Check out this 24-hour guide to Stockholm if (like me) you only have a short amount of time in the city.
I ended up flying into Stockholm this trip (maybe the only time Qatar Airways is the cheapest option), but decided to only stay for one full day of exploration as accommodation was just too expensive. I didn’t know if jetlag was going to ruin the day, but after sleeping for 10 hours I felt surprisingly okay. So here are my recommendations for the best things to do with one day in Stockholm.
HOW TO GET TO STOCKHOLM
Most people will fly into Stockholm, which is what I did. There are actually four airports near Stockholm: Arlanda (where I flew into), Bromma, Västerås and Skavsta. It was very easy to get the Flygbussarna bus from the airport into the city – there are signs and ticket machines readily available. There’s also a commuter train and an express train, but the latter was a lot more expensive (sense a theme 😂). When I left Stockholm, I got a FlixBus to Gothenburg (a.k.a my new favourite place in Sweden).
There’s public transport available to get around Stockholm, but I just walked between all of these locations. I would also try and avoid taxis and Ubers because (you guessed it), they are costly.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Firstly, Sweden tap water is safe to drink. Secondly, card is king. I got cash out but didn’t even need to – every shop expects you to pay card, which worked for me. Generally-speaking, Swedish people are also excellent English speakers. I personally didn’t have any communication issues.
WHERE TO STAY IN STOCKHOLM
I booked my accommodation a couple of weeks in advance and like I said, there were no affordable options remaining. I decided on Generator Hostel as it was walking distance to everything, had a female dorm bed available and has an overall good reputation. It’s a fantastic hostel in Stockholm, but it did cost me about $75 per night and that was with my Booking.com Genius discount.
If you’re not looking for a budget option, Hotel Rival was Sweden’s first boutique hotel and is co-owned by Benny Andersson – an ABBA band member.
HOW TO SPEND ONE DAY IN STOCKHOLM
HAVE A CINNAMON BUN FOR BREAKFAST
Ok, first things first. I highly recommend starting your day in Stockholm with a delicious cardamom or cinnamon bun. I picked up a delicious and warm cinnamon bun from Fabrique bakery, which has locations across the city. Another place in Stockholm on my breakfast list was Vete-Katten.
DO A FREE WALKING TOUR
Following breakfast I did a Three Crowns free walking tour. Our guide, Connie was very entertaining. We walked through the Old Town (Gamla Stan) and Connie pointed out important buildings, told us about Sweden’s history, took us down the city’s narrowest street and talked about what it’s like living in Sweden today. Basically, it’s expensive but residents can go to university for free and there’s an amazing maternity/paternity leave structure in place. Even though I withdrew cash, Connie did have a card reader – that’s Sweden for you!
WATCH THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD
After the tour ended, I headed back to the Royal Palace to see the Changing of the Guard, which happens every day (visit the website for exact times). It was crowded but people tended to not stay long, so by the end I was fairly close to the front and found it pretty interesting.
HAVE A LUNCH BREAK
For a traditional lunch, Connie recommended Nystekt Stromming, a popular food cart that specialises in seafood. However, I headed to Bröd & Salt instead and enjoyed a delicious pizza bread concoction beside the water. I mean, rocket and prosciutto and walnuts? SOLD.
WANDER THE CITY
I spent the rest of my afternoon walking around the city centre. I checked out the Gilded Crown on Skeppsholmsbron (great place for photos), I did some people watching in Kungsträdgården, and I did a little bit of shopping around there and down Drottninggatan as well, which is the main shopping street. If you’re hungry, Gretas looking like a very Instagrammable cafe too!
VISIT A MUSEUM
On the walking tour, our guide recommended visiting Vasa Museum. One of the most visited museums in Scandinavia, it’s home to Vasa, a well-preserved warship from the 17th century. On Google, it’s rated 4.7 and has nearly 30,000 reviews, so it MUST be a good museum. Another museum to check out… ABBA The Museum, of course 💃. Learn more about the super group through the museum’s interactive exhibits.
Stockholm is very well-known for its colourful murals at subway stations across the city. You could easily spend hours criss-crossing the city checking out the impressive artwork. Check out the Visit Stockholm website for helpful info and to make a plan of attack 👊🏻.
ENJOY TRADITIONAL SWEDISH FOOD FOR DINNER
All that adventure should keep you busy until dinner! To be honest, I did not have an exciting dinner during my one day in Stockholm. Instead I went to 7/11 and had an interesting conversation with the guy behind the counter about Australia 😂. Nevertheless, my friend (who has previously lived in Sweden) recommended Blå Dörren and Nomad for delicious Swedish food.
Like I said, after this full day of fun in Stockholm I left early the next day and headed to Gothenburg on a FlixBus. But I hope this guide helps you plan your own one day in Stockholm itinerary! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, or pop by Instagram and Facebook 👋🏻.
P.S. For more Europe trip advice, check out this comprehensive recap from my last trip.
This post contains affiliate links.