A city break in Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden's cool capital, and where I celebrated my birthday this year. We went for 5 nights, which was more than enough time to explore at a more relaxed pace than we usually do, but you could see the best of Stockholm in around 2 or 3 days. Here's what else you need to know if you're planning a city break in Stockholm. 

How to get there:
Flights from London take around 2.5 hours. And the easiest way to travel onwards from the airport is to take the very efficient Arlanda Express which takes you to central Stockholm in a mere 18 minutes. A return ticket currently costs 600SEK (so around £40). 

Where to stay:
Stockholm is a small city and pretty walkable because of that, so I'd recommend staying in the central area, near Gamla Stan (the Old Town). We stayed about at Downtown Camper by Scandic in Norrmalm, which is around a ten-minute walk from the Arlanda Express station, and about the same distance to the entrance of the Old Town. A great area to stay in! 

When to go:
Spring and summer are obviously the better times of year because more things are open, but also because it's warmer. But don't think spring is the same time as spring elsewhere. We were there the last week of April - definitely spring in the UK - but discovered that spring officially starts in Sweden on 1 May. In fact, the last evening of April is Walpurgis Night where locals gather around a bonfire to say goodbye to winter. If you happen to be in Stockholm at that time of year and want to celebrate Walpurgis Night, Skansen is the place to head to. 

What to do:
I've already shared seven fun things to do in Stockholm, and I stand by those! But those are obviously just some of the things you can do. And eating is always a big part of any holiday for me, so here's where you should eat if you're in town. I truly do recommend Ekstedt! 

As mentioned, Gamla Stan is the Old Town and it's definitely worth a mooch around. It's where you'll find the main Royal Palace that I've shared about previously, but also the Nobel Prize Museum and Stockholm's narrowest street (below). We also had quite a few meals in this area, which I've blogged about in more detail here

We absolutely realised far too late that we did not walk around the right bit of Söder, which is a nice area of the city and, if you're a fan of Stieg Larrsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books, aka the Millennium series, is where the protagonist Mikael Blomqvist lives. It's a trendy neighbouthood with fantastic views of the city, and also where you'll find the superb Fotografiska (blogged about here!). 

Over on Djurgården, where you'll find the Vasa Museum and the ABBA Museum that we went to, you'll also fine the above mentioned Skansen. Which, as well as being the place to celebrate Walpurgis Night, is an open-air museum where you'll find about Sweden's home-life past. There's also a science centre, zoo and aquarium. We didn't go but it looks like a great place to go if you have children. There's also the Gröna Lund amusement park on that island and the Nordic Museum. 

On Skeppsholmen you'll find a fair few museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities and the Stockholm Toy Museum. We did a a rather nice walk from our hotel, across to Skeppsholmen and the took the commuter ferry across to Djurgården. 

That is the one thing you'll find, Stockholm is a rather walkable city. Other than taking this commuter ferry and needing to take the Metro and a bus to get to Drottningholm, another royal palace blogged about in my previous post, we walked. Whatever you end up doing during your city break in Stockholm though, you'll have an amazing time! 

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