The city of Stockholm – situated on 14 islands in the Baltic Sea – is one of my favorite cities.
Why? I guess it’s a combination of things like the closeness to nature, the rich history & culture, the contemporary design, the welcoming people, the international cuisine and the scenery.
Although Stockholm is a large city it’s very easy to get around on foot… if you have enough time. If not, public transportation is very well organized and brings you from A to B in no time.
I have visited the Swedish capital multiple times and there is always something new to see or do in the city itself or on the surrounding islands.
Just 20 minutes out of Stockholm a world of thousands and thousands islands begins.
In this article I take you on a journey to some of the must-see places:
Where it all began… GAMLA STAN
The ‘old town’ is located on an island in the middle of the city. Gamla Stan is characterized by narrow cobblestone streets and colored houses.
You find here some of Stockholm’s main attractions like Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace) and Sveriges Riksdag (Parliament House) which is situated on the very small island of Helgeandsholmen. If you’d like to be inspired by Nobel Prize winners and their ideas that changed the world, visit Nobelmuseet.
Many tourists also visit Gamla Stan in search of a souvenir or art piece to bring home. In the narrow streets of this vibrant area, you find many beautiful items like jewelry and glass art.
A visit to Gamla Stan would not be complete without visiting the oldest bakery in Stockholm which is Sundbergs Konditori where I enjoyed a typical Swedish Fika.
Fika is the Swedish way of slowing down – to have a chat while enjoying a hot drink & pastry.
My Fika moment included a delicious – so very Swedish – Kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) and a tea.
Let’s go North to NORRMALM
Norrmalm is the business district and the commercial heart of the city.
There is not much sightseeing in this part of Stockholm but you can definitely do some really good retail therapy at affordable prices in shopping streets Drottninggatan, Hamngatan and Kungsgatan.
If you have some more money to spend 🙂 go to famous department store Nordiska Kompaniet. The logo ‘NK’ is visible from multiple parts in the city and the window displays are stunning!
Norrmalm is a great area to stay because of its proximity to everything – this is where T-Centralen or subway to almost everywhere In the city is located – and the many amazing hotels and restaurants.
TIP : I had a very nice dinner in the restaurant of hotel Nordic Light!
East from Norrmalm we find OSTERMALM
Ostermalm is the place to see and be seen! Here you can admire magnificent architecture, shop in exclusive boutiques, eat in one of the fine dining restaurants or have a cocktail in a posh bar.
This is also the area where you need to be for spectacular performances at the Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern. If you are in a mood to party, dance the night away in one of the many night clubs.
PART OF OSTERMALM BUT A WORLD ON ITS OWN: DJURGARDEN
Go for a walk from Nybrokajen – along the beautiful promenade Strandvägen – to the wonderful green island of Djurgården.
A perfect day at Djurgården starts with a museum visit (e.g. Nordiska Museet) in the morning, followed by lunch & a tour in Rosendals Tradgård (Garden) in the afternoon.
After a full day of discovery, enjoy a delicious dinner at 1 Michelin star restaurant AIRA and conclude your day by witnessing a beautiful sunset at Royal Djurgården Park.
And now let’s go South to the largest district SODERMALM
According to many Södermalm – sometimes also referred to as Söder – is the hippest area in Europe because its trendy shops, galleries, vintage stores and Swedish design. Many of these places are located in SoFo (South of Folkungagatan)
One of the main attractions in Södermalm is Fotografiska, a hot spot for photography and visual art.
Between shopping and admiring art work, have lunch or a Fika at Pom & Flora.
Södermalm however is more than SoFo; Söder is also well known for its stunning view points. From Monteliusvågen (walking path) you have an amazing view on City Hall and Lake Mälaren.
For a delicious dinner, go to the Clarion Hotel, a vibrant meeting place in the heart of Södermalm.
If you’re in for an evening walk visit Arstaviken which is located just around the corner of the hotel.
Explore Stockholm city & The Archipelago from the water
A great way to discover the royal canal and the city of Stockholm is with a solar or electric boat.
If you like it more adventurous, jump on one of the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boats) located at Strandvägen.
If you feel the need to escape the city, I would recommend to board a classic ship of Strömma which takes you to the beautiful islands of the archipelago.
Watch one of the films (e.g. asteroid hunters, oceans) on the dome-shaped screen of Cosmonova or learn more about Swedish nature, the Polar regions, dinosaurs, treasures from the Earth’s interior and so much more at Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet (Swedish Museum of Natural History).
Enjoy a fantastic view over the city of Stockholm in one of the 2 gondolas of Skyview or join a concert in the Avicci Arena.
Take the ferry to Nacka Strand
Just a short ferry ride (about 30 minutes) from Nybrokajen in the city of Stockholm, lies Nacka Strand. Make a walk along the water and enjoy the beautiful view on the surrounding area.
I hope this article will inspire you to go and explore the wonderful Stockholm archipelago by yourself.