Stockholm

For the inhabitants there's a tribal status to each of the city's islands. But for the visitor, Stockholm's archipelago location primarily helps to dissect the city, both in terms of history and in terms of Stockholm's different characteristics, conveniently packaging the capital into easily handled, ultimately digestible areas.

The central island of Gamla Stan wows visitors with its medieval beauty, small café-lined squares, and winding, narrow lanes. To the south, Södermalm challenges with contemporary boutiques, hip hangouts, and left-of-center sensibilities. North of Gamla Stan is Norrmalm, the financial and business heart of the city. Travel west and you'll find Kungsholmen, site of Stadshuset (City Hall). Turn east from Norrmalm and Östermalm awaits, an old residential neighborhood with the most money, the most glamour, and the most expensive street on the Swedish Monopoly board. Finally, beyond Östermalm lies the island of Djurgården, once a royal game preserve, now the site of lovely parks and museums.

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  • 1. Fotografiska

    Södermalm | Museum/Gallery

    Opened in 2010, this contemporary photography museum housed in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Södermalm waterfront spotlights...

    Opened in 2010, this contemporary photography museum housed in a 1906 red brick art nouveau building along the Södermalm waterfront spotlights edgy fine art photography. Past exhibitions have included celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz and director Anton Corbijn.

    Stadsgårdshamnen 22, Stockholm, 116 45, Sweden
    08-50900500

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Skr 120, Daily 9 am–11 pm
  • 2. Gröna Lund Tivoli

    Djurgården

    Smaller than Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens or Göteborg's Liseberg, this amusement park has managed to retain much of its historical charm, while making room for modern,...

    Smaller than Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens or Göteborg's Liseberg, this amusement park has managed to retain much of its historical charm, while making room for modern, hair-raising rides among the pleasure gardens, amusement arcades, and restaurants. If you're feeling especially daring, try the Giant Drop (Fritt Fall). At more than 250 feet, it's one of the best ways to see Stockholm, albeit for about three seconds, before you plummet at 10 feet per second. There isn't an adult who grew up in Stockholm who can't remember the annual excitement of Gröna Lund's April opening. Go and you will see why. Major Swedish and international artists perform on the open-air stage in the heart of the park during the height of the summer.

    Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9, Stockholm, Stockholm, 115 21, Sweden
    08-58750100

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 395--SKr 525, Closed Oct.--Apr.
  • 3. Kungliga Slottet

    Gamla Stan

    Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, the Royal Palace was completed in the 1770s to replace the Tre Kronor palace, which burned down in 1697....

    Designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, the Royal Palace was completed in the 1770s to replace the Tre Kronor palace, which burned down in 1697. Each of the four facades has a distinct style, signifying different characteristics: the west is the king's (or the male) side; the east is the queen's (or female) side; the south belongs to the nation; and the north represents royalty and power in general. Watch the changing of the guard in the curved terrace entrance and view the palace's fine furnishings and Gobelin tapestries on a tour of Representationsvåningarna (the State Apartments). Remnants of the earlier palace, as well as artifacts recovered after the fire, can be seen at the Tre Kronor Museum on the ground floor of the north side. To survey the crown jewels, which are no longer used in this self-consciously egalitarian country, head to Skattkammaren (the Treasury). Livrustkammaren (the Royal Armory)—Sweden's oldest museum, dating back nearly 400 years—has an outstanding collection of weaponry, coaches, and royal regalia. Your admission ticket includes the State Apartments, the Treasury, Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities, and the Tre Kronor Museum within seven days. Entrance to Livrustkammaren is separate.  Entrances to the Treasury and Armory are on the Slottsbacken side of the palace.

    Slottsbacken 1, Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
    08-4026100

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 170; SKr 150 for Livrustkammaren
  • 4. Rosendals Trädgård

    Djurgården

    This gorgeous slice of greenery is a perfect place to spend a few hours on a late summer afternoon. When the weather's nice, people flock...

    This gorgeous slice of greenery is a perfect place to spend a few hours on a late summer afternoon. When the weather's nice, people flock to the garden café, which is in one of the greenhouses, to enjoy tasty pastries and salads made from the locally grown vegetables. Pick your own flowers from the vast flower beds (paying by weight), stroll through the creative garden displays, or take away produce from the farm shop.

    Rosendalsterrassen 12, Stockholm, Stockholm, 115 21, Sweden
    08-54581270

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Café closed Mon. and Tues. in Jan. and Feb.
  • 5. SkyView

    Viewpoint

    This glass-covered gondola travels along the along the outer rim of Stockholm's Globe Arena, some 140 yards above the sea. It makes for spectacular...

    This glass-covered gondola travels along the along the outer rim of Stockholm's Globe Arena, some 140 yards above the sea. It makes for spectacular views of the city.

    Globentorget 2, Stockholm, 121 77, Sweden
    0771-811000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 150, Daily 9–9
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  • 6. Stadshuset

    Kungsholmen

    The architect Ragnar Östberg, one of the founders of the National Romantic movement, completed Stockholm's City Hall in 1923. The headquarters of the city council,...

    The architect Ragnar Östberg, one of the founders of the National Romantic movement, completed Stockholm's City Hall in 1923. The headquarters of the city council, the building is functional but ornate: its immense Blå Hallen (Blue Hall) is the venue for the annual Nobel Prize dinner, Stockholm's most prestigious event. Also notable is the Golden Hall, known for its mosaics depicting people and scenes from Swedish history. Admission is by guided tour only. You can also take a trip to the top of the 348-foot tower in the summer months to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the city and Riddarfjärden. Admission to the tower is separate from the guided tour, and much but not all of the ascent can be accomplished by elevator. Tickets for the tower are timed and often go fast, so stop by early to guarantee a spot.

    Hantverkarg. 1, Stockholm, Stockholm, 112 52, Sweden
    08-50829058

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 130, tower SKr 90, Tower closed Oct.–Apr.
  • 7. Vasamuseet

    Djurgården

    The warship Vasa sank just minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, consigned to a watery grave until it was raised from the seabed in...

    The warship Vasa sank just minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, consigned to a watery grave until it was raised from the seabed in 1961. Its hull was preserved by the Baltic mud, free of the shipworms (really clams) that can eat through timbers. Now largely restored to her former glory (however short-lived it may have been), the man-of-war resides in a handsome museum. The sheer size of this cannon-laden hulk inspires awe and fear in equal measure. The political history of the world might have been different had she made it out of harbor.

    Galärvarvsv. 14, Stockholm, Stockholm, 115 21, Sweden
    08-51954880

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 170--SKr 190
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  • 8. ABBA The Museum

    Djurgården

    Stockholm celebrates the country's most famous musical export with this attraction exploring the phenomenon of ABBA. The crowds of visitors are a testament to the...

    Stockholm celebrates the country's most famous musical export with this attraction exploring the phenomenon of ABBA. The crowds of visitors are a testament to the group's enduring global popularity more than three decades after its split. Exhibits trace ABBA's history from its early days and international breakthrough at the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest to the group's breakup and legacy. Outlandish stage costumes and other original memorabilia make for entertaining displays, but even more fun are the various interactive stations where you can try your hand at recording vocals, dancing like your favorite ABBA avatar, or performing onstage with holograms of the band members. Timed tickets should be bought online in advance (admission can be higher for busier periods).

    Djurgårdsv. 68, Stockholm, Stockholm, 115 21, Sweden

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 220--SKr 280
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  • 9. Historiska Museet

    Östermalm

    Viking treasures and the Gold Room are the main draws at this historical museum, which features well-presented exhibitions covering various periods of Swedish history, including...

    Viking treasures and the Gold Room are the main draws at this historical museum, which features well-presented exhibitions covering various periods of Swedish history, including prehistoric bronze and tin artifacts, medieval artworks, and a baroque hall that also plays host to events.

    Narvav. 13–17, Stockholm, Stockholm, 114 84, Sweden
    08-51955620

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Skr 150 (free Wed. Sept.--Apr.), Closed Mon.
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  • 10. Hötorget

    Norrmalm | Market/Bazaar

    Once the city's hay market, this is now a popular gathering place where you're more likely to find apples, pears, and, in summer, to-die-for...

    Once the city's hay market, this is now a popular gathering place where you're more likely to find apples, pears, and, in summer, to-die-for Swedish strawberries. Crowds come here to meet, gossip, hang out, or pick up goodies from the excellent outdoor fruit-and-vegetable market. Also lining the square are Konserthuset (the Concert Hall), fronted by a magnificent statue by Swedish-American sculptor Carl Milles, the PUB department store, and a multiscreen movie theater, Filmstaden Sergel.

    Kungsgatan and Sveavägen, Stockholm, 111 57, Sweden

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Weekdays 8–6, weekends 8–5 (some stalls closed Sun.)
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  • 11. Junibacken

    Djurgården | Amusement Park/Water Park

    In this storybook house you travel in small carriages through the world of children's book writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the irrepressible...

    In this storybook house you travel in small carriages through the world of children's book writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the irrepressible character Pippi Longstocking, among others. Lindgren's tales come alive as various scenes are revealed. Parents can enjoy a welcome moment of rest after the mini-train ride as the children lose themselves in the near-life-size model of Pippi Longstocking's house. It's perfect for children ages five and up.

    Galärvarsv. 8, Stockholm, 115 21, Sweden
    08-58723000

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 159, July–mid-Aug., daily 10–6; mid-Aug.–mid-Jan. and mid-Feb.–June, daily 10–5 (closed Mon. in Mar., Apr., Sept., and Nov.)
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  • 12. Kulturhuset Stadsteatern

    Norrmalm

    Since it opened in 1974, architect Peter Celsing's cultural center, a glass-and-stone monolith on the south side of Sergels Torg, has become a symbol of...

    Since it opened in 1974, architect Peter Celsing's cultural center, a glass-and-stone monolith on the south side of Sergels Torg, has become a symbol of modernism in Sweden. Stockholmers are divided on the aesthetics of this building—most either love it or hate it. Here there are exhibitions for children and adults, a library, a theater, a youth center, and a handful of eating spots. Head to Café Panorama, on the top floor, for a lunch or coffee break with a great view of Sergels Torg down below. Though still commonly referred to simply as Kulturhuset, the institution officially changed its name in 2013 to reflect its merger with the on-site Stockholm City Theater.

    Sergels Torg 3, Stockholm, Stockholm, 111 57, Sweden
    08-50620200
  • 13. Kungsträdgården

    Norrmalm

    Once the royal kitchen garden, this is now Stockholm's smallest but most central park. It is often used to host festivals and events but is...

    Once the royal kitchen garden, this is now Stockholm's smallest but most central park. It is often used to host festivals and events but is best seen in its everyday guise: as a pleasant sanctuary from the pulse of downtown. Several neat little glass-cube cafés sell light lunches, coffee, and snacks.

    Stockholm, Stockholm, 103 91, Sweden
    08-50849030
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  • 14. Moderna Museet

    Skeppsholmen

    The museum's excellent collection includes works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Dalí, Brancusi, and other international artists. You can also view examples of significant Swedish painters and...

    The museum's excellent collection includes works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Dalí, Brancusi, and other international artists. You can also view examples of significant Swedish painters and sculptors and an extensive section on photography. The building itself is striking. Designed by the well-regarded Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, it has seemingly endless hallways of blond wood and walls of glass, offering tantalizing glimpses of the island of Djurgården across the water. The building also houses the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design (ArkDes), showcasing dozens of detailed architectural models of notable Swedish and international buildings.

    Exercisplan 4, Stockholm, Stockholm, 111 49, Sweden
    08-52023500

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Permanent collection free admission, temporary exhibitions Skr 150, Closed Mon.
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  • 15. Nationalmuseum

    Norrmalm

    Reopened in 2018 after a five-year renovation, Sweden's leading art museum has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and other works of art and...

    Reopened in 2018 after a five-year renovation, Sweden's leading art museum has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, and other works of art and design. The emphasis is on Swedish and Nordic art, but other areas are well represented, particularly 17th-century Dutch and 18th-century French paintings. The collections are presented in chronological order, forming a timeline through the museum. On the ground floor, a glassed-in courtyard houses a collection of sculptures portraying Norse gods, important people from Swedish history and culture, and other figures. An admission fee is charged for some of the temporary exhibitions.

    Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, Stockholm, Stockholm, 11148, Sweden
    08-51954300

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Skr 150, Closed Mon.
  • 16. Nobelmuseet

    Gamla Stan

    The Swedish Academy meets at Börshuset (the Stock Exchange) every year to decide the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The building is also...

    The Swedish Academy meets at Börshuset (the Stock Exchange) every year to decide the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The building is also the home of the Nobel Museum. Along with exhibits on creativity's many forms, the museum displays scientific models, shows films, and has a full explanation of the process of choosing prizewinners. The museum does a good job covering the controversial selections made over the years. It's a must for Nobel Prize hopefuls and others.

    Stortorget 2, Stockholm, Stockholm, 103 16, Sweden
    08-53481800

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 130, Closed Mon.
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  • 17. Nordiska Museet

    Djurgården | Museum/Gallery

    Inside an imposing late-Victorian structure, the Nordic Museum holds exhibits on many aspects of Swedish life, including trends, traditions...

    Inside an imposing late-Victorian structure, the Nordic Museum holds exhibits on many aspects of Swedish life, including trends, traditions, clothing, costumes, folk arts, and the culture of the Sami (pronounced sah-mee)—the formerly seminomadic reindeer herders who inhabit the far north. Families with children should visit the delightful "village life" play area on the ground floor.

    Djurgårdsv. 6–16, Stockholm, 115 23, Sweden
    08-51954600

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 100, June–Aug., daily 10–5; Sept.–May, Thurs.–Tues. 10–5, Wed. 10–8
  • 18. Östermalmstorg

    Östermalm | Plaza/Square

    This market square and its neighboring streets represent old, established Stockholm. At the southwestern corner of the square, Östermalms Saluhall...

    This market square and its neighboring streets represent old, established Stockholm. At the southwestern corner of the square, Östermalms Saluhall looks more like a collection of boutiques than the indoor food market it is; the fish displays can be especially intriguing. From 2016 to 2018, the historic market hall will be undergoing renovation. During this time vendors will operate out of a custom-built temporary hall in the square itself. At the eastern end of the square, Hedvig Eleonora Kyrka, a church with characteristically Swedish faux-marble painting throughout its wooden interior, is the site of frequent lunchtime concerts in spring and summer.

    Nybrog. at Humlegårdsg., Stockholm, 114 42, Sweden
  • 19. Riddarholmskyrkan

    Gamla Stan

    Dating from 1270, Riddarholmskyrkan, the Greyfriars monastery, is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm. It's the burial place for two medieval kings, as well...

    Dating from 1270, Riddarholmskyrkan, the Greyfriars monastery, is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm. It's the burial place for two medieval kings, as well as every Swedish sovereign since 1632 except Queen Kristina, who abdicated and died in Rome, and Gustav VI Adolf, the current king's predecessor, who is buried at Haga Park. The redbrick church, distinguished by its delicate iron-fretwork spire, is rarely used for services and is more like a museum now. The most famous figures interred within are King Gustavus Adolphus, hero of the Thirty Years' War, and the warrior King Karl XII, renowned for his daring invasion of Russia, who died in Norway in 1718. The most recent of the 17 Swedish kings to be put to rest here was Gustav V, in 1950. The different rulers' sarcophagi, usually embellished with their monograms, are visible in the small chapels dedicated to the various dynasties.

    Kungliga slottet, Stockholm, Stockholm, 107 70, Sweden
    08-4026100

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: SKr 60, Credit cards only
  • 20. Riksdagshuset

    Gamla Stan | Government Building

    When in session, the Swedish Parliament meets in this Neoclassical building, which was inaugurated in 1905. Above the entrance, the architect...

    When in session, the Swedish Parliament meets in this Neoclassical building, which was inaugurated in 1905. Above the entrance, the architect placed sculptures of a peasant, a burgher, a clergyman, and a nobleman. Take a tour of the building not only to learn about Swedish government but also to see the art within. In the former First Chamber are murals by Otte Sköld illustrating different periods in the history of Stockholm, and in the current First Chamber a massive tapestry by Elisabet Hasselberg Olsson, Memory of a Landscape, hangs above the podium. An English-language guided tour is the only way to gain admission; tours are first-come, first-served and limited to 28 persons, so arrive early.

    Riksg. 3A, Stockholm, 111 28, Sweden
    08-7864862

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Tours in English late June–late Aug., weekdays noon, 1, 2, and 3; Oct.–early June, weekends 1:30

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