Here is our list of the top 20 things to do in Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic countries. It’s spread across 14 islands near the Baltic Sea, making it quite unique in terms of area and cityscape. It’s an important global city and the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden, and it has hosted numerous sport and cultural events. The area has been inhabited since the Stone Age, but the city was only founded in 1252. Nevertheless, it has a long history which can be seen in its features and attractions, giving you a great number of places to visit and things to do in Stockholm.
Djurgården is one of the many islands that make up Stockholm. It’s pretty much a giant park right near the city center, and can be accessed by numerous transportation methods, even ferries or just by walking on one of the bridges. It’s a perfect place to take a break, have a picnic or just take a stroll surrounded by trees. Many attractions and museums can be found here as well, including an aquarium and an amusement park.
2. Rosendals Trädgård
The Rosendals Trädgård is a public garden on the island of Djurgården. It’s outfitted with fields, a rose garden, orchard, flower beds, a vineyard and green houses, not to mention the educational garden for children, an artisanal bakery, a farm shop and a plant shop. Eating at this local bakery while watching the beautiful gardens is a favorite pastime of many citizens and tourists.
The Skansen, which can be found on the island of Djurgården illustrates five centuries of Swedish history through its display of 150 historical homes and farmsteads that come from different parts of Sweden. It is also home to a zoo, featuring 75 species and breeds of Scandinavian animals, including wolverines, otters and Scandinavian brown bears.
4. Vasa Museum
The Vasa Museum is a maritime museum on the island of Djurgården that is named after a 17th century ship, the Vasa. It was supposed to be used as a warship, but it capsized not long after its launch. Hundreds of years later it was salvaged from the seabed with most of it still intact. Now it is displayed in the this museum, along with interesting exhibits about both this vessel and the maritime history of Sweden in general. The best attraction, of course, is touring the ship itself. Coming here is definitely one of the best things to do in Stockholm.
5. Nordic Museum
The Nordic Museum can be found on the island of Djurgården, and it’s dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden from the early modern period to the present. The museum has over 1.5 million historical objects in its collections, 6 million photographs dating from the 1840s and the research library contains 3800 shelf meters of literature from the 16th century.
6. Gamla Stan
The Gamla Stan is the old town district of Stockholm. Cobblestone streets, winding alleyways and colorful, classic architecture create a medieval atmosphere that will surely amaze every visitor. The oldest streets of the city go through the district, and many other attractions and features are located in this neighborhood, so it is a good starting location for tourists.
7. Parliament House
The Parliament House of Stockholm is located in the Gamla Stan district. It is the seat of the parliament of Sweden, the Riksdag. The building complex was designed in a Neoclassical style, with a centered facade section built in Baroque Revival style. It’s a worth a visit for its interesting design, especially the round western part of it.
8. Nobel Museum
Just like its name suggests, the Nobel Museum is dedicated to Nobel Prize winners and the history of the award in general. The museum is located in the Gamla Stan district of Stockholm, and it’s frequently visited by those interesting in the award and its winners. An interesting part of the museum is the gallery where artifacts donated by the winners are displayed accompanied by fun and personal life stories.
9. Stockholm Palace
The Stockholm Palace, or the Royal Palace, is the official residence of the Swedish monarch, though the current king and queen live in Drottningholm Palace. Visitors are allowed to tour the Royal Apartments, the Treasury and the Tre Kronor Museum. The royal relics can be seen in the Treasury, but the Armoury is just as popular among visitors. The changing of the guards is another favorite, and can be seen regularly.
The Fotografiska is a centre for contemporary photography in Stockholm. The museum presents four large exhibitions and 15-20 smaller exhibitions throughout the year, displaying a large variety of photography styles and subjects. There are portraits, landscapes, black and white photos here about war, pregnancy, dogs and pretty much anything. It’s not only about big and famous names, but unknown talents as well.
A walk along the cobblestone-lined pathway of the Monteliusvägen offers excellent view of the city, Lake Mälaren, Riddarholmen (the small island next to the Gamla Stan) and the city hall. Taking a stroll here is best around sunrise or sunset, but it’s wonderful all day long. There are also bars and restaurants nearby if you want to take a break.
12. Stockholm Metro
The Stockholm Metro has around 100 stations, and almost all of them has ellaborate and unique art on its roofs and walls. Mosaics, paintings, installations, and sculptures decorate these stations, making it look like one giant art gallery. The best part is that the only fee is the ticket itself, so anyone can enjoy these unique stations. Checking these out is surely one of the best things to do in Stockholm.
13. R1 Nuclear Reactor
The R1 Nuclear Reactor was the first nuclear reactor of Sweden which was built 25 metres underneath the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and only 1 km from the center of Stockholm. It was used for around 16 years before it was shut down due to concerns over its proximity to the capital and the citizens. Today, the abandoned place can be visited by people coming to the institute.
14. Sweden Solar System
The Sweden Solar System is the largest model of our planetary system at a scale of 1:20 million. The sun is represented by the Globe Arena in Stockholm, the largest spherical building in the world. The other planets and bodies, which are all scaled, can be located throughout the suburbs of the city and in other towns and regions of Sweden, according to their distance from the sun. For example, Jupiter is at the Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport, while Pluto is in the town of Delsbo, 300 km from Stockholm. Next to these are informations about the planets and the mythological figues they were named after.
15. Codex Gigas
The Codex Gigas is the largest medieval manuscript in the world. It is believed to have been written in the 13th century by an anonymous monk in the Benedictine monastery at Podlažice. It was later brought to Stockholm where it’s currently held. The manuscript contains the New and Old Testaments, as well as other texts concerning exorcism, grammar, a calendar, and medical works. The most prominent feature is a full colored page of Satan himself, for which it was nicknamed the Devil’s Bible.
16. Pionen Data Center
The Pionen Data Center was originally a civil defence center built underground to protect essential government functions from a nuclear strike. It was later bought by Internet service provider Bahnhof and turned into a server housing center that can withstand a hydrogen bomb. The most interesting part however, is that it is decorated with false waterfalls, indoor jungle plants, a conference room with an image of the moon’s surface on the floor and so on, making it look like the hideout of a James Bond villain.
17. Hemlös räv
The Hemlös räv, or Rag and Bone is a small brass sculpture made by British sculptor Laura Ford, which was later bought by the city of Stockholm. It depicts a little homeless fox, seemingly asking for some spare coins. Its placement was the result of a public vote that wanted this small symbol of poverty to stand out to those who are in the most need of being reminded.
The Västerbron is a bridge in Stockholm that is well-known for two very different reasons. It was originally used by many people as a suicide method, where they would jump off the bridge. The government used fences to put a stop to this, and since then this place, like many other throughout the world, became a place for love locks, padlocks that symbolize true love between couples. It’s an interesting mix, to say the least.
19. Nobel’s Blasting Bunkers
Nobel’s Blasting Bunkers is the place Alfred Nobel used for his experiments and to start manufacturing the highly explosive and violently unstable compound, nitroglycerine. The former explosives factory now houses a restaurant, but a few of the blasting bunkers can still be found next to the building.
20. Stockholm Public Library
The Stockholm Public Library is one of the city’s most notable structures. The design of the building is an example of Nordic Classicism, and is especially loved for its interior rotunda. The library houses around 2 million volumes and more than 2.4 million audio tapes.