Stockholm, Sweden’s wonderful capital is one of Northern Europe’s most exciting destinations. Ethnically diverse, modern yet rich in history, dynamic and naturally stunning. Surrounded by a number of islands, Stockholm is a city that needs to be on every travel addict’s bucket list. The city is architecturally stunning. This city is incredibly clean, its public transport is superb, its setting by the water is picturesque, and its people are extremely friendly. Home to incredible attractions for visitors of all ages - UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Michelin starred restaurants, charming streets, scenic spots and everything else one could ask for when picking a holiday spot. Stockholm has definitely become one of the most popular tourist destinations across the globe!
If the above reasons haven’t quite convinced you yet, we’ve listed 7 great reasons as to why the Scandinavian city needs to be the destination of your next vacation. By the end of it, we’re pretty sure you’ll be more than ready to pack your bags and head to Stockholm real soon! ;)
Picture Credit: www.robertharding.com
What better way to understand Stockholm’s fascinating history than to visit the place it all began, back in 1252! One of our top reasons to visit Sweden; the city’s Old Town or Gamla stan houses some of Stockholm’s oldest buildings and streets, and also a number of points of interest that cannot be missed. This small island in the Stockholm Harbour is so incredibly magical, one visit and you’re sure to fall in love! The location of many of the city’s attractions, such as the Royal Palace; which is one of the largest palace’s in the world, Stockholm Cathedral; Sweden’s national cathedral, the Nobel Museum and Stortorget; known to be the oldest square in Stockholm, it is no surprise that this wonderfully preserved medieval city is so famous. The Old Town also has numerous note-worthy restaurants and cafés, and some great places to shop. Its labyrinth of narrow winding cobblestone streets and tiny alleys are meant to be explored, so be prepared to be pleasantly surprised every corner you turn! And when paying the Royal Palace a visit, don't miss the 40 minute long changing of the guard ceremony and parade!
Picture Credit: www.visitstockholm.com
Djurgården Island, in the heart of Stockholm, is unlike any other place in the area and is thus one of the city’s foremost attractions. This tranquil green oasis is a favourite spot amongst locals and tourists alike for all the diverse recreational opportunities it offers, and attracts millions of visitors every year for numerous reasons. Home to some of the city’s most famous museums and galleries, historical buildings and monuments, stunning green spaces and beautiful parks, great waterside walking paths, and even an amusement park. Djurgården is the ideal place to experience endless fun outdoors. The Vasa Museum, the Nordic Museum, the Skansen, Isbladskarret, Gröna Lund, and Junibacken in Djurgården, are just a few of its key attractions that will definitely complete your visit to Stockholm!
Picture Credit: www.visitstockholm.com
Stockholm may be home to a plethora of historic buildings and museums, but one attraction you cannot leave without seeing is the sensational Vasa Museum. One of the most popular locations in Sweden, the Vasa Museum sees over a million visitors each year, and is known to have been visited by over 25 million people since its opening. The maritime museum is dedicated largely to its most prized possession, a national symbol that represents Sweden’s Great Power Period; the Vasa ship. The 17th century Swedish warship was built on the orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus, and sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. Today, visitors come from across the world to see the impressive salvaged warship, to learn all about its Viking history and to take in the numerous models and exhibits focusing on it. Offering a unique Swedish experience, the Vasa Museum is a must-include in every visitors itinerary.
Address: Galärvarvsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Contact: +46 8-519 548 80
Picture Credit: www.skansen.se
Founded in 1891, Stockholm’s Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world. The museum is one of the best ways to learn all about Swedish history and to meet some Nordic wildlife too! Visitors can expect to explore the history of Sweden and discover what the everyday lives of the Swedes was like, before our time. The museum is a miniature version of what Sweden was; with a collection of Scandinavian homes, historical buildings, and farms from all over the country. Visitors will even come across people dressed up in period attire, and numerous informative displays, and don't miss the opportunity to experience famous Swedish traditions, like Midsummer being celebrated here. There are also some great cafés and shops here, along with an aquarium, a zoo and a play area for children. Transporting visitors back to the past, the Skansen is said to attract over 1.3 million visitors each year.
Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Contact: +46-8-442 82 00
Picture Credit: whistlerinthetrees.wordpress.com
If you’re a foodie, (and really, who isn’t!?) this one just might sell you on Stockholm and its magnificence! Östermalms Saluhall or Östermalm's Market Hall is one of the world’s best food halls and has been a premiere tourist attraction for over 130 years. The famed indoor food market is a great place to experience the best of Swedish cuisine. No matter what the weather is like outside, the market is always warm and cozy, and incredibly aromatic, making it the perfect place to go on a gastronomic adventure in Stockholm. It boasts numerous restaurants, cafés and food stalls, and while none of them are Halal certified, Muslim visitors will be able to find countless seafood and vegetarian dishes, free of alcohol, to sample. There are also a variety of packed Swedish items meant to be taken home, from lingonberry jam, to smoked fish, to a variety of salads and a selection of Swedish delicacies and treats. One of the best ways to really discover a place’s culture is through its food, and what better place to do that in Stockholm than at Östermalms Saluhall! Yum!
Note: Although it has been reported to be permanently closed on Google, the Östermalm's Market Hall is still operating at a temporary place while the main building is under renovation.
Address: Östermalmstorg, 114 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Picture Credit: www.thisnewview.com
Fika is an important term in Sweden’s culture. With the basic meaning ‘to have coffee’, it is so significant to the Swedes that they choose not translate it. More than just having a cup of coffee, which is often accompanied by a sweet pastry, cake or Swedish treat, fika in Sweden is a way of life. It is a tradition that is enjoyed by its locals no matter at what time of the day, with friends or family, in a cosy café or even at home. Taking a fika break occurs numerous times a day, and it is therefore no surprise that the Swedes are actually some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world! We don’t know about you, but boy would we like to partake in some fika! ;)
Picture Credit: StefanoRomagna, www.flickr.com
Stockholm’s 30,000 island archipelago cannot be described. From spectacular islands home to boutique hotels and posh communities to those uninhabited, to islands boasting stunning sandy beaches, and those covered in woodland; that spill into the Baltic Sea, and a variety of activities from kayaking to fishing and biking, the Stockholm archipelago is sure to keep visitors mesmerized for days! Just a 20 minute boat ride from the city, there is a whole new world waiting to be discovered! So what are you waiting for!?
*Insider tip: If you’re staying in Stockholm for a few days and plan to explore the best of it, buy a Stockholm Pass. Not only will it give you access to a number of the city’s museums and attractions, but also its public transportation. The pass is also a great way to ensure you don’t spend hours standing in queues outside of the city’s top tourist spots; instead you get to skip the long lines and have longer to spend at the attraction itself!
If you’re looking to enjoy a Halal holiday in Stockholm, there are in fact a few Halal restaurants and mosques. Due to the small Muslim community in Stockholm, finding these places won’t be easy, but will be possible. The HalalTrip Mobile app is therefore the best and most convenient way to find mosques and prayer places in Stockholm. Also with the help of the app, you will be able to find Halal food in Stockholm, as well as the city’s other must-visit attractions and more.
Hishama is a Lankan born, ex-Dubai-an who enjoys all things travel. When she's not at her day job as an Online Marketing Specialist, you will find her hanging out with friends at one of the city's newest cafés, reading a Jodi Picoult novel, Netflix-ing pretty much anything, obsessing over broadway, or just dreaming of her next big adventure abroad that she wishes she could afford.