Updated: Jul 24, 2019 @

Travel guide to the best of Stockholm

Here is our travel guide to the best of Stockholm. I think from now on, l will continue to keep my expectations low or non-existent with regards to new places that we visit. It has served me well with Copenhagen among other places.  I am pretty sure that expecting too much made me feel kind of blah about Amsterdam, a city everyone rages about. Here are a few ways Stockholm absolutely surprised and delighted us during our ten day trip.


Travel Guide to the Best of Stockholm:

View from the Nobility House, travel guide to the best of Stockholm

Sightseeing Stockholm: View from the Nobility House.

Our trip to Stockholm was for a blogger conference which went swimmingly. This was the second year of attendance. Last year, it was held in Lloret de Mar. When l heard Stockholm was the destination for 2016, l knew we had to attend, not just for the amazing networking with others in the industry, but it was also a place we had never visited, and were eager to. These are some things to know before visiting Stockholm.

Getting to Stockholm Sweden:

Stockholm, being the capital of Sweden, has a pretty big international airport. Plenty of the airlines serve the city. These include Swiss Air, Lufthansa and Iberia. Within Europe, there are also low budget, no frills airlines that cater to the budget travelers. Getting from Stockholm airport to the center is easy to too. The Arlanda express train will bring you directly from the Stockholm airport to the centre in roughly 20 minutes and it departs every 15 minutes for most of the day. The train station is directly under the arrival terminal so it’s easy to find.

Stockholm Surprises In Size: It’s huge!

stockholm center city water view of government buildings in our tavel guide to the ebst of Stockholm

It’s hard to convey how immense Stockholm city is :-). There are so many places to visit in Stockholm.

Okay. Admittedly,  l had no idea how big Stockholm was. I thought it would be the size of Copenhagen. This Swedish capital is also the most populous of all Nordic countries. There are over 925,000 people in the city and another 3.5 million spread out in the urban and metropolitan areas. The city is made up of fourteen islands. Located in the southwest of Sweden, at the mouth of Lake Malaren, the Baltic Sea and the Stockholm archipelago. Looking down below as the plane landed, you really get an idea of how immense the city is.

 Stockholm is Absolutely Beautiful:

Travel guide to the best of Stockholm - water views of Gamla Stan from across the river

How could the Swedes not be the happiest in the whole world with this daily view? One of the top things to do in Stockholm seems to involve the water. We saw a lot of people in little boats enjoying the weather.


stockholm sweden surprises sunset

One of the top things to see in Stockholm is the sunsets in Stockholm which are just are spectacular!

The beauty of Stockholm city is stupendous! As we took pictures, the one thing we kept saying over and over was that it was impossible to take a bad picture of Stockholm. We had wonderful weather, perfect for t-shirts. We also had many hours of sunshine, with the sun rising about 3.30AM and not setting till 10PM or thereabouts. We visited some of the most gorgeous places. I always recommend stopping by the Stockholm visitor center to get a Stockholm city map. It will definitely help you navigate the city better.

Stockholm Sweden Travel Guide: (What to see, eat & where to stay).

What to see in Stockholm: (our list of must visit places in Stockholm)

Sightseeing in Stockholm will delight you. It is a vast place with unique feels to the different areas. Here are just a few things that we were able to do as part of our Stockholm itinerary.

Stockholm City Hall:

grand hall stockholm sweden city hall

Places to visit in Stockholm include City Hall. This is inside the grand hall. It is transformed for the Nobel dinner every December. They come down the grand staircase.


stockholm sweden surprises gold room city hall

The Gold Room in Stockholm City Hall. I can’ t even tell you how grand and warm and beautiful this room is. My favorite.

Stockholm city hall is where the Nobel Peace Prize dinner occurs yearly. Truly one of the most beautiful places l have ever stepped in. The Gold Room in these pictures don’t do it justice at all. Over 19 million pieces of mosaic tiles decorate the room. It is famous for the annual ball that takes place following the Nobel Banquet. Floor to ceiling measures 144 feet. It just feels majestic and was by far my favorite room on the mandatory tour. It is one of the biggest Stockholm tourist attractions and it’s worth seeing.

Nordic Museum Stockholm:

In the Lobby. I just loved this grand pooba!

Stockholm must see: The Lobby of the Nordic Museum. I just loved this grand pooba!


See what l mean about it looking like a cathedral. View from the top floor.

Nordic Museum interior: See what l mean about it looking like a cathedral. View from the top floor.

Located on the island named Djurgarden. It houses  Swedish cultural history from early to contemporary era. The beauty starts from the outside. The building  itself is outstanding. Looks more befitting a cathedral, not a museum. We enjoyed touring it, easily spending over five hours discovering clothing, food and fashion of the past. No visit to Stockholm is complete without seeing this from the lines :-).

Nordic museum Stockholm shoes - A travel guide to the best of Stockholm

Places to visit in Stockholm to learn about their history: How they dressed in the past.

Royal jewelry nordic museum stockholm

Royal jewelry at the Stockholm Nordic museum


A witch hanging display at nordic museum stockholm

Quirky things in Stockholm! A witch hanging – past history to the present. We loved the museum.

Stockholm Surprise: Greenery in Stockholm Parks

stockhom sweden surprises statue carl eldhs

One of the many, many parks we saw and went through. Here is a Carl Eldhs Brantingsmonument. I wish l could tell you a little more, but it was all written in Swedish ;-)

Wide open spaces make me happy!

Wide open spaces make me happy! Lots of money there too. Check out the Ferrari!

Did you know Stockholm was voted the European Green Capital in 2010? Neither did l, so don’t feel bad :-) . You don’t have to go far to be one with nature. Giant parks and clean, fresh air makes for family and pet friendly environment . I would say of course that the sunshine and high temperatures we enjoyed definitely had a lot to do with it l’m sure. It would have probably been a different story in the winter time when it is super cold.

Gamla Stan: (Things to do in Gamla Stan)

This is the old center of Stockholm. A very hip and vibrant place filled with shops, lots of restaurants and cafes. It is a great place to people watch while sipping cocktails. I am pretty sure that area is the biggest attraction in Stockholm for sure. While in Gamla Stan, you can:

  • Visit the Stockholm Cathedral
  • Visit the Nobel Museum
  • Visit the Royal Palace with over 600 rooms and Royal Armory
  • Visit Marten Trotzigs alley, the narrowest alley in Gamla Stan at just 90 centimeters wide!
  • Visit Riddarholmen church, the royal church for burials that was originally a monastery.
  • Stortorget, the main square that is the oldest, going as far back as the 14th century. Lots of people, lots of cafes and extremely pretty.
Stockholm guide to the best - must visit Gamla Stan center

The old center of Gamla Stan. An absolutely delightful place to walk, people watch and eat. A lot of the buildings are gold in color and is very striking and picturesque.

Stockholm Vasa Museum:

vasa ship at vasa museum stockholm

One of the top attractions in Stockholm is the Vasa ship on display at the museum.

A maritime museum. It houses the almost intact 17th century warship that sank on her very first voyage in 1628. It is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia and the view of the salvaged ship is memorable. It is a 64 gun vessel and it must have looked pretty menacing in the water. It’s hard not to think of Pirates of the Caribbean when you see it up close.

ABBA Museum Stockholm – A must see in Stockholm for any ABBA fan!:

abba1-collective in the travel guide to the best of Stockholm

ABBA museum Stockholm is worth seeing. Here is the Abba CD gold and platinum sales on display at the Abba museum.


collection of ABBA memorabilia, one of the must visit places in Stockholm

ABBA costumes and other memorabilia at the museum in Stockholm. You could even get on stage and sing with Abba!

Mama Mia!!!! Yes, this is the home of the superstar group. We were lucky enough to visit the amazing  ABBA museum (goodie bag gift). Growing up listening to their music, it was nice to see all the various awards and accolades they have received over time. It was also kind of cool going down memory lane with the costumes and interactive audio and video areas. I highly recommend visiting the museum. It was much better than l thought it would be. I just wish l had actually gotten on stage “with them” :-) . What is your favorite ABBA song? Mine is “Does your mother know” and Federico loves “Fernando” (lyrics replaced with some football goalie god of his. He actually thought the original song was by their football team.. :-) ). I would definitely recommend this as one of the places to see in Stockholm. So much fun!

Drottingholm Palace is a must visit in Stockholm

drottingholm palace side view another of the best things to see in Stockholm

The Swedish royal residence, the Drottingholm palace, another worthy attraction in Stockholm to tour.

Official residence of the royal family. We took a tour of it and you can read all about it in this related post.

Drottingholm Royal Palace Visit


 What to eat in Stockholm:

Stockholm Guide: pic of sushi plates variety - delicious food to try in the city

We ate lots of sushi. They were reasonably priced and very good which makes sense when you think of all the water :-) .


food in stockholm

Food in Stockholm is pricey in our opinions! This and 2 bottles of local beer cost $35. Help us decide if it is expensive :-)


Love dumplings in Stockholm - one of the food to eat in Stockholm

What to eat in Stockholm – home to international cuisine, we tried to have a bit of everything including dumplings and we had our fill.


Miso soup and beer at a restaurant in Stockholm.

Miso soup, a taste of Japanese food in Stockholm.


 Wagamama noodle bowl in Stockholm

We were very happy to see Wagamama in Stockholm.


dessert iceream and fried bananas in Stockholm

Fried banana and ice cream dessert. yum!

I, for some reason thought we had taken many more pictures of food during our visit, but it turns out, we really didn’t. Part of the reason was because we both like the same food, especially salmon which we ate a lot of. It would have been ridiculous taking the same pictures. One thing that l completely forgot to take a picture of was our lunch of Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce. It was absolutely amazing, and l think Federico must have eaten like 50 by himself :-) !!! My favourite dish in Stockholm was by far was the cold poached salmon. On the whole, we felt food prices in Stockholm at restaurants were very pricey. More so than in Copenhagen which surprised us. A return visit is unlikely in the near future, way too much money.

Stockholm Surprise: Warmth of the people

Travel guide Stockholm best : Even the flea market like this one was inviting.

Even the flea market in Stockholm was inviting.

We met so many wonderful and warm people during our visit. It started right from our arrival where we needed help navigating the gigantic airport. The staff were so helpful with directions from our terminal (2) to the International terminal (5). We took the regional train into the city instead of the Arlanda Express (took that for the return journey). Within two minutes of waiting for the train, we had struck up a conversation with an 18 year old girl who was just getting off her shift.

By the time she got off the train 20 minutes later, it was hugs all around :-). We had interesting conversations with people on the other trains, one who actually got off on our stop to make sure we found our hotel before walking back to the station. Wow indeed! We saw some of the happiest, well adjusted and helpful people ever. Every place has its underbelly, but we were spared that, which leaves you with an outstanding impression of the city.

Travel guide to the best of Stockholm hotels:

 Interesting Lodgings and where to stay in Stockholm:

Porthole view from our hotel cabin.

Porthole view from our hotel cabin in Stockholm.

During my online search for accommodation in Stockholm, the amazing photographer named Lola Akinmade-Akerstrom, a resident of Stockholm told me of these boat hotels, or botels as they are commonly referred to. These are basically refurbished old boats and sea vehicles given a new life as hotels. We chose to stay on one almost right across from the city hall called the Loginn Hotel. It was quite an interesting experience. The cabins are tiny, barely big enough for one, never mind two :-).

Every move had to be calculated. It was nice for one night, but only one!  We enjoyed the porthole view of Stockholm and the rooftop deck that was obviously a hangout for locals as well as tourists. Every single cabin was booked, obviously something of interest to everyone, but l did notice our closest neighbours only stayed one night too. It was an okay price of $60. No frills and they threw in  breakfast as well. We actually enjoyed it. The best part was the awesome view from the deck bar. It’s quirky and worth spending a night, but not more.

hotel boat lodging in stockholm

Our hotel in Stockholm on a boat! It was tiny..and required proper coordination :-) . I’d do it again for one night.

Our next hotel was the Generator Hostel in the central station area. We chose this place because it was only a short walk to the conference center. It was also new and hip and had all the bells and whistles. It was our first time at a hostel. We paid for a private room and it was a lovely one. Great flooring, and the bathroom was outstanding. I also liked the colour scheme.

generator hostel Stockholm interior - Travel guide to the best of Stockholm

Generator Hostel Stockholm interior: It was a really nice room.

We got a 2 towels l guess because we had a private room. Everyone else had to rent them according to the sign in the room. We were paying $90 a night and l expected more for that money!!! :-) . There was no TV in the room either. I’m pretty sure it will be our last time staying in a hostel :-) . We like a bit of pampering. I didn’t see people gathering together to share stories either like everyone says, just a bunch of people on their cell phones and in their own worlds. There were plenty of families and all ages.. young to old. I think at this stage in our lives, we are not hostel materials, no matter how hip it is. We will stick to hotels for now. If you’re used to hostels, you would enjoy staying here.

If you want a bit of pampering at a top notch hotel just a bit outside the city, we can definitely recommend the Djuronaset Hotel  reviewed here.

Look here or here to search for best hotels in Stockholm.

Travel guide to the best of Stockholm: Our Biggest Surprise was the Cost

stockholm sweden surprises

People enjoying the beautiful day in Stockholm. One of the top things to do in Stockholm is people watch. I bet Stockholm in winter is a different picture as it would be extremely cold!!!

I thought Amsterdam or London was one of the priciest places we had ever visited. I kind of figured Stockholm would be about the same, price wise. Wrong! It was more expensive than Amsterdam and Japan even. First l thought we were judging too harshly coming from Seville, but on talking with some other attendees, we saw that everyone felt the same. It  was impossible to eat a lunch for two that was less than $30, and l am talking about a kebab, fries and soda each!!! ;-) .

Travel Guide Tips for visiting Stockholm:

  • Bring plenty of money! No joke, it is quite an expensive place. You can save some by staying at a hostel, but even they are pricey. I remember the taxi was 1 crown per second, so basically 10 cents per second. It adds up quick! :-)
  • Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking in Stockholm.
  • Even in summer, I recommend bringing a light jacket, especially if you’re not used to the cold.
  • Don’t forget your camera. Stockholm is picturesque

Stockholm is an absolutely amazing city. There is a lot to do and see and this is a little tip of the iceberg travel guide. These are just a few ways in which Stockholm surprises you. We were there for 10 days and barely scratched the surface.

stockhom-sweden #stockholm #sweden #stockholmguide #gamlastan

Stockholm Sweden Guide #stockholm #sweden #stockholmguide #visitstockholm #stockholmitinerary #gamlastan #vasamuseum #abbamuseum

Have you ever been to Stockholm? If yes, what were some of your favorite things to do in Stockholm? If not, does it look inviting from the post. Would you like to check out some of the wonderful surprises yourself?