Stockholm in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Touring Stockholm on a long weekend is not an impossible task if you know how to organize the timing of your itinerary. Here is a selection of the must-see destinations.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

12 min read

Stockholm in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Stockholm | ©Aleksandra Pękala

The capital city of Sweden, Stockholm, is a place with a history of more than 700 years. Its picturesque streets invite you from the first moment you walk through them to discover its museums, monuments, palaces and other destinations. In addition, you can stroll through its canals and lakes, made up of approximately 50 bridges, which connect the islands of this town.

During your three-day stay you will find many places to visit. You just have to organize your itinerary and make the most of every minute. For example, among some of the best things to do in Stockholm you can explore the old town or Gamla Stan, discover the natural areas and nearby towns, visit some places like the Shipwreck Museum or the Viking Museum on Djurgarden Island, among other activities. I'll tell you how to make the most of each day!

Day 1: Explore Stockholm's Old Town or Gamla Stan

Stockholm Cathedral| ©Peter Cook
Stockholm Cathedral| ©Peter Cook

The goal of this day is to tour Stockholm's Old Town, better known as Gamla Stan. You will see the Royal Palace, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Riddarholmen Church, the Nobel Prize Museum, Marten Trotzig Grand Street, Stortoget Square and the Parliament Palace.

The Royal Palace of Stockholm

Your first day's adventure in Stockholm begins at the Royal Palace, located a couple of minutes walk, approximately 170 meters, from the old town. This is an imposing building of 11 floors and about 600 rooms, built in the 18th century and official residence of the Swedish kings.

You can visit the interior of the palace on your own or through a guided tour of the old town of Stockholm. You will be amazed by its architectural beauty, ornaments, artwork, furnishings and more. In addition, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the changing of the Royal Guard, which takes place just outside. It usually takes place at 12:15 pm, but this varies according to the season of the year.

  • Price: the entrance to the palace is about 13 € (adults) and approximately 6 € (children from 7 to 17 years).
  • Opening hours: from 10:00 to 17:00 if you are in Stockholm in May and until mid-September. The rest of the year the palace closes one hour earlier (16:00 hours) and on Mondays does not open its doors.

Book a guided tour of the Old Town

St. Nicholas Cathedral in Stockholm

From the previous destination you will have to walk about 77 meters along Högvaktsterrassen, about 1 minute, to the next destination, St. Nicholas Cathedral. This church built during the 13th century was the first church in the city.

Upon arrival you will be amazed by the Baltic Gothic architecture of the building. You will see its ochre-colored brick façade and, inside, you will contemplate great religious treasures such as the statue of St. George and the dragon, carved in wood and from the Medieval period. Also, the pulpit of the church with its French baroque style of the early seventeenth century, among other things.

  • Price: approximately 5€ per person.
  • Hours: from 9:00 to 16:00 hours from October to April, from 9:00 to 17:00 hours from May to September, and from 9:00 to 18:00 hours from June to August.

Riddarholmen Church

The next stop is at Riddarholmen Church. You will have to walk about 350 meters from St. Nicholas Cathedral in the direction of Storkyrkobrinken and Riddarholmsbron. This is a funerary and memorial church, where the Swedish regents of history rest.

In this monastery you can see the tombs of medieval kings such as Magnus Ladulås, whose rule spanned from 1275 to 1290; Karl Knutsson Bonde, who first ascended the throne in 1448. Also, regents from King Gustav II (d. 1632) to King Gustav V (d. 1950).

  • Price: about 4€ for adults and about 2€ for children from 7 to 17 years old.
  • Hours: open daily from May to September from 10:00 to 17:00 hours, from October to November you can only access on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00 hours and from December to April remains closed.

The Nobel Prize Museum

Once you finish your tour of the Riddarholmen Church, you must move about 650 meters, in a walk of about 9 minutes along Riddarhustorget to reach the Nobel Prize Museum. It is an enclosure opened in 2010 on the occasion of the centenary of this legendary award.

With tickets to the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm you can discover the history of this award and all the laureates, as well as the legacy left by them for peace, science and literature. In addition, if you are in Stockholm in December you can see temporary exhibitions on the occasion of the annual Nobel Prize.

  • Price: about 12 € per person, reduced price of about 8 € for seniors over 65 and free for children under 18 years.
  • Opening hours: open daily from June to August from 9:00 to 20:00, from September to May from Tuesday to Thursday from 11:00 to 17:00, Friday from 11:00 to 20:00, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.

Book tickets for the Nobel Prize Museum

Walk along Marten Trotzig Grand Street

Another must-see on your itinerary is Marten Trotzig Grand Street, at least 350 meters away from the Nobel Prize Museum. This is a rather curious destination, considered the narrowest street in the entire city, with just 90 centimeters wide.

Upon arrival, you will find a flight of 36 steps, which make up the picturesque alley. You will be able to take some pictures and observe the graffiti on the walls. Also, if you join one of the best Stockholm tours of Gamla Stan, you might discover different curious facts about this place that was closed during the 18th century.

Stroll through Stortoget Square

From the narrow Marten Trotzig Grand Street you will go to what might be the oldest square in Stockholm, Stortoget. You will have to walk back in the direction of Västerlånggatan for about 350 meters or 5 minutes. This is a very lively, picturesque place with a lot of history.

You will see the colorful houses surrounding the square, old buildings such as the one currently occupied by the headquarters of the Swedish Academy, former Stockholm Stock Exchange. Also, if you are in Stockholm at Christmas time you will find a flea market with decorations, lights and seasonal products.

Stockholm's Parliament Palace

Your tour of this day ends with a visit to the Parliament Palace. This is located 600 meters, about 8 minutes walk from Stortoget Square along Slottskajen Street. The monumental building erected between 1897 and 1905, occupies much of the island of Gamla Stan and has a neoclassical style, neo-baroque elements inside and a baroque Renaissance facade.

You can access the interior of the palace and enjoy a free guided tour. You will tour the two wings of this building, immersing yourself in its history. Afterwards, you will return to the city center for a stroll through the streets and discover Stockholm by night, or perhaps take a culinary tour of Stockholm' s restaurants.

  • Price: admission is free.
  • Hours: from September to June weekends from 12:00 to 15:00, with tours every 60 minutes. Meanwhile, in summer (June to August) access is from Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 15:00 hours, with tours every 60 minutes.

Participate in a gastronomic tour

Day 2: Join a guided activity to discover the natural areas and nearby villages

Stockholm Archipelago| ©Егор Журавлёв
Stockholm Archipelago| ©Егор Журавлёв

The objective of this day is to disconnect from the city to visit the natural areas and towns near Stockholm through a guided activity. You can explore the Stockholm Archipelago, the Nacka Nature Reserve or the Viking villages of Uppsala and Sigtuna.

Option 1: Tour the Stockholm Archipelago

If you like adventures on the water then during day2 in Stockholm you can tour the city's archipelago aboard a boat or, if you are more adventurous, by kayak. You will navigate through a labyrinth of islands of great scenic beauty and you can make some stops to take advantage of its viewpoints.

For this one-day experience, you will have several alternatives. For example, you can embark on one of the best boat tours in Stockholm, where you can just relax on deck and take in your surroundings. Or join a kayak tour of Stockholm and paddle in the company of an expert on these magical waters.

Useful information

  • Price: boat tours start at about 30€ per person, while kayak tours cost a minimum of about 60€ per person.
  • Duration: 5 to 8 hours (depending on the type of experience selected and your needs).

Book a kayak tour in Stockholm

Option 2: Discover the Nacka Nature Reserve outside Stockholm

Another getaway from Stockholm that you can take is to the Nacka Nature Reserve, located approximately 20 minutes by car from the city center. There, you will be in direct contact with nature for a whole day, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind.

After connecting with the driver-guide in Stockholm, you will travel to the reserve, where you will be able to do several activities:

  • You will walk through dense forests with centuries-old oak trees, mushrooms and varied nature.
  • You willsee local wildlife, such as foxes, moose, beavers, deer and birds of prey.
  • You will participate in a lunch and cook on a campfire.
  • You will contemplate the landscape of cliffs, blue water lakes and vibrant green areas from some viewpoints.

Information of interest

  • Price: about 93€ per person.
  • Duration: about 5 hours approximately.

Option 3: Visit the Viking villages of Uppsala and Sigtuna from Stockholm

Exploring Viking history and culture is an opportunity not to be missed during your visit to Stockholm. Embark on a one-day adventure from the city to the villages of Uppsala and Sigtuna to discover the hidden gems of both regions.

Together with a driver-guide you will travel to Uppsala (53 minutes from Stockholm). There, you will see a series of burial mounds from the 5th and 6th centuries, belonging to Viking kings; the cathedral of this town, erected in 1164 to replace a Viking pagan temple, etc. Next, you will travel to Sigtuna (36 minutes), where you will see the ruins of the church of St. Olaf and stroll through its streets dotted with cafes and stores.

Information of interest

  • Price: about 150€ per person.
  • Duration: about 8 to 10 hours.

Day 3: Visit Djurgarden Island or Museum Island in Stockholm

Shipwreck Museum| ©Tony Shertila
Shipwreck Museum| ©Tony Shertila

The proposal for your last day in the city is to visit some of the best museums in Stockholm located on Djurgarden Island. There, you can visit the Shipwreck Museum, the Nordic Museum, the Viking Museum, the ABBA Museum and the Skansen Open Air Museum.

The Stockholm Shipwreck Museum

The third day's itinerary in Stockholm starts at the Shipwreck Museum, located approximately 15 minutes drive from the city center. Here you will see a 17th century ship, which sank in the Baltic Sea in 1628, the day of its inauguration. It was salvaged in 1961 and a large part of it was reconstructed.

In the museum you will enjoy an extensive collection of some 40,000 objects, preserved under the sea. There are interactive exhibits, holograms and much more. Basically, with tickets to Vrak, the Stockholm Shipwreck Museum, you will have access to shipwreck finds and archaeological discoveries.

  • Price: tickets cost approximately €18 per person.
  • Hours: daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Nordic Museum in Stockholm

From the Shipwreck Museum you walk about 230 meters or 3 minutes in the direction of Galärvarvsvägen and you will arrive at the Stockholm Nordic Museum. In this Renaissance-style building, you will find a historical and cultural record of Sweden, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period.

In the museum's rooms you will learn about the lifestyle of the Nordic population. You will see furniture, jewelry, photographs, portraits, clothing, objects used in everyday life, etc. You will also learn about the rituals they used to celebrate and about the ethnic group of Northern Europe, the Sami.

  • Price: from 12€ per person. Children under 18 are free.
  • Hours: daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Viking Museum in Stockholm

At the end of your visit to the Nordic Museum, you should walk approximately 550 meters or about seven minutes to the northwest of Galärvarvsvägen. There you will find the Stockholm Viking Museum, where you will live a unique experience: interactive areas, ancient artifacts, ships of the ninth century and the Viking train with its special effects.

With tickets to the Viking Museum in Stockholm, you will learn everything about Viking culture and you will have the opportunity to feel like a Nordic warrior, trying on costumes and accessories of the time. Ideal if you are in Stockholm with children.

  • Price: the approximate value of the ticket is 19 € per person.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 to 17:00 hours and Saturday to Monday from 10:00 to 18:00 hours.

Book tickets for the Viking Museum

The ABBA Museum in Stockholm

For the next destination, you will need to purchase tickets for ABBA The Museum in Stockholm. This venue, considered one of the newest on the island, is at least 270 meters away from the Viking Museum. You will enter the universe of one of the most famous Swedish groups of the 70's, ABBA.

In this museum, you will see exhibits with the iconic costumes worn by Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid in their performances. You will also find musical instruments, gold records and other awards, photographs, magazine covers in which they appeared, reproductions of stage sets and recording studios, virtual reality rooms, etc.

  • Price: each person pays about 22€ for their ticket.
  • Hours: daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The Skansen Open-Air Museum in Stockholm

To finish the tour of this third day in Stockholm, you will have to walk an average of five minutes from the previous destination. In this way, you will find the Skansen Open Air Museum. This is a farm and zoo, where you will experience the life of the Nordic people before the arrival of industrialization.

With tickets to the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm you will have a different time. You will see how some everyday jobs were done : shoemaking, glass blowing, butter, textiles and more. You will also see some animals: reindeer, moose and more. And, before leaving, you will taste a typical dessert with coffee in the traditional Swedish fika or rest break.

  • Price: the price of tickets to access this museum is approximately 18 € per person.
  • Hours: Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 to 16:00 hours, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 15:00 hours and Friday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00 hours.

Book tickets for Skansen Museum

Sightseeing bus for long distance travel in Stockholm

Sightseeing bus tour| ©Lars Igelström
Sightseeing bus tour| ©Lars Igelström

If you are wondering about ways to tour the Swedish capital, I have to tell you that, the Stockholm sightseeing bus is the best option to discover the city at your own pace and travel long distances in one of 3 days. You can save time and money while moving from one attraction to another through its two routes, which operate from 10:00 to 16:00 hours.

You will have the red bus route. Through its more than 25 stops you can access places such as the Toy Museum, the Gamla Stan or old center, the City Hall, St. Nicholas Cathedral, among other destinations.

Meanwhile, the green boat route will give you a perspective of the city from its lakes and canals. You will have at your disposal nine stops, including the Vasa Museum, the Royal Palace, the cruise terminal Stadsgården, the Gröna Lund Amusement Park, etc..

Book tickets for Stockholm sightseeing bus

Sightseeing card to save on 3-day Stockholm itinerary

People in Stockholm| ©Paul Jaquin
People in Stockholm| ©Paul Jaquin

Another important fact is that, the Stockholm Tourist Card is an ideal option that will allow you to save on your 3-day itinerary. You will enjoy free access to dozens of attractions (museums, monuments, amusement parks and other experiences) and without waiting in line in most cases.

With the Stockholm All-Inclusive Pass you can take a boat ride on the canals, visit the Nordic Museum, the Fotografiska Museum, the Nobel Museum, the Riddarholmen Church, the Royal Palace, among other places. Just scan the QR code of the pass from your cell phone at the ticket office of each destination during the period of validity (1, 2, 3 or 5 days), depending on the card purchased.

Book the Stockholm All-Inclusive Pass

3-day highlights in Stockholm

  • Day 1
  • Explore Stockholm's old town or Gamla Stan
  • Stockholm Royal Palace
  • From 13€ per person
  • 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (May to September), rest of the year 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closed on Mondays
  • Day 2
  • Join a guided activity to discover the nearby natural spaces
  • Nacka Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Stockholm
  • From 93€ per person
  • Duration about 5 hours (approx.)
  • Day 3
  • Visit Stockholm's Djurgarden Island or museum island
  • The Stockholm Viking Museum
  • From 19€ per person
  • Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday to Monday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm