Stockholm/Gamla stan

Gamla stan [gamlaˈstɑːn], the Old Town, also known as Staden mellan broarna ("the town between the bridges") is the Old Town in Stockholm, containing genuine cultural heritage, as well as tourist traps. Adjacent islands are Helgeandsholmen, with the Swedish Parliament, and Riddarholmen, with several nobility palaces, today occupied by various government functions.

49 things to do

All Places Sweden

Royal Palace

At times referred to by Swedes at the ''"Royal Castle"''. Built between 1697 and 1754, dominating the north-eastern part of the Old Town, the Royal Palace is the official residence of the king of Sweden. However, the Royal family lives at Drottningholm in Ekerö, using the Royal Palace only for official ceremonies. It is open to the public unless being used for a state ceremony. Tickets to '''The Royal Apartments''', the '''Tre Kronor Museum''', the '''Treasury''', and '''Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities''' cost 100 SEK each, with the sumptuous Apartments being the main draw. If Royal regalia are your thing, you will probably want to pay 140 SEK for a combination ticket and visit the Treasury as well.

SEE   —  Map

German Church

Officially named ''Sankta Gertrud'', this Gamla stan church is the home of the first German-speaking parish outside Germany, giving some clue to the importance of German merchants in the history of Stockholm. On the site of the church, a German merchants' guild was founded in the 14th century. In the 16th century, the headquarters was converted into a church, which was later expanded. The interior is baroque in style, with large windows and white vaults. The church belongs to the Church of Sweden but holds services in German at 11:00 every Sunday.

Stockholm Cathedral

Storkyrkan is the oldest church in Gamla stan. Originating as a 13th century Gothic structure, the exterior was remodelled in Baroque style around 1740. The church is the seat of the Church of Sweden bishop of Stockholm. It contains two pieces of famous artwork: the 15th century wooden statue of Saint George and a copy of the oldest known image of Stockholm, ''Vädersolstavlan'' ("The Sun Dog Painting"), a 1636 copy of a lost original from 1535.

SEE   —  +46 8 723 30 16 —  Trångsund 1

Chokladkoppen & Kaffekoppen

Kaffekoppen and Chokladkoppen (literally, the Coffee Cup and the Chocolate Cup) are two LGBT-friendly sister cafes situated on the Stortorget in Gamla stan, just off the touristy Västerlånggatan. If one is full you can just walk over to the other one. The interior in both of them is small but cosy, probably not for the claustrophobic! Gigantic sandwiches if you're hungry, and if you're looking for something sweet try their chocolate cake!


'''Leijontornet''' is a classical fine diner, and the main restaurant in this local chain. With the foundations of a city wall tower behind glass in the cellar dining room, Leijontornet is about exclusive food with a traditionalist slant in an exclusive historical environment. The street-level bar next door is a surprisingly vivid place with cheaper dishes from the kitchen.

Sweden Bookshop

Whether you’re looking for a Swedish cookbook, a glossy coffee-table book on Swedish design or Swedish fiction in English translation, this is the place to go. Part of the Swedish Institute, Sweden Bookshop is a specialized bookstore that supplies a broad selection of information about Sweden and Swedish literature in English and other languages.

BUY   —  +46 8 453 78 00 —  Map

The Royal Armoury

Located in the Royal Palace, still an independent museum. In 1628, King Gustavus II Adolphus declared that his uniform from the Thirty Years War campaign in Poland should be put on display for eternity. Since then, the Royal Armoury keeps these objects, and other Royal memorabilia, branding itself "Sweden's oldest museum".

SEE   —  Map

Riddarholmen Church

Riddarholmskyrkan is one of Stockholm's most beautiful churches, and the only remaining Medieval abbey. The structure dates back to the late 14th century. In the church, many Swedish regents are buried, including Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) and Charles XII (Karl XII).

SEE   —  +46 8 590 350 09 —  Riddarholmen

Chocolates Caffe House

An amazing little chocolate shop where milkshakes (with 3 scoops of ice cream, a chunk of chocolate) go for 70 SEK, and 50ish SEK for four scoops of ice cream. You can also freely take the handmade chocolates by the cash register, and the owner is very friendly.

EAT   —  Österlånggatan 31

Nobel Museum

Located in the old Stock Exchange house in the middle of Gamla stan, this museum has lots of material on the Nobel Prize, including videotaped speeches by laureates. Gift shop sells "Nobel medals" that are big chocolate coins in stamped gold foil, great souvenir/gift.

Den Gyldene Freden

The members of the Swedish Academy (famous as the jury for the Nobel Prize in Literature) eat here every Thursday. Old traditions (traced back to 1722) in the old town. The reputation allows "The Golden Peace" to charge high prices.

Old Town Lodge

Stay in a vault of a 17th century building in the centre of the island. Free breakfast, tea and coffee all day and WiFi, clean and modern. There is an extra charge of 65  for bed linen if you don't provide your own.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 20 44 55 —  Baggensgatan 25

6e Tunnan

Medieval bar and restaurant, with medieval food and mead, and a small heavy-metal bar at street level. Live performances most evenings, usually Medieval-style or rock music.

DRINK   —  Stora Nygatan 43


A small secret hidden in what once was a wine cellar in the old town, where you can take a bath beneath 18th century vaults. Men and women cannot visit the bath together.

The House of Nobility

Presents Swedish history from the perspective of the noble estate. Though most land in Sweden has been held by peasants, the nobility dominated the Swedish military.

SEE   —  Map

O'Connell's Irish Pub

This comfortable and cosy Irish pub serves excellent pub food and has live music most nights of the week. Be sure to check out the 400-year old cellar bar.

The Science Fiction Bookstore

A bookshop selling science fiction, fantasy, horror, manga/anime, role-playing games, boardgames and popular science; a lot of it is in English.

BUY   —  Västerlånggatan 48

Rooftop Tour

Look at Stockholm from the roofs of Riddarholmen island. An exciting experience if you're not afraid of heights. April–September. 1 hour 30 min

DO   —  Map


Duka is a Swedish chain selling both cheaper household items and a limited selection of glassware in several stores in central Stockholm.

Museum of Medieval Stockholm

The displays the dawning age of Stockholm. Small and hard to find, it provides a good historical background to a visit to Stockholm.

SEE   —  Map

Zum Franziskaner

A German-themed restaurant tracing its history from the Hanseatic period, founded in 1471, in its current location since 1906.

EAT   —  Skeppsbron 44


Opened in 1985, as Stockholm's first contact with the internationalized Japanese cuisine.

EAT   —  Stora Nygatan 3


A Viking restaurant, branding itself as the only of its kind. Live Viking Age music.

EAT   —  Västerlånggatan 68

Musikvalvet Baggen

A cellar for intimate cross-genre concerts. The bar serves alcoholic beverages.

DO   —  Svartmangatan 27


A gastro-pub recognized by ''Guide Michelin'', with mid-range prices.

EAT   —  Stora Nygatan 20

Nordiska Kristall

Nordiska Kristall is a high-end shop for crystal design glass.

Loch & Quay

A Scottish-themed diner with a broad whiskey collection.

EAT   —  Tullhus 2


Serves meat from one animal species, changing monthly.

EAT   —  Map

Swedish Parliament

free-entrance guided tours in Swedish and English.

SEE   —  Map

Scandic Hotel Gamla stan

A four-star hotel in a 17th century building.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 723 72 50 —  Lilla Nygatan 25


A classical diner in a 500-year old building.

EAT   —  Järntorget 83

National Museum of Economy

Displays Swedish and foreign currency.

SEE   —  Slottsbacken 6

Musikvalvet Brinken

A second stage with the same concept.

DO   —  Kåkbrinken 5


A pork barbecue, open during summer.

EAT   —  Map


A private yacht launched in 1924.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 120 900 00 —  Riddarholmen 11

First Hotel Reisen

A fairly large waterfront hotel.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 22 32 60 —  Skeppsbron 12


A British-style high-end bar.

EAT   —  Map


Two ''Guide Michelin'' stars.

EAT   —  Lilla Nygatan 21


Contemporary arts and crafts.

BUY   —  Österlånggatan 27


Sweden's only postal museum.

SEE   —  Map

Brasserie Le Rouge

A French-style luxury diner.

EAT   —  Brunnsgränd 2

Castanea Hostel

A hostel in a quiet area.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 223 551 —  Kindstugatan 1


Vegetarian restaurant.

EAT   —  Stora Nygatan 11

Sven Vintappare

In a 1607 building.

Archipelago Hostel Old Town

Central location.

SLEEP   —  +46 8 22 99 40 —  Stora Nygatan 38

Christmas fair

A Christmas fair,

BUY   —  Stortorget

Lord Nelson Hotel

29 rooms

SLEEP   —  Västerlånggatan 22

Victory Hotel

45 rooms

SLEEP   —  Lilla Nygatan 5

Lady Hamilton Hotel

34 rooms

SLEEP   —  Storkyrkobrinken 5

About Stockholm/Gamla stan

Since the Ice Age, the land has been rising from the sea, at about half a metre per century. What is today Lake Mälaren, was part of the brackish Baltic Sea until AD 1000; in these times, Birka, Sigtuna and Uppsala were the most important settlements in Svealand; all being located at the Mälaren shore.

As Sigtuna was sacked in 1187, a fortress was built on the island to protect Mälaren from pirates. While most of the first houses were built of wood, and destroyed by fire through the years, some masonry basements remain from the Middle Ages. The first Royal Palace, Tre Kronor, burnt down in 1697.

In the mid-19th century, most buildings in central island had fallen into decay, and total redevelopment was considered. However, most buildings were restored instead, transforming the island from a slum to a high-class neighbourhood. Today, Gamla stan has 7,000 inhabitants and is full of trendy cafés and souvenir shops.

Source: wikivoyage