There are few cities that truly stole my heart and Stockholm is one of them

10 Ways To Have A Great Time When You Visit Stockholm

I always like the places I travel to. Thanks to my natural curiosity, I want to go everywhere and I always try to see the best in each country I visit. But I don’t always fall in love with them, there are only a few cities where I would return in a heartbeat, the kind that I would visit any day and night and wouldn’t even think twice if someone asked me to go. Before my last trip to Northern Europe, my mom asked what city I think I would like the most and I had a feeling it will be Stockholm. Now that I came back home, I can confirm that 100%, I am absolutely and completely in love with Stockholm. Whenever this happens, it’s more than just about a pretty city. It’s about the way the people are and how I felt while I was there. But that’s a story for another post. For now, I’d like to tell you 10 things you can do in Stockholm to have a wonderful time.

1. Wander on the beautiful streets of Gamla Stan

The Old Town of Stockholm is truly gorgeous, with its medieval alleys, 13th century buildings and cobblestone streets, you could easily wander around for hours, discoveringย at every corner your new favorite bakery, restaurant or sci-fi book shop (or maybe that’s just me ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Be careful though, since it’s filled with tourists, there are places that have adjusted their prices accordingly (not all of them though, I had a very lovely and reasonably priced dinner there).

2. Go for a fika

I just love that the Swedish have a special word for “hanging out with your friends, drinking coffee and eating pastries”. Who wouldn’t love that, the cinnamon rolls and chokladboll (literally chocolate balls) are delicious, combine them with coffee and a good conversation and you’ll have a perfect way to spend an afternoon. I met my friend Irma (creator of the Imy comic and my lovely banner), for a fika, for the first time after talking online for about 7 years (has it really been that long?!). We had fun talking about anything from Sweden, to comics and Eurovision, I had no idea when the time passed by. ๐Ÿ˜€

3. See the lazy seals at Skansen

Skansen is the world’s first open air museum and it shows life in different parts of Sweden, replicating a 19th century village. It also has a zoo with Scandinavian animals and I would be lying if I said that the village was my favorite part (although it was a lot of fun trying to walk on stilts). What I liked the most were the funny animals, including that one lazy seal that would not move for anything in the world. You can also see brown bears, moose, reindeer and wolves, as well as go inside a beautiful 1730 wooden church, try yummy pastries and Swedish bread and buy some seals. Plush seals, don’t get the wrong idea!

4. Take a cruise around the islands

The city is spread across 14 islands, so why not go on a cruise and see some of them from the water. You guys know already how much I love these cruises so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I recommend this one. You get headphones and listen to interesting explanations about the places you see in the language you choose. It’s a great way to see more in a short time, but also to relax your sore feet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. Learn about the Vasa Ship

Imagine you spent two years working on a project, making it look perfectly. Then when you decide it’s ready and make a test, it fails after a couple of minutes. What the hell happened? This is the story of the imposing Vasa ship which sank after only 120 meters from the shore and was salvaged more than 300 years later. The water at that time was highly polluted and that lead to the conservation of the ship. At the Vasa Museum, you can learn all about the ship, as well as each member of the crew.

6. Go on the crazy rides at Grona Lund

Grona Lund is Sweden’s oldest amusement park, dating from the 19th century. It houses seven roller coasters (including a wooden one and one that is literally called Insane!) and many other attractions. I didn’t feel as courageous (or maybe I have just gotten older) and only went for Kรคttingflygaren (The Wave Swinger, pictured) and trying my luck at winning a 2kg chocolate or pack of jelly beans. I was SO close to coming back with something that would have definitely been over my hand luggage limit!

7. Have a picnic in a park

Stockholm has many parks and if you combine that with sunny weather, you have the perfect combination for a picnic. Well, it rained a bit for us, but we still had an amazing time, trying delicious traditional food, thanks to our Swedish friends. We chose Skinnarviksparken as the picnic spot, which is a bit of a hidden gem, considering Google Maps doesn’t even know it. Located on the Sรถdermalm island, it has a gorgeous view of the city and it’s also located near the Monteliusvรคgen viewpoint which is the perfect spot for pictures! ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can check out here more picnic locations in Stockholm.

I’d like to thank Anna, Paul, Peter and Lars once again for such a warm welcome to their beautiful country! ๐Ÿ™‚

8. See the fantastic subway stations

When I visit a new city and have to get around by public transportation, I’m always faced with a dilemma: do I go with the fast way, the subway, or the slower way that gives me the chance to see more of the city? In Stockholm however, you have to travel by subway. Not only is it efficient, but some of the stations are true works of art. Granted, I’ve only seen a few on the blue line, but can you look at the pictures above and say that you don’t want to go?

9. Eat traditional Swedish Candy

Located in Gamla Stan, just a few steps away from the subway station, there is a little shop that will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time, to the 19th century. At Polkagriskokeri you can see how the world famous “polkagris”, red-white peppermint candy cane is made by hand and even make your own! They have so many different types and we settled on buying a lot of candy for the kids back home and by that I mean, of course, we bought a lot of candy for ourselves.

10. See the Stockholm Archipelago

Granted, you have to get out of Stockholm for this one, but it’s totally worth it. The Stockholm Archipelago is formed by over 30000 islands, all with a different story and each one more charming than the other. There are even ways to see them on a tight schedule, by visiting islands that are only 30 minutes away from the city. I was lucky to see the stunning archipelago while coming into the city by ferry, I was the only one on deck and it was a sight to remember. Sometimes it pays off to wake up early! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Stockholm Card is a great way to save money while visiting the city, you can see all the attractions above and travel by public transportation for free, but it will be discontinued after December 31st 2015. So you should hurry and visit the city this year! Maybe you’ll be lucky and see the Northern Lights as well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope I’ve managed to make you interested in visiting Stockholm, or if you’ve been already, to look back on your time there and the memories you’ve made. It’s not often that I leave a city desperately wanting to return, but that’s how much the capital of Sweden has impressed me.

Have you ever been to Stockholm? Was it love at first sight as well?

Disclaimer: I was offered a Stockholm Card by Visit Stockholm, but falling in love with the city was entirely my doing.

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  • That fat-ass seal and the archipelago are my favorite parts. I would be so tempted to swim accross and pet the little bugger, he is sooooo cute! So, are the bears just walking around among people? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • That seal was adorable, but the plush one I got is way cuter! Yes, the bears are all over town ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Liz

    Great post on Stockholm! I started getting hungry at number 2 – go for a fika!

    • I got hungry writing this post too!

  • Vlad, I love everything about this post. To be honest, I have never given a lot of attention to Sweden or other countries in Northern Europe. However, I keep reading and seeing great posts about places like Stockholm. On top of that, I had a coworker from there and she told me about all the fun things to do in the city. Seems like my interest had gone up after that. Plus, the airfare from Los Angeles is not that bad considering the distance.

    • Thank you! Stockholm is one of the nicest places in Europe, I liked it a lot more than other hot spot destinations like Paris or London ๐Ÿ™‚

  • LydiaCLee

    Wow- those metros are fabulous!! I really want to go to Stockholm…(I had those stilts as a kid…my dad made them!)

    • The metro stations were great, next time I’ll hop on a metro, go from station to station and see them all ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I am always a fan of slowing down and taking in the views and having a picnic with the views of Stockholm sounds amazing. Plus, I am a fan of street art and the subway stations definitely fulfills that. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and adventures.
    BTW, love your header. It goes hand and hand with your blog name! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you, Constance! I love my header too and it was actually made by someone who lives in Stockholm ๐Ÿ˜€ Having a picnic in Stockholm is such a lovely experience.

  • contented traveller

    I think it would be love at 1st site for me also. I love the subway stations in Stockholm, they may even be better than some of the ones in Paris.

    • They’re definitely better than the ones in Paris, they are a lot cleaner than most of the ones in Paris. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • the first one is still my best. I am from Vietnam then the atmosphere at the Stockholm streets, made by the Western architecture, Stockholm shops, Stockholm people bring the greatest feeling to me.

    • The atmosphere in the old town of Stockholm is truly special indeed!:)

  • Natalie Tanner

    Wow! Stockholm wasn’t even on my radar as a destination but this looks like so much fun! The subway alone is amazing and what kid wouldn’t like to make their own candy cane? Also, I had no idea the city was on a series of islands. VERY interesting post! Thanks!

    • The candy store was so awesome, although dangerous for kids, because they will want to eat everything ๐Ÿ˜€ I know I wanted to, haha.

  • Very cool. We visited Stockholm for a short weekend several years ago and are looking forward to going back next year for #TBEX. Thanks for reminding me while Stockholm is worth visiting. For me, I really enjoyed exploring the history of the Nobel Prize around the city.

    • I was considering TBEX too, but I think I’m gonna trade that and try to go to Eurovision, as I always wanted to go. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Weโ€™ve actually never been to Stockholm together, but would love to! We almost did last year when we were driving around looking for castles. Sweden is a great country for a road trip, maybe because itโ€™s quite similar to Norway?!

    • I’ve seen so many similarities between Oslo and Stockholm, maybe it’s because they used to be one country a while ago. I’d love to do a road trip in both countries ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Victoria@celebratetheweekend

    Your post makes me want to go- beautiful pictures! I have never been that far north in Europe but one of these trips for sure.

    • Thank you, the north of Europe is truly gorgeous!

  • Your post made me miss Stockholm…I love the list. I did almost everything from it, except from the archipelago…I was there on a work trip and I had a very limited time…but still, it was great. Also, I loved the Photography Museum, Fotografiska. It’s one of the best photography exhibition halls I’ve seen in Europe….

    • I wanted to go to Fotografiska as well, as I heard it’s really cool. But I also had limited time and I was the only one in my group who wanted to see it, so we chose other sights.

  • I think I moved to the wrong country because Taiwanese people do not do fikas. To me, a fika sounds perfect (especially if there is chocolate involved)!!

    • I think every country should do fikas, there would be less evil in the world if that happened, haha.

  • Carol

    Brought back great memories of our trip to Stockholm last year-Gamla Stan, the Vasa, Skansen, the islands. Missed Grona Lund and the picnic in the park.but I am glad I didn’t get the chance to have those candies! Would have busted my diet!

    • Grona Lund is a lot of fun, even if you don’t like the rollercoasters, although it can be a little pricy.

  • I have never been to Stockholm, but I would love to go. Skanen sounds like a lot of fun and the buildings are beautiful.

    • Skansen is indeed a lot of fun, you could easily spend hours there. Some of my friends actually spent 7 hours, going inside each house.

  • Amanda & Brian

    We have not been to Stockholm but it seems we need to go! We’d love to go for a fika and those candy shops have me drooling. It seems like they may some of the nicest subways I have ever seen, they look quite clean and colorful from your photos!

    • I don’t think I even visited the most beautiful subway stations, there are so many and each one is special. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Stockholm looks beautiful! I haven’t visited but it is definitely on my list! Thank you for the tips!

    • I’m glad you liked the post and I hope you can visit the city soon!

  • Erin Ek Rush

    I visited Stockholm about 10 years ago and also loved it! You got some fab photos – I think fika should be a part of everyone’s vocabulary. #MondayEscapes

    • Thank you, I agree with you, everyone needs the word fika ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Stockholm looks great – moving higher and higher up my must visit list by the day!

    • Hope you can visit soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Phoebe Thomas

    I’m in love with Stockholm too and just like you it was love at first sight. I’ve been twice, both times in summer, now I need to go in winter for a different experience. Your photos are lovely and the word fika is excellent!

    • Thank you! I’m curious about what it’s like in winter, but summer is my favorite season and I bet the lovely weather was one of the factors that made me fall in love with the city.

  • I am dying to visit Sweden but haven’t made it there yet! Living in Germany makes it easy to visit all of the surrounding countries! Maybe next year! You have great recommendations for things to do which I will be adding to my future itinerary! #MondayEscapes

    • I hope you can visit Sweden soon, it’s such a beautiful country! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I knew you would love Stockholm ๐Ÿ˜€
    For me it was also love at first sight, and a place I love to return too!
    I still need to do some these things you did… like the picnic, last time I went it was tooooo cold for that ๐Ÿ˜€
    Love your pictures! A boat ride in Stockholm is a must!

    #MondayEscapes

    • Are you going to TBEX next year? I was considering, but I think I’m going to go for Eurovision (or at least try to) and see if I can visit Gรถteborg as well ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Your post makes me want to go to Stockholm! The Stockholm Archipelago looks beautiful and I LOVE that they have a word for hanging out with friends, drinking coffee, and eating pastries! I might just have to add it to my personal vocabulary and start using it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s such a great word! ๐Ÿ˜€ And their pastries are absolutely delicious!

  • Laia

    I love Stockholm! I lived in Sweden (in Gothenburg) and visited many places in northern Europe… Stockholm was my favorite and one of my favorite cities in the world. Happy to hear that you enjoyed it too! Reading your post I got back nice memories, including the cinnamon rolls ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Next time I visit Sweden I want to go to Gothenburg as well, it looks like a very lovely city ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Aww, this post makes me want to go back to Stockholm. I loved it there! #MondayEscapes

    • I want to go back as well, I had such a great time! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Lucy Dodsworth

    Stockholm looks gorgeous โ€“ I have a thing about waterside cities and this looks like a beauty. So far I have almost made it there twice this year (first ended up as Copenhagen instead and second ended up as Iceland) but third time lucky hopefully!

    • I love waterside cities as well ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m sure you would love Stockholm, let’s hope we can both go next year (Eurovision, maybe? ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  • I haven’t made it to Stockholm yet but your post is very tempting – I loved Copenhagen too so maybe I need to check out its neighbours… #MondayEscapes

    • I’m sure you would love Stockholm since you loved Copenhagen as well. Since I visited Copenhagen after Stockholm, I didn’t love it as much, but I definitely enjoyed visiting the city.

  • Looks amazing, definatly on my must visit list!

  • We have been wanting to visit Scandinavia but haven’t been any further north in Europe than Netherlands yet. So thanks for rubbing it in that you had a great time in Stockholm. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    How was the food?

    • I won’t win any points for taking so long to answer to a comment (sorry about that!). The food in Stockholm was great, I stopped at a little place in the Old Town and what I ordered was absolutely delicious and the price was good, considering it was in one of the most expensive cities in Europe.

  • Love these pictures! I want to go!

    • I hope you can visit Stockholm, it’s a gorgeous city ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aditi Shukla

    As usual, another grt post with awsm pics! ๐Ÿ™‚

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