Stockholm for First-Timers

Discover Sweden's vibrant capital city, one step at a time

Save to my Account

Cultural Stockholm. Trendy Stockholm. Cool Stockholm. Designer Stockholm. Take your pick, Stockholm is all of them. Here’s a guide to racking up cultural brownie points to tell the folks about back home.

Museums, Movies and a Sunken Beauty

The pick of Stockholm’s museums is Moderna Museet, for one of the world’s finest collections of 20th- and 21st-century art, its fabulous restaurant and kids activities. Also put the wonderful open-air museum Skansen on your list. You can join Stockholmers in celebrating Christmas and Midsummer in traditional style there, and it’s open every day of the year. If you’re coming with the family, the zoo and collection of 19th-century buildings and settings from all around Sweden are a must.

A short walk from Skansen is the Vasa Museum. The museum was purpose-built to house the 17th-century Vasa ship and we don’t just mean bits of it – we mean the entire ship, which was raised from nearby Lake Mälaren.

Interested in Swedish movies? To see where it all began visit the Filmstaden film studio grounds in Råsunda just outside Stockholm where Ingmar Bergman, Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman worked. Or if you are a fan of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, go on the Millennium Tour in Lisbeth Salander’s footsteps.

Palaces, Theatres and Opera

Palaces don’t come much bigger than the baroque Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) in Stockholm, which is a 600-room royal residence, a place of work and a cultural and historical treasure. Go there to see the royal apartments, the treasury and the Tre Kronor MuseumOld Town (Gamla Stan), the area around the palace, is one of the best preserved medieval city centers anywhere. The city was founded here in 1252 and you should go here for Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan), the tight, winding, cobblestone streets, gorgeous leafy squares, Sweden’s narrowest alley at Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, and an eclectic mix of cafés, bars and souvenir shops.

For theatre visit Drottningholm Court Theatre, one of Europe’s finest 18th-century theatres, which adjoins Drottningholm Palace (Drottningholms Slott) just outside the city. In the city, visit the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten), a gorgeous gold-detailed, art noveau–style building at Nybrokajen. Take the guided tour to go backstage. For dance, do visit the dazzling dance, drama and art collections at Dansmuseet at Drottninggatan 17. Across the square from Dansmuseet is the Royal Swedish Opera (Operan) housed in a splendid neoclassical building from 1897. The Swedish Royal Ballet is also there. You should take the guided tour.

Pick ‘n’ Mix

If you love photography visit Fotografiska. Come here for world famous photographers’ work in the museum and gallery and take the tour. Antiques your forté? Head for Bukowskis auction house at Nybrokajen or Metropol at Sveavägen 116.

Café Life

When Stockholmers are not at home or work they are having a fika at a café, meeting with friends and family, doing business, tapping laptops, swiping smartphones and drinking coffee – no wonder they are the most wired (must be all the coffee) or wireless people in the world. You should join them.

This itinerary is compliments of Visit Sweden.

More Scandinavia Itineraries

Copenhagen for First-Timers … Renaissance splendour, waterside romance, flair for design
Finland for First-Timers … Design districts and reindeer safaris, from the midnight sun to the Aurora Borealis
Helsinki for First-Timers … A vibrant but laid-back city

At A Glance

Price Range:

Comments, Tips & Hints


You need to login to favorite a post.

Need to sign up? Create an account here.

Forgot your password? Reset your password here.