After exploring northern Sweden, we’re in Stockholm for 3 days. It’s the colorful, tree-lined capital of the northern countries, not to be missed.
Stockholm is a capital of great cultural wealth, with museums where you can learn while having fun (yes, it’s possible). The city has the particularity of facing the Baltic Sea, so don’t miss its magnificent archipelago.
Here’s our itinerary, our must-sees, our tips and our tried-and-tested program for visiting Stockholm in 3 days!
- Must-sees: our top 10
- 1. Gamla Stan: visit Stockholm’s old town
- 2. Djugarden Stockholm: exploring the museum island
- 3. Cruise in the Stockholm archipelago
- 4. Take to the skies: skyview and rooftop
- 5. Skansen: a small concentrate of Sweden
- 6. Stockholm metro: a veritable art gallery
- 7. Covered market: try local specialities
- 8. Sunset in the Sodermalm district
- 9. Palais Royal and the changing of the guard
- 10. Tivoli amusement park
- What to do in Stockholm in 3 days? Our itinerary
- Stockholm Go the city pass you need
- Beaches arround Stockholm
- Where to eat? our list of restaurants
- Where to get a drink on a rooftop in Stockholm?
- Where to sleep in Stockholm?
- Getting around Stockholm
- How to get to Stockholm
- A few Swedish peculiarities
- Our good addresses on our map
- What to do around Stockholm
Must-sees: our top 10
Stockholm has something for everyone, summer and winter alike. We recommend strolling through the colorful houses, enjoying the many parks, interactive museums and exploring the magnificent archipelago.
It’s one of our favorite European capitals, and we’ve been lucky enough to visit it several times. We’re always happy to come back.
Here are our top 10 must-haves:
- Gamla Stan: visit Stockholm’s old town
- Djugarden Stockholm: exploring the Museum Island
- Cruise in the Stockholm archipelago
- Take to the skies: skyview and rooftop
- Skansen, a small concentrate of Sweden
- Stockholm metro: a veritable art gallery
- Covered market: try local specialities
- Sunset in the Sodermalm district
- Palais Royal and the changing of the guard
- Tivoli amusement park with its feet in the water
1. Gamla Stan: visit Stockholm’s old town
This is the neighborhood not to be missed. Gamla Stan in Swedish translates into “old town” in French. We explored this district on an organized 2-hour tour, to learn more about the city of Stockholm and Sweden.
Stortorget Square, with its colorful facades, is the city’s most Instagrammable square. This is where the changing of the guard takes place – more about that below. As well as most souvenir stores in Stockholm.
2. Djugarden Stockholm: exploring the museum island
It’s theisland of Stockholm museums. If there’s one country where we recommend exploring museums, it’s Sweden. The Swedes have succeeded in making their museums instructive and interactive for young and old alike – yes, we promise, it’s possible.
For example, instead of just showing images of the sculptures, at the Vasa Museum they have been reproduced life-size inside the museum. And generally speaking, children can touch anything.
3. Cruise in the Stockholm archipelago
A must-do activity. The city of Stockholm extends over 14 islands. The Stockholm archipelago is home to some 25,000 islands!
You have several options for visiting the Stockholm archipelago by boat, depending on how much time you want to devote to this activity. You can opt for an organized 2.5-hour cruise or a short trip on the public ferry buses.
4. Take to the skies: skyview and rooftop
In Stockholm, you have several options for admiring the city from above. You can either take in the views of Södermalm Island, enjoy a drink on a rooftop (addresses below) or the last option, a ride in a SkyView glass gondola.
You won’t want to miss this impressive white dome and its gondolas, from which you can soar high for a 360-degree view of Stockholm.
Of course, we advise you to take advantage of these viewpoints at sunset, when the view is even more beautiful.
5. Skansen: a small concentrate of Sweden
We’ve already told you that the Swedes are big on interactive museums. This huge open-air venue is the proof.
The Skansen Museum is a small concentrate of Sweden, where you can see over a hundred traditional habitats. There’s even a park with animals from the far north (reindeer, elk…). You won’t notice the passage of time.
6. Stockholm metro: a veritable art gallery
The Stockholm metro is a veritable art gallery, with 90 stations decorated by some 100 artists. Don’t hesitate to embark on a treasure hunt for the prettiest resorts!
- T-centralen: this station is magnificent with its blue vine-leaf motifs.
- Radhuket: this ochre resort will make you feel like you’re in a cave
- Thorildsplan, this station will transport you back to the video games of the 80s, where the stars were Pac Man and Super Mario.
7. Covered market: try local specialities
We’re not going to lie to you, we weren’t generally thrilled with Swedish gastronomy. There are two dishes we’ll remember: the meatballs (see address below) and the Fika break (translation = coffee and gourmet break with friends) accompanied by its Kanelbullar (a soft cinnamon roll), Sweden’s emblematic pastry!
We recommend a stop at theÖstermalm food market to try it all out.
➡️Si If you’d like to learn more about Swedish gastronomy, you can opt for a guided tour that includes a tasting of Swedish specialties.
8. Sunset in the Sodermalm district
This is one of our favorite Stockholm neighborhoods full of trees and flowers. We loved wandering around and getting a good view of the Swedish capital.
You have 2 options for enjoying the sunset. Either head for the Kinnarvksberget viewpoint , where you can sit on the rocks and watch the sun set on the opposite shore. Or enjoy it from the roof terrace of the Museum of Photography.
9. Palais Royal and the changing of the guard
During our guided tour, we learned that Swedes are very attached to their royal family. Because it aims to be close to the people and multicultural (the King and Queen have French origins). Members of the royal family are free to marry whomever they wish.
Located in the Gamle Stan you can visit the royal palace and / or attend a small ceremony for about thirty minutes: the changing the guardat 12:15 pm when we were there (remember to check before you come, as there are no changeovers every day in winter). Come early as it’s very busy.
10. Tivoli amusement park
The island of Djugarden also boasts a large amusement park: Grona Lund Tivoli. You’ll be able to enjoy a wide range of attractions almost with your feet in the water.
What to do in Stockholm in 3 days? Our itinerary
Our programme for discovering Stockholm was as follows, and as you can imagine we were not bored:
Day 1: Discovering the city center and historic town center
As soon as you arrive, remember to buy a transport card or a multi-stop bus and/or boat ticket that will take you directly to the sights in Stockholm.
We began by exploring the Norrmalm district, the city center, with its wide tree-lined avenues surrounded by multi-storey buildings with elaborate facades. This is the area for shopping. We were pleasantly surprised by the large number of second-hand stores. Inside, Arkivet‘s boutiques are well presented and arranged by color.
We then headed north to the residential district of Vasastan, to the Observatorielunden observatory for a superb 360° view of the city. For lunch, we had noted a great pizzeria that was closed. Instead, we found a very good bakery next door with great salads and sandwiches, which we enjoyed in a lovely playground. This makes it possible to have a 2-in-1 meal + playtime!
To digest and during our daughter’s nap – for those of you who have been following us for a while, of course – we took an organized tour of Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. This district is home to the Royal Palace and the Changing of the Guard, the famous Stortorget square with its colorful facades, and Stockholm’s smallest street.
At the end of the tour, we recommend a visit to the Nobel Museum. This quick tour will take you through the history of the Nobel Prize and its various winners.
We ended our busy day at the Royal Library Park, with its fruit trees and children’s playground Humlegårdens parklek. This garden is a haven of peace and nature in the heart of the city. We walked almost 12 km.
D2 Discover two small havens of peace, on the islands of Djurgården and Södermalm
For our second day in the Swedish capital, we headed for the island of Djurgården: Stockholm’s museum island. We advise you to opt for the Go City Stockholm Pass, which pays for itself as soon as you visit your third museum.
We started with the Vasa shipwreck museum, not to be missed during your stay. Then we went to Stockholm’s open-air museum, Skansen. It’s a little concentrate of Sweden. If it’s raining or too cold, you can fall back on the Swedish disco group ABBA’s museum or the Viking Museum, located right next door, to delve into Swedish history.
Then for lunch, we headed to the Södermalm district to try the Swedish dumplings. This is one of our favorite Stockholm neighborhoods, full of trees and flowers.
To digest, we loved to stroll around and get a good view of the Swedish capital. We were delighted to discover the places mentioned in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium saga. In this district, you can also visit the magnificent Museum of Photography, and at the end of the day you’ll have a beautiful view of the city from the terrace.
To round off our busy day, we took the boat (included with your transport tickets) or your multi-stop bus and/or boat ticket. Then we grabbed a burger to go for dinner.
D3 Set sail in the Stockholm archipelago and discover its subway stations
For this last day, we wanted to take a cruise. We spent around 2h30 exploring theStockholm archipelago. We glimpsed the city from the water, and then moved into its verdant archipelago.
Back on dry land, we had lunch by the water, then set off to explore the metro stations. The Stockholm metro is a veritable art gallery, with 90 stations decorated by some 100 artists.
Then to round off this (yet another) beautiful day, we went for a drink in Kungsholmen, also a trendy residential district, where we met up with a friend (of my sister’s) who lives in Stockholm for a drink in a bar on the water. We loved walking along the quays to reach the historic center. A great moment of our stay.
Stockholm Go the city pass you need
The Stockholm Go city pass is very simple to use: your ticket gives you free access to many of Stockholm’s museums, as well as to certain transport and activities, including cruises. Simply present your pass at the entrance to museums, buses and boats.
Note that since the beginning of 2023, most free museums have become paying museums, so the pass will help you save money during your stay. We were pleasantly surprised, as most of the museums we wanted to visit were included in the pass.
Beaches arround Stockholm
In spring and summer, it can still be very hot in Sweden. In May and again in August, we took full advantage of the incredible facilities on offer around the Swedish lakes.
Almost every lake has a small wooden pontoon (super cute), a few picnic tables and a fire pit. Here are two places to swim in or near Stockholm.
- Tanto Beaches: located on the south-western tip of Sodermalm Island, a small sandy beach with pontoon has been developed. It’s a great place to take a dip during the day or enjoy an aperitif at the end of the day.
- And don’t forget to explore the lakes and beaches around Stockholm: we recommend Tyresta Nature Park.
Where to eat? our list of restaurants
If you don’t want to break the bank, we advise you to opt for the buffet options available at lunchtime in most restaurants, or to eat at Max, the Swedish burger chain, which offers some twenty vegetarian options.
- Meatballs for the people is the place to go for local food without breaking the bank. The restaurant offers homemade meatballs (reindeer, venison, beef, vegetarian…) served with mashed potatoes. (approx. €20 per person) – Sødermalmdistrict
- Svedjan Bageri: a bakery with pastries, kanelbullars (cinnamon rolls) and bread all excellent, perfect for a Fika break (Vasastan district).
- Kalf et Hansen : for a change from Swedish gastronomy, an organic and local brunch offering well-cooked salads and wraps. We enjoyed it! (approx. €12 per person) – Sødermalmdistrict
- Aryam: an award-winning ice cream parlour that’s certainly the best in Stockholm. With only a dozen flavors available, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. The 3 of us tried strawberry, pistachio (with the real pistachio color) and roasted almond (a delight) – Sødermalmdistrict
- Bap Burgers: decent burgers to eat on the go without breaking the bank! (approx. €14 per person) – Ostermalm district
- Bergstrands Bageri: a great bakery, with many sandwiches and salads – Vasastan district
- Magari Pizza: we’d spotted this highly rated pizzeria on Google and the photos made us really want to go there, but it was closed during our stay, so don’t hesitate to write to us if you go! – Vasastan district
Where to get a drink on a rooftop in Stockholm?
- Malarpaviljongen: the place to go for a drink, where we met up with a friend of my sister’s who has been living in Stockholm for several years. The setting is beautifully planted with trees and flowers, and some areas are directly on the water. We’d just recommend a drink, as the prices of the dishes are a little high. (40cl draught beer €8)
- Tak and Urban Déli, two rooftop drinking and eating spots, also recommended by a local, in the heart of Stockholm, with beautiful views over the capital.
Where to sleep in Stockholm?
To get the most out of your stay, we recommend the Norrmalm and Östermalm districts. For smaller budgets, the Södermalm district may be a good alternative.
We left our camper van for a few nights on the outskirts of Stockholm to sleep in the city center.
– Coup de coeur ♥ : Hotel Birger Jarl, quartier Noormalm (le meilleur quartir pour dormir selon nous) : la situation géographique de l’hôtel est parfaite pour visiter le centre de Stockholm à pied. Dans un beau bâtiment entièrement rénové, notre logement était spacieux avec un mini frigo et avec une décoration soignée, un excellent rapport qualité prix où vous vous sentirez comme chez vous. Nous y retournerons sans hésitation.
– Appartement rénové : Biz Apartment Hammarby Sjöstad quartier Södermalm (l’un de nos préférés), nous avions longuement hésité avec cet hébergement également très bien placé. C’est un appartement donc cela permet de se faire à manger plus facilement qu’à l’hôtel. Le bâtiment a été entièrement rénové.
– Bon marché € : City Backpackers Hostel, c’est une auberge de jeunesse joliment décorée certainement le meilleur rapport qualité / prix de Stockholm, 75€ en chambre double dans le quartier branché de Sodermalm (l’un de nos préférés). J’y avais dormi lors de mon premier séjour à Stockholm (Floriane).
Getting around Stockholm
We advise you to use public transport, as Stockholm is a sprawling city and points of interest are not always close by.
- Unlimited metro card for 24h, 48h or 72h, this is an interesting option if you use public transport more than 2 times a day. Because the cost of a trip is €3.5, valid for 90 minutes. For 3 days we paid 57 € for 2 72h passes.
- You can opt for the multi-stop buses and/or boats that will take you directly to the sights in Stockholm. You can get on and off the bus/boat as you please.
- The Go City Pass Stockholm includes museums as well as free multi-stop buses and/or boats. This is the most comprehensive offer.
How to get to Stockholm
The city is surrounded by 3 airports: Arlanda to the north of Stockholm, the largest, Skavta (which handles low-cost flights) to the south-west, and the small Bromma airport, the closest to the capital (7km away).
You have two options for reaching southern Sweden, either via the Copenhagen Bridge (in Denmark) or by taking a boat from Lübeck, in northern Germany, to Trelleborg or Malmo (approx. 8h crossing).
By public transport
For travelers who have the time or are looking for an alternative to planes and cars, here’s some information on how to get to Stockholm. From Paris, you can reach Hamburg in northern Germany by night train, then Copenhagen and Stockholm (taking several trains and buses).
A few Swedish peculiarities
- Sweden is a member of theEuropean Union, but has not adopted the Euro as its currency. Prices are quoted in Swedish Kronor.
- Don ‘t withdraw any cash, as all payments will be made by credit card. Even public toilets are equipped with card payment terminals.
- The cost of living is around 30% higher than in France. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to limit your outings to restaurants.
- It’s a country in which we felt totally safe during our 5-week tour – what a pleasure!
- We were surprised at the start of our trip when stores and museums closed between 4 and 5 p.m.
- We couldn’t leave you without mentioning the famous Fika break, which translates as a gourmet coffee break with friends.
- Last but not least, you’ll quickly realize that Swedish culture is very different from our own. More organized, more respectful, the love of beauty is omnipresent, children are considered as beings in their own right and second-hand stores are everywhere in Stockholm.
The Swedes have adopted an art of living focused on well-being and happiness in all its simplicity. This clearly made us want to move to Sweden.
If you’d like to give the gift of a book to introduce people to Swedish culture, we recommend the Lagom book by author Anne-Thoumieux.
Our good addresses on our map
We’ve listed all the places and addresses mentioned above on a map to help you find your way around.
What to do around Stockholm
We have been exploring Sweden for 5 weeks so we have a lot to share with you, here are some ideas in the immediate vicinity of Stockholm:
– Cities: we recommend you visit Uppsala and pleasant Sigtuna north of Stockholm, Sweden’s oldest cities.
– The parks If you’re coming to Stockholm for a week, you’ll need to visit one of the nature parks to get a taste of Swedish tranquility and amenities. Tyresta is the largest park in southern Sweden.
– Let’s talk about theStockholm archipelago again soon, because if you missed it above, it’s a must-see around Stockholm.
We wish you an excellent trip! Don’t hesitate to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.