Stockholm can be an expensive city, but for budget-savvy travellers there are plenty of ways to enjoy it and see a wide range of attractions without spending a lot.
First off, take a look at some Stockholm hotels to find the best prices on city centre hotel rooms and book yourself somewhere central to stay. Next, when you arrive in the city, head to the centrally-located Stockholm Tourist Center (Vasagatan 14 – telephone +46 (0) 8-508 28 508) to find out about all the city’s low-cost attractions. One way of seeing a lot without spending a fortune is to join one of the many tours of Stockholm, taking in the city’s attractive architecture, bridges, waterways and parks.
Here’s our pick of the best tours of Stockholm for visitors to the Swedish capital.
1. Stockholm Boat Tours
In a city surrounded by water, one of the the best ways of taking a sightseeing tour is by boat. There are a variety of themed boat tours on offer, ranging from those taking an historical perspective to those touring the city’s most famous bridges or focusing on ‘Royal’ Stockholm, along the leafy Djurgården canal.
2. Open Top Tours
The best thing about taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Stockholm is the fact that you can explore and enjoy the sights at your own pace within whatever period your ticket covers (e.g. 24 hours). Sightseeing buses cover all the top sights such as City Hall, Strömkajen, Royal Palace, Medborgarplatsen, Stadsgården port, and Gustav Adolfs Torg (Royal Opera), accompanied by a running commentary as you travel giving you current and historical background information about Stockholm.
3. Stieg Larsson Tours
On this English language group tour run by Stockholm City Museum, fans of Stieg Larsson, creator of the cult ‘Millennium’ crime trilogy, can delve further into his novel’s characters and locations as well as finding out more about Larsson himself. The tours begin at Bellmangatan 1, home of key character Mikael in the novels, before heading to the editorial office of Millennium magazine and then on to Lisbeth’s plush apartment. The tour runs twice a week on Saturdays (at 11.30am) and Wednesdays (at 6pm), and also offers information about Stockholm’s history, culture and local residents. Private tours are also available in several other languages. Alternatively, you can buy the Millennium map and complete the walk on your own.
4. Old Town Tours
The charming courtyards and narrow streets of Stockholm’s Old Town are an enjoyable place for a stroll, but you will miss less and learn more on a guided tour. You might find out about the Stockholm blood bath of 1520, or the legend of St George and the Dragon. You can, of course, make up your own independent walking tour armed with a guide book, or follow a suggested route such as the National Geographic’s Stockholm Walking Tour.
5. Viking Tour
You can take a full-day tour from Stockholm to visit two beautiful cities, Sigtuna and Uppsala, while learning all about Sweden’s turbulent Viking history along the way. See an old Viking bridge; ancient runic stones, churches and Viking ruins; and visit ‘Arkils Tingplats’, the old Viking parliament.
Restaurants and bars in Stockholm
After a long day of sightseeing, head to the Old Town for supper and your own independent tour of the city’s top bars. Västerlånggatan and Stortorget are lined with restaurants, but the best finds are a block or two away from the main tourist trail – try Den Gyldene Freden (Österlånggatan 51), housed in a medieval basement; quirky Frantzén/Lindeberg (Lilla Nygatan 21); or meat-loving Djuret (Lilla Nygatan 5).