How do you imagine the north? The north of Scandinavia we mean!
A bit ‘as described by Game of Thrones? Cold, icy and frightening under the control of white walkers.
Good news friends! Wanna hear about them?
The north is very cool, but so much that even if its people can look like strangers (icy eyes and very clear skin) it is worth it to face them to visit it.
And if you do not want to trust our words, trust the Swedish capital and what it can actually give you.
Make yourself comfortable and let’s discover together the top things to do in Stockholm!
We must continue?
We can bet our hands, feet and even the nose … you will never want to come back!
Weather, do not be scared by cold!
Sweden is one of those states that can be visited in every period of the year and with lots of completely different activities.
During colder months, the northernmost part of the country offers the show of the northern lights, dog sled rides, the Jokkmokk Winter Market, hotels completely made from ice and much more.
During warmer months, however, it becomes impossible to resist to the charm of the city.
Stockholm reaches its climax in May, when spring finally comes to life and everything flourishes.
The 3 summer months are instead the perfect time for anyone who does not want to risk having the day ruined by bad weather.
Temperatures are never too hot but of course they can be terribly cold.
Budget? Keep an eye on your wallet friends!
Sweden is not exactly the place we recommend if you want to spend a little. Indeed, far from it …
Despite the rather expensive prices, we assure you that visiting Stockholm is really worth it!
Things to do in Stockholm? Top 10 fantastic places
➡ Gamla Stan, the old beating heart of the city
Gamla stan – whose translation means old city – it is one of the largest and most well-preserved historical centers in Europe and it has existed since 1252.
Here, most of the attractions, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops are concentrated.
You will fall in love with the colors of historic buildings, cobblestone streets, artisan shops …
Empty the cameras cards before walking through the streets of this part of the city, you will need a lot of storage to capture every glimpse, so poetic to remember a fairy tale.
Stortorget, the central square of Gamla Stan, is the most iconic spot in the whole city but also the place from which your way to the royal palace, to the church of Riddarholmen or to the sea and the town hall begins ...
➡ Royal palace, luxury, luxury and again luxury
The most important attraction (at least for the size!) of Gamla Stan is certainly the royal palace, the official residence of his sovereign majesty of Sweden.
More than 600 rooms, the museum of the Armory and the royal costumes are all contained within this mammoth building now open to the public.
It was built in the 18th century following the Baroque style, exactly where the “Kronor” castle once stood before it was burned in 1697.
We recommend, of all those rooms, give a prominent look to the Rikssalen which contains the silver throne of Queen Kristina and the Ordenssalarna.
Orari: see here
Prezzo: Adults €13; students €8; children up to 17 years old €9;
For more info, have a look to the official website.
➡ Skogskyrkogarden, a disturbing architectural masterpiece
Many of you will think it is disturbing to mention a cemetery in the list of “things to do in Stockholm”.
Okey, we understand that, but we had to recommend you to visit Skogskyrkogarden – also called Woodland, because built in the middle of a forest- and you know why?
Because this cemetery, designed by the architects Asplund & Lewerentz, it is made so that anyone walking between the tombstones (identical and without photos, to show the equality of men before death), however, can experience a sense of calm, tranquility and peace of mind .
As you can understand from the fact that it is UNESCO heritage, it is a magical place, understandable only if visited!
➡ Vasa museum, go back in time
Do you really want to know the things to do in Stockholm? The Vasa galleon.
You’re wondering why you should see a ship, right?
Well, simply because it is not a ship but THE Ship: the only galleon in the world dating back to the 17th century and perfectly preserved. Unbelievable.
In fact, more than 95% of the exposed Vasa is the original one and you will be delighted to observe hundreds of carved sculptures.
The huge 69 meter long warship in 1628, just during its maiden voyage, it sank and it was only recovered in 1961. For about 50 years Swedish worked to bring the ship back to the glitz of the past and today, the museum in which it is kept is also the most visited in the whole Scandinavia with more than one million visitors per year.
Orari: 2 January – 31 May e 1 September – 30 December 10:00-17.00, Wednesday 10:00-20:00
1° June – 31 August 08:30-18:00 (Vasa Restaurant 08:30-17:30)
31 December 10:00-15:00 (Vasa Restaurant 11:00-14:00)
1 January, 23 – 25 december it is closed.
Prezzo: Adults €13; free for children up to 18 years old.
For more info, see the official website.
➡ Fotografiska, Do you love photography? This is the place for you
Oh, fotografiska … about this museum we would have things to say but we know that there is no word that can serve this purpose.
It is one of the biggest meeting points for contemporary photographers.
Every year, there are 4 major exhibitions to which 20 smaller exhibitions are added.
And if that was not enough, to make it a magical place, think of the restaurant / cafè on the top floor of the building, from which you can enjoy one of the most magical views of the Swedish capital.
Ah, even the food is not bad because this restaurant has recently seen the prestigious Gold Dragon Award.
Not bad, isn’t it?
Orari: from Sunday to Wedsneday 09:00–23:00; from Thursday to Saturday 09:00–01:00.
Prezzo: Adults €15; Students €12; free up to 12 years old;
More info on the official website.
➡ Skansen Open-Air Museum, a deep dive in Stockholm history, with an open air plus
This very special open-air museum is the favorite place of most of the citizens and probably also the favorite place for tourists.
Skansen is located in the Royal Djurgården and it is nothing more than a miniature Sweden, the place where the history of the state is traced from when it was just grazing animals and some farms.
150 original buildings have been transported here from the most disparate parts of the country and the same is true for some typically Swedish animals.
And if all this was not enough, the view that you enjoy from here on the city, it is something magical.
➡ The City Hall, beautiful gala evenings
Stockholm City Hall is one of the most important buildings in the city.
It was designed by architect Ragnar Östberg and what makes it unmistakable is its 106 meter high tower and the 3 golden crowns (symbol of Sweden) on top of it.
Through the guided tours it is possible for the public to visit the marvelous interior rooms and priceless works of art.
Only after visiting it you will understand why it is right here that the great Nobel banquet is held.
The evening is structured as follows: dinner in the Blue Room (Blå Hallen) and post-dinner in the Golden Room (Gyllene Salen) which boasts something like 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
Orari: Visit the official website
– from April to October, € 11 for adults, € 9 for those over 65; € 5 for children between the ages of 12 and 19; free for children under 12
– from November to March € 9 for adults, € 7 for those over 65; € 3 for children between the ages of 12 and 19; free for children under 12.
Additional info: Visits to the town hall are only held in Swedish or
English. Tower visits instead are available in several languages.
ABBA The Museum, fan around the world, gather here!
In case you liked this type of music, Stockholm holds the largest permanent exhibition of memorabilia from the pop group of the world. In fact, here you can find outfits used during concerts, instruments and much more.
But not only!
What makes this museum so special is the fact that it is highly interactive.
Test yourself by singing the group’s achievements and dancing the choreography.
For more info see the official website.
The narrowest stret of the city, do not get stucked!
Wandering around Gamla Stan you will surely come across the Mårten Trotzigs gränd which, with its 90 cm width, it is the narrowest alley in Stockholm.
Going up the 36 steps of this medieval-style little street you will find yourself moving from Prästgatan to Västerlånggatan and vice versa.
We challenge you to find it!
Drottningholm Palace, a unique real pearl
If you have more than a couple of days at your disposal, we must add the mythical Drottningholm palace to our list of “things to do in Stockholm”.
This is the best preserved palace in Sweden and it is no coincidence that since 1981 they have been the official residence of the royal family.
It can boast of hosting, among other things, a theater of over 300 years, the Chinese pavilion and a huge park.
Ah, if you still need something that can convince you that it is worth visiting … well, it is the 3rd UNESCO heritage of the city!
It will have to be on the list for a reason, right?
Orari: you can consult them here
Prezzo: Adults €13; students and children up to 17 years old €7;
For more info see the official website.
What to do absolutely to live the city in the most powerful way
📍 Fika, mangiare as a local
With the Swedish people, do not mess around on Fika.
In fact, if there’s one thing they consider sacred it’s just being able to have a coffee break with someone.
Not surprisingly, the city is littered with bars and restaurants where tradition and contemporary concepts mix in a pleasant atmosphere.
Fika is much more than just a break; it is precisely their way of life, of a ritual, of a fundamental part of Swedish culture. It serves to rest, to start again more concentrated than before but also to socialize and to make even more solid interpersonal relationships. Promise us that you will not come back without doing Fika!
📍 Insular Stockholm, are you ready to sail?
Stockholm has about 30,000 islands belonging to its archipelago.
One of the activities that cannot be missed (unless you suffer of seasickness) is to dine on the boats.
But you can understand how fascinating it is to be able to eat, floating on the sea and seeing in the distance the lights coming from different islands or Stockholm itself?
If you have more than a couple of days available, you cannot deny yourself a trip to one of the most impressive places in the archipelago like Grinda, Mariefred or Vaxholm.
📍 Skyview, a different point of view to admire the city
Enjoy the city from the most futuristic point possible: the Ericsson Globe skyview.
Do you want to know what it is?
Since 2010, the Ericsson Globe, an enormous structure in which sporting events and concerts are held, it has been enriched by two glass spheres that, using tracks built on the façade, it have the possibility to bring tourists up to enjoy a good view of the city.
Some advice as friends: book in advance! The first time we went we could not go up because everything was booked for the whole the day and we had to postpone the day after. Do not be fooled as we did and book early!
In case you need more info, we refer you to the official site.
📍 Metro tour, a masterpiece to be discovered
You cannot go to Stockholm and do not spend at least half a day visiting its subway.
On the contrary, it seems to us that we have heard that it is something punished by law (actually it is not true, but if you miss it we assure you that you would regret it and that you were the first to self-punish yourself).
Every single stop, in fact, it is painted and decorated in order to make the metropolitan complex of this city one of the most beautiful in the world.
Those that we absolutely recommend you to visit are: Stadion, T-Centralen, Mörby Centrum, Solna Centrum, Thorildsplan, Kungsträdgåden, Tensta … strictly in this order.
📍 The changing of the guards, enough London… too mainstream
Okey, it is nothing absolutely innovative or never seen (surely you have already seen or you have already heard about London or Athens or even the one of Bucharest) but in the Swedish capital, the changing of the guard is really loved.
So much to be worth a spot on our list of things to do in Stockholm!
Everyday at 12:15 (at 13:15 on Sunday) the change of the guard happens in a blatant way: the new guards are escorted by soldiers on horseback and by the band while the old ones leave the place reciting something incomprehensible in Swedish (but with solemn tone) and greeting with rifles.
Do you want to know how to sleep as a king or a queen?
Stockholm is not a cheap city, for accommodation too.
And probably, the only way to fully enjoy the city is to understand that and rely on other parameters to choose the perfect place to stay.
We have been at Rival Hotel and we sincerely do not remember having ever slept in a more beautiful and comfortable place than this.
The central location – just 10 minutes walk from Gamla Stan and 2 minutes from the Mariatorget metro station – it is not its only pro.
Think of something that a hotel should absolutely have to please you and we are sure that Rival has it.
The cordiality and efficiency of the staff?
The fact that the reception is open 24/7 and that at any time of day or night you enter there is a person who greets and asks:
“How are you?”
The fact that the manager of the concierge, Sean, he is available to meet the guests and give them suggestions on the top things to do in Stockholm and the fact that a couple of times a day someone knocks on the door of your room to ask you if everything is fine or if you neeed…
…well, all of this is: cordiality and efficiency.
Something else? Like a hearty breakfast?
At Rival, you cannot start the day badly, a huge (and with this adjective we are still reductive) buffet will meet any need, whether you want a classi breakfast (the Italian type for instance) or international.
In addition, cute young ladies, will be available to collect orders for those dishes a little more refined.
Can you really wish for more?
Spacious and designed rooms?
Our room was as big as an apartment and we’re not kidding!
The bed in the middle was flanked by two bedside tables; in front, the desk and the television.
Between the bed and the balcony, a portion of the room was used as a small living room with a small round table and small armchairs. The view, the best we could hope for, on a small square of historic buildings and a park.
From here, we enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets.
Then… if a room is not spacious with a bathroom that has a shower and a bath, honestly, we do not know what it is!
Cleaning? Discretion? They have them!
We play a game! Write us in the comments what for you should not miss in a hotel and we tell you if the Rival has it or not.
Are you in?
Not to go to the usual conventional destinations?
To be amazed by the world?
Pin me for later!
DISCLAIMER – THE ACCOMMODATION WAS GENTLY PROVIDED BY RIVAL HOTEL. NEVERTHELESS, THE REVIEW AND OUR OPINIONS ARE ABSOLUTELY IMPARTIAL AND SINCERE.