Stockholm Travel Guide and Tips: All you need to know

stockholm průvodce / stockholm bez cestovky

Stockholm Travel Guide and Tips: All you need to know I would never have guessed before how photogenic and picturesque it is. Spread out on islands, with a harbour lined with boats, the historic colourful houses form a perfect contrast to the modern and dynamic city. Check out our guide to getting around Stockholm, practical information on public transport, top sights, food, safety and other useful tips.

Why visit Stockholm?

Scandinavia is known for its style and design. And Stockholm is a perfect example of this. Whether you’re in the old town or the modern parts of the city, design and style radiate from every corner.

Stockholm is a city of museums, new attractions, parks, art. It is spread over 14 islands connected by over 50 bridges. This is why the locals call it beauty on the water. It is quite possible that you may want to move here after your visit.

It’s clean, safe, great amenities and the people are friendly.

Stockholm guide

But not just to brag. Stockholm has one drawback. It’s so expensive here. It is undoubtedly one of the most expensive cities in Europe. If not the world. But even if it makes a nice hole in your wallet, you won’t regret it, because it’s worth it.

Practical information about Stockholm

Currency: the Swedish krona (SEK)

Paying: only 1% of payments in Sweden are made in cash. Many places only accept cards. Check in advance what fees your bank charges and what the exchange rates are so you don’t lose out.

Electric socket: In Italy they use electrical sockets type C, F and L. Types C and F are compatible with most sockets in Europe and are widely used in northern Italy (including in hotels). L sockets are mainly found in older houses. If you are travelling from the UK or Ireland, you will need a socket reducer. The electrical sockets are type C and F and are also suitable for the use of standard European plugs (2 shapes without middle pin).

Language: the official language is Swedish, but most Swedes speak it very well English so you can easily communicate.

Security: Sweden is 18th the safest country in the world. However, beware of pickpockets, who are common in all major cities around train stations and on public transport.

The best things to do in Stockholm

What are the top places to visit in Stockholm? What must not be missed? Allow 2-4 days to explore Stockholm in more depth. Believe me, you won’t be bored here.

If you don’t plan to leave the capital, you can do the highlights in two days, but it was a shame not to visit the Stockholm archipelago or the beautiful nature that surrounds the city.

Gamla Stan

Not visiting Gamla Stan in Stockholm is like not seeing it in Rome Colosseum or in Big Ben in London . It all started in Gamla Stan. It is the oldest part of Stockholm and has been shaped since the Middle Ages.

The cobbled and winding streets, cosy cafes and colourful aristocratic houses you’ll see in every other photo of Stockholm.

It looks best in the early evening or early morning, when the centre is empty and you are just walking through hidden alleys with lots of architectural elements from lamps to doors to shutters.

Be sure to visit the quiet Prästgatan street with its pastel-coloured houses, which is popular for filming due to its authenticity. You will also find the narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, which is 90 cm wide. It’s very easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled.

The most popular shopping street in Gamla Stan is Västerlånggatan, which runs through the centre of the district. It’s pretty crowded, so if you’re looking for something quieter with quaint boutiques, try Österlånggatan.

Royal Palace (Kungligaslottet)

On the eastern side of the old town, the Gamla Stan Royal Palace dominates. The royal family may not live here, but it is still worth a visit. The combination ticket will take you to the ticket office, the reception room or the museum.

The open-air museum

Skansen in Stockholm is the oldest open-air museum in the world. It consists of more than 150 farms, dwellings and craft workshops that immerse you in the history of Sweden, which is why it is called Sweden in miniature. It is a place not to be missed when travelling with children.

Also because of the local Nordic zoo, where you can see moose, reindeer, bears, wolves, wolverines and lynx. There are concerts in the summer and Christmas markets in the winter.

Vasa Museum (Vasa museet)

The most visited museum in Scandinavia. Vasa is a former battleship that was wrecked just 1 mile after setting sail. She has been on the seabed for 333 years and is now the only such well-preserved ship from the 17th century. century.

The ship dazzles visitors with its rich decoration of 500 statues and 200 ornaments. The statues represent biblical figures, characters from Greek mythology, sea monsters, Swedish nobility and royal badges. In addition to the ship, you can see exhibitions about life on a ship and how Stockholm in the 17. century lived.

Nobel Museum

Who does not know the most prestigious awards in the world in terms of academic, scientific and cultural progress. And in this museum, you can find out why more than 600 Nobel Prizes have been awarded.

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace, or Queen’s Palace, is one of Stockholm’s three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The palace is the private residence of the royal family, but it is open to the public all year round.

The adjacent gardens with the Chinese pavilion and the theatre are also worth a visit.

STockholm sights

Nordiska Museum = Nordiska Museet

The Nordiska Museet offers a wide range of Swedish culture and art. It is Sweden’s largest cultural history museum, housed in an electric castle in the Renaissance Revival style from 1907. In addition, it houses the largest collection of paintings by the iconic Swedish artist August Strindberg.

Stockholm Metro

Yes, I really mean it. Stockholm’s metro has over 100 stations, and 90 of them are perfect for a show. This is why the local metro is considered the longest art gallery in the world. It is a pleasure to travel here by public transport.

Stockholm archipelago

The Stockholm archipelago is 20,000 islands scattered in the Baltic Sea near Stockholm. Only 200 of them are permanently inhabited, and on most of them you will experience perfect tranquillity in unspoilt Scandinavian nature.

Stockholm guide

You can get here as part of a trip, but they are often quite greasy. Moreover, most companies only organise them in the summer and early autumn. You can visit the islands all year round. Buy your own ferry ticket – prices range between 50-100 SEK depending on the island you choose – Stockholm – Stockholm Archipelago tickets .

Read our detailed article about it, What to see in Stockholm (entrance fees, opening times, photos, map, tips).

How to get to Stockholm?

Stockholm has very good air connections to major European cities. You can fly into the following airports:

  • Arlanda Airport, which is the closest airport to Stockholm and serves the most flights
  • Skavsta Airport is located 100 km southwest of Stockholm
  • Västerås Airport – a very small airport more than 100 km northwest of Stockholm

How to get from the airport to central Stockholm

The cheapest way to get from both airports is by bus Flygbussarna which will take you to the Cityterminalen (next to the main station).

From Arlanda Airport, a one-way ticket costs SEK 129 (for children aged 8-17 and SEK 119) and takes 45 minutes. The bus runs every 20 minutes, at night usually every half hour.

The small Skavsta airport is 100 km away, so the journey to central Stockholm will take a lot longer – 80 minutes and a one-way ticket costs 219 SEK (for children 8-17 years and 199 SEK). The bus always leaves 30-45 minutes after arrival.

The same prices as for Skavsta Airport also apply for Västerås Airport.

Transport and metro in Stockholm

Despite being spread over 14 islands, Stockholm’s public transport works exactly as it should. It’s compact, safe and perfectly interwoven thanks to the metro (in Stockholm it’s called the tunnelbana metro), ferries, buses, overground trains and trams (only on the island of Djurgården).

Trams in Stockholm
Trams in Stockholm
Subway signs in Stockholm
Subway signs in Stockholm
Turnstiles in the Stockholm metro
Turnstiles in the Stockholm metro

Public transport in Stockholm offers several types of tickets:

  • one-way ticket valid for 75 minutes for SEK 39 (discounted fare for SEK 26)
  • 24-hour ticket with unlimited travel for SEK 165 (discounted rate SEK 110)
  • 72 h ticket with unlimited travel for 330 SEK (discounted rate 220 SEK)
  • 7-day ticket with unlimited travel SEK 430 (discounted rate SEK 290)

The ticket is valid for all public transport including ferries.

The easiest way to buy a ticket is with your contactless card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.). You attach the card to a reader, which you can find on buses or at the barriers on the metro, boats or trains. Wait for the reader to turn green.

This will buy you a ticket valid for 75 minutes. Even if you change cards (and thus reattach the card to the reader) during this time, you only pay once.

You can only use one contactless card for one person at a time. At the same time, please also observe the payment method for boarding and alighting (e.g. at the metro), i.e. not to swipe your card when you board and Google Pay when you exit.

Another easy option is the app, which you simply download and choose which type of ticket you want (single, day or multi-day). Then you just scan the card from the app on the reader before boarding.

Useful links about transport in Stockholm:

Accommodation in Stockholm

Stockholm is large, so it is better to choose your accommodation strategically. If you are planning to visit Stockholm for the first time, I would recommend staying in the Södermalm or Norrmalm districts. Norrmalm is a modern area where you have the huge shopping artery of Drottninggatan with its shops, restaurants and parks at your fingertips.

Södermalm has an artistic atmosphere with shops, boutiques and cafés. Locals often congregate here too, so you have the chance to get to know the real Scandinavian life better.

Stockholm guide

LUXURY: Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel: From this hotel you will enjoy the most beautiful view of Stockholm. Plus, it has a great central location, a short walk from the train station and within walking distance of Gamla Stan. Rich breakfast, great service and cosy rooms with comfortable beds and private bathrooms.

Beautiful views from the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel

MID-RANGE: Hotel Generator Stockholm: This sustainable and stylish hotel is located a short walk from the main train station in the Norrmalm district. Still, it’s quiet at night and you’ll sleep well. They have excellent breakfasts and offer a wide range of accommodation from rooms for 2 to larger family suites.

MID-RANGE: Hotel Ibis Styles: Cosy and clean rooms in the Vasastan district, which is ideal for those looking for a quieter area and affordable accommodation. With public transport you are in the centre in a few minutes, as well as at the main train station.

Hotel ibis Styles

BUDGET/MID-RANGE: Castle House Inn: Comfortable, stylish hotel right in the historic center with everything at your fingertips. There is a choice of rooms with private or shared bathrooms, so even those travelling on a budget can choose.

BUDGET: Den Röda Båten: Very popular accommodation in comfortable cabins on a boat in the centre of Stockholm. Within walking distance to the station and with a beautiful view from the cabin window. Breakfast, restaurant, wifi included.

Accommodation in cabins on Den Röda Båten

Prices and food in Stockholm

In a cheaper restaurant, you’ll pay around 130 SEK for lunch, 22.50 SEK for water and 70 SEK for a domestic beer. Dinner in a restaurant for two ranges from SEK 600-1200.

The average prices of basic foodstuffs are as follows:

  • Milk 1 l – 15,22 SEK
  • White bread 500 g – 28,76 SEK
  • Eggs 12 pcs – 39,86 SEK
  • Cheese 1 kg – 102,52 SEK
  • Chicken breast 1 kg – 121,94 SEK
  • Bananas 1 kg – 26,38 SEK
  • Water 1,5 l – 15,14 SEK
  • Potatoes 1 kg – 14,54 SEK

Swedish cuisine is based mainly on dishes of herring, reindeer, smoked salmon, elk, meatballs.

You can also try the Swedish national drink, aquavit, at lunch. It is distilled from potatoes or grain and flavoured with herbs and spices (most commonly cumin).

Or try the street food, which is excellent here and starts at around 50 SEK. For a snack or a quick lunch, 7-Eleven and Pressbyran are great chains where you can also get vegetarian and vegan meals, salads, hot dogs or bagels. 7-Eleven has good yogurts with muesli and fruit.

Stockholm guide

The food from the mobile vans on the Hornstulls Marknad . It’s also a flea market right on the waterfront. It is open on weekends 11:00-17:00.

Restaurants offer lunch buffets around midday, where you can eat for around SEK 130. It’s a popular choice with the locals, so it fills up fast. Try, for example, buffet restaurants Herman’s in the Södermalm district and Hermitage in Gamla Stan.

Want to blend in with the locals? Have a fika. That’s what the locals call the afternoon ritual of having coffee with a cinnamon bun. They stop and enjoy a moment of leisure. Alone or with friends.

There are drinking fountains all over the city, so you can refill your bottle anywhere. Moreover, the water here is one of the cleanest in the world.

When to visit Stockholm?

The main season here runs from June to August. The busiest month ever is August. The summer temperatures are pleasant and the days are long.

Do you want to explore the city in peace? Choose to visit in spring (April, May) or autumn (September, October). There are noticeably fewer tourists and the temperatures are pleasant.

From November onwards, temperatures start to get colder in Stockholm, so if you want to experience Stockholm under a white blanket, this is the perfect time.

There’s a real Scandinavian Christmas atmosphere during Advent, plus free ice skating on the public skating rinks in the city parks during the winter months. Just keep in mind that the days are much shorter. On the other hand, entrance fees to sights and accommodation are usually cheaper.

Stockholm guide

How to save in Stockholm?

Stockholm is one of those places where a few tips on how to save money really come in handy.

Stockholm Pass – A tourist card that gives you free entry to a wide range of sights, attractions and museums. Admission fees can be a pain in Stockholm, and if you’re planning to visit more than one place, the Stockholm Pass can save you a lot of money.

Most sights, museums and attractions offer reduced admission for students, and children and young people are often free up to the age of 18.

Street food – Stockholm is famous for its food. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re splashing around in a fancy restaurant or a moving truck on the street. There is one big difference – you pay many times less on the street.

Avoid restaurants along the main shopping thoroughfare of Drottninggatan and in the old town of Gamla Stan. It has the most tourists, hence the highest prices.

Travel cards – standalone public transport tickets are expensive, so if you plan to use public transport more often, look for a travel card that gives you unlimited travel for a pre-selected number of days. Or take advantage of unlimited sightseeing bus or boat travel within Stockholm Pass .

Free sights – even in Stockholm you can visit places that are completely free: the National Library of Sweden, the National Museum and the Modern Museum.

Stockholm – map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Stockholm. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Stockholm guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

If you have a question about the Stockholm guide, let us know in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Stockholm

STOCKHOLM: See tips on what to see in Stockholm (entrance fees, opening times, map, photos). The Stockholm Pass is one way to save money in Stockholm.

HELSINKI: Check out the best places to visit in Helsinki (including a map and information

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