Want to get the lowdown on the very best things to do in Stockholm? If you are ready to step into a stylish Swedish fairytale (with undertones of futuristic frissions) then a trip to the bewitching Swedish capital might well be on the cards.
Stockholm is a city like no other – it consists of 14 main islands, however in total, there are over 30,000 little islands that make up its sprawling archipelago. The locals fondly refer to them as the ‘skärgården’ and the best way to explore them is via the ferry where there are pristine lakes, verdant parks, lush forests and more.
From the classic contours of its baroque and rococo buildings to its quirky contemporary structures like the Avicii Arena, this island city is endlessly charming and truly a sight to behold, especially when viewed from the water.
Asides sailing through this beautiful archipelago, what are the best things to do in Stockholm? Let’s find out!
Explore the Old Town
Weave your way through the cobbled narrow streets of Gamla Stan – the old town which dates back to the 13th century.
Here you will see intriguing ochre and mustard-hued buildings (including the very apartment that two members of the Swedish supergroup ABBA lived in!) the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and a plethora of world-class museums.
Of course, we can’t forget that this is also one of the main shopping areas, which is definitely one of our favourite things to do in Stockholm.
Get into nature
Even so, the scenery still manages to put everything else to shame. If you are looking to get into nature as one of your things to do in Stockholm, this stunning city delivers on so many levels.
As an island(s) city, you will be spoiled for choice with some amazing nature reserves, parks and hiking trails to walk around.
We love the absolutely stunning Tyresta National Park which has an old growth forest with ancient pine trees, lakes and ruins that make for a fantastic hike: plus it’s only 2km from the heart of the city.
If you prefer to be on the water, there are ample opportunities to kayak, canoe or even SUP on the lakes throughout Stockholm.
Alternatively, you can enjoy any of these water-borne activities at a national park within the city past palaces and beautiful green areas.
Love the water but prefer your feet to stay on dry ground? Take a stroll to the pretty waterfront from Nybroviken along to Strandvägen, which is a lovely 19th-century esplanade lined with elegant converted mansions.
Explore the museums
Did you know that Stockholm is a haven for museum lovers?
There’s over 50 museums in total from under-the-radar nooks that are filled with intrigue to traditional museums steeped in history.
You won’t be short of things to do in Stockholm, even if you only take a small bite of the glorious culture apple.
There are several free museums in Stockholm which include The Swedish Museum of Natural History, the National Museum and the Moderna Museet.
For a full round-up of the best museums in Stockholm, take a look at our handy guide.
Visit the sauna
Whilst Swedish people are pretty active, they also know how to relax too! In fact, it’s high up on some of their favourite things to do in Stockholm.
There’s no shortage of spas and saunas in Stockholm where you can get your zen on and enjoy some top-to-toe pampering.
So, if enjoying a sauna is high on your list of things to do in Stockholm whilst on your trip, you will be spoilt for choice. The Centralbadet is a superb choice as you can enjoy a Roman bath, a sauna, a huge swimming pool and a sun-drenched roof terrace.
Go for afternoon tea
Think afternoon tea is just something to be enjoyed in a fancy London hotel?
Then think again! Afternoon tea is an integral part of Swedish culture and is fast becoming one of the many favourite things to do in Stockholm for Swedes.
From cinnamon buns and delicate pastry treats like fika to a more traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches, pastries and scones, there are choices for all appetites (and price points!)
Take in an exhibition
From masters of the Renaissance to contemporary and pioneering painters, you will find everything you are looking for and more at Stockholm’s art galleries.
If, like us, art galleries feature pretty highly on your things to do in Stockholm list, then you will love the awesome array of art that is on display.
From the Bonniers Konsthall art gallery, for the most extensive range of both Swedish and international art, to the Fotografiska where you will find one of the best collections of photography in the world.
Whilst these are obvious choices, there are also some more under-the-radar options such as the Hallwylska museum and gallery which is a time-capsule from the 1920’s, offering a unique glimpse into the lifestyle of the upper classes in this era.
Enjoy some live music
Stockholm has no shortage of bars and venues where you can enjoy live music.
From blues and jazz to rock and swing, there’s a stage out there waiting just for you.
The music scene is so much more than just ABBA tribute acts in Stockholm and if exploring the music scene is high on the priority list when it comes to unmissable things to do in Stockholm, then make sure you carve out time to check out the likes of Debaser Medis, Annexet and more.
Södra Teatern is one of Stockholm’s oldest theatres, constructed in 1859. These days it houses several bars, various stages for live music, and a restaurant, Mosebacke Etablissement, that turns into a club after 10pm on weekends.