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General help for Stockholm visit

My wife and I are ending a Scandinavian cruise in Stockholm on July 12, 2024. We would like to stay in Stockholm for 2-4 days after the cruise, but have no knowledge basis of the city. In general strokes, how many days are needed for a first time (and probably last) visit, and where in the city is best for lodging, considering we would like to see the major tourist/cultural offerings? We have used accommodations ranging from hostels to nice hotels. We are capable of using a metro system, and can walk easily. The Gamla Stan area seems central to many museums and sights, but is the mainland (if that is the correct term) better for hotels and public transportation?
The forum post experts call for visits to the Vasa and Skansen museums, the Royal Armory; Changing of the Guard; and Museum of Medieval Stockholm. ABBA is not my favorite band. A round-trip ferry ride around the area seems like a nice way to spend a few hours that time of year, are they available? Although I ask for generalities, if anyone has specific must-dos, including restaurants, those would be appreciated.
Many thanks, in advance.
David

Posted by
11368 posts

Go to Drottingholm Palace by boat. Beautiful grounds. This is where the Royal family lives.
When you go over to Djurgarden, walk around the island, lots to see. We stayed in a hotel there.

Posted by
88 posts

My first impulse was to book something charming in Gamlastan. However, I generally choose hotels by location and kept noticing that the Downtown Camper hotel had a perfect location. I was very glad I chose it once we got familiar with the city. Easy walk to almost everything and for the few things that were a bit of a hike we just used the very convenient tram. The lobby of the hotel faces a very convenient mall with lots of eateries and the back door opens onto the main pedestrian shopping street. Lots of great sightseeing but highlights for us were Drottenholm, Vasa, History Museum, Medieval Museum, City Hall tour and, of course, Gamlastan was charming.

Posted by
27447 posts

You can find Rick's top sightseeing suggestions for Stockholm right on this website:

https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/sweden/stockholm << Click on At a Glance.

Stockholm is museum-rich, so I'd recommend checking lists of museums and doing some research on those that seem aligned with your interests. Stockholm's setting makes it an especially pretty city, and if you happen to like Art Nouveau architecture, you'll love encountering it while you're just walking around.

There are certainly boat trips for tourists. I can't provide details because I only used boats for transportation.
 
For folks who hope to walk to a lot of the city's sights, the area around the Downtown Camper Hotel is convenient. I'd say it's perhaps more business-like than charming, but I think it would be fine. Stockholm's sights are rather spread out, and if you don't want to depend heavily on public transit, there's a lot to be said for a convenient location that puts a bunch of your target destinations within your personal walking distance.

On my first trip to Stockholm (summer 2022), I stayed in a hotel on the northeast edge of Gamla Stan. It was great for me, but I am a very heavy-duty walker. Some of those walks back from Djurgarden were very long. A negative aspect of Gamla Stan is that it has just one T (subway) station, and it's in the far southwest of that island. It doesn't look like that would be terribly far from anywhere in Gamla Stan, but the are some steep streets and cobblestones there that can make walking tougher than distances indicate. Of course, the city has buses, boats and the Djurgarden tram as well as the T.

Posted by
6682 posts

2-4 days is a short visit to Stockholm, you can spend a week there if you want. So it sort of depends on how much time you want to spend there.

Gamla stan is a nice area, but there are not that many hotels there. It is as mentioned also not that well served by public transportation, there is one metro station, a ferry to Djurgården plus buses running along the eastern and western edges of the island. I'm not sure which areas you mean by the mainland, but assuming Norrmalm it obviously has some fans here. The area is a bit boring in my opinion, mostly newer buildings that in general are rather ugly and quite a lot of office building. There are a lot of government buildings in the area, although most of them are rather boring, with a few exceptions. A lot of shops though as it is probably the main shopping area in Stockholm, and great access to public transportation. The central station is close with access to commuter trains, all metro lines, the tram to Djurgården and buses. Södermalm, the large island south of Gamla stan, is also worth considering.

But also, don't think too much about where you're staying. The public transportation system is great and is a quick and easy way to get around the city.

The Vasa museum is great and should really be on your list. Skansen is also worth a visit. The ABBA museum is probably not worth it if you're not a fan. The changing of the guards is also not a bad option, but if you don't want to watch the entire ceremony you can also just watch the parade to the castle. Hopefully the parade will be mounted one of the days of your visit, in that case it

July is high season for tourism, so there should be a couple of boat tours available. And in addition there are also the regular ferry routes run by SL that gives you great views of the city. There are many other things to consider, both in Stockholm or possible day trips, but it depends a bit on what you want to see and do and what you are interested in.

Posted by
298 posts

On two trips to Stockholm, years apart, we happily stayed at the Lady Hamilton in Gamla Stan. The rooms are European sized (i.e. small) but the location is excellent, breakfast is very good and the sauna is a treat. If you have a car, parking is a pain but it is what it is. Highly recommend the Vasa, a tour of City Hall, a boat ride through the islands and just wandering.

Posted by
6766 posts

News today from the Vasa Museum about an appeal for funds to rebuild the cradle supporting the Vasa ship (on www.svt.se)-

After 60 years on land, the Vasa ship is once again on the verge of sinking. This time, it is not a too small ballast that is the cause, but the cradle on which the ship rests. Therefore, the Vasa Museum is now appealing to the public for support. SEK 150 to 200 million is needed to replace the poles that hold up the ship when it is on land. "We need to distribute the weight over a larger area, and build in an internal skeleton that slows down the downward movement," says project manager Magnus Olofsson.

Posted by
27447 posts

For those who don't keep up with such things, the Swedish krona is over 10 to the US dollar, so the funding needed is equivalent to US $15-$20 million.

Posted by
397 posts

Just fyi, the medieval museum is closed. They have to relocate and not entirely clear when it will open in the new location, but in any case not by July.

Posted by
6682 posts

Correct, it is a bit unclear about when the Medieval museum will reopen but it will move to Gamla stan and the current Nobel museum. The former Medieval museum will be turned into a visitors centre for the parliament.