Stockholm is an amazing city to go to for a city trip. It’s the capital city of Sweden and one of the most liberal, open-minded and trendy cities we have ever visited. I mean, gender-neutral bathrooms and shops nearly everywhere, how great is that?! 3 days in Stockholm is enough time to fully enjoy the city. It’s possible to fit this Stockholm itinerary in a shorter time, 2 days perhaps, but in 3 days you can experience the urban side of the city but also the calm- and nature-side of it. In this blog post, we also share our best LGBT Stockholm tips!
IN THIS BLOG POST
Stockholm Itinerary: 3 Days in Stockholm
Visit the Metro Stations
Don’t just ride the metro, visit the stations! You probably wonder ‘why would I go visit a metro station?’ Well, go there to admire the worlds largest art gallery! Every station in Stockholm is uniquely decorated with different art pieces. Therefore, it’s awesome to explore underground Stockholm as well. We tried to see most of them, but after five hours of underground exploring, we had to hurry to not miss the last metro at night. Go after rush hour in the morning, or late at night, for fewer people at the stations (which makes for better pictures!). You can easily do a self-guided tour or if you would like to have more information, join a metro art tour! There are a few stations you absolutely cannot miss:
Stadion Station can be found on the red line and it’s our favourite art station of all. It’s a station with a huge rainbow and cloud-like blue. Grab your camera and tripod and get ready to shoot! Since there’s no natural light in the station, we highly recommend using a tripod – otherwise, your shots might turn out blurry. Use a lower ISO to make sure your picture doesn’t get too grainy – but remember that slows down your shutter speed!
T-Centralen is located on the blue line and is the main subway station in Stockholm. Therefore, many people visit this station, often in a hurry. The artist who created the art in T-Centralen tried to create a calming atmosphere in the station with blue colours and flowery motifs.
The new City line (Citybanan) connects T-Centralen directly with Odenplan, with the green line. Go to Odenplan’s western entrance hallway to see a stunning piece of art called Life Line. The lights on the ceiling are inspired by the heartbeat of the artist’s son. How meaningful is that!?
Solna Centrum is located on the blue line and is amazing to see. This station is super red and makes for great pictures (it’s a popular station on Instagram ?).
At the end of the red line, is Mörby Centrum station. We absolutely love this station. At first, you might think, what’s so special here, but once you look further it’s pretty cool. It feels like a cotton candy colourful heaven. Fun fact: the colours of the walls change depending on where you stand! Try it out!
Other great stations
Multiple stations have rainbow escalators, which are awesome to see! You can find them at Hallonberger for example. Rådhuset, Thorildsplan and Tekniska Hogskola are also great stations to see if you have more time.
A very important Swedish concept to learn: Fika. A translation of Fika is a coffee break with a cookie or pastry. But it’s much more than that. Swedish people say it’s a concept, a state of mind and so so so important in Swedish culture. During Fika, you need to slow down and enjoy time with your friends, family and/or colleagues. You don’t do Fika alone in front of your computer. It’s a must do experience when visiting Sweden! What sweets to eat during Fika isn’t important, but we ate a lot of Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar) – they’re SO GOOD.
Wander Around Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm. In 1952, Stockholm was founded on this island! So it’s an important part of Stockholm you can’t miss. Gamla Stan is a beautiful part of Stockholm and very different than the rest of the city. We did a tour with Stand Out Travel to explore the old part, but it’s also amazing to wander around yourself and stumble upon the cutest little streets.
Västerlånggatan and Osterlånggatan are the main streets of Gamla Stan. Stortorget, located in the middle of Gamla Stan, is Stockholm’s oldest square. The houses here are painted in beautiful colours. On the square there are some cute cafes, Chokladkoppen is our favourite one! It’s the perfect spot for Fika (definitely try their hot chocolate!) and it was the first place in Sweden to wave a rainbow flag.
There are also several churches and museums in Gamla Stan. Plus, here you can find the Royal Palace. If you are interested in the royal family, go check it out! The interior of the palace is beautiful. At the palace’s outer courtyard it’s possible to see the change of the guards. During summertime, it takes place once a day!
Visit the ABBA and Vasa Museum
The ABBA and the Vasa Museum are both great museums, though very different from each other. They are both located on the island Djurgården, also known as the museum island. On the island, you will find many museums (surprise!). The ABBA museum is obviously about the world famous Swedish pop group ABBA from the 70s and 80s. In 2013, the ABBA museum opened its doors in Stockholm. It’s an interactive museum which guarantees fun, for example, you can do karaoke! Please make sure not to visit the museum during the weekend, as it can get super crowded inside.
The Vasa Museum is spectacular too, and it is one of the most visited attractions in Scandinavia. The Vasa is a ship that sank in 1628 and is the only 17th-century ship that’s still intact. The ship had been in the water for 333 before it was salvaged. It’s very impressive to see such a big ship in a building. We highly recommend watching the video about the history of the ship in the museum first, before exploring the rest.
Stroll Along the Waterside
You see water everywhere in Stockholm! Stockholm is spread over 14 islands, and the Baltic Sea and Lake Mälaren melt together in Stockholm. That’s why there is both fresh and salt water in the city (separated by Gamla Stan). The waters are very clean and clear, so during a hot summer day people jump in the water to cool off. 57 bridges connect the islands in Stockholm and you can hop on a ferry between some islands. Strolling along the waterside of Stockholm is wonderful and there are quite some nice spots to sit down and enjoy the Swedish capital. Don’t forget to visit the iconic bridge Skeppsholmsbron with its iconic crown.
Shop till you Drop at Drottninggatan
Drottninggatan street is a long street with many shops. While there are many H&M’s here (did you know H&M is Swedish?), you can also find boutique shops and department stores here. The street is a car-free zone and perfect for some shopping. Looking for gender-neutral clothing – as we mentioned in the intro of our post? Head to Hope! For Swedes, shops with gender-neutral clothing are absolutely normal. That’s something we love!
Explore Hipster Södermalm
Södermalm is Stockholm’s southern island and is the trendy – hipster – district of the city. There are many Fika spots in Södermalm, as well as many bars, restaurants and hotels. A go-to spot on the island is Monteliusvägen. We absolutely loved the view from up there! Also, on the island, you can find locations from the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson, for example, Mikael Blomkvist’s apartment! If you are into it, there are tours you can do to visit all the Millennium spots. Södermalm is the perfect island to wander around, enjoy delicious food, drinks and views of the city. Our favourite mural in Stockholm is located on the island, head to Luthens gränd for a cool piece of street art by artist YASH!
Visit Södermalm’s Photography Museum
Fotografksi is the most interesting photography museum we ever visited. With regularly changing exhibitions, there’s always something new to see. If you like photography we highly recommend going here!
Do you have more time and do you like palaces? Head to the UNESCO World Heritage site Drottningholm Palace. This Royal castle is built in the 1600s and is a private residence of the Royal Swedish family. The palace is popular amongst tourists. Drottningholm Palace is located a bit out of the city, so take your time if you’re planning on visiting!
Planning a Europe trip? Like Stockholm, Amsterdam is an amazing city to visit!
Best Time to Visit Stockholm
Stockholm is a great city to visit all year round. Every season has its advantages and disadvantages. Summer is a great time to visit Stockholm, the temperatures are higher and the days are much longer. Though, it’s busier in the city and therefore also more expensive. In winter, days are shorter, the sun is only up for a couple of hours, and it’s a lot colder. But snow makes for picturesque cosy fairytale scenes. Plus, there are fewer tourists in the city!
How to Get Around?
It’s very easy to travel around Stockholm by public transport: by bus, metro, or tram for example. Though, Stockholm isn’t the cheapest city to visit, so you might want to keep the costs low. It’s doable to see a lot of the city on foot. Renting a bicycle is also an option. Another idea is to get a Stockholm pass. The Stockholm pass might seem expensive at first. But the Stockholm pass includes many attractions plus public transport, which saves a lot when you want to see and do many things! The way we loved getting around Stockholm was by electric scooter! We had the best time ever riding a Lime-scooter. You can find Lime and Voi scooters all around the city.
Where to Stay in Stockholm?
Stockholm has some fantastic hotels and hostels! We will share our favourites in different price ranges:
- Hotel Rival is located on hipster island Södermalm and it’s a wonderful hotel to stay at. It’s Stockholm’s first boutique hotel. And it’s not only a hotel, but it’s also a cafe, restaurant, theatre and bar! Fun fact: Hotel Rival is owned by Benny Andersson from ABBA.
- Hotel Skeppsholmen is an entirely different hotel and perfect if you are looking for a peaceful and stylish place to stay. Located on the island Skeppsholmen, it’s close to the city centre but at the same time, it feels like you are far away from the city! It’s an eco-friendly spot in the city.
- Looking for something cheaper? The STF af Chapman & Skeppsholmen is a hostel and unique place to stay. The hostel is located on board of a late 1800s ship!
- Hotel Diplomat is a gorgeous hotel. Perfect if you are looking for a fancy stay in the city. The building is stunning and located perfectly close to everything!
- Are you a true ABBA fan? Then stay at Pop House Hotel, located in the same building as the ABBA Museum. The rooms of Pop House Hotel are all stylish Swedish decorated.
- Another great hostel in the city is Generator Stockholm. Generally, Generator hostels are great to stay at. Generator Stockholm is located close to the central station and to the Drottninggatan shopping street.
Where to Eat the Best Food?
From fancy restaurants to the McDonald’s of Sweden, we tried it all. Enjoy the delicious food Stockholm has to offer:
- Taverna Brillo: we absolutely love the food and vibes here! The restaurant offers different kinds of foods, from traditional Swedish food to Italian pasta. Our recommendation: their pizza with caviar!
- Mälarpaviljongen: this floating restaurant is a paradise! Located in the city centre of Stockholm, with beautiful views overlooking the water, it’s the perfect spot to have a drink and food enjoying Stockholm’s nature. Mälarpaviljongen is open from the beginning of April until the end of September and is gay-owned!
- Södra Teatern: located on Södermalm with great views of the city. Södra Teatern has a lot to offer: multiple stages, bars, terraces (perfect for those views!), and a restaurant.
- Max: Okay, this recommendation is not as classy as the others, but the hamburgers of Max are so delicious! Max is the Swedish version of McDonald’s but even better. They have AMAZING sauces too!
LGBT Rights in Sweden
Swedes, in general, are very liberal people. It isn’t a surprise that their rights for LGBT people are one of the most progressive in Europe. Sweden is ranking one of the most LGBT friendly countries in the world. And that’s something we noticed during our visit. We felt welcome and we could completely be ourselves. Nobody seems to care about seeing us, or our friend Barry and his boyfriend, walking hand in hand on the streets.
In 1972, Sweden allowed transgender people to legally change gender post surgery, becoming the first country in the world! Same-sex sexual activity is legal since 1944 and same-sex couples are able to marry since 2009.
Want to know how to travel the world as a lesbian couple? Check out our best tips here.
The Gay Area in Stockholm
There isn’t a specific gay area in Stockholm. You will find gay and lesbian bars in different parts of the city, though LGBT people are welcome in every bar and club. We will tell you some awesome spots go to visit!
Lesbian bar in Stockholm
- Secret Garden is a bar, club, and restaurant in the old part of the city. There are multiple rooms in the Secret Garden, which we liked a lot. If you aren’t in the mood for a certain kind of music, just hop over to the next room! It’s the perfect LGBT friendly spot in the city if you want to have a drink and talk, or just want to dance. Secret Garden attracts a mixed public, young, old, women and men.
Lesbian club in Stockholm
- Moxy Stockholm is Sweden’s largest lesbian club. Everyone is welcome here if you want to have fun. The club organises special parties, dinner clubs, cruises and a big Pride festival. If you are looking to dance, this is the place to be.
- While many say King Kong is a gay club, it’s a hot spot for the entire LGBT community. King Kong is located on the island of Södermalm. Saturday night is party night at King Kong, but sometimes they host parties on Friday as well.
Gay Pride Stockholm
Every year at the end of July and the beginning of August, Pride is celebrated in Stockholm. Sadly, Stockholm Pride is always exactly at the same time as Amsterdam Pride. One day we will skip Amsterdam Pride and make our way to Stockholm for Pride! Over the years, Stockholm Pride has become increasingly popular, with over 600.000 parade participants.
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