Oh the Venice of the North. I may be biased but Stockholm is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It has it all: ancient history, great food, gorgeous people, and a ton to do. However, Stockholm is usually not a main tourist destination so people don’t typically stay in the city for long. Even in such a short amount of time, you can experience the city’s flavor.
Breakfast: Nybrogatan 38
This cozy little Mediterranean themed cafe has beautiful food. Also, the menu is pretty fairly priced which is an anomaly in Stockholm, which is known for its crazy meal prices.
Oh Vasa Musetet. I don’t understand why you are such a major destination but you are. The entire museum centers around an incredibly well preserved 17th century warship that sunk soon into its maiden voyage. Lines can be long, but once you are inside, it should take an hour max to see everything.
Just in front of the Vasa Museum, the Nordiska Museum offers a quick but thorough overview of what it means to be Swedish. Exhibits include holidays, clothing through the centuries, historic beers, and old marriage chest. My dad and I got through the entire place in an hour and a half.
Lunch: Pack it
To be honest, you will be in the middle of all of the most touristy part of Stockholm so restaurants will be overpriced. Either bring your own or take the tram towards T-Centralen and grab food around Kungstadsgarden.
I have a confession – I haven’t been here yet. None of my friends in Stockholm nor my boyfriend nor my dad are major Abba fans so if you come to town, hit me up and we can go together! Since I haven’t been here yet, here’s the link to their website.
Not only can you traipse around a faux Swedish village, complete with authentic homes and Swedish wildlife, you can hang out with lemurs. In their cage. If you don’t believe me, that’s a photo of my friend and I with the lemurs eating directly behind us. Be warned though, a weekly singing show called Allsang pa Skansen is filmed here every Tuesday during the summer so the park will be busy then.
Dinner: Sjätte Tunnan in Gamla Stan
In case you were wondering what the vikings ate, this is the place for you. Located in Gamla Stan, Sjätte Tunnan serves authentic food from the middle ages in what can only be described as an underground cavern. It is only open for dinner so be sure to make reservations!
This is my favorite park in Stockholm, which is saying alot (Stockholm is 1/3 city space, 1/3 water, and 1/3 parks). Nestled alongside the Baltic Sea and the opera house, this park has several cute restaurants and green open spaces for an impromptu picnic.
Tour of the Riksdag
Just a short walk from Kungstädgården, the Riksdag is the center of Swedish political life. They have free tours during the summer with knowledgeable tour guides in English. If you visit while it is in session, you can watch debates or hearings. This was my dad’s favorite part of our time in Stockholm and a great way of learning about Swedish politics.
Another highlight of our time was our walking tour of Gamla Stan, which gave us a fun inside perspective of the city. In fact, my boyfriend (who has lived in Stockholm for 6 years) said that we knew more about the city after the tour than he did! Within Stockholm, there are tons of different walking tours but I’ve included links to a few options:
Story Tours: Vary in length and location
National Geographic: Self-Guided of Gamla Stan
Free Walking Tour Stockholm: Free tours throughout the city
OurWay’s Old Town Walk: 1.5 hour tour of Gamla Stan
Changing of the guards
Protecting the Swedish royal family since the 16th century, the Royal Guard has a ceremony every single day around lunch time (12:15 in the summer, 1:15 in the fall/winter). My boyfriend and I stumbled across this my first time in the city and years later, this is still a great memory.
Lunch: Hermans Vegetarian Restaurant and Garden Café
First, if you are anything like my bf, you will immediately say “Vegetarian? Hell no.” and go somewhere else. And that would be a mistake for several reasons. First, the restaurant overlooks the entire city from a cliff. Two, they have unbelievable terraced outdoor seating. Three, they are an all-you-can-eat buffet. Four, their motto is “Give Peas a Chance” which is just adorable. Fifth,the food is amazing. I’ve included a link in English but their daily menu includes organic tea, rice, the most delicious bread ever, fantastic stews, and vegan deserts. Sometimes, they even have bbqs outside for dinner – which is also included!
Shopping in Sodermalm
Home to Stockholm’s working class until quite recently, this southern island has now become the hip (albeit gentrified) part of the city. Around Slussen, Mariatorget, and Medborgarsplatsen, there are hundreds of cool clothing, books, and music stores in-between cafes serving famous Swedish coffee. For more details, check out this Queens of Vintage post about vintage shopping in Stockholm.
Dinner: Gondolen Restaurang
What better way to end your stay than to eat at one of Stockholm’s best restaurants while taking in a beautiful view of the city. We went here for date night one time and were blown away by how amazing Stockholm looks from here. Since it is so famous and great, make sure to make reservations ahead of time!
Have you been to Stockholm? Did I miss something? Leave your comment below!