Stockholm Travel Guide
Wondering what to do in Stockholm? Prepared to be blown away by the number of enticing options. As the corporate and cultural headquarters of Nordic Europe, Stockholm is in the spotlight on the international stage. Medieval ruins and verdant parks share space with museums, important cultural institutions, world-class eateries.
Stockholm is one of the most museum-dense cities in the world—in all, there are over 100 museums in the city alone. The most famous is the Nationalmuseum, which holds Sweden's largest collection of art and artifacts. It is the primary caretaker of local artistic heritage, showcasing Swedish masters like Alexander Roslin, Carl Larsson, and Anders Zorn alongside other European painters like Rembrandt van Rijn. Sweden's Moderna Museet, or modern art museum, is also worth placement on any list of things to do in Stockholm. Visit it to see works by Picasso and Dali, amongst others. Stockholm's art scene is vibrant on the gallery level, too. The city is home to a number of internationally-recognized commercial galleries, the best of which are in the gallery district Hudiksvallsgatan.
Here's something outside the ordinary for your list of things to do in Stockholm: ride the metro. The Stockholm metro opened in 1950, and its stations are renowned for being artfully and creatively decorated. The 65.7 mile long system has been called the “longest art gallery in the world.”
Still wondering what to do in Stockholm? Try attending a sporting event. The national football arena, home of Sweden's beloved soccer team, is just north of the city center. Afterward, you can explore the old streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town and one of the few places in the city not transformed by modernism. The streets of Gamla Stan are still on the medieval layout and are the site several old churches, palaces, and mansions.
After 11 p.m., the black-and-white–“walled pan-Asian restaurant turns into a nightclub with techno beats, sexy lighting, and a creatively named cocktail menu. Don't leave without trying a Polish Waitress: peach liqueur, Campari, lemon, sugar, and orange juice.
Don't leave Stockholm without indulging in a real Swedish massage. At Sturebadet, masseurs knead out knots in treatment rooms surrounding a 1902 Art Nouveau pool.
The market transforms an anonymous corner of the hip Södermalm neighborhood into a bustling weekend fair, filled with vendors selling everything from antique embroidered linens to exquisite wooden dolls by Swedish toymaker Fredrik Hillerborg.
This shop carries an eclectic range of accessories by Swedish designers, including hand-printed dish towels and colorful kids' toys.
A meal among the city’s elite in Café Opera a gilded and frescoed salon with a rich, seafood-heavy menu, is a must. Then head through to the Opera House to catch a performance.
Karl Lagerfeld was so smitten with the duo's jewelry that he snatched up 11 designs for one of his recent collections. Their first store opened last December, where standouts include 18-karat-gold chicken-bone necklaces and gold-plated cuffs with circular cutouts.
An entire island is given over to this peaceful park, full of shaded walkways and encircled by paths that run along Baltic shores. Within its canopy of trees lie a zoo, theater, several museums (natural history, Nordic art), and restaurants with outdoor tables.
If you're lucky, you can catch a classical music concert at Stockholm's central cathedral. Take a seat on a wooden pew and enjoy the dusky evening light as it filters through the leaded glass windows and shimmers off the golden angels on the high brick ceiling. Divine.
At just over 594,000 square feet and four levels, the IKEA south of Stockholm in Skarholmen is both the company's first location and largest store in the world.
Echoing the scene outside, the interior is snow-white and theatrically lit.
A shrine to the whimsical patterned fabrics of the late Josef Frank, who became the store's designer in 1934. Choose from 45 of his vibrant animal, avian, or floral prints, and create a lampshade, sofa, or bag (the store will custom-make and ship your items home).
The Vasamuseet, located on Djurgarden, is the most popular museum in Sweden. It houses the Vasa, the oldest known completed ship, built in 1628 during the reign of King Gustavus Adolphus II.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as Woodland Cemetery, is one of Stockholm's most surprising architectural landmarks. Its rolling pine forest landscape holds memorials designed by two of Sweden's most important Modernists, Sigurd Lewerentz and Gunnar Asplund.
A store that specializes in handmade items by visually impaired artisans.