The beautiful city of Stockholm is hard not to love. It’s green, trendy, sophisticated, and it’s oozing with centuries of history and culture. Our first visit to Stockholm was short but sweet.
Having only seen a small portion of the city on our short 18-hour layover, we were charmed by its waterways, intrigued by its trendy residents, and impressed by the beautiful architecture in Stockholm’s charming Old Town. But there is so much more to Stockholm than that…
Best Time to Visit Stockholm
The best time to visit Stockholm is in the summer because the weather is at its best and daylight lasts up to 24 hours, giving you all those extra hours to explore the city. You’ll never be too hot while exploring Stockholm, as even in the summer the daily highs rarely get up to over 23C. At night, it’s bound to get a little chilly, so be sure to pack lots of layers and a light jacket.
Many say that the shoulder season, particularly the months of May through June and the month of September are even better time to visit than the summer. Prices won’t be as high as they are during the summer, and the temperatures are still very manageable, hovering around 10-15C during the day and 0-5C during the night.
Scandinavia’s off-season is in the winter, when the weather is cold, the sun hours are limited and a lot of Stockholm’s attractions actually close down.
Top Things to Do in Stockholm
The official Stockholm visitor website is a great place to start planning your getaway to Sweden’s capital. Here you’ll find an exhaustive list of attractions, activities, events, and more.
If you appreciate art and enjoy visiting museums, you’ll love Stockholm! The city is home to over 70 museums, and a large selection of art galleries. Some of the more famous ones, like Vasa Museum, Skansen Open-Air Museum, Fotografiska Museum, and ABBA The Museum all rank in the Top 10 things to do in Stockholm according to TripAdvisor.
If hanging out in museums, isn’t your thing, Timeout has lots of other suggestions highlighted in their 20 great things to do in Stockholm, including a visit to Stockholm’s medieval Old Town as well as the visit to Stockholm’s green oasis of Djurgården.
In our onion, one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Stockholm is by walking around the inner city. Stockholm is made up of 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges, making it a great city to explore on foot. Don’t miss a visit to one of Stockholm’s most iconic buildings, the Stockholm City Hall, the Riddarholmen Church, and The Royal Palace of Stockholm, the official residence of His Majesty The King. Or sign up for Stockholm’s Free City Walking Tour and get a chance to not only see all of the city’s main sights but learn more about their history and significance.
Those that prefer a different kind of a city stroll will find Stockholm’s stylish shops and unique boutiques to be a haven for shopaholics. Follow CN Traveler’s Guide to Stockholm for suggestions on best places to shop for antiques, clothing, food, and home & decor.
Alternatively, head straight to one of Stockholm’s essential shopping spots, like the Södermalm, voted the coolest place in Europe by Vogue magazine in September 2014, known for its stylish and creative vibe.
Where to Stay in Stockholm
If you are in Stockholm for a short visit, plan to stay somewhere central to take advantage of being in close proximity to main sights and attractions in the city. Follow Time Out’s Stockholm area guide to familiarize yourself with the city’s islands that make up its self-defined areas.
The commercial centre of Norrmalm is a particularly good choice, thanks to the plethora of hotels options, along with shopping opportunities, restaurants, and nightclubs in the area. The majority of hotels are dotted around this and the neighbourhood area of Ostermalm.
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If you are looking for more a unique accommodation option, consider following our footsteps and spending the night on a boat in the harbour. One of Stockholm’s most popular passenger boats, the M/S Birger Jarl, has been converted into Ånedin Hostel, which is now permanently docked just steps away from the Fotografiska Museum just 15 minutes away from Old Town. The rooms aboard the Birger Jarl start at just $60/night for a room for 2, a bargain compared to hotel prices elsewhere in the city.
Where to Eat & Drink in Stockholm
As we quickly discovered during our visit, eating out in Stockholm can cost an arm and a leg. If you’ve got the cash to splurge, there are lots of fantastic restaurants to check out, starting with these Top 10 Restaurants in Stockholm: The Best of Food & Design or these 11 Best Restaurants in Stockholm. But if you are like us, traveling on a budget, then finding great cheap eats may prove to be a bit more difficult.
Luckily, BuzzFeed comes to the rescue, with their list of 29 Of The Best Cheap Eats In Stockholm, ranging from hot dogs and burgers to Greek, Mexican and beyond.
Another great suggestion is to make lunch your main meal of the day and take advantage of all you can eat lunch buffets that have become quite popular in Stockholm. These 10 Best All you can eat buffet Restaurants in Stockholm are a good place to start your search.
For more tips on ways to eat for less in Stockholm, check out Frommer’s suggestions here
How Much Time Do You Need in Stockholm
Stockholm makes for an ideal short break. The city is small and compact and easy to take in even if you only have 2-3 days to explore. Here are some great suggestions for how to get the most of your time in Stockholm.
- A weekend break in… Stockholm by The Telegraph
- 48 hours in Stockholm by 48 Hours of Adventure
- 2 Perfect Days in Stockholm by Visit Sweden
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Have you ever been to Stockholm? What other tips would you offer to first-time travelers to Sweden’s capital?