7 Experiences to Have in Stockholm!
There are so many great experiences to have in Stockholm that I don’t know where to begin, haha. Why was I in Stockholm? Other than the fact that it’s a gorgeous capital city? Well, this summer I went to Stockholm so I could attend TBEX. I wanted to grow as a travel blogger and thought I was ready to pitch to brands (spoiler alert: I wasn’t). Furthermore, I was super excited for the conference, because I wanted to learn more about the art of travel blogging (obviously) and whether or not my craft was up to date.
I haaate to admit it, but Stockholm’s attractions were a bit of an afterthought for me. Not to mention, I was easily overwhelmed by everything Sweden’s capital had to offer visitors, and couldn’t bring myself to plan too much in my free time. Honestly, guys, there are so many wonderful experiences to have in Stockholm that I wasn’t sure what to do with myself.
Despite my horrible lack of planning (don’t follow my example please), Stockholm had always been a destination lurking in the back of my mind for a solo trip. I’m a “not so secret” fan of Scandinavian design, after all, and briefly contemplated a spring break to Stockholm way back in 2015. To tell you the truth, more than once, I’ve psyched myself out of visiting Stockholm. I honestly thought a trip would cost too much money, and so I waited waited waited and waited… praying for my bank account to miraculously explode.
My bank account never grew to epic proportions, but when TBEX announced its destination as Stockholm, I decided to brace my finances and go anyway.
The wait? Worth it every second. I’m so glad I finally made it! Hopefully these seven incredible experiences to have in Stockholm will inspire you to stop waiting for your money to “be right” and book your next trip.
For more information, such advice on restaurants and accommodation, I’d grab a pocket guide to Stockholm. Meanwhile, this post will strictly focus on experiences and sights that I honestly think are worth visiting for any traveler. I know I loved them all!
Off we go!
1. Visit the Fotografiska in Stockholm
Fotografiska is one of my favorite attractions in all of Stockholm. Which is actually ironic.
Why? Well, when I was a kid, I hated when my mom forced me and my brother to pose for awkward pictures. Now I can’t go anywhere without a camera in my purse!
There’s no better way to indulge your love of photography than to visit the Fotografiska. Even if you’re not a photography buff, you ought to check out this amazing little museum. The exhibits are gorgeous, sleek black and white photos everywhere, and the rooftop cafe provides amazing views of Stockholm’s Old Town. I wish I had more time to spend here. I would even re-visit Stockholm just so I could go to this museum again.
Fotografiska is located in Stockholm’s Södermalm district on Stadsgårdshamnen 22.
Speaking of which…
2. Explore Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan)
Guh, I have a soft spot for European old towns. The lack of really old (old) buildings in the United States fuels my obsession with these pretty places.
Stockholm’s Old Town or Gamla Stan is super unique, in my humble opinion, because of its brightly colored and rather regal-looking architecture. And, trust me, you’ll have a great time getting lost via narrow cobblestone lanes. Go early, and beat the tourist crowds. Explore little nooks and crannies. During summer in Stockholm, the Old Town comes to life with musicians and other performers. I loved listening to music in the main square!
Gamla Stan’s many attractions include:
- Nobel Museum. We all know about the Nobel Prize. The museum is open every day except for holidays and Mondays, so time your visit well and don’t miss out.
- Stuténska huset. The picture perfect square centrally located in Stockholm’s Old Town. The red, orange, and yellow buildings are often splashed on Stockholm’s postcards and tourism advertisements.
- The Royal Palace. This baroque style palace has three museums, as well as a library. This royal palace is absolutely massive totaling 600 rooms divided between eleven floors. If you love palaces, you can’t miss this one!
3. The Vasa is Stockholm’s Coolest Experience
The Vasa is one of the few museums that literally took my breath away. Upon seeing the incredibly preserved 17th century ship, my jaw could’ve been picked off the floor. Just … wow.
You have to see this museum if you’re in Stockholm. It’s a really eye-opening place that truly takes you back in time.
I mean, for example, we’ve all learned about these epic ships in school, but I don’t think we ever realized just how gigantic these wooden vessels were in reality. The Vasa remains in amazing condition, giving you a peek into the past. Personally, I’m relieved that we can simply board a plane and fly to new locations – even if being in the air scares me! I don’t think I could have handled the conditions on board a ship such as the Vasa.
The Vasa museum is located at Galärvarvsvägen 14. Don’t miss the Vasa. It’s one of the most historically meaningful experiences to have in Stockholm. You’ll love it.
Staying in the region? Here are 20 Places to Visit in Scandinavia & the Nordics.
4. Enjoy Stockholm’s Water (and the Archipelago!)
Like many other travelers, I have a soft spot for cities scenically located on the water. New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen. Stockholm’s delightfully blue surroundings tugged at my heartstrings (and camera!) and I wish I had more time to enjoy this aspect of Sweden’s capital.
Walk along the water. Have a picnic. Even better, take a boat ride and see the capital’s buildings from the deck. If you have time to venture to the Archipelago or islands, do it! Stockholm may be a city, but its surrounding islands offer a getaway into Sweden’s spectacular nature.
The Archipelago is one of the best experiences to have in Stockholm. You’ll especially enjoy the water in the splendid summer months when the sun stays in the sky til late.
Wanna explore even more? Here are 55 things you can do in Sweden!
5. Go Green in Stockholm’s Eco Village
Are you ready to go beyond Stockholm’s city center? You need to in order to soak up the true essence of Stockholm.
With Context Travel, you can learn all about Stockholm’s eco village – Understenshöjden – up close.
I think this is one of the most unique experiences in Stockholm. This place is especially interesting for those of you who are deeply interested in sustainable and eco-friendly travel. In this unusual residential area of Stockholm, the dedicated locals have banded together in their devotion to help the environment through simple communal living. These housing projects, which are built with natural materials and surrounded by carefully tended for gardens, really make you think about the importance of sustainability and green energy.
And if you’re a fan of “Lord of the Rings,” you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Hobbiton without taking a plane all the way to New Zealand. So there’s that!
If you choose not to book a tour, you can reach Stockholm’s eco village on your own using public transportation. Take the metro and depart at Björkhagen T-bana. It is a quick walk to the village.
6. Pay Your Respects at Woodland Cemetery
Woodland Cemetery is one of the most thought provoking experiences to have in Stockholm. The Woodland Cemetery or Skogskyrkogården is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s well worth the trek outside of Stockholm’s city center.
To tell you the truth, my anxiety spikes in cemeteries, yet I still make a point to visit the famous ones whenever I’m in a new location. And I loved Skogskyrkogården’s calm, relaxed, and accepting approach to death.
Foresty beauty, such as hills and trees, fill the entirety of Skogskyrkogården. Wandering through this lush green landscape offers a chance for peaceful meditation. Additionally, many famous Swedes are buried here including film star Greta Garbo. This is totally one of the more unique experiences to have in Stockholm.
It’s easy to reach Woodland Cemetery using Stockholm’s metro system. Get off at Skogskyrkogården and then it is a quick walk to the cemetery.
7. Soak up Contemporary Stockholm
As for your final experience in Stockholm, make sure to venture beyond the spiffy Old Town and see what makes today’s Stockholm special. Personally, I love the Old Town, I do, but you need to see other neighborhoods to get a true picture of Stockholm.
It’s a super contemporary city, which I personally love! For example, I stayed right in Haymarket, which made exploring central Stockholm easy. I had access to lots of shops, food trucks, and street sculptures. You can even see the exact spot on Sveavägen where Sweden’s prime minister, Olof Palme, was assassinated.
And don’t forget to take a trip on Stockholm’s Blue Line to see some nifty subway art! You can ogle at some unique designs for the cheap price of a metro ticket. Many stations have art so see more than one.
Finally, one of the coolest things I saw in Stockholm’s contemporary areas, was a public library just for teenagers to hang out. It gave them a safe space to meet friends and be themselves. As a teacher, it was touching to see tax money put to such compassionate and practical use.
I loved all my experiences in Stockholm and still have much more to see. Have you ever visited Sweden’s capital? Perhaps you’ve been to some of these postcard worthy sights?
How about Sweden? Planning a visit? I highly recommend a visit in the near future. Also, feel free to share your own incredible travel experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
Many thanks to Context Travel for the magnificent tour of the Eco Village and Woodland Cemetery.
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