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48 Hours in Scandinavia: How to Spend a Weekend in Stockholm

by Stacy D

Discover the captivating city of Stockholm that stretches across 30,000 islands on Sweden’s southeast coast. If you have 48 hours to spare, why not embark on a journey of immersing yourself in Swedish culture, exploring the vast natural landscapes and restaurants and bar hopping? Here’s our 48-hour guide on how to spend a weekend in Stockholm.

Day 1: Friday

Morning: Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Stockholm's Old Town area is famous for its historic significance
Stockholm’s Old Town area is famous for its historic significance

Depending on your arrival time in Stockholm, you have the option to begin your day at Gamla Stan, the enchanting Old Town of the city. Originating from the 13th century, it stands as the oldest part of Stockholm, adorned with well-preserved mediaeval edifices featuring vibrant facades and picturesque alleyways. Immerse yourself in history as you meander through the narrow cobblestone streets and discover some of Stockholm’s most important historical landmarks, including the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, and the Nobel Museum.

Lunch: Traditional Swedish Cuisine

Whilst in the area, make sure to grab a bite of authentic Swedish cuisine at one of the quaint cafes or restaurants in Gamla Stant. Try local specialties such as Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry at places like Tradition and Slingerbulten.

Afternoon: Royal Palace and Museums

The Vasa in the Vasamuseum in Stockholm, Sweden
The Vasa in the Vasa Museum

Make sure to include a visit to the Royal Palace, one of the largest palaces in Europe, in your Stockholm itinerary. Inside, you’ll be amazed by the lavish Royal Apartments and Treasury. If museums are more your thing, Stockholm won’t disappoint. The Vasa Museum is a gem, showcasing a well-preserved 17th-century warship. And for all the ABBA fans out there, the ABBA Museum is a must-see to delve into the group’s influence on pop culture. 

Evening: Dinner and Stroll in Östermalm

Venture to the Östermalm district for a delightful dinner at a stylish restaurant such as Aubergine, Nybrogatan 38, or a street-food style eatery like La Neta. Then, enjoy a leisurely walk along Strandvägen, a scenic waterfront avenue lined with elegant buildings, and end the night with a drink at one of the district’s trendy bars or cafes.

Day 2: Saturday

Morning: Djurgården Island

The stunning Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden
The stunning Djurgården

Begin your morning adventure on Djurgården, a picturesque island famous for its stunning parks, museums, and attractions. Take a trip to Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, and delve into the fascinating world of Swedish culture and history. Or, make your way to the Nordic Museum to uncover the country’s unique heritage and traditions.

Lunch: Picnic in Djurgården

If the weather allows, have a picnic lunch at one of Djurgården’s picturesque parks or waterfront spots, with views of the city skyline and nature. If not, visit one of the many lovely eateries in the area.

Afternoon: Gröna Lund

Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden is the place to go for fun
Gröna Lund is the place to go for fun

A trip to Gröna Lund, the iconic amusement park in Stockholm, guarantees a day filled with fun rides, games, and entertainment. Operating from April to September, this park is situated on Djurgården Island, providing picturesque views of the city. Be sure to catch some live music events and concerts while you’re there – it’s a popular spot all season long!

Evening: Dinner in Södermalm

If you still have the energy to stay out, venture into the trendy Södermalm neighbourhood for a dinner outing at one of its eclectic restaurants or chic eateries. Indulge in Greek fare at Greken på Hörnet, Italian cuisine at Florentine, or plant-based American dishes at Rosetta’s. Then, take a stroll through the vibrant streets filled with vintage boutiques, art galleries, and bustling bars. Don’t forget to drop by Lilla Hotellbaren at Scandic Malmen Hotel for some live music, or head up to Himlen on the 26th floor for a couple of drinks.

Himlen, a restaurant and bar in Stockholm, Sweden
Courtesy of Himlen

Day 3: Sunday

Morning: Shopping and Fika

Kick off your day with some retail therapy at T-centralen in Stockholm, the ultimate shopping destination in the city. Whether you’re looking for fashion, shoes, or makeup, Åhlens on Drottninggatan has got you covered. Explore Gallerian’s selection of over 50 stores for a modern shopping experience, or opt for the cosy atmosphere of MooD or Westfield Mall of Scandinavia, the fourth largest mall in the region with 224 stores to browse through. And don’t forget to take a break for fika, a Swedish tradition of coffee and pastries, at a delightful cafe or bakery.

Midday: Archipelago Boat Tour

Explore the beautiful archipelago of Stockholm on a boat tour. You have a range of options to choose from, including short sightseeing cruises and full-day excursions. Get ready to be amazed by the breathtaking coastal landscapes and delightful fishing villages.

Afternoon: Relaxation

After spending days exploring every nook and cranny of Stockholm, why not take a moment to relax in one of the city’s serene parks or gardens? Kungsträdgården or Humlegården are great options to unwind before bidding farewell to this amazing weekend in Stockholm.

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