On Sweden’s east coast lies the city of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. With a population of approximately 1.6 million people, Stockholm is the most populated urban area of Sweden and Scandinavia. The official language spoken in Stockholm is the Swedish language and the official currency is the Swedish Krona (≈€ 0.095). Stockholm has 5-18 hours of daylight, depending on the time of the year. The climate is a combination of oceanic and continental climate with cold, cloudy winters accompanied with mild summers. The warmest month is July when the highest average temperature is 24°C and the coldest is February, when temperatures often drop below zero. The average annual temperature is 10.7°C, making it the ideal weather for anyone who wants to visit Stockholm. Whether you’re looking for a typical cold and snowy winter holiday or a refreshening vacation during the sunny summer, Stockholm offers it all.
If you’re planning to visit Stockholm, our guide below will provide you with all the necessary information to help you organize your trip.
Table of Contents
Getting to Stockholm
Being the cultural and economical center of Sweden, this important global city provides a well-developed transport service that connects to most European countries and cities.
Arlanda, Skavsta, Västerås and Bromma Airport are 4 international airports in Stockholm. The main Stockholm airport is Arlanda (ARN), which is located 37 kilometres from the city center and is a hub for airlines such as Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air. Arlanda connects to the capital of more than 180 destinations around the world, making flights to and from Stockholm easily accessible. Multiple taxi, bus and rent-a-car companies offer quick and easy transport from the airport to the city. Around 26 million passengers passed through this airport in 2018., making this the largest and busiest airport in Sweden.
Due to being one of the most popular tourist destinations all year round, Stockholm is well-connected to cities such as Oslo, Zagreb, Banja Luka or Ljubljana. The central bus station is Cityterminalen, located about 1.3 kilometres from the centre of the city.
Situated in the city centre, Stockholm Central Station is the main train station in Stockholm and the largest railway station in Sweden. More than 200.000 passengers transit daily here, therefore making it the busiest railway station in Scandinavia. The station is equipped with various facilities and services, making it an icon for Stockholm’s transportation system.
There are several cruise ports in Stockholm. Statsgården, Frihamnen and Värtahamnen are ports near the city that are more suitable for larger ships, while Skeppsbron and Nynäshamn are docks where smaller ships may anchor. As for the ferry services, Tallink & Silja Line uses the Värtahamnen ferry terminal to go to Helsinki, Riga, Tallinn, Turku and Åland, while Viking Line uses the Stadsgården ferry terminal to go to Helsinki, Åland, Tallinn and Turku.
Considering the large number of motorways running through Sweden, it is considered easy to get to Stockholm by car.
Known as the highway backbone of Sweden, E4 connects to Finland while passing through Sweden’s largest cities, including the capital Stockholm. Road E18 is divided by three sea crossings: the first one occurs from Northern Ireland to Scotland, the second one from Scotland to Norway and Sweden and the last one connects to Finland. Road E20 runs through Ireland and The United Kingdom where the first sea crossing is required to continue to go through Denmark and Sweden. Estonia and Russia are available through the second sea crossing.
- NOTE: International Driving License is required if your driving license isn’t written in English.
Be aware that all vehicles entering and exiting central Stockholm have to pay congestion taxes on weekdays, excluding public holidays and the month of July. In order to avoid this, you can book your car online .
- NOTE: Stockholm Visa/Schengen is not required for UK citizens. US citizens don’t need a visa if their stay is under 90 days, while EU citizens have the right to work, live or study in Sweden without a visa. If you’re a citizen of a non-EU country, you will need a visa.
Getting around Stockholm
Wondering how to get around Stockholm? Being one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, Stockholm connects the whole city with its excellent transportation system.
Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL) is a company that operates most of the public transportation system in Stockholm, including buses, metroes, subway trains and boats. The rapid metro system is called The Stockholm Underground and it is considered to be a complex of some of the most beautiful and innovative metro art stations in the world, including the Odenplan metro station. Metro ticket price for a single ride is around 45,00 SEK, but if you have a Stockholm Travelcard then the price is reduced. The Stockholm metro map is available here.
- NOTE: Stockholm Travelcard/Pass is an electronic card that enables the use of all public networks in Stockholm for an unlimited number of rides within 75 minutes, 24 or 72 hours. They can be purchased at the CL Center, the Metro, commuter railway stations, online and from ticket machines for a price of 20,00 SEK.
Stockholm is proud of the large number of car rental companies that offer 24/7 service, making them available at any time of the day. Since taxis in Stockholm are considered expensive, it is advisable to use public transportation or rent a car.
- NOTE: Credit cards can be used as a regular paying method, just beware of unofficial taxis that could scam you. In order to avoid potential issues, only enter taxis that have a yellow number plate and a price sticker on the rear door window.
Exploring the city of Stockholm with a car shouldn’t cause any problems, since the traffic is often light and the drivers are respectable. To ensure safer travel during your visit, it is encouraged to inform yourself with the road signs in Sweden. Most of them are standardized, but there are a few of them that only apply in Sweden. If you wish to rent a car instead, there are numerous companies, such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Sixt, Mabi and Budget, but the most famous is Taxi Stockholm.
Parking in Stockholm
Stockholm is divided into 21 districts that all-together offer 36 Park and Ride facilities with around 4.290 parking places around the city. There are certain zones of Stockholm where the parking is free, while others have to be bought. All necessary information, prices and a map can be found on the official Stockholm Parkering site.
The easiest way to get around the city is with a bicycle, since the environment-friendly Stockholm has plenty of bike lanes and paths. The city provides parking places for cyclists everywhere they go, whether it’s a park, shopping mall, arena or subway. The most prominent bike rental companies are Gamla Stans Cykel, Cykelstallet, and Stockholm Adventures.
Also known as The Walkable City, Stockholm is perfect for exploring the city at your own pace. Since the plan of the city is mainly flat, all of Stockholm is easily accessible by walking. The city also offers free walking tours.
Located on 14 islands along the coastline, Stockholm is known as one of the safest cities in the world. Full of majestic historical buildings, idyllic parks and stunning architecture paired with cultural importance, Stockholm is filled with various things to see and do. Here is an overview of our top attractions to visit in Stockholm.
Stockholm city centre is organized into four urban districts, officially known as stadsdelsområden. Östermalm, Norrmalm, Kungsholmen and Södermalm provide plenty of places to visit in Stockholm, such as the famous city hall Stadshuset, Stockholm Public Library, Royal Swedish Opera house and Stockholm Concert Hall. A large number of restaurants, stalls and food markets add to the authentic local experience.
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s Old Town which counts among the largest and most preserved medieval cities in Europe. Some of the best museums in Gamla Stan are the nobel museum Nobelmuseet and medieval museum Medeltidsmuseum. The Parliament House of Sweden and The Riddarholmen Church, the resting place of Swedish monarchs, are also situated here. Nearby museums include the maritime museum Vasamuseet and the national museum of economy The Royal Coin Cabinet.
Stockholm archipelago, called Skärgården by locals, counts approximately 30,000 islands all connected with more than 50 bridges, making the site ideal for island hopping. Skärgården is the largest archipelago in Sweden and the second largest in the Baltic Sea. One of tourists’ most beloved attractions, Stockholm archipelago offers multiple museums, an art gallery, local churches and cathedrals, along with a large number of uninhabited islands.
Drottningholm Palace is the most preserved royal palace built during the 1600s for the Swedish royal family. Drottningholm, literally translated to Queen’s Islet, is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to its stunning architecture and rich history. It is open from 10:00-16:00 every day and the ticket price ranges from 65,00 SEK-130,00 SEK. It is a must see, especially for all history and art lovers!
Kungliga Djurgården, also known as The Royal Game Park, is an island full of vast forests and meadows. It’s also the home to the museum Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, Vasa boat museum, ABBA museum, an amusement park Gröna Lund and the open air museum and zoo Skansen, making it one of the favourite recreational areas for locals and tourists. The island is a part of The Royal National City Park, the first national urban park in the world.
Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building that offers an iconic attraction – SkyView. SkyView takes you to the top of the Ericsson Globe so that you have a 360° panorama view of the whole city of Stockholm. The attraction is available from Monday-Friday from 10:00-18:00 and on weekends from 10:00-16:00. For those with the Stockholm Pass the entry is free. Tickets can be purchased here.
Stockholm Olympic Stadium is one of the best places to visit in Stockholm for a sports fan. Back in the 1920 the stadium hosted the Olympic Games with sports like football, gymnastics, tug of war, wrestling, modern pentathlon and equestrian events. Most of the athletics world records have been broken at the Stockholm Stadium. It also served as a venue for bands such as The Rolling Stones, Kiss and AC/DC.
Fotografiska is a modern art and photography museum located in the heart of the city. It regularly hosts various exhibitions full of creativity and masterful artwork. Inside, you can find a gift shop, bistro, book shop, several cafés and a Gold Dragon Awarded restaurant on the top floor that offers captivating views of Stockholm.
Museums in Stockholm
Over a dozen museums in Stockholm are completely free to enjoy, while others can still be entered without a fee if the Stockholm Pass is purchased. Some of the most notable are The Viking Museum, where you’ll get a chance to meet the Vikings and their lifestyle through films, projections and archeological objects. Next is The Nordic Museum, Sweden’s largest museum of cultural history. ArkDes is a museum of design and architecture, while The Army Museum provides information on Sweden’s military history. Last but not least is The Museum of Spirits, where you’ll learn Swedish alcohol traditions and drinking culture with tasting samples to indulge all your senses and learn in the best way possible. It’s clear why it’s a favourite among many!
Experience the best of Stockholm through multiple activities that will make you feel like a true local! If you’re not quite sure what to do in Stockholm for a shorter amount of time, check our post – 24 hours in Stockholm. Here are our top things to do in Stockholm.
Sweden is famed to have one of the greatest ice hockey teams in the world. Tournaments and games are most commonly played at the Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm’s iconic symbol. When visiting Stockholm it’s a must-do to play a round of ice hockey. Learn the rules and culture behind the game and get a new perspective on Swedish life.
Ever wished to go ice skating over a frozen lake while taking in the beautiful Stockholm landscapes? Well now your dream can come true! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, The Green Trails is the perfect place if you wish to learn the true Nordic skating style and meet people from all corners of the world!
If you’d rather unwind and re-energize, then Stockholm spas are the place for you. Relaxing spa treatments with a classic Swedish or hot stone massage are the perfect way to rejuvenate both your body and mind. The best spas in the city are Raison d’Etre and Sturebadet which provide a sanctuary to refresh yourself and experience ultimate peace.
Northern Lights, otherwise known as Aurora Borealis, is an extraordinary astronomical phenomenon that will surely take your breath away. The best aurora viewing sites can be found all over Lapland, the biggest region in Sweden. You can use an aurora tracker to increase your chances of seeing this magnificent magical show of green, purple and blue lights moving swiftly across the sky.
With about 30 exciting rides and 7 roller coasters, Gröna Lund is a fun place for people of all ages. Sweden’s oldest amusement park, Gröna Lund, also has the most roller coaster parks in the world, with Tivoli being the hardest one. This theme park also hosted pop and rock concerts with artists such as Kiss, Elton John and Bob Marley.
Because of Stockholm’s captivating archipelago, boat and bike tours seem almost an inevitable choice. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, then kayak tours are the perfect way to escape the city and explore everything the sea has to offer. Activities such as fishing and sailing can also be arranged. In order to truly explore the city in Scandinavian style, you can rent a bike at one of the city bike rentals that stand at your disposal.
The city of Stockholm offers a large spectre of all sorts of events by both international and local stars. Their entertainment program is definitely worth seeing, so here are some of the best events to visit during your stay.
- The Stockholm Marathon has been held annually since 1979. and takes place in the city center. The marathon unites almost 100 countries while their runners run the distance of more than 42 kilometres. The Stockholm Half Marathon covers the distance of around 21 kilometres and passes by all of Stockholm’s famous landmarks.
- Stockholm Design Week is an event that serves as a meeting point for many artists to get inspired, broaden their network and learn new ideas. Swedish design is a mix between minimalism, function and style, with the main motto being Less is More.
- Fashion Week Stockholm is one of the leading fashion weeks in Northern Europe. It’s ateliers are filled with the most interesting and worldwide known brands and designers, almost ensuring that the Swedish fashion industry continues to grow extensively over the years.
- Stockholm International Film Festival is considered among the leading film festivals in Europe. This annual cultural event celebrates visionary filmmaking, diversity, passion and creativity.
- Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of the oldest and biggest events in Stockholm that is hosted in over 60 venues all over the city. Everything from classic jazz to a more modern and experimental one ensures that everyone finds a tune they enjoy listening to.
- Stockholm Culture Festival is organized every August by the city of Stockholm. The festival includes everything from the worldwide music scene, such as pop, rock, jazz and opera. Activities like talk shows, walking tours and dance performances are present throughout the city, and the best part is – It’s completely free!
Sweden is distinguished for its seafood and meat mixed delicacies which are the result of a longtime passed down food traditions. Explore the traditional Swedish food husmanskost in the nearby restaurants in Stockholm to get a true taste of delicious Swedish gastronomy.
- Meatballs, or traditionally known as kjøttboller, are Sweden’s most iconic dish. The mixture of beef and pork is carefully spiced, baked and then served along with a scoop of gravy and lingonberry jam.
- Crayfish is usually eaten during the traditional drinking and eating celebration called the crayfish party, or kräftskiva. After being boiled in salt water and seasoned with a fresh herb, the dish is served cold along with a snaps, a small shot of a strong alcoholic beverage.
- Toast Skagen is a classic dish typically served as an appetizer at Swedish dinner parties. This symbol of elegance consists of two pieces of toasted bread with mayonnaise and prawns on top.
- Raggmunk is the name for Swedish potato pancake that makes its greatest appearance during the winter. It’s fried in butter for a better taste, then served with fried pork and raw stirred lingonberries on the side.
- Cinnamon bun or Kanelbullar is a soft bun with a hint of cardamom and a buttery or vanilla filling. Being the best-loved pastry among the Swedes, it is perfect for breakfast and traditional Swedish fika.
- Princess cake, otherwise known as prinsesstårta, is a traditional Swedish cake and a national icon since the 1900s. This flavourful cake is made from layers of sponge cake, vanilla custard, raspberry jam and green marzipan exterior.
Where to eat
Urban Deli is a popular combined restaurant that provides the service of a grocery store, bar and a restaurant. Its varied menu reflects their vision to provide healthier, simpler and better food to their clients.
Hermans is a restaurant focused on serving healthy, meat-free food, making it a favourite among vegans and vegetarians. Its spacious buffets offer various cuisines, for instance fusion, international, juice bar, salad bar and bakery.
Gästabud is a small pub-style restaurant situated in Gamla Stan, the old city of Stockholm. Decorated with a few tables and a lovely pub, this restaurant offers delicious meals at an affordable price.
Frantzén is famed to be one of the best fine dining restaurants in Stockholm. This world class restaurant is adorned with 3 Michelin stars that guarantee an exceptional cuisine and a memorable experience for life.
Restaurangen Moderna Museet is a buffet restaurant offering rich all-you-can-eat buffets with a large selection of various dishes. While you eat, the restaurant provides an overlook of Strandvägen, a boulevard on Östermalm in central Stockholm.
STHLM Brunch Club is a brunch restaurant that serves all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch food. Amazing dishes, fast service and catering services along with various menus will suit everyone’s needs.
Famous for its vibrant nightlife scene, the cold capital of Stockholm is the perfect place to dance the night away at one of the hottest nightclubs in the city!
Icebar Stockholm is the first permanent ice bar in the world. All of the interior components are completely made from ice from the Torne River nearby the village Jukkasjärvi. The temperature is kept at a constant of -5 °C/23 °F, and the bar limit is 45 people, so it is best to book a reservation before visiting.
Ranked as one of the favourite gay and lesbian destinations in the world, Stockholm offers gay bars such as Klubb Moxy, Patricia, SLM, Club Backdoor and Guldrummet Sthlm to keep you entertained until morning hours.
A café during the day, a nightclub at night, Café Opera in Stockholm has been a hot stop for many celebrities such as J. Lo, Eminem, Michael Schumacher, ABBA, AC/DC and many more. Located inside the Royal Swedish Opera house, the unique traditional interior with a modern touch is a perfect getaway for a fun night out.
Takpark by Urban Deli is a rooftop bar located at the top of a large building in the heart of the city. This bar has one of the largest roof terraces in Stockholm, making it an ideal place to order drinks and food, attend theme nights and play games with your friends and family.
Stockholm Pub Crawl introduces a fun way to meet new people and to get to know the vibe of the city. Explore 3 bars and 1 club for the price of 250 SEK, which includes a few benefits. Learn more and book the trip here.
Stampen is a jazz bar in the Old Town of Stockholm that plays world famous jazz and blues music with American roots. The antique interior from the old pawn shop still remains, giving the bar a unique, alternative look that provides great live music and gin for everyone who visits.
Viking bar, or Aifur Krog & Bar, provides an authentic Viking experience and is definitely a must-see when going out in Stockholm. Everything from Nordic folk music, big ale mugs and the halls decorated in fur, weapons and shields makes you feel like a true Viking at heart!
Tyge & Sessil is a wine bar ideal for wine connoisseurs which is located in the district Östermalm. The staff makes simple dishes that pair with the wine of your choice, making the most out of this experience. Cosy atmosphere and diverse, original wine will definitely make you want to get back.
K Karaoke bar is the perfect place if you wish to sing your heart out with your friends and family. Sing and dance to your favourite tunes while ordering a refreshing drink to enjoy the moment even more. If you feel more comfortable in a secluded atmosphere, it is advisable to book a room in advance.
Often called The Shopping Capital of the North, Stockholm is an epitome of modern, unique and innovative Scandinavian design. The city is overflowing with great places to shop, so here’s where you can find the best shops in Stockholm.
One of the best places to go shopping in Stockholm is in The Mall Of Scandinavia, the second largest mall in the Nordic countries. With over 174 stores, 41 restaurants and the very first IMAX Theatre in Sweden with 500 seats, here you’ll find the best of fashion, beauty, sports, technology and interior design Stockholm has to offer. Södermalm district is also a good place for a shopping spree.
Of course we couldn’t forget the world renowned IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. More than 300 IKEA stores are operated worldwide, but the largest one is located in Skärholmen, south of Stockholm. Get lost in the world of IKEA Kungens Kurva and taste the eminent Swedish meatballs while you’re there.
If you’re not sure what to buy, then visit Drottninggatan, or Queen’s Street, the longest and most prominent street in Sweden. Full of vintage shops and stores for retail, shoes, technology and jewelry, you’ll be sure to find something of your liking here. There is also a large number of restaurants and cafés to grab a snack in case you get tired.
For those traveling during the winter holidays, visiting the Christmas market is a memorable experience in Stockholm, Sweden. There are many Christmas markets scattered around the city, but the main market is located on the Stortorget square in Gamla Stan. Handmade toys, ornaments, traditional Christmas food and concerts can be seen all over snowy Old Town!
Whether you’re looking for the perfect hotel, apartment or other type of accommodation, in Stockholm you can easily find it! Check some of your options below.
- Country dialing code: +46
- Tourist Info Stockholm: +46 8 508 285 00
- Emergency: 112
- Police: 11414
- Hospital: +46 8 587 010 00
- Medical Advice: 1177
- Pharmacy: +46 77 145 04 50