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Stockholm

Stockholm (2)

Stockholm i mitt hjärta!

Ever since my first visit in 2015 I have a weak spot for the Swedish capital and many visits later that love is still growing strong. Strolling along the waterfront, visiting museums (tip: Vasa), shopping, have fika, take a boat tour or even take a dip in the water or go skating on the frozen lake, Stockholm has it all! The different districts Gamla Stan (the old town), Norrmalm, Östermalm, Södermalm, Djurgarden and Kungsholmen have very few secrets for me.

Stockholm is a city of contrasts. It is not just a trendy, leading place, the city also has a rich history. It is a cosmopolitan city and still has a very relaxed atmosphere. It is the city where fresh water (Mälaren) meets salt (Baltic Sea).

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find all the blog posts about Stockholm.

Stockholm facts

Stockholm consists of 14 islands that are connected by 57 bridges. The city is very green. One third of the city is water, another third is green and another third of the area are buildings. In Stockholm you never have to take more than 300 steps to be surrounded by nature!

Strandvägen - Stockholm

One side of Stockholm is Lake Mälaren, the third largest lake in Sweden. On the opposite side you have the Baltic Sea with some 24,000 islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago. Other sources speak of 30,000 islands – I have no ambition to recount them ;-)

Stockholm city is home to approximately 850,000 people. In Greater Stockholm there are 2.4 million inhabitants. One fourth of the Swedish population lives in the capital.

History of Stockholm

In 1252 Stockholm shows up in literature for the first time. The city was probably founded by Birger Jarl. Stockholm’s name is a composition of ‘stock’ (piece of wood) and “holm” (island). Birger Jarl would have thrown a piece of wood in the water to see where it would wash up and what the best place would be to build a settlement.




The lockers of Stockholm Centralen

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Centralen, the central station in Stockholm, is a real hub. Buses, trains, metro, taxi, … everything leaves and arrives here. It can be a bit overwhelming if you are there for the first time. Fortunately, most signs in the station are also indicated in English. So if you are looking for the lockers, you will find them quite easily.

 Lockers Stockholm Centralen

Lockers at Stockholm station

You’ve probably experienced it before: you’re on city trip and your hotel is not right in the center or you can not check in right now and you’re looking for a place where you can safely leave your luggage. Good news: you do not have to drag your luggage all the time because in Stockholm Centralen you will find different places where they have lockers. For just a few euros you can leave your luggage there for 4 hours. You can store your luggage for up to 24 hours for barely 1 euro more. There are 2 sizes: little ones that fit a hand-luggage box (36cm x 44cm x 60cm) and larger ones for larger suitcases (46cm x 60cm x 85cm).

 Lockers Stockholm Centralen

Pay by card

The system is really simple. There are step-by-step explanations in English on the screens. In short: you choose an empty locker, put your luggage in it, close the locker and keep the closure down for 3 seconds and you pay by card. Keep track of your ‘kvittot’ or your receipt. This is where the code you need to reopen your locker is printed.

I always take a picture of the receipt. In case I lose the note, I can still get my luggage.

 Lockers Stockholm Centralen

There are several places in the station where you can find lockers. Remember which ones you used! The station in Stockholm has several levels and a lot of corridors. It’s easy to get lost. Because I usually travel to the airport with Flygbussarna , I always take the lockers just at Cityterminalen (take the escalator upstairs). Especially when returning, I lose a minimum of time and can max my time in Stockholm.

 Lockers Stockholm Centralen

Looking for other lockers in Stockholm?

Usually you can have your luggage stored at the hotel (for free). If your hotel is centrally located, this might be easiest.

You can also find (paying) lockers at Moderna Museet. If you know other places in Stockholm where you can leave your luggage in lockers, let us know something in the comments!

Stockholm on a budget: hotels

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Spending the night in Stockholm is not cheap. But in general you can expect excellent price/quality. Yes, you often pay a bit more but you also get spacious rooms, excellent service and a lot of facilities in return. When I traveled to London a few years ago for a weekend trip, I immediately noticed prices of the hotel rooms in London were much higher than those in Stockholm and the comfort was significantly less. Rooms of 200 euros even had a shared bathroom in the hallway in London! My experience is that you get a lot more comfort and luxury for the same price in Stockholm.

 Budget-friendly accommodation in Stockholm

Nevertheless, you can also stay at budget-friendly hotels in Stockholm. Loyal readers know that every time I visit Stockholm, I try to stay at a different hotel so I can give you the best tips for everyone’s budget.

Budget-friendly hotels in Stockholm

  • The hotel I stayed in during my first city trip to Stockholm: Motel L. The design hotel is located just south of Södermalm, half an hour walk from Gamla Stan, but with a tram stop just in front of the door.
  • A hostel with hotel-style: The Generator. You can also book a private room in this hostel. Basic but everything you need. After all, you are in Stockholm to explore the city, not to spend hours in your hotel room.
  • The comfort of the Scandic hotels but a bit more budget-friendly? Then try out Scandic Malmen. This is the cheapest Scandic hotel in the center of Stockholm. Scandic Malmen is located on Södermalm.
  • Comfort Hotel is located near T-Centralen, the main station in Stockholm where the Flygbussarna depart. Here I stayed the night before flying back home with Ryanair and therefore having to get up at an inhuman hour to get the bus to Skavsta.
  • Hotel Tégnerlunden is located in Vasastaden, on a quiet square, yet close to Drottninggatan. From the breakfast room on the top floor you have a beautiful view of the park and the buildings. Nearby is also Hotel Micro. This hotel offers compact budget rooms, mostly without a window.
  • Bentleys is located in Drottninggatan, the most famous shopping street of Stockholm. The old building has been beautifully renovated and throws you back in time for a soft price.
  • You can sleep on water at Mälardrottningen. This ship is located on Riddarholmskajen, with a view of Stockholm City Hall.

Of course there are even more budget-friendly accommodations in Stockholm. Above I only gave these where I stayed myself.

The best price for hotels in Stockholm can be found via this link.

Do you have a tip for a budget-friendly hotel in Stockholm? Then let me know in the comments!

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Daytrips from Stockholm

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There is so much to experience in and around Stockholm that you should book at least 4 to 5 days for your first city trip to the Swedish capital. Even if you have been there before, the list of ‘things to do’ is inexhaustible. I also try to make one or more day trips each time I visit Stockholm.

Day trips in Stockholm

A number of attractions in Stockholm have so much to offer that you can easily stay there for at least half a day.

Skansen

SkansenSkansen is one of Stockholm’s most popular attractions and the place to visit to learn more about how the Swedes lived, learn about Swedish history, about Swedish traditions and to get acquainted with animals from the north. Those who would like to attend a recording of Allsång på Skansen should plan their visit during the summer holidays on a Tuesday. There is also a lot to do in Skansen around midsummer, christmas,…

Millesgården

This is planned in April.

Gröna Lund

You can see the amusement park of Stockholm, Gröna Lund, from all over the city. In summer, performances by popular artists are an extra reason to come.

Viking town Birka

Birka Birka was the first city in Sweden. The city originated somewhere around 750 and is located on the current island Björkö. The island was an important trading center during the time of the Vikings. Björkö is an island in Lake Mälaren, about 30 kilometers from Stockholm. Since 1993 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Visit a castle or manor

Drottningholm Slott

Drottningholm SlottIn the center of Stockholm, on Gamla Stan – the old city, you can visit the Royal Palace. However, this is no longer the place where the royal couple lives. They mainly use Kungliga Slottet for official occasions. But you can also visit their home, Drottningholm Slott. This castle is located just outside the city, on the island of Lovön in Lake Mälaren, and can be reached both by land and by boat. Prince Carl-Philip and his Sofia also live here with their children.

Skoklosters Slott

 Skoklosters Slott is the largest private castle ever built in Sweden and overlooks Lake Mälaren. It is a 17th century castle with rich decorations and is exceptionally well preserved, even though it has barely been inhabited for a long time.

Julita Manor

 Julita is a bit further away from Stockholm. The largest open-air museum in Sweden can be found on the edge of the Öljaren lake, in the heart of Sörmland, close to Katrineholm and Eskilstuna. Julita gård is part of Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. In the Middle Ages it was a monastery, later it was a country house where Swedish nobility lived and now it is an open-air museum.

The Stockholm archipelago

There are about 30,000 islands off the coast of Stockholm. Some are no bigger than a rock, other islands have a few hundred inhabitants. You can visit most of these islands as a day trip. Below you will find some islands I already visited. I am aware that this list is far from complete. Reason enough to go to Stockholm again and again; -)

Landsort

LandsortThe southernmost island of that archipelago is Landsort . I stayed 2 days but it is also fine to do as a day trip. Only a handful of people live there. Most homes are summer houses. A visit to the lighthouse over here is a must. Further on, you can bathe and mainly enjoy the quietness. Good food is available at Svedtiljas.

Fjäderholmarna

FjäderholmarnaThe island group Fjäderholmarna is the closest to Stockholm. You can even see it from Djurgården. It is barely 20 minutes sailing. Fjäderholmarna is part of National City Parks. The archipelago is a popular destination for both Stockholmers and tourists. A large part of the visitors comes to the island especially for a visit to Fjäderholmarnas Krog .

Skogskyrkogården

 Skogskyrkogården can literally be translated as a ‘forest cemetery’. That is actually what it is: a graveyard in a forest. Or rather: forest and cemetery are seamlessly merged. A unique place in a suburb of Stockholm!

Hellasgården

Hellasgarden skating Hellasgården is a popular place in the Nacka nature reserve, just outside of Stockholm where all year round around a lot can be experienced. I went to Hellasgården in the winter, to go ice skating and have a sauna. After the sauna I jumped into a hole in the ice to cool down. You can also go cross-country skiing.
If there is no snow or ice, you come here to enjoy nature, take long walks and perhaps even a swim in the lake.

Blå Lagunen in Ekerö

 Blå Lagunen

A beach with the name ‘the blue lagoon’ on an island just outside Stockholm, it makes one dreamy. The place is actually called Husbygropen and is an artificial lake. It is located on the island of Ekerö, more specifically at Munsö, near Lake Mälaren. If you walk around the lagoon, you will also see Lake Mälaren. The quarry is popular with local divers. For fans of Måns Zelmerlöw, it is here that his video clip for ‘Glorious’ was recorded.

What is your favorite day trip from Stockholm?