Looking for the perfect Stockholm itinerary? This guide has everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Stockholm!
Before You Go to Stockholm…
Get yourself one of these! If you’re visiting Stockholm in the spring or summer months, you’re going to need it to get a good night’s sleep! It’ll come in handy during the flight, too.
Where to stay in Stockholm
Before we get started on your Stockholm itinerary, let’s talk hotels. Stockholm has no shortage of chic places to stay! I’d recommend staying in or around Ostermalm. A hotel in Ostermalm will give you a very central base from which to explore Stockholm.
Top Choice: The Lydmar Hotel
For boutique hotels in Stockholm, I highly, highly recommend The Lydmar Hotel. It has to be one of my favorite hotels of all time. The rooms are all unique, and the Swedish design aesthetic is GORGEOUS. You’ll also thank me when you see the breakfast buffet.
The Best Concept Hotel in Stockholm
Another amazing hotel option in Stockholm is Ett Hem. I adore the concept of this hotel! “Ett Hem” translates to “At Home” in English, and as the hotel likes to say, everything about staying there is meant to be like being at home. Built as a private mansion in the early 1900’s, Ett Hem is located in a quiet, residential area, and truly offers a special and memorable guest experience.
Budget-Friendly Boutique Stockholm Hotels
For a balance between budget and boutique, check out the Berns Hotel. The hotel’s bar and restaurant turns buzzy in the evenings (and is just plain cool), and each of the rooms are unique. Check out the Clock Suite if you want something that’ll be memorable! Looking for more options? Hobo is another great alternative.
Stockholm Itinerary: Day 1
Welcome to Stockholm! Now that your travel plans are in place, let’s get started on your Stockholm itinerary. Day one hits the highlights of the city’s past and present.
Explore Gamla Stan
No Stockholm itinerary would be complete without a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old City. Start off day one of your Stockholm itinerary here, and meander through the narrow alleyways and side streets of this quaint island.
While you wander, check out the shops and gorgeous architecture within Gamla Stan. Don’t miss Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan, made famous by the good looking buildings that surround it. During the spring and summer months, stop to admire the throngs of fresh flowers for sale.
Tour The Royal Palace
After your stroll through Gamla Stan, head back towards the center of the city to visit Stockholm’s Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace is the official residence of the Swedish monarch, and it’s gigantic. With over 600 rooms across seven different floors, the Royal Family has some space to spread out. The Palace is open to the public for visits, and it’s steeped in history and culture. Highlights include the Royal Apartments, which are the state rooms where official events are held. It’s well-worth a visit, and you can buy your tickets online ahead of time.
Try to time your visit to see the changing of the guard outside of the palace, which takes place Monday – Saturday at 12:15pm, and at 1:15pm on Sundays.
Shop Your Way Through Ostermalm
Now that you’ve seen Old Stockholm, head over to Ostermalm, where you can soak up some of the city’s love affair with modern design and style. Ostermalm is a posh residential and business area, and has many of the city’s chic, upscale shopping venues, including my favorites NK (a huge Swedish department store) and Illums Bolighus.
If you’re interested in shopping in Ostermalm, I’ve written an entire guide to shopping in Stockholm that you shouldn’t miss!
Gourmet Food Hall
Another fun stop in Östermalm is the Östermalmshallen Market on Humlegårdsgatan. This indoor food hall and market dates back to the late 1800’s and is packed to the gills with gourmet food and groceries. In addition to the food stalls, there are also several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy Swedish traditional cuisine.
At the time of publishing this blog post, the market was under major renovation until the Spring of 2019, so be sure to check the website linked above for updates on re-opening. In the meantime, you can visit the market’s temporary house which is just across from the main market.
After a busy morning, you’re probably ready to make a stop for a coffee and another snack. You’re in luck, because the Swedish tradition of taking fika (pronounced fee-ka) is just that. Fika is a part of Swedish culture and part of the daily routine of many Swedes.
Fika is a time to take a break during a busy day, relax, and enjoy life for a moment. It’s about slowing down and savoring down time, whether alone or with friends, and generally means a quiet coffee and pastry at some point in the afternoon. Hooked on fika? Check out more top spots to enjoy fika in Stockholm.
Visit one of Stockholm’s Unique Museums
Refreshed from fika, spend the afternoon checking out your choice of unique museums in Stockholm. There’s a few very good options, depending on your interests (and the weather). All three of the museums I’ve listed below are located on the island of Djurgarden.
History buffs will really enjoy the Vasa Museum. A warship built in the 1600’s, the Vasa sank on its maiden voyage. Over 300 years later, the ship was recovered from the sea floor and reconstructed. Today, it is housed inside the museum, where it represents the best-preserved vessel from the 17th century. The Vasa Museum is incredibly well-done, and I highly recommend a visit during your trip to Stockholm!
Skansen Outdoor Museum
Outdoor lovers should head to Skansen, Stockholm’s outdoor, open-air museum. Here, you’ll find a living museum dedicated to showcasing the Swedish culture and how Swedes have lived throughout history. With its wildlife, zoo, and aquarium, Skansen is a great choice to visit if you’re traveling to Stockholm with kids.
The ABBA Museum
If you’re an Abba fan (or you just have a love for the 70’s), the Abba Museum is a must-visit. Dancing Queens will love checking out this enormous collection of costumes and memorabilia. The museum is very interactive and I’m willing to bet that you’ll leave with a smile on your face.
Relax in a Nordic Spa
You might be surprised to learn that the Swedish massage technique didn’t actually originate in Sweden! But don’t let that stop you from squeezing in some spa time enjoying the Nordic Spa at the Grand Hotel after a busy day. The Nordic bath ritual will refresh and rejuvenate you, and there’s another added benefit: it’ll help you recover from jet lag.
Dinner and Drinks at The Lydmar
Wrap up day one of your Stockholm itinerary with dinner and drinks at the Lydmar Hotel. If you’re not staying at the hotel, you should definitely plan to drop by for one of your evenings in Stockholm.
At night, the hotel’s lobby and restaurant turn into a trendy nightlife spot, where it’s fun to see and be seen. Grab a table inside or outside, and be ready to people watch as you sip on a nightcap!
Stockholm Itinerary: Day 2
During day two of this Stockholm itinerary, you’ll visit the highlights of Sodermalm, the Brooklyn to Stockholm’s Manhattan. In addition, you’ll have the chance to check out even more of Stockholm’s gorgeous archipelago.
Immerse Yourself in Photography at Fotografiska
Get an early start on day two of your Stockholm itinerary. Be one of the first to arrive at Fotografiska, Stockhom’s uber-chic museum that is entirely dedicated to the art of photography. Since its opening in 2010, the museum has showcased the work of world-renowned photographers, as well as up-and-coming talent.
The photography exhibits at Fotografiska rotate, so check their schedule to see what’s current, but I promise that you’ll love whatever is on display. The photos are both vintage and contemporary, some are provocative, and all are expertly-curated.
If you have the time within your Stockholm itinerary, a stop in the museum’s cafe is well worth a visit. The pastries are delicious, and there’s a gorgeous view of Gamla Stan across the water.
Explore Trendy Sodermalm
Fotografiska is located on the island of Sodermalm, so after your visit to the museum, it’s an easy stroll to the center of this hipster Mecca . Head to the SoFo neighborhood, short for Soder (south) of Folkungagatan, where you’ll find boutiques galore, along with trendy cafes and restaurants.
Style and creativity rule Sodermalm, often considered Stockholm’s coolest neighborhood. Don’t miss Grandpa, my all-time favorite concept store in Stockholm. For more ideas on where to shop in Sodermalm, check out this reference. Once you’ve explored the heart of Sodermalm, head over to Kaffebar for fika.
Don’t Miss Stockholm’s Subway Art
Head back to your home base for a quick freshen up before this afternoon’s agenda. I highly recommend taking the subway when you head back to Ostermalm from Sodermalm. There’s a few reasons why.
First of all, transportation can be VERY expensive in Stockholm. Taxis and even Uber cost a lot more than what you might expect, even compared to transportation in other large cities.
Secondly, taking the subway in Stockholm is an opportunity to see another unique element of the city – subway art! Stockholm’s subway stations are a collective museum in and of themselves. Each station has a unique theme, and features painted walls, mosaics and, in some cases, sculpture.
Island Cruising in Stockholm
Now that you’ve seen a few of Stockholm’s 14 islands, it’s time to see the rest! Spend the evening on an island cruise among Stockholm’s archipelago. You haven’t seen all of Stockholm until you’ve gotten outside of the central area and taken in some of the area’s natural beauty.
If you’re visiting Stockholm during the summer, you’ll have plenty of daylight left in the day. Head back to Ostermalm for an outdoor nightcap, and toast to time well-spent in Stockholm!
There you Have it – The Perfect Stockholm Itinerary!
If you’re headed to Copenhagen on your trip, check out my post on the perfect Copenhagen itinerary!
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