18 Top Things to Do in Stockholm

Gamla Stan (old town) at night in Stockholm, Sweden

Suphanat Wongsanuphat / Getty Images

Stockholm, Sweden's biggest city, offers travelers and locals a wide range of enjoyable activities. One of the most charming capitals in Europe, Stockholm has everything from an island filled with museums and historic monuments to cool neighborhoods with cafés, flea markets, and funky shops to a great arts scene—even visible in many subway stations. Visitors will have a chance for once-in-a-lifetime moments like watching the Royal Palace's changing of the guard and touring the 600-room mansion. Alternatively, soak up the nightlife at a bar made of ice, which serves drinks in glasses also created with ice.

01 of 18

Be Wowed at the Ericsson Globe

The Ericsson Globe in Stockholm

Courtesy of Sören Andersson, Visit Stockholm

Stockholm, 121 77 Johanneshov, Sweden
Phone +46 8 600 91 00

In 1989, the Ericsson Globe—known as the world's largest spherical building—came to life. Major Stockholm events are planned there all year, from hockey games to big-name concerts that seat about 16,000 people. To add to the amazing attraction, SkyView glass gondolas transport guests 425 feet (130 meters) above sea level to the top of the Ericsson Globe, which has stunning views of Stockholm.

02 of 18

Walk Around the City Hall

A city view including Stockholm City Hall

Johner Images / Getty Images

Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 508 290 00

Stadshuset, the Stockholm City Hall at the southeastern end of Kungsholmen island, is one of the city's most known landmarks. Opened in 1923, the structure was created in Renaissance and national romanticism styles by the architect Ragnar Östberg, who was inspired by Italy. A political office building where Stockholm City Council meets, the space is also used for events and entertainment. Guided tours of City Hall are popular.

03 of 18

Delight in Drottningholm Palace

A daytime view of Drottningholm Castle

a9photo / Shutterstock 

Drottningholms Slott Slottsstallet 11, 178 93 Drottningholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 402 61 00

Drottningholm Palace is a popular tourist attraction built in the 17th century, which is one of Stockholm's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This must-see landmark is only about a 20-minute drive from Stockholm. The best-preserved royal palace in the country has been the Swedish royal family's permanent residence since 1981. Visitors may view the building as well as a lovely park, Drottningholms Slottsteater (the Drottningholm Palace Theater), and the Chinese Pavilion.

04 of 18

Explore Green Spaces and Museums on Djurgården Island

Aerial view of the Nordic Museum

Johner Images / Getty Images

Djurgården, Östermalm, Stockholm, Sweden

One of Stockholm's top destinations for locals and tourists, Djurgården (The Royal Game Park) is an island in the middle of the city known for its beautiful green spaces, historic buildings and monuments, museums, events, the amusement park Gröna Lund, and more. In the warmer months, the location is perfect for an interesting two-hour walking tour across the island.

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05 of 18

Take a Guided Tour in Stockholm

Colorful houses in Stortorget Square

Vladislav Zolotov / Getty Images

A guided tour of the city helps visitors see all of Stockholm's wonderful attractions at once. Walk through the cobblestone streets of the city center while you learn about the capital's past and local culture. Kayak lovers can float through the heart of the city and catch great waterfront views. Or try a bicycle tour through historic neighborhoods, along the waterfront pathways of the city’s many islands, and past main tourist attractions.

06 of 18

Have a Blast at Grona Lund Amusement Park

Gröna Lund amusement park

brittak / Getty Images

Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 10 708 91 00

For some fun for the whole family, head to Grona Lund Amusement Park, a popular attraction in Stockholm's Djurgården. The park, typically open from late April/March through September, has a variety of things to do, like teacup rides, a haunted "House of Nightmares," numerous summer concerts, and games such as skeeball (rolling balls on a slope).

When hunger strikes, you'll find everything from Mexican food to vegan fare like falafel, pizza, and veggie burgers.

07 of 18

Party at Bars and Nightclubs

ICEBAR Stockholm

Richard J. Nemeth / Flickr

If you are interested in nightlife and bars, you'll find plenty in Stockholm. Party lovers should not miss a chilly bar made of ice inside Hotel C Stockholm, called ICEBAR Stockholm, where your drink is also in a glass composed of ice—bring your warm clothes since the temperature inside is 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 degrees Celsius). ICEBAR Stockholm loans a thermo-cape and a pair of gloves to each visitor.

Another option is to head to Fasching, a club/bar with new and known international jazz, blues, and other artists, along with a restaurant. The venue is located in a historic building in Stockholm's city center.

08 of 18

See the Famous Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum Stockholm

Massimo Foti / Flickr

Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 519 548 80

In 1628, the warship Vasa sailed from Stockholm on her maiden voyage and sank. Three centuries later, Vasa was discovered and salvaged and is the world's best-preserved 17th-century ship, decorated with numerous carved sculptures. Djurgården's Vasa Museum, one of the most popular museums in Scandinavia, has been chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of Sweden. The Vasa Museum Restaurant serves food, snacks, and drinks, and the museum shop is great for picking up souvenirs related to the ship and its history.

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09 of 18

Check out ABBA The Museum

ABBA The Museum

Brian Dooley / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Djurgårdsvägen 68, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden

When it opened in 2013, ABBA The Museum became the world's first official site honoring the Swedish 1970s pop band, and global fans unite to soak it all in. Located in Djurgårdsvägen in central Stockholm, the interactive museum offers a cinema, guided tours, and audio guides in several languages. Plus, visitors have a chance to play virtual dress-up with the band's costumes and explore other interesting exhibits about the group famous for songs like "Dancing Queen" and "Take a Chance on Me."

10 of 18

Witness the Changing of the Guard in Stockholm

Guards marching with rifles during changing of the guards in Stockholm

TripSavvy / Christopher Larson 

Kungliga slottet, 107 70 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 402 61 00

For many people, watching the changing of the Royal Guard (part of the Swedish Armed Forces) in Stockholm is a once-in-a-lifetime experience rich in history: The Royal Guard has been safeguarding the palace in Stockholm since 1523. This free approximately 40-minute event takes place every day of the year in front of the Royal Palace, the king of Sweden's sprawling residence. It's interesting for adults and children to see, making it a popular attraction.

11 of 18

Shop for Scandinavian Artwork

Upscale outdoor mall in Stockholm

ZenShui / Alix Minde / Getty Images

If you like to go shopping, Stockholm is often considered the "shopping capital of the North." The city is known for modern Scandinavian design and artwork as well as Swedish fashion in name brand stores and smaller boutiques. Among the shops famous for art and design in Stockholm's inner city are Svenskt Tenn and Asplund. Swedish homes are often synonymous with Ikea, which helped several innovative furniture and accessories designers.

12 of 18

Glide on Ice Skates at Kungsträdgården Park

Ice skating park in Stockholm

kn1 / Getty Images

Jussi Björlings allé, 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 508 272 00

If you're visiting in the winter, one fun activity for families or individuals is to go ice skating at Kungsträdgården Park in the heart of Stockholm. This free Scandinavian activity is a favorite winter pastime for both visitors and locals in Stockholm. The park is usually open daily from the middle of December through early March and has skates available for rent.

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13 of 18

Tour the Enormous Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Stockholm

Henk Hulshof / Getty Images

Kungliga slottet, 107 70 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 402 61 00

One of Stockholm's major cultural attractions, the Royal Palace has more than 600 rooms. Built during the 18th century in Italian Baroque style, it's the Swedish king's official residence.

Visitors can see the Royal Apartments and three museums, including The Treasury, which displays the regalia from coronation day. The Three Crowns museum details the original Tre Kronor Palace that was destroyed in a 1697 fire. Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities amazingly opened back in 1794—visitors can see Gustav III's collection of sculptures.

Guided tours in English and other languages are available; pay when buying your entrance ticket.

14 of 18

Delve Into the Rural Past at Skansen

Skansen Stockholm

Kirsty Komuso / Flickr

Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 8 442 80 00

Skansen, the world's first open-air museum, opened in 1891 in Djurgården to show how life in Sweden was before the Industrial Age. Visitors view a display of houses and farmsteads from around the country. Year-round festivities include an Easter market, summer dancing and concerts, Christmas markets, and more.

Nordic animals such as moose, wolves, and seals call Skansen home. There is also a Children’s Zoo with small domestic animals such as cats and rabbits. For a separate admission fee, guests can experience the Skansen Aquarium (and the World of Monkeys), which features fish, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and dozens of other exotic species.

15 of 18

Relax at Cafés and Parks in Södermalm

People lounging in the sun at Tantolunden


Södermalm, an island in the middle of Stockholm, is a fun way to spend a day. Tantolunden is a good park for relaxing with a picnic, swimming, or playing frisbee golf in the summer. Nearby, the blocks south of the street Folkungagatan, referred to as "SoFo," are full of unique music, clothing, and other shops, as well as restaurants and cafés.

Fotografiska, one of the world’s largest contemporary photography hubs, has a souvenir shop and a plant-based restaurant. Södra Teatern, the 19th-century theater with live music and DJ performances, is another must; the venue also offers great city views.

16 of 18

Gaze at a Gorgeous Library


Scott Hadfield / Flickr

113 50 Stockholm, Sweden

The Stadsbiblioteket, or the Stockholm Public Library, was designed by world-famous architect Gunnar Asplund in 1928. Sweden's largest public library, it's also one of the city's standout buildings—with a striking central book-filled roundabout on the inside and a chandelier above—and is among the world’s most famously beautiful libraries both inside and outside. The entire library houses more than two million books and the branch open daily features author visits and reading circles.

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17 of 18

Stroll Around Stortorget

Stortorget town square in old town Stockholm

benedek / Getty Images

Stortorget, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden

Many tourists enjoy Stortorget, a historic public square in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town, where they can go to local cafés or shops, or see a lively Christmas market with food and crafts. Stortorget is surrounded by colorful 17th- and 18th-century buildings; one of interest is Börshuset, the former stock exchange building that now houses the Nobel Prize Museum.

The square has had some darker moments in history: It was the scene of the Stockholm Bloodbath, a series of nearly 100 executions in the year 1520.

18 of 18

View Extensive Art in the Subway System

Stadion Metro Station, Stockholm

alxpin / Getty Images

If you are using public transportation in Stockholm or are just an art lover, don't miss the subway system, dubbed the world's longest art exhibit at 68 miles (110 kilometers) long. Stockholm's 100 subway stations have been adorned with paintings, installations, sculptures, mosaics, and additional creative works by over 150 artists. Check out the Solna Centrum station, which features bright green forest and red sunset landscapes, and the Tensta station, with a colorful display of animal sculptures and leaves.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Visit Stockholm. "The Ericsson Globe." Retrieved April 1, 2021

  2. BBC Travel. "What Caused This Great Warship to Sink?" December 6, 2019

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18 Top Things to Do in Stockholm