Things to do in Stockholm

Must-see Stockholm

Spread over 14 islands and connected by no fewer than 40 bridges, Stockholm is full of natural charm and absolutely packed with cultural delights. With so many things to do in Stockholm, the question is where to begin! This list is designed specifically to help guide you on what to do in Stockholm. 

  1. Visit one of Europe’s largest palaces
  2. Travel to Sweden’s pre-industrial past
  3. See Stockholm’s majestic City Hall
  4. Visit the mansion of a noble European family
  5. Explore Sweden’s largest art collection
  6. Experience the home of Sweden’s preeminent sculptor
  7. Wonder at the Vasa Warship
  8. For fans of modern art
  9. Are you a dancing queen? 

Whether you want to visit one of Stockholm’s many world-class museums, stroll the grounds of the first ever open-air museum or live out your ABBA fantasy (we know you have one), then Sweden’s scintillating capital is the place for you… Plan your journey now with these fantastic Stockholm holiday packages

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Rough Guides

1. Visit one of Europe’s largest palaces

The Royal Palace is the official residence of the King of Sweden, and with over 600 rooms and 5 museums, there’s plenty to keep you busy. The palace was built in the 18th-century in the Italian Baroque style and it’s a veritable photographer’s paradise.

Top tip: Be sure to visit the Armory, where royal costumes and armour are on display.

2. Travel to Sweden’s pre-industrial past

The world’s first and most famous open-air museum, Skansen was created by Artur Hazelius in 1891, with the idea of establishing a kind of miniature Sweden, showing how Swedish people, from farmers to aristocrats, lived and worked during different eras.

Top tip: The museum is host to the Nordic Zoo with bears, wolves and elk. If you visit in spring, you will be able to see the animals with their babies.

3. See Stockholm’s majestic City Hall

One of the city’s most famous buildings, the Stadshuset rises gracefully and dramatically from the shore of Lake Mälaren. Artists and craftsmen from all over Sweden contributed to its creation, and it has become a fitting symbol – almost an architectural hymn to the city.

Top tip: Join a guided tour through the handsome interior of City Hall. Highlights include the Golden Hall, covered with striking mosaics, the huge glass-domed Blue Hall (which is actually red) where the Nobel Prize banquets are held, and the Prince’s Gallery, with murals executed by Prince Eugen.

4. Visit the mansion of a noble European family

Hallwylska Museum, completed in 1898, was built for Walter and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl. Wilhelmina was responsible for the amazing collections on display in the 70 perfectly preserved rooms, overflowing with Gobelin tapestries, china figurines, Flemish and Dutch paintings, antique furniture and assorted objets d’art.

Top tip: The guided tour is not to be missed: Wilhelmina left complex instructions in her will about it (including the exact length, to the minute).

5. Explore Sweden’s largest art collection

Recently renovated, the impressive Nationalmuseum contains paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings and prints. It’s a must see for any art buff and a great way to learn about Sweden’s rich history.

Top tip: As well as paintings by Rembrandt, El Greco, Rubens, Goya and Brueghel, you’ll find the works of important Swedish artists, including Carl Larsson, Anders Zorn and Bruno Liljefors.

6. Experience the home of Sweden’s preeminent sculptor 

Millesgården, the home, studio and garden of the late Carl Milles, is a work of art in itself. Milles was extremely fond of his place on the island suburb of Lidingö and spent his summers here. The beautifully terraced sculpture park provides the setting for replicas of Milles’ best work.

Top tip: Carl Milles died at the age of 80 in 1955, and both he and his artist wife Olga are buried in a small chapel here. 

7. Wonder at the Vasa Warship

Commissioned in 1625, this magnificent warship (housed in the Vasa Museum) was designed to be the most expensive and richly ornamented naval vessel of its era. The ship sank on its maiden voyage, where it sat until a huge salvage operation began in the 1950s. Today, visitors can see the ship from observation platforms at 7 different levels, and explore a fascinating collection of ornaments and other objects from the ship. This amazing attraction is widely considered to be one of the best things to do in Stockholm.

Top tip: Your ticket also gives you access to a steam powered 1915 icebreaker and a light ship dating from 1903, which are moored on the quayside.

8. For fans of modern art 

The Modern Art Museum is a stunning building designed by the prizewinning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and was inaugurated in 1998 to celebrate Stockholm’s role as the European City of Culture. The museum’s large collection of 20th-century art includes works by Léger, Matisse, Braque, Modigliani, Klee and Rauschenberg, as well as by such notable Swedish artists as Isaac Grünewald and Bror Hjorth.

Top tip: The benefit of the museum’s island location is best appreciated from its restaurant and café (with terrace), which afford wonderful waterside views thanks to generous floor to ceiling windows.

9. Are you a dancing queen?

Any visit to Stockholm would be incomplete without a visit to the hugely popular ABBA the Museum. This modern, interactive museum is a tribute to Sweden’s most popular band, showcasing its collected work. It’s a dream place not only for fans of hits such as ‘Dancing Queen’, but for all music lovers as they learn more about Swedish pop as a whole.

Top tip: Only a few steps away is Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s first-rate amusement park, where you will find rides, rollercoasters, shooting galleries and numerous restaurants, fast food outlets and bars.

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