As with any new city, I was very excited to visit Stockholm, but I must say, Sweden’s capital surpassed my expectations! Stockholm is rich in history, food, culture, and lots of great shops! Here’s how we spent 2 days in the city.
Day 1 // 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
This day technically started in Copenhagen, where we hopped on a 5-hour train direct to Stockholm! By the time we actually pulled into the Stockholm train station, the sun was already starting to go down (which happens around 2 p.m. in winter) so we hustled over to our hotel to check in and drop our things.
Day 1 // 2:45 – 7 p.m.
The first thing we wanted to check out after dropping our bags was Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town! In the midst of wandering, we ducked into a cafe for a pastry + cappuccino and to plan out the rest of our evening since the weather was starting to take a turn (rain, rain, go away).
In Gamla Stan, we located the Nobel Peace Prize Museum (unfortunately it had just closed for the day), a cute Christmas market, and lots of fantastic little shops to duck into!
For dinner, we found a quaint restaurant that seemed like a popular locals spot, and were excited to finally try a dish with Swedish meatballs that wasn’t at IKEA! This was the real deal and oh so good!
Day 1 // 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Despite the on/off rain, we opted to stick with our original plan of joining a Ghost Walk in Gamla Stan after dinner. The spooky stories are always fun to hear, but the tour also featured a lot of history and fun tidbits about the Old Town area, so it was definitely worth it to us! Plus, our tour guide was a hoot and a half, dressed in old timey clothes and carrying a lantern around. Gamla Stan is one of the oldest preserved “Old Town” areas in all of Europe (fortunately it remained out of harms way during the wars), so you better believe there was a lot of ground to cover!
Day 2 // 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
After fueling up at our hotel’s delicious breakfast buffet, we were off to Gamla Stan (again) for our free city walking tour. Since there is a separate walking tour for the Old Town area, we didn’t spend long here and quickly started making our way over to Parliament, The Royal Palace, Opera House and many other major city sights.
One of the coolest sights? A statue of Margaretha Krook, one of Sweden’s most beloved actresses of the 20th century. It’s said that Krook didn’t want a statue made, since statues are usually cold and unapproachable. So to honor her, the statue was designed to be heated year-round! Visiting in winter, we definitely appreciated that! Everyone was clamoring to stand next to the statue!
My favorite part was learning about the origins of “Stockholm Syndrome” and seeing the location where it all took place! In case you’re not familiar with the story, bank robbers took some hostages and the hostages ended up bonding with their captors while holed up and defended them once they got out! Even crazier, the hostages ended up marrying their captors! Wild!
Day 2 // 1:30 – 5 p.m.
Next up for us was some lunch! We popped into a cafe that had a medieval-era cellar (but obviously spruced up) for a couple sandwiches + dessert and enjoyed being the only ones in the downstairs area with the cozy Christmas decorations!
Then we hailed an Uber (I can’t stress enough how helpful it is to have this service in Europe and work just like it does in the US) over to the museum side of town, where our first stop was the Vasa Museum. This had been on the top of my list of things to see in Stockholm and there are no words to describe seeing the Vasa ship in person. The ship set sail in Stockholm in 1628 and sank before it even left the harbor. 300+ years later, the ship was located and was still in tact. AFTER 300 YEARS! Of course some restoration needed to be done, but it’s completely mind-blowing that something so big and so old could still be around in the shape it is!
Day 2 // 5:15 – 7 p.m.
We were so relieved that the last museum + big attraction on our list was open a little later, because it was definitely something we had to see before leaving. The ABBA Museum! Hands down one of the biggest and most influential groups in pop music, ABBA originated in Sweden and is clearly a group the country still holds near and dear to their hearts. And I must say, I really liked ABBA pre-visit, but post-visit I’ve downloaded even more songs and have a new appreciation for the group! The museum had several interactive exhibits too – we had a BLAST singing and dancing our way through it!
Day 2 // 7:15 – 9:30 p.m.
We hadn’t thought ahead to dinner but by the time we got out of the ABBA museum we were starving, so we pulled up our trusty TripAdvisor app to see what had good reviews nearby and settled on Jamie Oliver’s restaurant. Ironically, my Timehop pointed out that exactly 2 years prior, we had visited Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant. How crazy! To me, you can never go wrong with a pasta dish!
After dinner we thought we needed to do some serious walking, and followed Stockholm’s Path of Light, where we could see beautiful Christmas light displays as we made our way back toward the hotel. So, so beautiful!