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This past trip, I definitely wasn’t excited to experience any wicked awesome Stockholm highlights or explore some of the amazing things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.

Why?

Well, my last trip to Stockholm left me feeling rather blah about the city.

And don’t ask me why because I have no clue.

Maybe I was hormonal or maybe Mercury was in retrograde and a full moon was rising that bewitched my mind, body, and soul.

Who knows.

Not that I actually believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but I literally have no viable explanation for my distaste of Stockholm.

So:

To say that i wasn’t exactly “tickled pink” to be returning is pretty accurate.

And as far as I was concerned:

The only reason I was doing any Stockholm sightseeing at all was because the cheapest, one-way flight into JFK Airport was from Stockholm, plain and simple.

But:

Probably not surprisingly to a Stockholm lover like you, this trip TOTALLY changed my perception of this beautiful, vibrant, dynamic, magentic, and mesmerizing city.

Did I use enough fluffy adjectives to convey my now, undying love for this magical city?

Anyway:

Rather than write a flipping book about my love for Stockholm; a novel that would be dripping with mushy, downright vomit inducing, love sonnets dedicated to the eternal beauty of all that is Stockholm, Sweden, let’s just cut to the proverbial chase and discuss what to see in Stockholm and what places to visit in Stockholm if you want to fall, and fall hard, for this bewitching, saucy minx of a city.

And yes, I really did just use the words “saucy minx” to describe Stockholm.

Intriguing no? Continue on because I promise, it’ll be worth it.

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Table of Contents

1. HOBO Hotel (the BEST place to stay in Stockholm, among others)

Enjoying the modern comfort and beauty of Hobo Hotel was definitely one of my many Stockholm highlights.
Enjoying the modern comfort and beauty of Hobo Hotel was definitely one of my many Stockholm highlights.

Definitely one of my biggest Stockholm highlights and probably the BEST hotel that I’ve stayed in recently.

And trust me:

I’ve stayed at an insane number of hotels in the past few weeks.

But what really sets this hotel apart (apart enough to make it on this list) is chic, modern-minimalist decor that is coupled with fantastic views, ultra-modern amenities (think flat screen TV, high-tech radio, a walk-in closet size shower, etc.), cozy beds, and impeccable service.

Plus:

The entire hotel has this awesome, low key, hipster feel, but without being at all pretentious.

Therefore:

You’ll feel super comfortable and totally welcome here when you’re far away from home.

Honestly though:

The Hobo Hotel is even better than home since I don’t have to clean or cook breakfast while I’m here.

Hooray! And added bonus?

Not only are there killer views from the upper floors, but there is this uber cute and uber useful borrow wall where I can literally “borrow” anything that I might have forgotten at home, like that umbrella I meant to pack.

And don’t even get me started on the location which, in case you couldn’t guess, is amazing!

I mean:

This hotel is adjacent to a shopping mall, so it’s literally a hop, skip, and jump away from Stockholm’s harbor, exciting museums, fantastic shops, and lick your plate clean level delicious food (the restaurant serves fantastic food as well).

And don’t even get me started on their decadently, delicious breakfast buffet, which offers an exciting and delicious assortment of items that include things like chia pudding, yogurt, cereal, freshly made bread and quiche, cheese, smoothies, fruit, pastries and more.

Honestly:

I ate so much that I literally could not eat anything else for the rest of the day.

So:

If you’re looking for a hotel that will make you never want to go back home, then the HOBO Hotel is the place for you since it will be one of many Stockholm highlights.

2. Vasa Museum

Visiting the Vasa Museum is just one of the many amazing things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.
Visiting the Vasa Museum is just one of the many amazing things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.

Probably the most famous museum in the entire city, the Vasa Museum is definitely one of the top things to do in Stockholm and a must see if it’s your first time in Stockholm.

But what is it exactly?

I mean, the word Vasa doesn’t exactly mean much to a non-Swedish speaker like me.

Well:

The super cool thing about this maritime museum is that it displays the warship Vasa, one of the only examples of a fully intact, 17th-century ship that has ever been recovered.

Pretty cool right?

Trust me, it is since marine worms usually devour these giant, wooden structures in about 2.5 seconds.

But:

Since the waters of the Baltic Sea are brackish (aka less salty), there are no marine worms, leaving this shipwreck just rocking out, at the bottom of the sea, waiting until 1950 to be rediscovered.

Now:

What people fail to mention is that while this 64-gun warship was the pride of the Swedish navy, it actually sank about five minutes into its maiden voyage, due to faulty construction.

Therefore:

This ship probably isn’t the best example of expert Swedish engineering

But it’s still amazing to see this historic ship up close and personal while visiting the museum.

And let’s be honest:

We have IKEA now, so that’s really the only awesome, Swedish engineering that we need.

Ya feel?

Now, once you’ve finished exploring the Vasa itself, this museum has four other levels of exhibits to visit; exhibits that examine the artifacts salvaged from the ship, life on board, naval warfare, and 17th-century sailing and navigation.

There’s even this mildly creepy, bottom-floor exhibition that details how forensic science was used to recreate the faces and life stories of several of the passengers.

Kind of like CSI:

Only minus all the insanely gorgeous people wandering around, randomly spouting excessively scientific jargon that no one actually understands.

But they’re pretty so everyone watches anyway.

Now I’ll casually move away from that random, CSI tangent and tell you to go visit the Vasa Museum again.

Yup, I’m not awkward. Not even in the slightest.

***If you’re visiting Stockholm for the first time and are planning on doing most of the Stockholm activities listed in this guide, then definitely purchase the Stockholm Pass. It will definitely save you a TON of money since almost everything you might want to do, minus the ABBA Museum, is included. Choose between a 1, 2, 3, or 5-day pass for roughly $65, $85, $105 or $135, which is valid for 24, 48, 72, and 120 consecutive hours after activation. You can also buy an additional public transportation add-on for roughly the same price that you would pay when purchasing tickets directly from the metro. The public transportation add on isn’t cheaper but it does make life slightly easier since you have everything on a single card.***

3. The Hallwyl Museum

The beautiful Hallwyl historic home and museum.
The beautiful Hallwyl historic home and museum.

Probably my FAVORITE museum in all of Stockholm.

And that’s saying something since there are like a billion different museums in this city.

Plus:

It’s totally free and has a ton of information in English, so really, what’s not to love?

But what I enjoy most about this museum is that it’s a historic home that has been preserved exactly as it was left, when it was the winter home of Count and Countess Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwy.

And I mean exactly since their entire art collection has remained intact, as well as personal oddities like a chunk of the Count’s beard and a slice of their wedding cake.

WEIRD.

But this lavishly decorated mansion is lovely to see since it shows visitors exactly what the late-Victorian era homes of wealthy Swedes would have looked like throughout the late 1800s.

So:

Think of this as one giant time machine of awesome that has an eclectic assortment of decorative styles that are wonderfully amazing to see.

It was even super fancy for it’s day and had some ridiculously modern amenities like central heating, electricity in every room, and even an indoor bathroom.

Feel free to have your mind blown at will.

4. Nordiska Museum

You can see the historic beauty of the Nordiska Museum in the distance.
You can see the historic beauty of the Nordiska Museum in the distance.

I know, I know, ANOTHER museum.

But they are all just so cool that you can’t just vsiit one!

And this one is extra awesome since it sits inside a Renaissance-style castle that is noe home to Sweden’s largest collection of cultural- history artifacts.

Now sure:

I could detail every object in the museum, but that would take forever since there are over 1.5 million items on display here.

Therefore:

Let’s stick with the highlights, shall we?

Some of the museum’s top exhibits include an exhibition on everyday life throughout the 1950s, with a special focus on 50s fashion and insights into the social norms of the time, as well as a photography exhibition of the famous, and not so famous, works of Kerstin Bernhard.

Also within this museum:

You’ll find an examination of the evolution of modern Swedish festivals and traditions, displays of Swedish furniture and interior design from the past 500 years, a collection of Swedish folk art from the 18th and 19th centuries, with a look into the social forces behind this artistic movement, a display of over a thousand pieces of historic jewelry, an exhibition about the famous, Swedish author, August Strindberg, a detailed exhibit on Sami life in Sweden, with a focus on the culture as well as the difficulties faced by these indigenous people, and a look at the evolution of table setting from the 16th century, through to the 1950s.

Holy Hannah Batman:

I just realized how insanely large this museum really is.

Therefore:

You’ll need to devote at least a half day to this museum if you really want to see it properly.

for banquets, coffee and tea parties, and tables for aperitifs and aquavit – all are on display in this exhibition.

When you visit though:

Make sure to pick up an audio guide (free with the Skr 100 admission) since it will help give you a better understanding of and appreciation for all the artifacts that you’ll see in the museum.

5. A Self-Guided Metro Art (With an uber nifty infographic. Feel free to swoon now)

Some of the amazing metro art you'll find along the blue line platform in T-Centralen.
Some of the amazing metro art you’ll find along the blue line platform in T-Centralen.

Unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock of internet isolation, and you’re obviously not since you’re reading this post right now, then you probably know all about the exquisitely beautiful art that adorns the many metro stations of Stockholm.

Dubbed the unofficial, “longest art gallery in the world”:

Nearly 90 of Stockholm’s 100 subway stations have some type of artwork that was created by 150 different artists, each with their own distinctive artistic style and aesthetic.

But why all the subway art?

While yes, this art does make the metro commute a bit more pleasant (if only subway art could get you a raise at work too), the real motivation behind these public art installations is the Swedish belief that art should not just for those who can afford to visit museums and galleries.

Rather:

The beauty and joy of art should be available to the ENTIRE Swedish community, regardless of economic status..

But before you frolic off to the metro and get your arty groove on:

There are a few things you need to know first

To really enjoy these art installations, without being bombarded by overly hurried and stressed hordes of commuters who are tired of adulting, try to visit between 11 am and 3 pm during the week, when everyone else is stuck in the office and slaving away at an unrelenting pile of work.

That being said:

I did part of my metro art touring on a Saturday and wasn’t really bothered by throngs of people dashing into and out of the metro.

Now:

Depending on your level of interest in Stockholm’s subway art, I would suggest doing a 2-hour metro art tour if you want to see all of the stations listed here.

But it’s your call and all depends on your level of interest in subway art.

Before entering the metro though:

You obviously need a ticket, even though it would be nice if you could get in on your dashingly delightful good looks alone.

Personally:

I’d skip the single ride, paper ticket since it’s only valid for 75 minutes and is super annoying because every time you want to enter the metro, you need to ask a Metro employee for assistance since the electronic scanner can’t read the paper ticket.

Therefore:

I recommend purchasing a 24-hour, 72-hour, or 7-day pass from a metro desk employee so that you can enjoy unlimited rides on Stockholm’s many buses, trams, subways, and ferries (FYI you can ride some but not all of Stockholm’s ferries).

Plus:

Once your pass does expire, you can easily refill your card at any of the ticket machines in the metro.

Now:

I’m not gonna go into this long and drawn out description where I demonstrate how intelligent I think I am by using 30 different, uber-fancy words to describe the exquisite art in Stockholm’s metro.

Honestly:

All you need to know is that yes, the metro art is amazing and yes, you really should add this experience to your Stockholm itinerary.

However:

I’m not gonna leave you totally high and dry since I’m not that kind of girl.

Instead:

Listed below are some of the highlights of your subway art journey through Stockholm.

BLUE LINE

Kungsträdgarden
T-Centralen
Rådhuset
Solna Centrum
Hallonbergen
Solna Strand
Tensta

GREEN LINE

Hötorget
Odenplan
Thorildsplan

RED LINE

Östermalmstorg
Stadion
Tekniska Högskolan
Universitetet
Mörby Centrum

But:

What if you’re not sure where to start your Stockholm metro art journey?

No worries boo, I got you!

Just print out your FREE, Stockholm Metro art guide (below) and enjoy easy, step by step instructions, on how to see all the best metro art in Stockholm.

Trust me:

It really does live up to all the hype and is a fantastically fun thing to do on a rainy day in Stockholm.

PRINT OUT YOUR FREE, SELF-GUIDED METRO ART TOUR OF STOCKHOLM!

A free, self-guided metro art tour is one of my many, Stockholm highlights.
A free, self-guided metro art tour is one of my many, Stockholm highlights.

6. Skansen

Skansen is a beautiful, historic folk village that is one of my favorite things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.
Skansen is a beautiful, historic folk village that is one of my favorite things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.

Let’s do the time warp again!

No, I haven’t gone completely mad. Just maybe slightly.

But:

A stroll through the historic, outdoor folk village of Skansen really is like a super awesome time warp since employees dress in traditional garb from the 1800’s and authentically recreate Swedish life through various shops, farmsteads, stores, eateries, churches, and even a fully functional, funicular railroad.

Nestled on the island of Djurgården (Literally right next door to the Nordiska Museum, ABBA Museum, and Vasa Museum):

Skansen opened on October 11, 1891 and was the first open-air museum, and zoo, in Sweden to show Stockholm residents what life was like, prior to the Industrial Revolution, for Swedes living throughout the country.

Today:

Skansen is still a functioning, pre-industrial village, that educates guests about native Sami culture and demonstrates exactly how these people survive in some of the most inhospitable, northern regions of Sweden.

However:

If history isn’t your thing, don’t worry because Skansen has a plethora of animal enclosures that you can visit if you want to see the diverse array of fuana that call Sweden home.

Be prepared for your trip though since Skansen is huge, like 75 acres huge.

Therefore:

Don’t forget to grab a map, wear comfy walking shoes, and either warm clothes in the winter or sunscreen and a sunhat in the summer since Skansen can easily take an entire day to explore.

And if you get hungry along the way:

No problem because inside, there are a ton of restaurants and bakeries that serve delicious, traditional Swedish foods like Safron Cake, smoked fish, bread, Goulash, etc.

A perfect way to relax and experience the history of Sweden on a nice sunny day.

7. Abba Museum

Who doesn’t love an entire museum dedicated to the iconic, Swedish pop group ABBA?

So channel your inner dancing queen and get ready to party it up because Mamma Mia, here we go again!

Okay, I’ll stop with the lame ABBA references and actually tell you something this funky and fun Museum, which sits right across the street from Skansen (a great place to explore after a trip to Skansen since the Abba Museum is open late).

Now:

Was the Abba Museum the best museum I’ve ever been to? No, not a chance.

But:

What it lacks in historical artifacts and substance, it makes up for with glitter, pop music, bright colors, and a whole lot of fun.

Plus:

This museum really helps you get to know all of the band members and understand why this iconic musical group is the pride of Sweden.

Personally:

I think it’s your Abba loving duty to visit this museum, sing your little heart out, and dance like no one is watching, while listening to an assortment of Abba tunes blasting throug the museum.

Just do yourself a favor and pack a glittery, pink feather boa if you really want to get yourself into that dancing queen spirit.

Okay:

The boa is definitely not mandatory but highly encouraged if you want extra points for enthusiasm.

Warning:

Boring but essential info ahead.

FYI:

This museum doesn’t accept cash, so make sure that you have your credit card handy.

Also be prepared to spend about 2 hours in funky town, I mean this museum.

8. Modern Art Museum

You know what I love most about this modern art museum?

It’s free! Woot woot!

And I’ve never met anything free that I didn’t like, except maybe a cold or the flu or lice or something slightly deadly or medications that cause death. You know, stuff like that.

And in truth:

Duh, the best part of this museum really is the art for sure, and maybe the awesome croissants at the espresso bar.

Because we all know how fired up I get about food.

But, the fact that this museum offers free entry doesn’t dimish my adoration and only enhances it (you only have to pay for special exhibits which are totally worth it).

So meander through this museum’s extensive, permanent collection of paintings, sculptures, photography, and video art installations and prepare to be awe-struck by the innovative spirit of Sweden’s modern art movement.

Some museum highlights include works from modern art ballers like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol.

In addition to experiencing masterpieces from these artistic greats:

I also got to see a fantastic gingerbread house exhibit, on display for the holidays, that showcased the architectural and culinary, gingerbread related prowess of the Swedish citizenry.

But it gets better!

Exciting, temporary exhibits are constantly rotating into and out of the museum.

As a result:

There’s always something new to discover, especially at the fab, onsite restaurant, which has stellar views overlooking the water.

There’s even a quaint little cafe where you can enjoy a nice latte and croissant if you’re just looking for a snack.

***If you really love modern art, you can also visit the branch in Malmö.***

9. Do a Stockholm Ghost Tour

I am definitely one sick and twisted individual, hence my undying love for all things Investigation Discovery.

That’s why:

When I saw a sign advertising a “Stockholm Ghost Tour” during my first visit to Stockholm, I knew that I would have to take this tour if I returned to explore some more Stockholm attractions.

So:

When I recently returned to Stockholm, this was the first activity that I added to my Stockholm itinerary.

Now:

There is a Stockholm, Sweden Ghost tour advertised on Viator.

But:

It’s a bit more expensive than if you book the tour directly from Stockholm Ghost Walk (about $22 as compared to $30).

Plus:

Stockholm Ghost walk lets you pay upon arrival, in cash, which is nice because if you do miss the tour for any reason, then it’s not like you lose any money.

Now, once you reserve your tour:

Check your email because this email will detail the starting point of your tour.

My English tour started at 7:00 pm in Gamla Stan (they also offer tours through Sodermalm) and took about two hours as my fun and energetic guide mesmerized us with tales of Stockholm’s macabre past as we meandered through this historic part of the city.

FYI:

Bundle up since the temperature in Stockholm plummets once the sun sets.

Personally:

I absolutely loved my tour. Not only was the guide informative, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful, but he dressed up in a slightly ominous black cape, top hat, and carried a doctor’s bag, from which he gave live demonstrations about some of the techniques that citizens historically used to ward off disease.

Added bonus?

The tour actually ends in the German Church where the Ghost Tour office is located.

As a group:

You descend down a candle lit staircase and into the dark, dank, and damp church crypt, where many discontent bodies are said to have been buried.

A nice, cryptic, added flourish that definitely sets this tour apart from any other ghost walks that I have ever been on.

10. Fotografiska

Fotografiska is an awesome, panoramic photography gallery that is just one among many Stockholm highlights.
Fotografiska is an awesome, panoramic photography gallery that is just one among many Stockholm highlights.

I bet you can use your keen powers of deduction to guess what type of museum this is.

And if you guessed photography museum then, DING, DING, DING! You are correct good sir or madam!

You win…my undying love and devotion. And a neverending supply of hugs.

Sorry, but I’m broke so that’s really all I can give you (insert hugs here).

But honestly:

Merely referring to this panoramic art gallery as a “photography museum” is kind of like calling a filet mignon ground beef.

That type of oversimplification just doesn’t do this place justice.

I mean:

Not only does Fotografiska sit inside a historic, red brick building that, in its former life, was once the customs house, but this museum is also nestled along Stockholm’s exquisitely beautiful waterfront.

Talk about picture perfect!

Sorry but I just can’t help lovin’ a lame pun!

But the exterior is only the beginning of this museum’s appeal.

Walk inside and you’ll find a variety of innovative exhibitions that question how we define, see, and feel about photography.

So walk through this museum’s three, expansive floors of photographic wonder and be amazed by all of the stunning imagery that envelopes you into a world that you never knew existed.

If at all possible:

Visit this museum ASAP because I LOVED Alison Jackson’s exhibit Truth is Dead. She basically takes people, makes them look like celebrities, and puts them into these incredibly awkward and personal situations, like a photo of “Donald Trump” getting his toupee blown off by a Mexican landscaper who is chasing him down with a leaf blower. AMAZING.

PS:

Don’t leave without heading to the top floor, where you’ll find a fantastic cafe (try their cardamom buns) that offers diners glorious, panoramic views of Stockholm’s surrounding waterfront.

A wonderful place to relax, eat a pastry, sip on some coffee, and watch the boats as they cruise through the harbor (there’s also a bar next door that is hopin’ during the weekends when the museum is open until 1 am, which si WAY too late for this granny right here).

***Fotografiska gets insanely crowded during the weekends, so try and visit during the week to avoid the crowds. You can also try visiting in the evening since the museum is open until 11 pm during the week and until 1 am Thursday through Saturday. Also, save room for some meatballs since Meatballs for the People serves amazing meatballs and is within walking distance of the museum.***

11. Eat with the Vikings at Aifur and Krog

Dine with the vikings at Aifur and Krog.
Dine with the vikings at Aifur and Krog.

Looking for one of the more unusual things to do in Stockholm?

Then try dining at this, one of a kind, Viking themed restaurant where bar wenches dole out Grog and vikingesq waiters serve up medieval style fare to anyone bloodthirsty enough to devour a deer whole.

Kidding!

There is zero Bambi eating at Aifur and Krog, minus the whole serving venison on the menu thing.

However:

The menu is definitely medieval in style, with period-appropriate main courses like roast chicken, rack of lamb, marinated flank steak, and the aforementioned venison.

But, the Viking authenticity doesn’t stop there!

The utensils that you use to enjoy your meal actually mimic those used by the Vikings themselves.

Therefore:

When you order your drink, expect it to be served to you in a goblet.

And your fork?

Yeah, it’s more like a two-prong grilling impediment that you would use to stab an entire steak.

Kind of like a glorified spear that is none too handy when eating a salad.

But, the Viking madness doesn’t stop there.

The restaurant, and staff, are all bedazzled in anything and everything Viking with long, wooden, candle-lit tables, fur-lined benches, axes adorning the walls, and waiters dressed in traditional, Viking attire.

The only things that probably weren’t Viking related were my diet coke, beet, goat cheese,and spinach salad with apple vinegarette, and my porcini, parmesan risotto.

And while the service and atmosphere were both equal parts enchanting, fantastical, and fun, the food was mediocre and expensive if I’m brutally honest.

But who knows:

Perhaps I ordered the wrong dish and maybe their meat dishes are infinitely superior to my risotto.

I also didn’t like the fact that I was forced to check my bag and coat at the door.

Yup:

They legit will not let you inside unless you go to coast check and check your coat and bag.

But who knows, maybe they think you’re gonna steal a spear, I mean fork.

Additionally:

I did not appreciate the fact that because I was a solo diner, the restaurant forced me to sit down and eat with a fellow solo diner who was about 60 years my senior.

And while he was a lovely man:

Sometimes, I just wanna enjoy my meal without being bombarded by a neverending barrage of questions from a total stranger.

So:

While I don’t regret dining at Aifur and Krog, I definitly don’t think I’ll be returning since this restaurant seems to emphasize the Viking experience over serving delicious, high-quality food.

That being said:

Aifur and Krog is still a fantastic option if you’re traveling with kids or are looking for something a bit different to do in Stockholm

Just do yourself a favor and make reservations since this restaurant is quite popular and tables fill up fast.

12. Savor the Old-World Charm of Gamla Stan

The old world charm and beauty of Gamla Stan in Stockholm.
The old world charm and beauty of Gamla Stan in Stockholm.

Hi, my name is Kelly (AKA Girl with the Passport) and I have a Gamla Stan addiction.

Sorry, but it’s true.

I just cannot get over the intoxicating, old world charm of Stockholm’s most historic district since this place is a wannabe, Instagram influencer’s dream.

Actually, scratch that.

Once the throngs of fanny pack totin’ tourists roll in, I like to biz-ounce since they irk me something fierce with their slow walking and inability to understand that this neighborhood wasn’t designed solely for them.

So, do yourself a favor and be prepared for crowds.

But I understand tourists low-level infatuation with this place since Gamla Stan was founded in 1252 and is one of Europe’s largest and best preserved medieval city centers, with a lwickedly chamring abyrinth of cobblestone streets, grand buildings, narrow alleyways, and vibrantly colored, historic homes.

So whether you want to take a quiet, leisurely stroll through this charming AF area, or whether you want to experience some of the neighborhood’s many highlights like the Noble Museum, the Royal Palace (be sure to attend the changing of the guard), Storkyrkan (the oldest cathedral in Gamla Stan), and Stortorget Square, I promise that you’ll find more than one something to love about this amazing place.

And if you get hungry along the way:

Try stopping at Chokladkoppen for a latte and a Danish pastry, or Under Kastanjen for a delicious but inexpensive meal.

The food here is wickedly good, especially since patrons get to enjoy a bottomless supply of bread that is every carb lovers dream.

13. Visit Stockholm Public Library (Stadsbiblioteket)

The beautiful rotunda in Stockholm Public Library.
The beautiful rotunda in Stockholm Public Library.

Okay:

I know a public library doesn’t sound like one of the ultra fun things to do in Stockholm, but for this bibliophile, this building is exactly what my book lovin’ dreams are made of.

Why?

Just climb to the top of the library’s 360-degree, 3-story, rotunda of books and gaze down upon the beautiful, spherical wall of literature beneath.

I dare you not to swoon in ecstasy on the spot.

And while pictures of this exquisite place are permitted, please be respectful by being as quick and as quiet as possible since this is a working library.

Once you’ve adequately savored all this book beauty:

Exit the library and take some time to enjoy the strangely wonderful building facade from 1928, which was done in the Nordic Classicism style (I may sound intelligent but I really have no idea what this means. It’s a lovely building to look at though) and is slightly austere yet welcoming.

But:

With more than 2 million books and 2.4 million audio tapes in the library’s collection, you’ll probably be a bit preoccupied with the books than the building’s architectural style.

***Love books almost as much as I do? Then stop by the King’s Library in Humlegården and check out the Codex Gigas, or Devil’s Bible. This unique book is a 13th-century Bible that has an entire page dedicated to a full-color illustration of the devil himself. No one knows why this drawing is here, but this unique feature the Codex Gigas well worth a visit.***

14. Devour a Cardamom Bun (one of the bestthings to do in Stockholm for this food lovin’ soul)

Devouring a Fabrique Cardamom Bun was definitely one of my favorite things to do in Stockholm.
Devouring a Fabrique Cardamom Bun was definitely one of my favorite things to do in Stockholm.

I don’t know about you but before I visited Stockholm, I had no clue just how top notch their pastry game really was.

But once I arrived and hit up basically every bakery I could find, I was hooked.

Because for this sugar addicted, carb monger, Swedish cardamom buns are the stuff that gastronomic ecstasy is made of.

And this pastry creating prowess makes sense when you learn just one word in the Swedish language.

Yup, it’s all about the Fika.

Or a Swedish coffee break where you can slow down, relax with friends, enjoy a coffee with a pastry, and savor the simple pleasures of life.

Awww! Insert Kodak moment here.

But three cheers for Fika because this concept is one of the many reasons why Stockholm has so many divinely delicious bakeries, cafes, and coffee shops.

Woo-who! Personally:

Two of my faves happen to be Vete-Katten for a Princess Cake and Fabrique for a Cardamom Bun, which is basically a dense, bread roll that is sweetened with aromatic cardamom.

Nom, nom, nom.

It’s sweet but not too sweet and perfectly balances out your coffee.

Trust me:

Pack a ton of elastic waist pants along with some moist towelettes, and eat as many Cardamom Buns as humanly possible.

I promise, you will NOT regret it.

15. Visit Drottningholm Palace

The majestic beauty of Drottningholm Palace.
The majestic beauty of Drottningholm Palace.

No trip to basically ANY European country would be complete without a visit to at least ONE royal palace.

That’s why:

It’s not at all surprising that one of the top Stockholm points of interest is a palace.

But, if you’re gonna visit just one palace in Stockholm, then Drottningholm Palace is a good choice since this building is the current, official residence of the king and queen of Sweden.

I mean:

If it’s good enough for the king and queen then it’s good enough for me.

However:

Because this building is still a working palace, the southern wing is off limits to guests and reserved for private, royal use.

But:

The remainder of the Versailles-style palace, and grounds, are open year round for public use.

Which is fantastically wonderful since:

This royal palace is the most well-preserved, Swedish castle from the 1600s ,and as such, has become a designated, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This opulent, wonder of architecture is also a fantastic representation of general, European architectural style throughout this period.

Located just outside of Stockholm:

This royal residence is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and is a perfect day trip from Stockholm.

To visit:

Simply join a leisurely cruise down through Lake Malaren (included with the Stockholm Pass) or use regular old, slightly un-fancy, public transportation.

Before leaving though:

Take some time to meander through the majestic palace grounds, which feature a well-manicured park, a Baroque-style garden, a theater, and a beautiful, Chinese Pavilion, and more.

And remember:

The more walking you do, the more pastries you can justify eating.

#justsayin’ 

16. Take a Stockholm Boat Tour

Trust me, Stockholm is even more beautiful from the water.
Trust me, Stockholm is even more beautiful from the water.

As you can tell from many of the stunning pictures of Stockholm’s iconic skyline:

This city’s past and present are both intricately connected with the surrounding, Baltic Sea.

Therefore:

You can’t fully understand Stockholm, and the importance of the Baltic to this city’s cultural development, without getting out onto the water and experiencing this city’s indescribable beauty from a different perspective.

Personally;

I don’t think it matters if you use a public ferry to visit one of Stockholm’s 14 different islands or join a formal boat tour with a detailed commentary on the history of the city.

Just get out there, have fun, and take a BOAT load of photos, pun intended, since boat tours really are one of the top things to do in Stockholm.

But:

If you’re looking for a boat tour rec from a not-so-super-savvy travel blogger, such as myself, then I suggest taking the Stockholm 2-Hour Under the Bridges Boat Tour.

Not only does this boat tour come with a fun and informative, pre-recorded commentary about the history and development of Stockholm (available in 10 different languages), but you also get to enjoy a relaxing journey aboard a comfortably modern boat.

Yes readers with pea size bladders, the boat does indeed have a bathroom.

Whatever you do though, try and snag a window seat so that you can get primo views of Old Town, Södermalm Island, Lilla Essingen and Stora Essingen, Hammarby Sjöstad, and Royal Djurgården as you cruise past

Eventually:

Your tour will take you under several local bridges and through a picturesque lock that connects the Baltic Sea with Lake Malaren, before eventually returning to the… DRY TORTUGAS!

Kidding!

I mean port since we’re not in the movie, The Pirates of the Caribbean.

And sorry friends but the rum is actually gone (a reference to the aforementioned movie lest you think I’ve gone mad).

17. Stay in a Jumbo Jet at Jumbo Stay

Being the quirky, and dare I say odd, human that I am:

I’m always on the lookout for uniquely wonderful places to stay in Stockholm.

You know:

Places that are a bit more exciting than your traditional hotel stay.

Well:

I am delighted to say that I found all this and more at Jumbo Stay, a Boeing 747 that has been converted into an upscale hostel that sits along an unused runway at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.

Which is one of the many reasons why:

This hostel is the PERFECT place to stay if you have an early morning flight since Jumbo Stay is just a 6-minute ride away from any of the airport terminals.

And with rooms that start at just $70 a night:

This hostel makes for a fun and economical way to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Plus:

This hostel is luxurious too with 29 rooms and 61 beds that are outfitted with snazzy amenities like flat screen TVs, free WIFI, modern toilets throughout the main deck, a 24-hour front desk, and an onsite restaurant that starts serving breakfast at 3 am for anyone who has an early flight to catch.  

A fantastic place to stay for anyone who wants to couple a bit of fun with the convenience of staying at the airport.

***Looking for a fun hostel that is a bit closer to some of the top Stockholm tourist attractions? Then try staying aboard the SF af Chapman, a hostel in Stockholm’s city center, on the island Skeppsholmen, that sits aboard a newly renovated sailing ship that overlooks Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and the Royal Palace. With rooms that start at just $40 per night, this is another great budget accommodation option in Stockholm.***

18. Explore some street art at Snosatra Graffiti Hall of Fame

If you’re a diehard street art enthusiast like me, then you absolutely MUST visit Snosatra Grafitti Hall of Fame while you’re in Stockholm.

Sure:

It’s a bit of a trek to get here since this graffiti collective is located about an hour south of central Stockholm, via metro, in an abandoned, industrial area in Snösätra.

But:

It’s 110% worth it since this area has been transformed into one of Europe’s largest graffiti exhibitions.

I mean:

Practically every sliver of available space here has been devoured by the infectious, creative spirit of street artists from around the world, who create mesmerizing murals of almost anything they can dream up.

Plus:

There’s even a wall open to the public where you can try your hand at street art, at least as long as you stick to the posted rules and aren’t an a-hole about it.

Just do yourself a favor and haul ass here ASAP since there are plans to turn this street art mecca into a residential area.

The HORROR of yet more yuppy filled suburbias!

But for now, if you’re not sure what to do in Stockholm:

Just take the green line to Rågsved and walk 0.8 miles to this graffiti park of wonder.

19. Enjoy Panoramic City Views from Tantoludens Park (one of the more underrated Stockholm attractions)

Tantoludens Park is a fantastic place to walk around, enjoy some peace and quiet, and savor the panoramic views of Stockholm.
Tantoludens Park is a fantastic place to walk around, enjoy some peace and quiet, and savor the panoramic views of Stockholm.

Hidden in plain sight:

This gem of a park is conveniently located in central Stockholm, hence all the exquisite panoramic views of the city, and makes for a lovely respite from the urban chaos of Stockholm’s lively capital.

But:

What really sets this park apart are an assortment of tiny, brightly colored homes and immaculately manicured gardens, known as kolonilott, that are perched all along the hillside, making this greenspace a veritable kaleidoscope of colors all year long.

So meander through on a sunny, Sunday afternoon and enjoy the tranquility of the incredibly calming place.

Just be sure to bring your camera though, and like 10,000 extra batteries, since this oasis of greenery is a photographic eutopia.

However:

If you could do with a little less quiet in your life, elsewhere in the park you’ll find a mini golf course, two outdoor gyms, and several waterside paths, lined with benches, where you can sit and watch the boats glide by.

***If you’re here during the weekend, try and visit Hornstulls Maknad since it’s literally just down the hill.***

20. Try some street food at Hornstulls Marknad (this outdoor market runs from April through October)

The madness and mayhem that is Hornstulls Marknad throughout the weekend.
The madness and mayhem that is Hornstulls Marknad throughout the weekend.

WARNING:

Do not visit this waterside, weekend market if you hate crowds because it’s literally crawling with tpeople who barely give you enough room to breathe, let alone walk.

But:

If you can handle hordes of people doing battle for a food truck taco to call their own then this place is the foodie paradise you’ve been dreaming of since independent food trucks and clothing vendors literally line up along this scenic, waterside walking path in Stockholm.

So:

Prepare to forfeit any and all personal space as you stroll through an assortment of vibrantly colored food trucks, with uber fun logos that advertise scrumptious foods like vegetarian curries, gourmet sliders, spicy burritos, and aromatic baked goods; with a variety of independent clothing vendors sprinkled in if you want to shop your feelings as opposed to eating them.

Now:

If you’re lucky enough to find a free spot, you can enjoy your food along one of the many outdoor wooden seating platforms that look out onto the water.

However:

If you’d rather not eat with 500 people staring you down, silently willing you to eat faster so that they can steal your seat, then take your food to go and enjoy a leisurely picnic in nearby Tantolunden Park.

21. Walk along Monteliusvägen at Sunset (or sunrise if you’re not an anti-morning person like me)

The beautiful view of Gamla Stan that you get while walking along Monteliusvägen.
The beautiful view of Gamla Stan that you get while walking along Monteliusvägen.

Hands down, this my FAVORITE place in all of Stockholm.

And I don’t need to tell you why. Just look at the picture above! Gorgeous.

To visit:

Just take a short stroll from Maria Torget Square, up through the area’s many, winding cobbestone streets and you’ll find Monteliusvägen, a charming, 500-meter long walking path that is nestled along a quiet cliffside.

Here:

You’ll find sweeping, panoramic views of Lake Mälaren, City Hall, and Riddarholmen, especially if you time it right and visit during sunrise or sunset.

But, it gets better!

This northern portion of Södermalm is one of the oldest areas in Stockholm.

Therefore:

This nifty little walking path is sandwiched in between some of the most ridiculously charming, historic homes that I have ever seen.

No joke:

I wanted to cry out in ecstasy since everywhere I turned, I found another quaint AF house that I had to take about 50 million pictures of.

I kept my photographic joy on the DL though since I didn’t want anyone to think I needed an impromptu exorcism.

But:

This place blows my mind with pure awesomeness since it has the beauty of Gamla Stan, but without all the crowds, giving this socially awkward introvert a priceless moment of calm away from the bustling cafes and hipster bars that Södermalm is known for (think Stockholm sightseeing only better).

Heck:

There are even several picnic tables and BBQ grills along the path to help you embrace your inner Bear Grylls as you grill like a boss beneath the setting sun

Awww!

Sweet baby Jesus, this post is FINALLY over!

OMG, I thought it would never end.

I mean, I write long posts but shiz, this post is long, even for me!

But, you made it to the end of this Moby Dick size post about all the fun things to do in Stockholm and that’s what really counts!

How does it feel? Did you know that Stockholm was this awesome?

Well, if you didn’t then you do now after reading about these 21 amazing things to do in Stockholm, Sweden.

So if you’re ready to visit Stockholm, then pin this now and read it again later!

things to do in Stockholm
things to do in Stockholm