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  • City-Hall-Stockholm-Sweden - Stockholm City Hall ("Stadshuset") in Sweden.
  • blue-hour-Stockholm-Sweden - The "Blue Hour"along the waterfront in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Kiosk-Haga-Park-Stockholm-Sweden - The Turkish Kiosk in Haga Park (Hagaparken) in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • hotel-police-Stockholm-Sweden - Police Headquarters in Stockholm,Sweden.
  • Library-Stockholm-Sweden - Interior view of Stockholm Public Library which was constructed in the 1920's in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Vasa-Museum-Stockholm-Sweden - The Vasa, a 17th century Swedish warship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • church-Stockholm-Sweden - The church of Adolf Fredrik in Stockholm, Sweden (photo in HDR Vertorama).
  • National-Museum-Stockholm-Sweden - The National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • cinnamon-roll-Stockholm-Sweden - Kanelbulle (cinnamon rolls) in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • fountain-Drottningholm-Stockholm-Sweden - A fountain at Drottningholm in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • A-local-in-Gamla-stan-Stockholm.jpg -  A local woman in Gamla stan, the name of Stockholm’s old town.
  • Alleyway-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A narrow alleyway in Gamla stan, the name of Stockholm’s old town.
  • amusement-park-twilight.jpg -  Gröna Lund, a seaside amusement park on Stockholm’s Djurgården Island, at nightfall.
  • Buildings-in-Gamla-stan-2.jpg - Buildings in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Buildings-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - Buildings in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Cafe-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A cafe in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Cafe-in-Gamla-stan2.jpg -  The entrance to a cafe in central Stockholm’s historic district.
  • Church-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - The historic city church in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Church-steeple-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A church steeple in Stockholm’s Gamla stan neighborhood.
  • Phoenix-on-Gamla-stan-street.jpg - The symbol of a phoenix above a doorway in Stockholm indicates the house is insured.
  • Cobblestone-street-in-Gamla-stan-2.jpg - A street in Gamla stan, Stockholm’s historic district, with cobblestones dating to the 1500s.
  • Cobblestone-street-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A street in Gamla stan, Stockholm’s historic district, with cobblestones dating to the 1500s.
  • Crowd-at-Kaffekoppen-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A crowd begins to gather at Kaffekoppen, a cafe on a public square in old Stockholm.
  • Crowded-streets-in-Gamla-stan.jpg -  Gamla stan, the historic old town Stockholm, turns into a shopping district by midday.
  • Decorative-doorway-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A decorative doorway in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Dinnertime-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - Visitors stop for dinner along the main street of Gamla stan, Stockholm’s old town.
  • Entrance-to-public-square-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - The entrance to the main public square in Gamla stan, Stockholm’s old town.
  • Fountain-gargoyle-in-Gamla-stan.jpg -  A gargoyle spouts water from a 15th century well in Stockholm’s Gamla stan district.
  • Fountain-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A well in Stockholm’s Gamla stan dates to the 1400s.
  • Gamla-stan-side-street.jpg - A side street in Stockholm’s old town of Gamla stan.
  • Gamla-stan-skyline-in-Stockholm.jpg - The waterfront of Gamla stan, the storied old town of Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Gamla-stan-Stockholm-2.jpg - Buildings in the historic old town of Stockholm.
  • Gamla-stan-Stockholm.jpg - Buildings at the entrance of Gamla stan, the historic old town of Stockholm.
  • German-church-in-Old-Stockholm.jpg -  The German Church, sometimes called St. Gertrude's Church, is a church in Gamla stan, the old town in central Stockholm.
  • Nobel-Museum-in-Stockholm.jpg - The Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • St.-George-and-dragon-statue.jpg -  A bronze sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon, dating to 1912,  is located in Merchant Square in Gamla Stan, the oldest area of Stockholm.
  • Statue-of-nobleman-Erik-Dahlbergh.jpg -  A statue of nobleman Erik Dahlbergh, seen in the Galma stan section of Stockholm.
  • Street-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - As morning breaks, a cobblestone street in Gamla stan, the historic old town of Stockholm.
  • Tour-guide-in-Gamla-stan.jpg -   Gabriel Hultfred, a Viking tour guide, points to a landmark in Old Stockholm.
  • Viking-runes-on-Prastgatan-in-Gamla-stan.jpg -  A Viking Rune, written in Old Norse, on a street in Stockholm’s historic Gamla stan neighborhood.
  • Viking-Sun-at-daybreak-in-Stockholm.jpg -  Viking Sun at dockside as morning breaks in Stockholm.
  • Viking-tour-guide-in-Gamla-stan.jpg - A  guide for Viking Ocean Cruises leads a tour group in Stockholm.
  • Stockholm-cobblestone-street.jpg - A  street with cobblestones dating to the 1500s in Gamla stan, the historic old town of Stockholm.
  • artwork-photo-museum.jpg - “L'arche de Noe XXIII,” an example of fine art photography at Fotografiska, just steps from the cruise pier in Stockholm.
  • penguins-photo-museum.jpg - “Parental Care,” an example of wildlife photography at Fotografiska, just steps from the cruise pier in Stockholm.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-bridge - Stockholm is built on 14 islands, with bridges spanning its many waterways.
  • bear-photo-museum.jpg - “Reflection Bear,” an example of wildlife photography at Fotografiska in the Södermalm district of Stockholm.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Parliament-House-Riksdagshuset - Parliament House (Riksdagshuset) is located in central Stockholm.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Skeppsbron1 - Skeppsbron is both a scenic street and quay in the old town of Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Skeppbron2 - Skeppsbron is a starting point when exploring the streets and alleys of old town Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Gamia-Stan - While visiting Stockholm, a visit to Gamia Stan may include lingering at a café on Stortorget.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-City-Hall - City Hall in Stockholm is one of the city's popular attractions, with tours offered daily.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Royal-Palace - The Royal Palace in Stockholm is right next to Gamla Stan (old town), near the Parliament House.
  • Sweden-Stockholm-Gamia-Stan2 - After strolling the through picturesque Gamia Stan (the old town of Stockholm), take a moment to relax in Stortorget.
  • Viking-Star-in-Stockholm-Archipeligo - Viking Star in the waters off Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Azamara-Stockholm-Sweden.jpg - Traditional Swedish architecture in Stockholm, Sweden.

Stockholm travel guide: What to do & see

our guide

The vibe

Stockholm may be the cultural, media, political and economic center of Sweden, but it's also an exquisite town for visitors. Consisting of 14 small islands connected by bays, channels and inlets, Sweden’s capital city is an organized maze of narrow cobblestone streets; stone, terracotta and rust-colored buildings; bohemian-chic galleries, and rollicking nightclubs and restaurants. Stockholm’s charm is the result of its naturally stunning location combined with local warmth and bold, urban modernity. All the islands here are accessible by foot as well as by boat, giving visitors a dual perspective of this dazzling Scandinavian city.

The skyline of the historic Old Town (Gamla Stan) is a sea of copper roofs, towers, spires and graceful cupolas. Electricity buzzes through Stockholm, turning the vitality of this European burg palpable. The recent restaurant boom has transformed it into a gastronomic metropolis, with cafes, street eats and fine-dining establishments that can hold their own against any big city. With its population of nearly a million people, Stockholm is one of the world's most beautiful, clean and orderly cities as well as Sweden's center of art and culture.

Cruise ships that call on Stockholm

Top reasons to go

  • The narrow cobblestone streets that wind through beautiful stone, terracotta and rust-colored buildings.
  • The 14 islands, connected by bridges, that make up Stockholm.
  • The city's more than 70 museums, including the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Top things to do & see in Stockholm

Stockholm is an important global city and the main center for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region. The city is home to some of the Europe's top ranking universities, such as the Karolinska Institute and hosts the annual Nobel Prize ceremonies and banquet at the Stockholm Concert Hall and Stockholm City Hall.  The geographical city center is situated on the water, in Riddarfjärden bay. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways and another 30% is made up of parks and green spaces.

A fountain at Drottningholm in Stockholm, Sweden.
Blondin Rikard / Creative Commons BYA fountain at Drottningholm in Stockholm.

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is an island with great waterfront views, the northern part of the Old Town is dominated by the Royal Palace and the Swedish Parliament. The rest of the island is a picturesque collection of old buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. Storkyrkan is the cathedral of Stockholm, and has been used for many royal coronations, weddings and funerals. Riddarholmskyrkan is a beautifully preserved medieval church, which hosts the tombs of many Swedish Kings and royals, surrounded by former mansions.

Södermalm

Södermalm is a rugged island with buildings of all ages. It is always commonly referred to as Söder (The South), and it is Stockholm’s SoHo-inspired arts district. The beatnik atmosphere and hip galleries, bars and shops make it a unique and trendy haunt. Fjällgatan offers some of the best views of Stockholm and the Baltic Sea inlet. The major north-south street Götgatan and adjacent streets are littered with a variety of restaurants, bars and shops.

Östermalm

Östermalm, an affluent commercial and residential district, offers high-end shopping as well as notable bars and nightclubs. This beautiful area also contains National City Park, numerous museums and the sprawling campus of Stockholm University.

Museums

The Vasa, a 17th century Swedish warship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Archer / Creative Commons BY-SAThe Vasa, a 17th century Swedish warship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

Stockholm has more than 70 museums, ranging from those large in size and scope to the very specialized, including the Butterfly Museum, the Spirits Museum and the Dance Museum, to name but a few. One of the city's most prized museums, the Vasa Museum, is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. In Östermalm, the Natural History Museum at T-Universitetet has extensive exhibits for all ages and an Omnimax cinema. The Army Museum displays Sweden's military history, with frequent wars from the Middle Ages until 1814, then followed by two centuries of peace. The Swedish History Museum features an exhibition on Vikings. Art aficionados will ejoy the Museum of Modern Art on Skeppsholmen.

Best bets for dining

Stockholm has no shortage of traditional and experimental fusion restaurants. From the smorgasbord to coffee houses called fika, Swedish cuisine has been an important part of this city. Serving French cuisine with Swedish and Italian elements, Operakallaren is a spacious hall decorated with late 19th century décor and it features an impressive wine list. A hangout for writers and artists, the bohemian Prinsen is a moderately priced restaurant that has been serving excellent food since 1897. For the diner who can’t decide between Tex-Mex, Greek, sushi or anything in between, Kungshallen is a local-favorite food hall located right in the heart of downtown.

In this cosmopolitan city, traditional Swedish cuisine, known as husmanskost ("every man's food"), can be hard to get. Many fine diners have a not-too-expensive husmanskost course. Some other places to eat Swedish foods are the Nystekt strömming wagon at Slussen (Södermalm), Ät gott (Sankt Göransgatan 74 in Kungsholmen) and Tennstopet (Dalagatan 50 in Vasastan).

The Michelin Guide recognizes six Stockholm restaurants: the two-star Frantzén/Lindeberg and Mathias Dahlgren Matsalen (including one-starMathias Dahlgren Matbaren), and one-star Esperanto, Fredsgatan 12 and Lux.

Best time to go

Despite its northern location, Stockholm has a temperate climate, with mild and pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The average daytime temperature in the summer months range from 68 to 72° Fahrenheit (20 to 22° Celsius), but can reach up to 86° Fahrenheit (30° Celsius) on warmer days. July and August tend to be the wettest months, with an annual average rainfall of 21 inches. During the winter, the coldest months tend to be January and February and have an average high temperature of 31° Fahrenheit (-0.6 ° C). The city sees a dramatic seasonal variation in sunlight, from more than 18 hours of daylight around midsummer, to around six hours of daylight in late December. 

The Turkish Kiosk in Haga Park (Hagaparken) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Gunilla G / Creative Commons BY-SAThe Turkish Kiosk in Haga Park (Hagaparken) in Stockholm, Sweden.

When you arrive

Docking information

Two major cruise ports serve the city. The one at Gamla Stan is reserved for smaller ships and is more convenient to downtown, while Frihamnen is reserved for larger ships and is located about a 15-minute cab ride away.

Getting around

The most popular and convenient transportation choices are taxis, which typically have a fixed price, and the Arlanda Express Train, which sells tickets online and at kiosks at the platform. The public transportation consists of extensive subway, tram and commuter train systems, as well as ferry services. The Stockholm Card is recommended for travelers and allows for free public transport and access to more than 75 museums and attractions in the city.

Need to know

Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. 

Language: Swedish is the official language, but English is a mandatory subject for several years of school. As such, most locals speak English, especially in the more touristy parts of the city.

Currency: Swedish krona

Safety: Stockholm is a safe city by international standards. In 2011, it was named as the sixth safest city in the world to live in as part of the Mercer Livability Survey. As in other cities, however, you should avoid late-night walks through deserted areas of the city or through unlit parks.

Wikivoyage contributed to this guide. 

Your take

How about you? Have you been to Stockhom, on a cruise or otherwise? What was the highlight? Have any tips? Let's see your photos!

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Overheard

“You'll find clean-lined, homegrown contemporary furniture, lighting, and accessories at Asplund (Sibyllegatan 31), including beautifully turned wood, marble, and metal candlesticks. The Dalahorse Puzzle, a traditional wooden Swedish horse in a variety of bright colors, is exclusive to the store and the must-buy for children.”

Condé Nast Traveler

“Nytorget Urban Deli - On Södermalm's prettiest square, this all-day restaurant and market is the favored hangout of the area's chic bohemians. We love the pea-soup-and-pancake special, as well as the seafood platter, with smoked shrimp, cooked crab, oysters, lobster, and Kalix bleak roe.”

Travel + Leisure

“Chef Andreas Simonsson knows the name of every farmer who provides duck, lamb, and pork for his extreme farm-to-table restaurant Lux Dag för Dag.”

AFAR magazine

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