Welcome to a city where it is easy to breathe – and to feel your pulse. Stockholm is located on a series of interlinked islands, and beyond lies thousands of islets to explore. It’s clean, modern and packed with culture and history, from the acclaimed Vasa Museum and the city’s many medieval churches, to the intriguing public artworks of the Stockholm metro system.
In the city’s Old Town, known as Gamla Stan, you’ll find many of its most historic attractions, including the gargantuan Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral and numerous buildings from the medieval era.
During your trip to Stockholm you’ll probably want to visit at least one or two museums, and the good news is that there are dozens to choose from.
The Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, or National Natural History Museum, has exhibits spanning millions of years and is home to Sweden’s largest planetarium. For more recent Swedish history visit the Historiska Museet (Swedish History Museum).
A trip to Stockholm also provides a perfect staging point for an exploration of the Stockholm Archipelago. It spans more than 30 miles and contains approximately 24,000 islands and islets, each with its own charm. Travelling by boat is the best way to explore the archipelago, and if you’re planning on doing a lot of island-hopping then it’s worth purchasing a boat pass for unlimited travel.
Sightseeing tours of the historic canals and streets of Stockholm are popular activities for visitors, and can help you to gain a deeper perspective of the city.
Although few would envisage Stockholm as a typical destination for a beach holiday, swimming by the beach is popular with locals and tourists alike during the summer months, and the water here is renowned for its cleanliness. Smedsuddsbadet and Langholmens Bad are two of the most frequently visited areas for swimming.
During the winter months there are many places for cross-country skiing, and a number of slopes suitable for all levels of ability. If you’d prefer to sit back and leave the sports to the professionals during your trip to Stockholm then take in an ice hockey game at the Hovet arena.
Eating in Stockholm
As with many Scandinavian tourist destinations, prices for dining in Stockholm are far from cheap, but the breadth and quality of the choices generally make up for the slightly higher cost. The Old Town has a wide selection of restaurants, and is home to some of the more affordable gastro-pubs. Sodermalm is packed with trendy eating establishments.
Ask anyone to name a culinary creation of Sweden, and the first thing they’ll probably come up with is the eponymous meatballs served at Ikeas the world over. But there’s so much more to Swedish cuisine. Sample rakor (fresh shrimp), tuck into a bowl of egg and anchovy-rich Gubbrora, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a cinnamon bun (kanelbullar).
Shopping in Stockholm
If you’re travelling to Stockholm looking to lighten your wallet and weigh down your bags then visit Drotninggatan for a variety of big brand shopping and smaller independent stores. For mall shopping head to Sturegallerian or Bruno Gotgatsbacken.
Sweden is a modern European country, and Swedes have a strong sense of patriotism. Honesty is also an important quality to Swedes, as is punctuality.