Essential Travel Guide to Stockholm, Sweden [Updated for 2024]

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Stockholm is a brilliant city, both in the short, cold hours of winter, and the long, warm days of summer. You’ll find many great things to fill your vacation in Stockholm. We’ve put together this essential travel guide to Stockholm so you know where to start when planning your trip.

This guide includes all the top things to do, where to eat and drink in the city, and where to stay in Stockholm. Get ready, because you’re going to need as much energy as you’ve got to see it all.

stockholm city view - essential travel guide to stockholm
Stockholm City View

These are not only some of the top things to do, see, eat and drink in Stockholm, they are also some of our personal favorites. It is an awesome city, easy to walk around, with plenty of things to do and see, especially in the summer months when the sun stays up until late into the night.

What to Do in Stockholm

There are many great things to do in Stockholm that you don’t want to miss. One of my favorite things to do, besides walking around the incredible Gamla Stan, is taking an archipelago cruise around the outskirts of the city. There are dozens of islands scattered around the waterways. You absolutely must get out on the water to see it all.

You may not have guessed it, but Stockholm also has fantastic food options, and many unique foods and drinks you should try while you’re there. It’s a great idea to go on a food tour at the beginning of your time there to get acquainted with the local food and find all the great spots to go back to during your stay.

Another favorite thing to do is ride the subway to see the incredible subway street art. You won’t believe how creative they were in building those stations. You can spend a whole day riding around seeing them all.

Stockholm subway art
Stockholm subway art

While in the city, be sure to see the Vasa Museum, Abba Museum and the Royal Palace.

If you want to plan ahead and get tickets for some of the top things to do in Stockholm, here are some of the tours we enjoyed in Stockholm. You can pre-book the tours through our affiliate links on Viator:

And don’t forget your Stockholm Pass! It gets you free entrance to many sights, as well as free transportation around the city.

Swedish meatballs
Swedish meatballs

What & Where to Eat in Stockholm

There are some really great Scandinavian foods you have to try while in Stockholm. You can find plenty of Swedish restaurants in Stockholm, so I encourage you to eat a those restaurants and skip the international food that you can find everywhere.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Swedish meatballs – The Swedish meatballs are a must try for sure. They come with mashed potatoes and lingonberries on the side, with a thick and tasty gravy poured over the meatballs. Yum!
  • Salmon (Gravlax) – This cured salmon is a major treat that is common in Sweden. Smoked salmon is also easy to find in the city and something you must try.
  • Knäckebröd – This crunchy rye bread is a specialty in Stockholm. Eat it with gravlax or with fish soup.
  • Surströmming – Fermented herring isn’t for everyone, but you have to try it at least once.
  • Fika – this is actually more like a verb – to fika. It means to take a short break in the afternoon for a coffee and bite to eat with a friend.

There are a lot of high-end restaurants serving new Nordic cuisine in Stockholm. You won’t have any trouble finding a Michelin-recommended restaurant. Here are four that we really enjoyed.

  • Gastrologik
  • Agrikultur
  • Frantzen
  • Mathias Dahlgren

Where to Stay in Stockholm

Gamla Stan town square
Gamla Stan town square

Stockholm has many different neighborhoods you can stay in, all that have a unique charm and offerings. Many tourists choose to stay near the Gamla Stan, because many of the top attractions are within walking distance. Other good areas for tourists include Sodermalm and Norrmalm.

Public transportation is really easy to use in Stockholm and can get your just about anywhere you want to go, so don’t worry too much about which neighborhood is best. They’re all fun and accessible. Here are our top recommendations for places to stay for affordable luxury in Stockholm.

You can use any of the links below to book, see prices or read reviews (these are affiliate links, so we will receive a small commission if you use them at no cost to you! )

  • Radisson Blu Waterfront: Walking distance to many top sights, located on the waterfront, near the train station. Nice, basic rooms and a great breakfast.  Read reviews  | Book on
  • Haymarket by Scandic: Beautiful art-deco style hotel in the Hötorget market area, great location  Read reviews  |  Book on
  • Hotel Diplomat: Lovely upscale hotel located on the waterfront in the Ostermalm area of town  Read reviews  |  Book on

Need more choices? See’s best hotels in Stockholm.

Essential Travel Guide to Stockholm, Sweden

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Essential Travel Guide to Stockholm, Sweden [Updated for 2024]

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