Sweden Travel

30 Photos of Stockholm That Will Inspire You to Visit

Recently I spent 10 days in Stockholm. My husband was there for work, so I tagged along. While he was in an office sitting in front of a computer screen, I went sight-seeing on my own. And oh man… did I sight-see hard. I wandered the narrow streets of the old town almost every day. I visited medieval churches. I took 3 separate boat trips. I visited hundreds of museums (okay I think it was only about 6). I had fika (Swedish for coffee break) in the cutest cafes. I walked over 10km each day, exploring different neighbourhoods. I fell in love with exploring Stockholm.  And I took 1 million (rough estimate!) photos of everything. But rather than subjecting you to an OMG-will-it-ever-end ridiculously long slideshow, I’ve distilled my trip down to just 30 photos of Stockholm. I hope these pics will give you an idea of what it is like to visit. (And maybe even inspire you to book your own trip?)

 

Historic Cathedrals and Churches

Like most European capitals, Stockholm has amazing and beautiful historic churches. In some cities you can get a bit of cathedral overdose because the architecture is all from a similar time period. But in Stockholm, each of the churches is different enough to keep it interesting. A few of the churches charge a small entry fee, but most are free.

Riddarholmskyrkan church in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Riddarholmskyrkan in Stockholm’s old town dates back to the 13th century.

 

The interior of Riddarholmskyrkan church in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Ornate interior of Riddarholmskyrkan.

 

St. Jacob's Kyrka in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

St Jacob’s Kyrka in Stockholm’s Norrmalm neighbourhood. Parts of it date back to the 1500s.

 

The interior of Tyska Kyrkan (German Church) in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The beautiful Baroque stained glass windows inside Tyska Kyrkan (German Church) in the old town

 

Sofia Kyrkan church in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Sofia Kyrka in the Sodermalm neighbourhood

 

Opulent Palaces and Castles

Sweden has had a royal family since their independence from Denmark in 1523. These days they are a parliamentary democracy, and the royal family doesn’t have any real power. The Swedes love their royal family, probably because they seem to be (ahem) modernizing the monarchy. (The younger generation married commoners without much fuss: The oldest daughter married her personal trainer, the son married a former glamour model and the younger daughter married a Brit.) But they remain traditionally royal in one aspect: they still have bucketloads of palaces. Their main residence is Drottingholm Palace just outside Stockholm on Lake Malaren. When they’re in the city, they stay at the Royal Palace in Stockholm’s old town. I actually visited both one right after the other – it was a pretty opulent day!

Drottingholm Palace near Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Drottingholm Palace and it’s Baroque garden

 

The Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Royal Palace in Stockholm’s old town

 

In addition to palaces, Stockholm also has castles. (The difference is that a castle is built for military defence, while a palace is just a super duper fancy house where royalty lives. The more you know, right?)

Kastellet Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Kastellet Stockholm is an old citadel in Stockholm’s harbour.

 

When I first saw Stockholm’s City Hall I thought it was a castle (or maybe a palace?) In any case, it’s a pretty grand structure. Each year it hosts the Nobel Prize Gala. You can only visit the interior on a guided tour (and sadly I didn’t have time).

City hall in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

This might look like a castle, but it’s actually Stockholm’s City Hall (Stadshuset).

 

City hall in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

A closer view of Stockholm’s castle… I mean City Hall.

 

Way too Many Museums

Stockholm has way too museums for a city it’s size – in a good way! (There are over 30 of them.) The most cost effective way to see them is to buy a Stockholm Pass. I bought a 3 day pass and went to several museums a day. It was educational, inspirational, and exhausting! And of course I didn’t manage to visit them all. Surprisingly, my favourite was the Vasa Museum. It houses a 17th century wooden warship that sat at the bottom of Stockholm harbour for hundreds of years before it was raised and preserved. I didn’t think that learning about what is essentially just an old boat would captivate me, but it really did!

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The amazingly preserved 17th century warship inside the Vasa Museum.

 

The Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The castle theme continues with the museums: the Nordic Museum has a particularly spectacular exterior. But it’s only about 100 years old… it was designed to mimic Danish Renaissance architecture so it just looks super old.

 

18th century farm buildings at the Skansen outdoor museum in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

An 18th century farm at the Skansen outdoor museum. Like all of the buildings, these ones were dismantled in their original locations across Sweden, then reassembled at the museum.

 

Reindeer at the Skansen museum in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Reindeer are just some of the nordic animals in Skansen’s zoo.

 

Their Subway Stations are Art Galleries

With all of its museums, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that Stockholm is an arts-focused city. However, I was surprised that even their public transportation is artsy: their Tunnelbana metro system has been referred to as the world’s longest art gallery. Most of the stations feature original art. I spent a morning riding the subway to see some of them. My favourites were the stations which featured exposed bedrock that had been painted.

Radhuset Station in Stockholm's Tunnelbana subway system. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Radhuset Station

 

Tekniska Hogskolan station in Stockholm's Tunnelbana subway system. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Tekniska Hogskolan station

 

Stadion station in Stockholm's Tunnelbana subway system. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Stadion station

 

Diverse Neighbourhoods

Stockholm has lots of interesting neighbourhoods to explore. I enjoyed walking around the ritzy Ostermalm neighbourhood. There’s a gorgeous waterfront walkway along Strandvagen Street.

The Diplomat hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The picturesque red awning of the Diplomat hotel in the Ostermalm neighbourhood.

 

Strandvagen in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Strandvagen in Ostermalm is one of Stockholm’s most prestigious addresses. It’s a great place to stroll along the water.

 

I made a special trip north of downtown to the Vasastan neighbourhood to go to the library. But this isn’t just any library: Stockholm’s Public Library has a 3 story circular reading room. I’d love to be wealthy enough to have something like this in my house!

Stockholm Public Library. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The spectacular 3 storey circular reading room in Stockholm’s Public Library.

 

South of the city center is Sodermalm, an up and coming neighbourhood that is a hipster hangout. There are lots of cute boutiques and coffee shops lining the streets. The bluffs of Sodermalm are also one of the best places to get a great view Stockholm.

The view of Stockholm's old town from the bluffs in Sodermalm. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

A view of the Lake Malaren side of the old town from the bluffs in Sodermalm.

 

A boutique bakery in Stockholm's Sodermalm neighbourhood. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Boutique bakery in Stockholm’s hip SoFo neighbourhood in Sodermalm.

 

I took a boat tour through Lake Malaren and the Baltic Sea (which meet in Stockholm). Along the way we cruised past the southern suburbs where it was interesting to see modern and clean Scandinavian architecture juxtaposed with former industrial sites.

New development in Hammarby, Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

An ultramodern new development at Henrikdals in Hammarby, one of the southern suburbs.

 

Abandoned industrial building in southern Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Abandoned industrial building in the southern Liljeholmen neighbourhood.

 

The area around Stockholm is dotted with islands, both in Lake Malaren and in the archipelago in the Baltic Sea. Staying at a summer cottage on an island is a quintessentially Swedish experience – most Swedes have one. After taking a ferry to the island of Vaxholm, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon wandering around its little coves and quiet lanes, I can really appreciate the charm of the summer cottage life.

Vaxholm island, Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

A quiet cove on Vaxholm, one of the many islands in Stockholm’s archipelago.

 

The Old Town is Enchanting

I’ve saved the best for last: Stockholm’s old town (known as Gamla Stan in Swedish). The old town was by far my favourite part of Stockholm. It has some picturesque public squares and cute cafes. I loved getting lost in the narrow winding streets (although by the end I could navigate them quite well!) If you want to check out the old town for yourself, I put together a self-guided walking tour so you can be sure to see all the main sites, without getting lost. At times it can be a bit overrun with tourists, but if you go early in the morning or after dark, you can have it almost to yourself.

Stor Torget square in Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The iconic colourful houses in Stor Torget, the main square in the old town.

 

Cafe in old town Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

One of the many adorable cafes in the winding streets of the old town.

 

Old town Stockholm, Sweden. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

The Baltic waterfront of the old town.

 

Prastgatan street in Stockholm's old town. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Narrow Prastgatan, my favourite street in the old town.

 

Branda Tomten square in Stockholm's old town. 30 photos of Stockholm that will inspire you to visit.

Branda Tomten Square lit up at night.

Whew… that was a lot of photos of Stockholm. Thanks for sticking with me through all 30 of them. Maybe after reading this post you understand why I fell so hard for this city?

Have you ever thought of visiting Stockholm? Do you have questions about it? Ask them in the comments.

 

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30 photos of Stockholm, Sweden that will inspire you to visit 30 photos of stockholm that will make you want to visit. Stockholm, Sweden has beautiful palaces and churches, stunning architecture, great museums and a picturesque old town. #Stockholm #Sweden

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    December 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Beautiful photos! Makes me want to go back for another visit!

  • Reply
    Megan
    December 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Beautiful photos! I especially loved the interior shot of the Riddarholmskyrkan – stunning!

  • Reply
    Alaine
    December 8, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I love Stockholm! Still my favourite in Europe. I’m always discovering new spots when I’m there. Each trip feels too short though.

  • Reply
    Becky
    December 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Great pictures! They really make me want to visit Stockholm now, I still haven’t been there! 🙂

  • Reply
    Helene
    December 8, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Your photos are amazing:D I went to Stockholm this past summer and really loved it! You captured the beautiful city super well, now I wanna go back!

  • Reply
    Katalin
    December 8, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Can’t believe that I still haven’t been in Stockholm, even though spent so much time in Finland during the last years! Traveling by metro and taking pictures of the stops are still on my bucket list, but as I see there are much more to see! That warship looks amazing too!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    December 9, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Your post reminded me of the beautiful moments I had exploring Stockholm on my own. I have actually sat on one of those benches in Branda Tomten Square, by night, observing the locals. 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle
    December 9, 2017 at 6:28 am

    I love photo inspiration posts! Stockholm looks great. I will have to add it to my list :).

  • Reply
    Eva
    December 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

    That “castle”, the City Hall, is where I’m getting married next year! Stockholm was the firt place my boyfriend and I traveled to together, as a couple, and we’ll tie the knot there. Every time I’ll see that building in the skyline it will just have even more meaning!

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