Stockholm holds Sweden’s densest collection of urban attractions–including one of the most unique and incredible museums in the world, The Vasa. The centerpiece of this museum is a restored warship that had but one, 2-nautical mile voyage in 1628 before sinking. In addition to this world-famous museum, many other attractions city-wide pay tribute to Sweden’s Viking history, natural environment, theater, modern artists, royal family and the Nobel Prize. Those into fresh air will enjoy the city’s water-related activities and attractions such as boating and beaches.
Hot Tips: Take a day-, dinner-, or brunch cruise or archipelago tour through Stockholm with Strömma Kanalbolaget.
Where to Stay
Stockholm occupies 14 islands in Lake Mälaren–in a region where the Scandinavian Peninsula, with its trademark granite coastline, breaks apart into the Baltic Sea. Sweden’s gorgeous and historic capital city contains hundreds of lodging options, clustered around its city center and grouped along its coastlines. Though Stockholm has many luxury hotels, you may consider booking a vacation cottage, B&B or even a room in a hostel–depending on what your budget allows. In summer, many hotels offer discounts and great value packages.
Hot Tips: Stockholm has a fitting reputation for expensive lodging. If you're not earning Swedish Kronor, you'll feel sticker-shocked.
Hot Tips: Sweden is one of the least intimidating, non-English speaking countries in the world to visit; nearly all Swedes, regardless of age, speak impressively good English!
The best restaurants of Stockholm represent the best of the modern Swedish culinary scene: a combination of time-tested Swedish classics–as well as modern takes on these dishes–and cuisines imported from the many continents of the world. In Stockholm, the sky is the limit in terms of “fancy fare.” However, many mid-range restaurants offer excellent quality and ample creativity for a much lower price. The restaurants of Stockholm are scattered throughout its entire breadth, but naturally are most concentrated in its center and along its major streets.
Hot Tips: Surströmming!!! A summer dish, this fermented Baltic herring is the most putrid and odiferous fish dish in the world. Even if you don't eat it yourself, you must witness others doing it!
Hot Tips: Fika! Coffee is to the Swedes what tea is to the Brits. Swedes usually take fika at least twice a day, drinking delicious, dark coffee with buns, cookies and other goodies.
Stockholm after hours is trendy, sexy and busy. If you’re planning your first evening out in Sweden, come prepared to dress up. Stockholmers tend to wear sleek, modern clothing befitting their healthy economy and well above-average looks. Think sophisticated; you want to dress to impress (the dress code-enforcing bouncers), and drink to have fun–but not to get sloppy. Many of the hottest clubs in Stockholm stand along Sturegatan–with many classic venues located in Gamla Stan (“The Old City”); to give yourself a chance at getting into these busy venues, arrive on the early side.
Hot Tips: Too many drinks, particularly mixed drinks; you'll be shocked at the cost of cocktails in Stockholm.
Hot Tips: You'd be surprised to learn how many popular, contemporary bands hail from Sweden–like The Knife, Opeth, The Hives, Meshugga, Roxette, The Cardigans, Entombed, The Teddybears and uncounted more. Catch a live show of these bands in their home country.
Those looking for local flavor–in the form of boutiques and galleries–should head directly to Gamla Stan, Nörrmalm, Södermalm, Katarina-Sofia and Östermalm. These historic, central districts contain Stockholm’s best collection of jewelry, art and souvenirs. The densest concentration of shops stands along Västerlånggatan. If you’re looking for department stores, try NK, Åhléns City or PUB–most of which stand just north of Gamla Stan in Norrmalm.
Hot Tips: Sweden is home to many traditional crafts–all of which make elegant souvenirs: look for handmade Swedish linen (especially table runners), jewelry and gourmet chocolates.