There is an endless number of things you can do in Stockholm. And as often happens, time is not enough for all.
I attended the TBEX conference in Stockholm (see photos from the event on my Instagram travel profile) some time ago. Because the time was too short for me to be able to gather enough information on interesting places to visit in the Swedish capital, I asked my colleagues to help put together a list of quirkier, less-obvious places to see.
It is amazing how we all saw the same city in remarkably different ways!
If I could recommend one thing to do in Stockholm, it would be to see the wonderfully artistic subway stations. Over 90 of the city’s 100 subway stations are decorated with installations from over 150 artists, which makes it the ‘world’s longest art exhibit’ – it stretches for a total of 110km!
My favourite stations are T-Centralen, Kungsträdgårdsgatan, Rådhuset (all on the Blue line) and Thorildsplan (on the Green line). The best thing is that you can see all this public art for basically free – all it costs is one subway ticket!
♥ This idea was shared by Ashlea from A Globe Well Travelled. Read her article See Stockholm’s best subway stations using just one ticket
THE SMALLEST PUBLIC SCULPTURE IN SWEDEN
Tucked in the corner of a square in Gamla Stan sits a small iron boy. His arms wrapped around his legs, his face tilted towards the heavens. The crown of his head is shiny with the wishes of locals and tourists who pass by whispering their silent prayers. Sometimes they leave gifts – money, food, or weather-related offerings, a knitted hat and scarf for warmth or raincoat to keep him dry.
His name is Järnpojke, though his creator, Liss Erikson, called him ‘the boy who looks at the moon’, inspired by sleepless nights as a child. At 15 cms, he’s the smallest public sculpture in Sweden, but probably the most loved. (You will find Järnpojke behind the Finnish Church on Slottsbacken in Gamla Stan.)
♠ This secret place was shared by Jo Amos, the writer behind The Road to Wanderland
STOCKHOLM CITY CONFERENCE CENTER PARK
Thanks to my hostel location and an Instagram by Jay at Jay on Life, I discovered the little park in front of the Stockholm City Conference Centre. It has an outdoor restaurant that is perfect for happy hour, but the best part is the fountain that looks like a dandelion! Despite the lack of grass (sorry, picnickers!), the benches are always filled with locals reading, chatting, and catching up on the day. This gem has it all–food, people watching, and architectural beauty.
♦ Chloe from Wanderlust in the Midwest shared her this Stockholm gem with us.
BOAT RIDE TO THE LOVELY VAXHOLM
Upon leaving Stockholm’s dock, you’ll have a prime view of its elegant palaces, slowly replaced by modern neighbourhoods, followed by wooden cottages and finally forests, islands, islets, and rocks. All surrounded by the ocean and under Sweden’s special blue sky. The town itself is a green neighbourhood dotted with fairytale wooden houses. Vaxholm Castle, right across, was used as a pirate stronghold in Pippi Longstocking. Hembygdsgårds Café has great coffee, cakes and views!
Stockholm is all about nature!
♣ This is a place (immediately included into my next-time-in-Stockholm wishlist!) that Milos, Happy Frog Travels discovered.
THE ROYAL SWEDISH NAVY CADET BAND
Shortly before 11 AM, the city noises were overcome by one sound only: the music of an approaching marching band. In the past few days, while sightseeing in Stockholm, I’ve passed by the Royal Swedish Navy Cadet Band playing in the Royal Palace’s court a few times, but the wall of gathered tourists never allowed me to take a decent photo or enjoy the music. So imagine my joy, when I recognized the music on my last day in Stockholm.
I was waiting at the ferry terminal for the departure of my ship to Vaxholm, when the band came down the street before turning around the corner and continuing in the direction of the Royal Palace. What a sight! And perfect timing, lucky me!
♥ The lucky girl was Naddya from NTripping
BIKE TRIP AROUND DJURGÅRDEN
Stockholm is a great summer city. You can spend hours strolling in this beautiful city, watching people and enjoying the atmosphere, but want to see Swedish nature? Then head to the islands around Stockholm.
The islands are a different world. Start with Djurgården.
Rent a bike by the bridge and leave the tourist area. Cycle north to Kaknästornet and behind, then follow the shore all the way to Djurgårdsbrunn and Blockhusudden. That will make a great day out. Pure Swedish nature, dense blueberry forests, meadows full of flowers and – grazing horses!
♠ Shared by Liisa from Routes and Trips
STOCKHOLM ROOFTOP VIEW
And finally, my idea of how to find a different point of view of the city. Literally. This is the way I enjoyed Stockholm the most.
Thanks to my stay at Kung Carl Hotel, I had access to an amazing view of the city’s rooftops. High above the traffic of Stockholm’s streets, the city looked equally beautiful as Paris. Sitting on the top floor terrace of the hotel, one can take time and feel the energy of this amazing city.
My biggest regret was not planning enough time to get to know Stockholm better. Don’t make this mistake. Because we always say – I will come back for more – I often don’t have the chance to do it. Make the most of every trip!
Read more about Stockholm and Sweden here: