24 Hours in Stockholm

Sweden’s capital offers much more than IKEA, reindeer, and an endless amount of blondes. This modern city is spread across 14 different islands with more than 50 bridges. At every turn you can find stunning architecture, trend-setting design, and world-class cuisine. If you don’t have much time to spend in the capital city, here are some of the best things you can do with one day in Stockholm.

Gamla Stan detail | One day in Stockholm

One day in Stockholm

10 a.m. | Stroll around Drottningholm

Head to Drottningholm Palace before the afternoon sun hits. Drottningholm Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. The palace was built in the 1500s and sits in a beautiful large park with gardens.

Insider tip: Try to plan your trip to the gardens during one of the many summer opera festivals that take place at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre.

How to get there: Take the Underground to Brommaplan and change to bus 301-323, or alternatively take bus 177 or 176 to Drottningholm (there are signs “to Drottningholm Castle”).

Drottningholm Castle and beautiful gardens | One day in Stockholm

12 p.m. | Have lunch at Östermalms Saluhall

Opened in 1888, and named “World’s 7th best food hall” is Östermalms Saluhall. Located in the heart of Stockholm, this is the ultimate place for foodies. Here you can find special meats like elk, Swedish pastries and produce, and fresh local seafood.

Insider tip: The Östermalms Saluhall building is being renovated from 2016 to 2018. The stalls and restaurants are currently one minute away in a temporary market hall on the main square at Östermalmstorg. Don’t skip this due to the relocation – it’s still a must-do in Stockholm.

How to get here: By metro take the Red Line to”Östermalmstorg”. Once on the platform take the “Nybrogatan” exit. Access is also attainable by walking about 10 minutes from the city center.

Östermalms Saluhall main entrance | One day in Stockholm

Östermalms Saluhall main entrance. / Lina Bielsten / Östermalms Saluhall website

1:00 p.m. | Be a dancing queen at the ABBA Museum

Mamma Mia! Are you ready for a mid-afternoon break inside? Then make way to the ABBA Museum. The museum has different documentaries, old costumes, and even interactive exhibits where you can pretend you’re on stage with Agnetha, Björn, Anni, and Benny.

Insider tip: If you’re an avid ABBA Fan then allow yourself 2-3 hours for the museum. Some of the exhibits are huge!

How to get here: Take tram number 7 and get off at Liljevaljchs/Gröna Lund.

3:00 p.m. | Coffee time

The word Fika is something to live by in Stockholm. It’s the special time of day to sit down and have a nice coffee paired with a pastry. Fika is meant to be relaxing, and is certainly not the Italian coffee bar approach to things. You’ll need a good place to do so. Drop Coffee Roasters are one of the big guys on the coffee scene in Stockholm, which is very much alive, and they have won several awards for their coffee roasts to prove it.

Insider tip: The signature pair to be had at Drop Coffee Roasters is a coffee prepared with a ceramic V-60 and one of their cardamom buns.

How to get there: Take tram 13 or 14 and hop off at Mariatorget T-bana. The address is Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10.

4:00 p.m. | Swedish style

Take in some of that famous Swedish style and design in the awesomely hip second-hand shops located throughout the city. The stores here are better referred to as “vintage boutique” since they are highly curated and offer great clothes that have been handpicked. Men should head to Herr Judit, which carries all manner of menswear. For women’s clothes you should check out 59 Vintage Store. Here you can find items dating back to the sixties.

Insider tip: Even if you’re not in the market for a new dress or suit, it’s definitely worth going to one of these shops to try on some clothes, or at the very least peruse some awesome vintage wardrobes.

How to get there: For Herr Judit at Hornsgatan 65, take the tram to stop Mariatorget or Zinkensdamm. 59 Vintage Store is located at Hantverkargatan 59 – take buses 3, 52, or 62 or the tram to Fridhemsplan or Rådhuset.

6:00 p.m. | Read a book at the Stockholm Public Library

The public library, or Stadsbiblioteket, is an architectural icon in Stockholm. Over 1 million books lie inside this magnificent building. Relax in the middle of the cylindrical walls while reading one.

Insider tip: It’s okay if you can’t read Swedish! The international section is located behind the main building.

How to get here: Take the metro to Stockholm Östra station. From there the library is about a 5-10 minute walk.

9:00 p.m. | Dinner at a museum

Fotografiska, the Swedish Museum of Photography, has an award-winning restaurant. The food here is a vivid experience, and is crafted to balance color, form, aroma, and texture. The museum and restaurant are located right on the water in an old brick building formerly used for customs.

Insider tip: Fotografiska is popular so it’s best to make a reservation for a good table.

How to get there: Take any number of the trams to the slussen stop (13, 14, 17, 18, 19).

11:00 p.m. | Get lost in the history of Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm, is located on a central island of the city. It’s without a doubt the top tourist attraction in Stockholm. It allows you to get lost in a maze of cobblestone streets as the colorful buildings tower overhead and shop window lights lead the way.

Insider tip: Why 11:00 p.m. for Gamla Stan? It’s packed during the summer, which really detracts from the old town’s beauty. Waiting until 11:00 p.m. makes for the perfect after-dinner stroll along quieter streets, and is a great end to your one day in Stockholm.

How to get there: You can access via the Tunnelbana (T-Gamla Stan or T-Slussen), by bus, or on foot from the nearby neighborhoods of Norrmalm or Södermalm.

Night view of Gamla Stan in summer | One day in Stockholm

Do you have more than one day in Stockholm?

If you have more than one day in Stockholm, be sure to go along Lake Mälaren and stop at the Viking city of Birka for a leap back into history and a look at Sweden’s first city.

Train tracks at sunset | One day in Stockholm

Fortunately, visitors can easily access Stockholm by train from many European cities, like Oslo and Copenhagen. No visit to Scandinavia is complete without at least one day in Stockholm.

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