Built on 14 islands, Stockholm has a natural beauty while being a vibrant centre of culture and commerce. Its waterways provide as much entertainment as its charming streets, trendy cafés and native traditions. Alongside its warm and friendly residents, it has a deserved reputation as an eco-friendly city.
Swedish cuisine reflects both its proximity to the sea and its fertile beauty. So expect to enjoy a variety of seafood and wild game, as well as beef, lamb, mushrooms and cloudberries.
Go for a ‘fika’, which is enjoying coffee and pastry with friends - the quintessential Swedish activity. There are plenty of cafés across the city to choose from. The Mellqvist Caffé Bar comes highly recommended.
For a taste of traditional Swedish cuisine at its finest, visit Den Gyldene Freden, the oldest restaurant in Stockholm (founded in 1722) with authentic interiors that reflect its 18th century origins.
The most popular streets for dining are Västerlånggatan, Stortorget and just about anywhere in Stockholm’s Old Town district (or Gamla Stan). Try any of the traditional Swedish favourites including Gravlax (a salmon dish), Swedish meatballs or a smorgasbord (an open sandwich).
The Bohemian SoFo area is ideal for both shopping and dining. You can explore the dozens of cafés and restaurants amidst clothing, vintage, and second-hand stores, and its thriving social scene in Nytorget Square during the summer months.
If you’re looking for high-end shopping in Stockholm, Ostermalm is the place to be. Prestigious brands can be found there, so be sure to visit the Biblioteksgatan strip as well as areas around Strandvägen.
Old Town is Stockholm’s original city centre. Dating back to the 13th century, it is defined by cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and aged buildings. Start your visit at the main square and explore the nearby museums including the Nobel Museum, the Post Museum and the Royal Coin Cabinet.
Witness the changing of the guard and a performance by the military band at The Royal Palace, a very popular Stockholm destination.
Evidence of Stockholm’s modern artistic sensibility is seen everywhere including the Metro. Work of hundreds of artists can be seen throughout the terminals. Discover over 300 years of Swedish fashion at the Nordiska Museet, an ongoing exhibit that traces the evolution of the country’s fashion sense.
Stockholm is a green city in every sense, boasting 26 parks. Among them is the EkoPark, the world’s first National Urban Park where you can explore the densest population of giant oaks in Europe, and discover a variety of rare plant and insect species.
If you’re travelling with the little ones, popular family attractions include the Grona Lund Amusement Park, and the Museum of Science and Techonology, the Skansen Open-Air Museum and the Stockholm Zoo.
It’s easy to be at the centre of Stockholm’s lively nightlife with bars and clubs all over the city. The Stureplan area is where many of these venues are located, and offers Jazz, Rock and Classical music themed clubs.
The Ice Hotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, is literally a hotel made completely out of snow and ice. You can stay in both warm and cold rooms (only one night in a cold room is recommended) and enjoy a range of unique artistic, gastronomic and outdoor experiences available through the hotel.
Experience the pristine natural landscape of Swedish Lapland and, if you’re lucky, the Aurora Borealis. Also known as the Northern Lights, it’s a natural atmospheric phenomenon featuring multicoloured lights seen only in the skies above the North and South Poles. The visibility of the lights is cyclical and more evident at the end of each cycle (approximately every 11 years).
Explore Uppsala, in central Sweden - a historic city with medieval roots. It’s home to Uppsala Castle - a very important part of Swedish history - and the Linnaeus Garden and Botanical Gardens.
North of Stockholm is Sigtuna, Sweden’s first settlement, having been founded in the 10th century. A charming town with opportunities for shopping and dining, Sigtuna is near to the Skokloster Castle, a place with an intriguing story of its own and well preserved 17th century interiors.