If you are a brave-hearted history and culture lover, the things to do in Stockholm are for you.
Are you looking to explore a land that carries centuries-old history? Is visiting the place the Nobel Peace Prize originated from on your bucket list? Do you want to tour a palace museum where the royal family still lives? Do you love old architecture or cities that tell history? Do you want to learn about a ship that sank and whose stories are still being told today? If reading about these things excited you, then Stockholm is for you. The things to do in Stockholm are for the adventure-seeking explorer. Is that you?
1. Explore Gamla Stan
If you are visiting Stockholm, Gamla stan is a must see. This town is one of the biggest tourist attractions here. It was founded in 1252, so the history to uncover is endless. There are tons of museums, places to eat and drink, places to shop for souvenirs and local handmade goods, good coffee, and so much more. Many say walking into this city feels like stepping into a fairytale. The biggest places to visit here are the Royal Palace and Nobel Museum (which we will cover in detail later) and the Stockholm Cathedral, which is Sweden’s national cathedral.
The Stockholm Cathedral is ancient. Built in 1279, shortly after this city was founded. This Cathedral has some history or another in every inch of it. Some of the very popular pieces here are the. Dragon sculpture and the Vädersoltavlan paining. Be sure to walk this beloved city, sometimes called Old Town, on foot. These cobbled streets are not ones you will want to drive through. In the heart of the city, you will find Stortorget, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the multi-colored houses. Though this is a touristy town, commercialization has not taken away from its quaint beauty one bit. It is as charming as can be and has plenty of places locals enjoy.
There’s More to explore
Did you know this city is actually its own island? This quaint area, which is the oldest part of Stockholm, is truly in a world of its own. Walking around the whole island should only take a few hours, and then you can take transportation to other Stockholm areas. It is also not very far from the airport, so this could be a great little excursion to enjoy after landing. Though this is a must see for any tourist, it does not feel like a specifically tourist place. This is highly desirable for many visitors. You are getting a genuine experience as any local would when you come to Gamla Stan, as well as a good tourist place as far as attraction and a mix in of souvenir shops.
Some great places to visit that are not very common are the Järnpojke, which is known because it is the smallest statue in Stockholm and the Mårten Trotzigs Gränd which is the most narrow street in Stockholm.
If you are looking for a medieval, historical town that is mostly for walking and exploring, this is your place to visit. You will find plenty of incredibly unique pubs and local shops. You can even see the changing of the guards t the royal palace as you wander on foot! This place has preserved history so well. Every cobblestone street is unique, the buildings are all created differently or painted differently, and there are so many museums and fun attractions to enjoy. This is a place you cannot pace up if you are looking for things to do in Stockholm. Need a perfect back to take with you as you travel to Stockholm? Checkout this article.
2. Tour the Stockholm Palace
This palace is the residence of the Swedish monarchy, but also a museum. This is an incredible place because it serves as both a place for the public to explore as well as a place where the royal family lives. This palace began to become what it is today in1679. At the end of the 1600s, there was a fire that destroyed a lot of this structure. The palace had to be rebuilt (for the second time at this point), which took more than 60 years.
This palace and museum are laid out into places such as the northern, southern, eastern, and western sections. Each of these symbolizes either the royalty or the nation. The architecture here will truly blow you away. The amount of detail and talent that went into this. Every type of metal, marble, wood, and other material you can imagine went into the building of this palace. You may want to take the guided tour which will give you plenty of background of the history here. Those who work here are knowledgeable and willing to ask any questions. If you take a trip to Gamla Stan as we suggested at the beginning of this article, your trip will not be complete without coming to the Royal Palace.
An incredible thing to do here is watching the changing of the guards. The horses involved do a dance to the music and the riding guards know how to keep crows happy. Also be sure to visit the royal quarters which is currently in use daily. These include the rooms leaders from foreign countries day when they visit. While this palace/museum, you will be able to explore the throne room, crown jewels, and dungeons, and two courtyards, which are all very interesting.
More This Palace Museum Has to Offer
This museum will tell you the story of the royal families for who reigned throughout Sweden’s history up until today. If you are willing to cough up some more, cash, the treasury, and the Old Palace are both worth seeing. This palace is a must-see in Stockholm and definitely require a few hours, so make sure you plan enough time to fit this into your trip. The design includes the attic which is as large as over 20 rooms. Then there is the second floor which has 57 rooms. This is where the apartments and ballroom are, to name a few. Then as you go up you will hit The Half Floor.
This floor has 115 rooms and is used for the staff mostly, as well as some royalty over the years. This floor derives it’s named for obvious reasons, it’s only about half the size as the others. Next is The Ground Floor, which is the largest of all in this place. This is for staff as well as entrances to important rooms in the place. Next is the cellar which has 104 rooms. This is for the prisons as well as storage. The royal wine cellar is found here as well!
3. Visit Vasa Museum
Our next Spot is the Vasa Museum. Here, you will be able to see the Vasa ship which sank in 1628 in Stockholm. This ship was brought back to life more than 300 years later. It stands today as the only preserved ship from that day. There are guided tours in English to explore the most visited museum in this entire nation.
A great new exhibition you can visit is called “Vasa’s Women.” this exhibition follows the lives of four women who all had a part in this ship. Either in it’s building, supplying, or on the ship itself. It tells the story of not only women on this ship. But it also highlights the often overlooked and unrecorded histories of women in the 17th century. They were vital to history as we know it, even if they were rarely talked about. This exhibition is not one you will want to miss.
Another exhibition is called “Face to Face”. Here, you will learn about the stories of the skeletons of about 11 of the 30 people who went down with this ship. They have done Facial reconstructions to give us would be backstories of these unidentified victims. One of the first skeletons was retrieved in 1858 and from there the others joined. Those who work to make this museum what it is truly put so much thought and work into telling the stories of these people who died tragically.
Our next thing to explore at this museum is the Vasa Cannon, which showcases three of the 64 cannons on this ship. The goal of this research is to find the 61 lost cannons. It is amazing that centuries later, there is still so much to uncover about this shop and the trajectory of it going down. You can learn all about the research and preservation project when you visit the museum.
Common Museum Must Haves
Some common museum attractions to enjoy: the shop, which sells and showcases replicas of the common things found on the Vasa ship. You can pick up these pieces of history and take them home with you to use in your daily life, just as out historical characters did. There are also plenty of children’s options as well as books in multiple languages for those who are visiting from other countries. Traveling with kids? Great! They can learn to sail a ship here. You can head more about it on the website here.
Third on our list of normal museum things: Vasa’s Museum restaurant. Though most museums have cafes and restaurants with light foods, this museum has a genuine and authentic restaurant to enjoy. Here , you will be able to choose meals that began on Swedish farms. There are plenty of traditional dishes to enjoy as well as a kids menu. They do accommodate those who have food sensitivities here as well.
Be sure to look into taking the evening tour, which is a private tour after hours. You can even eat at their restaurant and then take the tour which is a great date option. There is so much to explore and experience at this museum. It is an absolute must see if you are going through things to do in Stockholm. The uncovering of history here is deeply important to this nation and it is a must experience for anyone visiting her.
4. Observe Stockholm City Hall
Every City has a City Hall. Some are touristy, others are less flashy and just important for practical reasons. But the Stockholm City Hall far surpasses most. This is one of the most famous buildings in all of Sweden. When we say touristy, we mean one of the most visited by tourist attractions type of touristy. You will need a guide in order to walk these halls, so thankfully there are public tours. You can learn more information about the times, exception days, and where to get tickets here.
One of the reasons Stockholm’s City Hall is so loved is because of its tower. This tower truly leaves you at a loss for words. You can walk up the staircase to the stop and overlook the beauty of Stockholm. It is important to take into consideration the fact that this tower is only open from May-September during the year.
This City Hall offers so much more than just an average city hall. There are courtyards, gardens, access to a river, and even a museum for the tower. One of the reasons the Stockholm City Hall goes all out is because this is the city of the world known Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize banquet is held here. The architecture here is diverse. it is said to look like many different styles stung together, and that is part of the beauty of your visit. It brings history and culture together as it was made to as the City Hall.
A Special Kind of City Hall
This is not just your typical city hall to get hitched. This is a desirable place to throw weddings as well as ceremonies because it is so beautiful. There are so many tours available for you to take them to include the beloved city hall. Some of these tours are ones like the Stockholm in One Day Sightseeing Tour and the Stockholm Panoramic Sightseeing Tour, and even a night tour. The sights you will explore here are opposite the palace and parliament. This is a genuine workplace for those who are on the council, but it also holds plenty of beauty.
Visiting the Stockholm City Hall will not be an all-day endeavor. You can plan a few hours here if you are not joining a tour, in order to explore the halls and rooms. One of the best things about this city hall is the stark contrast the outside and inside have. The outside is pretty dull and typical, but as soon as you walk inside, it is like walking into a European palace, or a castle out of a storybook. A highlight to check out here is the Gold room where the Nobel Banquet is hosted by Sweden’s royalty yearly. You will be standing where so many impactful people have before.
At the very center of Stockholm, this building stands as a beautiful must-see attraction. This city hall is a symbol for this nation and to the entire world. The history and yearly importance of it cannot be passed up as a visitor. If you are looking for reasons to go back to Sweden, this Floating Hotel may be what you need to see.
5. Learn at Nobel Museum
This museum represents one of the most important prizes in the world. It shows us that brave people with passion can change the world for the better. Since this prize has been awarded to everyone from activists, to scientists, to writers, there is a lot to explore at the Nobel Museum. The museum is a showcase of those who have changed the world through ideas in the 20th century.
There are so many exhibitions that you must see going on right now. A Right to Freedom – Martin Luther King, Jr is one that tells his story of how he struggled for equality for all. It was said of this man that “He is the first person in the Western world to have shown us that a struggle can be waged without violence.”. Be sure to take his daily tour when you visit. Next up is “Talk about”. Here you will learn something new about the prize, it’s creator or those who have received it. The creator of the prize did so on the basis of one thing: a belief that we could learn from history and change the future for the better.
Inspiration for the Innovators and World Changers
This Museum is located in Stockholm’s Old Town. Though they do desire to have it situated in the Swedish capital in the future, you can visit it in Stockholm now. There are daily tours that are about 35 minutes long. There is a special focus on the exhibitions that are on display permanently during this tour. And they are free!
This museum is for lovers and fanatics of the prize. But it is also for visionaries, culture shifters, and those who want to change the world with their ideas. This museum is proof that thing can change, and this simple yet profound fact resonates with people. If you want to be inspired to speak up, innovate or create, this is a great place to gain that inspiration. It walks you around the greatest barriers of our day and those who have broken them. Be sure to do the audio guide or take the tours. This is hands down a must visit museum, and is easily a bucket list find. If you love museums, checkout these art museums from around the world!
6. Gröna Lund
Stockholm is full of unique museums. There’s one dedicated to the band ABBA, another to a sunken warship (the Vasa Museum), and of course there’s Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum. Fotografiska stands out in that it is entirely made up of contemporary photography. The museum presents four large exhibitions and 15 to 20 smaller exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing a variety of photography styles and subjects. Portraits, landscapes, black and white photos, series about war and even pregnancy have passed through Fotografiska. The museum aims to present a mix of unknown talents as well as big international names, some of which have included Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Nick Brandt.Recent visitors offered mixed reviews of Fotografiska. Many travelers enjoyed the museum, raving about the interesting and thought-provoking photographs, while others felt the attraction was overhyped and overpriced. Some of those, however, admitted they weren’t photography buffs to begin with. But what many did agree on was the top-notch dining options, as well as the stunning views of the waterways found within.
You’ll also find a restaurant, a cafe and a gift shop on-site. The Fotografiska is located off of the Slussen metro stop. Once you reach the Slussen station, walk about a half-mile east along the waterfront. Entrance to Fotografiska costs 120 kronor for adults (about $14) and is free for children younger than 12. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit Fotografiska’s website. Stockholm is full of unique museums. There’s one dedicated to the band ABBA, another to a sunken warship (the Vasa Museum), and of course there’s Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum. Fotografiska stands out in that it is entirely made up of contemporary photography. The museum presents four large exhibitions and 15 to 20 smaller exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing a variety of photography styles and subjects. Portraits, landscapes, black and white photos, series about war and even pregnancy have passed through Fotografiska. The museum aims to present a mix of unknown talents as well as big international names, some of which have included Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle and Nick Brandt.
Recent visitors offered mixed reviews of Fotografiska. Many travelers enjoyed the museum, raving about the interesting and thought-provoking photographs, while others felt the attraction was overhyped and overpriced. Some of those, however, admitted they weren’t photography buffs to begin with. But what many did agree on was the top-notch dining options, as well as the stunning views of the waterways found within. You’ll also find a restaurant, a cafe and a gift shop on-site. The Fotografiska is located off of the Slussen metro stop. Once you reach the Slussen station, walk about a half-mile east along the waterfront. Entrance to Fotografiska costs 120 kronor for adults (about $14) and is free for children younger than 12. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, visit Fotografiska’s website.
Explore All Stockholm Has to Offer
There are so many must-do things to do in Stockholm. Hopefully, our in-depth walkthrough of the top five is enough to get you excited to go on this adventure. The history here is incredible, but the current state of things is intriguing as well. The research going on to learn more about the past is eye-opening. Seeing the tradition of awarding those who cultivate peace come to life in a real way is a must for any bucket list. And going to a nation with a royal family currently in office is a dream of many. Don’t miss out on all Stockholm has to offer!
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