Top 5 Things To Do in Stockholm
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a stunning city to visit on a short break. Located on the eastern edge of the country, it is nestled amongst 3000+ islands of various sizes that make up a beautiful archipelago. The city has so much going for it: the friendly people, the delicious Nordic cuisine, its ‘walkability’, the fascinating museums and attractions, the history and of course, the proximity of both the sea and large parklands and, of course, Swedish design.
To help you plan your visit, we’re delighted to offer you our recommendations for the Top 5 Things to Do on a short visit to Stockholm.
1. Vasa Museum
Without a doubt, this is the #1 ‘must see’ in Stockholm. The Vasa was a massive warship built in 1628, however it sank within 20 minutes of commencing its maiden voyage in the waters around Stockholm. Fast forward 300 years or so and the ship was found and raised. Due to the cold waters the wood had remained pretty much intact. Over the past 50 years the ship has been reassembled and its restoration continues today inside the specially built Vasa Museum which allows you to get up close to the historical ship over 4 floors. Almost everything you see is original. It is truly fascinating.
2. Archipelago Boat Tour
Naturally, for a city built on a series of islands, there are several harbour areas around central Stockholm. In many of them you will see the stately old white steamers which today offer tourist trips to some of the other islands as well as lunch and dinner cruises around the archipelago. The restaurants on board offer excellent quality and opting for a meal ensures you get a good seat and view during your island cruise. Several itineraries take you to places of historical interest located on some of the outer islands, such as royal palaces. Or go on a full day trip an island such as Sandhamn, a lively island with a rich history and a unique nature.
3. Gamla Stan
Roam the narrow, cobblestone streets and alleyways in the city’s historic old town located on a small island within the geographic heart of Stockholm. Now home to a multitude of souvenir, arts and craft shops, as well as galleries, cafes and restaurants, it is also the location of the Royal Palace, which is open for tours. The Changing of the Guard takes place in the outer courtyard each day and is quite a spectacle!
4. The Nobel Museum
Stortorget is the oldest square in Gamla Stan (tip: check out the chocolate shop in the 13th century orange coloured merchants’ house on the square – delish!) and is also home to the Nobel Museum. Try and time your visit with the guided tour (usually around 11am) to really allow the place to come alive. The history of the founder of the Nobel Prizes, the way the prize winners are selected and the very specific selection processes are all explained, together with the importance of the prizes in today’s world.
5. Just Explore!
Choose an area of Stockholm on your map and just walk! The city is built on 14 islands connected by more than 50 bridges and each area is different. Don’t be afraid to be nosey … poking your head in through an unprepossessing doorway can reveal an Aladdin’s cave. That’s how we found a beautiful cherry-blossom filled park, the massive Galleria shopping centre and two delicious food halls in the heart of Stockholm: the cheap ‘n’ cheerful Kungshallen and the artisan food market, Hotorgshallen. If you want to explore further afield, the city’s bus and metro rail service are very convenient.
Project Travel has made several trips to Stockholm in the past year or so – including visits to the Stockholm ATP Men’s Tennis Open held each year in October. We will shortly be putting a formal short-break package on the website. Until then, we would be happy to put together a tailor-made short-break trip for your, so please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01 – 210 8391. We’ll give you plenty of extra tips and hints to get the most from your holiday in Stockholm including discount cards for travel and attractions, getting the best value in restaurants (each your main meal at lunchtime!) and much more.
Image credit: Project Travel