Visiting Stockholm for the First Time: The Information You Need

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Visit Stockholm for the first time it is much easier than you might think. In fact, Stockholm is a compact city where all the places of interest are located within easy reach of each other.

Furthermore, getting around the city is easy, safe and comfortable.

  • Visiting Stockholm: useful information
  • Stockholm airport
  • Stockholm card
  • How to get around, public transport
  • Stockholm low cost
  • Accomodation
  • What to see: 5 must-see attractions
  • Further information

Visit Stockholm, general information

Panorama on Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm



Capital of Sweden, Stockholm is located on the water's edge, next to an enchanting archipelago made up of about 30.000 islands.

Stockholm is also a city, one would never believe it, full of contasts: rich in history, it is the place where, next to the monuments and historic centers, there are sparkling bars and trendy restaurants that are famous all over the world.

Stockholm is also the city where the most modern technology, music, fashion and design trends are born.

In this multifaceted city, the urban dimension merges with the natural one, the lakes merge with the sea, parks and green areas full of animals pop up at every corner. The people are warm and welcoming and every evening small and large events follow one after the other.

The currency is the Swedish krona (SEK), but euros are also accepted: in any case I needed very little cash, wherever I was able to pay by credit card with some here you can buy everything, from cigarettes to coffee to fashionable clothes.



Here you find the useful tips (based on my experience in the city) to organize your trip without problems (or at least hopefully!)

Stockholm airports

The Flygbussarna bus, one of the transports from Stockholm Airport. On board the wi-fi is free!

There are three major ones airports serving the city of Stockholm: Stockholm Arlanda, where the major companies land, Bromma e Stockholm Skavska known because many low cost airlines land there including the beloved and infamous Ryan Air.

TRANSFER from Stockholm airports to the city center

If instead of public transport you are looking for a TRANSFER from the airport to the city center you can find it here.

From Arlanda airport

The high-speed train Arlanda Express connects the airport to the city center, the journey takes about twenty minutes.

If you are not afraid of traffic or arrive at night, you can also opt for one of the buses The airport buses.

Arlanda Airport is also served by long-distance trains, including trains arriving in the north of the country.

Want to find out more about night trains to Northern Sweden? Read my article: travel by train to discover Swedish Lapland!

For further information you can refer to the page of Swedish railways SJ.

From Bromma airport

Bromma is the second airport city ​​and the fastest alternative to and from the city center.


The bus between the airport and Stockholm is a non-stop bus and departs from the City Terminal, which is within walking distance of the Central Station.


If you buy before and through the Flygbussarna website tickets cost less.

From Skavka airport

THE Skavska airport it is located about 100 km from Stockholm to which it is connected by Flygbussarna buses. Even if you arrive at night as happened to me, you can rest assured: the buses are timed with the arrivals of the planes so you don't run the risk of spending the night at the airport.

Tickets can be purchased at the counter at the airport or on board.

Stockholm Pass

The Nordic Museum

Lo Stockholm Pass it is a card that can be purchased and which entitles you to free admission to a very large number of tours, various places of interest and museums.

Here's how it works:

  • Depending on the days you spend in the city you can buy one card that is valid for 24, 48, 72 or even 120 hours from the moment it is activated that is, from the first time you use it.
  • The card entitles you to access museums and attractions only once, in return you can use it as many times as you want for tourist buses, such as Hop On - Hop Off buses.
  • The Stockholm Pass also gives you access to sightseeing tours by boat, but once you have chosen the tour you want to join, you need to collect your free ticket at the Ticket & Tours desk in the terminal.
  • validate the Stockholm Pass it is necessary to put your signature with the date of first use on the back of the card.
  • Whether you lose it or don't use it is your business since it is not refundable!

Getting around Stockholm, public transport

One of the stops of the Stockholm metro, here art is the master



In a few places in my life I have found public transport so safe, punctual, fast, efficient and also comfortable and expensive, but oh well we expect it from a city on the Scandinavian peninsula, right?

The underground network (subway o T-bana) covers practically the whole city and reaches even the most remote areas of the suburbs.

Personally I don't like the subway very much, entering a hole and exiting a hole several km away without any reference point does not give me the idea of ​​knowing the city.

In reverse i love trams and buses that allow me to look out the window and see the city from a different point of view. In Stockholm, trams and buses are a great choice.

A fun alternative to get a completely different view of Stockholm is to move with the local ferries that connect the city to the main islands giving the opportunity to get to know a little bit of the splendid archipelago that surrounds it.

The good news is that many of Stockholm's main attractions are within walking distance of each other. (In fact, you could probably get by in Stockholm just using your feet for transportation.)

But if you plan to explore some metro stations and want to visit some museums, I recommend getting a pass. You can get them for 24 or 72 hours or even 7 days if you add one as well smart card SL Access.

These cards are valid on the metro, buses and even some ferries (including the ferry that goes to DjurgÄrden, where many museums are located).

I Taxi in Stockholm they are not regulated so you must always ask for the price before getting on board. Some have indicative rates on stickers attached to the window.

The price shown in the yellow part of the sticker is in Swedish kronor and generally refers to a journey of approximately 10 km or 15 minutes.

Taxis have a sticker on the window: in the yellow box the price for a journey of about 15 minutes

When taking a taxi at the taxi rank, you are never forced to choose the first taxi in line, so check the prices first and choose carefully.

Taxis in Stockholm can be (and it is always convenient) paid by credit card and please ask for a receipt!

There are many companies, some even offer the journey from Arlanda airport to the center at fixed rates.

Stockholm low cost

Stockholm is an expensive city by our standards. Just think that a place in a shared dormitory in a hostel in the city center costs around 30 euros but it is not uncommon to find more expensive ones.

A good choice for accommodation is to look for an apartment on Airbnb, sometimes you can find excellent offers, maybe not really in the center, but with the subway it's quick and easy to get around.

Restaurants are generally expensive, if you want to save money the alternative is to take a plate or a sandwich from the numerous ones 7eleven that there are in the city or from fast food restaurants such as those of the MAX chain.

Alcohol is very expensive: if you want to save, take it into consideration!

The tap water is very good so you can fill a bottle to take with you.

Where to sleep in Stockholm

Panorama over Stockholm

Which part of Stockholm to sleep in obviously depends on what you want to do or what interests you have.

I stayed at the Generator Hostel in Stockholm, a short distance from the central station of the city. Not only is it convenient for using the subway or getting to / from the airport, but you're also within walking distance of restaurants and Gamla Stan (which is a 10-15 minute walk).

Since Stockholm is made up of a group of islands, it can be confusing to decide which place is best for you.

Below you will find some brief indications on where to sleep.

Old Town, the old town, is charming but expensive, touristy and crowded and I personally wouldn't recommend it.

Östermalm is the fashion part of Stockholm and is where the luxury boutiques are located.

DjurgÄrden it is more or less a giant park (born as a park of the royal family) and here there are many museums (including the Vasa Museum and Nordic Museum).

Also Södermalm it is a good area, young and trendy.

If you want to save money, however, my advice is to move from these areas and choose a more peripheral neighborhood but convenient for the metro that leads almost everywhere.

What to visit in Stockholm for the first time

There are so many things to see in Stockholm: below you will find 5 points of interest not to be missed, even if you spend little time in Stockholm.

1 - Take a FREE ride

One of my favorite things to do when I first arrive in a city is take a free walking tour, and the city tour was very nice: with a free tour you will learn a lot both about the history of the city and about the things to see and you will do it in a fun way with various anecdotes.

You will learn about the many brands and companies that have sprung up in Stockholm, where the “Stockholm Syndrome” was born, some juicy royal scandals and the truth about the Nobel Prize!

As Stockholm is made up of a few small islands, tours can only cover one island at a time and there are 4 of them that I can recommend.

1 - FREE STOCKHOLM tour: I personally took the City Tour and absolutely loved it. This a free tour of Stockholm where you will discover the fascinating history of the Swedish city and its beautiful architecture.

2 - FREE Södermalm tour (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you have enough time): This tour will take you to the hipster district of Stockholm. You will find out why this area has become one of the most popular in the Swedish capital!

3 - FREE tour of Skeppsholmen: You will travel through i essential places of Skeppsholmen and you will find out why it is known as the island of boats.

4 - FREE Stockholm New Town Tour: With this tour you will learn about the history and discover the art present in the New Town of the Swedish capital.

2 - Visita Gamla Stan

Chances are, if you've seen it

Some of my favorite places in Gamla Stan include Big Square (the oldest square in Stockholm and a great place to have coffee and people watch) and the Royal Palace, which is home to a couple of museums and is also where you can watch the changing of the guard ceremony every day in the summer months.

3 - Stockholm Metro

After being on the surface, why not go below? It might seem strange to tell you to spend some of your time on the Stockholm metro, but the Stockholm metro system is actually like a very long art exhibition.

Out of 100 stations, about 90 of them have some kind of artwork.

Some stations are even entirely covered in colorful murals. (My favorites include Stadion, T-Centralen on the blue line, and Solna Centrum.)

4 – Museo Vasa

My favorite museum in Stockholm is the Vasa Museum. This unique museum in the world houses the (almost completely intact) remains of a XNUMXth century warship called Vasa.

The huge ship sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm harbor in 1628 due to a combination of poor construction (with its double cannon decks, it was too heavy) and simple bad luck (including a strong gust of wind and gun ports fully open).

Vasa sat at the bottom of the harbor for more than 300 years, until it was rediscovered in 1956 and then brought back to the surface (fairly well preserved) in 1961.

Today the Vasa Museum is built around the old ship, which is 98% original. You can see exhibits on multiple levels, including one on the ground floor that includes skeletons of some of the 30 people who died when the ship quickly sank in 1628.

5 - Stockholm archipelago

Even if you're only in Stockholm for a few days, do a trip to the extraordinary archipelago stretching east of the city can be one of the most rewarding parts of your visit.

THEStockholm archipelago it is made up of tens of thousands of idyllic islands. They are definitely worth exploring if you have the time, especially during the warmer months, when there is endless potential for barbecuing, swimming and overnight stays.

Every summer, it seems that half of Stockholm's population disappears into the archipelago to escape the hustle and bustle of city life!

Other useful information

The Ice Bar one of the most famous clubs in Stockholm

It is useless to try to explain the weather in Stockholm because at least in summer it changes constantly and compulsively so that one moment it rains and the next moment the sun comes out.

Surely even in the summer months in the evening it is highly recommended to bring a heavy sweater or a jacket because it is quite cold, while during the day the sun warms up and you can easily turn around in a T-shirt.

Essential is a k-way or something that protects from sudden rains.

La European Health Insurance Card it covers you by giving you the right to medical assistance but always take out travel insurance (for example SAFE TRAVELS as I did): it costs little and gives you the peace of mind that whatever happens you are covered by a health insurance policy.

Definitely in this post for visit Stockholm for the first time I will have forgotten something so if you can think of anything else, please write it in the comments - thank you!

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