Free Things To Do in Stockholm
- #1View all Photos
In Stockholm, travelers don't necessarily need to venture to one of the city's museums to learn about its past. Instead, stroll through Gamla Stan, the neighborhood where Stockholm itself was founded in 1252. Cobblestone streets, winding alleyways and colorful, classic architecture abound, creating a medieval atmosphere visitors can't seem to get enough of. But Gamla Stan's charming ambience isn't all the area has going for it. The neighborhood is home to some of the city's top attractions, including the Stockholm Cathedral, Parliament, the Nobel Museum (which houses exhibits about the Nobel Peace Prize and its laureates) and the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan is also where you'll find Stockholm's oldest street, Köpmangatan, and Mårten Trotzigs gränd alleyway, the city's narrowest pathway at only 35 inches wide at its smallest point.
Though travelers said there are plenty of cafes, shops and attractions here, some reviewers found Gamla Stan to be a tourist trap. Visitors said restaurants are often overpriced, and some were put off by the kitschy shops that catered to tourists. However, you don't have to spend money to get the best of Gamla Stan. Many tourists enjoyed simply strolling around the area and recommended everyone do the same, as they felt the scenery was the neighborhood's best asset. Gamla Stan is completely free to stroll through and aside from the various businesses that dot the area, is open for exploration 24 hours a day. For more information, visit the Stockholm Tourism Board's website.
- #2View all PhotosfreeDjurgården#2 in Stockholm1.8 miles to city centerAmusement Parks, Cafes, Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND1.8 miles to city centerAmusement Parks, Cafes, Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
In Stockholm, you don't have to travel far to experience the famous Swedish countryside. At Djurgården, you can get exactly that and so much more. The island of Djurgården is situated right next to the city center, accessible via various forms of public transportation (ferries included), as well as on foot thanks to the numerous bridges that connect to it from Östermalm. The island is one big green oasis, perfect for biking, strolling or picnicking. But there's more to this giant park than meets the eye. What lies within Djurgården is a treasure trove of activities, including some of the city's top attractions. Here, you'll find Rosendals Garden, Skansen, the Vasa Museum and 21 other museums, including one dedicated solely to the Swedish pop group ABBA. There's also an aquarium and amusement park, perfect for traveling families.
But don't worry, there are still plenty of spaces to unwind. Hit up one of the island's many coastal or canal pathways, or rest your legs at Isbladskärret, a small lake area home to numerous different types of birds and small herd of Scottish Highland cattle. In addition, there are plenty of eateries scattered around the island (previous visitors particularly recommend getting a bite at the greenhouse cafe at Rosendals).
- #3View all PhotosfreeMonteliusvagen#3 in Stockholm1 mile to city centerFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND1 mile to city centerFree, Neighborhood/AreaTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
If you're the kind of traveler who can't leave a new city without experiencing a vista or two, consider a walk along Monteliusvagen. At less than a half-mile long, this cobblestone-lined pathway may seem modest at first, but the views it offers of the Stockholm skyline pack a punch. The scenic path is perched atop the cliffs of Södermalm and faces Lake Mälaren, Riddarholmen (the small island adjacent to Gamla Stan) and city hall, where some of the annual Nobel Prize award ceremonies and banquets are held. Sodermalm, the area where the Monteliusvagen is located, is akin to SoHo in New York City. The trendy neighborhood features a variety of shopping options, from designer to vintage stores, art galleries, bars and restaurants. And if you're still itching for more views during your time in Sodermalm, walk about a mile east and you'll hit the Fjällgatan viewpoint, found conveniently above Fotografiska.
Recent visitors said this short stroll is lovely and best experienced at sunrise or sunset. Some suggested taking food for a small picnic at the available benches, while others said those interested in photography would be hard-pressed to find a better place to take a photo of the city. Whichever way you choose to experience Monteliusvagen, you'll be greeted with fantastic views, according to reviewers.
- #6View all Photos#6 in Stockholm1.8 miles to city centerFreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND1.8 miles to city centerFreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Rosendals Trädgård is a public garden located on the island of Djurgården. When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, or simply a scenic place to rest your feet, Rosendals is your answer. The attraction is a market garden outfitted with fields, a rose garden, orchard, flower beds, a vineyard and green houses, offering plenty of opportunities to unwind alongside nature. There's also an educational garden specifically for children. In addition to plenty of green spaces, there is an artisanal bakery, farm shop that sells biodynamically grown veggies and a plant shop. In the summer months, visitors can go out and pick flowers for purchase on the property. There is also the regularly lauded Greenhouse Cafe. Located right alongside gardens of its own, the cafe serves casual bites, primarily sourcing from the veggies grown on-site. And recent visitors can taste the freshness. Many travelers found the food served at the cafe and bakery to be delicious, and dining alongside gardens significantly enhanced their experience. Others were happy they brushed elbows more Swedish people than tourists here.
Unless you plan on eating or purchasing something at the on-site shop, the Rosendal's Garden is free to explore. Hours, however, vary. From May to September the attraction is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (though closed from June 24th to 26th for Midsummer) and from October to December the garden is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Due to weather conditions, the gardens are closed to the public from January to April. To get to Rosendals, take the No. 69 bus to the Djurgården stop, walk over the bridge and follow the canal; signs to the gardens will become present. For more information, check out the garden's website.
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