If you only have a day in the city, there’s no time to waste. As soon as you touch down in Stockholm, hop aboard the Arlanda Express, recharge your phone and make use of the wifi onboard; in just 20 minutes you’ll be at Central Station, ready to start your whirlwind tour of Stockholm.
Here in the morning? Stop off at Stadshuset and saunter around Södermalm
Now you’re slap-bang in the city centre, make your way to nearby Stadshuset (City Hall). View the stunning architecture, including the famous Golden Hall which is covered from floor to ceiling with 18 million gold tiles, and discover stories about the building's history on a guided tour. If you don’t mind heights, scale the tower during the summer months for magnificent views of the city.
City Hall. Photo: Henrik Trygg/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
When you’re done, head to the hipster-chic island of Södermalm for breakfast at Greasy Spoon, where you can chow down on a traditional English fried breakfast (when in Sweden, eh?), or Nytorget 6, for a taste of classic Swedish fare, including plenty of filling frukost (breakfast) options.
Take a short walk around the SoFo area for a spot of people watching, ducking into the quirky shops on your way to Fotografiska, the internationally-renowned photography museum. With four major exhibitions every year, you’re sure to catch something new and exciting.
View from Södermalm. Photo: Ola Ericson/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
For the best views on Södermalm, check out Fjällgatan or Monteliusvägen. With beautiful 18th century Swedish buildings on one side and picture perfect views of the island of Djurgården, these are the best spots to sneak a peek of Stockholm in all its glory.
Here at midday? Ferry from historical Gamla stan to idyllic Djurgården followed by retail therapy in Östermalm
Once you step off the Arlanda Express at Central Station, it’s just a stone’s throw to the picturesque cobbled streets of Gamla stan (the Old Town). Wander the winding alleyways until you reach the large square, Stortorget. Here you’ll find the Nobel Museum and some of Stockholm’s oldest and most iconic buildings. You can even explore the nearby palace and its Royal Armory.
Once you’ve found your way out of the maze of streets in the Old Town, jump on the ferry from Slussen to the island of Djurgården. Once the royal hunting ground, this lush, green island is a favourite recreational spot for Stockholmers and is now home to many museums including the world’s largest open-air museum, Skansen, complete with a zoo and Swedish architecture dating from as early as the 16th century.
Djurgården. Photo: Jeppe Wilkström/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
You’ll also find the Viking museum, Vikingaliv and the Vasa Museum, dedicated to a seventeenth-century ship that was fully recovered from the seabed 333 years after it sank. Thrill seekers will revel in the chance to ride the rollercoasters and giant drops at the theme park, Gröna Lund.
Remember, this is the city where Swedish pop legends ABBA formed, so don’t miss the chance to take a picture outside the museum dedicated to the band (let’s be honest, who hasn’t dreamed of being Benny, just for a minute?)
By now you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Take part in the most Swedish of traditions by going for fika (i.e. coffee and a snack) at Rosendals Trädgård or Villa Godthem. If a cinnamon bun just won’t cut it and you fancy something a bit heartier, they also have lunch options available.
After a jam-packed afternoon traipsing around Djurgården, head to the upmarket area of Östermalm to rest those weary legs at the luxurious Sturebadet with a spa treatment. You will also find many shops around this area, so if you’ve been eyeing up that designer handbag, now’s the time to treat yourself.
Top off the afternoon at Instagram-worthy café, art gallery and concept store Snickarbacken 7 for a cocktail or a bite to eat in this prime example of Scandi-cool.
Here for the afternoon/evening? Keep it central!
If you arrive a little later in the day, drop by ultra-hip ‘wine cafe’ Tyge & Sessil. Owned by celebrity chef, Niclas Ekstedt, this new kid on the Stockholm block opened in 2017 and prides itself on its wine list featuring independent, small-scale producers. It’s your chance to try out ‘natural wine’, a craze currently taking the city by storm.
Cherry blossom trees on Kungsträdgården. Photo: Nikke Lindqvist/Flickr
Take an after-drink stroll to Kungsträdgården, famous for its shopping centres, the luxurious Nordiska Kompaniet (known locally as ‘NK’) and Gallerian, Stockholm’s first and largest galleria, as well as its postcard-worthy cherry blossom-lined square.
Peckish? Nearby Eataly has something for everyone. Enjoy shopping for fresh produce at their market, eat fresh and authentic Italian food, watch a cooking demonstration or roll up your sleeves and get in on the action with hands-on cooking classes.
Take one last glimpse of the cityscape from TAK, the popular rooftop bar near T-Centralen, before sitting back on the comfortable Arlanda Express. You’ll be back at the airport in the blink of an eye!
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Arlanda Express.