You can find numerous things to do in Stockholm in winter and all year round. The city is located on 14 islands as well as on the shore of Baltic Sea and Malaren Lake. The city also includes 24 000 islands of Stockholm archipelago. For this reason, the city fights with Saint Petersburg for the name of Venice of the North.
There are a lot of cheap flights to Stockholm in winter. Before you ignore them thinking you will freeze to death and you won’t enjoy it check 13 reasons to visit Stockholm in winter. And continue reading 🙂 No matter if you are a traveling student or baby boomer, you will find Stockholm interesting – and while being there you can also prolong your trip and try to see the Nothern lights in Sweden.
I spent a weekend in Stockholm in winter and it was enough to get enchanted by the city. What Stockholm attractions should you see? 🙂
Things to do in Stockholm in winter
Gamla Stan is a historical district, the first and the most enchanting place you will see when you visit Stockholm. The most famous area of this district is Stortorget square and its colorful buildings from XVII century and to spend some time there is one of the best things to do in Stockholm in winter and all year round.
You will also see the narrowest street in the city here (Marten Trotzigs gränd).
In Gamla Stan you will also see the building of Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) and The Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet). The royal family lives in Drottingholm palace though.
Katarinahissen – Katarina Lift
Even though the city is located at the seaside, you can’t call it a flat one. All things to do in Stockholm, Sweden will make you tired, trust me. You’ll often come across steep stairs and climbs. To make the lives of inhabitants easier, Katarina lift was built.
The first lift came into being in 1881. When we were in Stockholm in 2016, the lift was closed due to renovations. It was supposed to be open again in 2019 but as far as I see now (April 2019) – it still doesn’t work.
The lift is an interesting viewpoint though and worth including on your “what to do in Stockholm” list. It will be better once the renovations are done but pay it a short visit anyway.
Monteliusvagen is a 500 meters path in the city center. It offers outstanding views. It starts as a crossroad with Bastugatan street in Sodermaln district. Thinking what are the things to see in Stockholm, don’t miss it!
From one side you will see cute houses and from the other – a view over Malaren Lake and the city panorama. Outstanding, I would say it is one of the best things to do in Stockholm in winter and not only!
Riddarholmen is an island and district visible in the picture, it’s a part of Gamla Stan – old town. What to see in Stockholm on the island?
You can visit a luteran church of Riddarholmskyrkan with a characteristic, azure tower. Most of Swedish monarchs are buried here starting from Gustav Adolf (1611-1632). The church is one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, parts of it come from 13th century.
Except for the church, on the island you will see aristocratic buildings and palaces from 17th century. You can see three of them from Birger Jarls Torg square.
At the island’s shore you can also see an almost 100-years-old ship Maladrottingen. Currently, the ship is turned into a hotel 🙂 From the shore you have a great view at Sodermalm district.
If you want to have an unforgettable time in Stockholm, stay in the ship for the night 🙂 It’s actually one of the best accommodation from price / quality perspective I managed to find in the city.
Stadshuset – City Hall
Things to do in Stockholm, Sweden include the city hall. The architect took inspiration from Doge’s Palace in Venice and it is visible in the building’s facade. Every year festive banquets take place here for Nobel Prize recipients. It’s a place you have to see, no matter if you spend just 2 days in Stockholm or the whole month 🙂
You can visit the city hall, every day there are guided tours in English and Swedish. Check the hours and prices here.
But the inside of the City Hall is not everything worth seeing. One of the top things to do in Stockholm, is to admire the view at the city. Walk around and enjoy this stunning view!
Private residence of Swedish royal family where they normally live. Even though in Stockholm points of interests are numerous, this was the first one in Sweden on UNESCO list. The first palace was built here in 16th century but unfortunately it got destoryed in a fire. The building we can see today comes from 18th century.
Despite the fact that the royal family lives here, you can visit the palace inside. Check the prices and opening hours here.
While looking for things to do in Stockholm in winter, don’t miss a walk around Drottingholm’s gardens. Even though they’re not very green at this time of the year 😉 the garden’s design, interesting buildings and places to see there are impressive.
The palace is located outside of the city so I would skip it if you spend only 1 day in Stockholm. It will be great to include for a bit longer trip. To get there, you need to take a metro to Brommaplan station (line T19) and change for a bus.
Stadsbibliotek – Public Library
Public Library may not appear in any Stockholm guide but it is a perfect place for book-lovers. The main part is organized in a circle and books surround you from all sides. Wow effect guaranteed 🙂 Also, unlike Dublin Library, admission is free
Metro in Stockholm has a couple of impressive stations – and seeing them is one of the best things to do in Stockholm in winter when you’re already frozen to the bone 🙂 For me, the best station was Solna Centrum. You probably have seen it in some pictures before and the pictures don’t lie. It does look stunning. I also loved T-Centralen (on the blue line) and Stadion stations.
Djurgarden were once royal hunting area in Stockholm. Sightseeing in this part of the city includes a lot of green areas and walking paths. Here, you will also find the Skansen and the museum of Vasa ship, retreived from the sea.
You can get to the island by bus or a ferry, which can be one of Stockholm tourist attractions by itself 🙂
You can check how to get there on the website here.
Unfortunately our Stockholm itinerary didn’t include it. It started snowing heavily and taking a ferry didn’t seem quite as attractive anymore. We stayed on Gamla Stan and enjoyed some Swedish coffee (fikka) with a typical cinnamon bun. I totally recommend it to you too 🙂
Best museums in Stockholm
Medieval Museum in Stockholm
An interesting museum where you are going to learn a lot. After visiting it, you are able to place Stockholm sights in history. You will see a part of old city walls, you will see what Swedish houses used to look like, you can see models of the city from different centuries.
You can also see a reconstructed war ship, read about medieval proffessions, see what their work looked like. It is an interesting spot and one of the best things to do in Stockholm in winter when you’re already freezing 🙂 Admission is free!
You can find out more on the museum’s website here.
If you’re wondering what to do in Stockholm, Sweden – visit the Vasa museum. There you will see one of the most valuable Stockholm sights. It’s a restored war ship from 17th century which sank while exiting the harbor for the first time. The reason for it were too many cannons on board. While the ship was being constructed, Swedish king demanded to put more cannons on board than originally planned so the ship was too heavy from the top. Despite filling its bottom with stones as ballast, the ship lost stability.
You can find more information about the museum, opening hours and ticket prices here.
If you’re interested in Nobel prize, one of Stockholm top attractions for you may be its museum. You’ll learn about the history of the prize, Alfred Nobel himself and the laureates.
Check the prices and opening hours on the website here.
Skansen in Stockholm
Stockholm must sees include also the Skansen. There, you will be able to see Swedish way of living from before industrialization. You can see traditional buildings, proffessions and how they worked. In the Skansen there also is a zoo with animals naturally living in Sweden (bear, moose, seal) and farm animals.
You can check opening hours and prices on the site here.
Where to stay in Stockholm?
Prices of accommodation in Stockholm are high so you can think of using Couchsurfing. Below I recommend you a few great options at different price levels.
Mälardrottningen Ship – as I mentioned earlier, it’s a ship turned into a hotel and restaurant. Actually, I was surprised to see that it is one of the best options from price/quality perspective! In comparison to other options in the center, the price is great. And what an experience to sleep on a ship! 🙂
Generator Stockholm – an affordable hotel in a great location – one of the best options I managed to find in the city! It’s clean, comfortable and the staff is welcoming 🙂
Hotel Hornsgatan – a comfortable and cosy hotel, breakfast is included in the price. Guests say that drinks and fruits are available all day 🙂
Lydmar Hotel – if you feel like treating yourself with a bit of luxury, stay in hotel Lydmar. You will enjoy stylish rooms with the view over the Old Town. Breakfast is included and location can’t be better 🙂
If you want to know more about Sweden itself check the informative page on From East to West with RMS, Rachel will tell you all about it! 🙂
That was the plan for things to do in Stockholm in winter and not only 🙂 Before you plan it, check how much does a weekend in Stockholm cost. But don’t let such prosaic issues like money stop you from going for your goals. After all, is “making your dreams come true” a result of luck or hard work? 🙂
If you’re interested in other northern destinations or European capitals, check the below guides:
- The Most Breathtaking Iceland Attractions For First Timers
- How To Spend An Unforgettable Weekend In Paris?
- Complete Guide To The Best Dublin Attractions
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