Stockholm in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Stockholm is one of the most famous cities in the Scandinavian peninsula and getting to know it in 2 days might seem impossible, although with a proper itinerary and a travel plan it is possible to get a general overview. Here I propose a route for your express visit.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

9 min read

Stockholm in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Stockholm afternoon | ©Vicente Viana Martínez

Stockholm offers so many versions of itself that getting to know it in a few days sounds almost impossible. From the historic center to the most modern part of the city, which is crowned with towering skyscrapers, the Swedish capital offers a variety of attractions that, however, can be discovered with a detailed itinerary and following a neat travel plan. Below I will try to suggest a tour suitable for a short stay.

Among the best things to do in Stockholm in 2 days are visiting Gamla Stan and its main buildings, including the Royal Palace and the Nobel Prize Museum, watching the sunset from the City Hall tower, visiting the Sodermalm district, touring the Fotografiska Museum, taking a boat ride on the bridges and discovering the ghosts that pass through the city at their leisure on a guided tour.

Day 1: Walk around Gamla Stan, visit the Royal Palace of Stockholm, see the Nobel Prize Museum, discover the local gastronomy on a tour and watch the sunset from the City Hall.

Gamla Stan| ©Ralf Kaiser
Gamla Stan| ©Ralf Kaiser

Stockholm is, above all, a traditional city, with centuries of history and a rich past that is evident in the old town and its most famous buildings. That is why for the first day I propose a tour of Gamla Stan and the attractions that include this popular site of the city.

Tour Gamla Stan

If you have to start a tour of Stockholm, it is practically impossible not to do it in Gamla Stan. The city's picturesque old town, where history and architecture intertwine to create a unique experience. Start the day strolling through the narrow cobblestone streets, discovering the warmly colored buildings and getting to know Stortorget Square, which marks the heart of the neighborhood and is distinguished by its medieval charm and its surrounding cafes.

Gamla Stan is the absolute protagonist of the best tours in Stockholm, and during a walk through this neighborhood you will get to know St. Nicholas Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic brick architecture that has witnessed royal coronations and historical events over the years.

In Gamla Stan you will also discover several dry squares and some of Stockholm's best museums, but the most important thing you will find in its streets is the atmosphere that combines contemporary life with Sweden's medieval legacy. The Old Town can be reached by buses on lines 2 and 53 and Metro lines 18 and 19.

Join a guided tour of Gamla Stan

Visit the Royal Palace of Stockholm

Within the old town the most famous building is the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Located at the northern tip of the island, in this building you can immerse yourself in the opulence and majesty that characterized the Swedish royal family. It is also an architectural jewel that serves as an emblematic symbol of the monarchy, with a baroque facade and towers that mark the highest point of Gamla Stan.

During the tour inside the building you can see its decorated halls and detailed craftsmanship that adorns every corner. There you can also witness the changing of the guard at the main entrance, a ceremonial spectacle that will add a traditional tinge to your visit. You can also explore the state rooms, such as the Throne Room and the Parade Hall, which tell the story of Sweden's monarchs.

The Royal Treasury, located in the palace vaults, houses an exhibition of crowns, jewels and royal treasures that highlight the rich culture and history of Sweden's nobility. The Royal Palace is a 5-minute walk from Stortorget Square and admission is included in the Stockholm Sightseeing Pass.

Buy the Stockholm Tourist Card

See the Nobel Prize Museum

The next step of the tour will lead you to understand why Stockholm is known as the Nobel Capital, and the best way to discover the universe surrounding this prestigious award is to visit the Nobel Prize Museum. This exhibition is located in the center of Gamla Stan and offers a unique immersion into the history of this recognition, which honors remarkable achievements in fields such as physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace.

During the tour you can discover literary creativity in the room dedicated to the Nobel Prize in Literature, which highlights masterpieces and speeches that have inspired generations. The section dedicated to peace will lead you to reflect on significant efforts to build a more harmonious world and the interactive exhibition on science and innovation will transport you to the revolutionary discoveries that have transformed our understanding of the world.

The Nobel Prize Museum not only offers a retrospective look at the award-winning professionals, but also seeks to inspire future generations to reach new heights of knowledge. This museum is located two blocks away from the Royal Palace in Stockholm and can be reached on foot.

Buy tickets to visit the Nobel Prize Museum

Take a gastronomic tour to get to know the local cuisine

One of the best alternatives to get to know the local idiosyncrasy in Stockholm is to embark on a culinary adventure through a gastronomic tour. After touring the main buildings of Gamla Stan you can discover the authentic flavors of the Swedish capital in a delicious experience for the senses.

These tours usually start in the traditional cafes and restaurants of Gamla Stan and end at the Östermalm flea market, where you can get fresh local produce. These are experiences where you can sample recipes such as Swedish meatballs, known as köttbullar, in their most authentic form. You'll also have time for a "fika", the popular Swedish coffee and pastry break, where kanelbullar, cinnamon buns, steal the show.

Some of these excursions also include a stop at a local restaurant for a smörgåsbord, a table full of traditional Swedish dishes including herring, smoked salmon, sausages and breads. This traditional feast often graces the festive tables of Swedes during family celebrations.

Join a gastronomic tour

Watch the sunset from Stockholm's City Hall

After an afternoon culinary excursion in Stockholm, I suggest you end the first day by experiencing a unique moment from the tower of the city's City Hall. From there, you can watch the sunset and discover panoramic views of the Swedish capital and its surroundings.

Located on the island of Kungsholmen, this iconic building offers a perspective of Stockholm's skyline from the 106-meter-high main tower. When you reach the top, you will witness the sunset, and on clear days you can catch a glimpse of the scattered islands of Lake Mälaren. In addition, from the Town Hall you will get one of the best panoramic views of Gamla Stan.

You can reach City Hall from the Östermalm flea market by bus on lines 91 and 291 and Metro lines 13 and 14 or on Stockholm's hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus, which includes a stop on Kungsholmen Island.

Book a ticket for the sightseeing bus

Day 2: See the Sodermalm district, visit the Fotografiska Museum, take a boat ride on Stockholm's bridges and discover the city's ghosts on a guided tour.

Fotografiska| ©Maria Eklind
Fotografiska| ©Maria Eklind

After getting to know the historical profile of Stockholm during the first day, for the second and last day of your trip through the Swedish capital I propose an itinerary through the alternative side of the city. You will visit the bohemian neighborhood of Sodermalm, and you can also visit one of the most popular photography museums in the world. In addition, I invite you to take a walk along some of the 57 bridges that connect the different islands of this destination. Are you ready? Here we go!

Get to know the picturesque neighborhood of Sodermalm

Outside the historic center, Sodermalm is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Stockholm. This area rescues the bohemian essence of the city, and is where creativity and tradition converge in a unique fusion. With its steep and narrow streets, Sodermalm offers a distinctive charm that attracts locals and visitors alike.

This neighborhood, located in the south of the Swedish capital, is known for its laid-back atmosphere, vintage stores and cafés, which create a perfect environment for those looking to immerse themselves in the authenticity of everyday Stockholm life. Sodermalm, then, brings a contemporary and eclectic energy, especially on Götgatan Street, the epicenter of urban bustle where artistic murals and graffiti coexist with traditional buildings.

The charm of Sodermalm extends to the water's edge, where you will also find bars and pubs with terraces offering panoramic views of the Stockholm skyline. In addition, you can also discover the SoFo area, known for its trendy atmosphere and fashionable stores that reflect the latest Swedish trends. This corner of the neighborhood grew strong during the Hippie Era in the 1960s.

Also, if you plan to visit Stockholm during Christmas, you can find some of the best Christmas Eve decorations in a city that is known for dressing up during the holiday season. Sodermalm can be reached from Gamla Stan by bus lines 191, 192, 193, 194 and 195.

Visit the Fotografiska Museum

Also in Sodermalm, very close to the SoFo, you can find the Fotografiska Museum, which is not only one of the largest and most comprehensive photography exhibitions in the world but also a contemporary gem that celebrates art in all its forms. This cutting-edge exhibition stands as a cultural beacon, offering an experience that highlights renowned contemporary and emerging photographers from around the world.

At the Fotografiska Museum you will find dynamic and eclectic exhibitions covering a wide range of subjects, from intimate portraits to documentary images. The variety of styles and approaches will take you on an emotional and reflective journey as you explore the diverse perspectives captured through the lens. In addition, the modern atmosphere of the exhibition makes this one of the best museums in Stockholm.

A must-see at the museum is the building's rooftop terrace, which not only offers panoramic views of the Stockholm skyline, but also a café and restaurant where you can savor gourmet dishes and local delicacies. The Fotografiska Museum can be reached by bus lines 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 491, 492, 496 and 497.

Buy tickets to visit the Fotografiska Museum

Take a boat ride on Stockholm's bridges.

You can't really say you've experienced Stockholm until you've toured the city's canals on a boat ride. In total, the Swedish capital is interconnected by 57 bridges, many of which you can discover on tours that allow you to explore the city from a unique perspective.

The canals that meander through Stockholm offer unparalleled scenery, and sailing under its iconic bridges provides a different view of the architecture and history that enrich this destination. It's also one of the best things to do at night in the Swedish capital.

Providing an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, these experiences allow you to walk across some of the most famous bridges, such as the Vasa Bridge, which connects Gamla Stan to Djurgården, and the Skeppsholmsbron Bridge, which links the island of Skeppsholmen to the heart of Stockholm.

In addition to discovering the architecture of the bridges, these tours, which are among the best boat trips in Stockholm, will give you panoramic views of the buildings along the coast and the scattered islands in the archipelago. These experiences usually start from the Kungsträdgården area, which you can reach from Sodermalm on bus lines 191, 192, 193, 194 and 195.

Take a boat trip on Stockholm's bridges

Discover the ghosts of the city on a guided tour.

To close the tour of Stockholm, nothing better than taking part in a nighttime adventure to discover the dark secrets and legends that haunt the streets of the Swedish capital. Guided ghost tours of the city are very popular in this destination and will take you through the supernatural stories and mysterious events that plagued the narrow streets of the old town.

The tour usually begins at Stortorget Square, where the ghosts of old inhabitants are believed to haunt the shadows like souls in torment. Much of this myth arises because the center of the square was the site of an execution center during the Middle Ages.

On the walk you can also visit the emblematic Riddarholmen Church, where it is said that its dark corridors harbor spectral whispers.

These macabre legends and many others will allow you to dive into the more enigmatic and spectral side of the city. You can also learn about the esoteric links between Viking warriors and black magic and, if you dare, walk through Helvetet Alley, which is considered home to dangerous elves, fairies and other magical creatures.

Take part in a ghost tour in Stockholm

Itinerary of the 2-day tour in Stockholm

  • Day 1
  • Tour Gamla Stan
  • Visit the Royal Palace
  • Visit the Nobel Prize Museum
  • Participate in a gastronomic tour
  • Day 2
  • Visit the Sodermalm district
  • Visit the Fotografiska Museum
  • Take a boat ride
  • Participate in a ghost tour