The Swedish capital draws travelers with its mix of Viking history, contemporary and classical architecture, and cutting-edge design. Visitors head straight for Gamla Stan (Old Town) and the Vasa Museum before checking out the city’s museums, parks, and UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Drottningholm Palace. Because Stockholm is relatively compact and surrounded by water, guided bike tours and canal cruises are great ways to get around, and efficient public transportation takes visitors to every corner of the city and beyond. Plus, Stockholm’s position on the western end of the Stockholm Archipelago, makes it an ideal base for island-hopping. Some islands, such as Fjäderholmarna, are a quick ferry-ride away, while Vaxholm, Grinda, and Svartsö are popular options that require more planning.
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s historic center and one of its most visited districts. Most sightseeing experiences include a stop at Gamla Stan, but the best way to explore the Old Town is by foot. Many walking tours cover most of the compact area in a few hours or less. Consider unconventional tours, such as after-hours ghost hunting or photography tours, for clients who are interested in something different.
This walking tour is unconventional in three ways: it travels through often-overlooked parts of Gamla Stan, focuses on macabre history, and gives a tongue-in-cheek idea of what medieval Stockholm might have been like.
Led by a photographer, this small-group experience is perfect for clients who want an in-depth tour of central Stockholm while learning how to capture the city on camera.
Read more about Gamla Stan tour options here.
Built to house the 17th-century warship Vasa—the pride of the Swedish crown that sank minutes into its maiden voyage—the Vasa Museum is Stockholm’s most popular attraction, drawing as many as 1.5 million annual visitors. Clients interested in the history of the ship and its restoration are better off taking a guided tour as there’s a lot to take in. For those who prefer to explore independently, hop-on hop-off buses and boats stop outside the museum, and entrance is included for Stockholm Pass holders.
This guided tour of the museum, which includes admission fees, makes it easy for clients to learn about the history of the Vasa and its restoration.
This walking tour explores the museum in 30 minutes, leaving time to visit Gamla Stan, including the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral. Bonus: A ferry ride to Djurgarden is included.
Stockholm Super Saver Stockholm City Walking Tour Including Vasa Museum Plus Bohemian Stockholm Walking Tour
Ideal for clients wanting to combine the Vasa Museum with other city sights, this tour visits Gamla Stan and the museum in the morning, then heads to trendy Södermalm in the afternoon.
This private tour covering Gamla Stan and the Vasa Museum is a good choice for clients who are looking for a little extra attention from their guide and want to travel with just their own group.
Read more about Vasa Museum tour options here.
Djurgården is one of Stockholm’s most visited islands, dominated by scenic parklands and former royal hunting grounds along the Djurgården Canal. It’s also home to the Vasa Museum and Skansen, an open-air museum and zoo devoted to preserving Sweden’s native wildlife and traditional craftsmanship. Additional highlights include Gröna Lund Tivoli (Sweden’s oldest amusement park), the Nordic Museum, and Rosendal Palace. Most tours make brief stops at Djurgården before heading to the Vasa Museum.
This easy 1.5-hour tour of Djurgården makes quick stops at the Vasa Museum, Gröna Lund Tivoli, and Skansen.
Clients who want to see more of Djurgården should book this bike tour, which covers nearly all of the island and is led by a private guide.
If your clients are hurried for time, consider this panoramic express tour that explores Stockholm highlights—including Djurgården—in just over an hour.
This popular hop-on hop-off boat tour stops at eight top attractions (including Djurgården), and makes a good option for clients who prefer flexibility and exploring independently.
Read more about Djurgården tour options here.
The private residence of Sweden’s royal family, Drottningholm Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s best-preserved 17th-century castles. The royal family resides in the southern wing, but the rest of the complex is open to the public. It’s possible to visit the palace on a boat or bus trip from Stockholm, or independently with a Stockholm Pass, but tours that focus on castles in the region offer more in-depth experiences.
Drottningholm is farther from Stockholm than many other attractions—help clients get there easily with transportation on a turn-of-the-century ship.
This bus tour allows clients to maximize their time, combining a visit to the castle with a panoramic city tour—all in just half a day.
If your clients can’t get enough of castles, consider this tour that visits several in one day, starting with Drottningholm.
Led by a private driver, this tour is perfect for clients who want a comprehensive tour without the hassles of big groups and public transportation.
Read more about Drottningholm Palace tour options here.
The Stockholm Archipelago, which extends roughly 37 miles (60 kilometers) east from Stockholm toward the Baltic Sea, is where many locals spend their weekends and vacations. There are ample opportunities for scenic cruises, day tours, and multi-day island-hopping excursions. Boat cruises and passenger ferries run between the mainland and the islands, providing easy access. For clients who are more adventurous, consider sailing or kayaking tours.
Clients who don’t have time to travel out of the inner part of Stockton Archipelago should take this brunch cruise aboard a vintage ship.
This tours spends a day on a yacht sailing the archipelago, leaving enough time to disembark at an island for a swim. Bonus: A traditional Swedish lunch is served on the boat.
Clients interested in active outdoor adventures might like this kayaking tour, which explores a lot of the inner Archipelago over a full day.
These pre-booked ferry tickets secure your clients’ round-trip transportation to Fjäderholmarna, the island closest to Stockholm known for summer festivals and traditional craft shops.
Read more about Stockholm Archipelago tour options here.
Things to Know
When to Visit
Late spring and summer are the best times to visit as winters are long and the balmier weather brings out locals and outdoor festivals.
Although walking and biking are the best ways to get around Gamla Stan and environs, the public transportation system covers most areas by bus, metro, tram, or ferry.
Suggest clients take a sightseeing break with fika, a twice-daily coffee-and-cake ritual taken very seriously by locals.
Things to Bring
Stockholm is nearly cash-free; purchasing coffee or a bus ticket with bills and coins can be tricky. Travelers should bring credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
What the Locals Know
Dagens rätt or dagens lunch (dish of the day) are simple, affordable lunches that are often better tasting than more sophisticated options.