Top 10 Free Attractions in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm is without doubt a beautiful city. Everywhere you go you are close to water as the city is spread out across 14 unique islands. Just outside, the spectacular archipelago awaits with more than 1000 islands. Our Stockholm specialist Lisa is happy to share her top 10 list of free attractions in Stockholm.


Lisa J Cooke

Lisa is part of our travel consultant team and our Stockholm expert. Today she lives in Göteborg, but has been living 3 years in Stockholm.


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Stockholm is the largest city in Scandinavia and in this vibrant city you'll always find something to do between the museums, the green spaces, historic streets and buildings. Here are my top ten tips for a free day out in this amazing capital. Oh, and don’t forget the traditional “fika” typically made up by a nice coffee break with a cinnamon bun!


1. Djurgården

Djurgården is one of the city islands of Stockholm. Here you can find many of Stockholm’s most interesting museums, but Djurgården is also a great place for long walks in lush nature. Start your walk from Strandvägen or take the one and only tram in Stockholm to Djurgården and get off at “Djurgårdsbron” at the end of Strandvägen. From here you continue your walk along the water, please see the recommended 2-hour walk on Djurgården. If you get hungry, visit the restaurant Djurgårdsbrunn and enjoy lunch by the water.  

Colourful house on Djurgården
Colourful house on Djurgården. Photo: Lisa J Cooke


2. Rosendal’s Garden

Rosendal’s Garden is located on Djurgården and is open to the public. On a nice warm day, you can easily spend a few hours here marvelling at the orchards, flowerbeds and beautiful apple trees. You can also see and learn about the biodynamic cultivation of vegetables, flowers and fruit. Visit the exhibitions or simply relax on a rug under an apple tree. The café serves lunch, sandwiches and cakes, using only ecological ingredients of the season.


3. Gamla Stan (Old town)

You cannot visit Stockholm without strolling up and down the narrow medieval cobbled streets of Gamla Stan – the Old town of Stockholm, which is also its own separate island. Here is where the history of Stockholm started about one thousand years ago. You can find the Cathedral, Nobel museum and the Royal Palace here, but also many small shops, cosy cafés and restaurants.


4. Östermalmshallen food hall

One of Stockholm’s most significant food halls is “Östermalmshallen”. Östermalms Saluhall has been named "The world's 7th best food hall" by the prestigious and award-winning magazine Bon Appétit in 2007. The market hall is from the 1880s, and you will find numerous restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy traditional Swedish delicacies. I can especially recommend the restaurant Lisa Elmquist for fresh fish and shellfish. Östermalms Saluhall is located at Östermalmstorg in the heart of Stockholm. The market hall is currently being renovated and the food stalls and restaurants are moved to a temporary covered market situated on the square. The renovation will finish winter 2020.


5. City beaches

In central Stockholm you can go swimming! Popular beaches include Långsholmsbadet, Smedsundsbadet and Oxhålsbadet, take your pick!

Two girls sitting on pier. Summer in the city.
Summer in the city. Photo: Tove Freiij, Swedish Institute and Visit Sweden


6. Museums

Enjoy art, architecture, history, and culture for free! Many museums in Stockholm offer free admission! For instance, visit the Nordic Museum, Nobel Prize Museum and the Modern Art museum on Skeppsholmen. The opening times for free admissions vary, you can find further information here.  


Nordiska museum in Stockholm
Nordiska museum in Stockholm. Photo: Ingemar Edfalk, Swedish Institute and Visit Sweden


7. The King’s Garden

A perfect spot for people-watching and ice cream in the sun! This is one of Stockholm’s oldest public parks and in the spring time many people come to enjoy the pink cherry blossoms lighting up the park. You may also find free performances, concerts and entertainment on a nice day. In winter time many Stockholmers come here to ice skate.


8. The Katarina Elevator

This elevator was constructed in 1881, and even though it is now out of service, it is well worth the climb up the stairs to enjoy one of the best views of Stockholm! Come in the evening and admire the sunset. Located just by Slussen on the Söderström river connecting Södermalm and Gamla stan.


9. Free walking tours

Free Tour Stockholm offers three great tours covering most of central Stockholm (City Tour, Söder Tour and Old Town Tour). The expert guide will show you the sites and talks about the city’s history during the 1,5-2-hour walk. Stroll through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town or visit fashionable Södermalm or select the tour of the modern city area. The tours are free, but if you like the experience you are welcome to leave an optional tip with your guide. You don’t need a booking, just show up at the meeting place in time for the tour to start.


10. Riksdagen (the Swedish parliament)

Yes, you can visit the Swedish parliament. From the middle of September until June, while the Riksdag is in session, guided tours for the public are held on Saturdays and Sundays. During the summer guided tours will be held on weekdays. It is not possible to book the tours in advance.

The Swedish Parliament. Photo: Ola Ericson, Swedish Institute and Visit Sweden



By Lisa Jörgensen Cooke / Nov 08 2021

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