Stockholm Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Touring the old town and seeing Stockholm's most iconic sites from the comfort of a panoramic bus is a great plan. Discover the best sightseeing buses in the Swedish capital!

Rocío Villaescusa

Rocío Villaescusa

10 min read

Stockholm Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Tourist Bus | ©Frank

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a city rich in history, culture and natural beauty. With its numerous canals, islands and historical monuments, exploring this city can be an unforgettable experience. There is so much to see that a good way to see as much as possible without exhausting yourself during the trip is to take a sightseeing bus tour.

One of the main advantages is that during the tourist bus tours you will have the chance to see many highlights of the city in a relatively short space of time, so you will have the rest of the trip to enjoy the best things to do in Stockholm without the feeling of having seen little.

The best sightseeing tour of Stockholm

Bus Day| ©Franz Airiman
Bus Day| ©Franz Airiman

The Red Buses are one of the tourist buses that travel around Stockholm. It is not the only company that does it, but it is the one that I recommend the most for several points in favor that will facilitate your sightseeing bus trip.

First, because they have an audio guide available in several languages, which will allow you to know the most interesting facts of each place you are seeing during the tour. It has free stops throughout the city, and you have 24 hours to enjoy the bus at your own pace, with costs ranging from 31 euros per person.

Book your ticket for the tourist bus

Iconic sights of Stockholm that you will see from this bus

People on the bus| ©martha ander
People on the bus| ©martha ander

When will you need to get your camera ready during the Red Bus tour? For example, when passing by the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan (the old town), or the Vasa Museum, places that you can also visit when you book a private tour of Stockholm. The route has a total of 22 stops, where you can hop off and on at any time, or take the full tour, which lasts about an hour and a half. The bus is open-top on its upper deck, so you can choose from where to best enjoy the view.

The most exciting moment of the tour is, from my point of view, the Vasa Museum. This museum houses a 17th century warship. Walking through here while listening to the audio guide about the history of the only Swedish warship is a moving experience.

Of course, along the stops you will see many more sites: the beauty of the façade of the Royal Opera House, the Dramaten (the largest theater in Sweden), the Museum Park, the Nordic Museum, and another very special museum that if you are a music fan you will love. Yes, I'm talking about the museum of Sweden's most famous band: ABBA.

Book your ticket for the tourist bus

Schedules and stops to organize your tour

Stockholm Sightseeing Bus| ©John Jackson
Stockholm Sightseeing Bus| ©John Jackson

The schedule in which you can enjoy these buses is from 10 am to 5 pm, so you have 7 hours to move around the city traveling on them. Regarding how long you will have to wait for the bus, they leave every 25 minutes, so I recommend you to calculate a margin of time in case you miss those 25 minutes until it arrives.

The good thing is that the bus stops are at strategic tourist points, so while you are waiting for the bus you can be seeing that place of interest, or even take a short walk around until the bus arrives.

There are a few things you may be wondering about before you take the bus. How many times will you be able to get on and off the bus during the time you have purchased your ticket? The ticket you buy is valid for 24 hours, during which time you can get on and off at the stops you want as many times as you want.

Also, you may be interested to know that the Hop on Hop Off bus is wheelchair and stroller accessible, so in case you need it, you will have no problem getting on and off. In case, for example, you travel with a blind person or if it is your case, you will be able to enter with assistance animals. There will be no problem! If you are traveling with children under 12 years old, they can travel for free, so there is no need to buy tickets for them.

And one more thing! I recommend downloading the Red Sightseeing app. This way you will have all the information you need on your cell phone about stops, routes, schedules and more.

Book your ticket for the sightseeing bus

Advantages of choosing this sightseeing tour

Tourist Bus Tour| ©Lars Igelström
Tourist Bus Tour| ©Lars Igelström

In addition to the information I mentioned above, there are a few more points that will interest you about the sightseeing bus.

The audio guides are available in 11 languages, including English, so you can learn in real time about the places you are seeing.

The ticket cancellation is free, so don't worry if you have to do it. You can carry your tickets on your mobile or printed, both ways are equally valid. Regarding buying the tickets, it will be very easy: just select the date and the number of tickets you want to buy by clicking on the button below.

Book your ticket for Stockholm Red Bus

Tips to help you organize your trip

Bus Stop| ©Franz Airiman
Bus Stop| ©Franz Airiman

Getting on a sightseeing bus may seem as easy as buying a ticket and sitting back to take in the sights, right? And you're right, but there are a few things it's best to keep in mind and plan for to make your experience even more enjoyable and leave you feeling like you've enjoyed your trip to the fullest. Read on and I'll tell you all about it.

If you are well organized, it can be your main means of transportation during your trip

A very interesting option to organize much of your visit with a single ticket is the Stockholm Go City. This is the tourist card of Stockholm, which includes the entrance to the main monuments of the capital, which will save you both time looking for tickets and money buying them.

In addition to including the tourist bus ticket, you will also get a boat tour and tickets to the Viking Museum and the Vasa Museum. You will be able to carry the pass on your mobile, plus you can create your own itinerary and it includes dozens of places and activities that you can access during the days you choose (1, 2, 3 or 5). And one more thing! You will have a guide and a map of Stockholm, so you don't miss anything (and don't get lost in the city, it was great for me).

If you don't decide to book the Stockholm Go City All-Inclusive, remember that the tourist bus itself is a good option to move around the city, as you can move from one place to another through its stops and then you can buy separately tickets for the places that are most interesting to you.

That said, you can take advantage of the bus ticket included in the pass to take it in strategic places where it suits you to go from one place to another. This is not incompatible with reserving some of your time to do the whole tour so you don't miss anything in the city.

Try to include your "tourist bus" moment as soon as possible

From experience, I assure you that it is better to enjoy the tourist bus at the beginning of your visit. The reason is simple: the bus tours show you the highlights of the city, so it is a way to make contact, see the sites for the first time passing a little "faster" and then see them calmly. Also, this way you can get an idea of where each one is and how far apart they are from each other.

Where to have a drink after the tour

A recommendation for when you finish your tour: relax in one of its most famous bars, the Ice Bar! Indeed, I'm talking about the cocktail bar that is at -5 ° and whose interior is full of ice. Walls of ice, ice sculptures... Open up before entering!

If you prefer something more gourmet, you can also enjoy typical Swedish cuisine by booking a gastronomic tour of Stockholm.

Book your culinary tour in Stockholm

How to choose the best time to see Stockholm by bus

Talking about day or night in Stockholm is especially interesting. And it is a very important point to take into account when choosing when to get on the bus. Keep in mind that the daylight hours in Sweden, and in Northern Europe in general, are different from what we are used to, so I will share with you a small table to give you an idea of what time it gets dark each month of the year in Stockholm.

  • January to March
  • From 3 PM to 5 PM
  • April to June
  • 7:30 PM to 9 PM
  • July to September
  • 10 PM to 7 PM
  • October to December
  • 6 PM to 3 PM

After checking what time it will be dark in the month you are traveling to Stockholm, it will be time to decide whether you want to take your bus tour during the day or at night. Without a doubt, the city is beautiful at any time of the day. Every hour has a different light and atmosphere, so you can choose to see the most beautiful places in Stockholm in broad daylight, under the sun, or at night, with the lights and the charm of the streets under the moon.

By the way! The night in Stockholm is also great for unique plans, with the sun does not end the life of the Swedish capital!

Is a sightseeing bus tour incompatible with a guided tour?

Not at all! As I mentioned before, the tourist bus tour can be a great way to get in touch with the city, but in the end, the best way to get to know it is to walk through its streets and stroll around calmly.

That's why combining the sightseeing bus with a guided tour, such as the Stockholm Ghost Tour, are, in fact, activities that complement each other very well. A big difference (and an advantage of the sightseeing bus), is that the sightseeing bus tours are more extensive, and you will be able to see more sites without having to walk too far.

However, the guided tour of the old town, if you prefer, covers a smaller area, which is perfectly walkable.

Other sightseeing tour options

Buses in the distance| ©Lynn Walton
Buses in the distance| ©Lynn Walton

Although the Red Buses option is the most recommended, I also want to tell you about other tourist buses that you can find in Stockholm. With all the information it will be easier for you to compare and choose!

Although before starting with the buses, I would like to tell you that you can also tour the Swedish capital in other less common means of transport, we could say, such as segway or kayak! Yes, yes. The sea is closely linked to this city, so why not take the opportunity to book a kayak tour of Stockholm? For 2 hours and with a guide you can see places like Stockholm City Hall or Kungsholmen while paddling.

On the other hand, if you dare to drive the segway and you don't feel like walking (but you do want to breathe the atmosphere of the city), this option is interesting. Booking a segway tour you will see the most emblematic points of Stockholm at the pace you want. That said, let's go to the other buses in Stockholm, which will also be of interest to you!

City Sightseeing Stockholm

Surely you know City Sightseeing, these buses work in many cities around the world. They also offer a complete tour of Stockholm.

As in the case of Red Buses, it has double-decker buses with an open top, so there is the possibility to enjoy the views in the open air (as long as the weather is nice and not too cold).

This bus has 18 stops, some less than the previous bus, and some of them will allow you, for example, to visitSkansen Park, an open-air museum showing Swedish life and culture over the centuries, Stockholm City Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held, the former royal hunting ground Djurgården or the southern island of Södermalm with its modern urban atmosphere.

You can buy your ticket for 24 or 72 hours, depending on the time you have during your trip to Stockholm or if you want to concentrate your bus tour in one day. However, I recommend you to plan ahead, so that you do not choose, for example, the 24-hour ticket, and then in a single day you do not have time to complete the tour.

Hop-On Hop-Off bus

One of the advantages of choosing the "Hop-On Hop-Off" service is that it allows you to hop on and off the bus at any stop for a set period of time, giving you the flexibility to explore at your own pace (although this option is also offered by Red Buses).

An interesting difference is that you can buy priority tickets. This means that you secure your seat on the bus, and reserve it at a specific time. Once you choose a time, you will have 24 hours to "hop on and off" the bus as much as you want.

There is also a pick-up option for travelers arriving from Stockholm's best cruise ships. This bus passes through the port terminals of Stadsgården and Frihamnen, so if you arrive by ship in the city through one of these terminals, you can directly board the bus there and start enjoying its service.

In addition, there is a combined ticket to use this type of bus in several cities if you are going to make a trip through several countries in the area. For example, if you are going to visit Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark in a single trip, you can buy tickets to make the tour in cities of these 4 countries.

Rocío's Traveller Tip

Many travelers comment that this bus is usually quite full, so if you opt for it, it is almost essential to buy the priority seat.