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First founded in the mid-13th century, the Swedish capital has evolved into one of Europe’s main centers of commerce and culture. Stockholm has a reputation for impeccable style, underpinned by breathtaking scenic beauty. Spread out across 14 islands (each with their own identity), the water is never far away. Stroll through the medieval streets of Gamla Stan, shop for the latest Scandinavian trends in ultra-modern Norrmalm or fall in love with Södermalm’s hipster cafés. Wherever your Stockholm adventures take you, the city is full of amazing places to stay. In this article, we look at the best, from romantic retreats to historic five-star hotels.
Best Overall: Lydmar Hotel
Ranked as Stockholm’s best hotel on TripAdvisor, five-star Lydmar Hotel is centrally located in vibrant Norrmalm. From here, you can walk to the Royal Swedish Opera or to beautiful Kungsträdgården park in a matter of minutes. Inside, the hotel is refreshingly simple. Contemporary, but never cold, it charms with wooden floors, a warm natural color scheme and knowledgeable, welcoming staff. No matter which room you choose, you’ll benefit from a King bed fitted with luxury linens, a cozy sitting area and free Wi-Fi.
Breakfast is included, and can be enjoyed in your room or in the The Dining Room. Throughout the rest of the day, the latter serves a tempting array of classic French and traditional Swedish dishes. Alternatively, dine outside on The Terrace or The Patio, two al fresco spots designed for evening apéritifs. Both venues host occasional concerts and club nights. When you feel like a workout, head next door to the Grand Hôtel, where you can use the fitness center, pool and spa at no additional cost.
Best Budget: Motel L
Motel L is located slightly south of the action in Hammarby Sjöstad. However, nearby Mårtensdal tram connects to the city center in just 15 minutes, while the hotel itself is a boldly designed gem. Built in 2014, the rooms offer style, comfort and quietude, not to mention an incredibly wallet-friendly price tag. Highlights include a rainforest shower in the ensuite bathroom, a 40” TV and a comfortable bed designed by Swedish manufacturer Carpe Diem.
A buffet breakfast is served each morning - and if you book directly via the hotel website, it’s free (saving you precious pennies that can be better spent exploring the city). Free Wi-Fi also adds to Motel L’s value. There’s an a la carte restaurant on-site, as well as several other dining options nearby. After a full day’s sightseeing, unwind with a workout in the gym or with a drink at the lively lobby bar. Other perks range from on-site parking to a 24-hour reception.
Best Boutique: Hotel Skeppsholmen
The only hotel on the tiny island of Skeppsholmen, Hotel Skeppsholmen offers a truly exclusive experience within a few minutes’ walk of Moderna Museet art gallery. The hotel’s custard yellow buildings date back to 1699 and acted in a previous life as a hospice and later, as military storage. Today, eco-friendly Skeppsholmen is a beacon of contemporary elegance, with minimalist interiors and 78 individual rooms and suites.
Even the smallest rooms feature a flat-screen TV, free high-speed Wi-Fi, a minibar and a novelty illuminated shower. Breakfast is included, while Långa Raden restaurant is known for its simple, delicious Swedish cuisine. In the summer, you can dine amidst the tranquil greenery of the garden. Alternatively, room service is available around the clock. Spend your afternoons on the waterfront tennis court or engaging in garden yoga during the warmer months.
Best for Families: Hotel Rival
Surrounded by scenic parks on bohemian Södermalm island, Hotel Rival offers the perfect setting for idyllic family holidays in Stockholm. Older kids will love the hotel’s bold, rockstar-like design. The 700-seat theater hosts regular plays, dance showcases and concerts - the perfect way to spend a fun-filled family evening. Extra beds or cribs can be added to several room categories, while connecting rooms are available for larger families.
All rooms keep kids well entertained with free Wi-Fi, a Smart TV, a DVD and CD library and a little stuffed bear hidden somewhere inside. Playstation 3 and Wii can be rented from reception. Breakfast is included, while laid-back Café Rival serves youthful favorites ranging from pancakes and Swedish pastries to grilled cheese sandwiches. After the kids have gone to bed, you’re free to explore Hotel Rival’s lively bar scene.
Best for Romance: Ett Hem
Located north of the city center in an upscale residential neighborhood, Arts and Crafts townhouse Ett Hem offers a quiet, intimate haven for couples. Filled with antiques, the house was built as a private residence in 1910 and still feels a lot like home. There are just 12 rooms and suites, all equipped for romance with a minibar, a selection of books and a TV with surround sound.
For a truly special stay, request a Junior Suite with a four-poster bed and a marble bathroom. Some set the scene with a fireplace or balcony as well. The complimentary breakfast is made from the freshest seasonal produce. Later, you can order food to be eaten when and where you like. Treat your loved one to dinner and champagne in the library, in the greenhouse or in the blissful courtyard garden.
Best Luxury: Grand Hôtel
Five-star icon the Grand Hôtel offers the best of both worlds with a modern Norrmalm location that overlooks historic Gamla Stan. It has hosted Stockholm’s most distinguished visitors since 1874 and still retains its old-world charm today. All rooms and suites include a Smart TV, a plush armchair and luxury Acqua di Parma toiletries, but none can compare with the top-floor Princess Lillian Suite.
Covering 3,875 square feet, it includes a library, a kitchen, a spa area and an in-suite cinema, not to mention a living room complete with a grand piano. Spend delightful days in the saunas and pools at Nordic Spa & Fitness or sipping champagne at Cadier Bar. Dining options include Veranda (known for its classic Swedish cuisine), as well as Mathias Dahlgren’s Michelin-starred restaurant Matbaren.
Best for Nightlife: Story Hotel Riddargatan
Story Hotel Riddargatan is ideally located for exploring Östermalm’s fashionable nightlife scene. With the edgy atmosphere of an underground club, this boutique art hotel is much loved by Stockholm’s young, hip crowd. From the bar, expect expert mixologists and regular live music and DJ events. After a late night, catch up on sleep in your room or suite - all of which include a walk-in shower or bath, free Wi-Fi, an LCD TV and a comfortable pillow-topped bed. Some have balconies - the perfect spot for evening pre-drinks. Ling Long restaurant serves breakfast until midday on weekends, allowing you the luxury of sleeping in late. Throughout the rest of the day, the restaurant specializes in vegan Asian small plates.
Best Business: Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel, Stockholm
Four-star Radisson Blu Royal Viking Hotel enjoys a convenient city center location and excellent transport links courtesy of next-door Stockholm Central Station. There are 13 meeting rooms, while the dedicated meeting planner can arrange catering, decor and tech equipment. Choose a Business Class Room for corporate perks such as daily newspaper delivery, free high-speed Wi-Fi and a Nespresso coffee machine (a must for early mornings). Breakfast is included in this room category, while Stockholm Fisk Restaurant tempts with seafood and fine wines. Unwind in the fitness center or indoor pool, then celebrate a new business deal with drinks in the 9th-floor SKYBAR.
Best Hostel: City Backpackers Hostel
The main attractions of Norrmalm and Gamla Stan are easily accessible from central City Backpackers Hostel. Save costs by staying in a dorm room (either mixed or ladies-only) or opt for a private room instead. Friends traveling together can also book special private apartments. Breakfast is served every morning, while the communal kitchen promises free pasta. The lounge is a great place to swap stories with fellow backpackers or to surf the free Wi-Fi; and if you get peckish, you’ll find sustenance at next-door Nomad Swedish Food & Bar. Other useful perks include tour booking and laundry facilities.