Where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea stands the largest Scandinavian city and one of the cleanest metropolises in the world, Stockholm. The central parts of the city combine fourteen islands so the name Stockholm reflects this. “Stock,” coming from the ancient word “Stokker,” which means “log”, and “Holm,” meaning “island.” Founded in 1252, by 1289 it already became the largest place in Sweden. As Sweden’s economic power grew so did Stockholm’s significance. Today, Stockholm is one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe. The city of Nobel Prize, ABBA and fantastic nightlife is a great destination for anyone looking for a perfect balance of culture, nature, and history.
GUEST POST BY ROMI R.
Best Time to Visit Stockholm
The best time to visit Stockholm is from May to September. If you’re only spending one day in Stockholm, chances of bad weather altering your plans are minimal in the summer months. The days are long, the patio’s are open, and the locals are happier after the winter.
Winter in Stockholm is beautiful for travelers who enjoy Christmas markets and don’t mind the cold temperatures. If you happen to have a winter Stockholm layover, you can relish in the fact that the prices are lower and there will be no crowds slowing you down!
A Few Facts About Stockholm
– In 1710, a plague killed about one-third of Stockholm’s population.
– Stockholm is home to the smallest alley in the world – the Mårten Trotzigs Gränd Alley
– Stockholm’s subway serves as the world’s longest art gallery, over 150 artists decorated the stations, with art dating from the 1950s to modern-day.
– You can take a wild guess that the term “Stockholm Syndrome” originated here. It happened from a robbery gone wrong when the employee of the bank formed a relationship with one of the robbers.
One Day in Stockholm Itinerary
Due to its variety, you might have a difficult time choosing what to see in Stockholm. Through our experience, we gathered the best things to see in Stockholm in one day so you can see the most in a short time. These are the top things to see in Stockholm in one day.
Start Your Day With a Swedish Fika
The Italians are having a field day with this word, but in Sweden, the term “Fika” means “coffee and sweets break”. It’s ingrained in the Swedish culture so if you want to start your Stockholm visit on the right track, join the locals. Try coffee and sweets! Whether you’re arriving from one of the airports or by land, to get into the city center you will most likely have to go through the Stockholm central terminal.
Just a four-minute walk from the terminal is one of the local favorite “Fika” spots – Vete-Katten. Try their cinnamon roll! One of the best Stockholm hotels is located in the area as well. The boutique Hobo Hotel is one of the best deals you can get in Stockholm and perfect for the start of your Stockholm adventure.
Visit The Stockholm City Hall
Once you have your dose of caffeine and sugar, head to the T-Centralen station where you can enjoy the art of Per Olof Ultvedt, Signe Persson-Melin, and Anders Österlin. Exit after two stops at the Rådhuset subway station. You will see art in the form of the cave-like atmosphere by Sigvard Olsson. Once you’re out of the subway, walk for three minutes to the majestic Stockholm city hall.
Built in 1923, Stockholm City Hall is unusually enjoyable. The impressive ceiling is created to look like an old Viking house while the golden hall has around 19 million pieces of real gold mosaic pieces! There are public or private tours available, and one public tour ticket costs around 120 SEK (around 12 USD).
Explore Gamla Stan (Old Town Stockholm)
From the City Hall, head to the Stadshuset bus stop and take the three stops with the bus number 3 or 53 to Riddarhustorget bus stop. You can easily spend an entire day in the scenic Gamla Stan, but since you’re on a quick Stockholm itinerary, focus on the few Stockholm must-see spots. The closest attraction from your bus stop is the Riddarhuset or House of Nobility, one of the most elegant products of architecture in northern Europe.
After a quick stop at the House of Nobility head down to Storkyrkobrinken street to the Royal Palace. The current king still does his official business in one of the 1,430 rooms! Just south of the Royal Palace you will find the Stockholm Cathedral or Storkyrkan. It is home to various relics and an impressive statue of Saint George fighting the Dragon.
If you’re on schedule, check out the Museum of Medieval Stockholm. If you’re in a rush just take the three-minute walk to the Royal Armoury and learn about the history of Sweden’s royalty!
Try The Swedish Meatballs
After all the sightseeing you will inevitably work up your appetite. If you’re tired and wish to sit down right away, stay in the Gamla Stand area and go to Stockholms Gastabud. It’s a wonderful restaurant serving meatballs, salmon and even marinated moose!
A great place closer to your next stop in the Stockholm itinerary is Kalf & Hansen, an affordable place with many vegetarian options and meatballs with a twist! Head to Gamla Stan station and take two stops to Mariatorget station, you will find the restaurant just two minutes north.
Relax at Djurgården
You can take the ferry or a tram to Djurgården and neither takes more than 15 minutes. To save time, rent out a city bike and see Djurgården in style. First, visit the Vasa Museum. Vasa is the world’s only conserved 17th-century ship and the busiest museum in Scandinavia. You will learn the fascinating story of the ship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, way before that other ship we all know about.
This area is saturated with museums. Pick between the Viking museum, ABBA museum or Biological Museum but don’t skip the local favorite Skansen Open-Air museum. The various exhibits include a replica of a common 19th-century town and it also serves as a Stockholm Zoo. Enjoy your afternoon in the lovely nature!
Shop at Katarina-Sofia Neighborhood
Take the ferry or tram back to Södermalm district where you can spend the rest of your one day in Stockholm. The artsy bohemian vibe of the Katarina-Sofia neighborhood is the perfect final stop for the day. You can explore the streets for interesting finds, visit the Katarina and Sofia Church.
If you have time head to the Slussen subway station and check out the Katarina Hissen Elevator viewing platform. It’s completely free and you can enjoy the scenic views of the Gamla Stan. Take some photos at the top and enjoy the Stockholm sunset! If you’re still craving meatballs try Meatballs for the People, but if you want to try something different have dinner and a drink at Kvarnen!
Enjoy The Fantastic Nightlife
Stockholm’s nightlife is amazing! There are millions of things to do in Stockholm at night. If you want to party all night long, head to the Stureplan neighborhood. Dress nice as this area is known for a posh crowd. Download the Stureplan app so you can get on the guestlist for the clubs because they don’t always let you in. If posh is your kind of crowd, try Hell’s Kitchen Club, but make sure you are on the guest list.
Those looking for a laid back vibe can stay in the Södermalm district. There are plenty of relaxed clubs and bars. Södermalm is the best neighborhood to stay in Stockholm, with hostels such as STF Långholmen Hostel, a refurbished prison building now surrounded by nature and trendy restaurants! You can check out the Tradgarden outdoor club nearby! If you just want to have a good old fashioned beer go to Beerpot, a cheap bar in the area where you can get away from the crowds.
Where to Stay in Stockholm, Sweden
Make sure you’re picking the right accommodation according to your plans. If you’re on a Stockholm layover and have an early flight, the best is to choose a hotel near the airport. However, for the best experience choose a hotel near the activities you wish to enjoy. Here are a few we recommend:
Best Hotels Near Stockholm City Center
4 Brunkebergstorg, Norrmalm, 111 51 Stockholm
Located in the center of all action, the Hobo Hotel is the best choice for travelers who enjoy nature and culture. Hobo’s restaurant serves organic and seasonal dishes, with plenty of vegan options. The hotel has an on-site gym and an entire shopping center! It is close to all the major attractions and value for your money is one of the best in Stockholm.
Tjärhovsgatan 11, Södermalm, 116 21 Stockholm
Visitors enjoying history will relish staying in this building dating all the way back to 1780! Close to the Old Town, NOFO Hotel is a great choice for travelers looking to feel like a part of Stockholm and enjoy the comfortable ambiance of a boutique hotel!
STF Långholmen Hostel
Långholmsmuren 20, Södermalm, 11733 Stockholm
Fantastic value and mesmerizing nature, STF Långholmen Hostel is the best deal in the city. The amazing backstory of the prison turned into a beautiful hostel that attracts millions of visitors every year! The beach is in your backyard! Fantastic for the morning after a long night of partying in Stockholm.
Best Day Trips From Stockholm
Less than an hour away lies Uppsala, a small, picturesque town with the oldest university in Scandinavia. Cathedral’s, castles, rivers, and runestones all co-exist in perfect natural harmony. Try the Swedish seafood as you glance at the postcard town or sip on Gin as you listen to some local live music!
The local favorite hiking trail is only a 40-minute drive from Stockholm city center. A 1000 km hiking trail is full of stunning, untouched nature. You don’t have to cross the entire 1000 km path. Just enjoy the beauty around you as you walk through the dense forests and along the clear lakes.
Overnight Cruise to Helsinki
A lot of Swedish people like to book it as a weekend getaway. You can party all night long, wake up in a new city, explore it and come back the next day. The cruise has karaoke, bars with live music and a Finnish sauna! Check the itinerary for one day in Helsinki.
Extra Tips For Visiting Stockholm
– Buy the Stockholm Travel Card – Although the city seems compact, you will use public transport often. By far the most economical option is the Stockholm Travel Card where you can load your passes and save the money better spent on sightseeing or food!
– Download the SL App – Some people find the bus systems confusing or can’t find the place to load their passes. The SL app is the solution to your problems even if you’re just spending 24 hours in Stockholm. Download it!
– Ride the Metro – Stockholm’s metro is a beautiful work of art. Over 90 stations in the city have a different theme. Artists from the ’50s to today contributed to a station and you can spend a whole day just riding around exploring different ones!
– Follow the rules – Swedish people queue in lines and don’t like too much eye contact for no reason. When you’re visiting Stockholm, line up, dress nice and avoid jaywalking!
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