Whether you prefer shopping malls over the outdoors, coffee over tea, or amusement parks over art exhibitions, Stockholm has a lot to offer. In fact, the self-proclaimed capital of Scandinavia may even seem a bit overwhelming at first! Explore the city by this guide and get an overview of Stockholm’s main attractions, including hidden spots that only locals know about. All in 48 hours!
09:48 Let’s kick off by visiting Gamla Stan. The historical part of Stockholm dates back to the 13th century and has been largely unchanged since. The medieval houses are painted in warm hues, transforming this island (if you did not know, Stockholm is essentially a collection of islands) into a romantic place when the sun breaks out. The narrow alleys invite lots of exploring – can you find Stockholm’s narrowest street too? Hint: it is located near the Estonian school.
13:20 Take the underground T-bana to Mariatorget at the southern island Södermalm. This area is full of vintage stores, trendy cafés, and interesting art spaces. At Kalf & Hansen, organic and seasonal food is served, making it the perfect place to go to for a healthy and delicious lunch. Moreover, they have named their dishes after the Nordic capitals; a good way to get familiar with your new home!
16:39 After wandering through the rest of Södermalm (especially the higher parts of the Northern shore provide breathtaking views of the city’s skyline), it is time to go to the top – literally! As you may have guessed, Stockholm is the city for outdoor activities. Just east of Södermalm, at Hammarbybacken, you will find a ski resort(!) including four downhill slopes and a snowboard park. The resort also has a ski school and equipment rental: all you need for a refreshing winter experience.
20:30 Student tickets for theater performances are incredibly affordable, making a visit to one of Stockholm’s many venues a great way to conclude day one. Dramaten is the largest theater in the city and performances vary from musicals and opera to plays and spoken word. Just make sure to plan your visit and book tickets some time beforehand!
11:35 Start day two with a walk along Strandvägen. This street runs parallel to the water, and the many yachts reveal that it is indeed Stockholm’s most expensive street to live on. At the end of Strandvägen, cross the bridge to Djurgården, the island where most of the city’s museums are concentrated. Especially the Vasa Museum is a must-see with its warship from the 1600s, completely intact. Djurgården also hosts the amusement park Gröna Lund and one of the Sweden’s national parks, that is as large as it is beautiful.
14:29 Time to get cultural! hangmenProjects is run by contemporary artists as a platform to exhibit their own work. Although quite small, this exhibition space is a unique aspect of Stockholm’s art scene. They often have new work on display. With its entrance in the backyard of an apartment block at the southern tip of Södermalm, it is a hidden gem that not even many Stockholmers are aware of.
17:01 A late fika at Kaffebar at Bysistorget is the perfect way to round off 48 hours spent in Stockholm. Taking a ‘fika’, a cup of coffee with some pastry, is a central part of Swedish culture. Kaffebar is a go-to place with its delicious cakes, pastries and cookies. Fun fact: a scene from Stieg Larsson’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ was shot here!
Now, watch the sun go down and take a deep breath – 48 hours may have passed, but your adventure in Stockholm has just begun. Enjoy!
About the Author
Nick (age 22) studies environmental social science at Stockholm University. A Dutch native, he moved to Stockholm two years ago. Although once the very worst at finding artsy coffee places and affordable restaurants, he now has an eye for what’s going on in the city. Likes: hiking in nature and spontaneous meet-ups with friends. Still afraid of the dark Swedish winters.