Sweden’s capital city is one of my favorite places in the world. In this itinerary, I am going to show you how to spend 3 days in Stockholm, detailing everything from where to eat, what to see in the city, some great Swedish traditions and awesome tours and activities.
Stockholm is the perfect merger of old and new. A city peppered with colourful historic buildings nestled amongst the impressive new minimalistic architecture that Sweden has become known for. A collection of 14 magical islands, each distinctly with its own personality, makes up this exciting and endlessly captivating Scandinavian city that extends out onto the Baltic Sea.
So let’s get cracking and find out how to spend 3 days in Stockholm.
Where To Stay In Stockholm
When In Stockholm there are plenty of great places to stay. I recommend the Generator Hostel In Stockholm for its central location, clean and modern rooms and chilled out bar. This is where I stayed when I spent 3 days in Stockholm and I really enjoyed its modern interior and how close the location was to the central train station.
You can also use the map below to easily search through hundreds of accommodation options in the city.
Where To Eat In Stockholm
Here are some of my favourite places to eat when in Stockholm.
Breakfast in Stockholm
Vete-Katten has everything you would need to start a busy day of exploring the right way. Swedish traditional baking is championed here, making this classy cafe a well-visited Stockholm institution. When you walk in a bright counter filled with all kinds of baked goods will leave you dazzled with the choice.
Where to eat traditional Swedish food in Stockholm
There are two restaurants I wholeheartedly loved in Stockholm. Both won me over with a warming plate of traditional Swedish meatballs with mashed potato and lingonberry jam.
When in Gamla Stan, Under Kastanjen is where you should go for a taste of Sweden. It’s cosy which is a welcome treat away from the harsher Scandinavian weather (winter can be bitter!) I am mildly (more majorly) obsessed with Swedish meatballs, and the food here did not disappoint. The handmade meatballs with potato puré, creamy gravy, pickled cucumber, and lingonberries costs 195 SEK, but if you come at lunchtime, which is between 11:00 am and 16:00 pm, you can get it for 115 SEK, which includes bread from their bakery, and coffee.
Sjocafeet is located just as you cross over the bridge onto island Djurgården, where a lot of the cities museums are located. With its big glass walls and prime spot, it’s a pleasure to just sit here and take in the views across the water. Again, come here during there lunch hours of between 10.30 am and 14:00 pm on weekdays for lunch from 115 SEK, including salad, drink, and coffee. When I visited it was a lovely snowy day, check out the photos below of how magical it looked.
Budget-friendly food in Stockholm
Like its Nordic cousins, Stockholm is a fairly expensive city. If you are looking for some of the best cheap eats in the city, food trucks are a great way to go. Offering everything from gooey cheese on toast to spicy Indian street food, you’ll see these trucks all over the city. To find out where they’ll be each day, check out Food Trucks.
The best food court in Stockholm
Staying with a Swedish friend in Stockholm, after he finished work one day he introduced me to K25 Food Hall. Going out once the workday is done in Sweden for food, hangs and a few drinks is actually referred to as ‘afterwork’ or ‘AW’ said as (ah-veh) for short. Think of it as kind of a vamped up happy hour. This vibrant, international space is a perfect place to go and do just that, eat, drink and be merry.
Best places for Fika in Stockholm
Fika is a cornerstone concept in Swedish culture. Some may think Fika is just a coffee and cake break, but actually, it is so much more than that. Fika is a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture and identity. Many Swedes consider it essential to make time for Fika every day. In fact, a lot of workplaces build time for Fika into the workday, sometimes even several times a day if you’re lucky.
Fika is about making time for friends and colleagues, to share a cup of coffee and a little something to eat. It is as much about the companionship as it is the coffee. To have a little taste of this lovely Swedish tradition during your 3 days in Stockholm, here are some great places in Stockholm to Fika:
Green Rabbit – for the best pastries in Stockholm and channelling organic goodness.
Drop Coffee – for craftsmen levels of coffee goodness.
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Should I Get A Stockholm Pass for 3 days in Stockholm?
If you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing during your 3 days in Stockholm, even just including the museums and attractions I mention in this itinerary, you can save yourself some money with a Stockholm Pass. The Stockholm Pass grants you free entry to over 60 top attractions, museums, and tours in Stockholm. Included in the pass you’ll find the iconic SkyView, the Royal Palace, a boat tour around the Fjäderholmarna Islands and much more. In addition, you will get free entry to the Hop-on Hop-Off bus and boat tours of Stockholm city, islands, and canals.
For more information about what is included with your pass or if you are looking to purchase one, you can get a Stockholm Pass here.
Five helpful things to know about Stockholm
- Where are all the Swedes gone? In June/ July time, Swedes disappear out of the city for the summer, retreating to idyllic lakeside homes. This leaves the city feeling a little like a ghost town, but means it’s less crowded for visitors.
- Basic Swedish will get you far: learn these two words before your trip. ‘Hej’ or ‘hej hej’ (where the ‘j’ is pronounced like an English ‘y’) means hello. ‘Tack’ means both thank you and please. Politeness is king!
- It ain’t so easy to get your drink on: buying alcohol is a little different in Sweden. You will need to go to a government-owned Systembolaget. These close early afternoons on Saturday and don’t open at all on Sundays.
- Public transport gets you far: if you get a card to use the Stockholm public transport system (the SL) you can use your SL card to get you onto pretty much any transport. This includes some of the ferries that run between the inner-city islands, meaning island-hopping needn’t be expensive.
- Work is over, time to drink: remember I mentioned what After Work was, well that means there are happy hour deals to be had. You’ll find after-work happy hour usually starts around 4:30 pm where many pubs will serve a cheaper pint, yey.
Day One In Stockholm
Stockholm Walking Tour
Get your feet on the ground and get to know the city by taking a walking tour. There are plenty of options to choose from, but I recommend starting with a tour that gives you a good overall introduction to the city. If you’re on a budget, check out Free Tour Stockholm’s City Tour which will take you around the main areas on the city. As well as seeing the sights, you’ll learn more about Sweden – from Ikea to Stockholm Syndrom.
Explore Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s old town has to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. The cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and the slight oldy worldy crookedness, mean just walking around this area is a totally charming experience. The buildings here are so photogenic and it’s easy to get lost in little back streets. Word of caution, however, when It snows it gets super slippery here. I felt like Bambi on ice.
The Nobel Prize Museum
Right in the heart of Gamla Stan, you will find the Nobel Prize Museum. The Nobel Prize shows that ideas can change the world and exhibitions at this museum details the courage, creativity, and persistence of the Nobel Laureates. Here you can explore the work and ideas of more than 900 of the most creative and brilliant minds ever.
Adult tickets cost 120 SEK, Student entrance is 80 SEK, and for under 18’s entrance is free.
The Nordiska Museet
From Gamla Stan, it’s time to take a trip to another area of the city, Djurgården. This tranquil island houses some of Stockholm’s best museums. Start off at the Nordiska Museet for an eye-opening look at Swedish cultural history. You may not know a lot about Sweden before going in, but on the other side, you’ll be well versed in the ways of Midsummer and Sami life.
Entrance costs 140 SEK for adults, Children/Youth/ 18 years and under get free entrance, and on
Tuesday’s 13.00–17.00 (sep–may) entrance is free.
The Vasa Museum
The story behind the Vasa Museet is reason enough alone to visit. Here lies the Vasa. It may be the most intact 17th-century ship to ever be salvaged, but this museum doesn’t exist to tell a tale of success. The Vasa sank on her maiden voyage.
But that is not all. The purpose of this ship was to be more than just a maritime mode of transport. It had a very intentional message.
The ship was built on the orders of the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, to be the best of the best, to bolster his ego as the king. So in 1628 the richly decorated warship set sail from Stockholm and sank before it ever really made it any further. A monumental embarrassment, and at the time a tragic disaster.
But in 1961 a recovery mission took place. Luckily due to the environment the ship sank in, it was very well preserved for us all to view, and learn about the story that goes along with it. I advise you to visit the Vasa Museum on day 1 of your 3 days in Stockholm because honestly it really is a highlight and you will kick yourself for missing it.
An Adult ticket to the Vasa Musume costs 150 SEK, and those 18 years and under, go in free of charge.
Day Two In Stockholm
Changing Of The Guard at the Royal Palace of Stockholm
As you can see from my picture below, even in the harshest of weather this royal tradition will still take place (so you may want to pack your mittens.) The Royal Guards Ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm lasts about 40 minutes. It starts at 12:15 pm in the palace outer courtyard on weekdays, and at 1:15 pm on Sundays. Times do vary depending on the season so before you go double check here to find out. It’s quite fun watching all the guards in uniform waving flags and marching around to drum beats.
Skansen, Swedish Open Air Museum
On day two it’s back to Djurgården, and this time to Skansen. Skansen was the world’s first open-air museum. A visit here will give you a chance to explore five centuries of Swedish history. Not only can you roam around historic Swedish buildings, but there’s also a zoo with an impressive variety of Scandinavian animals. Delight at everything from reindeer, black bears, and wolves to a few confused chickens and some huge wild boar. The weekends leading up to Christmas are when Skansen truly comes to life, hosting one of Stockholm’s best Christmas markets.
Adult tickets to Skansen are 140 SEK. The main museum opening hours are 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
If it snows while you are in Stockholm, make sure to check out my guide to the perfect snowy day in Stockholm here.
The Abba Museum
A museum dedicated to everybody’s favourite pop foursome, yes, please! This fantastic museum isn’t just for fans of the Eurovision storming pop group, but for lovers of all things music. This tribute to Abba’s hugely successful career takes you on an interactive journey of discovery and gives you an excuse to sing and dance along to all your fave Abba songs. If Abba really isn’t your thing, there’s also the Swedish Music Hall Of Fame, dedicated to Sweden’s biggest musical stars and exports. I really loved learning just how much influence Sweden actually has over popular music and how as a country, it’s actually the third biggest exporter of music in the world! The Abba Museum was a highlight for me during my 3 days in Stockholm. I left with an abundance of memories and some hilarious videos of mt attempting to sing Waterloo in tune.
Abba: The Museum is open from 10 am to 18:00 pm. Adult tickets cost 250 SEK. To avoid disappointment, make sure to book online on the museum’s website.
What better way to end a fun-packed day than at a theme park? Gröna Lund is located right next to the Abba Museum. It’s important to remember that the park isn’t open all year round, so make sure to check on their website here to find out opening times. In the summer months, the park truly comes alive, with magnificent concerts held. You’ll find some big names included on the line-up such as Sting. Hendrix even played here before! To find out more about the upcoming concerts, visit the Grona Lund website here.
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Stockholm Pub Crawl
Going on an organized pub crawl is probably the best way to meet people in a new city, and this one in Stockholm was one of the best I’ve ever been on. Not only did we head to a great variety of pubs with affordable drinks deals, but the nightclub we ended up in was fantastic and set in an underground tube station! The hilarious memories of an incredible night partying with people from all over the world weren’t the only thing made that night. I’ve gone on to make some new life long friends too. Not at all bad for 200 SEK. To find out more information, click here.
Day Three In Stockholm
Walking tour of Södermalm
If you want to see another side to Stockholm, one that is more hipster and has an abundance of latte papas pushing prams with chai lattes in hand, take a walking tour of trendy Södermalm. Having 3 days in Stockholm means you have more time to see a different side of the city. This neighbourhood is Stockholm’s equivalent of Brooklyn or Shoreditch. Free Tour Stockholm has a great free walking tour of the area called the Söder tour.
Taking this tour is a great way to discover the area and pick up some local tips, such as where to eat. Also find out even more about Swedish life, such as why do the Swedish pay so much tax?
Discover the vintage shops in Södermalm
Now you’ve taken a tour and gotten to know the area a lot better, it’s time to get also get acquainted with the cool and quirky vintage shops in Södermalm. Here are three of my favourites to browse:
Address: Hantverkargatan 59
nearest station: T Rådhuset
Mon-Fri: 11-18 | Sat: 11-15
A bit of the Old Touch
Address: Upplandsgatan 43
nearest station: T Odenplan
Mon-Fri: 11-18 | Sat: 11-15
Address: Södermannagatan 14
nearest station: T Medborgarplatsen
Mon-Fri: 11-18 | Sat: 11.30-17 | Sun: 12-16
Take in the Ericsson Globe
It’s big, it’s round and it’s crazily impressive. The Ericsson Globe is not just another round building, it’s actually the largest hemispherical building on Earth! This arena took two and a half years to build. As well as getting a look at this impressive structure, you can go one further. Visit to take a ride on the outside of the globe and get stunning views across the city. Taking a ride on Skyview costs 160 SEK per adult. To find out more you can visit the website here.
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Did you know that The Ericsson Globe is one of the most recognizable buildings, and it can be seen from various spots around the city. It’s located south of Södermalm, and was built in February 1989, meaning it just turned 30 years old this month… . #ericssonglobe 📷 @kjtsvensson
Stockholm metro art
Usually, a ride on the subway is a pretty grey experience, but not in Stockholm. The underground network of subway tunnels is the world’s longest art exhibit at an impressive 110 kilometres long. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations in Stockholm have been given an artistic makeover. Highlights include stops T-Centralen, Stadion and Solna Centrum. Throughout your 3 days in Stockholm, you’ll have plenty of time to view this quirky and colourful art.
Visit Stockholm have put together a great guide to viewing the subway art, which you can check out here.
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Love photography? The Fotografiska is the museum for you. If you are spending 3 days in Stockholm, there is more than enough time to visit this fantastic museum and gallery. The industrial building set on the water is one of the largest collection places for photography in the world. The best thing about this museum is the various exhibitions it holds, which change regularly. To find out more about the museum and its current exhibitions, visit the website here.
Adult day tickets cost 165 SEK, with student tickets on sale at 135 SEK.
Thank you for reading this blog post and have a great time wherever your travels take you.
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