Stockholm, the capital of Sweden has been a bustling port city for hundreds of years. Its rich cultural and architectural history mixed with modern revivals make for a breathtaking city.
An important thing to remember when planning your visit to Stockholm is its location. Due to the city’s high northerly latitude, daylight ranges from 18 hours during summer, to only 6 hours in late December. Therefor the best time to see the city is in the mild summer months.
We had the opportunity to spend several days in Stockholm and compiled the best walking tour guide to the city, while walking only 14km.
The best things to do in Stockholm walking map:
How to get to Stockholm
The city of Stockholm has 4 airports, which is odd for a city of that size. The main international airport is Arlanda Airport, located 40 KM north of the city. The other three airports are: Bromma which is more for local flights or flights within the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Skavsta which is home of Ryanair and Wizzair and Västerås which mostly runs Ryanair routes to London.
This is the airport we arrived. You can get to the city centre by bus, train and taxi/Uber.
Get to Stockholm city center by Bus:
We opted by taking the bus. Flygbussarna Airport Coaches is a great option if time is not a concerned and you are looking for a cheaper option. It departs every 10 minutes and takes about 45 minutes. The best prices are online, on their website or by buying a roundtrip ticket.
Another option is Flixbus, I love this company and it is how I travel between cities, but in this case they only have 2 or 3 buses from the airport to the city center and they do not have a fix price.
Get to Stockholm city center by Train:
The Arlanda Express is an excellent option if you want to get to the airport or the city the fastest way as it only takes about 20 minutes. It runs every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes at night. The express train departs from Platforms 1 and 2 at the Stockholm Central Station.
You could also ride the commuter train but it takes about 40 minutes and it departs every 30 minutes.
Get to Stockholm city center by Uber/Taxi:
If you choose to hire a taxi be aware that their prices are not regulated so you will need to ask for the fare before to make sure you get a good deal. Although, there is a legal maximum price they can charge to take you to the city center and it is SEK 675.
What to see in Stockholm in 3 days:
Stockholm is known as the Venice of the North because of the amount of water surrounding the city as it is made up of 14 continuous islands. In this guide we will share all the places you need to visit in Stockholm if you have only 3 days to explore.
Stockholm Central Station
Our first stop was the massive Stockholm Central Station, as we arrived to the city via train from the airport. As a bus, metro and train station, it is the center for all your transport needs around the city and country as well.
Stockholm City Hall
We then walked right outside the station to the Stockholm City Hall, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. You can take a guided tour of the building, where you can see the famous Blue Hall and Golden Hall, home to the Nobel Banquet.
The English tours generally take place between 10AM and 3PM, with exact tour times available on their website. Tickets cost 100 SEK during the summer and 70 SEK during the winter.
At the water’s edge, you can also enjoy a perfect panoramic view of the rest of Stockholm.
We next visited the House of Nobility. This beautiful building magnificently glistens in the sun and makes for an amazing photograph.
Unfortunately the building is only open to visitors from Monday to Friday from 11:00-12:00! Tickets cost 60 SEK.
The Riddarholm Church served as the final resting place of the Swedish kings and the royal family until 1950. It still stands as Stockholm’s only preserved medieval monastery church and commemoration to the country’s past. It is also a prominent feature in Stockholm’s skyline
The church is open from May to November, from 10AM to 4PM. Tickets cost 50 SEK per adult.
Going up to the top of the Katarina Elevator gives you an excellent viewpoint of city.
The elevator itself has been closed since 2010, but you are still able to climb the stairs to the viewpoint on the other side of the building or to go around the McDonalds and enter the building and use their elevator.
Up the hill behind the Katarina Elevator is the Katarina Church. Originally built in 1695, the church was rebuilt in 1990 after a devastating fire. The inside and outside of the building still look like their original glory.
Gamla Stan, the Old Town, dates back tot he 13th century and it is one of the most well-preserved medieval city centers in all of Europe. It is the perfect place to get lost in the cobble stone alleys and enjoy of their stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. It is also home to some of Stockholm’s most impressive buildings including the Nobel Museum, Stockholm Cathedral, and the Royal Palace.
Walking back to the historic center of the city we stopped at Järntorget Square. The old square is surrounded by many interesting historic buildings. There are also several cafes where you can rest your feet and have a bite to eat.
Mårten Trotzigs gränd
We then walked to the famous narrowest alley in the city of Stockholm, Mårten Trotzigs gränd. At its narrowest point it is a mere 90cm wide. While it is a bit underwhelming, it is enjoyable to squeeze down the street.
We then walked through all of the historic downtown, along Västerlånggatan street. This long street is full of many tourist shops, where you can find all sorts of souvenirs.
Our next stop was Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm. The pedestrian area with fountain is surrounded by many beautiful and historical buildings. It is also located just in front of the Nobel Museum.
An important and informative stop along our walking route is the Nobel Museum, situated in the the former Stock Exchange Building. The museum covers the history of the Nobel Prize, its winners and Alfred Nobel himself, in a modern and interactive way.
The museum is open daily from 9AM to 8PM over the summer and Tuesday to Sunday from 11AM to 5PM. You can check if there are special hours for your specific visit on their calendar. Tickets cost 100 SEK for adults, with free entry on Tuesdays from 5 PM to 8 PM.
The museum also offers daily guided tours in English, which are included in the ticket price.
Slottsbacken is a great street to walk down and see many of the important royal buildings, as well as the Stockholm Cathedral.
The most notable feature is a 22 meter high granite obelisk. It serves as the symbolic center point of the city, with most road numbers originating from this point.
The Royal Palace of Stockholm is open to visitors year-round. Although the Palace is not the actual residence of Swedish Royalty, the Royal Palace is still considered to be a working palace as it where the offices for the Royal Family and the Royal Court of Sweden are located.
Watch the Changing of the Guard Parade
Make sure not to miss the changing of the guards ceremony. It takes place every day of the year and lasts about 40 minutes. It starts at 12:15 in the palace outer courtyard on weekdays and 1:15PM on Sundays.
In the fall and winter it only happens with a limited schedule, so make sure to check out the complete schedule.
Across the river is the Parliament House of Sweden, located on the small island of Helgeandsholmen. The two parliament buildings take up nearly half the island. There is a beautiful gate that you can walk through connecting the two buildings.
You are able to sit in on any parliament meeting, as well as free guided tours of building. Just make sure to bring proper identification!
From the middle of September until June, while the Riksdag is in session, guided tours in English are available at 1:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. From July until August, there are guided tours on on weekdays at noon, 1 PM 2PM and 3PM.
The Kungsträdgården is a nice park with many fountains, located in central Stockholm. With plenty of its outdoor cafés, this park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat.
Great Synagogue of Stockholm
We then walked to Great Synagogue of Stockholm serves as a historic relic of the great Jewish community that once flourished in Stockholm before WWII. This great and beautiful building is still used to this day as an active synagogue and memorial to the Holocaust victims from Sweden.
The synagogue is only open for guided tours from June 14 and September 2, 2016 on Monday through Thursday at 11 and 12, and on Friday at 11.
ABBA: The Museum
Your life and trip to Stockholm is not complete without a visit to ABBA: The Museum. The new museum provides an in depth and interactive look at the complete career and success of Sweden’s most famous band ABBA.
Make sure not to miss your chance to sing Dancing Queen with band, in this not to miss attraction.
We walked north to the Maxim Theatre. While the shows are not in English, it is an interesting building to see.
Our last stop was the Humlegården, a massive park just a few blocks north of the downtown district. It is a great place to enjoy some green and nature, and the perfect spot to sit and eat. There is also a small cafe open in the summer if you do not have your own food. At the center of the park is also the vast Royal Library of Sweden.
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