Stockholm is my second favourite city in Scandinavia, right after Copenhagen, and I had the pleasure of staying there for a full month in winter once.
Now winter isn't the most popular time to travel and even less so when the destination in question only has 6 hours of daylight in December and an average temperature of -3 degrees Celsius in February.
Of course, Stockholm is an absolute beauty when the sun shines and you can work on your tan at Lake Mälaren. However winter is a pretty special time to visit Sweden too so here's a quick guide on what there is to see and do if you visit Stockholm in winter.
And if you're worried about breaking your bank account, download my free guide to visiting Stockholm on a budget below.
Take a stroll through Gamla Stan
No visit to Stockholm is complete without a stroll through the city's old town Gamla Stan and lucky for you when visiting in winter, it'll be way less crowded than during the summer season.
Which, let's be honest, is absolutely wonderful considering that the smallest alleyway in Gamla Stan is only 90 cm wide.
You wouldn't want to share that alley with too many tourists, would you?!
Explore the archipelago
You've probably heard that you can go on a boat trip to explore Stockholm's archipelago Skärgården, but would you want to go in winter? No? Well, you should!
Cause if you don't, you miss out on some pretty fabulous views!
Plus, you can sit on warm reindeer skins on deck or head inside and eat a warm soup or drink some tea so don't worry about freezing to death!
Go on a daytrip and experience Sweden in a nutshell
Stockholm has of course enough to offer to keep you busy for a while but it doesn't hurt to leave the capital and explore a smaller town to experience more of Sweden.
My favourite day trip destination is Västerås. This charming little town is situated at Lake Mälaren, just an hour away from Stockholm by train, and in my view, it's Sweden in a nutshell!
Would you like to find out why? Head over to myLike where I tell you all there is to know about Västerås!
Learn more about Sweden in one of the city's numerous museums
If you enjoy museums, you will love Stockholm! The city has plenty of interesting museums and many of them even offer discounted prices or even free entrance on some days/evenings during winter.
My favourites would be:
Skansen - the open-air museum where you can learn all about life in Sweden in the past
Vasamuseet - the museum that displays the Vasa ship, which sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm's harbour but could be rescued and fully restored, in all its glory
Nordiska Museet - the Nordic Museum which is a bit like a treasure chest: It's a bit messy and full of objects but in the end you will find plenty of things you like. At the Nordic Museum you can learn everything about Swedish culture and traditions - and when I say everything, I mean everything!
Other museums where you can learn more about Swedish culture would be the Nobel museum, the ABBA museum and of course, the medieval museum.
Did you know that on average, every Swede drinks 4 cups of coffee a day? Well, coffee is pretty important in Sweden and so is the coffee break called fika.
Fika is of course much more than just a coffee break. The word describes taking some time off during the day to have a chat with colleagues or friends, eating a cinnamon bun or a slice of carrot cake and of course, drinking some coffee but you see, coffee is of minor importance here.
Fika is all about mindfulness and hygge - though the Swedes call it kos - and winter is the perfect time to take it easy and step back, isn't it?!
Eat your way through the country at Östermalm's Saluhall
Fika and carrot cake are great but if you're on the verge of starving after a long day of sightseeing, there's only one place to go: Östermalm's Saluhall! Stockholm's indoor food market offers delicacies from all over the country - cheese from Skåne or reindeer meat from Lapland, anyone?
It's not just the food though that attracts visitors to Östermalm's Saluhall. The building has been in use from 1888 which makes it one of Europe's most beautiful food courts for sure. Currently under renovation, the new and improved but still historic food market will open its doors in 2018 but until then, you can find all stores and restaurants in a temporary building next door.
Meet the Royal Family
The Swedish Royal Family regularly appears in public and I myself had the chance to see Crown Princess Victoria and her family on her name day on March 12th once.
She usually has a little celebration in the courtyard of the Royal Palace that day and if you happen to visit Stockholm during that day, you definitely shouldn't miss out on trying to spot the Royals!
Shop till you drop in Södermalm
What's better than escaping the dreadful cold by visiting some cute shops in Stockholm's hippest area: Södermalm! This southern quarter of town offers everything that a shopaholic might possibly wish for: second-hand stores, antique boutiques and even retro cinemas if you need a time off from all the shopping!
Go ice-skating in Kungsträdgården
Kungsträdgården right in the heart of the city is a gorgeous place no matter the season. The cherry blossom in April is certainly the highlight of spring but in winter, it's the ice-skating rink you shouldn't miss!
Explore Drottningholm Castle & Park
Drottningholm Castle is where the Royal Family lives and it's the perfect place if you'd like to escape the buzz of the big city. Situated half an hour from the city centre, Drottningholm offers gorgeous views on Lake Mälaren and a really pretty park.
You can even take a tour of the castle and have a fika in the nearby cafe if you're cold. Definitely the perfect place for a little day trip!
Accommodation Tips for Stockholm
There are loads of hostels and hotels to choose from in Sweden’s capital, so here’s a quick overview of the most unique ones:
- Archipelago Hostel - for the budget traveller
- Mälardrottningen Yacht Hotel - ever fancied staying on a yacht?
- Old Town Lodge - hostel with free breakfast
- Scandic Malmen - best breakfast buffet ever!
- Hotel Rival - perfect if you'd like to treat yourself!
- Södermalm 18th Century Apartment - live like a real hipster!
Have you been to Stockholm in winter? What's your favourite thing to do in Sweden's Capital?
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