We'll be in Stockholm twice on a visit to Scandinavia in September-October (the two visits are a month apart). The first visit is brief; we arrive around 12:00 hr. at Arlanda and fly out the next morning at 7:00 hr. The second visit we arrive at Arlanda and will be in the city two and a half days and two nights before returning to the US. For the first visit, we're staying near the airport due to the early morning departure, but we'd like to go into the city for the afternoon and evening. What is/are our options for getting into Stockholm and back to the airport? I understand the train is pricey, but if it is significantly quicker than any other option, we may spring for it. What would be places best-visited in the afternoon or evening (open until 21:00-22::00 hr.)? Also, what would be a good district/neighborhood/street in which to find a place for dinner? Our second visit will allow us time to visit places only open or best-visited during the day.
There is a 320 kr 6 hour round trip ticket (from time of the first departure). That is just shy of $50 US. Still better than the 490 kr normal round trip ticket price. But it gets you to the middle of Stockholm in 20 min.
Its a short walk across the bridge to the Gamla Stan island and the Royal Palace, Cathedral, and old city district. Or you can go one stop on the "T-bana" line.
Spisa hos Helena: 3 course meal about 30 euros. My favorite meal in Sweden. I stayed at Central Hotel near the train station and walked about 10-15 minutes to this restaurant. It's in the neighborhood behind the train station. I walked alone as single woman at night and the area was perfectly safe. I had a beet salad with goat cheese, salmon with risotto and wine sauce and fruit tart. This is a neighborhood restaurant full of locals, I was the only tourist. Service was friendly and not rushed, food fabulous. If you only have one meal in Sweden this is the place.
Vasa Museum is open until 6pm and worth a visit.
I vote for the Vasa and you will get more out of it with a free tour- check for the times with English language. This last trip we saw the Palace- one room larger than Buckingham Palace, if you like Palaces. The Crown jewels were not as impressive as expected but still glad I saw them. Also recommend buying Rick's guidebook and doing his walk. The Nobel museum was of some interest, but perhaps further down on your list than Gamla Stan, the parliament area,etc. Sailing among the islands is spectacular, and you can take an afternoon cruise- one of the loveliest sights and similar to the Pacific northwest coast. Stunning.