Springtime is back, and there’s no better time for a quick weekend in Stockholm than right now.
If you’ve only got a couple of days, 36 hours in Stockholm make a perfect getaway and a lovely taste of this handsome Nordic capital.
Take advantage of the very long Nordic spring and summer days to make the most of your evenings, strolling along the numerous waterways and enjoying the many quintessentially Swedish eateries and bars.
Thanks to its proximity to major European air travel hubs, as well as its wonderfully walkable historical city center, you will find that a quick trip to Stockholm in 36 hours hits the sweet spot.
Don’t be intimidated by its reputation for being an expensive city to visit: with just a little planning ahead and some help from our trusted experts, we can point you to the best hotels in Stockholm to fit your needs and budget.
We’ve selected the best attractions and top rated eateries, to compile an ideal itinerary for you to explore the city in just a short weekend. Come discover Stockholm in 36 hours with us!
Friday evening in Stockholm: dinner and drinks
Kick off your weekend with a nice, laid back evening of great Swedish food and lively Stockholm nightlife.
You will most likely be arriving at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which is around 25 miles (40 km) from the center of Stockholm, a quick taxi, train or bus ride away. We recommend heading straight towards the neighborhood of Södermalm, one of the city’s central islands and its hip, lively social hub.
Stockholm is fast becoming one of Europe’s most dynamic foodie scenes, so you will be absolutely spoiled for choice with its extensive selection of new and delicious restaurants.
One such eatery that we recommend is Restaurang Nook, with its cozy atmosphere, great service and a focus on tasty food that will definitely satisfy. The easygoing philosophy of its creators give a unique twist on every aspect of your experience: from its street food-inspired flavours, to its 8 reservation-free spots always available for drop-ins, everything in Nook is focused on sharing great food and a relaxed experience.
After dinner, browse the Södermalm neighborhood which has in recent decades become the heart of Stockholm bohemian life; you’ll find an incredibly varied nightlife in a range of settings, from trendy nightclubs to off-beat hipster haunts to comfy cafès.
If you’re into craft beers and sampling imaginative brews, be sure to stop at Omnipollos Hatt, a fascinating craft beer bar and pizzeria featuring highly unusual but supremely tasty ales of all kinds, with an ever-changing menu depending on weekly availability.
For lovers of classic bartending and an unforgettable “secret” experience, try taking a look at Häktet Vänster, an old-style speakeasy accessible only through an unmarked door beside the Häktet restaurant. (Hint: “Vänster” in Swedish means left.) Here you can enjoy a laid-back atmosphere, as well as personalized service tailored to your taste: the expert bartenders will concoct the perfect craft cocktail according to your tastes.
Saturday sightseeing: art, history and good food
For your single full day of your 36 hours in Stockholm, we recommend exploring the central island of Gamla Stan, the heart of Stockholm’s historical center and the neighborhood with most of the city’s can’t-miss attractions.
Start off with a guided visit to Stockholm City Hall, where the Nobel Prize Banquet is held every year on December 10th. This early-1900’s red brick building on the lake shore is also the seat of Stockholm’s Municipal Council; its interiors feature the famous Blue Hall with the largest pipe organ in all of Scandinavia, the Golden Hall with over 18 million gold mosaic tiles representing Swedish history, and the amazing City Hall Tower where you can catch an incredible aerial view of Stockholm.
Your next stop will be Riddarholm Church, the last surviving medieval abbey in Sweden, dating back to the 13th century. Inside you will be able to admire the burial sites of all Swedish monarchs from the 15th century onwards, as well as the breathtaking stained glass windows with the royal mottos of each ruler. Concerts and special celebrations are frequently held here, so try and catch one for an extra special experience.
Take a short walk to the Royal Palace of Stockholm, which in addition to being the official historical residence and workplace of the Swedish Royal family (their current living spaces are actually located in Drottningholm Palace), houses 3 museums that will give you an in-depth look at the history of Stockholm and of the entire country. Don’t miss the Changing of the Royal Guard ceremony, which takes place at 12.15 pm in the outer courtyard, often accompanied by marching bands and gun salutes.
Now would be a great time to stop for lunch — we suggest the nearby and highly recommended Stockholms Gastabud, one of the city’s top eateries and a great place to experience traditional Swedish food and hospitality. You may need to wait a little to be seated, as Gastabud does not accept reservations, but the wait will be well worth it: friendly, professional service and generous portions of hearty, delicious food will leave you satisfied and delighted.
The next stop on your historical Stockholm itinerary will be Stockholm Cathedral, the oldest church in the city, dedicated to St. Nicolaus. Built in 1279, the amazing baroque interiors have been host to a number of royal events throughout the centuries, including coronations of kings and royal weddings.
For your last sightseeing attraction of the day, take a walk heading south along the waterfront all the way to Fotografiska, the Swedish Museum of Photography. Inaugurated in 2010, it features 4 major exhibitions and a large number of smaller temporary and permanent exhibits; you’ll be able to view artwork by Sweden’s top photographers, as well as some premier artists from around the world.
Long evenings and extended spring and summer sunlight hours means you can enjoy dinner with a view, and the Fotografiska restaurant offers a truly unforgettable one! Excellent modern Scandinavian fare, great wine and a breathtaking panoramic view of Stockholm overlooking the water: a perfect close to an amazing day.
Sunday morning: ABBA and the outdoors
Departure day means an early start to fit in a little more sightseeing, before your 36 hours in Stockholm draw to a close. Depending on when your flight leaves, you may be able to fit in one or two more stops before heading over to the airport; we suggest a couple of attractions in the eastern Djurgarden island, dedicated to nature and outdoor living, so dear to scandinavians and the nordic lifestyle.
At the heart of this district is the Skansen Open Air Museum, a true immersion in Swedish traditional life and culture throughout the centuries. Wooden houses, farmsteads and structures pepper the vast park, with fascinating exhibits on traditional craft such as pottery, engraving, shoemaking, as well as 2 taverns. The zoo section features a variety of local species, as well as many animals from the entire Nordic region.
If you are more of a music and pop culture lover, then you absolutely can’t miss the ABBA Museum! Inaugurated in 2013, it is an interactive exhibition and collection of everything related to the world-famous pop supergroup of the 1970s and 1980s. From stage costumes to memorabilia and props, you will be immersed in the history of this legendary band through interviews, concert footage, and holograms of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid with which you can sing and dance!
Before you make your way back to the airport, don’t forget to take a coffee break, or as the Swedish call it, “fika”: a beloved tradition deeply rooted in nordic hospitality, it’s the best way to bond with dear friends over a hot drink and a pastry, or simply unwind and relax, in true Swedish style.
The capital of Sweden has long been ranked among the most enjoyable places to visit and live in. Spending a weekend in Stockholm can be a great way to get a taste of nordic spirit and hospitality: simple, minimalistic yet sophisticated. Whether you’re carefully planning ahead or picking this destination as a last-minute getaway, come and spend 36 hours in Stockholm… and you won’t regret it!