16 Unmissable Things to Do in Stockholm on Your Visit

Steve Cummings


Stockholm is a fantastic city to visit, with lots of cool stuff to do. 

Whether you're there for a weekend or longer, you will always have things to explore. Getting around is easy, too, with their unique metro stations that can take you all over the city.

We've compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Stockholm.

1. The Vasa Museu

The Vasa Museu
Credit: prescott10/Depositphotos

This has to take the top spot of things to do in Stockholm. From the pictures and reviews, you might be thinking, “Is this museum of a boat really that good?” Let us tell you, it is. We were blown away When we visited, and it can't be described until you visit the place. 

The ship is massive, and its detail is unreal. It's hard to think about the amount of work that went into it, only for it to sink on its maiden voyage in 1628.

We recommend booking your ticket online as this museum can get very busy, but it's worth going and should be near the top of your list of things to do in Stockholm.

2. The Viking Bar

The team at the Frugal Expat loves a good pint of beer, and we have tasted many over the years on our adventures. 

One of the standout bars for us in Stockholm was the Viking Bar. It can be found in the Old Town and has a lovely old feel. We were greeted by a guy who looked like a real-life Viking, about 6ft 5, with a massive beard. 

When you sit down to eat, he announces your family name to everyone else sitting down, and everyone cheers. The food here was great, and we also tried some mead, an old-fashioned form of alcohol. All the drinks are served in clay vessels, adding to the bar's authenticity. This is definitely one of the cool things to do in Stockholm.

3. Explore Gamla Stan (The Old Town)

Old Town of Stockholm
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Gamla Stan, Stockholm's historic old town, is like stepping back in time and is one of the free things to do in Stockholm.

It can be found on a central island and is the location of the magnificent Swedish Royal Palace. As you wander through Gamla Stan, you'll be walking past beautifully preserved buildings and down some of Sweden's narrowest alleys.

The architecture, a mix of structures from the 1700s and 1800s, adds to its allure. Gamla Stan isn't just about the past; it's alive with busy streets filled with cafes, shops, and a busy waterfront, ideal for sunset views.

If you can, time your visit to be at Christmas, as this is when Gamla Stan truly comes alive with its festive spirit enveloping the cobbled streets.

4. Abba Museum

The ABBA Museum is a fun place for both groups and solo visitors, and I think it should be on your list of things to do with families in Stockholm. 

If you've grown up listening to ABBA's music, you'll love the mini karaoke room where you can sing their songs, and it's a nostalgic trip, especially for those who've been fans since the 70s.

Even though there might be a line for tickets, it moves quickly. Inside, you can walk through ABBA's history and see its achievements. The museum has lots of cool stuff, like their personal items, costumes, and even cars, which are great for taking pictures.

One of the best parts is a room where you can pick an ABBA song and then sing and dance on stage with holograms of the band, and it feels almost real.

Admission is $26, which we think is pretty good!

5. Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Stockholm is one of the best things to see in Stockholm. 

You can get a ticket for SEK 160 either online or at the palace. This ticket gets you into two main areas – the treasury, where you can see the crown jewels and other royal items, and the living suites and apartments that are now part of the exhibitions. 

See if you can time your visit on a Saturday at noon, as you might also catch the changing of the guards in the front courtyard.

You'll find several museums with art, artifacts, and royal collections, including the crown jewels. 

You can get audio guides in many languages to learn more about everything you see, and we recommend you get one of these.

The building itself is vast and has beautiful Baroque architecture with statues and artwork on the outside, but be ready for a lot of walking and stairs, so wear comfortable shoes.

6. Kungsträdgården Park

Kungsträdgården Park
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Kungsträdgården Park is a beautiful garden right in the middle of Stockholm.

It's a peaceful spot with water bodies and statues, making it a nice break from the busy city center.

Around the park are plenty of restaurants and beer bars where you can relax and enjoy the view of this green oasis. It's a great example of how the Swedish government has kept history and nature alive in a modern city.

The park is a popular place and worth a visit when you're in Stockholm. You'll see lovely tulips blooming if you're there during the right season, like spring. 

7. Kungliga Djurgården

Kungliga Djurgården is one of the best places to visit in Stockholm. 

It's a massive park with gardens, historic buildings, theme parks, and a forest, and walking around Djurgården, you feel far away from the city. 

While exploring, you should check out the Rosendal Garden cafe, which is pretty in an old greenhouse. The cafe is surrounded by plant sheds and gardens where they grow their produce. 

There are so many things to see and do in Djurgården that you can easily spend a whole day there. One of the fun things to do in Stockholm is hopping on the electric scooters as it's an easier way to get around, and there's no traffic on this island.

8. Skansen

Skansen is one of the unique things to do in Stockholm, as it's the world's first open-air museum, which opened in 1891. 

It's like walking through five centuries of Swedish history, and the park has over 150 historical buildings and dwellings from all across Sweden, which have been taken apart and put back together at Skansen over an area of 300,000 square meters.

You'll meet people dressed in clothes from different historical periods, and you can even watch traditional Swedish people dancing in the evenings in the summer.

One of the highlights of Skansen is the zoo, which has domestic and wild Nordic animals like bears, wolves, and lynxes. They offer guided tours in English during the summer and December. There's also a Children's Zoo, where kids can meet and learn about different animals.

9. Östermalm Saluhall

Östermalm Saluhall
Credit: Alexander2323/Depositphotos

Östermalm Saluhall is an upscale indoor market that sells fresh, quality produce. 

As well as the market stalls, there are various restaurants and bars. 

You can order food and drinks (most places serve alcohol but also offer free water) and then sit in the eating area of the restaurant you ordered from. This setup works well when you are with many people who want to order different things. 

It's a popular spot, so it can get crowded. One thing to note is that there are few seating options for customers who just want coffee and cake. Put this down as one of the best places to eat in Stockholm during your visit.

10. Fotografiska Stockholm

Fotografiska is the place to see photos from famous photographers, and it has amazing views and great food.

Visitors like the museum because it has lots of photo exhibits and gives information about the photos.

The restaurant at the top of the museum is what many people come here for, as it has fantastic views across the lake. It's a good place to see Stockholm from above. 

A cool thing about Fotografiska is that it's open until 11 PM, which means you can visit in the evening after walking around Stockholm all day. You can spend a pleasant evening looking at photos and then have dinner at the restaurant while enjoying the best views of Stockholm. What could be better?

11. Hallwyl Museum

This is the former home of Countess Wilhelmina von Hallwyl and her family, who collected a vast amount of art, porcelain, and antique furniture, making this one of Sweden's most extensive collections.

The house has many rooms to explore, like the dining room, various salons, a smoking room, a weapons room, a billiards room, and a porcelain room. 

Admission costs $7 for adults, which is what we like at the Frugal Expat, and there's an option for guided tours of all floors.

This historic home stands out for its elegance and the vast collection of original art, furniture, and artifacts and shows the lifestyle of the highly wealthy from centuries past.

12. Swedish History Museum

This is one of the largest museums in Sweden and attracts tens of thousands of people every year. Families will love it, making it one of the best things to do with kids in Stockholm.

One of the main attractions is its vast Viking exhibition, which is one of the biggest in the world, with gold and silver treasures in the Gold Room and unique Medieval Art. 

The layout of the museum is really interesting. One exhibit shows five bodies that were found intact, along with stories about how they died. There are also sections on Vikings, the history of Sweden's past monarchs and wars, and Medieval art. 

The museum is free after 5 PM on Wednesdays and stays open until 8 PM, but if you visit on another day, the admission fee is 14 dollars. It's free for kids and young people up to 19 years old.

13. Sodermalm

Sodermalm is a busy and lively district and one of the most densely populated areas in Scandinavia. It's primarily a residential area but also offers some lovely views and architectural sights. 

Visiting Sodermalm is a great way to see everyday life in Stockholm. We think It's a beautiful part of the city that's less crowded with tourists than places like Old Town. This makes it a more relaxed and one of the better things to see in Stockholm, and there are plenty of restaurants here, adding to the area's laid-back vibe.

14. Enjoy Fika

Caffè Latte
Credit: Depositphotos

Fika is a Swedish tradition about taking a break, usually with a coffee and something sweet to eat.

In Stockholm, you'll find many cozy cafes where you can experience Fika. Each café has its unique atmosphere and selection of treats where you can try classic Swedish pastries like cinnamon buns or something more unique to each café.

It's also about slowing down and enjoying the moment.

15. Junibacken

Junibacken is a magical place and is one of the best things to do with kids in Stockholm. 

There are theater shows to watch, and the Story Train is popular as it takes you on a journey through the stories of Astrid Lindgren, and it's something kids love. 

There's a Cosy Corner in the bookshop where you can find books in many languages, which is a great spot to relax and read together.

Junibacken was created in 1996, all thanks to Astrid Lindgren. It's an excellent place for families, especially if you have kids between 2 and 10 years old.

16. Nobel Prize Museum

The Nobel Prize Museum is all about celebrating big ideas and the people who come up with them and shows how creativity, bravery, and hard work can change the world. 

The museum focuses on the different areas of the Nobel Prize, like science, literature, and peace, and offers exhibitions, programs for schools, talks, and discussions about important topics.

It's a small but educational museum that tells the story of the Nobel Prizes and the people who have won them for over 100 years. 

The entry fee is about $8, but students get in for about $4, making it one of the cheap things to do in Stockholm.

Final Thoughts

Stockholm has a bit of everything, and we hope you liked reading about it as much as we liked writing about it. 

If you've got any thoughts on what the best things in Stockholm are or your own stories about Stockholm, we'd love to hear them in the comments.

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