With picturesque cobblestone streets, fairytale architecture, and location on the water, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful (and underrated!) cities in Europe. Add to that world-class museums, unique historical sites, and beautiful nature and you’ve got plenty to keep you occupied in 2 days in Stockholm (and beyond!).
There is plenty more to see and do than can be accomplished in Stockholm in 2 days (you can easily spend a week here and not get bored), but it is just enough time to get a feel for the city and what makes it special! You’ll get a taste of its highlights and what the city has to offer.
Stockholm is one of those cities that surprised me. It was a city that had never been on my radar before, but when I found a $300 flight there, I had to pay myself a visit. What I didn’t expect was to love it so much, but this city completely and utterly charmed me!
I loved the rich history combined with the modern edge, the charming historical buildings combined with hip Scandinavian design. I also fell in love with the gorgeous waterfront views, the delicious food scene, and especially the friendly people. It’s also seriously one of the most photogenic cities in Europe.
Keep on reading for the perfect 2 days in Stockholm itinerary!
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When to visit Stockholm
Stockholm (and Sweden in general) is famous for its long summer days and cold, dark winters.
Because of those long days, summer is the best time to visit Stockholm. Those extra daylight hours are key when you are trying to see the best of everything when you visit Stockholm in 2 days! Some attractions and museums stay open late as well, which is another plus when trying to plan the perfect Stockholm itinerary.
Temperatures stay relatively mild, hovering in the low 70s Fahrenheit (~21-23 Celsius) all summer long, although it can at times get warmer (it hit the 80s when I was in town)! It does get a bit cooler at night, so be sure to bring a jacket along even when visiting in the summer.
I visited in late May and found that it was the perfect time to go! It stayed light out until 9:30pm every day, which gave me tons of extra time to explore. Do note that the sun came up every morning around 3:45am, which can be rough if you’re trying to get over jet lag. Plus side, it did get me out of bed early and turn me into a morning person, which was perfect when trying to see Stockholm in 2 days!
Do note that the summers are Stockholm’s peak summer season, and the hotel prices reflect it. If you are looking to save some money, I suggest spending 48 hours in Stockholm during shoulder season (March-April, September-October) instead.
You’ll still have a good amount of daylight during those months to complete your Stockholm itinerary, and the temperatures still stay in the 60s Fahrenheit (~15-19 Celsius). Plus, the city comes alive with pretty blooms in the spring months, and vibrant foliage in the autumn, which makes it a beautiful time to visit.
Winter is Stockholm’s low season, thanks to the cold and the short days that I mentioned earlier. In January, the sun doesn’t rise until almost 9am, and sets before 3pm (that’s only six hours of daylight).
However, winter isn’t necessarily a time to visit, as Stockholm is one of the most beautiful winter destinations in Europe. The city transforms into a magical winter wonderland, with its fairytale architecture becoming blanketed under a layer of snow – I’ve become a fan of visiting these types of places after seeing Munich, Prague, and Quebec City in the winter!
There are also plenty of holiday events and Christmas markets that take place all around the city, and there is a super festive vibe!
Getting to Stockholm
Stockholm is served by four different airports. Most visitors will arrive via Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), located 45 km (~28 miles) north of the city center. This is the main hub served by many international airlines, connecting Stockholm to major cities around the world.
From here, you have several options for getting into central Stockholm:
- Arlanda Express: This is the fastest and most convenient way to get into the city. Trains run every 10-15 minutes from 4:20am and midnight, and will take you to the T-Centralen (Stockholm Central) station in under 20 minutes. It is, however, not cheap – a one-way ticket costs 299 SEK (~$31 USD), or 579 SEK return (~$59 SEK). There are discounts if purchasing for multiple passengers on one journey.
- Commuter train: The SL commuter train connects the Cityterminalen station to the Arlanda Central Station in Sky City, located between terminals 4 and 5. This option takes roughly 40 minutes, and costs 169 SEK (~$17), which includes the station access fee.
- Coach bus: A number of private companies offer direct bus service between central Stockholm and Arlanda airport, including FlixBus. You can see a list of bus service options here.
- Public bus: This is the cheapest option, with service costing as little as 39 SEK (~$4). From terminal 5, take the route 583 bus to Märsta Station. From here, transfer onto the 41 or 42X train to the Central train station. This option takes roughly an hour, excluding wait times and times to transfer.
- Taxi + Uber: Taxis are available from Arlanda Airport, and will run you about 500-520 SEK (~$51-53). Uber is also available, and is slightly cheaper than taxis. However, unless you are in a group, the Arlanda Express ends up being faster and cheaper.
You may also fly into the following airports:
- Bromma (BMA): Mostly for domestic flights, and flights from other Scandinavian and Baltic countries, and located 10km (~6 miles) from the city center. Take the Tvärbanan 31 tram, then transfer onto the metro at Alvik Station to arrive at T-Centralen station. The trip takes around 30 minutes.
- Skavsta Airport (NYO): For Ryanair and Wizz Air flights. Skavsta is located a good distance away from the city – 90km (~55 miles). The best way to get to central Stockholm is to take a Flygbussarna bus – the trip takes around 80 minutes.
- Västerås airport (VTS): Mostly for Ryanair flights from London, and also located 90km (~55 miles) away from the city center. Swedish Railways operates a train from Stockholm Central Station to Västerås.
By train or bus
Train is offered from Stockholm to many other destinations around Sweden, as well as major cities in Scandinavia. Bus service also connects Stockholm to Swedish and Scandinavian destinations, as well as other major European cities, such as Berlin, Prague, and Budapest.
If arriving for a weekend in Stockholm via train or bus, you will get off at the Stockholm Central/Cityterminalen station (FYI – these names refer to the same station, just different names based on the mode of transport). From here, you can connect to anywhere in the city via the metro at T-Centralen (again, different name for the same place).
Because of its location on the water, Stockholm is a popular stop on Scandinavian cruise itineraries. If coming via boat, you will dock in Sodermalm.
Getting around during your 2 days in Stockholm
Stockholm is a city best seen on foot – its charming streets and fairytale architecture make it the perfect place to do some wandering. I did most of my exploring around the city on my own two feet, and even clocked something like 46,000 (that’s a whopping 19 miles!) in one day.
Stockholm is a relatively small city, however, the city is made up of dozens of little islands and it isn’t always feasible to see all of it while walking, especially if trying to save time (you are trying to visit Stockholm in 2 days, after all!).
Which brings us to…
Stockholm has a clean, safe, well-connected, and super efficient public transportation system that can get you admission to all the top things to do in 2 days in Stockholm – almost everywhere you could possibly want to go!
The Stockholm subway system (known as the Tunnelbana or T-bana) has 100 stations in its system (which are all destinations to visit in itself – but more on that later!). Trains run between 5am and 1am, running every 10 minutes during peak hours. Reduced service is also offered all night on Friday and Saturday.
There are three color-coded lines – red, green, and blue – which run through the city center and then branch off into the outskirts of the city – check the signs to make sure you’re getting on the right train.
For other destinations not served by the metro, there is also a network of buses, trams, commuter trains, and even ferries.
A single journey adult fare (valid for 75 minutes) costs 39 SEK (~$4). You can buy your tickets using a machine in a metro station, with your mobile phone using the SL app, by tapping your contactless credit card, or using a SL Access commuter card (which is a reloadable transit card that costs an additional 20 SEK).
You can also buy a travelcard for unlimited travel on public transportation (metro, commuter trains, buses, trams, and city operated ferries) during a set period of time. Durations and pricing is below:
- 24 hours: 165 SEK (~$17)
- 72 hours: 330 SEK (~$33)
- 7 days: 430 SEK (~$44)
You can load a travelcard onto a reloadable SL Access card (which costs an additional 20 SEK), or by using the SE app on your phone.
For more information and routes, checkout the SE website.
Hop On, Hop Off Bus + Boat
I used to turn my nose up at these hop-on, hop-off tours, but after doing one recently, I’ve changed my mind – they are an awesome way to get around the city AND learn more about it! If you want to see all the top sights and not worry about how to get around during your 2 days in Stockholm, then you should definitely consider doing this hop on, hop off tour.
It includes stops at many of the top landmarks that you could possibly want to visit, including the Central train station, Gamla Stan, Skansen, City Hall, Fjallgatan, and much more.
Stockholm also takes it one step further – in addition to the bus, a hop on, hop off boat is included as well, making stops at such attractions as Skeppsholmen, the Vasa Museum, Royal Palace, and more.
Both taxi service and Ubers are available throughout the city, however, they tend to be expensive. If you can avoid it, I recommend getting around via other modes of transport mentioned above.
Other things to know for your a weekend in Stockholm
Stockholm has a reputation for being not only one of the safest cities in Europe, but also in the world. Since I was visiting as a solo female traveler, this was one of the biggest draws for me and I felt very safe during my entire stay there.
Violent crime is very rare in Stockholm, and most reported crime incidents involve street brawls in the early morning hours. While petty crime does happen occasionally in Stockholm, its rates are MUCH lower than other major European cities such as Paris, Barcelona, and Lisbon.
However, that is not to say that you should let your guard down and not take normal precautions! As always, don’t wander around late at night, don’t get super intoxicated (especially while alone), don’t wander off with strangers, don’t flash flashy things, and keep your belongings close!
Currency, money, and tipping
Sweden’s official currency is the Swedish Krona.
While the first thing I usually do when arriving in any given country is to take out cash at an ATM in the airport, this was not the case in Stockholm. Credit cards are accepted EVERYWHERE in Stockholm – in fact, there are some businesses around the city that won’t even accept cash. Therefore, taking out cash isn’t necessary at all for your 2 days in Stockholm.
The only exception is to use a public restroom – you will need to pay in krona coins. However, most businesses will let you use the restroom if you are a customer. Be sure to take those bathroom breaks when you are stopping for a meal, a drink, or visiting a museum.
Tipping is not customary and expected in Sweden. Many people round up the change to the nearest krona, however (so if your bill is 380 SEK, you would pay 400 SEK).
The official language in Stockholm is Swedish. However, pretty much everyone speaks English here, and what I was most surprised about was that almost everyone speaks nearly perfect English at that.
Stockholm uses 230 V Type F plugs. If coming from the United States, you will need an adapter. This is the adapter I use in all my travels.
Do note that you can only purchase alcohol at a dining establishment/bar or Systembolaget, a government-run liquor store. Alcohol is highly regulated here and therefore expensive!
What to pack for your 2 days in Stockholm
- Comfortable shoes: You’ll likely be doing a TON of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must! You probably also don’t want to walk in heels because there are a good amount of cobblestone streets. Allbirds are my new go-to travel shoe – they feel like you’re walking on clouds! Rothy’s makes stylish but comfortable flats as well that I LOVE! And I love these sandals from Crocs – trust me, they’re actually stylish AND they’re super comfy (here’s another cute pair as well).
- A jacket: It gets breezy and somewhat chilly in the evenings even during the summer months, so bring a jacket (I brought a denim jacket with me and it worked out perfectly). In cooler months, I suggest bringing a packable puffy jacket for warmth that’s also lightweight – I swear by this one!
- Power bank: You’ll want to stay connected as you explore Stockholm (and document all your memories!) and this power bank will help ensure that your phone never runs out of juice! I never leave home without mine, and it is a MUST on every single trip that I take – both in the US and internationally!
- Power adapter: If you’re coming from the US (like me!), you will also need a power adapter to charge your devices – I always travel with this one.
- Reusable water bottle: You’ll want to make sure to stay hydrated as you walk around the city during your two days in Stockholm. Another thing to keep in mind is that in Europe, there is usually no free tap water at restaurants, and will have to pay for bottled water. I usually carry around this bottle.
Where to stay in Stockholm
Stockholm has an abundance of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget, from luxury hotels, unique boutique hotels, designer hotels, and everything in between.
Staying in Gamla Stan, which is Stockholm’s epicenter, will make it super easy to get around to the top things to do on your Stockholm itinerary. Staying in one of the surrounding islands (such as Norrmalm, Sodermalm, and Kungsholmen) is also a great option. If you want a taste of luxury, many of the city’s high-end hotels are located in Ostermalm. Or, if you want some peace and quiet, staying in Djurgarden may be the option for you.
Staying in Central Stockholm is the most convenient option, as it will put you near all the action and is the most convenient for getting around. However, the main part of Stockholm is relatively compact, and the city has such an easy-to-use and efficient metro system that this isn’t absolutely essential. If you are looking to save on accommodation costs, this may be an option for you (Stockholm is expensive, after all!.
Here are some suggested places to stay for your two days in Stockholm:
Haymarket at Scandic: I had coffee here one day, and fell in love with the pink Art Deco vibes of the hotel! The property is designed to resemble an era of 1920s elegance and optimism, and has a central location next to Hotorget Square, putting you within walking distance to the Central Station, Gamla Stan, and many other top spots in the city. I definitely want to stay here next time I’m in Stockholm! (The Scandic brand also has a few other hotels in the city, including Gamla Stan.)
Generator Stockholm: This hostel is an awesome choice if you’re on a budget, and where I stayed! The Generator is a brand of upscale boutique hostels that I had been curious about, and I was really impressed with my stay. The property has trendy decor and a hipster-chic vibe, with comfortable beds, a bar area, and plenty of social gatherings (that I sadly ended up not having time to participate in). It’s meant to make you rethink the hostel experience. They have dorm rooms, but also have very affordable privates as well! Also located within walking distance of the Central Station and many of the city’s top locations – I was able to walk to many places!
Mälardrottningen Hotel: If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Stockholm, you can’t go wrong with the Mälardrottningen – it’s a yacht hotel that sits on Lake Malaren! Not only that, it’s still within walking distance to some of the city’s top attractions. The hotel has a cozy nautical theme. There are some amazing views from the on-site restaurant as well.
Grand Hotel: If you’re looking to stay in one of Stockholm’s most luxurious hotels, you can’t go wrong with the Grand Hotel. Located in Ostermalm, the Grand Hotel exudes luxury and elegance, and has hosted many high-profile guests, including celebrities, heads of state, and more.
The Perfect 2 Days in Stockholm Itinerary
How to save money during your 2 days in Stockholm
Is the Stockholm Pass worth it? Short answer – yes, the Stockholm Pass is 10000% worth it and I highly recommend purchasing it for your 2 days in Stockholm!
Unlike many similar city passes, pretty much anything and everything that you could want to do in the city is included in the pass. Almost all of the activities mentioned below in this 2 day Stockholm itinerary are all included as part of the Stockholm pass! It is especially worth it if you plan to have a jam-packed itinerary (as this one is – so much to do + see when trying to see Stockholm in 2 days!).
We all know that Stockholm is an expensive city, and this is one awesome way to save some money!
The 2-day Stockholm Pass costs 959 SEK – that is ~480 SEK a day! Here are the activities that are on this itinerary, that are included in the pass:
- Vasa Museum: 190 SEK
- Skansen: 220 SEK
- Archipelago Tour: 345 SEK
- Fotografiska: 187 SEK
- Under the Bridges Boat Tour: 345 SEK
TOTAL: 1287 SEK – that’s a savings of 328 SEK (~25%)!
In addition, there is a hop-on, hop-off bus AND boat included, which you can use to help get around the city.
You can download the pass onto your mobile device (or print out a physical copy) and just scan the QR code for admission into attractions and tours. Do note that the pass is valid over two consecutive days (rather than 48 hours) so get an early start on the first day to really take advantage of it!
I talk more about the Stockholm Pass and why it’s worth it in this review.
You can purchase your Stockholm Pass here.
Stockholm Itinerary: Day 1 (Old Town + City Highlights)
Coffee and pastries at Fabrique
Stockholm has a pretty well-established cafe culture – so obviously one of the best ways to kick off your two days in Stockholm is with a pastry and coffee in one of the city’s cafes.
Before we get any further, let’s discuss the concept of fika, since it’s such a big part of Swedish culture. What is fika? It is essentially a Swedish coffee break, often with a sweet treat and shared with friends. The idea behind it is that it makes you slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.
While, yes, this will technically be breakfast, I think we can all agree that fika is a great concept – I think we all need to take more time to savor those little moments in life and to not be on the go all the time. And besides, who says you can’t fika in the morning?! (Or multiple times a day, if you’re like me – hey, you’re on vacation, why the heck not?!)
I went to a number of bakeries and cafes for my fika breaks, but my favorite was hands-down Fabrique. The cinnamon bun is a traditional favorite, but you absolutely MUST try the kardemummabullar, or cardamom roll, which is a twist on that.
It’s something I haven’t been able to track down here in California and I’ve been dreaming about them since I got back from Stockholm, so please, oh please, have an extra one for me, will ya?
The location of Fabrique is also perfect, because it is located right in the middle of Old Town, which we will be exploring next on this 48 hours in Stockholm itinerary!
Stortorget is one of the most iconic sights in Stockholm (and even all of Sweden), and the main square in the city. Not only that – it is the oldest, and has been the central gathering place in the city since medieval times (as early as 1420, in fact).
The square has been home to many public gatherings and events throughout history. Today, it is surrounded by the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Cathedral, and numerous museums. It also plays host to the city’s annual Christmas market in December.
It’s one of the most photographed places in the city – I mean, look at those colorful gingerbread-like houses! Definitely snap a few photos for your Instagram feed. It’s also one of the best spots for people watching.
I suggest coming earlier in the day for a sense of calm – it gets packed and crazy later on in the day!
Gala Stan is the Old Town of Stockholm, and the site of the city’s first Viking settlement, where Stockholm was founded in 1252. It is one of the best preserved medieval city centers in Europe, and one of the top tourist spots in the city – you’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, museums, and hotels here.
You’ll find plenty of charming cobblestoned streets and fairytale architecture here. One of the best ways to explore the neighborhood is to just wander, so allot plenty of time to do just that on your 2 days in Stockholm itinerary. I ended up coming through Gamla Stan multiple times while in Stockholm, and each time I was there there seemed to be a new corner just waiting to be explored!
You’ll also find the city’s narrowest streets – Marten Trotzigs grand – in Gamla Stan. It is only 90 centimeters wide at its narrowest point, so you’ll have to squeeze through!
Gamla Stan is also home to the Nobel Prize Museum, as well as two of the city’s most important churches – the Stockholm Cathedral and Riddarholmen Church.
I also recommend taking a walking tour of Gamla Stan, which will give you an awesome overview of the neighborhood, and the fascinating history and stories behind it. Plus, you’ll get to see some of its top spots!
Located in the heart of Gamla Stan, the Royal Palace of Stockholm is one of the largest in Europe, boasting over 600 rooms. While the royal family does not live here, it is where their offices are located.
The palace was built after a fire burned down the original one, took over 60 years to complete, and is built in an 18th century Baroque style.
See the palace’s five museums, its grand reception rooms, the silver throne, and the Armory, which holds the royal costumes and armor. You can also see the coronation carriages at the Royal Stables.
There’s also a changing of the guards that happens daily. While I hadn’t planned on seeing it, I just happened to be there while it was going on and I must say, it was quite the spectacle and super cool to see! The ceremony takes place at 12:15pm on weekdays, and 1:15pm on the weekends. You can read more about it here.
Stockholm’s subway system stretches over 100km long. Ninety of its 110 stations are adorned with paintings, carvings, mosaics, sculptures, and more, making it the longest art gallery in the world.
Checking out all the art in the subway stations and doing a DIY tour was one of the things I was most excited about when visiting Stockholm, and it definitely did not disappoint! Spending a few hours touring all the subway stations and checking out all the art is definitely one of the top things to do in Stockholm in 2 days!
Even if you are pressed for time (I get it – you only have 2 days in Stockholm!), it’s well worth checking out at least a handful of stations – don’t worry, some of the best ones are right in the heart of the city center!
If possible, I suggest doing your subway art tour midday on a weekday, as the stations will be relatively quiet during these hours. In any case, avoid rush hour at all costs!
Here are some of the best stations to check out on a self-guided subway art tour:
T-Centralen: This is Stockholm’s Central Station, and all three of the subway lines in the system (red, green, blue) branch out from here, making it the perfect place to start. It was also the first station to be built in the system.
You’ll find the art on the blue line platform on the lower level. It has a beautiful blue and white, designed to give commuters a sense of calm and peace in this bustling station, the busiest in the system.
Kungstradgarden (Blue Line): Kungstradgarden is the terminus of the blue line, and arguably the most impressive station in the entire system. Meant to resemble an underground garden, the station features a vibrant, abstract harlequin design painted on the ceiling. There’s even an archaeological dig located at the Arsenalsgatan exit, displaying artifacts found from Makalos Palace which used to stand at the site where the station is located.
Radhuset (Blue Line): The Radhuset station is located on Kungsholmen, which houses several government buildings, including the courthouse that gave the station its name. It is designed to look like an underground pink grotto, with organic architecture, exposed bedrock, and dramatic lighting to create a cave-like atmosphere.
Solna Centrum (Blue Line): Walking into Solna Centrum is like walking into the depths of a dark, blood-red cave – the exposed bedrock ceiling is painted in a vivid, deep shade of red. On the walls is a 1km long mural depicting a spruce forest, which calls attention to issues such as rural depopulation and deforestation.
Stadion (Red Line): Stadion might just have been my personal favorite of all the subway stations that I visited, mainly because the rainbow theme made me so happy! The rainbows are meant to commemorate the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and represent the colors of the Olympic rings, and also symbolize inclusion.
Morby Centrum (Red Line): This station sits a bit further away from the city center, but I had to take a trip there after seeing photos of it! I loved the pastel panels here, which use a shadow-painting technique that gives passengers an interesting perspective – when viewed from one side, the station looks pink, while it looks blue-grey from the other side.
I always love seeing a city from the water, and Stockholm is no different. The city is part of the largest archipelago in Sweden, built on 14 islands that are connected by more than 50 bridges. Hopping on a boat gives you a unique perspective of the city and all its top sights, and is a good introduction to Stockholm.
There are many boat tours offered, but here are two I recommend -you can do both if you find yourself with extra time during your two days in Stockholm (another plus: they are both included as part of the Stockholm pass):
- Under the Bridges Tour: This one-hour sightseeing cruise takes you under some of the bridges that connect the islands of the city. You’ll sail past some of the city’s most iconic sights, such as the Old Town, Sodermalm, and Djugarden, as well as see the inner island and through a lock that connects the Baltic Sea with Lake Mälaren.
- Royal Canal Tour: This tour takes you through the Djugarden Canal, which was built under the orders of King Charles XIV in 1825. You’ll not only see some stunning views of the Stockholm skyline, you’ll sail past idyllic green landscapes and see plenty of historical royal buildings as you make your way through the canal.
Stockholm City Hall
The Stockholm City Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city, characterized by its spirefeaturing the golden Three Crowns. It is also the seat of the Stockholm municipality, and famous for its grand halls and unique artworks, as well as being home of the Nobel banquet every year.
While you need to book a guided tour to see the inside of city hall (or to go up the tower), it is free to wander the grounds and to explore the exterior of the building (which is made of over eight million bricks).
However, don’t miss the views from here – you’ll catch some beautiful views of the water and the western side of Gamla Stan from here.
The island of Sodermalm is one of Stockholm’s trendiest neighborhoods. The vibe is relaxed, creative and trendy, and the island is home to hip boutiques, trendy restaurants, and fascinating art galleries.
You can easily spend some time wandering the streets of the island, discovering new and unique spots to check out. However, if you are on a time crunch (you only have 48 hours in Stockholm, after all), I suggest at least checking out the following spots:
Fotografiska: One spot that should not be missed in Sodermalm is Fotografiska, a world-renowned center for contemporary photography. There are four large exhibitions and 20 smaller exhibitions held here each year, showcasing the works of the world’s most famous photographers (such as Annie Leibovitz), as well as up-and-coming artists.
The exhibitions are all meant to be thought-provoking, sometimes controversial, and ambitious. When I visited, there was an exhibit about the indigenous Sami people, who live in northern Scandinavia. It was so eye-opening to get a glimpse into their culture and way of life, since I knew nothing about them previously.
The best part about Fotografiska is that the museum is open late every night, so you can easily visit it after you are done with all the other activities on your Stockholm itinerary.
Views: Sodermalm is also home to some of the best viewpoints in Stockholm. One of them is Fjallgatan, which is perched on a cliff just above Fotografiska.
Fjallgatan is sometimes referred to as “Stockholm’s balcony” and it’s easy to see why – you can pretty much the entire city, from Gamla Stan, Skeppsholmen, and Djurgarden. There’s also a cafe here if you want to stop and enjoy the view with a beverage.
Around the corner from Fjallgatan is Stigbergsgatan, where you can see some small wooden houses, which gives you a look into how the poor lived at the end of the 19th century.
Two kilometers east of Fjallgatan is Monteliusvagen, a wooden walkway that offers another beautiful view of the city. You’ll find a pretty view of Gamla Stan – it’s also said to have one of the best views in the winter (careful, though, as the path ca get slippery with ice – bring ice grips and hang on tight to the rail!).
Meatballs for the People
Given that you are visiting Sweden, obviously, you are going to have to eat some Swedish meatballs during your weekend in Stockholm. These are smaller than traditional meatballs, come coated a gravy, and are usually accompanied with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and pickled cucumbers
I basically ended up eating meatballs the entire time while I was in town – I’m going to suggest two of my favorite places on this two days in Stockholm itinerary (you will visit my other favorite tomorrow!).
Meatballs for the People is one of the most popular places for Swedish meatballs in Stockholm. With “meatballs” in the name, you know exactly what you’re going to get here.
You’ll basically find every kind of meatball imaginable here – from the traditional like beef and pork, to the unusual, such as bear, reindeer, moose, reindeer, and boar. You’ll even find vegan and vegetarian meatballs here as well. All are organic and sourced from responsible purveyors.
Stockholm Itinerary: Day 2 (Archipelago, Museums, and Nature)
Start your morning off with a quick stroll down Strandvagen, a street in the Ostermalm district that is known as one of the prestigious addresses in Stockholm. It was completed just in time for the Stockholm World’s Fair in 1897, and is lined with grand, palatial buildings, which many of the city’s wealthiest residents call home.
You’ll find some pretty views of the water, and you’ll stare in awe at the grand buildings that line the street. Also head to the northern end of Djurgarden to see all the mansions lined up in all their glory (it’s an awesome spot!).
Kungstradgarden, or “King’s Garden,” is one of the city’s oldest parks and a green oasis in the heart of the city. Its central location also makes it an important gathering place for residents and tourists alike.
It’s a beautiful green space in the middle of the city, and worth at least a quick stroll through on your Stockholm itinerary.
No matter the season, it is well worth visiting Kungstradgarden on your Stockholm itinerary. In the spring, the park is absolutely stunning, with cherry blossoms creating a beautiful pink landscape. In the summer, it comes alive with many festivals and events taking place here. In the autumn, the foliage transforms into vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. And, in the winter, an ice skating rink opens with twinkling holiday lights adding a bit of festive cheer.
The small island of Skeppsholmen is known for its peaceful vibe and cultural attractions. It ended up being one of my favorite spots in Stockholm, mostly because of the postcard-perfect views! You’ll get the fairytale buildings of Gamla Stan, along with the boats in the water – it just seemed iconic Stockholm to me. Definitely snap a few photos (or if you’re like me, a lot of photos) here!
There’s a walkway that circles the island, but I found the best views from around the Skeppsholmen Bridge. Look for the golden crown on the bridge, a nod to the crown of Sweden and King Karl XV, who commissioned the bridge.
Explore the Stockholm Archipelago
Stockholm’s unique archipelago is the second largest in the Baltic Sea and boasts some 30,000 islands, rocks, and skerries that have been carved out by glaciers over the course of millions of years and extending over 50 miles from the city.
The islands range from uninhibited wilderness to charming little seaside towns, and you can find anything from rocky beaches, deep forests, fields of wildflowers, acclaimed seaside restaurants, art galleries, breweries, and ancient villages on them.
Obviously, you aren’t going to see all 30,000 islands when you are trying to see Stockholm in 2 days, but the best way to get a taste of the archipelago is to take an archipelago cruise. The 2.5 hour tour will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city into the tranquil waters of the Baltic Sea.
You’ll get to see some of the islands, hear stories about the people who live on them, as well as enjoy some beautiful views of the water.
If you want a more active adventure, you can also take a kayaking tour through the archipelago as well (it also includes a fika break on one of the remote islands!). And, if visiting in the winter, there’s a winter kayaking tour available as well.
If you want to actually experience one of the islands of the archipelago, there are boat trips offered to several of the islands included with the Stockholm Pass. If you chose to go this route, I suggest visiting Fjaderholmarna, as it is known as the “gateway to the archipelago” and is the closest island to the city (you’re trying to see Stockholm in 2 days, so you’re probably limited on time!).
The island of Djurgarden is a tranquil oasis in the middle of Stockholm, and has been in the possession of the crown since the 15th century. It was historically used as a game park for the royal family; today, it is one of the most visited locations in the city by both locals and tourists, thanks to its museums, green spaces, and family-friendly activities.
There is plenty to see and do on Djurgarden that would keep you busy for an entire day (or more), but since you only have 2 days in Stockholm and limited time, I will point out two must-sees below.
The Vasa Museum is one of the most unique attractions that you can visit on your 2 day Stockholm itinerary.
The Vasa warship was built between 1626 and 1628, and was considered one of the most impressive of its time. Unfortunately, it was too top heavy, and sank during its maiden voyage, just 20 minutes from shore.
It was salvaged out of the ocean some 300 years later, was restored and is now on display in all its glory at the Vasa Museum. It is the only surviving ship from the 1600s.
The ship is an incredible work of art, carved with intricate sculptures intended to glorify the Swedish monarchy. The museum itself is a fascinating look into Swedish naval history.
Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum, and will give you a unique look into Swedish culture and life.
The museum shows examples of all aspects of Swedish life, throughout history until today. Staff members dress in period costumes, and put on demonstrations showcasing traditional handicrafts, music, and foods. Festivals also take place to celebrate Swedish traditions (I hear their Midsummer Festival is awesome here!).
You’ll find villages with 150 examples of traditional homes and farms, collected from different regions and time periods (which are original buildings then deconstructed then rebuilt here) to showcase how Swedes once lived and worked. I especially loved seeing these!
There’s even a Nordic zoo that houses many of the animals that can be found in the country, such as reindeer, moose, bears, and lynx.
You’ve had a packed 2 days in Stockholm itinerary, so you’ll probably want to end it with an awesome meal! Backfikan is located in the opera house, and is the more casual outpost of the more upscale Operakällaren. I loved it so much that I ended up coming twice during my stay in Stockholm.
The meatballs here are DIVINE – and especially the mashed potatoes that come with it! Seriously, they were so creamy and buttery and delicious. I’ve pretty much told everyone I know going to Stockholm to eat here because of this – I like to say that I want to fall asleep on a cloud of these potatoes, they are just THAT good!
If you don’t want meatballs, they have a selection of other traditional Swedish specialties here that you can try, which are all delicious as well.
Have you been to Stockholm? What are your favorite things to do in Stockholm in 2 days?
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Caroline is a Southern California based traveler, writer, and photographer. She travels all around California, the US, and the world in search of the most colorful places, the most delicious food, and bucket-list adventures. Her aim is to inspire other travelers discover how to add more adventure and joy to their lives. On Pictures & Words, you’ll find detailed guides + itineraries, along with vibrant photos to help you plan the the most epic trips. When she’s not traveling, Caroline also runs half marathons.