Skip to main content
Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm City Hall is famous for its grand ceremonial halls. The City Hall Tower is 106 metres tall and offers a panoramic view of central Stockholm. Video credit: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Photo credit: Henrik Trygg/Visit Stockholm

City break in Stockholm and beyond – tips for one week in the capital of Sweden

Stockholm is a vibrant city break destination all year-round. Explore the accessible nature, try local and innovative food, discover Sweden’s progressive culture and admire the urban architecture. Whatever you’re looking for, Stockholm has something for everyone. In this guide, you’ll find inspiration to plan a 5-7 days long city break in Stockholm and beyond.

Located on the southeast coast of Sweden, Stockholm is an eclectic capital with nature on its doorstep. On the same day, you can explore the region's cultural gems, take a trip to one of the nearly 30,000 islands, islets and rocks in the Stockholm archipelago and come back to dine at a world-class Michelin restaurant. Start planning your trip to Stockholm and the neighbouring counties of Uppland and Sörmland with this selection of city break tips.

Explore Stockholm’s nearby nature

Strongly connected to nature, Stockholm was the first city to be awarded "European Green Capital". Composed of 1/3 green area and 1/3 water, you are never far from nature. Explore the 14 islands of the city, and its countless parks and gardens. If you’re staying the week, you can also take a tour and spend some days in the beautiful archipelago or go hiking in one of Sweden's national parks and nature reserves.

Stockholm’s accessible nature

Stockholm includes 26 city parks that easily can be discovered through a relaxing walk or bike ride. Don’t miss Djurgården, one of the three royal parks and a true oasis in the centre of the city. This green island is also a cultural epicentre with attractions, museums, and picturesque paths in a natural environment. Between two activities, enjoy a fika break at Rosendals Trädgård, a charming garden café using organic and biodynamic ingredients. For a combination of culture and nature, plan a visit to the royal palace of Drottningholm, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in a beautiful green setting with formal gardens by Lake Mälaren. In the summertime, you can also get there by boat from the City Hall Quay.

Take a trip to the Stockholm archipelago

Do like the locals and head out to the easy-accessible vibrant islands on sunny summer days – or appreciate the peaceful serenity of an off-season walk on a charming genuine island. No matter the time of the year, you can always enjoy the culinary delicacies and food crafts from the archipelago’s farm shops and factory outlets. The easiest way to reach the archipelago is by ferry via companies such as Waxholmsbolaget or Strömma Kanalbolaget. There are several departures a day from the city centre to the archipelago’s main islands. You can buy your tickets online, onboard, at the ticket counter, or through self-service machines. Some islands are also accessible via SL transport and taxi boats. More info can be found here. Thanks to a wide array of accommodation and services, you can easily stay the night in the archipelago. Every season has its charm.

Visit national parks and nature reserves close to Stockholm

Did you know that there are 30 national parks in Sweden and more than 4,000 nature reserves? You'll find several outstanding national parks just outside the capital. Here are some abundant charming green places to discover around Stockholm:

  • Ängsö – north of Stockholm: Located in Roslagen, the northern part of the Stockholm archipelago, this idyllic ancient park formed in 1909 will offer you a tranquil moment in a peaceful environment. Take the ferry from Strömkajen in central Stockholm. Within 2 hours and 20 minutes, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful landscape with its groves, forest, grasslands, and meadows covered with 400 species of wildflowers. While walking on one of the island’s paths, you might catch sight of a sea eagle, one of the numerous bird species living in the area.
  • Tyresta – south of Stockholm: Take a bus from the city centre to Tyresta village, the park’s main entrance. Here, you can choose between different trails from 2.5 to 14 kilometres long. Some sections of the famous Sörmland Trail – one of the longest hiking trails in Sweden – start here. The park is the largest area of ancient forest in southern Sweden, dotted with lakes and rocks. You will also find several barbecue areas, should you wish to take a break along the way.
  • Nacka nature reserve – south of Stockholm: In just 15 minutes, you can get to one of Stockholm's most beloved outdoor areas. Located in the reserve, Hellasgården offers around 20 activities such as swimming, fishing, canoeing, and cycling. In wintertime, you can ski with the locals and take a dip in the frozen lake after a warm sauna. When it’s time for fika, head to the restaurant Storstugan and Sjöcaféet located next to the lake. There are also several barbecue areas where you can grill your own food. How to get here? Take the bus no 401 from Slussen.

In Sweden, nature is everywhere, even in big cities. Explore naturkartan.se and its interactive map to discover the closest green places around you and get extra tips of activities to experience in harmony with nature.

1 / 6

Rosendals Trädgård, Stockholm

Rosendals Trädgård is a biodynamical garden in Stockholm, where you can learn more about sustainable farming and gardening. They also offer organic food in their café and farm shop.

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

/ 6

Rosendals Trädgård, Stockholm

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

Vaxholm, Stockholm archipelago

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

Stockholm archipelago

Photo: Agence les Conteurs

Ängsö Natonal Park

Photo: Visit Roslagen

Tyresta national park, Stockholm

Photo: Nicklas Wijkmark/Tyresta Nationalpark

Nacka nature reserve, Stockholm

Photo: Henrik Trygg/Nacka kommun

Cultural highlights in Stockholm and beyond

The capital of Scandinavia is home to a wide array of world-class exhibitions, festivals, galleries, and concerts. Cultural Stockholm will offer you no less than 70 museums, 57 theatres, almost 100 movie theatres, and over 120 art galleries, and that’s without mentioning the subway system: one giant art gallery.

Architectural and cultural gems

Dating back to the 13th century, Stockholm's Old Town is a must-see during your city break. Stroll through the picturesque, cobbled streets of the islands of Stadsholmen, Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Strömsborg and admire their many colourful buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Don't miss ‘Stortorget' the main square, Stockholm Cathedral (‘Storkyrkan’) and the nearby Royal Palace.

Some of the capital’s other architectural must-sees include the City Hall – a leading Swedish piece of national romanticism in architecture, the Stockholm Public Library created by Gunnar Asplund and a great example of Swedish Grace style, the Woodland Cemetery – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ArkDes – the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design – located on Skeppsholmen.

For a perfect day trip all year round focusing on culture and architecture close to Stockholm, head to the towns of Sigtuna and Uppsala. Located north of the capital, both cities are easily accessible via public transport.

  • Sigtuna: Founded in AD 980, this is Sweden’s first town. Walk along its cobblestone streets and its almost 1,000-year-old main street 'Stora gatan', dotted with modern and traditional boutiques. For a deeper understanding of this old city, visit the Sigtuna Museum.
  • Uppsala: Take a walk through the city to soak up its unique atmosphere. Some of the city’s architectural highlights are Uppsala Cathedral, Uppsala Castle, the Jewel, Humanistiska teatern, and of course Linnaeus’ Museum and Garden where you will get to know the 18th-century botanist Carl Linnaeus’ work.

Must-visit museums

When it comes to culture, Stockholm offers a wide range of experiences. Design galleries, modern museums, palaces, events – the city has it all. Moderna museet, Nationalmuseum and Fotografiska are among Stockholm’s most famous and popular museums.

The island of Djurgården is home to a wide range of top-class museums. To name a few:  the open-air and kids-friendly museum Skansen, the interactive and pop ABBA The Museum, the Museum of Spirits (‘Spritmusem’) and the not-to-miss Vasa Museum next to the impressive Nordic Museum ('Nordiska Museet') – Sweden's largest cultural history museum.

Recently (February 2022) the Avicii Experience, an interactive museum dedicated to Swedish icon Tim Bergling, a.k.a Avicii opened at Space, a digital cultural centre in the heart of Stockholm. Looking for some extra tips? Check out these top lists: design must-sees, under-the-radar museums and museums with free admission.

If you’re planning to travel to the county of Sörmland, you should go on a castle-safari and visit some of the 400 castles, estates, and farms in the region.

Want to bring design and handcraft souvenirs back home? Head to the luxurious Svenskt Tenn, the emblematic shopping centre NK or Åhlens City, and check the following shops for more ideas: Svenskt Hemslöjd, Iris Hantverk, Designtorget, and Skansen shop.

1 / 8

Uppsala Cathedral

Uppsala Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the Nordic countries. The construction began in 1270 and the consecration took place in 1453.

Photo: Lisa Arnold /Nordkultur

/ 8

Uppsala Cathedral

Photo: Lisa Arnold /Nordkultur

Sigtuna

Photo: Destination Sigtuna

Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

Photo: Linn Ahlgren/Nationalmuseum

Fotografiska, Stockholm

Photo: Erik G Svensson

Tim 'Avicii' Bergling

Photo: Sean Eriksson Courtesy of Universal Music

Gripsholm Castle

Photo: Raphael Stecksen / Kungl. Hovstaterna

Walpurgis Eve

Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Crayfish party

Photo: Anna Hållams/imagebank.sweden.se

Experience Stockholm’s culinary scene

Stockholm is a gourmet destination offering everything, from world-class Michelin restaurants to street food. Many chefs have a sustainable approach using organic, seasonal and local ingredients, combining a high level of creativity with tradition.

Traditional food

Want to try traditional Swedish comfort food, or ‘husmanskost’ as it's better known in Sweden? Maybe some 'sill' (pickled herring), Swedish meatballs or toast Skagen? Here are some recommendations for traditional restaurants in the capital:

Sustainable dining

Restaurants at the forefront of sustainable dining experiences include:

For more tips on sustainable dining, visit the 360° Eat Guide.

For plant-based and vegan experiences, head to Växthuset or Hermans. See more: plantbasedbythess.com/the-guide.

Food shopping

Before leaving Sweden, don't forget to visit these delicious local markets and bring Swedish foodie souvenirs back home:

Fika like a Swede

The 'fika' tradition is one of the major Swedish culinary customs not to miss during your city break in Stockholm. More than a coffee break, it's the occasion to enjoy a social moment and taste some typical pastries or Swedish delicacies over a cup of coffee. Learn how to fika like a Swede and find places to go for a fika.

Special places to have a drink

Innovative cocktails, traditional craft beers, natural wine – Stockholm's beverage scene is constantly growing with new spots opening regularly. Here are a few of the not-to-miss venues for a drink (or two!):

Looking for more tips? Click on the following links to find places serving natural wines and sustainable winebars.https://butikrot.se/

1 / 4

Östermalms saluhall, Stockholm

Östermalms saluhall is a food hall in central Stockholm dating back to the 1880s.

Photo: Agence Les Conteurs

/ 4

Östermalms saluhall, Stockholm

Photo: Agence Les Conteurs

TAK rooftop bar

Photo: TAK

Sjöstaden Skybar, Stockholm

Photo: Sjöstaden Skybar

Tjoget, Stockholm

Photo: Tjoget