In this article, I would like to talk about the city where I have been living for about 11 months, Stockholm. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and famous for its natural landscapes and its archipelago which has about 24,000 islands. I think Stockholm is one of the safest cities I’ve been to. So, let’s keep on with our Stockholm travel guide!
Who Am I?
My name is Chiara, I am 23 years old and I am a nurse. I am originally from a small town in the province of Milan, Groppello d’Adda. I graduated from nursery school in 2019 during the pandemic and then decided to leave for an experience abroad, especially in Stockholm. Since I was a child I have always traveled, first with my parents and then with friends. Before I find myself here in cold Sweden now, I lived in New Zealand for 3 months and I did the Erasmus in Valencia during university. I like adventure travel more than a luxury. I prefer to know the culture of the place rather than staying in hotels for the rich and international. During my travels, my faithful companion is my camera.
1. Duration of Ideal Stay and Visiting Season
Stockholm is a city that can be visited in 3 days, it is very small. It can be extended by a few days if you decide to go on excursions in the surrounding area (for example on one of the many islands of the Stockholm Archipelago) or in other Viking cities. As for the period I would recommend from May to September because in winter the daylight hours are few (in December the sun sets at 3 pm) and it is very cold. In summer, however, there are a few hours of darkness and it is not excessively warm.
2. How to Get to the City From Airport?
In Stockholm, there are 2 main airports, Arlanda which is the closest to the center, and Skavsta which is furthest away. From Arlanda, the fastest way to get to T-Centralen is by train called Arlanda Express. For the under 25 it costs 149kr while for adults more. In about 20 minutes you arrive in the city center. You can also choose the pendeltåg linje 40, which is cheaper but much slower. Another method is the Flygbuss which is a bus that takes you from the airport exit which costs around 190 kr and takes you to T-centralen. Also from Skavsta, the cheapest and fastest method is the Flygbuss. Tickets can be booked directly online or at the airport. The bus timetables can be found on the website www.flygbussarna.se
Taxis are very expensive but if you are 4 the expense can be divided.
3. Where to Accomadate in Stockholm?
As for the accommodations, I personally have only been to the Elite Hotel in Vasastan. Very quiet and well-connected area, price in line with the Stockholm average.
Alternatively, the best areas are Nörrmal (the city center), Vasastan, Östermalm, and Södermalm (area recommended for young people).
4. Stockholm City Transportation
Public transport is very efficient, among the means. There are also ferries to move from one island to another. I recommend downloading the SL app which allows you to make daily or weekly passes or to buy single tickets. The cost of the ticket is 38 kr but is valid on all public transport for 75 minutes. Before getting on the vehicle it is necessary to have the ticket that can only be done with this application. Electric scooters are also widely used. There are several locations where you can take them. Furthermore, like all Nordic cities, cycle networks are everywhere, so you can also rent a bicycle and enjoy the city on two wheels.
5. Suggested Budget for Stockholm
Stockholm is definitely not a cheap city to stay in. The budget is quite high especially if you eat in restaurants (a one-course dinner without alcohol is around 300/350 kr). In this city, cash is disappearing so much that now you pay for everything with your card, some bars are even cash-free, so I do not recommend changing your currency, but asking the bank for the various commissions on card transactions.
6. Things To See and Do in Stockholm
6.1 Best Places to Visit in Stockholm
Now let’s continue with the most important part of our Stockholm travel guide!
Stockholm is a city that deserves to be visited on foot or by bicycle, I would lose myself among the colorful and particular streets. Absolutely at the top of the list is the Gamla Stan district, small but charming. Walking through the old streets there are souvenir shops, places to make the famous Swedish Fika, and various bars. In the center of Gamla Stan, there is a beautiful square (Stortorget), famous for the Stockholm massacre of 1500.
On this island, there is also the Royal Palace which can be visited only when there are no royals.
You can then continue towards the beautiful Kungsträdgården which is a square where a skating rink is set up in winter, cherry trees blossom in spring and a fountain is mounted in summer.
We then have Sergels Torg which is the square at T-Centralen. Very suggestive. From there I recommend walking down Dröttningsgatan street full of bars and shops for shopping.
Södermalm is instead one of the best districts for nightlife, in fact in the main square, Medborgarplatsen, there are numerous pubs and restaurants.
Also worth a visit is the Östermalm covered market full of typical Swedish products and good things.
6.2 Nightlife in Stockholm
Stockholm’s nightlife starts in the Sodermalm neighborhood, where the pre-evening starts in one of the many bars in Medborgarplatsen. We then move on to discos. The dress code is a must, you have to dress in a certain way to be able to enter.
Ostermalm and Sodermalm are home to the most elegant and most famous nightclubs.
One of the most beautiful and largest is the Sturecompagniet, a nightclub on 5 floors and open until 5 in the morning.
The Spy Bar is a trendy nightclub in Stockholm.
Solidaritet is one of the most loved clubs by the Swedes.
6.3 Shopping/Souvenirs in Stockholm
Souvenir shops are located on Drottninggatan road towards T-Centralen or Gamla Stan stop.
6.4 Tours in Stockholm
Let me tell you about some of the best tours in Stockholm in this part of my travel guide!
Rooftop Tour (Takvandring)
Another unusual tour is the rooftop tour (Takvandring). it is a 15-minute tour where you climb the rooftops and admire the city from another perspective.
Subway Tour in Stockholm
Among the most beautiful and unusual tours that I can suggest I would say the subway tour because each stop has been decorated in a different way, every time you get off the metro admire them because I am always amazed. One of my favorites is the one at Kungstradgarden with Greek / Roman statues and columns.
A must-do is the tour of the Archipelago, boarding one of the many boats and heading to discover the Swedish islands. Going to Nybron you can find numerous departing boats and guides offering organized tours.
One of the things that I highly recommend is to see the sunset at Skinnaviksberg (a small mountain from which you can admire the city) or from Monteljusvägen, another panoramic point overlooking Stockholm City Hall. If you visit the city in the summer you can admire the sunset at 22.30 and the sunrise at 03.00. While in winter the sunset is at 2.30 pm.
6.5 Special Events in Stockholm
Among the most beautiful and traditional events in Stockholm, I would say that there is the Midsommar, which is the festival in which the summer solstice is celebrated (the first weekend after 21 June). The city is celebrating, the girls dress in white with flower crowns, they grill and drink until the next day. We then dance around a pole which is a symbol of fertility.
Valborg is a party on April 30 where bonfires are made. The arrival of spring is celebrated. Very nice in the university city of Uppsala.
Christmas Markets in Stockholm
During the Christmas period, the Christmas markets are set up in Gamla Stan and I recommend trying the famous Glogg which is a kind of mulled wine.
Santa Lucia is also very special because there are processions on the streets and the girls are dressed in white tunics.
7. What To Eat/Drink At Where in Stockholm?
Here is the most delicious part of my Stockholm travel guide!
Swedish Fika (the Kanelbulle)
Let me tell you the best places to enjoy the famous Swedish Fika (the kanelbulle). One of my favorites is Saturnus in the Ostermalm area where you can eat the biggest and best kanelbulle in the city. Vete Katten also has these very tasty specialties.
The most famous are meatballs and specialties with herring, salmon, and reindeer. One of the best typical restaurants is Kvarnen in Sodermalm where I recommend trying the reindeer and meatballs. Very similar to this is Pelikan. Knut is another answer to Swedish food that you must try.
If you want to eat only meatballs with different types of meat, I recommend Meatballs for the People.
Sturekatten instead is a typical Swedish bar where you can get in touch with Swedish culture while tasting the typical dessert.
To eat Swedish food instead there are not many places, especially because Sweden does not have many typical dishes.
For Drinking in Stockholm
For drinking, I recommend the Sodermalm area. Crazy Horse is the cheapest place in town.
Then I recommend the terrace of the Blique in Vasastan and the Tak from which you can admire the view of the city while drinking a cocktail.
I also recommend trying the Fireball which is a shot with cinnamon liqueur, if you want to be accompanied by milk, or the blåbärshot which is a shot with 43 liqueur, cranberry juice, and whipped cream.
Hopefully, you liked my Stockholm travel guide! Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!