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One Day in Stockholm: 18 Fun Things to Do, See, and Eat

Check out a one day Stockholm itinerary. Experience Stockholm in a day with recommendations of things to do, see, eat, and drink from morning to night if you are in Sweden and short on time.
Stockholm in a day? The vibrant capital city of Sweden has tons to offer visiting tourists and business travelers alike and it would be easy to spend a week here exploring the city. 

There are so many things to do in Stockholm, but what about those of us that are time-limited? Is it possible to spend just one day in Stockholm and make a dent in all that the Swedish capital has to offer? 

I've visited Stockholm a few times for work. Reflecting on my business trips to Sweden, I compiled a list of things I would include in a perfect one day Stockholm itinerary. Here are my recommendations for how to spend a day in Stockholm.
View of Stockholm from Strömparterren

1. Take a Sunrise Photowalk around the Port

On one of my trips to Stockholm, I was speaking at a conference. The conference venue was AB Banan-Kompaniet, an old banana warehouse in Stockholm’s port. 

Stockholm in a day: sunrise over AB Banan-Kompaniet in Stockholm's port

Take the bus to the port at dawn to see a different side of Stockholm. This is also a great spot for a quick look around if you are planning to take the ferry to St. Petersburg or Riga, Latvia.

2. Start the Day with Fika at Vete-Katten, A Stockholm Institution

24 hours in Stockholm - Fika at Vete-Katten
Start your 1 day in Stockholm with cake and coffee Swedish style with fika at Vete-Katten. Located in the heart of Stockholm City Center, Vete-Katten is a warren of indoor and outdoor seating areas and offers a few tempting pastry counters. 
1-Day in Stockholm - coffee cups at Vete-Katten
Pay for your coffee and a Swedish pastry (perhaps a cinnamon or cardamom bun or filled brioche?), grab a cup and saucer, fill it up with thick black coffee and make your way to the back patio if the sun is shining. There is no better way to fuel up for your day in Stockholm than with fika for breakfast at Vete-Katten.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that you can eat the Nobel banquet menu in Stockholm at Stockholm City Hall even without winning the Nobel Prize? Read about our Nobel meal and a visit to the Nobel Museum.

3. What to See in Stockholm: Take a Stroll in the Park at St. Johannes Kyrkogård

Stockholm in a day: St. Johannes kyrkogård
After breakfast, make your way to St. Johannes kyrkogård, a lovely park and cemetery not far from Vete-Katten. The church spire is impressive but I was even more impressed by Johannes Klockstapel, the red wooden tower that has stood here in Stockholm since 1692. 

We appreciated the opportunity to soak in Stockholm's intense summer sun and walk off the sweets we ate during our traditional Swedish fika break.

4. Add Wind To Your Sails and Improve your MOOD in Stockholm

pastel flags in Stockholm
We enjoyed exploring the pedestrianized streets in central Stockholm. We wandered down a side street covered in pastel flags. 

Because of this, we chanced upon MOOD, a quirky shopping mall that not only has free wi-fi but clean restrooms and plenty of fascinating decor. Pop in for a quick rest and a bit of window shopping on your busy day in Stockholm.
Exposed pipes at MOOD shopping centre in Stockholm

5. Tour the Hallwyl Museum

One of my favorite things about traveling for work is that I get a built in set of recommendations for the city I'm visiting thanks to local colleagues. At least two colleagues recommended a visit to the Hallwyl Museum and so we decided to check it out.

The Hallwyl Museum, a former private residence built in 1898 for Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl, was donated to the Swedish state in the 20th century. 

Designed without budget constraints by architect Isak Gustaf Clason, the house incorporated advanced technology and showcased Wilhelmina's vast collections of weapons, paintings, ceramics, silver, textiles, and antique furniture.

Things to do in Stockholm in one day: the Hallwyl Museum

Wilhelmina's vision for the museum aimed to document and preserve the cultural history of the current era and past eras, acknowledging the significant changes western society was undergoing during the early 20th century. The Hallwyl Museum comprises not only grand rooms and valuable collections but the entire house is like a work of art.

The entry price was a little steep at 120 SEK (about 11 EUR at the time of writing) but we thought it was worth it for a glimpse at the magnificent house and its various collections. The rich tapestries, ornate ceilings, and extensive collection of portraits were highlights for us.

We appreciated the opportunity to experience this local hidden gem that we might have overlooked if not for the proactive recommendation of my colleagues.

6. Grab lunch at Stockholm's Östermalms Saluhall

Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: Lunch in Östermalms Saluhall
Ostermalm is another area of Stockholm worthy of a photowalk. I was particularly impressed by the doors in this area which were grand and elegant.

Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: Door hunting in Östermalm

Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: Door hunting

Factor in time for something savory on your 1-day Stockholm itinerary. Enjoy lunch at Östermalms Saluhall. 

The historic food hall was under construction when we first visited but there was a modern wing across the street boasting all sorts of Swedish food specialties; from coffee and pastries to seafood and wine.
cheese and other Swedish foods at Stockholm's Östermalms Saluhall
We sat down for a delectable lunch at M Seger and enjoyed a reindeer stew with mashed potatoes washed down with sparkling water.
Reindeer stew from M Seger at Stockholm's Östermalms Saluhall
On a more recent trip to Stockholm, Östermalms Saluhall was open! Browse a wide selection of stalls until you find the perfect sweet treat that catches your eye. Sit and soak in the atmosphere of this gorgeous food hall, arguably one of the best food markets in Europe.

Things to do in Stockholm: Eat lunch at Östermalms Saluhall

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT:  Did you know that European Capitals of Culture have been designated since 1985 and that Stockholm was a European Capital of Culture in 1998? Here are some other city break ideas in places that were once European Capitals of Culture.

  1. Explore 23 ways to do a day in Dublin Ireland (1991)
  2. Spend a weekend exploring Luxembourg with a Luxembourg Card and don't forget to do some day trips from Luxembourg City (1995, 2007)
  3. See Rotterdam in winter (2001)
  4. Drink port as old as you are with 3 days in Porto Portugal (2001)
  5. Get off the beaten track with a day in Mons Belgium (2015)
  6. Explore Bulgaria’s Roman past with a bus ride from Sofia to Plovdiv for a weekend (2019)

          7. Soak up the Sun in One of Stockholm's Pop-up Parklets

          pop-up parklet in Stockholm
          After lunch, continue your day in Stockholm. Emerge back onto the streets and take a post-lunch siesta on a pastel bench in one of the parklets that you are bound to encounter on Stockholm's streets in summer.

          8. Shop for Souvenirs at Hötorgshallen on Stockholm's Haymarket Square

          Stockholm's Haymarket Square
          Haymarket Square in Stockholm features both an open air market during the day and Hötorgshallen, an indoor shopping area focused on gourmet Swedish treats. 

          Things to do in Stockholm in One Day: Shop Hötorgshallen
          We stopped into Hötorgshallen and picked up some Swedish lingonberry chocolates, the perfect souvenir of our day in Stockholm!
          lingonberry chocolates at Hötorgshallen on Stockholm's Haymarket Square

          On the weekend, you’ll find stalls outside at Hötorget selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more. Mushrooms are extremely popular in Sweden in the Autumn and I was fascinated by the huge displays of chanterelles. Even if you don’t like mushrooms, the photo ops are worth the trip.

          Things to do in Stockholm in a day: Shop for chanterelle mushrooms in the outdoor market at Hötorget

          9. Sample Lakrits in Stockholm's Södermalm Neighborhood

          packages of licorice at Lakrits Roten in Stockholm

          Take the tram to Södermalm, a hipster neighborhood in Stockholm known for artists and a high proportion of single residents. Södermalm is great for foodies. 

          We browsed and sampled some of the amazing licorice creations at Lakrits Roten. I love licorice and took the opportunity to buy a souvenir for myself; some salty Swedish licorice.

          10. Refuel with a Coffee at Johan & Nyström

          cappucino from Johan and Nystrom in Stockholm

          Exploring a city like Stockholm in a day is hard work, especially since the Swedish capital is both widespread and vibrant. Stop for an afternoon coffee at Johan & Nyström in Södermalm. 

          They sell some of the finest coffee in Stockholm. The shop has a smooth hipster vibe.

          11. Soak in the Atmosphere in Stockholm's Gamla Stan

          colorful facades in Stockholm's Gamla stan (Old Town)

          En route back to the city centre from Södermalm, make a pitstop in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town. Admire the colorful architecture lining the narrow cobbled streets as you zig-zag your way along.

          Wander the cobbled streets and see where the day takes you. I especially liked the historic facades with large glass windows selling Swedish souvenirs. The tall, thin buildings in bright colors really add to the charm on a rainy day. 

          Souvenir Shop in Gamla Stan Stockholm

          Cool door in Gamla Stan Stockholm

          My regular readers know that I absolutely love photographing doors. Definitely make time to go door hunting in Gamla Stan (play my door-focused scavenger hunt). You won’t be disappointed.

          12. Experience Swedish History at Stockholm's Vasa Museum

          Vasa Ship in Stockholm
          Take time on your day in Stockholm to check out a unique piece of Swedish history by visiting the Vasa Museum. Built in the 1620s, the Vasa sunk on its maiden voyage within sight of Stockholm, the ship's point of departure. 

          Rumor has it that the Vasa was quite a top heavy ship thanks to all the gilding and ornamentation insisted upon by the king. That combined with the requisite canons meant that the Vasa was at risk of tipping over. 

          A stiff breeze hit and sure enough, the ship foundered and sank. The ship remained at the bottom of the harbor for more than 300 years until Anders Franzén set out to find and recover the Vasa in the 1950s.

          SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Interested in other Nordic travel ideas? You can't beat a Norwegian road trip covering things to do in Bergen, Alesund, Trondheim, and Oslo? You'll find vibrant cities and fabulous scenery along the way.

          Stockholm 1-day Itinerary: Visit the Vasa Ship Museum
          Today, the extremely well-preserved Vasa is 'docked' at the Vasa Museum. Stare in awe at the ship itself and then read more about the Vasa's history in the associated exhibits.

          A ticket to the Vasa Museum costs a steep 290 SEK at the time of writing (about 26 EUR). The Vasa Museum is truly unique and worth the cost of entry in my opinion.

          13. Explore Kungliga Djurgården

          Djurgården, or Royal Game Park, is a small island in Stockholm and a pleasant destination if the weather is sunny. We stopped for a drink and a snack at Djurgårdsbron to fuel our walk. Take the path along Djurgårdsbrunnsviken (the bay separating Kungliga Djurgården from Östermalm) for beautiful views. 
          flags on the waterfront in Stockholm
          The Vasa museum sits on Djurgården. A convenient waterfront harbor connects the Vasa Museum with other points of interest including Gröna Lund amusement park. We stood mesmerized as screaming children and adults alike were spun and whirled on the various rides.
          Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm
          From this vantage point on Djurgården, it is also possible to see Stockholm's Kastellet. The Swedish flag flies above the tower of Kastellet every day that Sweden is at peace. The Swedish flag has been flying a long time...since the early 1800s.
          Ferry and Kastellet in Stockholm
          As an alternative walk on your day in Stockholm, consider taking the bus to Kastellholmen for a closer look at Kastellet. Kastellholmen offers equally scenic waterfront views.
          Kastellet in Stockholm

          14. Get Your Disco on at Stockholm's ABBA Museum

          ABBA the Museum in Stockholm
          When I think of Sweden and the Swedish music scene, I immediate think of ABBA, the 1970s disco sensation and Swedish Eurovision champions. Stockholm now boasts a museum devoted to everything ABBA and it's awesome! 

          End your single day of exploration in Stockholm with an interactive visit to ABBA the Museum. Record a song, perform on stage, and dress up in your polyester, bell-bottomed best. 

          At each station, you can scan your ticket and then download the results when you get home. I could have spent hours at ABBA the Museum. The museum is so much fun and was most definitely a highlight of our day of leisure in Stockholm!

          Tickets to the Abba Museum cost between 230-290 SEK (about 21 - 26 EUR) at the time of writing.

          15. Stroll Kungsträdgården

          Another fun thing to do in Stockholm is to take a walk in Kungsträdgården. I discovered an array of statues and fountains as well as a spot to grab a sneaky piece of pizza. 

          Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: Walk Kungsträdgården

          Head to Cafe Eugenia for a comforting and freshly prepared pizza while looking out the window at the garden. You might even say that the pizza is heavenly…Cafe Eugenia is associated with St. Eugenia's Church next door.

          Things to do in Stockholm in one day: Eat pizza at Cafe Eugenia

          16. Sip a Swedish Craft Beer Before Dinner 

          Sweden’s craft beer scene is on the rise. Stop at Bar City Central to try some of Stockholm’s best. I enjoyed a 100W IPA from Nya Carnegiebryggeriet while sitting among kitschy decor. 

          Things to do in Stockholm in a day: drink craft beer at Bar City Central

          The bar is illuminated by a seemingly out of place glass chandelier that looks like it wouldn’t be out of place in a Swedish palace. 

          We also chanced upon Lådan, another craft beer bar close to the Miss Clara Hotel where we stayed. Try one of their sour beers for a real treat.

          Things to do in Stockholm in a day: drink craft beer at Lådan

          17. Dinner in Stockholm

          There are lots of great restaurants in Stockholm to finish off your day of exploration. Here are a few options to consider:

          Eat Dinner (with Mushrooms) at Internationella Pressklubben

          Internationella Pressklubben is a popular restaurant for business dinners. Located close to the Stockholm Central Station, you’ll find a wide selection of Belgian beers and classic Belgian dishes like mussels. 

          On one of my trips to Stockholm, I visited in September in the heart of mushroom season. If it’s on the menu, don’t miss the delicious cream of chanterelle mushroom soup to start.

          Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: mushroom soup at Internationella Pressklubben

          Dine at Köttmästarn

          If you enjoy steak, head to Köttmästarn for a wide array of carnivorous dishes. This is another restaurant popular with business travels. 

          This sleek steakhouse features a friendly waitstaff. Help digest your meal with a hit of aquavit served ice cold.
          Where to eat in Stockholm: Steak at KöttmästarnThings to do in Stockholm in a day: Where to eat in Stockholm: Drink aquavit at Köttmästarn

          Dine Old School Style at Restaurang Prinsen

          We couldn’t let our trip to Stockholm end without an old school Swedish restaurant experience. We booked a table at Restaurang Prinsen where we indulged in Swedish meatballs with lingonberries and other classic dishes served by waiters dressed formally in bowties. 

          Things to do in Stockholm in a Day: Eat dinner at Restaurang Prinsen

          The restaurant was cozy and the food was comforting. The cocktails were also strong and bracing.

          18. Play Shuffleboard with Friends

          We discovered (thanks to my Stockholm-based colleagues) that shuffleboard is extremely popular in Sweden. Head to RoQ after dinner and put your name on the list for a shuffleboard table. Grab a beer and do your best to keep up. 

          Dr J of Sidewalk Safari playing shuffleboard in Stockholm Sweden

          I learned that I am not particularly good at shuffleboard. Don’t let all the locals form a single team (they had way more practice than we did). If shuffleboard isn’t your thing, RoQ also has pool tables and video games to keep you busy.

          Map of Things to See in Stockholm in One Day

          Click on the image of the map below to open up an interactive version in Google Maps to help you find all the fun things to do in Stockholm in one day.

          Map of Stockholm

          Getting to Stockholm

          Stockholm Airport is served by major national carriers like SAS Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, and TAP Portugal as well as low cost carriers like Ryanair and Norwegian Airlines. 

          You’ll find limited direct flights from Asia to Stockholm, but can easily transfer via Dubai (try Emirates Business Class or Emirates First Class for an unforgettable experience). You can also fly direct from New York, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale in the U.S. to Stockholm. 

          Getting to Stockholm: The Arlanda Express train

          From Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, take the Arlanda Express train into the city. The one way trip takes 18 minutes to get to Stockholm Central Station. A one way ticket costs 320 SEK (about 29 EUR at the time of writing). A round trip ticket costs 600 SEK (about 54 EUR).

          Getting Around Stockholm

          Once you are in Stockholm city centre, it’s easy to get around by bus and on the metro. Simply tap a contactless credit card to purchase a 75 minute ticket for 39 SEK (about 3.50 EUR at the time of writing). 

          Getting around Stockholm: The Stockholm Metro

          You can also buy tickets for blocks of time: a 24-hour ticket costs 110 SEK (about 10 EUR), a 72-hour ticket costs 220 SEK (about 20 EUR) and a 7-day ticket costs 290 SEK (approximately 26 EUR).

          Where to Stay in Stockholm

          One day in Stockholm is often more like 24 hours in Stockholm so you'll need some ideas about where to stay. We stayed in the Miss Clara, a Marriott Design Hotel located in an Art Nouveau building that was once a girls school. 

          Art Nouveau facade of the Miss Clara Hotel in Stockholm

          The Miss Clara is about a 15 minute walk from Stockholm Central Station. If you prefer, you can take the Metro to Hötorget (1 stop) and cut the commute in half. 

          The rooms at Miss Clara were small, but well-apportioned and the bed was super comfortable. I appreciated that the hotel left a package of salty licorice in the room to welcome me to Sweden.

          Statue on Hötorget in Stockholm

          Expect to pay about 200 EUR a night for the Miss Clara with a generous buffet breakfast included. 

          Is it Worth Spending a Day in Stockholm?

          There you have it, my recommendations for what to see in Stockholm in one day (albeit a jam-packed day!)  While a visit to Sweden is definitely expensive: from museum admission fees, to public transportation prices, to food and drink, I think Stockholm is definitely worth visiting based on the number of unique travel experiences you can access here. 

          If you have more time in Sweden, why not get off the beaten track and do a day trip to Norrköping.

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          How to See Stockholm in a Day: Things to do with one day in the Swedish Capital

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          Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: One Day in Stockholm: 18 Fun Things to Do, See, and Eat
          One Day in Stockholm: 18 Fun Things to Do, See, and Eat
          Check out a one day Stockholm itinerary. Experience Stockholm in a day with recommendations of things to do, see, eat, and drink from morning to night if you are in Sweden and short on time.
          Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog