Don’t be shocked if you start to think about moving to Sweden after seeing Stockholm; the city makes traveling seem simple and enjoyable (even for novices). Locals are typically courteous and kind, English is commonly spoken, and everything from the subway system to city streets is clean and easy to navigate.
Stockholm’s location on an archipelago of 14 islands offers a one-of-a-kind experience due to the variety of its settings, from the colorful buildings and cobblestone streets of Gamla Stan to the natural island of Djurgården. If you’re looking for an adventure, it’s a unique spot where you can hop on a public ferry and be transported to another world without ever leaving the city. And no matter where you go, you’ll feel at home in Sweden’s modern, urban atmosphere. Simply plan time for fika, a coffee and cake break so that you may slow down and enjoy life as the Swedes do.
Best Time to Go
Sweden’s climate is changeable, and the summer months are a good time to go. The days are long in the summer, the weather is temperate, and Sweden’s biggest national celebration, Midsummer, begins—but keep in mind that the summer is when Stockholm experiences its greatest activity. Aim to visit Stockholm from September to early November if you want fair weather and smaller crowds. You’ll also get to enjoy the shift into fall and see how cozy Stockholm becomes as the days start getting shorter. If you plan your trip well, you might even catch the Stockholm Jazz Festival (October) or Stockholm International Film Festival (early November).
How to Get Around
Trains: Stockholm’s subway system, known as the tunnelbana, is not only fast, easy, and more affordable than taking a taxi but also has fewer stops. You may either purchase a SL access card with a single-use ticket (38 SEK, about $4) or get a travel card with unlimited use for a set period of time (24 hours: SEK 160; 72 hours: SEK 315; and 7 days: SEK 415). You can also depart from Stockholm using an above-ground train through the same transportation company.
Buses, Trams, Ferries: While the Stockholm subway system is extensive, visitors should also note that buses, trams, and ferries are all available options for getting around. The SL card (which also works for the subway and most trains) can be used for all three modes of transportation.
Taxis: Taxis in Stockholm can also be booked via the city’s official transportation app, which is called “Taxi Stockholm”. Blacklane and Freys, who have been in operation for over 125 years, provide a luxury private car service.
The Rival, a luxurious boutique hotel in the beautiful Södermalm district, is the perfect place to stay. You’ll discover eating and drinking spaces, as well as an amazing theater that features some of the world’s greatest performers, in addition to designer rooms.
At the Lydmar, you can expect to find five-star quality without all of the pretentiousness. The rooms are contemporary and classic with stunning pieces that will make you feel at home, and the staff is encouraged to be personable and share their local knowledge with guests.
Red Boat Mälaren (The Red Boat)
Swap out a traditional hotel or hostel for something a little more unique on your next trip to Stockholm and stay in one of the city’s boat hotels. The Red Boat and Ran of Stockholm offer both hotel- and hostel-style accommodations right on the water, plus they’re centrally located so you can easily explore all that Sweden’s capital has to offer.
800 Grader (pizza)
If even the Swedes need a dependable pizza place, you know this restaurant is good. With an interior that’s cozy and low-key and a menu of only four or five pizzas, it offers everything you could possibly want in such a place. The staff are friendly too! You don’t need to make reservations beforehand since dining is indoors.
Vina (wine bar)
The restaurant Vina is tucked away in a stylish area of Stockholm called Nytorget. The small space has an inviting and romantic atmosphere, perfect for date night. The menu focuses on wine but the food options are also noteworthy. Dining is available both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) and reservations are recommended.
K25 (food hall)
Stockholm’s food halls are a must-visit when in the city – and K25 is one of the best. Here, you’ll find an array of dining options ranging from traditional Swedish cuisine to international classics. There’s something for everyone at this food hall, so come with an empty stomach! And don’t worry about reservations – indoor seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Things to Do
The Vasa Museum’s major selling point is the almost completely intact 17th-century warship—the Vasa—which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. The boat has been well preserved and is a big attraction, but you’ll also get to know the folks who perished with the ship and see what life was like for them.
Taking a ferry across the archipelago is essential, and Fjäderholmarna is an easy destination to visit due to its variety of activities and ease of access. It’s a 20-minute boat journey to the island, which has a restaurant and cafe as well as tiny shops and pathways for hiking.
Come explore this unique place that holds the title for “largest photography museum in the world.” You’ll be enveloped by interesting photographs no matter where you turn.
Granit has a West Elm feel to it, complemented with an ecological perspective and a clean Scandinavian design. Stop by for homegoods, gifts, and a relaxing break from city life.
Nordiska Kompaniet—or NK, for short—is an upscale department store that carries Balenciaga and ba&sh to Hermès and HUGO. If you’re looking to shop at luxurious retailers in a chill atmosphere, this is the place for you.
Gina T is a Swedish boutique known for its modern, crisp look that women everywhere love. If you’re ever in Sweden, be sure to check out the brick-and-mortar shop to get access to the brand’s gorgeous style.
Spring: Swedes rejoice in the welcome of longer days and first colors and life of spring. Temperatures are known to be cool, averaging between 30-60 degrees Fahrenheit—although this varies depending on the month. You can also expect a light amount of rain each month, with an average of two rainy days.
Summer: Summer may be the busiest season for tourists, but that’s because the months of June, July, and August are pleasant and warm, with average temperatures in the low 50s to low 70s. The month of July is usually the wettest month of the year (around three inches of rain).
Fall: The weather gradually becomes colder in the fall, sometimes dipping as low as 30 degrees in November. However, you’ll find average temperatures around the 50-60 degree range in September. Precipitation is moderate, but may turn into snow later on in the season.
Winter: As you might correctly surmise, winter in Stockholm can be cold and dreary. Temperatures usually hover around the freezing mark, and snow is a very real possibility. When the weather takes a turn for the worse and winds start blowing in from the Baltic Sea, it’s time to hunker down and enjoy a leisurely fika.