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 13, 2013
    Sean Naughton answered the question: Sean Naughton

    What are the best rooftop bars in Stockholm?

    Photo by Sean Naughton, view from Kaknästornet It is summertime... the time of the year when a Swede wouldn't be caught dead indoors! After a long and dark winter, Swedes prefer to do as much as possible outdoors. Daylight in Stockholm during the summers stretch far into the evening making it quite comfortable to sit outside at one of the many outdoor and rooftop bars in the city. Stockholm is a relatively flat city, geographically speaking, with not too many tall buildings... however, there are still a few places you can visit and enjoy a great view with a coktail in hand.
    Probably the most famous is Gondolen, stretching above Slussen on the hill just south of Gamla Stan. A restaurant, as well as a first rate cocktail bar, they also have a roof top grill during the summer months. High atop of the old tax building (known locally as Skrapan- "the skyscraper") is Himlen, which means "heaven", and offers great views of the cool Södermalm district. There are a few other laid back bars found on the heights of Södermalm, overlooking Gamla Stan and downtown Stockholm, including the popular bars at Södra Teatern and the summery terrace at Sjöfartshotellet.
    Downtown Stockholm doesn't have many tall buildings, but you do have a bit of a view from the rooftop bars at two hotels. The classic Sky Bar, atop of the Royal Viking Hotel, as well as the Spa Bar at Selma City Spa at the top of the Clarion Sign Hotel. The Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramaten) has several restaurants as well as roof top terrace which, while not high up, does have great views of Nybroviken harbour.
    Finally... perhaps a bit touristy, though with arguably the best views in Stockholm, is the tower Kaknästornet with Sky Bar at the top. Happy cocktailing!
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    Where is the best ice cream in Stockholm?

    The probably most popular of all ice cream parlors in Stockholm is AH:s (Skånegatan 83) on Södermalm. Three decades (and I don't how many different sorts of ice cream) has made it's impact. It's also strategically placed, right by Nytorgsparken where all of Södermalm seems to go to sit on the lawn when the weather is agreeable.

    18 smaker on Timmermansgatan is another classic, and Gelateria Italiana (Drottningholmsvägen 22) is almost in the middle of Fridhemsplan, which is not the most beautiful  surroundings, but their home made Italian ice cream is nothing but delicious.

    On Götgatan (also Södermalm) is StikkiNikki whose Ice creams are made of the best and purest of ingredients. And the tastes changes all the time and is sometime pretty wild (like popcorn). But they never disappoint.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best coffee shops in Stockholm?

    If you're after "good" coffee, then there's Sosta on Sveavägen who has served perfect espressos to a mainly standing audience for decades. An alternative is Drop Coffee on Södermalm. Both a roastery and a café, their speciality is the drip coffee.

    Kaffebar (S:t Paulsgatan 17) was featured in ”The girl with the dragon tattoo” and is a favorite hangout, just a few blocks away from Slussen.

    For traditional go to cosy Sturekatten, which looks like it's the 19th century. Another alternative is Södermalms' Gunnarsons (especially in the beginning of the year when Gunnarssons serve this correspondents favorite version of the Semla – thea sweet roll with whipped cream and almond paste that's a traditional dish in Sweden).

    Then there is Kafé Valand (Surbrunnsgatan 48), a fantastic old modernist café with an interior of wooden panels and classy chairs. It has been run by the same couple for ages, and the visitors come more for the atmosphere than for what's served. But it really is well worth visiting, if not only to impress others on Instagram.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best restaurants for a business lunch in Stockholm?

    Go with the four classics, as they never disappoint. Gondolen, high above Södermalmstorg, has a spectacular view over the inlet and always a fresh and traditional menu by famous chef Erik Lallerstedt.

    Sturehof at Stureplan is as famous for its clientele as its sea food. And if the conversation gets boring, it's always possible to admire the interior designs by Jonas Bohlin.

    Just a few blocks away from Sturehof is Riche, a bistro that has kept its popularity for ages, and almost across the street lies Konstnärsbaren, a slightly more bohemian restaurant with traditional Swedish food (however its closed in July). But don't let the velvet seats fool you, this is the place where some of the Swedens most successfull business people go for relaxing lunches.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best traditional Swedish restaurants in Stockholm?

    Two great examples are right in the city center, at Stureplan. Prinsen and Konstnärsbaren are almost neighbors, and their menus are almost related (they are also competitors about the city's best and nicest doormen). On Prinsen,  the thing to order is their Biff Rydberg (a dish of fillet of beef, onion, potatoe, mustard and  yolk) and on Konstnärsbaren their Wallenbergare (minced veal with loganberries and potato).

    Den Gyldene Freden is not only in Old town, it's also the oldest one. It's the restaurant where the Swedish Academy lunches after discussing the next Nobel prize winner in literature. The rooms have a rustic cosiness, and the menu is full of Swedish classics like meat balls and smoked sea bass.

    On Södermalm,  there is Pelikan, a mix between an old beer hall and a restaurant. It's extremely noisy, but in a lovable way and their meat balls are a Stockholm classic. But start with the S.O.S – a plate of pickled herring, bread and cheese. Then  add some snaps. It's impossible to order something more traditionally Swedish than that.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best stores for designer clothes in Stockholm?

    I'd say the following four:

    Natalie Schutermans taste has really made its mark on the fashionistas in Stockholm. Her shop carries brands like Balenciaga, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney (to name a few), and the selection is top notch.

    Jus is a good complement. They sell Maison Margiela, Dries van Noten and Alexander Wang, Commes des Garcons and Rick Owens, and many more.

    Nitty Gritty on Södermalm sells the sort of fashionable clothings that don't look like fashion. The store is mostly famous for their mens clothes, and this is a good place to go for shirts by Gitman vintage, shoes from Church or a new MacIntosh if the Swedish weather shows itself from its worse side.

    Nordiska Kompaniet is a mall, but the most upscale in all of Stockholm and their fashion department is impeccable. Here, you find the best of the best in everything from fashion to sport brands.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best yoga studios in Stockholm?

    One very popular yoga teacher in Stockholm is Fredrik Binette, who teaches on several places, but has his own studio at Buddha Spa on Södermalm. It's cozy, small and intimate – and no one I know of has left his classes being disappointed.

    Yogayama offers lots of classes, and also have a good restaurant with healthy food.

    One of the first bikram studios, duCalme, has a pleasant atmosphere and is the favorite of the bikram practitioners I know.

    Most of the gym chains offers good yoga classes too. I can recommend Balance, and Fredrik Binette sometimes teaches Hatha yoga at World Class on Nybroplan.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best places to watch soccer in Stockholm?

    Soccer is a huge sport in Sweden, so of course it's played in huge arenas.

    Currently there's two new, Tele2 Arena and Friends Arena that have changed the whole setting for soccer in Stockholm. Both the team Hammarby and Djurgården have Tele2 as home arena, and the third big team, AIK, plays on Friends which is also the new national arena. This has not been overly popular among the fans. The scenes when Hammarby played their last match on the classic Söderstadion was heartbreaking.

    To see high quality Swedish soccer today, there are only two places to go.

    Tickets are ordered at Ticnet.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What new museum exhibits are in Stockholm?

    Everyone just loves "The fashion world of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From the sidewalk to the catwalk" at Arkitektur - och designmuseet (it's on until the 22th of September). It's totally multimedia, with everything from films to works by Andy Warhol and  photos by photographers like Richard Avedon and David LaChapelle.

    That works well together with the second most talked about new exhibition in Stockholm because Fotografiska is right now showing a big Helmut Newton exhibition. This one is not only about nudity. A lot of his early fashion works are shown, and many of them are really quite spectacular.
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best places to see a play in Stockholm?

    When it comes to theatre, nothing beats Dramaten. This is where Ingmar Bergman directed, the scene and salon look like they're taken from a costume drama (and are of course often home for such plays). The building itself glitters with gold in the sunlight.

    However, almost all plays, with a rare exception, is performed in the Swedish language.

    There are a lot of high class theatres, like Stadsteatern and Teater Brunnsgatan Fyra, and more show oriented ones like Boulevardteatern and Chinateatern. But to see theatre in english, keep a look at the homepage for The Stockholm English Speaking Theatre (SEST).
  • On June 25, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best museums in Stockholm?

    When Fotografiska opened a few years ago no one expected it to be a success. But the interest for photographic art seemed to be undervalued. They've shown an interesting mix of "big" names like Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibovitz and (right now) Helmut Newton but always also some cutting edge from both well known photographers like Anders Peterson (the Swede who took the cover photo to Tom Waits album "Rain dogs") to the unknown. Today Fotografiska is one of the City's most popular museums, and its cafe has a wonderful view over Old town and Djurgården.

    Fotografiska is a contender to Moderna Museet, the art museum that has had a remarkably high standard since the beginning of the sixties (they were very early with American pop art, for an example).

    Abba The Museum opened this summer and is also  good. Not only because it tells the story about the ever popular group, but also because it has Swedish music hall of fame and tells the story about our nations pop history. Which is not only for Swedes. We've exported everything from Roxette and the Hives to The Knife and First Aid Kit.