As Sweden’s capital is dramatically situated and spread over 14 islands, it is often called the “Venice of the North”. Stockholm is not only the seat of the Swedish parliament and government, but also the country’s financial and economic centre. It has recently boldly marketed itself as “The Capital of Scandinavia” – proof, perhaps, that a little metropolitan arrogance is not alien to Stockholmers.
The region of Greater Stockholm has around 1.8 million inhabitants, the equivalent to one fifth of the entire Swedish population. When we talk to Swedes about the difference between Stockholm and Gothenburg, we sometimes hear: “Stockholm is a metropolis, Gothenburg is a large city.”
World-famous museums and luxury shopping
Stockholm is suitable for both short trips over a weekend, and also much longer visits, including a whole summer vacation. There are world-famous museums such as the Vasa Ship Museum, the cosy old town “Gamla Stan”, the Royal Castle, the amusement park Gröna Lund and the SkyView on the Ericsson Globe to see.
If you prefer shopping, you will also find Sweden’s best boutiques with Swedish fashion, luxury department stores (“NK” for example) and much more to enjoy.
Don’t forget your swimwear
If you have had enough of sightseeing and shopping, you can always get on one of the many boats and take a trip to the stunning archipelago, where you will soon forget all the hustle and bustle of the big city. In fine summer weather, you should always take your swimwear along, as the beaches are excellent.
Fika like a Stockholmer
Fika is a common word in Stockholm and all over Sweden, but what does it mean? Simply put, it is the Swedish word for coffee break. If you want to fika like a Stockholmer, you can read our blog post on 12 cafés in Stockholm. Would you rather care for a drink? Read Rooftop bars and outside terraces in Stockholm.
Our recommendations for Stockholm
- The archipelago
- Gamla Stan, the old town
- The open-air museum Skansen on Djurgården
- The warship Vasa – A visit to the Vasa Ship Museum
- SkyView and the Globe Arena
- Sergels torg, the city’s busy centre
- Järnpojke, the “Iron Boy”: Stockholm’s smallest statue
- Stockholm’s best view: Fjällgatan
- The viewpoint Monteliusvägen on Södermalm
- Hammarby sjöstad
- The Artipelag art gallery in the archipelago
- Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde: art museum and gardens
- The Rosendal Garden and Park on Djurgården
- Sightseeing tours and guided walks – an overview
- Food festival in early June: “Smaka på Stockholm” – a taste of Stockholm
- Culture Festival in mid-August, including the “We are Sthlm” youth festival
- If you want to take a “Stockholm country break”, visit the province of Sörmland southwest of the city
Hotels in Stockholm
Book now: Hotels, hostels, B&Bs in Stockholm
Here are some hotels we especially recommend:
- 5 star: the famous Grand Hotel opposite the Royal Palace
- 4 star: the new Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel not far from the central station
- 4 star: Scandic Anglais near the Stureplan square – excellent breakfast plus great view from the rooftop bar; our tip: there are small single rooms in the basement (no window) that are usually quite reasonably priced
- 3 star: First Hotel Fridhemsplan
- Inexpensive and modern: Motel L in Hammarby sjöstad, air-conditioning in all rooms; nice waterfront cafés and restaurants within walking distance
If you are looking for budget accommodation, check our list of 18 recommended (youth) hostels in Stockholm.
Holiday homes in Stockholm and the archipelago
Sightseeing tours, activities and Stockholm Pass
More tours? Book now on GetYourGuide: Tours and things to do in Stockholm
Stockholm Transfers & Ground Transport
Book now on Viator: Stockholm Transfers & Ground Transport – including airport transfers from Arlanda and private transfers from Stockholm Port to Stockholm City
Cruise ship in Stockholm (photo: Per-Erik Adamsson)