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White marble sculptures in an open, bright space

Photo: Visit Stockholm

Categories: Tourist attractions

12 Stockholm highlights

Publish date: 17 June 2024

In Stockholm for the first time? Here are the most talked about must-see attractions and museums in town.

The list of things to do in Stockholm could be made endless and there are more than a hundred attractions to choose from.

To make it easier we have picked out the most unique and talked about attractions and museums for you to choose from. From internationally renowned attractions like the artful metro system and The Vasa Museum to contemporary museums like Fotografiska and ABBA The Museum.

Areial shot of Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, summer, daytime. A large white palace with a blossomiing garden in-front.
Drottningholm Palace, just north of Stockholm, has been permanent residence for the royal family since 1981. It's one of Stockholm's three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Photo: Jeppe Wikström
  • ABBA The Museum – Sweden’s most famous musical export has its museum on the island of Djurgården. Follow in Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid’s footsteps and discover how ABBA became a global disco phenomenon in an interactive exhibition.
  • Drottningholm Palace – Drottningholm, built during the latter half of the 17th century, is the best-preserved palace of its kind in Sweden. The baroque palace overlooking Lake Mälaren is a popular day-trip attraction and the official residency for the royal family. Highlights include the palace, the surrounding park, and the well-preserved palace theater; one of the few 18th-century theaters in Euorpa still in regular use.
  • Fotografiska – Fotografiska opened in 2010 and has become one of the world's premier venues for contemporary photography, with branches in New York, Milano, Tallinn, and Shanghai. The museum's restaurant has won several accolades for its heavy focus and sustainability, and the outdoor bar is a popular summer hang-out spot.
Museer i Stockholm. Moderna Muset på Skeppsholmen, exteriör. Höst. En tätdimma ligger nära marken utanför huvudentrén till museet.
Moderna Museet on Skeppsholmen is Sweden’s leading museum of contemporary art. Also located in the same building is ArkDes; the museum of architechture.Photo: Moderna Museet/Åsa Lundén
  • Moderna Museet – Housed in a building conceived by Rafael Moneo, Moderna Museet features one of Europe's foremost collections of modern and contemporary art. Moderna's permanent collection includes works by Dalí, Picasso, Derkert, Christo, Duchamp, and many more. It also features regular programming of thought-provoking temporary exhibitions and a sculpture park surrounding the museum.
  • Monteliusvägen – Monteliusvägen, running along the northeast edge of Södermalm island, is a beloved walking path and a great viewpoint of inner city Stockholm. A popular spot for a sunny Sunday walk, it offers a vista over Kungsholmen, City Hall, City/Norrmalm, Riddarholmen, Old Town/Gamla Stan, and Slussen. Along the way, you'll also find the extremely picnic-compatible Ivar Lo's Park.
  • Nationalmuseum – The premier museum of Swedish art and design. Nationalmuseum's collections span over 600 years and include paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, classic designs of everyday objects, and more. The Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum is a branch of Nationalmuseum, perfect for those who want in-depth knowledge about Swedish ceramics and pottery.
Kungsträdgården's subway station. Painted walls in bright colors.
The color scheme of Kungsträdgården's subway station mirrors the grand mansion Makalös', located in Kungsträdgården Park between the 1650s and 1825. Makalös was destroyed in a fire, but remnants of the palace's interior were rediscovered during the subway station's construction.Photo: Visit Stockholm
  • Royal National City Park and Djurgården – The island of Djurgården has been a destination for recreation and entertainment for centuries. A big portion of the Royal National City Park (established in 1995; the first of its kind in the world) is located here; its lush, green nature contrasts with inner city Stockholm's busy streets just a short walk away. On the entertainment side, many of Stockholm's most popular attractions and museums are located in Djurgården. Several of the ones mentioned in this article, as well as Gröna Lund, The National Museum of Science and Technology, Nordiska Museet, and more.
  • Skansen Open-Air Museum – Beloved by visitors and locals alike, Skansen is the world's oldest open-air museum. Founded in 1891, Skansen is a time machine to the Sweden of yesteryear. Its many historical buildings, dwellings, and farmsteads have been transported here and rebuilt, brick-by-brick, log-by-log. Skansen also has a zoo with Nordic animals, and two aquariums; one focused on the Baltic and one with tropical fish and amphibians.
  • Stockholm's metro system – One of Stockholm's most visible attractions is its subway system, with artfully decorated platforms and ticket halls. Although the blue line has probably the most visually striking stations, most stations in the system feature some kind of artful decoration. Some of the most photogenic stations are Kungsträdgården [pictured above], T-Centralen, and Stadion.
Spring in Gamla Stan. A young man walks down a narrow cobblestone street, line with old buildings.
Both residential and commercial, Gamla Stan is Stockholm's oldest district. You'll find several of Stockholm's oldest shops and restaurants here, as well as attractions and museums like The Royal Palace and the Stockholm Cathedral.Photo: Visit Stockholm
  • The City Hall – The City Hall is an iconic part of Stockholm's skyline. Built from over 8 million red bricks, City Hall has been the seat of power in Stockholm since 1923. The building was designed by Ragnar Östberg and is a prime example of Swedish national romanticism in architecture. Most notably, the televised Nobel banquet is held here each year in December.
  • The Royal Palace and Old Town (Gamla Stan) – The current Royal Palace was finished in 1754, having been constructed after a fire destroyed the previous one, "Tre Kronor", in 1697. Open to the public, it has over 600 rooms and 5 museums. The palace's location is in Stockholm's oldest district, Gamla Stan (Old Town), making it a perfect destination for a whole day of historical exploration.
  • The Vasa Museum – Arguably the most famous failure in Swedish military history, the warship Vasa sank during her maiden voyage in 1628. The Vasa was rediscovered in 1950, mostly intact due to the brackish waters, salvaged, and put on display in a temporary museum. The current museum opened in 1988 and is one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions, with over 1 million visitors annually.