You are going to Stockholm and have no idea what the Swedish capital has to offer? There you go: 5 Must Dos in Stockholm
5 Must Dos in Stockholm
Explore the historic center Gamla Stan
The streets of the historic Old Town named Gamla Stan are narrow. But even though a lot of people are wandering through them every day, you won’t get the feeling of being overwhelmed by it. On the contrary. Everything and everyone is pretty relaxed. This makes it perfect for a stroll around the historic center and its Scandinavian architecture.
The architecture is beautiful in a really classy way with clean lines and without too much kitsch. Everywhere you go you’ll see cute, little shops and cafés. Also Gamla Stan is surrounded by water from two directions: East and West. It does not matter where you are, within a few minutes you can reach the waterside. From there you can see ships of all sizes. Jump on one of the public ferries and explore the islands that are nearby.
Marvel at the Royal Palace
Also in the Old Town you’ll find the Kungliga slottet, the Royal Palace. The name gives you the wrong impression though. Nowadays the Royal family lives in a palace close to Stockholm and only uses this building for tourists and representable purposes. The Nobel prize winners for example, which are announced once per year, will be invited to the Palace to dine with the King and Queen.
Something you mustn’t miss out on is the changing of the guard. This ceremony is held by soldiers and marching band members at the Outer Courtyard of the palace. It takes place every day at noon and attracts a ton of tourists on a daily basis. I highly recommend going into the 18th century Italian baroque Palace as well. You should check out the Rooms of Representation which are masterpieces of art and architecture. The furniture mostly states back to the 18th and 19th century. Fun fact: The building was built on top of an older palace, which burned down due to a fire in 1697.
Dive into history at the Wasa museum
My favorite thing in Stockholm and I think you’ll love too is the Wasa Museum. If you’re German like me, you are probably thinking about Knäckebrot right now. However, it has nothing to do with crispbread. The name belongs to a former Swedish king who ordered a colossal ship for defence purposes. It was built within two years but never really left the harbor of Stockholm. On its maiden voyage the really tall but not wide enough piece of trade simply had been knocked down by one strong gust of wind.
Afterwards the ship lay in the seabed for 333 years, before it was finally lifted in the 1970s. Luckily the mud conserved it really well. That’s the reason why 98 percent of the ship is still original. Let me tell you, seeing it with your own eyes for the first time will be unbelievable breathtaking. By far one of my favorite things to do while in Stockholm. What’s even more bizarre is the fact that the museum which hosts it now was built around it.
A guided tour in English is included in the entrance fee and gives you additional information. For example that the figures at the back of the wreck were really heavy colored back in the day. Over time they’ve lost their colors but close by you can see examples of how it looked like. The museum also offers different exhibitions on ship related topics.
Enjoy the view from Riddarholmen
Do you need a break after strolling around the city all day? Head over to the waterside of Riddarholmen. The island to the west of Gamla Stan is less crowded and offers an amazing view over the open water, the southern quarter Södermalm and on the town hall.
The Stadshus, as the locals call it, is located on Kungsholmen. The unique tower with its three crowns is one of Stockholms main attractions. Guided tours are available and give a solid base on the history of Stockholm. Plus: From the tower you’ve an amazing view over Gamla Stan.
A real must see are the subway stations of Stockholm. Why? Because the Swedish capital has made their underground stations into pieces of art. They’re all designed differently: theme, color and objects. The pictures don’t even come close to how amazing they look in real life and I wish more cities around the globe would do this. You can seriously spend hours below ground and all you need is a single subway ticket.
Have you been to Stockholm for the weekend? Would you add anything to my list? Tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear it!