Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden

I visited Stockholm in October 2016, it was my first time there and there are some highlights you should not miss.

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is part of a Baltic archipelago which has about 24,000 islands. Stockholm itself only stands on 14 of these islands. The city has over 50 bridges with cobblestone streets, multi-colored buildings and amazing architecture.

The Vasa

This is one of the Top Tips on TripAdvisor for Stockholm. The Vasa was a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship sank after sailing about 1,500m into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. The ship was built on the specifications of a previous ship which had a row of guns. The King at the time wanted 2 rows of guns on the Vasa, This made the ship very top-heavy without any changes being made to the design. In the 1950s and 60s the ship was raised and the museum today shows how this was done. The Vasa now sits on full display, restored to its original glory. When I was visiting I thought this was just going to be a ship and a story… I was very wrong. It is so impressive to see and you could easily spend a few hours here.

If you are at the Vasa when you are in Stockholm, you might want to visit the ABBA / Swedish Music museum which is also nearby.

Djurgarten

Djurgården or the Royal Game Park is one of the mentioned islands in central Stockholm. It is easily accessible and you could easily walk it from the central train station in about 25 minutes. Djurgården has historical buildings, statues, monuments, museums, galleries and so much more. There is even an amusement park Gröna Lund. The walks through the area are very impressive and you get good views of the city from there also. It is extremely popular as a location and over 10 million visitors per year visit Djurgården.

Try Herring from a street cart

When I heard that there was a cart in Stockholm selling herring and that it was very popular I was sceptical. Firstly I had never actually tried herring. Secondly, it was from a cart. So, on trying the first bite I was hooked (excuse the pun). It is served with a type of mustard sauce and is on toast. Within a few minutes it was gone but worth trying. Since tasting the herring in Stockholm I managed to get it in Ireland, more or a Polish version, but still as tasty. If you are in Stockholm you must try herring.

View from Skinnarviksberget

In every city you will have a good viewing point. Paris has the Eiffel tower, London her the Eye and Stockholm has Skinnarviksberget. To get to Skinnarviksberget by metro you will need to get to the Zinkensdamm metro stop and from there it is only a short walk to the viewing point. There is a small climb so having decent shoes will help – heels, probably not a good idea !

Skinnarviksberget will give you wonderful views over the city and if you are a photographer, it’s very good near the blue hour!

Visit Old Town

The Old Town in Stockholm is also known as Gamla Stan. This is the historic heart of Stockholm. The Old Town is one of the favorite areas of Stockholm with it’s medieval streets and the Royal Palace. Much of this area is car free so it is a joy to walk around and enjoy. Gamla Stan is actually 3 of Stockholm’s islands, namely Stadsholmen, Riddarholmen and Helgeandsholmen. Stadsholmen being the largest of the three islands. This was one of my favourite parts of Stockholm.

It is a great place to enjoy Fika which is a concept in Swedish culture basically meaning “to have coffee”. Best when accompanied with pastries. In Sweden these pastries such as cinnamon buns are often referred to as fikabröd or “fika bread”. One of my favourites was a cardamom bun or Kardemummabullar. Delicious!

Place to Stay

If you are looking for a hotel in Stockholm I highly recommend the Radisson Blue Viking Hotel. It is very central, right by the train and bus station. It also has excellent staff and the very best breakfast – a real Swedish style start to the day.  The Radisson Blu Viking is also only minutes away from all the major shopping areas such as Drottninggatan, Bibliotekstan, Stureplan and the iconic NK department store.

The Radisson Viking also has a wonderful Skybar with great views of the city.

If you have time you can also take in a ferry cruise, which will bring you around the many areas of the archipelago.

Stockholm is a wonderful city with so much to see and do. I will certainly be back and I would love to see the city during the summer as it gets quite chilly in late October.