This is my current list of things to do and see if you happen to be visiting Stockholm for a weekend or a bit longer. The list is based on things we’ve seen, or that friends have found.
To get up-to-date tips, contact me directly or via Twitter (@gmwils).
- Vasa Museum — an old ship that has been preserved due to failure to launch. Interesting museum on maritime history. There are sometimes queues to get in, so may be worth a morning visit.
- Nordic Museum — provides a history of the nordic region, and is just near the Vasa Museum.
- Skansen — an open air museum / zoo / cultural centre. This whole park is quite large, so it is worth spending a full day, as there is lots to do. A good chance to see reindeer and moose in Stockholm.
- Fotographiska — a photography museum / gallery on Södermalm. Three floors of photography, with a nice café with a view of Stockholm on the top floor.
- Modern Art Museum — meant to be quite good, but still on my todo list.
- Gamla Stan - well worth half a day wandering around, see the palace, explore the streets. Almost everything is over priced, but then it is the main tourist district. It also has some of the better restaurants in town.
- Södermalm — itself is one of the nicer areas of Stockholm. The shore of the island on the south is a popular place for hanging out. There are lots of nice restaurants near Slussen on the northern side too. The cliffs above Slussen provide a good vantage point to see Galma Stan (old town) and the city in general.
- Östermalm — a nice area in between the city centre and Djurgården island (where the Vasa & Skansen are). Lots of nice cafés to pass the day in.
- Boat trips — there are ferries that shuttle between the various islands and make a nice way to get from Skeppholmen to Djurgården.
- Stockholm Archipelago — this city is all about islands, and there are a number of boat cruises that leave for the wider Archipelago. We visited Fjäderholmarna, which is small and close and made for a nice place to wander around. The article has some info on boats, they also depart from near Östermalm.
- Rival Hotel — the restaurant here is worth a visit, a short walk from Mariatorget station
- Gondolen — quite a cool location for a restaurant, suspended underneath a bridge near Slussen station. We went for drinks at their bar, which gives a good view of Stockholm. If you want a seat at the restaurant, it is worth booking ahead.
- Vete-Katten — Downtown is mostly shops, however if you’re wandering around and looking for somewhere for lunch, Vete-Katten has a great range of traditional Swedish cakes.
- Den Gyldene Freden — modern take on tradition Swedish food. We found the service to be friendly.
- Sturehof — interesting restaurant in Östermalm.
- Pelikan — Swedish home style food.
- Oliver Twist (House of Ale) — cozy pub in the midst of Södermalm with a good range of local beers and hearty pub food. Bookings recommended, although we’ve been lucky before.
- Djuret — means “the animal” in Swedish, and they only serve one animal at a time. Interesting concept, and has been recommended to me.
For suggestions of coffee places on Södermalm, check out this article.
To get around, it is worth getting tickets for the underground train line (Tunnelbana, abbreviated to large signs with a T). It runs pretty much everywhere and will make it easier to see the city.
To transfer from the airport, taxi works out cost effective if there are more than one person travelling. Otherwise, the train system is fast and easy to navigate.
For news in English about what is happening in Sweden, try The Local.
Almost everyone here speaks perfect English as their second language, so knowing some Swedish isn’t important. That said, some pleasantries always helps.
These few phrases will get you far:
- Hej (pron. “Hey!) — hello, or goodbye, general greeting.
- Hej då (pron. “Hey door”) — goodbye.
- Tack — thanks, and please. Pointing at something and saying tack, or saying tack after receiving something is common. You’ll hear this word a lot.
- Tack så mycket (pron. “Tack so mickey”) — thank you very much, often used at the end of transactions.