48 hour guide to Stockholm
It was our last city on our trip through Norway and Sweden and we only had 48 hours in Stockholm before our flight home. From our experience, here is a list of places that are worth visiting and places you can probably skip.
Where to stay
We chose to stay in an Airbnb, because we find that Airbnb’s are generally cheaper than hotels and we’re the type of travelers that really only come back to the room to sleep. We love being out from morning until evening and don’t need a lot of luxury in our room. If you’re the type that wants ultimate relaxation and access to all the amenities such as a pool, or room service, then a hotel is better for you, but be prepared to spend more than you would at an Airbnb.
I loved the colors and patterns in every room
The bed was comfy and the room was clean
The average cost of a single room in Stockholm ranges from $50 – $100 per night. We found a lovely room for $75 and it was a great room! We had no complaints.
We chose to stay in Sodermalm, a neighborhood south of Gamla stan, known for having tons of great bars, restaurants, and shopping. It was a bit of a walk from the public metro station, but we didn’t mind. It was easy enough to locate the metro stations and take the train farther into town.
Had I been able to find a reasonable rate for Gamla stan, I would have preferred to stay there because it was in the heart of it all. I’m not certain how many people actually live on Gamla stan, which is another reason why the surrounding neighborhoods make for better places to stay.
Here’s the place we stayed at: Cozy room in Funky Sodermalm
Be sure to take advantage of my referral link so that you can save $40 on your first trip using Airbnb, and if you click and sign-up through this link, I receive a small amount of Airbnb credit to fund my next trip. It’s a win, win!
To Get a Stockholm City Pass or Not
If you are the type of person who wants to soak up as much as you possibly can of a city in a short amount of time and are ok with taking advantage of the more touristy things, then the Stockholm City pass is a good option. It has many perks including:
- free access to public transportation – no having to dig for change or deal with the fare machines.
- Free access to the hop-on-hop-off boat tour
- Free access to certain museums
See the full list of perks here.
Ultimately, we purchased one BUT I found we barely broke even on how much it cost us. You really have to hustle to take advantage of enough stuff (or not be picky about what you see) as I was.
We spent our first night walking the streets of sodermalm. This is a great place to go for bar hopping. We walked all the way down to the water and enjoyed the view, then walked back up and found a place to eat.
So many people walking around. We honestly could have spent a ton more time here.
Walking to the end of Sodermalm
Watching a street performer draw a crowd
Restaurant Tip: We recommend going into your meals expecting slower service. Being American, we always expect speedy service from the wait staff. We noticed that in a lot of places we went, the seating was open and you order at the bar or counter and the food will be brought out to you from the kitchen. Because of this, the wait is often longer for food. Do yourself a favor and sit back and relax and just enjoy your time.
The second morning, we walked from Sodermalm to Gamla stan in the early morning. None of the shops were open yet, but with so few tourists around, we got great pictures of the iconic spice colored buildings.
We returned again to visit the shops and the Dala Horse Museum, a tiny collection in the back of a shop. Unfortunately, they do not allow photos, but it was really fun to see all the different styles and see how the Dala horse has evolved. I highly recommend going and seeing it.
It was in Gamla stan that I had some of the best melon ice cream I’ve ever had at Cafe Järntorget i Stockholm AB
Cost: 130 Sek; Free with City pass.
Contrary to what you may think, this is not a Viking ship museum. It’s a museum about a huge ship that sunk right after it set off and a lot of people died who weren’t able to flee. This ship is MASSIVE and really cool to walk around on the different levels of the museum. They talk about who was on the ship, what the ship looked like originally, and how they recovered and preserved it. It’s worth marveling at and learning about but go early as it is popular for big groups of kids. If you have a city pass, you should be able to get in for free.
Cost: 120 sek (Not free with Stockholm City Pass)
I thought this was going to be cooler, to be honest. It was a really odd collection of Scandinavian things.. fashion, art, customs, culture, etc
They had some really bizarre displays.
The National Armory
Free for everyone
If you’re into seeing old coats of armor, weapons, and medieval fashion this place is for you! Located under the royal palace (entrance in the quart yard) this is a short exhibit. Shouldn’t take more than an hour, maybe 30 minutes if you don’t read everything and just look at the display cases.
Free with Stockholm City Pass
I’ll be honest… I wouldn’t recommend going here. I thought it was a waste of time and the view wasn’t that great. It’s one of those super touristy things that the city pushes to get you to the Ampitheatre. It takes 15 minutes to get there by train, 20 minutes to watch the video and then ascend and descend the dome, and then another 15 to get back. That’s valuable time that we could have spent walking around another neighborhood.
Hop on hop off boat
Free with Stockholm City Card
Normally, I wouldn’t go near a city tour bus or boat, but because Jeremy was filming and we had success on the boat to flam, we decided to try it. It actually is a convenient way to get around the city. You can hop on anywhere and get to the other side of the city in no time. We took it from over by the Vasa Museet and got off once over by Fotografiska and then once again at Gamla stan which is over 3/4 of the way around.
Gröna Lund, a theme park is a convenient stop on ferry route and a perfect destination for families
Architectural details caught from the boat
Things we ran out of time for
I had a very ambitious list of things I wanted to see and in hindsight, I spent way too much time trying to find the perfect souvenir. If you have 48 hours in Stockholm, here’s a list of places that might be worth seeing in addition to what we saw.
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