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Tips for 2 Days in Stockholm

Next month (July 15th) we will be taking a cruise leaving from Stockholm, and heading to Helsinki, Saint Petersburg, Tallin and Riga. Our cruise leaves Sunday evening from Stockholm (6p), and we will be arriving in Stockholm Friday morning (7a) in order to spend a couple of days ahead of time exploring. Our time to check in on the ship is 11:30 am, although if we didn't want to get on that early we have some time prior to the ship leaving, but I would like to be on the ship and settled so I can take photos and enjoy the sail away through the archipelago.

We are very much "do it ourselves" when it comes to touring and exploring, and other than a private tour scheduled for us while we are in Russia for two days, every other port we will be exploring on our own, which brings me to my questions (finally).

  1. We are planning on visiting the Vasa museum. Basically we either need to go Friday morning, or Saturday morning. Regardless of which day we go, I plan on going for when the doors open. I am guessing like most places, weekends will be more crowded, so I am just curious if anyone knows if heading straight there Friday morning would perhaps be significantly less crowded versus Saturday morning? We are staying at the Hotel Diplomat, and once we drop our bags Friday morning we could head over for opening.

  2. We will definitely be checking out Gamla Stan, wandering around, and seeing what the Old Town has to offer.

  3. We would like to see City Hall - does this require a pre-paid tour? Is Drottingholm Palace worth exploring? Stockholm Palace?

  4. What else should we be doing? What else is a must see? Since we will be sailing out through the archipelago anyhow, is it worth doing another trip while we are there, and if so, what specific island should be headed to? I believe Vasa Museum is on Djurgarden? I would like to at least see one of the islands.

  5. Monteliusvagen looks like it is worth a walk through for some nice photos? Anyone been there?

  6. Ostermalm worth a visit?

  7. Is taking one of the canal tours worth while?

Thanks for the help!

Posted by
10089 posts

Go to City Hall. I remember that we were on a guided tour so I assume it was required for entrance as we usually opt for doing things on our own.
Yes, Vasa Museum is on Djurgarden, the former royal hunting grounds. Our hotel ( Scandic Hasselbacken) was there and it was an easy ride on a small ferry over to Gamla Stan or we walked over a very small bridge to the mainland. Skansen is also located on Djurgarden as are several other attractions and museums.
The trip out to Drottingholm Palace, the royal family’s residence, by boat is a nice trip. The gardens are nice and you can also wnter the palace. The best part was arriving by boat. Recommended.

Posted by
1397 posts

I think you will LOVE Stockholm. I was there a year ago and "she" continues to call my name.You have really less than 1 1/2 days so you will need to pick your top sites only.
1. Crowds in Scandinavia are not like the pressing crowds of Italy. I think whichever day you go will be fine. There is a lot of open space in the Vasa Museum. Depending on your museum pace, you can spend 2-4 hours there. Since you have so little time in the city you may go on a faster pace.
2. You could easily spend a full day in Gamla Stan. There is a lot to see, wander the streets to find surprises. Consider Nobel Museum, worth seeing if you get a Stockholm Pass. I would say about an hour to spend there.
3. You need to be on a guided tour to see City Hall. You cannot prebook tickets for a public tour. . Definitely worth seeing but wouldn't make my top 3.
4. I wouldn't bother with an archipelago tour because you really need to invest 4-6 hours to make it worth while and you are already going to be doing that on the ship.
5. I walked on Monteliusvagen and loved it. You can see my photos if you go to the scrapbook page on this website. Beautiful views of the city from there, nice walk.
6. Östermalm: I stayed in this neighborhood. I would recommend Saluhall for lunch. It is in walking distance from Gamla Stan. You could also see Kungsträdgården which is close by.
7. I did not go on a canal tour but would not plan on that before a cruise and with your short amount of time.

I enjoyed Millesgården, but that would take half a day. I do not recommend Skansen.
If I were in your shoes I would go to Vasa first as that is important to you. I would take a stroll around Djurgården, and hop a tram and get off in Östermalm and take a stroll there and visit Saluhall. I would then go to Gamla Stan and maybe eat there. You don't really have a lot of time the next morning, but I would be tempted to go back to Gamla Stan and maybe see the Palace and the Treasury.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
254 posts

Regarding the harbor tours you mention in your #7. See the tourboat website ( Right in town, they offer 3 tours: "Royal Canal Tour" on the east harbor, "Historical Canal Tour" on the west harbor, and "Under the Bridges of Stockholm" that visits both sides. At first glance it appears that the first two are combined to make the 3rd one, and thus seems like a deal if you want to do both sides of the harbor. But IMO you shouldn't take the 3rd one, even though it does cover much of the first two. Because of the location of the locks, Under the Bridges of Stockholm tour repeats much of the path going from east to west and then back west to east. IMO it is repetitive, too long, and can become boring.

Posted by
4 posts

If you would not take the "under the bridges", which of the other two would you choose? Which one has the "better" views?