Founded in the 13th century by Berger Jarl, Stockholm experienced extraordinary growth soon after with German influences, thanks to neighboring trade association known as Hansa. Now, it’s the capital of Sweden, spanning over fourteen beautiful islands.
Stockholm is a bustling city that has everything for every type of traveler that sets foot on its soil. From trendy cafes and endless museums to centuries-old architectural buildings and five-star restaurants, the city has become a destination for over 13.5 million tourists (and growing) every year. So for those who are ready to set off into this gorgeous destination, don’t miss out on these hidden gems.
Begin your day at Kungstradgarden Park (the oldest in the city), which was once only used by the royal court, closed off from public use. Now, it’s full of cafes and restaurants, statues of kings Charles XII and Charles XIII, fountains, an ice-skating rink during the winter, and gorgeous cherry trees that blossom during the springtime. (Nowadays, you don’t have to be royalty to walk through the park.) Because it’s so centrally located, Kungstradgarden can be accessed by public transportation, for those who want to get there like the locals do.
After you’ve enjoyed the scenery at Kungstradgarden Park, head over to Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm’s best market, featuring mouth-watering Swedish snacks and meals to satisfy any food lover’s taste buds. Some vendors have been there for many decades, passing on the family business from one generation to the next.
One of our favorite places is Nybroe Smørrebrød, serving some of the freshest seafood to its customers. It’s a bit of a higher-end restaurant, but it’s definitely worth it!
After you’ve filled up on Swedish cuisines, spend some time at Skeppsholmen, an island featuring art museums, events, festivals, as well as buildings that were previously used for the military, which give the island a very industrial yet hipster vibe that attracts tourists from around the world. If you’re hungry, we recommend checking out Hjerta, a restaurant with an outside terrace and a menu that fuses Swedish and Mexican dishes to create a divine masterpiece.
There’s also a smaller island located right beside it called Kastellholmen, which has a small, 19th-century citadel that was originally built in 1667, but due to an explosion, was then rebuilt in 1846. It’s considered to be one of Northern Europe’s best-preserved star fortresses.
For those of you who love history, make sure to put the Medieval Museum on your list of things to see in Stockholm. Hidden underground, the museum showcases how the city was from the 1250s to the 1520s—from how people lived, to the churches and houses that stood there, including the original 16th-century town hall that measures 180 feet. You’ll also get to see the secret tunnel the king used to get into the castle. The Medieval Museum offers tours, which are available in English.
Finish your night off at Sturehof, a go-to spot for locals looking for a casual yet fun night out. The restaurant is also a bar with outside seating—perfect for those who like to dine later in the evening and people watch under a warm, starry sky. For those who have never been there, make sure to walk towards the back where you’ll encounter small, more private areas where you can sit and spend time chatting and enjoying the company of your friend or loved one, away from the business at the bar or dining area of the restaurant.
Stockholm has grown as a tourist destination over the years, and thanks to its beauty, sites, and activities, it continues to flourish. From bars and restaurants, museums and parks, Stockholm is a city that will keep on surprising you, for however many days you’re there.
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