What is the best way to see Stockholm in one day?

Joseph Reaney

Stockholm has more than enough attractions to fill a week. But if you only have a single day to experience the Swedish capital, there are a few attractions that Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend you move to the top of your list.
Spend your morning wandering the small winding streets of Gamla Stan (Old Town) — one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in the world. You can enjoy breakfast in a cozy Stortorget café, shop in the area’s many handicraft and antiques shops and, most of all, take in a selection of tourist sights, from the elegant Stockholm Palace to the medieval Riddarholmen Church.
Depending on the weather, spend your afternoon either enjoying the city from the water on a sightseeing boat or exploring the most intact 17th century ship on earth at the Vasa Museum.
When (or if) the sun goes down, head to the spectacular Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren for the finest gourmet meal in Sweden, then spend your evening discovering the many bars and clubs of the nearby Stureplan district. Finally, end your night with a sobering dip in the bracing Baltic Sea — or perhaps just your hotel pool.

  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What is the best way to see the Royal Palace in Stockholm?

    The Royal Palace in Stockholm is a must see! If you are lucky you may even see parts of the Royal Family here as this is their daily workplace. The palace was built by Nicodemus Tessin and has more than 600 rooms. Stockholm Palace has three museums filled with history; Skattkammaren med riksregalierna, Museum Tre Kronor och Gustav III:s antikmuseum.

    If you want to take a guided tour of the different parts of the castle the tours are given several times a day. The tours are 45 minutes and are given in English too.

    But of course you can also just walk outside of the castle to experience the exterior. On a sunny day, I recommend you to walk around Skeppsbron, up the castle hill and around the magnificent castle. Finish with a walk around the famous Old Town.

    If you want to experience more Swedish history I recommend you to visit; Drottningholms Slott, Haga slott, Hovstallet, Kina slott och Gripsholms slott.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best things to do on Stockholm’s Djurgården island?

    Royal Djurgården is wonderful all year round! Now, in the summer, I would recommend you to go for a walk around the entire island of Djurgården. Along the route are ice cream stands, hot dogs stands, but also wonderful restaurants. One of my favorite places is Rosendahls Gardens. If you are more fond of visiting museums Djurgården is full of them; Liljevalch Nordic Museum, The ABBA Museum, Theilska Museum and the Vasa Museum just to name a few. For the kids, it is a must to visit the open air museum Skansen as well as the home of Pippi Longstocking, Junebacken!

    The amusement park Gröna Lund, is also a part of Djurgården. At Djurgårdsbron you can also rent paddle boats that can take you through the channel. A bit of fun and quirky way to get around on. The popular cafe KMK is located right next to the bridge.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best stores for designer clothes in Stockholm?

    The best shopping? Of course it depends on what you are looking for and in what price range. Below are some of the most popular shops in Stockholm.

    Svenskt Tenn
    Strandvägen 5, Stockholm
    +46 8 670 16 00

    The legendary interior design company Svenskt Tenn has had great recognition around the world. Probably most famous for their Josef Frank patterns. Perfect gifts to bring back home.

    Hamngatan 18-20
    +46 8 762 80 00

    Stockholm’s most luxurious department store. Here you will find Swedish and international fashion brands as well as jewelry, interior design and cosmetics.

    Nathalie Schuterman
    +46 8 611 62 01

    High-end boutique that offers a nice mix of international brands. Men’s and women’s clothing as well as accessories.

    Stockholm Market
    Riddargatan 3
    +46 8 611 00 50

    At Stockholm Market you kind find a nice mix of designer brands and accessories. Missoni, JBrand, YSL and Sophie Gyllenhammar are just a few of the names you can discover.

    Norrmalmstorg 2
    +46 8 611 64 11

    Not only the hottest brand in Sweden but also abroad! Denim, shoes, bags- you name it. If you’re dressed in ACNE you can’t go wrong.

    Hamngatan 22

    Fashion and quality to the best price! Impossible to walk out empty handed.


    Pedestrian Street from Norrmalmstorg to Stureplan well known for it shopping. At COS, Filippa K and Mathilde you can find Swedish designs.  Apart from that you can also check out international brands such as Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney at the same street.
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  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best spas in Stockholm?

    One of the city's best SPA’s is the Grand Hotel's ”Raison d'Etre”. Just like the Grand Hotel, Raison d'Etre is luxury defined, while it still feels cozy. The SPA uses Jurilique products. At Raison d'Etre you want to spend more than an hour… More like a whole week if you ask me!

    Sturebadet at Stureplan is also known for its fantastic SPA. Sturebadet has a great gym, indoor pool, and a large variety of SPA treatments. Sturebadet's location makes it very popular and a reservation is needed make sure to be there in time. If you would like to work out at the gym while in town, it is possible to rent workout clothes. Sturebadet uses their own brand; Kerstin Florian.

    The Thai-inspired Sabai SPA at Linnégatan is a more affordable alternative. Just like in Thailand you will get your massage on a mattress on the floor. Totally worth it for the nice price.

    Newly opened Day Spa at Sibyllegatan is a delightful novelty which unlike many other places in Stockholm offers you the possibility to just pop in for a treatment. At ”Day SPA” you pay for the time you use and not per treatment. They have great manicures and pedicures!

    QVISI at Valhallavägen makes you feel like home. They offer you a huge variety of treatments and products. QVISI carries the popular brand ”Dr. Obagi”. At QVISI you get spoiled rotten. Expect to walk away with a fantastic result!
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best Mexican restaurants in Stockholm?

    Funnily enough the mexican food trend has just taken off in Stockholm. This fall a bunch of new Maxican hang out will open up in the city. Both high end and more budget-friendly. So far I recommend you to go to ”La Neta” for a great Mexican experience. La Neta has something for everyone; quesadillas, tacos al pastor, guacamole or beans. The newest addition to the Mexican scene is Calexicos at Hornstullstrand, Södermal. Traditional Mexican dishes with homemade tortillas. Moreover Calexicos has a big assortement of Tequila’s and lots of different drinks and Margheritas. For two people, I recommend ”Faijtas Rio Grande”. If you are really lucky you will encounter the sweet pink food truck "El Taco Truck" that spins through town. At El taco Truck you will be served through the truck My favorite is their pork chuleta or chicken chipotle. To locate El Taco Truck please visit their Facebook page. Rumour has it that the duo behind El Taco Truck will open theier first own restaurant this fall. Keep your eyes and eras open.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best makeup stores in Stockholm?

    At NK (Nordiska Kompaniet) all the great makeup brands are represented. Armani, YSL, Ester Lauder. You name it. Great service and sales people. Even on the more affordable department store, Åhlens, you can find a huge variety of makeup. Are you looking for Swedish makeup brands? Then I recommend you to pass by Face Stockholm or Makeup Store. For more of a boutique feeling and personalized service ”Cow” at Mästersamuelsgatan is a great store. Looking for lovely creams and perfumes? Then it's a must to swing by the Swedish brand Buyredo. Do not miss their wonderful sented candles!
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best historic hotels in Stockholm?

    The best known and most historic hotel in Stockholm is Grand Hotel. Since 1874 this has been home to royalties, celebrities and businessmen. Grand Hotel has a prime location on the waterfront opposite the Royal Castle and Old Town.

    At Grand Hotel you will experience elegant rooms and magnificent suits! All rooms are individually designed. At Grand Hotel you can also visit one of Stockholm's best SPA facilities; Raison d'etre. Here you can get really spoiled with every treatment you've ever dreamed of. The Grand is home to the classic ”Veranda restaurant” known for its traditional smorgasbord. The Grand features Mathias Dahlgren's Michelin star restaurant. My personal favorite is ”Matbaren”. For a night cap or a great brunch you should definatly visit the Cardier bar. The Cardier bar is know for it's afternoon tea where you can taste the best scones in town.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best neighborhoods in Stockholm?

    All areas of the inner city of Stockholm are considered to be good. Just like many of the surrounding suburbs. To walk between the districts of Stockholm is beautiful and gives you a good overview of the city. Östermalm is comparable to New York's Upper East Side. It is a wealthy area, having the highest housing prices in Sweden. On Östermalm you will also find all diplomatic residences and famous Djurgarden which is worth a visit. While Södermalm reminds one more of New Yorks SoHo and East Village. In recent years, Södermalm has become extremely popular and Stockholm residents now struggles to find apartments at "Söder" as it is called. Södermalm is lively and here you can find a range of nice cafes, restaurants and bars.
    Norrmalm is best known for Sergelstorg and its architecture. Stockholm Central Station and the famous shopping street, Drottninggatan also belongs to Norrmalm. Not far away from there you will find Vasastan. Vasastan revolves around Odengatan. Apart the Stockholm Public Library, Vasastan boasts wonderful parks such as the Vasa Park, Obeservatorielunden and Vanadislunden. In Vasastan you can also find wonderful antique shops and second hand stores.

    Last but not least, you must visit the Old Town. Small cobbled streets filled with history. While in Old Town check out the Royal Castle!
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best bars in Stockholm?

    Stockholm is full of great bars. Both indoor and outdoors. At Birger Jarlsgatan you will find the famous restaurants ”Teatergrillen” and its sister restaurant ”Riche”. Both places are basically full 7 days a week. The atmosphere is charming and high-spirited. At Riche you can either grab a beer in the "Big Bar" or the slightly more intimate and relaxed part "the Little Bar" where old movie classics are played on the wall behind the bar. If you go through the restaurant kitchen, you can sneak through the back door into ”Teatergrillen”. During the weekends the place is packed. Businessmen, it-girls and regulars. Decorated in red velvet, Teatergrillen definately knows how to create a great vibe and after hours party!

    A little further down the street you will find Sturehof. A classic seafood restaurant also known for having a great bar both indoors and outdoors. If you are into music you should definately check out ”O-baren” one level up. Live music always with the latest releases. Together with a plate of herring, snaps and music this bar is well worth a visit.

    Miss Voon is just a short walk away. This restaurant and bar is Asian inspired which will show on the menue. A great bar scene and also really good music. Intimate and welcoming.

    The five-star Nobis Hotel at Norrmalmstorg has won many awards for its bar- Gold Bar. I personally recommend "Strawberry Basil Smash." On weekends you can drink cocktails to the tunes of famous DJs. Either you hang in Gold Bar or sneak out in the spectacular lounge.

    Are you looking for an incomparable view!? If so, you should head to "Och Himlen Därtill" at Södermalm. On the 26th floor, 104 feet above the ground, you will find this elegant and luxurious bar with 360 degree views of Stockholm. I just hope you're not afraid of heights!

    Are you looking for a true classic? The Cardier bar at the Grand Hotel is just that: luxurious, sophisticated and cool. Order a glass of champagne and sit back in the leather sofas. If you are Do you really lucky you can sip it to the tunes of a jazz pianist.
  • On July 17, 2013
    Lovisa de Geer answered the question: Lovisa de Geer

    What are the best restaurants in Stockholm?

    Stockholm is filled with great restaurants in all price ranges. Amazingly enough, they are almost always fully booked. Bellow is a list of the best restaurants according to the residents of Stockholm.

    1. Esperanto

    Concidered to be one of Stockholms best restaurants. Esperanto has since it’s opening racked up awards such as a Michelin star and a first place in White Guide, Sweden's best foodie handbook. Esperanto offers two different menues; the à la carte menu ”Carte Orientale” and the tasting menu ”Menu d’été”. Both menues are based on the season and paired with the perfect drink menue. From the à la carte I would recommend the ”Slightly roasted langoustine with fois gras, yuba and whipped aged egg yolk” and as if that wasn’t enough… The desserts are to die for! Don’t forget to reserve a table in time since this romantic place in the area of Östermalm is usually very popular. Think timeless, playful and innovative!

    2. Restaurant Frantzén

    With two Michelin stars Restaurant Frantzén in Old Town is one of Stockholm's best restaurants. It was also declared the country's best restaurant by the White Guide, Sweden's best foodie handbook. The restaurant and it’s chefs are obsessed with perfect ingredients and many of them are grown in the restaurant's garden. The ingredients and the mix of Asian and Far Eastern cooking techniques makes this place unique. The fixed menu consists of twelve different dishes for around $300.

    Frantzén recently opened the gastro pub ”The Flying Elk” which is more relaxed and a little more lenient in price.

    3. Mathias Dahlgren Matsalen

    Mathias Dahlgren's ”Matsalen” belongs to the famous Grand Hotel. Mathias Dahlgren focuses on two different menus; "The Natural Kitchen" that adapts to the seasons and "a theme in focus" which, just like it sounds, is based on highlighting something Dahlgren wants to show a little more depth. All dishes are carefully paired with selected beverages. Mathias Dahlgren also operates the more casual restaurant ”Matbaren” in the same building. ”Matbaren” is a modern bistro with a great personal atmosphere. For dessert, do not miss the apple crumble. ”Matbaren” has a number of drop-in seats that I highly recommend you to fill up.

    Other restaurants that are well worth a visit; Operakällaren, F12, Gastrologik and LUX.