The Seven Must See Places In Stockholm

Stockholm is one of the most picturesque cities anywhere.  It is surrounded by water as it sits on several islands between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea.  The gorgeous natural setting is only enhanced by the wonderful and diverse styles of architecture.  Stockholm has a Medieval city center, a baroque palace rivaling the best in the world, as well as some contemporary masterpieces of art and architecture. Here are some of the top places that should be on anyone’s must see list in Stockholm.

The narrow alleys of Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

Stockholm’s medieval old town or Gamla Stan is at the top of any must do Stockholm.  Dating back to the 1200’s, Gamla Stan is the heart of the city and home to many of the top attractions.

The Royal Palace is open to the public and hosts a popular changing of the guard.  The Nobel Museum showcases the winners of the prestigious prize in various categories and showcases a Nobel Prize history, which is named after the famous Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.

The best way to spend your time is to simply wander the narrow alleys and soak in the old town.  Many eateries and shops call Gamla Stan home and worth a visit, if only to browse.  It can get crowded and touristy, but still oozes in charm.


Stockholm’s City Hall or Stadshuset stands out prominently in a city full of great architecture.  Opening in 1923, the 348 foot tall building is on the eastern tip of Kungsholmen island and overlooks neighboring Gamla Stan.

The impressive brick façade and golden topped tower are distinguishing features of the exterior.  A guided tour allows visitors to see the interior which includes the Blue Hall where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held and the famous Golden Hall featuring 18 million gold leaf mosaic’s.

Vasa Museum

The Vasa battleship was built to be the shining star of the Swedish naval fleet.  While spectacular looking it was poorly designed and only 1400 yards into its maiden voyage, sank to the bottom when a gust of wind tipped her over.  Nearly 300 years later, it rose from the depths of Stockholm harbor aided by large pontoons.

The impressive ship is largely intact and has become Scandinavia’s most popular museum.  In addition to the ship itself, the museum contains artifacts recovered from the ship along with others dating back to the 17th Century. 

Overlooking Djurgarden park


Known as the garden island, the Djurgarden was once the Royal family’s hunting ground.  Now it is home to some of the top attractions in the city and available to everyone.  Worthwhile museums include the afore mentioned Vasa Museum, Nordic Museum, Skansen Open Air Museum, and the ABBA Museum.  Other places to visit are Grona Lund amusement park and the Royal Djugarden Park.  It is a wonderful place to take a break or casually stroll explore as you museum hop.    

At the edge of Östermalm overlooking the harbor.


One of the wealthiest neighborhood’s in Stockholm, Östermalm has lots to see and do.  Here you can find some great architecture, fine dining, and plenty of museums. The Historiska Museet or Swedish History Museums houses a massive collection on Viking history.   Another worthwhile museum is the Armémuseum or Swedish Army Museum.

Dramaten is the Swedish National theater where you can see some of the best of Swedish performing arts.  If music is more your thing than seeing a performance at Berwardhallen is for you. 

Bibliotekstan is Stockholm’s high end shopping district.  The Östermalm Food Hall is a popular stop to grab a bite to eat and Humlegården provides a place to relax.  If you prefer to dance the night away, Östermalm is home to the cities hottest nightclubs. 

Drottningholm Palace

Sitting outside the city center, Drottingholm Palace makes for a great day trip.  Like many of Stockholms top sites, it sits along the waterfront, in this case Lake Mälaren.  The palace served as the Swedish royal family’s summer residence throughout the 18th century and now is the families private residence. 

The Baroque style palace and gardens draws obvious comparisons to the Palace of Versailles which it was inspired by.  Be sure to not miss the neighboring Drottningholms Slottsteater or theater.

One of the many islands in the Archipelago

Stockholm Archipelago

Most large cities have places to get away from it all, but none are like the gift that the Stockholm Archipelago provides.  Within minutes of leaving the harbor, you are transported into a nature’s wonderland consisting of more than 30,000 islands.  Many feature only a handful of cottages, while others have small towns.

Commuter ferries act as taxi’s with a view as they usher visitors from island to island.  Among the most popular islands to visit are Vaxholm, Grinda, and Sanhamn.  The Archipelago is a great day trip or can become a whole multi-day trip of its own as you hop from island to island.

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