESCO sites, several beautiful museums, and traces of the sea fairing Vikings scattered around the surrounding areas. Stockholm is a treasure trove for anyone who likes to mix in some knowledge and trivia into their exursions.

Untouched by wars for a long time, Stockholm has some great old architecture to see. Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan), is the beautifully preserved historical center, best covered on foot, dominated by the Stockholm Palace (Stockholms slott). Other highlights include Storkyrkan, the cathedral of Stockholm, which has been used for many royal coronations, weddings and funerals, and Riddarholmskyrkan, a beautifully preserved medieval church, which hosts the tombs of many Swedish kings and royals, surrounded by former mansions.

As a matter of fact, there’s not only one royal palace in and around Stockholm but several others, Drottningholm (on Ekerö) and Haga (in Solna) being the most famous. Here visitors can get in close contact with traditions of the Swedish monarchy. The world heritage listed Drottningholm is where the royal family lives at, still much of it is open to the public. The surroundings are well worth a walk as well. In summer, there is a regular boat service from Stadshuskajen (the City Hall Quay) to Drottningholm.

Stockholm has several interesting churches, from medieval times to the 20th century. Most of them are in active use by the Church of Sweden. There is also a synagogue in Östermalm and a mosque on Södermalm. The Woodland cemetery, Skogskyrkogården, in Söderort is one of few UNESCO World Heritage sites from the 20th century.

The exception would be Norrmalm, where much was demolished in the 1950s and 1960s to give place to what was then more modern buildings. Looking at it the other way around, if interested in this kind of architecture this is the place to go.

Also in southern Stockholm is the Ericsson Globe (Söderort), a white spherical building used for hockey games and as a concert venue. Occasionally, at least at game-nights, it is lit by coloured light. The Globe is the heart of the Sweden Solar System, the world’s largest scale model of any kind. With the Globe as the Sun, models of the planets are displayed at Slussen (Mercury), the Royal Institute of Technology (Venus), the Natural History Museum (Earth & Moon), Mörby Centrum (Mars), Arlanda Airport (Jupiter) and Uppsala (Saturn).

The heights of northern Södermalm give a great view of central Stockholm, especially from the street Fjällgatan, the Fåfängan mountain just east of to Stadsgårdshamnen, and bars and restaurants such as Gondolen, Herman’s, Himlen, and the penthouse lounge of Sjöfartshotellet. Further south in Söderort there’s Hammarbybacken, a semi-artificial ski slope, walkable around the year, great during summer and Skyview on the top of the Ericsson Globe (130 kr).

On Skansen there’s the 19th century tower of Bredablick offering views. The Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms stadshus) on Kungsholmen is famous for its observatory tower, and for the Nobel Prize dining hall.

World heritage sites
The Stockholm region is home to three of Sweden’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites – spots judged as invaluable places that belong to all of humanity. Visiting Birka, Drottningholm or the Woodland Cemetery is like traveling back in time to three different defining periods in Sweden’s history. All three of Stockholm’s World Heritage Sites are excellent choices for an excursion out of the ordinary.

Amongst the World Heritage Sites in Stockholm, The Woodland Cemetery stands out as still being in use on a day-to-day basis by Stockholmers. The serene surroundings and beautiful architecture by Gunnar Asplund offer a unique location for a quiet walk.

Birka is a Viking outpost, from around 750 AD, and an archeological site where you can meet the legendary Nordic seafarers. The dig site and museum are just a boat ride away, 2 hours along the sparkling waters of Lake Mälaren.

Drottningholm Palace is easily one of Stockholm’s most popular tourist attractions all year round. The palace has been home to the Royal family since 1662 and houses, amongst many things, a 300-year-old theater, The Chinese Pavilion, and a magnificent castle park.

Palaces and Castles
Dazzling gardens, the Baroque, the Renaissance and a history that’s something like out of a fairy tale – make the trip to one of the numerous historic palaces in the Stockholm area.

The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden, with over 600 rooms. The Palace is open to the public and offers no less than five museums. The Palace was largely built during the eighteenth century in the Italian Baroque style, on the spot where the “Tre Kronor” castle burned down in 1697. Visit the reception rooms with splendid interiors from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Rikssalen (the Hall of State) with Queen Kristina’s silver throne, and Ordenssalarna (Halls of the Orders of Chivalry). You can also see Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Tre Kronor Museum, and the Treasury. The Royal Palace also contains the Armory, with royal costumes and armor, as well as coronation carriages and magnificent coaches from the Royal Stable. Make sure not to miss the parade of soldiers and the daily changing of the guard.

Gripsholm Castle
Located in Mariefred, a picturesque town on Lake Mälaren, this renaissance castle offers romantic grounds, a fallow deer nature reserve and collections of furniture, handicrafts, and interiors from four centuries. Including Gustav III´s theatre and the Swedish National Portrait collection.

Gustav III’s Pavilion
One of the finest examples of late 18th century Swedish Gustavian style located in beautiful Hagaparken park surroundings. The Pavilion was built as a home for King Gustav III and with an interior decoration completed 1792, the year of the king’s death. A major part of the pavilion´s original furniture is still in situ.

Rosendal Palace
This royal residence on the island of Djurgården, built for King Karl XIV Johan, is an outstanding example of the Swedish Empire style. Furniture, textiles, and fixtures create an impressive overall effect, designed and manufactured by Swedish artists and artisans.

Rosersberg Palace
Rosersberg Palace is a royal residence with furnishings intact from the reigns of Karl XIII and Karl XIV Johan. The Oxenstierna family built the palace in the 1630s and it has been at the disposal of the royal family since 1762. Today it has a wealth of well-preserved, unique textiles from the late Gustavian 1700s to the Empire style of the 1800s. The vast palace grounds in their Lake Mälaren setting add to Rosersberg’s charm.

Skokloster Castle
One of the world’s greatest baroque castles in a beautiful natural setting by Mälaren’s shore near Arlanda. The castle is from the Swedish Empire of the 17th century; it is Sweden’s biggest private palace. Visit the castle’s staterooms on your own, or take a guided tour through the beautiful rooms and halls filled with original furniture from various centuries.

The Chinese Pavilion
Located on the Drottningholm Palace grounds and built in the 1750s. This fairytale palace is a remarkable treasure, featuring one of Europe´s best examples of rococo furnishings with chinoiserie, painting a picture of relations between Asia and Europe 300 years ago. Drottningholm with the Chinese Pavilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Chinese Pavilion is open during the summer season May-September.

Tullgarn Palace
The summer residence and favorite palace of Gustav V, built in Vagnhärad south of Stockholm in around 1720. Prince Fredrik Adolf’s State Apartment is particularly well preserved, and the English park dates from the early 19th century.

Ulriksdal Palace
Ulriksdal Palace is situated on the banks of Edsviken Lake in the National City Park in Stockholm. The palace was built in the 1600s and visitors to the palace will find traces from many different epochs. Several Swedish regents have left their mark on Ulriksdal. Queen Kristina built a pleasure garden in front of the palace and Hedvig Elenora built an Orangery in the park. In the palace grounds, you´ll find the Orangery, with its collection of Swedish sculptures, a café, a nice park, and fresh breezes from the sea.

Stockholm has more than 70 museums, ranging from those large in size and scope to the very specialized, including the Butterfly Museum, the Spirits Museum, and the Dance Museum, to name but a few. As of 2016, many of them have free entrance.

Östermalm: The Natural History Museum at T-Universitetet has extensive exhibits for all ages, and an Omnimax cinema. The Army Museum displays Sweden’s military history, with frequent wars from the Middle Ages until 1814, then followed by two centuries of peace. The Swedish History Museum features an exhibition on Vikings.

Djurgården: The Vasa Museum displays the Vasa, a 17th-century warship that sunk in Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage, and authentic objects from the height of the Swedish Empire. Skansen is an open-air museum in Djurgården, containing a zoo featuring Swedish fauna, as well as displays of Sweden’s cultural heritage in reconstructed buildings. Nordiska Museet displays Swedish history and cultural heritage. The Swedish Music Hall of Fame features ABBA The Museum.

Birka (Ekerö)— For the real Viking buff, there’s Birka, the site of a former Viking city on Björkö. A replica of the old city has been built up. Boats to Björkö are operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget. Birka can also be reached by public transport to Rastaholm, and boarding a boat.

Art gallery
Beyond the art museums mentioned above, Stockholm has a vivid art scene with many art galleries, exhibition halls and public art installation. Some of the galleries are Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Fredsgatan 12 (Norrmalm), Lars Bohman Gallery, Karlavägen 9 (Östermalm), Galerie Nordenhake, Hudiksvallsgatan 8 (Vasastan) and Magasin 3, Frihamnen (Östermalm). The Royal Institute of Art (Skeppsholmen) and the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Söderort) hold regular exhibitions.

The Stockholm Metro has plenty of artistic decoration in its stations, and promotes itself as “the world’s longest art exhibition”. Some stations worth to mention are the moody dark blue cave of Kungsträdgården (Norrmalm), the giant black and white “drawings” by Siri Derkert at Östermalmstorg (Östermalm) and the celebration of science and technology at Tekniska Högskolan (Östermalm). Rissne (Solna) has a fascinating timeline of human history on its walls.

Cultural trip
Stockholm is a safe and calm city, however, beening much known for the term Stockholm Syndrome, which was coined to describe a hostage’s sympathy for a captor during a bank robbery in Norrmalm in 1973. For almost similar reasons, the peaceful and safe life prompts readers to find some excitement in literary works, Stockholm has repeatedly become an imaginary place for detective novels or science fiction. Nowadays, Stockholm has also become a city of multicultural tolerance, and various elements can be found here.

Vikings tour
Get to know the infamous seafarers better, through excursions, exhibitions, and guided tours. The Vikings were infamous seafarers and pirates during the late iron age. Hailing from Northern Europe the Vikings raided and traded with settlements in the European countries, from the British Isles to the Mediterranean coasts. Their exploration took even took them to North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Traces of settlements have even been found in North America.

There are lots of attractions that offer history buffs a glimpse into the history of the Vikings in Stockholm. You can take a cruise along Lake Mälaren to the archeological dig site of Birka or experience the interactive exhibition of Vikingaliv. There are also many runestones to be found in the surrounding areas of Stockholm.

LGBT+ Day Tours
With StandOut Travel Day Tours you will explore Stockholm and learn about Sweden’s LGBT History in a unique way. Choose from various tours designed for your interests. Are you a Viking or an ABBA lover? Meet new friends and explore yourself.

Ourway Tours
Ourway Tours specialize in unique tours with a twist, both in larger groups and with a private guide. Take a craft beer tour in Old Town, take a class in Swedish cooking or learn about true stories and events that have shocked Sweden like the Stockholm City Walk.

The brig Tre Kronor Sail
During Tre Kronor’s summer sailing trips you’ll combine a tour through the Stockholm archipelago with a hands-on experience of life at sea as part of the crew of the traditionally constructed brig. Tre Kronor might be a modern ship, constructed between 1997-2008. But its design is based on the HMS Gladen, which served as a training vessel for the Swedish navy 1857-1924.

Stockholm Ghost Walk
Join The Stockholm Ghost Walk for 90 minutes of history and mystery in the Old Town. Stockholm Ghost Walk takes you on a walk steeped in history and brings to life stories of legends, diseases, murders and of course, ghosts. Explore the dark streets and alleyways that make up the oldest parts of Stockholm.

Troll Escape
Follow clues to discover amazing places in Stockholm’s historic Old Town (Gamla Stan), one of Europe’s largest medieval city centers, where the charming cobblestone streets and Scandinavian architecture are sure to captivate you. In this game, you will track an escaped troll through Old Town. Along the way you’ll discover some of Stockholm’s most famous buildings, such as the Royal Palace, the Opera House, and more.

Stockholm Photo Tour
City Photo Tours take you to Stockholm’s best photo spots and along the way you get to hear anecdotes and stories about the places you are passing. You will get tips and tricks on shooting, so you can take your own postcard-like images.

Stockholms Bränneri Tours
Stockholms Bränneri on Södermalm is a small distillery, making Stockholm’s first craft gin. Housed in an old car workshop, the distillery hosts regular tastings and guided tours where you’ll get a first-hand experience of how a bottle of gin is created.

Self-guided Doctor Glas citywalk
A self-guided audio walking tour through Stockholm, based on Hjalmar Söderberg’s novel Doctor Glas. The tour starts by the building where Söderberg imagined that Doctor Glas lived, and continues through Old Town and Kungsträdgården. Your smartphone and Story Tourist’s app is your guide. Listen to Doctor Glas’ story at the locations where it takes place, and take part of old photos and animated sequences through the app.

The Millenium Tour
Stieg Larsson’s Millennium-books have become a cultural phenomenon, with over 80 million copies sold worldwide. His somber and grounded vision of Stockholm and Sweden, with dark secrets and unsavory characters lurking in the shadows, has renewed interest in Swedish crime literature and film. In The Millenium Tour you’ll experience Södermalm through the eyes of the series protagonists Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, see where they live and work, and hear about the people that most likely inspire Larsson’s stories.

The Wooden Bike Tour
Experience Stockholm while using a quite unique kind of transportation: a hand-crafted wooden bicycle. The Wooden Bike Tour lasts two hours and takes you through the heart of Stockholm, to all the most important landmarks in the city.

Stockholm has a large shopping offer. In Stockholm County, there is today a large selection of department stores, shopping centers and similar facilities for purchasing and entertainment. Drottninggatan is dominated by major brands down at the Sergels Torg end before giving way to smaller and more specialised shops further north. Tourist shops occupy the southern end. Also connected to Drottninggatan is the square of Hötorget (T-Hötorget). Here is a daily fresh food market outside as well as Hötorgshallen, an indoor food market.

Mood Stockholm on Norrlandsgatan opened in 2012. This mall contains a lot of interesting boutiques not represented elsewhere in the city. Hamngatan, Biblioteksgatan and Birger Jarlsgatan have a collection of high end shops including Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton among others. NK, is a classical department store on Hamngatan (Norrmalm). Östermalmstorg has a well-reputed grocery hall, Östermalmshallen. Sturegallerian is an upmarket shopping mall at Stureplan, with some eateries. Fältöversten is a shopping mall at Karlaplan.

New shopping areas often appear all the time, far outside the city. It requires transport in one’s own car. While different in size, they all have a similar profile, with cheap restaurants, supermarkets and major fashion, electronics and interior design chain stores, as well as some smaller shops.

Diverse and innovative, Stockholm’s culinary scene grows more exciting by the year. From Michelin-starred New Nordic restaurants to hole-in-the-wall falafel joints, there’s something in the city to suit every taste.

Swedish cuisine might be best known for its meatballs and pickled herring, but in recent years Stockholm has made huge gastronomic leaps. Here you’ll find award-winning chefs and restaurants serving fresh local ingredients and leading the way in food sustainability. The tours “Culinary Södermalm” and “The Nordic Experience” will take you to a number of carefully selected restaurants and shops where you will learn about traditions and new influences and enjoy delicious samples.

Stockholm features a large variety of restaurants. Most hotels and hostels have a good breakfast buffet, in many cases included with the room. However, dining in Stockholm can be expensive, if you aim for something else than the fast food bars, the run-of-the-mill British-style pubs or the ethnic restaurants that dominate the budget bracket.

Most restaurants have “dagens rätt” – a lunch offer, normally including a lower- or non-alcoholic drink, bread, butter, salad and coffee Monday – Friday, usually 11:00-14:00. Although Stockholm is already an international city, it still retains a unique dining culture. For example, if it is too late, it is difficult to find restaurants and bars that are still open. Most restaurants’ kitchens close at 22:00 even on weekends, so don’t get out too late.

Many Stockholm restaurants are closed for vacation for a few weeks in July and/or early August. In December, many restaurants offer a “julbord” (“Christmas buffet”), a variation of the classic Swedish smörgåsbord with traditional Christmas dishes including Christmas ham, pickled herring and “lutfisk” (stockfish from cod or ling, prepared with lye).

Taking a break for coffee and a biscuit is a Swedish tradition, commonly called fika in Swedish. Few other cultures cherish a coffee break quite as much as Swedes. So much so, we even have a term for meeting up with someone to enjoy a coffee or tea, snack, and light conversation; Fika. It’s a beloved tradition and in Stockholm, you will find plenty of cozy cafés and bakeries where you can try out this very Swedish pastime for yourself.

There are many coffee-bars around the city. You also have a great number of the more traditional pasttiseries. Espresso, caffe latte, cappuccino and other varieties of Italian coffee are generally available. If you prefer tea, many cafés only offer a few flavours, but generally some black, red and green teas. Don’t miss the traditional Swedish “cinnamon bun” with your coffea. If you visit in January-March you also will have the possibility to try a “Semla”, a popular local pastry with wheat bread, almond paste and cream. In November-December you can try one of the saffron buns, known as “lussebulle”.

Bars and nightclubs
Cozy pubs, innovative cocktail laboratories, bustling clubs, or maybe a concert now that live music is back.Treat yourself to an innovative blend of flavors and ingredients during your night out in Stockholm. Here are some of the city’s most celebrated drink bars. The craft of mixing drinks has become a hot topic in Stockholm. You will find the latest flavor trends and creative combinations here in what is popularly called mixology. For instance, jasmine tea, or perhaps a hint of bacon in your glass…

Major bar streets are Götgatan (where most places are rather cheap pubs) and Bondegatan (with a younger and more trendy crowd), both on Södermalm, Rörstrandsgatan in western Vasastan (also rather trendy, but drawing a slightly older crowd) and the area around the Rådhuset and Fridhemsplan metro stations on Kungsholmen (with many small and relaxed places). Beer is usually really cheap in suburban pubs.

Stureplan is a district dominated by dancefloor nightclubs, at the crossing of Birger Jarlsgatan, Kungsgatan and Sturegatan, (T Östermalmstorg). The mushroom-shaped rain shelter is a common meeting point. High entrance fees (200 kr or more) and long lines.

Södermalm is a district with many smaller bars and nightclubs focusing on art and electronic music. Look in nightlife magazines for places around Hornstull (such as Strand), Mariatorget (such as Sidetrack, Marie Laveau), Slussen (such as Debaser, Kolingsborg), Skanstull (such as Trädgården, Under Bron).

Spring and summer is the time for picnics and long walks, but when the leaves turn golden and red in the fall it’s just as beautiful. There are a lot of parks in Stockholm worth a visit, no matter what the season is.

Gröna Lund is Stockholm’s main amusement park. There are all sorts of rides including rollercoasters and during the summer the park hosts a large number of concerts by famous artists and groups, as well as popular dancing evenings. Opening times for the amusement park vary across the year. Check the website before visiting.

On Djurgården you can also find Junibacken, a theme park centered on children’s books, especially Astrid Lindgren’s stories. Skansen, Stockholm’s zoo, is also on the island.

Stockholm is home to many of Sweden’s most prestigious art museums, many of which incorporate artworks in the surrounding nature and gardens. As Sweden and the City of Stockholm has a long tradition of public art, there are also several public sculpture parks scattered in and around the city, making art accessible for anyone to enjoy at any time.

Stockholm has some truly wild residents. Some, you can meet during a visit to Skansen. Here you’ll meet primarily Swedish species; wolves, bears, seals, moose, and wolverines to name a few. If you’re curious to meet more exotic animals, step into the jungle at Skansen Akvarium or into the ocean at Haga Ocean.

Others are found in the wild; around smaller lakes and Mälaren, among the islets of the Stockholm Archipelago and the lush green forests surrounding the greater Stockholm-area. Simply strolling around the suburbs of Stockholm gives you a good chance of running into a jackrabbit or roe deer.

Having the benefit of “allemansrätten” (Sweden’s right to roam) you’re of course free to grab a backpack, a coffee thermos, and venture out into the forests or archipelago to discover the wildlife on your own. We asked Didrik Vanhoenacker, biologist on-call at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, about what kind of animals to expect in Stockholm.

Stockholm suburbs
There are many forests and lakes within commuting distance of Stockholm, with good chances to see wild animals such as moose, deer and boars. Much of outer Östermalm consists of forest and farmland within a walk from the metro. In Södertörn, one can find Nackareservatet, Tyresta National Park and Bornsjön.

Cherished by Swedes and enshrined in the constitution, The Right of Public Access, or Allemansrätten, grants free access to roam the country’s stunning outdoors. Discover Stockholm’s many green spaces and its peaceful, scenic archipelago – just keep this maxim in mind: “Do not disturb, do not destroy”.

Outside the metropolitan area, Stockholm County contains cultural heritage as well as great nature, all within reach of the SL public transport network; most in less than an hour.

Stockholm archipelago consists of thousands of islands scattered into the Baltic Sea. While many of them can be reached by road, others need a ferry. Many of those ferries call at central Stockholm.

Ekerö is a less-known freshwater archipelago in Lake Mälaren, with two World Heritage Sites: Drottningholm Palace (the residence of the Royal Family) and Viking Age settlement Birka. Drottningholm is 10 km from central Stockholm, and can be reached by public transportation within 30 minutes, or a 1-hour ferry trip. Sigtuna is Sweden’s first capital, a quaint town near Arlanda Airport, 40 km north of Stockholm. Norrtälje contains the northern part of the archipelago, and vast forests. Stockholm’s northern suburbs have many opportunities for outdoor life, including three slopes for downhill skiing, and Viking Age heritage. Södertörn contains forests and lakes, especially the Tyresta National Park, and the Nynäshamn port city.

Stockholm archipelago
The Stockholm Archipelago is the largest of its kind in Sweden. With over 30 000 islands it covers an area of more than 650 square miles; from the city-close Fjäderholmarna Islands in the west to the Svenska Högarna islets in the east, and from the abandoned fortifications on Arnholma in the north to the lonely lighthouse on Landsort in the south. Beautiful nature, great local food, and exciting adventures. Just 20 minutes away from Stockholm a world of 30 000 islands begins.

Being such a vast area there’s certainly something to discover for everyone; serene nature seemingly untouched by civilization, cozy and accessible camping grounds, idyllic villages and coastal towns, hiking trails for both experienced and amateur outdoorsmen, great food, and fantastic culture.

Bare windswept cliffs, bays lined with soft sand, verdant forests, and a beautiful coastline: the unique nature of the archipelago is varied and offers many adventures. Adventurous explorers have plenty of activities to choose from. Discover the archipelago with a crew on a sailboat, or kayak from island to island, travel along with one of the area’s biking trails, or spend a night in a cottage or under the stars on an island camping site.

Gustavsberg, and Värmdö might fit for those on a tight schedule. All are easily accessible by local transportation or ferry, within an hour’s reach from downtown Stockholm. Great day trips that don’t require too much preparation, while at the same time offering a sample taste of what the archipelago has to offer.

Sandön, Möja, Nåttarö, Utö, Finnhamn or Grinda, on the other hand, are perfect destinations for explorers who have more time on their hands. They might be a couple of hours away, being further away from the city, a trip might require more careful planning.

There are plenty of accessible nature reserves to visit, with hiking opportunities for the experienced wanderer and leisurely stroller alike. Björnö, Tyresta, and Gålö are for example easy to get to, just by local transportation alone. If you’re prepared to venture out further still, Grinda, Utö, and Nåttarö have tranquil vistas to enjoy.

The island of Landsort is one of Sweden’s only three ornithological observatories, the island is a haven for birdwatchers wanting to get a glimpse of the archipelago’s birdlife. While a trip to the island takes some planning, there are other ways to get up-close with the animals of the archipelago. Combine a ride on a speedy RIB boat with a seal safari, for example. You might even spot a white-tailed eagle if you’re lucky! And if you’re an avid fisherman there are plenty of guided fishing tours. Stockholm Fishing, Catch & Relax, JH Fiske, and Henriksson Fiske to name a few.

Outdoor activities

Hiking trails
Stockholm and the surrounding area have many good hiking trails through untouched nature with spectacular views and historic settings. There are day-long or several-day-long trails. The three major hiking trails are Sörmlandsleden, Upplandsleden, and Roslagsleden.

The Green Trails
The Green Trails organizes day trips, outdoor guided tours, and adventures around Stockholm. In wintertime, you have the opportunity to experience the surroundings by joining ice skating, cross-country skiing or snowshoe hiking. During summer The Green Trails offer hiking, kayaking, sailing and wildlife safaris.

Kayak adventures
Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle your way from island to island. See the Town Hall, Gamla Stan (Old Town) and many other attractions – because in Stockholm, there is water everywhere.

Ice skating
Ice Guide offers guided package tours including skating- and safety equipment, clothing, lunch, and transportation. Book a private tour or choose from any of their scheduled tours during the winter months. Depending on weather conditions, the location of your adventure and the skating conditions may vary. You could go to a small lake, to Lake Mälaren (the 5th largest lake in Europe) or to the Baltic Sea in Stockholm’s Archipelago, wherever you end up, it’ll be a fantastic experience.

Ocean Bus
Ocean Bus is a unique sightseeing tour, where you get the chance to experience Stockholm onboard an amphibious bus, that runs on land as well as on water. The tour is 60 minutes and passes by many of the city´s most well-known attractions and is guided in English. Starting point at Strömgatan by the Royal Opera.