Suggestion 1. Gamla Stan
Stockholm Cathedral, The Royal Palace, wandering!
Starting at The Opera House (Operan) head across the bridge to Gamla Stan. In front of you is the Royal Palace – we’re coming back there! Bear right along Slottskajen and then walk along Hogvaktsterrassen and you will find Storkyrkan. This takes about 10 minutes from the Operan.
- Storkyrkan (Stockholm cathedral) (20 – 30minutes)
Late Gothic cathedral, full of treasures particularly the sculpture of St George and the Dragon carved from oak and elk horn, dated 1489, the silver altar – dated 1650 and the 12 ft bronze candelabra that has been in this cathedral for 600 years.
When you’ve finished in the cathedral, exit through the side door into a courtyard and then make your way back to the palace. Have a look at our Savvy Guide to the palace and decide what to see.
2. The Royal Palace (1hr 20 mins or 2hrs if you see the changing of the guard)
There’s a lot to see in this complex, so if time is tight, we recommend:
- The Royal Armoury – so much better than it sounds! (45 mins)
- The coin museum – actually opposite the complex, but fascinating. (5 minutes to walk across, 30 mins inside)
- The changing of the guard (40 mins)
May – August this happens daily at 12.15 (12.15 on Sundays) and takes 40 minutes; April & September/October – Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12.15, Sundats at 13.15
3.Wandering (1 hour)
The streets are old, cobbled and windy. It’s very atmospheric (in a good way!) lots of cafes and little shops to look at as well as the architecture to look at. A lovely walk.
Leave the palace at the front, retrace your steps to the cathedral and then continue to the Nobel Museum. You’ll find Stortorget, a medieval square. Head along Kakbrinken street to join the main street of Vasterlanggaten. This is the main shopping street with lots of side street s off it for exploring. You can follow it right along until you find Marten Trotzigs Grand on your left – a big name for the narrowest lane in the city – 35” wide. Continue round a horseshoe shape and you’ll find yourself in Osterlanggaten which will take you back to the palace – or you could return via Vasterlanggaten – perhaps looking at the other side of the road!
Suggestion 2. Swedish Culture
Nordiska Museet, Skansen, Vasa, Pippi Longstocking!
From the Operan, walk away from the Gustav Adolfstorg square/roundabout along Stromgartan to a green square Karl XIIstorg – you should see T signs that indicate the Tunnelbana (the tube/subway). The station is called Kungstradgarden. Take the blue line 11 towards Akalla to the next stop which is T-Centralen.(2 minutes) Change to the red line 13 towards Ropsten and get off at the 2nd stop which is Karlaplan. (4 minutes)
You should emerge in a green space and here you need to catch the 44 bus in the direction of Skansen from outside Historika Museet – or just walk along Narvavagen, across the bridge to Djurgarden, where you will see the Nordiska on your right.
1. Nordiska Museet (1 – 2 hrs)
Four floors that explains every day life in Sweden from the 1520s to modern times. Great audio guide, fabulous building and very interesting exhibitions.
Working on the principal that you might like a walk now – take the Bus 44 outside the Nordiska (direction: Skansen) and head for Skansen (7 minutes)
2. Skansen (1 hr)
Essentially an open-air museum – worlds first in 1891. Shows how people used to live, living history section which sells what it makes – blown glass, cakes. Also has native animal section, including bears – although all vey shy when we visited. Very pretty, nice to get some fresh air & interesting.
Take bus 44 in the opposite direction for a 5 minute ride back to Vasa, or walk the short distance. Keep your eyes peeled – we found Vasa quite difficult to find – it’s quite a small building tucked away behind Nordiska on the shore line.
3. Vasamuseet (30 – 60 minutes)
If you’ve enjoyed seeing the Mary Rose at Portsmouth, then you’ll love this, as this is where the Mary Rose team learned about the techniques to preserve the ship. Sank on its maiden voyage in 1628, salvaged in 1956 when a 17 year restoration project began. Museum opened in 1990.
Strictly for those with children and who are fans of Pippi Longstocking and Astrid Lindgren’s children’s books.
Suggestion 3: Culture – Sweden and the world!
Vikings, City Hall & Nobel, Larsson’s Millenium links
From Operan, catch the no.62 bus towards Storangsbotten. (about 6 minutes) At Sibyllegaten change to the 56 bus towards Hakberget and take a 2 minute ride to the Historika museet – or just walk that last bit along Storgatan or Linnegatan.
1. Historika Museet (1 hr if you just do the Viking story)
Translates as the Museum of National Antiquities – this is where you find the story of the Vikings and the Gold Room – where the Viking treasure is displayed. Well worth a visit.
Walk back to Sibyllegatan and take the 62 bus n the direction of Fredhall. Get off at Stadshuset. (about 11 minutes)
2. City Hall (Stadshuset) (1 hr – 45 mins tour plus time to look around outside)
This is where the dinner for the Nobel Peace Prize is held annually. The prize is awarded the following day at a large theatre. You can only tour City Hall as part of an organised group – tours are in English and Swedish at 10,12 and 2. Although this can be subject to change if something important is happening – check first. Fabulous tour – 45 minutes, very informative guide, fab building – so many different styles!
From here it is a short walk to Gamla Stan. Walk along Stadhusbron, which leads into Vasabron, which in turn leads into Riddarhustorget. Turn left to cross Myntgatan, and walk down Storkyrkobrinken. At the cathedral turn right and you’ll find the Nobel museum in this square.
3. Nobel Museum
Tells the story of Alfred Nobel and then celebrates the prize winners – interesting stuff & you won’t find this anywhere but here!
The City museum (Stockholm Stadsmuseet) is on the other side of Gamla Stan. Walk through the old city in the direction of Sodermalm, you’ll cross the water – keep your eyes peeled – the museum is not far from the bridge.
4. The City Museum
Millenium Trilogy Tour from the Stadsmuset – for grown ups minus children, and fans of the Steig Larson Millenium trilogy – there is now a millennium tour available from the Stockholm City Museum(Stadsmuseet). The actual tour takes place on Saturday mornings, but there is a map and self guided tour available. The walk takes one and a half to two hours and is mainly around Gamla Stan.
Last time we visited the city museum, we were distinctly underwhelmed, (and we usually LOVE city museums) and this was before Larson’s books hit the UK with a vengeance, so please let us know if you do this tour & also let us know what you think of the museum – maybe we were having a bad day!