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Stockholm (2 days)

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Key Points:

  1. Stockholm is not one of the best travel destinations, but could be a good place for a visit in Sweden.

  2. WikiVoyage has the original version of travelling in Stockholm. But we have rewritten and integrated several articles together to create a better version.

According to Wikipedia, "Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden as well as the largest urban area in Scandinavia."

Here we quote the best way to travel in Stockholm provided by wikiVoyage, a multilingual, web-based project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable worldwide travel guide. Wikivoyage is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other project such as Wikipedia. Please edit the articles and find author credits at the original wikiVoyage articles on Stockholm Main Street, Stockholm Environmentalist Tour, Stockholm Quay Palace tour, Södermalm Heights Tour, Stockholm History Tour. Content on wikiVoyage can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Itinerary: Day 1.

Part 1: Morning - Stockholm Main Street

The Stockholm Main Street is made up by three pedestrian streets in different districts: Drottninggatan in Vasastan and Norrmalm, Västerlånggatan or Stora Nygatan in Gamla stan, and Götgatan on Södermalm. Together they make up a 5 km (3.1 mi) through Stockholm's most interesting venues for shopping, dining and nightlife, similar to the Axe historique of Paris.

1. Understand

With the redevelopment of Norrmalm in the 1960s and 70s, pedestrian and bicycle traffic was put on exception in central Stockholm. From the 1990s, pedestrian routes have been restored, and by 2020 an extensive network of bicycle paths has opened.

2. Get Around

The whole route is walkable with no staircases and light slopes, accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. There are a few crossings for road traffic. Car traffic from Sergels torg to Gullmarsplan is diverted to tunnels and highway bridges. While Gamla stan and Södermalm can be traversed by car, parking spaces are few, and driving is altogether impractical.

The green metro (tunnelbana) line runs parallel to the streets. Cycling is a practical option unless it is too cold and rainy. The passage through Slussen has some re-routing due to construction until 2025. Northern Götgatan has a steep slope, which however does not deter bicycle commuters.

Stockholm has a fleet of rental e-scooters. They can be a convenient option, but they see increasing regulation.

3. Upper Drottninggatan

Drottninggatan is a pedestrianised street from the Observatorielunden park to the Riksbron bridge to Gamla stan. The section north of Kungsgatan is the most interesting, with independent cafés, restaurants and stores.

Vasastan has plenty of restaurants, most in the mid-range bracket, many in ethnic style. They are usually crowded by office workers during lunch break (from noon to 13:00).

Mst of Stockholm’s second-hand record shops are clustered in the area between Odenplan and St Eriksplan. Most are open M-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 11:00-15:00.

4. Lower Drottninggatan

Between Kungsgatan and Sergels Torg you will find the Åhléns department store, as well as flagship stores for some national and international fashion chains, including several H&M stores.

The area around Sergels Torg is dominated by mainstream fashion shopping, with several H&M stores. Alternative clothing stores can be found further north. Restaurants in Norrmalm are usually crowded by office workers during lunch break (from 12:00 to 13:00). Á la carte dining can be rather costly; expect to pay more than 120 kr for a hot lunch, and more than 250 kr for a dinner.

5. Västerlånggatan and Stora Nygatan

Gamla stan, the Old Town, also known as Staden mellan broarna ("the town between the bridges") is the Old Town in Stockholm, containing genuine cultural heritage, as well as tourist traps. Adjacent islands are Helgeandsholmen, with the Swedish Parliament, and Riddarholmen, with several nobility palaces, today occupied by various government functions. You can seek out the great events through the Stockholm history tour, and the great architecture with Stockholm quay palace tour.

Evening restaurant dining in Gamla stan can be more expensive than in outer districts. Check the evening menu price rather than the boards outside - the prices displayed outside are often lunch offers only. In winter months restaurant kitchens seem to close at around 21:30, so dine early! Drinks in Gamla stan are not cheap. If you like to drink a lot, it's worth heading further afield, and avoiding the tourist bars.

Västerlånggatan is the traditional main street, flanked by beautiful historic buildings. Many shops in the northern section sell overpriced stereotypical souvenirs, but there are some stores for jewelry and Swedish craft. The restaurants along the street can be a bit overpriced.

Stora Nygatan is a parallel street, accessible by bicycle and wheeled vehicles, and has a wide range of art galleries, stores, restaurants, and bars.

These two streets are connected by narrow alleys.

6. Götgatan through Södermalm

The steep hills of northern Södermalm has an eclectic blend of 18th century wooden cottages, industrial buildings and modern homes, and is sometimes compared to Montmartre. See Södermalm heights tour.

Södermalm has earned a reputation of "hipness", making Financial Times' top list of destinations for 2014 and third place on Vogue's list of the world's coolest neighbourhoods.

In the 21st century, Södermalm has gained recognition from the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson.

Södermalm contains many stores for alternative, vintage and second-hand fashion. Södermalm's main nightlife street is Götgatan. People traditionally go for a pub crawl along Götgatan, having one drink at each bar; not even the thirstiest drinker would be able to get through the whole street in one evening. On weekend nights, most bars along the street get crowded. The backstreet bars are calmer.

7. Sofo

The district, the cleverly rebranded area south of Folkungagatan, has lots of designer clothes and design shops, as well as cafés and restaurants.

8. Globen

Johanneshov is a neighbourhood with Slakthusområdet, the meatpacking district, and the stadium cluster around Globen.

9. Stay safe

Though rather safe compared to other metropolitan centres, there are a few caveats for central Stockholm:

  • Illegal street gambling, and begging, at Drottninggatan and other busy areas.

  • The welfare institutions at Klara Church attract homeless people, as well as people with addiction problems or mental conditions. These might appear aggressive, but rarely cause trouble.

  • Pickpocketing, especially at the Central Station, and in the metro.

  • The T-Centralen subway entrance to Sergels Torg ("Plattan") is a well-known hangout for drug-dealers at night, however, this should not be an issue unless you are actively seeking trouble.

  • Drunk violence at evenings, especially around nightclub lines. Nightlife in Medborgarplatsen usually gets wild, and police presence is irregular. Closing time (01:00 and 03:00) are worst.

Part 2: Afternoon - Stockholm Environmentalist Tour

1. Understand

Sweden has had a prominent role in the natural sciences since the 18th century, with Carl Linnaeus founding systematic biology, and Anders Celsius inventing the 100-degree temperature scale. In 1896, physicist Svante Arrhenius described the greenhouse effect. Since 1901, Stockholm hosts the Nobel Prize ceremony. The rise of Nordic nationalism in the 19th century included appreciation of nature and outdoor life as a pastime; and the sparse population allowed the right to roam. Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency) was founded in 1967, as the first of its kind.

With vast distances, Sweden has had a love story with the automobile (see driving in Sweden), famous for Volvo, Saab and Scania. While Swedish cars and trucks have traditionally been heavier and thirstier than other European brands, the makers are now pioneering fuel efficiency and electric engines. Stockholm was redeveloped during the 1960s with an extensive system of highways and sprawling suburbs, brought to a halt in the early 1970s with a rising environmentalist movement, as well as the 1973 oil crisis. Since the 2010s, car lanes and parking lots have been reduced to make room for cyclists and pedestrians.

Sweden has close to zero domestic fossil fuel deposits (except peat) and has been phasing out coal and oil for strategic reasons already since the 1970s oil crisis. As the climate agenda has become important, Sweden has a realistic aim for a carbon-free economy. Still, motorways are expanded around the outskirts of Stockholm, many of them underground, with some controversy over continued pollution, fossil dependency and suburban sprawl.

Stockholm, just as other large cities, used to be troubled by sewage well into the mid-20th century, and later by industrial pollution and vehicle emissions. Today the air is famously clean, and the water in lake Mälaren is good enough to drink.

2. Get In

While Stockholm has several airports nearby, a greener approach would be a train from Oslo or Copenhagen; see Rail and bus travel in Sweden. Trains from west and south make a glorious entry to Stockholm, across bridges with an astounding view of Lake Mälaren.

Stockholm can also be reached by sailing boat through Stockholm archipelago; see boating in the Baltic Sea.

3. Get Around

Public transport in Stockholm is run by SL. Since 2018, all buses are fossil-free.

Urban cycling is a good method to get around Stockholm, at least when weather is decently warm; see Cycling in Sweden. The bicycle lane system has been expanded during the 2010s. The city has had a bike rental system as well as electric scooter operators; as of 2020 their outlook is uncertain.

Cars are subject to congestion tax, and some parts of the inner city require Euro 5 or higher emission standard (see Driving in Sweden). Taxis are rather expensive, and do not follow a fixed price. Driving in Stockholm is rarely necessary, in any case.

4. Central Stockholm:

  • Mynttorget (Gamla stan). The square next to the parliament building is the location of public protests, including Greta Thunberg's climate strike.

  • Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet). Built between 1697 and 1754, the Royal Palace is the official residence of the king of Sweden. The reigning king Carl XVI Gustaf (who lives in Drottningholm in Ekerö) has För Sverige i tiden ("For Sweden, with the times") as his motto; as an avid environmentalist, he has had solar panels installed on the palace roof.

  • Kungsträdgården. The name "the King's Garden" bears witness of the original function as a closed-off royal park, open to the public only since the 18th century. Today it is used for festivals and other public events. Out of several redevelopments of the park, the most controversial was a metro exit, which was to be built in 1971, requiring the destruction of thirteen elm trees. Public protests forced the government to back down, and relocate the exit to a nearby building.

  • Strömkajen. Gateway to the Stockholm archipelago. The ferries used to run on steam engines, which were over time converted for diesel propulsion. By 2030, all public transportation ferries will be fossil-free.

  • Environmental obelisks (Miljöobelisker). Since 1994, these obelisks provide a live bar chart of pollution and other parameters for air and water in Stockholm.

  • Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum), Djurgårdsvägen 6-16 (On Djurgården, next to Djurgården bridge. Bus 44, 69 and 76. Tram from Sergels Torg.). A museum of cultural history from 1520 to our days, in an impressive 1907 cathedral-like building on Djurgården. Exhibitions focus on Swedish handicraft, customs and traditions. The museum also displays the effect of global warming on the Arctic and the indigenous peoples, including the Sami culture.

5. Norra Djurgården:

  • Värtaverket (Östermalm). A power plant opened in 1903. It used coal for much of its history, until the coal boilers were finally shut down in 2020. Today, all fuels are renewable.

  • Ropsten heat pumps. A heat pump is a machine which uses electricity to increase a temperature gradient; making a hot place hotter, and a cold place colder, similar to a refrigerator or an air conditioner. The heat pumps in Ropsten use seawater for district heating and district cooling.

  • Toll booth. Since 2007, Stockholm levies a congestion tax from cars passing in or out of the inner city, depending on time of the day. The model was controversial when introduced, but has now been adapted by many other cities around the world, including London.

  • Building 8: Purification building. Finished in 1893 for purification of coal gas. Hosts the Berghs School of Communication.

  • Gasometer building. A building used as a gasometer building and a laboratory. Finished in 1893 as one of the most spectacular buildings in the cluster. Used as a climbing arena today.

  • Stockholm Transport Museum (Stockholms spårvägsmuseum). The regeneration building of the gas works is used as a museum of Stockholm's public transportation system, with an emphasis on trams.

  • Building 10: Purification building. Built in 1905 and used for water gas. Office for Sandvik AB.

  • Building 27: Steam boiler building. Will host a café.

  • Gasklocka 1. A brick gas holder designed by Ferdinand Boberg, used from 1893. Will be transformed to a hotel.

  • Gasklocka 2. A larger gas holder which was in use from 1899. Will become a performance stage.

  • Gasklocka 3. The skeleton of a dismantled gas holder. A fourth gas holder, the tallest one, was dismantled in 2018, and is to be replaced with a skyscraper.

  • Gasklocka 5. A spherical gas holder built in 1972. It will be transformed to an office building.

  • Norra länken (Northern link). The first urban motorway in Stockholm was Essingeleden, opened in 1966. Stockholm had plans for an extensive motorway system including a circular beltway, which were cancelled in the 1970s due to the growing environmentalist movement, as well as the 1973 oil crisis. Only in the 2010s, motorway tunnels north and south of the cities were finished. The eastern part of the beltway is still considered as of the 2020s, either as a bridge or a tunnel, but remains controversial.

  • R1 Reactor Hall. Sweden's first experimental nuclear reactor. As in other countries, nuclear technology has been controversial in Sweden. Sweden's Cold War non-alignment policy led to a nuclear weapons program, which was just a few grams of plutonium short of a live bomb test; but since the 1960s the country has adhered to the non-proliferation treaty. A national referendum in 1980 led to the unambiguous result to phase out nuclear power in Sweden; while the proposed deadline was 2010, the country still has three active nuclear power plants in 2020, supplying nearly half of the country's electricity. Access only during special events.

Itinerary: Day 2.

Part 3: Morning - Stockholm Quay Palace tour

1. Understand

In Swedish, the words slott (from German Schloss) is used for a rural (sometimes fortified) building for a king or a local ruler. Palats (from French palace) is used for palace-styled townhouses. Neither word has a fixed definition.

Stockholm's palaces are used for various purposes today: museums, conference sites, offices or private residences. All palaces can be seen up close, but only some of them are open to the public.

The intercity Uppland history tour displays the birth of Sweden, and the pedestrian Stockholm history tour is a 1,000 year chronology of Stockholm.

Stockholm became a city in the 13th century, during the Middle Ages, which are considered to have ended with Swedish independence in 1523.

2. Architecture of Stockholm

Very few intact medieval buildings remain: wooden buildings tend to burn down or rot, and while monasteries were built from brick and stones, most of them were dismantled with the Protestant Reformation. The most spectacular buildings in Gamla stan were built in the 17th and 18th century during the height of the Swedish Empire in Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classicist style. The 19th century saw the rise of Romantic architecture, which in Sweden references the Viking Age and the Middle Ages.

The German word jugend is used for art nouveau. Nordic classicism, also known as Swedish Grace, is a style of the 1910s-30s, usually seen as the Swedish variant of Art Deco. Modernist architecture has been dominant in Stockholm since the 1930s.

3. Get Around

The tour begins at Riddarholmen, and follows the quays of Gamla stan, through Norrmalm and further along Strandvägen in Östermalm with an optional epilogue on Djurgården. The tour can be done on foot; strollers and wheelchairs can get around with some detours. Cycling can also be considered.

4. Riddarholmen

Riddarholmen, "the Knight Isle", is dominated by 17th- to 18th century nobility palaces. Most of them are today used by the judiciary. Some interiors are open during weekdays.

  • Information plaques.

  • Birger jarl statue.

  • Riddarholmen Church (Riddarholmskyrkan).

  • Birger Jarl's tower (Birger Jarls torn).

  • Evert Taube Terrace (Evert Taubes terrass).

  • Wrangel Palace (Wrangelska palatset).

5. Norrström

Norrström is the stream north of Gamla Stan.

  • Gustav Vasa.

  • Bonde Palace (Supreme Court).

  • Ryningska palatset (Ryning Palace).

  • Swedish Parliament (Sveriges riksdag).

  • Parliament Chamber (Riksdagens plenisal).

  • Riksäpplet.

6. Munkbron

In the old days, Stockholm's citizens have thrown household waste in the water. As the land rose, much of the new surface consisted of dried waste, which compacted over the centuries. The waterfront buildings were built on top of this loose ground.

  • Petersenska huset.

  • Munkbron 9.

  • Postmuseum.

  • Bågspännaren (The Crossbowman).

7. Skeppsbron

Skeppsbron (literally The Ship Bridge) was Stockholm's main harbour during the Age of Sail. The buildings on the waterfront were commissioned by the merchants, affectionally called Skeppsbroadeln, ("the Skeppsbron Nobility") though not legally nobles.

  • Räntmästarhuset (Treasurer's house).

  • Zum Franziskaner ("Zum"), Skeppsbron 44.

  • Södra Bankohuset (Southern Bank House), Järntorget 84.

  • Sjöguden (Sea God).

  • Schönska huset, Skeppsbron 28.

  • Skeppsbron 18.

  • First Hotel Reisen, Skeppsbron 12.

  • Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet).

8. Norrmalm

  • The Royal Swedish Opera (Operan) (T-Centralen).

  • Grand Hôtel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8.

  • Survey Office (Lantmäteristyrelsens hus).

  • Tändstickspalatset (Matchstick Palace).

  • Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Nybrokajen 9.

  • Hallwyll Museum (Hallwyllska Museet), Hamngatan 4.

9. Strandvägen

Strandvägen was built in the 19th century, with residences of the rising capitalist class.

  • Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten), Nybroplan.

  • Svenskt Tenn, Strandvägen 5 (T Östermalmstorg).

  • Hotel Diplomat, Strandvägen 7.

  • Environmental obelisks (Miljöobelisker).

10. Djurgården

Djurgården was a royal park; since the 19th century it has hosted museums and exhibitions.

  • Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum), Djurgårdsvägen 6-16 (On Djurgården, next to Djurgården bridge.).

  • Villa Lusthusporten.

  • Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet), Galärvarvsvägen 14.

  • Abba The Museum, Djurgårdsvägen 68.

  • Vikingaliv, Djurgårdsvägen 48.

  • Spirits Museum (Spritmuseum), Djurgårdsvägen 38.

  • Liljevalchs ([ˈliljəˈvalks]), Djurgårdsvägen 60.

  • Waldemarsudde ([valdəmaʂˈɵdə]), Prins Eugens Väg 6.

  • Thiel Gallery (Thielska Galleriet), Sjötullsbacken 8.

Part 4: Afternoon - Södermalm heights tour

1. Understand

Until the 19th century, Södermalm's northern shoreline below the steep hills was used for docks and factories, and the hills housed the workers. The rest of the island was a farmland which supplied Stockholm.

As the rectangular city plan was laid out over Södermalm in the 1880s, the hills were exempted, and has preserved wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, in a manner similar to Montmartre in Paris.

Being a centrally located low-end neighbourhood (at times a slum) overlooking the more affluent districts, Södermalm has been romanticized more than any other part of Stockholm. Many of Stockholm's most famous artists and writers have lived on the hills, and there are many art galleries today. In the 1960s the buildings were modernized; today they are gentrified, and among the city's most expensive properties.

Södermalm's heights came to world fame in the 2000s with Stieg Larsson's Millennium book series and its film adaptation; see Millennium Tour.

The Stockholm quay palace tour visits the city's institutional buildings close up, and many of the city's public sculptures.

2. Get Around

The whole tour can be walked within an hour on fast feet. Some of the roads are steep and narrow, and can get slippery from rain, snow and ice. Good shoes are needed. Bicycles, electric scooters, strollers and wheelchairs can only access the paved road sections.

3. Mariaberget

Mariaberget is a ridge on northern Södermalm, at the shore of Mälaren, inhabited at least since the 14th century.

  • Zinkensdamm metro station. The beginning of the tour. The art is more sparse than other stations of the Stockholm metro, but the walls at the end of the platforms have paintings.

  • Yttersta Tvärgränd. A street with buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

  • Skinnarviksberget. Stockholm's tallest hill, at 53 metres above sea level. Until 8,000 years BCE, Stockholm was covered by ice. The ice pushed down and eroded the bedrock, creating the blocks and scars visible today. Since the ice melted, the land began to rise again today around 1 metre for every 200 years (see Ice Age traces). Around 2500 years BCE, the hill you stand on surfaced through the sea; the scenery looked pretty much like the outer parts of Stockholm archipelago. Skinnarviken literally means "the tanners' bay"; the smelly craft was usually located outside the city.

  • Lundagatan (Gamla Lundagatan). While these houses were typical dwellings for Stockholm's poorest, they were modernized in the 1960s.

  • Lundabron. A cast iron bridge built in 1889.

  • Monteliusvägen. A scenic trail which opened in 1998 with seating at the viewpoints.

  • Ivar Lo-museet, Bastugatan 21. A museum for Swedish writer and labour activist Ivar Lo-Johansson, famous for depicting the harsh conditions of Swedish farm workers, statare, until the system was abolished in 1945. The museum contains a small exhibition and Lo-Johansson's apartment, and requires advance booking. A scrapbook of Lo-Johansson's life is on display in the window. Across the street is Ivar Los park, a park with a playground styled as an early 20th century farm, and a bust of Lo-Johansson.

  • Bellmansgatan. The street is named for the ballad writer Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795). The bridge to the defunct elevator Mariahissen is famous from Stieg Larsson's Millennium series.

  • Hornsgatspuckeln. A hump in the road, with many art and craft galleries.

  • Maria Magdalena Church (Maria Magdalena kyrka). Inaugurated in 1634. Maria Magdalena Church (Q3497031) on Wikidata Maria Magdalena Church on Wikipedia

  • Stockholm City Museum (Stockholms stadsmuseum), Ryssgården. Displays the history of Stockholm from 1523 to present day, with special attention to construction, architecture, and interior design.

4. Landmarks visible from Mariaberget

  • Västerbron. This 1935 arch bridge became Stockholm's first north-south bridge outside of Slussen. On 8 August 1993, thousands of people watched the first public exhibition of the new Swedish military aircraft Saab 39 Gripen, known for its advanced control system. As of a miracle, the plane crashed a few metres from the crowded bridge in a nearby park; the only injured person got burns from touching the wreck.

  • Norra tornen. Residential skyscrapers finished in 2020. Between Wenner-Gren Center and Norra tornen, a new campus district named Hagastaden is being built during the 2020s, around the Karolinska Institute (famous for handing out the Nobel Prize in medicine), with the intention to develop Stockholm as a science cluster for the future.

  • Stockholm Court House (Stockholms Rådhus) (Kungsholmen). The courthouse from 1915 with its massive tower is regarded as one of the foremost examples of Swedish national romanticism architecture, with a successful 2000s restoration.

  • Münchenbryggeriet. A brewery built in the 1890s, today used as a conference centre.

  • Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset) (Kungsholmen). The 1923 city hall with the iconic Three Crowns spire, where the Nobel Prize Banquet takes place every year.

  • Hötorget skyscrapers. The postwar economic expansion brought the 1950s and 60s redevelopment of Norrmalm, visible through the five Hötorget skyscrapers in international style.

  • Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan) (next to the Royal Palace). The oldest church in Gamla stan. Built in the 13th century in the Gothic style, the exterior was remodelled in Baroque style around 1740. The church is the seat of the Church of Sweden bishop of Stockholm.

  • German Church (Tyska Kyrkan). Officially named Sankta Gertrud, this church is the home of the first German-speaking parish outside Germany, giving some clue to the importance of German merchants in the history of Stockholm. On the site of the church, a German merchants' guild was founded in the 14th century. In the 16th century, the headquarters was converted into a church, which was later expanded. The interior is baroque in style, with large windows and white vaults.

  • Globen (Avicii Arena). Located just south of Södermalm, and claiming to be the world's largest hemispheric building with 110 metres across, the Globe has been one of the most eye-catching features of the Stockholm skyline since its inauguration in 1989. It is frequently used for ice hockey games but also for other sporting events, as well as concerts and galas. The Globe also represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System; Mercury is at Stockholms Stadsmuseum, Venus and Earth on Östermalm, and the outer planets are north of Stockholm.

5. Katarinaberget

  • Slussen Showroom (Slussenrummet), Södermalmstorg 4. Slussen literally means "the sluice"; referring to the lock between lake Mälaren, around 70 centimetres above the brackish Baltic Sea. Over the centuries, Slussen has developed to a complex transportation hub for boats, road and rail, with a current redevelopment set to be complete in 2025. The showroom has archaeological artifacts, posters and a scale model present the history and future of the canal. Open daily.

  • Södermalmstorg. A town square which has been used at least since the 15th century. An archaeological dig site reveals ruins and artifacts from centuries of commerce. The site will be covered by 2023.

  • Almgrens sidenväveri, Repslagargatan 15. A silk workshop, still operating 19th-century machinery.

  • Konsthantverkarna, Södermalms torg 4, ☏ +46 8 611 03 70. Art gallery.

  • Grafiska Sällskapet, Hornsgatan 6, ☏ +46 8 643 88 04. Gallery run by the Swedish Printmakers' Association.

  • Katarina Church (Katarina kyrka), Högbergsgatan 13, ☏ +46 8 743 68 00. Open to the public M-F 11:00-17:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00.. Katarina kyrka ("Church of Catherine"), named after Princess Catherine, mother of King Charles X of Sweden, can be seen from many parts of central Stockholm from its location on a Södermalm hill. The church was built 1656–1695 and has been rebuilt twice after being destroyed by fires. After the first fire in 1723, the church was given a larger, octagonal tower. Following a new fire in May 1990 which left almost nothing but the external walls, the church was faithfully reconstructed and reopened in 1995. Several notable Swedes are buried in the cemetery; among them singer Cornelis Vreeswijk, and former Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, who was assassinated in 2003.

  • Fjällgatan. Walking eastwards from Slussen up Katarinavägen you will reach the picturesque street.

  • Ersta Museum. A hospital and nurse academy opened in 1851.

  • Ersta Church. Part of the Ersta hospital complex.

6. Landmarks visible from Katarinaberget

  • HMS af Chapman. A full-rigged ship launched in 1888 under the name Dunboyne, later G.D. Kennedy. She ran freight between Gothenburg and Australia. From 1915 to 1934 she was a training ship, and since 1949 she is used as a hostel.

  • Kastellet. A citadel from the 17th century, which flies the naval flag, and is used for gun salutes. The building exploded in 1845 and was rebuilt in 1848.

  • Nordiska Museet (Nordic Museum), Djurgårdsvägen 6-16. A museum of cultural history from 1520 to our days, in an impressive 1907 cathedral-like building on Djurgården. Exhibitions focus on Swedish handicraft, customs and traditions.

  • Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet). The Swedish Empire was at the height of its power in the 17th century. For the Thirty Years War, a warship named Vasa was built at Blasieholmen. In 1628 it sank outside Södermalm at its maiden voyage, was salvaged in 1961, and is since 1990 on display in a museum on Djurgården, as the only of its kind.

  • Kaknästornet. A TV tower from 1967.

  • Gröna Lund, Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9. Stockholm's only amusement park.

7. Vita bergen

  • Bergsprängargränd. An alley of wooden cabins.

  • Sofia Church (Sofia kyrka). This 1902 Romanesque parish church is on the top of a hill, which is a great viewpoint in its own right. Vita Bergen is a calm park, sloping southwards.

Part 5: Afternoon - Stockholm history tour

1. Understand

Lake Mälaren used to be part of the Baltic Sea, and the Stockholm archipelago was a waterway for the first Swedish towns; Birka, Uppsala, and Sigtuna. As Sigtuna was sacked by pirates in AD 1187, the Swedes had a stockade built at an island in the strait, which has been known as Stockholm since 1252. As the land rose due to post-glacial rebound (see below) Mälaren became a lake, cargo had to reload at Stockholm. In the 15th century, Stockholm replaced Uppsala as the centre of commerce and government, becoming the capital of the 17th-century Swedish Empire.

Since 1901, Stockholm has drawn the world's attention with the Nobel Prize. The city was spared by the World Wars, but around the 1960s, hundreds of old buildings in Norrmalm were torn down to build a new business district, and a metro, known for its art. 21st century Stockholm is one of Europe's fastest growing cities, known for pop music, startup tech companies, and sustainable development.

2. Prepare

May to September tend to have the most comfortable weather. In summer you can take advantage of the long daylight; a morning or evening tour can be preferred to avoid crowds. From 20 June to the end of July, most inhabitants leave the city, and some venues close for summer. From December to early March you can expect temperatures just below zero degrees Celsius, but cold weather can be managed with proper clothes. The main concern at winter is the darkness; sun sets at 15:00 in December; see Winter in the Nordic countries.

While Sweden is arguably the world's most cashless country, Swedish banknotes have portraits of some historical figures mentioned in this article, and are useful as props.

As Stockholm is an important stage for Nordic music and the home of world-leading streaming platform Spotify, the tour has a soundtrack.

3. Get Around

The tour is around 4 km (2.5 mi), and can be completed on quick feet within an hour: more for people who move slowly. Two hours would allow for a calm stroll with breaks at the waypoints, excluding visits to museums and other venues. For actually visiting all the museums and buildings rather than just taking a quick glance at them, you may want to budget a full day. Smaller text is used for landmarks which can be skipped by a visitor in a hurry, as they are not part of the big picture.

Stockholm centre is walking-friendly if snow is not present; following this itinerary by foot is safe and mostly hassle-free.

The streets of Gamla Stan are pedestrian stone streets, some of them with a steep grade. Wear comfortable shoes. They are less suitable for bicycles and electric scooters (see cycling in Sweden) and not open for cars. Wheelchairs and strollers can get through with a few detours.

Some organized walking tours follow similar waypoints.

4. Introduction: The rise of Stockholm

The tour begins at the transportation hub Slussen on Södermalm, with a view of the Old Town, and the story about the Viking Age and the foundation of Stockholm in the 13th century.

  • Slussen metro station (Rising land),

  • Slussbron (Viking Age).

  • Stadsgården (Foundation of Stockholm).

5. Part I: The Old Town

Stockholm grew to become Sweden's capital through Middle Ages, and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. As most structures from those times have been replaced by buildings from the 17th century or later (described in depth in the Stockholm quay palace tour) we need to look for cellars, streets, and other remnants.

  • Kogghamn (Medieval Stockholm harbour).

  • Victoriaslussen.

  • Järntorget (Iron Square).

  • Mårten Trotzigs gränd.

  • Tyska Stallplan.

  • Skomakareporten (Shoemaker Gate).

  • Morpheus block, Prästgatan 46–50.

  • Uppland Runic Inscription 53, Kåkbrinken 1.

  • Stortorget.

  • Cepheus block (Kvarteret Cepheus), Stortorget 3 (Enter through Grillska huset, go to the courtyard terrace).

  • Stortorget well (Stortorgsbrunnen).

6. Part II: Palace and Parliament

Around the Royal Palace and Riksdag (Parliament), we see the rise and fall of the Swedish Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the road to democracy, with universal suffrage achieved in 1918, and see Sweden's political institutions today.

  • Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan), Trångsund 1 (next to the Royal Palace).

  • Slottet Tre Kronor (Castle Three Crowns).

  • Olaus Petri statue.

  • Stockholm Palace (Kungliga Slottet).

  • Stockholm Palace main gate (Great Northern War).

  • Royal Palace south wing.

  • Swedish Academy and Nobel Prize Museum.

  • The Obelisk at Slottsbacken.

  • Karl XIV Johan statue.

  • Royal Guards (Kungliga Högvakten).

  • Christina Gyllenstierna statue.

  • Helvetesgränd, Prästgatan.

  • Italian founder statues, Västerlånggatan 13.

  • Parliament's democracy exhibition.

  • Swedish Parliament (Sveriges riksdag).

  • Parliament Chamber (Riksdagens plenisal).

  • Stallbron.

  • Riksäpplet.

7. Part III: Building a nation

From the 1860s to the 1960s, Sweden rose from a poor agrarian country to a post-industrial welfare state. As Stockholm sprawled outwards with railroads and motorways and evaded the World Wars, Norrmalm became the new business district, with expressions of Sweden's new national identity with historical monuments, museums and buildings to commemorate and romanticize its past.

  • Riksbron.

  • Gustavus Adolphus statue.

  • Gustav Adolfs torg.

  • Kungsträdgården.

  • Karl XII:s torg (Charles XII square).

  • Kungsträdgården elm trees.

8. Part IV: Port to the world

Nybroplan is a waterfront square, where we can sit down and see locations of events from the 1860s to the 1970s, which made Stockholm world famous.

  • Berzelii park.

  • John Ericsson statue.

  • Nybrokajen.

  • Raoul Wallenberg Monument.

  • Nybroplan tram station (The day when Sweden switched driving side).

9. Part V: The world's most modern city

Stockholm's central business district was redeveloped for motorized commuting during the 1960s, in a time marked by the Cold War with a nuclear threat, and the consolidation of Sweden's welfare state. The rise of environmentalism, counterculture and street crime shattered the utopia. By year 2000, Stockholm had become a world leader in computing, sustainable technology and pop music. This is the scene for some of Sweden's most dramatic events during the last decades: a hostage crisis, two assassinations, and a terrorist attack.

  • Norrmalmstorg.

  • Frihetens källa (Baltic independence monument).

  • Klara bomb shelter (Klara skyddsrum).

  • Malmskillnadsgatan.

  • Space, Sergelgatan 2.

  • Drottninggatan traffic lights.

  • Drottninggatan/Bryggargatan.

  • Hötorget.

  • Stockholm Concert Hall (Stockholms konserthus).

  • Olof Palme assassination scene (Skandiahuset), Sveavägen 42.

Check ChatGPT's answer for alternative itinerary.

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