My best Stockholm sightseeing for 24 hours in Stockholm. After I was finally back in Stockholm in May, many of my blog readers asked me: what must-see in Stockholm? For 24 hours in Stockholm, I would recommend you the following sightseeing: Royal Castle, Skansen Historical Park, Vasa Ship Museum, Stadshuset City Hall and Gamla Stan, the Old Town. But there are many more tips to Stockholm and for a perfect short weekend trip in Sweden.
I thought long and hard about which hotel to choose as accommodation on my first trip to Stockholm. I chose the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel at that time and I think it speaks for itself when I gladly chose the hotel again on my second visit. By the way, the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel is the oldest Sheraton Hotel in Europe and is over 40 years old and yet one of the most modern hotels.
For me, the location of the hotel was just perfect, as you can walk with luggage from the main train station (Centralstation). You have a great view of the water and the city hall, each also with a fantastic sunset. For me as a platinum guest of the SPG Starwood program, the use of the lounge, as well as breakfast is free and I still miss the cinnamon buns (Kanelbullar) from there – but more on that later.
Of course, there are many helpful guidebooks to this wonderful city and the Stockholm sightseeing. If you are interested in a lot of background information, you should definitely take a travel guide with you on your trip to Sweden. I can rather give you tips about my personal impressions and highlights of Sweden.
Stockholm Tourist Information
I got to know and love Stockholm as a tourist myself. There are many Stockholm sightseeing that immediately come to mind when I think of Stockholm. The special historical places explain the history and tradition of the city. But even without needing to understand more of Stockholm’s past, you can quickly fall in love with this beautiful city by the water. It is actually enough to walk around a bit and let the city take effect on you.
The best time to visit Stockholm?
Stockholm is really beautiful in autumn, when the leaves are already changing color and it is still nice and warm and sunny during the day. But also in summer it is beautiful in Sweden. However, you should realize that it doesn’t really get dark there at night in the summer.
In autumn it was a bit more normal, but the low sun completely confused my inner sense of time, so I was hungry all the time. Really nice is the extremely long twilight, which gives you the opportunity for many great sunset pictures. So please consider the different sunset times in Stockholm when planning your trip.
Best way to get to Stockholm
Stockholm and the Stockholm sightseeing are experienced by many as a stopover during a cruise. The large cruise ships dock near the bus station “Tegelvikshamnen” at the museum Fotografiska. Also a nice starting point for 24 hours time in Stockholm.
By plane, you usually fly to Arlanda Airport and from there you can take the Arlanda Express (18 minute ride, costs about EUR 30.00) or the Swebus train (30 minute ride, costs about EUR 13.00) into the city. Of course, you can also get to Stockholm by car.
Top 10 Stockholm sightseeing in Sweden
There are some Stockholm sightseeing that I can always recommend and would visit again myself. I have a route that I would take again and again, depending on the time, when I visit Stockholm. You can expand it as you wish and of course you don’t have to go into every museum repeatedly. Certainly this is also a bit weather dependent. From my hotel, I always walk first to my first of the Stockholm sightseeing on Gamla Stan:
Royal Castle (Kungliga Slottet) – Best Stockholm sightseeing.
For us Germans, it is simply fascinating that countries still have kings. Sweden also has a very sympathetic royal family, with many great magnificent buildings. If you pass by here at the right time, you can watch a changing of the guard. The castle was built in baroque style and has 600 rooms.
The castle is used as a working residence of the royal family and for representative purposes. If you want to visit the castle, you can get an insight into the royal chambers, the treasury and the Kronor Museum, where you can learn more about the history of Sweden and the castle. On the way to the castle, by the way, you walk past the “Riksdagshuset”, the Reichstag – also very photogenic, even at night.
Gamla Stan – Historical part of the city as Stockholm sightseeing
The castle stands in the middle of the old town, which is also called Gamla Stan. In 1252, the city center was created here and still today you can discover many things worth seeing here, such as the Stockholm Cathedral Church (Storkyrkan). The alleys are beautiful and often end at green squares with great cafes and bars.
By the way, here you can also find Sweden’s narrowest alley “Mårten Trotzigs gränd”. Also worth seeing is the old market square “Stortorget” with the beautiful houses. I like to walk along the shore or through Gamla Stan to the ferry pier “Slussen kajen”, where the line 82 “Stockholm Allmänna gränd brygg” takes you after two stops to the next shore. Here, after a short walk, lies the next sightseeing.
Skansen open-air museum – Stockholm sightseeing park
If you are interested in Swedish traditions and want to take pictures of old and typical buildings, you should not miss Skansen. It is best to take the escalator at the main entrance and go to the very top and slowly walk back down the hill.
You have a great view of Stockholm here and can always find re-enacted scenes from the 19th century or even a zoo, which makes the park perfect for children. Especially much entertainment can be found here at Christmas and Midsummer, or Midsommar. Once you’re back down at the end, ABBA fans can make a quick stop at the ABBA Museum almost next door. After a short walk, you are already in front of the next sightseeing.
Vasa Museum – ship as Stockholm sightseeing
The whole museum was built around the Vasa, an old warship from the 17th century. The dark wooden ship was salvaged from the bottom of the sea and now stands restored to its original size in this museum. Even if there is only “one” ship to see, this museum is worthwhile to get more relation to Sweden.
My tip for you: take the elevator to the top and slowly walk down. After this museum you can additionally visit the historical Nordic museum “Nordiska museet”. Afterwards I would walk past the beautiful blue gate over the bridge and walk a bit along the “Strandvägen”. If you have time, you can walk by the historical museum “Historiska museet” or the army museum “Armémuseum”. Let’s move on to shopping in Stockholm.
NK Nordiska Kompaniet – Shopping in Stockholm
The luxury department store in Hamngatan, which can be compared a little with the “KaDeWe” in Berlin. High quality brands and goods are located on four floors in a special building. Swedish and international fashion (e.g. Gand, J.Lindeberg, Fillipa K, Acne and Tiger), as well as classic department store items await the customer.
In the basement you can find traditional Swedish and Scandinavian glass art (maybe as a souvenir?). Back one can walk e.g. then over the artificial park “Kungsträdgården” and comes thereby automatically to the next Stockholm sightseeing.
Royal Opera House (Operan) – Stockholm sightseeing
The Opera of Stockholm is a great photo backdrop and also a guided tour is worthwhile here, if you have time for it. The opera house was built in neoclassical style in 1897. After five more minutes of walking, you are now back at the starting point and can rest. Now you have a distance of 7 km behind you (but with a pleasant ferry ride). But there are more travel tips for Stockholm and Stockholm sightseeing…
Stadshuset – City Hall – Stockholm sightseeing.
If you are lucky, you can even see a bride here. But even without a bride, the city hall is beautiful to look at. Especially the courtyard with the cobblestones is a great photo motif and in winter, the courtyard is a bit more sheltered from the wind than being right on the water. Next to the town hall, the ferry stops that can take you to Drottningholm.
Drottningholm Castle (Drottningholms Slott) – excursion by boat
The baroque castle is located just outside Stockholm (about half an hour drive) and is not only a museum, but also the main residence of King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife Silvia since 1982, at least the south wing of the castle. Incidentally, the castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle park is designed according to the French model and is beautifully and extensively laid out. In summer, you can also reach the castle by ferry. However, it is faster to use public transport.
SkyView – Ericsson Globe – Viewpoint
Behind the modern district of Södermalm lies the Ericsson Globe as a large concert and event hall. In a glass sphere, you can ride up 130 meters outside at the Ericsson Globe and enjoy a great view of Stockholm. The ride takes about 20 minutes.
Fotografiska Museum Stockholm sightseeing
The famous museum with works of world famous photographers. A modern photography exhibition in an impressive building. If you are interested in photo exhibitions by artists this is the place to be.
My insider tips for Stockholm
Of course, there are also small tips outside the normal Stockholm sightseeing that you always give to friends on their travels. If one meets, by the way, with friends or people who live in Stockholm, they are always very happy about chocolates filled with alcohol, or even directly alcohol, because this is extremely expensive in Sweden.
In general, Sweden also seems very expensive for us Germans in many things. If you still want to stroll through the stores, you can quickly convert the Swedish krona:
1 SEK = 0.104803097 euros (as of 12/09/2016).
So 100 SEK is about EUR 10.00 – quite handy for a quick conversion to calculate prices. Whether for the small snack on the road, the dinner or shopping. By the way, you can pay everywhere by card without any problems and don’t need Swedish kronor as cash.
Stockholm also has great market halls if you are looking for that special and fresh food experience. The “Östermalmshallen” at Östermalmstorg are very popular with foodies. There is actually everything you want – from bakeries with cafes to vegetables and fish, as well as lunch restaurants. The impressive building was built back in 1888.
Alternatively, there is also the “Hötorgshallen” at Hötorget with many culinary experiences. Do not be afraid to use the escalator down – here you can find everything your heart or stomach desires.
Everywhere you go in Stockholm, you’ll notice how modern the city is. Many companies review new products in Sweden first. For example, if you notice a chambermaid with a tablet, she uses it because all the information about the rooms and guest preferences are stored there.
Modernity pervades throughout the city. Pharmacies also left me speechless. It’s all done online, but feel free to let them explain it to you on the spot, because I bet it’s become even more modern now.
Facts about Stockholm
By the way, Stockholm is also very worth seeing at night, because the old buildings with the lighting also look very beautiful. In winter, however, you should put on a really thick jacket and maybe even take some coffee or tea with you. You just notice that Stockholm is located on the water. A few photos examples of Stockholm at night you see in my matching blogpost.
By the way, Stockholm is located at the outflow of Lake Mälaren into the Baltic Sea (Riddarfjärden). In Slussen you can see the lock that separates the fresh water of the lake from the salt water (especially during the tides). 30% of Stockholm’s area is water, so it’s not surprising that Stockholm consists of 14 islands and has 53 bridges.
There are many great viewpoints in Stockholm, however, I would like to introduce two in particular that are gorgeous to visit at sunrise and sunset.
Monteliusvägen – Stockholm sightseeing
From up here you have a great view of Lake Mälaren, City Hall and Riddarholmen on foot.
Fjällgatan – Stockholm sightseeing
Above the cliff you can see from Fotografiska (there are stairs). From here you have a beautiful view of the top Stockholm sightseeing Gamla Stan, Djurgården and Östermalm.
Conclusion – Stockholm sightseeing – 24 hours in Stockholm
I hope I could give you a good impression about the city of Stockholm and the Stockholm sightseeing and you know now more exactly what you want to see. If you think about whether you should rather visit Stockholm or Oslo, I can only recommend you to do both cities, because both cities are simply beautiful. Similar, but not comparable.
What not to miss in Stockholm? You should definitely have eaten a cinnamon bun, or kanelbullar. The best cafes for a “Fika” (means: meeting friends, plus coffee and cake) are definitely in Stockholm. But also traditional Köttbullar should not be refused.
For liquorice lovers, Sweden is a paradise anyway. I still remember how the customs asked me if I had bought anything and I said with shining eyes and proudly only “licorice”….
Actually, 24 hours is way too short for Stockholm, but it is enough to want to come back very soon. I would always love to come back and spend my time in Stockholm. Whether it’s three hours of free time, 24 hours or a whole week.
In order to be able to live in Stockholm permanently, however, you should consider starting a Swedish language course to get the right Swedish income in the long run. Otherwise, you can get along very well with English and German.
I found that you can understand the Swedes quite well – sometimes it sounds like another Dutch dialect and after a few days you just overhear the endings and can interpret it into German…
Finally, a little tip for the best spots for Instagram pictures in Stockholm. Have fun experiencing the great Stockholm sightseeing and let yourself be enchanted!