The unique capital city of Sweden stretches out wildly over many islands like nothing we’d ever seen before. Our time in Stockholm was filled with amazing museums, hours of exploring in old town, boat rides, and eating all the delicious food we could get our hands on! Join us as we break down 15 fun things to do in Stockholm Sweden on your first visit.
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Stockholm Sweden City Pass
Before we get into all the fun things to do in Stockholm Sweden we have a great tip for you! If you’re visiting Stockholm for multiple days you may want to consider getting the Stockholm Pass.
This will give you access to all the best Stockholm museums, boat tours, and main attractions during your stay. It may also save you a lot of money compared to paying for all the tours and entry fees individually.
15 Fun Things to do in Stockholm Sweden
1. Fika Time
First things first! Every morning in Stockholm isn’t complete without the Fika experience. Fika is a coffee and pastry combo enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Essentially it’s a time to slow down from your day, enjoy the company of others, and take a moment for a delicious breakfast.
The sweet treat you should order with your coffee is called a Kanelbullar, which is a braided sticky bun. It’s easily the tastiest cinnamon bun we’ve ever had!
2. Explore Stockholm Old Town
Otherwise known as Gamla Stan, Stockholm old town is one of the most beautiful of its kind in Europe. We actually booked our hotel here without even realizing we were in this unique section of the city!
After hours of exploring we can honestly say this is the place to be on your first visit. Just walking through the colorful streets and shops is a fun activity in itself. If the medieval architecture of Stockholm old town isn’t enough to impress you, there are always plenty of other things to keep you entertained.
With its many museums, churches, restaurants, and endless bars, you shouldn’t have a problem finding what to do in Stockholm old town! Also, make sure to check out our hotel recommendations at the bottom of this post.
→ Jump on a Two Hour Old Town Walking Tour
3. Visit Stortorget
After arriving in Stockholm old town, the very first place you should go to is Stortorget! Not only is this the oldest square in all of Sweden, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the stunning buildings.
For years this area in Gamla Stan has been the scene of performances, commerce, and even the occasional political uprising. It also features the Old Stock Exchange building, Nobel Museum, and a one-of-a-kind medieval water well that’s still in operation!
Stockholm Old Town Tip
The photo below was taken at 6:30am. We highly recommend waking up early and walking the streets of Stockholm old town before tourists are out in full force. You can even stop in for a Fika as the morning shops start to open up!
4. The Nobel Museum
You may be surprised to know that the man behind the famed Nobel Prize was actually from Sweden. Yes, that’s right! Alfred Nobel was a Swedish businessman, engineer, chemist, and inventor born in the capital city.
When discovering all these fun things to do in Stockholm, the Nobel Museum was one thing that really stuck out to us. Interestingly enough, the main exhibit during our stay was about Martin Luther King Jr. from our home country! Out of all the amazing Stockholm Sweden museums we went to this was definitely a favorite.
5. Tour Stockholm Sweden Royal Palace
It should come as no surprise that one of the best things to do in Stockholm is touring the famous palace! The Royal Palace of Stockholm has a staggering 600 rooms, making it one of the largest in all of Europe.
Since it was rebuilt in the 18th century, the palace has been home to dozens of famous Kings and Queens. Take your time to explore each of the glamorous rooms and history on display. Today this massive house of royalty plays host to several Stockholm museums and is still where the King and Queen of Sweden spend time.
6. Embrace ABBA
When visiting Stockholm it will be impossible to avoid the biggest pop band to ever come out of the country. Responsible for hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia,” you’ll quickly see why the members of ABBA are treated as national heroes in Stockholm.
As you can imagine, there are plenty of ways to experience ABBA here if you’re interested. The options range from city tours to theatre, and even an entire Stockholm museum dedicated to ABBA’s musical journey!
7. Vasa Museum
We warned you that there’s an absurd amount of museums to see when visiting Stockholm! The Vasa is a ship that actually capsized and sank in the year 1628. The boat would then lay at the bottom of the Stockholm Harbor for the next 333 years. When it was finally raised from the sea in 1959 it became a spectacle for everyone to see.
These days it serves as one of the best examples of the Great Power Period in Sweden when they were dominating the waters of Scandinavia. I guess it makes sense that exploring this old battleship is one of the most fun things to do in Stockholm!
→ Pre-Book Your Vasa Museum Entry Ticket
8. Sample Local Food in Stockholm Sweden
The food in Stockholm is an exciting combination of flavors that will blow you away with each bite. Centered around fresh seafood, sweets, and tender plates of meat, every meal we had almost topped the last!
From your morning Fika to Swedish meatballs, this is clearly not a city you’ll go hungry in. If you have time don’t skip out on getting a fried herring burger in Stockholm old town.
Honestly, we could go on and on about the delicious food of Stockholm Sweden. And well… We actually did in our article below if you’re interested!
→ Best Cheap Eats in Stockholm Sweden: One Day Food Lovers Guide
9. Stroll Through Kungsträdgården
Kungsträdgården is one of the oldest public parks in Stockholm Sweden and is also known as the most beautiful. The history of the “Kings Garden” dates back to the mid-17th century when it was the site of the Royal Makalös Palace. Although the famous palace eventually burnt down, the park built in its place became open to the public in 1875.
Now if you’re up for more art outside of the Stockholm museums, the city’s intricate line of subway systems are full of it! On the blue line in the center of downtown Stockholm, you will find Kungsträdgården station. It tells the story of the park above in the coolest way possible and is worth a visit if you’re heading to this area.
10. Fjällgatan Viewpoint
Looking for the best view of Stockholm Sweden? Then you’ll have to see it from above! Known by locals as “Stockholm’s Balcony” the Fjällgatan sits high above the water and road below. To get there you’ll have to walk up the hill or catch a ride into the Södermalm District.
From the top, you’ll have panoramic views of Stockholm old town, the islands, and all the famous attractions below. There’s also a cafe with an indoor area if you’re battling the cold weather in wintertime.
11. Fotografiska Museum
If there’s one art museum we can recommend in this Stockholm Sweden guide it’s definitely the Fotografiska! At the Stockholm Museum of Photography, you’ll be impressed by the wide array of exhibitions and styles.
One of the best parts is that it’s also located right below the Fjällgatan viewpoint. This makes it easily accessible by the water taxis and tour boats so you’ll have no problem getting to this amazing photo display.
→ Get Your Fotografiska Entrance Ticket
12. Stockholm Sweden Waterways
Stockholm is located on fourteen different islands where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. You can navigate the waterways in two different and fun ways while visiting Stockholm.
The first is by crossing a series of bridges that take you through the separate areas of the city. The second (and favorite of ours) is to jump on one of the many boats to get around. Most are fully equipped with snacks and drinks to buy as you float around town.
It’s easy to see that hopping around the different islands is one of the most fun things to do in Stockholm Sweden! If you’re loving the idea of this, make sure to stick around for our last activity at the end of this blog.
→ Book a Stockholm Under the Bridges Boat Tour
13. Trip to Skeppsholmen Island
While we’re on the topic of boats… Skeppsholmen is one of the many islands you can take an adventure to in Stockholm. What used to be a makeshift military base is now filled with museums, a world-class hotel, and many popular summer festivals.
You can access this special island on foot from the Kungsträdgården, or from several locations within the city by boat. On our visit to Skeppsholmen we stopped by for lunch and a swim!
14. Drottninggatan Street
While looking for fun things to do in Stockholm you’ll be spending a lot of time on this major pedestrian street. The colorful Drottninggatan stretches for over 2 kilometers right through the heart of downtown.
Although many of the buildings are filled with name-brand department stores, there are some unique features of Drottninggatan that you can still see. This includes the famous spa Centralbadet, an outdoor fruit and vegetable market at Hötorget, and the wide-open Sunken Square.
15. Archipelago Tour from Stockholm Sweden
Our final recommendation was also one of our favorite things to do in Stockholm Sweden! The Archipelago boat tour takes you through the hundreds of islands just outside the city.
If you can believe it, the region surrounding Stockholm consists of over 24,000 islands! This popular boat ride will take you on a 2.5 hour tour of some of the best islets, all while explaining the history in a fun and interesting way.
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own fun things to do in Stockholm Sweden? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Stockholm Sweden
Ultra Luxury – Grand Hotel Stockholm – Set on the waterfront across from the Royal Palace, this upscale hotel offers a luxury spa and top-notch amenities. The large rooms and Swedish decor will make you feel like you’re actually staying in a palace!
Fun Vacation – Berns Hotel – Gorgeous boutique hotel with roots back to the year 1863. Spacious rooms with unique designs and views of the city. The Berns Hotel also features a rooftop terrace if you’re in the mood for late-night drinks.
Budget Stay – Castle House Inn – Located in the heart of old town, each room is individually decorated with retro Hollywood flare. This is the perfect place for couples, and near all the best attractions when you’re searching for what to do in Stockholm Sweden! Just make sure to book in advance to secure a budget room.
Hostel Life – Dockside Hostel Old Town – Small rooms with a great location just on the edge of Stockholm old town. Nice common area with kitchen and bag storage for late check out.
For more places to stay in Stockholm Sweden you can explore the latest prices here!
Sweden Travel Planning
Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we flew from Norway to Poland for under $20 USD, and Thailand to Vietnam for less than $50!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for the best deals such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars for renting vehicles. A quick travel tip is to ask for a discounted weekly rate rather than booking 2-3 days.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around the world. From food tours to skip the line entry passes!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
THXS for all the Stockholm recommendations and sample itinerary. We are trying to decide on a Nordic trip (Sweden, Denmark, Finland) or a trip to Portugal. Your post will certainly help if we go the Nordic route. THXS for sharing.
Anytime! We love Stockholm and Portugal is amazing, too. You can’t go wrong with either there 😊