Discovering the Magic of Stockholm: 9 Must-See Attractions in Sweden’s Capital

red and yellow traditional Swedish buildings in front of a lake

Posted by on 08 Nov 2023

Beautiful and historically rich, Stockholm, Sweden's largest city, is a traveller's delight with its plethora of captivating attractions waiting to be explored.

Dubbed the “Venice of the North,” the capital city has plenty to offer first-time visitors, from its picturesque views from the waterways to its centuries-old European architecture. They also have numerous museums that showcase the country’s rich culture, history and art.

It’s without a doubt one of the best regions to explore in Scandinavia, especially for history buffs and urbanites.

Not sure which Stockholm attractions to add to your bucket list when you travel to Sweden? We’ve narrowed it down for you. Here are the nine must-see places in Stockholm that you cannot miss.

Gamla Stan

When in Stockholm, your first stop should be Gamla Stan, the stunning old town of the city. The mediaeval feel of the area’s cobblestone streets, fantastic waterway views and colourful, Gothic architecture that has been around for centuries will blow you away.

One of the best places to see when in the well-preserved Gamla Stan is Stortorget Square. In this main square, you’ll see beautiful red and yellow buildings that evokes nostalgia of 17th century Scandinavia. It’s also here that you can catch a glimpse of the marvellous St. George and the Dragon statue.

Kungliga Slottet (The Royal Palace)

One historic landmark you should see in Gamla Stan is Kungliga Slottet, also known as the Royal Palace. This 18th-century, 600-room palace is the official residence of the King of Sweden.

The vast, Baroque-style palace may look intimidating from the outside, but exploring its premises is one of the best things to do in Stockholm. Inside, visitors can roam the Royal Apartments to admire the lavish rooms and bedchambers of Swedish royalty. You can also hang out in the courtyard to wait for the valiant changing of the guards ceremony.

Skansen Open-Air Museum

The Skansken is among the best Stockholm attractions for those who want to learn more about Swedish culture, art and history all in one place.

It’s a miniature version of the country, complete with hundreds of buildings like houses, shops, churches and even windmills. You can also watch locals create Swedish handicrafts and pottery here. There’s even a zoo of farm animals to better appreciate the Nordic wildlife while you’re in Scandinavia.

There are also tons of interactive exhibits and children’s activities in the open-air museum, making it a must for families on a Stockholm sightseeing adventure.

Drottningholm Palace

The Drottningholm Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the Swedish royal family’s private residence. Having been built in the 1600s, the palace boasts beautiful Baroque architecture with yellow walls. It’s also known for its stunning formal gardens, which include lush, manicured greenery and tons of elegant sculptures and fountains everywhere. Some might say that the palace rivals the vibrant castles and sprawling estates of Loire Valley in France.

Another must-see on the palace grounds is the Drottningholms Slottsteater, an 18th-century opera house and one of the best-preserved lavish court theatres in all of Europe.

Stockholm City Hall

Stockholm City Hall is one of the most popular buildings in the Swedish capital. Apart from being the seat of the government, it’s also where grand annual banquets are held, such as the yearly Nobel Prize dinner.

But even from the outside, the City Hall captures anyone’s attention quite effortlessly. It has majestic red-brick walls and spires that look like they’re fresh out of a fairytale. Then, there’s the magnificent clock tower that sounds every hour to signal the time. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy panoramic views of Gamla Stan and Stockholm.

Vasa Museum

Vasa Museum is one of the most popular museums in Scandinavia. It is home to the warship Vasa—a 17th-century boat that sank on its maiden voyage in the 1620s. For 300 years, every part of the Vasa was salvaged from Stockholm Harbour, until the ship was put back together again and put on display at the museum.

You can find the Vasa Museum in Djurgården—an island in Stockholm known for its abundance of history and art museums, rivalling even the museums in Northern France.

Östermalms Food Hall

You can’t visit Stockholm without trying authentic Swedish food. The Östermalm Food Hall is one of the best places to get a taste of these delicious delicacies.

The historic building has tons of market stalls inside, each selling a different Swedish food. Make sure you try some Swedish meatballs, falu sausage and cured fish while you’re here. The hall is also rich in cheeses and baked goods. It’s a must-visit spot for foodies!

ABBA: The Museum

Pop culture fanatics must stop by ABBA: The Museum—an attraction dedicated to the story and success of the iconic Swedish group in the music industry.

Here, you’ll see exhibits on the history of ABBA. You’ll also see rare band memorabilia, concert outfits and other displays related to the pop supergroup. You will also learn about ABBA’s creative songwriting process, allowing you to have a better appreciation of their top hits and how they took the world by storm.

Nobel Prize Museum

While the Nobel Prize banquet held at the City Hall isn’t open for everyone, you can definitely make your way over to the Nobel Prize Museum to learn more about these prestigious awards. The museum tells the stories of past laureates and their achievements and contributions to the world. The inspirational exhibits include acceptance speeches, medals and more.

Don’t Sleep on These Stockholm Attractions During Your Scandinavian Holiday

Whether you want to see majestic palaces and old buildings in Gamla Stan, eat authentic Swedish meatballs at Östermalms Food Hall or hit history museums in Djurgården, exploring Stockholm is always a blast. If you’re headed to this capital city on your next European holiday, make sure to add the stunning attractions above to your itinerary to experience them firsthand.

Don’t know where else to go in Northern Europe after visiting Sweden? Check out our Scandinavian holiday packages to see more of the stunning cities and countries to explore in the region.

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