The following is a guest post ‘the ultimate guide to Stockholm’ from a girl who lives, eats, and breathes the city! It’s got all the newest, trendiest places to experience in the city. If you want more info check out Michelle’s personal blog Wishes of Wanderlust and follow her on Instagram.
Ultimate Guide to Stockholm: Experience the city like a local
Budget tips for Stockholm
Stockholm is known to be quite expensive, and don’t get me wrong – it is! However, there are ways to experience Stockholm without breaking the bank. Here are some budget tips on how to experience Stockholm.
1. Free walking tours in Stockholm
Stockholm offers free walking tours! The tour will show you around Gamla Stan (the old city), and you’ll get a lot of context and history about the different areas. They also offer tours around the more modern areas, and each tour last for about one hour. You can find more information at Free Tour Stockholm.
2. Island hopping pass
The archipelago is really beautiful and definitely worth to be seen, and luckily, you can do it on the cheap. Depending on what island you visit, tickets are 50 to 150 SEK ($8–23), and it you really want to explore the island, you can get the 5-day travelcard (also called the Island Hopping pass) for 445 SEK. Check out Waxholmsbolaget for the most affordable tickets.
3. Water fo’ free
Refill your water bottle! Instead of spending money on buying water, drink tap water. Sweden has some of the best tap water in the world – take full advantage!
Getting in and out of Stockholm
Arlanda is the best option for flying to and from Stockholm. It’s easy to get to and from central with Arlanda express only taking 20 minutes to Stockholm central.
A cheaper option is the train. It leaves from SkyCity (located between terminal 4 and 5) and takes you straight into Stockholm in around 40 minutes, and if you want a more comfortable option cabs are easy to find!
If you’re flying with a budget airline like Ryanair, you will most likely fly into Skavsta Airport. It’s located south of Stockholm, and from there you take a bus into central. It will take you around 80 minutes and one adult ticket costs 139SEK.
Transportation in Stockholm
Transportation can be a bit tricky when you get to a new city, but the best way to get around Stockholm is by using the subway. You’ll have to buy a re-loadable card and fill it up, find Pressbyrån (located in pretty much any subway station) and they will help you out.
You can’t pay in cash on buses or on the subway, so make sure to sort out tickets, and taxi isn’t the cheapest way to travel.
A good idea is to download the SL app to your phone, there you can register your card and buy single tickets, find routes, and get information.
If you’re in Stockholm over a weekend, during Friday and Saturday night, the trains run all night!
9 of the Yummiest Places to eat in Stockholm
Stockholm is filled with great restaurants and bars, but it’s not the cheapest city to spend a night out. If you just want to get something quick, pizza, kebab, and outdoor grills, cost between 55-80 SEK.
But if you want to go to a nicer restaurant it’s a bit more pricey, it will probably cost you between 150-300 SEK for a sit-down dinner with food and drinks.
Lunch is a bit cheaper, around 80-120 SEK. If you just want to go out for a beer it will cost you around 65 SEK.
1. Greasy Spoon
Here you’ll find traditional English brunch, and even though the waitor might not be fully British, they do speak English.
2. Pom & Flora
Pom &Flora is one of the most popular brunch places in Stockholm, it offers delicious food for good prices, and it’s very Instagram friendly.
Perfect in the summer, usually opens in the beginning of April and offers good food (although a tad pricy), different events, and a beautiful location just by the water.
4. 58 Dim Sum
Here you can get 10 dumplings for only 58 SEK, a very good price in Stockholm so if you have a dumpling craving, this is the place to go!
5. Le Rouge
This place is perfect if you’re looking for something a bit different, especially if you’re out with friends and want a drink after. Le Rouge has a Moulin Rouge inspired decor, as you could probably tell from the name, and is a restaurant/bar depending on which area you choose.
6. Urban Deli
During weekdays Urban Deli serve cheap and delicious brunch, expect to pay around 100 SEK ($12) and get a lot of options.
7. Flippin Burgers
One of my favorite burger places in Stockholm, it’s not too expensive and their milkshakes are a must try!
Fancy Italian food? Who doesn´t! Italiano Papá is located at Östermalm and it’s a great place to spend an evening with friends. The restaurant has a very young vibe, the waiters are really friendly, it’s good prices, and the food is great.
9. Ramen Ki Mama
Probably some of the best Ramen you’ll find in Stockholm!
And if you want the ultimate Swedish experience, why not head out to one of the IKEA stores and have yourself some meatballs!
When in Sweden, you can’t forget to “fika” (have coffee). It’s as Swedish as you’ll get. You’ll be able to find cozy coffee shop pretty much at every corner, but if you find yourself at Mariatorget, Kaffe, is a good option, serving good coffee for good prices.
Louie Louie can also be found on Södermalm and has more of a hipster vibe. They serve delicious vegan sandwiches and good coffee! If you’re walking around Gamla Stan simply take your pick, it’s filled with cozy places to drink coffee!
Tourist Mode: Things to do and see in Stockholm
If you know you’re gonna explore Stockholm during a few days, it might be a good idea to purchase the Stockholm Card. This pass gives you free entry to 75 attractions, up to 14 free sightseeing tours, a number of discounts and a free guidebook. It also gives you discounts in several restaurants and shops. Read more about it here.
If you feel like leaving the city center for an afternoon, exploring the Royal National Park in Solna is one of my favorite things to do on a sunny day. Here you’ll find a Roay Palace, and the beautiful park is a great idea for a day trip. There’s also a café in the area serving a vegetarian buffet for 155 SEK that I’ve eaten over and over again.
See the city from above
Ericsson Globe offers a fantastic sky view from about 130 meters (425 feet) above sea level. If you have the Stockholm Card you can take the ride for free. The SkyView gondolas departs every 10 minutes and takes you to the top of the world’s largest spherical building. Read more here.
Skansen, Gröna Lund, and the ABBA museum
Skansen Zoo is the perfect day trip if you’re travelling with kids, but even if not, petting cute animals is never wrong, right? Skansen is located just by Gröna Lund, so when (or if) you get tired of cuddling cute animals, it’s easy to head out to Gröna Lund and enjoy some rides in this theme park. Gröna Lund also offers a lot of great concerts during the summer, and the entrance is very price worthy!
In this area you’ll also find the ABBA museum, and if you’re a fan of this pop sensation (or of music in general) this will definitely be a cool place to visit. The entry fee is 195 SEK for an adult ticket, 65 SEK for children 7-15.
Having a slight obsession with greens and plants, and a dream of turning my apartment into a minor jungle, Edvart Anderssons Green House is a dream to walk around it. It’s such a beautiful place and full of inspiration!
If you’re interested in photography Fotografiska always offers interesting and inspiring exhibitions, it’s located just by Slussen, giving you a great view of the water and Gröna Lund on the other side. It also has a nice restaurant on the top floor.
If you want a more relaxing evening, Centralbadet and Sturebadet are nice options. Sturebadet offers gym, spa, and a swimming pool for you to enjoy, they also have a restaurant if you get hungry. It’s a tad pricey but could be a nice way to treat yourself! Centralbadet is located on Drottninggatan and is quite similar, offering spa, swimming pool, and gym, and is very cozy!
The Best Shopping in Stockholm
Head to T-Centralen (subway stop) and walk up and down Drottninggatan, it gets busy on weekends so keep that in mind. Here you’ll find more shop than you’ll ever need, everything from H&M to Top Shop, to candy stores, and cinemas. Hötorget is just around the corner if you’re in the mood for a market feel (although a very small market), but here you’ll find cheap flowers and some bits and bobs.
If you want to shop in a more quiet setting, Götgatan on Södermalm is a great alternative to Drottninggatan. Here you’ll find a lot of the same shops, although not as many or as busy as on Drottningatan. But there’s also more bars and cozy cafés here.
If it’s a mall you’re looking for, head to Mall of Scandinavia in Solna, as the name implies – it’s the biggest shopping mall in Scandinavia. Here you’ll also find an IMAX if you’re interested in seeing a movie, plenty of restaurants (my all time favorite is BIM, or if you’re in the mood for tapas, Caliente is delicious!), and of course loads of shops!
If it’s second-hand shops you’re looking for, try Saker&Ting (a really tiny store but with some interesting options), Old Touch, Pop Boutique, or Beyond Retro.
Nightlife in Stockholm: Drinks and dancing
Stockholm has a pretty vibrant nightlife, it’s not vibrant like Barcelona where there are people out during all hours, dancing and eating. Honestly, you probably won’t see a lot of people just walking around during the night, and restaurants close pretty early. But if you want to get your dance on, Stockholm has a lot to offer.
Berns is located in central Stockholm and a very popular destination, Ambassadeur is another good option, especially if you’re between 18 and 25. A lot of clubs in Stockholm have an entrance fee, usually between 150-200 SEK, and drinks inside are usually pretty price (so stick to beer or make sure to pre-drink before).
A good tip is to check out Facebook or their websites, and sign up for a guest list – usually it will give you free entrance before a certain time.
Trädgården/Under Bron is one of the most popular places to go dancing in Stockholm, especially during the summer time! The que is always quite long, so get there in good time, maybe even in the afternoon and just hang out and have a drink! It’s filled with nice people, good music, and good drinks – and they also have a photo booth!
Kåken is one of my personal favorites, it has a bit of a 20s vibe, usually throw fun quizzes, or events during weekends, and a nice place to hang out all year around. In the summer, they have the patio open but keep in mind it can get very busy!
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Oh I have been considering going to maybe Stockholm in the next few months, so this guide is very useful!
Thanks for sharing!
What a great guide! I’ll be going to Sweden very soon, so this post is going to make a very good resource. Thanks for sharing Michelle!