Stockholm encapsulates everything travelers love about Scandinavia. A city of immense culture and grandeur, it is equal parts historic and modern, and even though it’s a prominent international city, it’s quite an easy place to take in on a first visit.
Allowing three days in Stockholm provides you with enough time to experience the best places to visit in Stockholm and even fit in a day trip to another spot in Sweden. To make the most of your time, it’s best to let a Stockholm itinerary like this one guide you. That way, you’ll know exactly what to do in Stockholm in 3 days.
Your three Days in Stockholm: Day One
The first day of this 3-day Stockholm itinerary primarily focuses on the city’s old town. You’ll then end your day on the island of Södermalm.
Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town and dates back to the 13th century! Many of the buildings here are from the 1700s so, as you can imagine, the architecture is incredible. It’s one of the best-preserved medieval centers in Europe and attracts millions of people every year. Stortorget is the primary square in Gamla Stan. It’s home to beautiful colored houses, quaint cafes, and restaurants. You’ll also find popular attractions off the square including the Royal Palace and the Royal Chapel. If you’re spending three days in Stockholm, then Gamla Stan needs to be at the top of your list!
Nobel Prize Museum
The Nobel Prize Museum is found within Gamla Stan and is a must-visit during your three days in Stockholm. Located just off Stortorget Square, this museum is one of the city’s top attractions. The Nobel Prize is considered to be the most prestigious prize in the world and is a celebration of excellence. At this museum, you’ll find a ton of exhibits about it including the permanent ‘Cultures of Creativity’ exhibition. However, one of the best exhibits at the Museum is the Nobel Prize Banquet, where you’ll get a sense of what it’s like to attend the iconic gala.
The church has been around since the late 1200s and is the city’s only surviving medieval Abbey. Except for one Monarch, all kings and queens of Sweden from the 1630s onwards are buried in the Riddarholmen Church. The design of Riddarholmen Church is simply incredible and will take your breath away.
It’s the perfect place to catch some awesome shots of Stockholm’s architecture, but you’ll want to head there early. This way you can get some great photographs without people in! If you head to Stockholm during the summer months, you can explore the interior of Riddarholmen Church. Concerts are also held here throughout the year.
Stockholm Cathedral was built in 1279 and has been used for royal weddings and coronations since the 14th century. Located in the city’s old town, the cathedral is home to an array of unique objects. It includes the Parhelion Painting and a wooden sculpture of St George and the Dragon. If you’re a fan of unique architecture and historical artifacts, this is a must-visit during your stay in the city.
Walking up to Skinnarviksberget for sunset is the perfect way to end your first day in Stockholm! Skinnarviksberget is the highest natural point in the city and is a must for any Stockholm itinerary. From the top, you’ll get panoramic views of Gamla Stan, Kungsholmen, Stockholm City Hall, and Lake Mälaran. It’s the perfect spot to take a picnic or a takeaway, enjoy the scenery, and watch the sunset over this beautiful city. This spot is incredibly scenic at any time of year – whether you’re visiting during summer or the height of winter.
Your three Days in Stockholm: Day Two
There’s so much more to Stockholm than just Gamla Stan, so the second day is about exploring other parts of the city, including the famous museum in Stockholm and the trendy neighborhood of Södermalm.
Stockholm City Hall
Begin your day on the eastern island of Kungsholmen to visit the Stockholm City Hall. Not only is it where you’ll find various city offices and council chambers but also where the Nobel Prize banquet is held. With its waterfront spot and tower, it’s quite an elegant sight, but it’s even more impressive when you visit inside. By taking a tour, you’ll get to see some beautiful rooms and chambers, including the exquisite Golden Hall. It’s also possible to climb up the building’s tower and its many steps to enjoy Stockholm’s beautiful skyline.
Next, head across the city to visit the most famous museum in Stockholm, the Vasa Museum. Found on the island of Djurgården, this museum is dedicated to the immense 17th-century Vasa warship, which was found mostly intact in 1961. Inside, you can see this enormous ship that sank during its maiden voyage in 1628 and admire how well-preserved it is, not to mention all the treasure found onboard. It is a one-of-a-kind attraction that you won’t want to miss.
Opened in 1891, the museum shows visitors what life was like in different parts of the country before the industrial era. Walking through its grounds, you’ll see farmhouses and other buildings that were carefully relocated to the premises. There’s also Swedish wildlife to see, like wolves and reindeer, as well as a petting zoo. You can also learn more about authentic Swedish handicrafts and feast on traditional baked goods.
Traveling across the city again, you’ll arrive in Södermalm to see the Fotografiska, a center for contemporary photography. There are two reasons to make the journey here: the center’s many diverse exhibitions and the panorama from its top floor café. With four large exhibitions and 20 smaller exhibits held each year, there’s bound to be something that speaks to you. And who can’t resist a café with a view, especially in a city like Stockholm?
After a busy day, it’s time to take it easy and explore the trendy neighborhood of Södermalm. This district on the city’s southern island has become increasingly popular with locals and tourists alike thanks to its cool and relaxed vibe. You might first want to take a walk around and soak in the neighborhood’s character and clifftop views. Södermalm is also known for its bars, so perhaps end your day with a well-deserved drink.
Your three Days in Stockholm: Day Three
Rather than end your 72 hours in Stockholm with another day in the city, think about going on a day trip. There are all sorts of remarkable places within reach that can be seen as a day trip from Stockholm.
One of the easiest places to reach Stockholm is the university city of Uppsala, which is just to the north. Full of major cultural and historical landmarks, Uppsala is a pretty major Swedish destination but not one you might have ever considered visiting before.
The best place to start your visit is at Uppsala Cathedral, which may well be the most important church in all of Sweden. Not only is it the country’s largest cathedral, but it’s also the seat of the Archbishop of Uppsala, the head of the Church of Sweden. Inside is a collection of historical artifacts, including the ornate Augsburg Art Cabinet. Other museums can be found in Uppsala Castle, such as the Uppsala Cathedral Treasury and the Uppsala County Museum.
While Stockholm is stretched across several islands, the city sits on the edge of the much larger Stockholm archipelago. There are over 24,000 islands and islets in the archipelago; one of the nearest parts, suitable for a day trip, is Fjäderholmarna. This small collection of islands is a popular getaway for locals and offers tourists a taste of what the archipelago can offer. Exploring these small islands, you’ll find small waterfront settlements surrounded by forests, cliffs, and beaches.
To see one of the most historic places in all of Sweden, head to Sigtuna for the day. This ancient town is loaded with medieval history, meaning it’s great if you’re looking to dive into the country’s lively history. Start by taking a walk down Stora Gatan, said to be the oldest main street in all of Sweden. Along it, you’ll find historic wooden buildings that house various shops and restaurants. Next, head to St. Mary’s Church, a pretty landmark that is still standing from the 13th century.
As you read, Stockholm is known for its incredible architecture, culture, and history, and is a city you’ll fall in love with as soon as you visit. You’ll find an endless amount of attractions in Stockholm ranging from historical museums to the beautiful archipelago. So, if you’ve only got three days in Stockholm, our article is the best way to spend your time in the best possible way!