If you've only got one weekend to experience Stockholm, you want to make every hour count. The Swedish capital consists of various neighbourhoods all with their own charm, whether you want to eat out in upmarket Östermalm, wander around hip Södermalm, visit Vasastan, do the tourist thing in the Old Town, discover Kungsholmen or go for a walk in leafy Djurgården. Stockholm is famous for being a city of islands, including the many wonderful destinations in the surrounding archipelago, but if you prefer to stay on dry land there's plenty to keep you busy. To make your choices a little easier, we've tailormade a 48 hour stay in Stockholm, from check in to check out. If you're spending the weekend in Stockholm, follow our complete guide to the ultimate stay.
Weekend in Stockholm: 48 hours
In this guide
- Check in
- Pre-dinner drink
- Out on the town
- Hit the shops
- Boulebar – Biere et boules
- Diplomat – Divine tea salon
- Livrustkammaren – Museum of royal Swedish history
- Hallwylska museet – Travel back 100 years in time
- Skansen – Visit the animals
- Historiska museet – From then til now
- Fotografiska – Photographic art
- Vasamuseet – A slice of Stockholm history
- Golfbaren – Minigolf for all ages
- Moderna Museet – Take a boat to the art
- Stadsmuseet – The history of Stockholm
- Late dinner
- Sunday brunch
Modern and trendy
Stay as centrally as possible at the Hotell Grand Central. This is Scandic's signature hotel, housed in a historic building with elegant details. The rooms are comfortable and stylish and there's a popular bar and restaurant.
This hotel has a special place in Stockholmers' hearts thanks to its beautiful waterfront location and intimate atmosphere. As well as personal service in luxurious surroundings, the Diplomat is passionate about art and culture, so if you're lucky there'll be an exhibition on during your stay. Otherwise, enjoy good food and drink in one of the restaurants and bars.
For the globetrotter
As the name suggests, this hotel is in the area of Södermalm known as Nofo (north of Folkungagatan). They've channelled the neighbourhood's creative atmosphere, creating a hotel that's ideal for globetrotters looking to explore one of Stockholm's hippest districts.
Stay at comfortable Hobo in Brunkebergstorg in the heart of the city. If you like being surrounded by cool, well-designed spaces, this could be the place for you. The hotel has its own bar and restaurant where you can enjoy lively evenings with a cocktail in hand, and Japanese-inspired breakfast is served on the 13th floor with spectacular views.
Intimate boutique hotels
If you like the sound of cream cake and bubbles for breakfast, book into Ruth or Frantz. The sister hotels are in different parts of town - Ruth in Vasastan and Frantz in Södermalm - but both will suit anyone looking for a personal experience with special extra touches.
Cocktails at the palace
Enjoy a pre-dinner drink in regal style at Hallwylska. This spectacular private palace houses a museum, restaurant and bar and during the summer months in particular it's a lively spot for music, drinks and socialising. A great place for celeb-spotting, too.
Buzzy regulars' haunt
Chandeliers, stuccowork and colourful interiors set the tone at this popular spot. It's always packed at weekends, so if you're looking for a lively place to enjoy a delicious cocktail on a Friday night, head to Grodan.
Cocktails at 16th century apothecary
Sweden's very first apothecary no longer sells medicine, but remedies in the form of exciting cocktails. Pharmarium is one of the city's most unique and renowned cocktail bars, thanks to their award-winning cocktails and the charming, historic apothecary interiors.
Cutting-edge cocktails in spectacular surroundings
Step inside and downstairs to the bar in Astoria, star chef Björn Frantzén's slightly more relaxed but still ambitious restaurant. The luxurious main bar opposite the entrance is the place to drink cocktails in stunning surroundings, while the smaller Lilla baren provides a more intimate experience.
Imagine you're at a French bistro, but in Manhattan - that's the vibe at Brasserie Balzac. Choose from everything from hamburgers to Caesar salad and moules frites, served in lively surroundings. The drinks menu includes everything from milkshakes to champagne.
Many regard Tjoget in Hornstull as one of the city's best bars, whether you prefer beer, wine or cocktails. There are three different options under one roof; Ölkaféet which serves tapas alongside drinks, Bodegan which focuses on wine and Linje Tio – a cocktail bar and Mediterannean restaurant. Take your pick!
Ling Long, inside the Story Hotel serves Asian food with flavours primarily from the Sichuan province, Bali and Singapore and the cocktail list has a complementary Asian theme. Thirsty city dwellers drop by for exotic drinks from early afternoon until late evening.
Food with a view
Himlen is a popular bar and restaurant in Södermalm, perhaps primarily thanks to the incredible views over Stockholm from its skyscraper top-floor location. They serve a fusion of Nordic and international flavours, and the bar shakes and stirs innovative cocktails to order.
Las Brasas is one of those restaurants that ticks all the right boxes: delicious food, charming service and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The menu includes meat dishes and tapas infused with Spanish, South American and sometimes even Nordic influences. The team behind the restaurant are also passionate about finding exciting wines that pair perfectly with the food.
Scandinavia meets Asia in a fusion extravaganza
If you love Asian fusion food, book a visit to Miss Voon. Asian cooking meets Swedish ingredients in a combination that has become the restaurant's signature. Food is served as medium-sized dishes ideal for sharing round the table, including the lobster tacos they're famous for.
Popular neighbourhood restaurant
With well-loved sister restaurants including Nybrogatan 38, Paraden and Nytorget 6, expectations are high when visiting Österlånggatan 17 in the Old Town. The restaurant provides a warm, intimate indoor restaurant and a large outdoor dining area among the cobbled alleyways of the old town in the summer months. This is a classic neighbourhood restaurant with an emphasis on flavour-packed international food.
Innovative fusion flavours
This may well be one of Stockholm's favourite restaurants. Farang takes diners on a flavour odyssey through Southeast Asia, but the luxurious fusion flavours are like nothing you've ever tasted before. Combine with innovative cocktails for the full experience.
This bright burst of colour will put a smile on anyone's face. The decor alone makes Leoparden worth a visit, but the menu and drinks list also deliver. Pizza and small dishes are the concept, along with all kinds of drinks. Drop-in is the order of the name of the game here, but it doesn't usually take too long to get a table.
Eden, housed in an old wooden villa next to the water, is a dreamy oasis that draws in crowds of Stockholmers and visitors during the summer months. In addition to the restaurant there are several bars and terraces in the garden where you can drink cocktails, eat light dishes and hang out in the sun. Flavours and culinary influences come from the Mediterranean.
Out on the town
Sociable in Södermalm
This restaurant with its large bar on Hornsgatan is one of Södermalm's most popular hangouts. Spot the odd well known face among large groups of friends. There are lots of different areas to choose from, right at the back you'll find a slightly quieter bar for intimate chats.
For electronic music fans
Gigantic outdoor club during the summer months; techno and house club in the winter. Its tucked-away location under Skanstull bridge makes it feel quite secret, even though it draws in crowds of revellers all year round. If you prefer R&B there's also a dance floor for you.
In the heart of the city
If you're in the mood to mingle, head to "the square" at Boqueria. Regulars and locals alike flock to this buzzy spot where the atmosphere gets more and more lively as the evening progresses. DJs play everything from hip hop to techno.
Dance your socks off to soul, funk and motown at Fasching, which has been drawing in jazz-loving Stockholmers for over thirty years. Their two club concepts are Afterglow, which plays R&B, and Club Soul which focuses on soul and funk.
If you like belting out well-known pop hits at the top of your lungs, this is the place for you. The club often draws in a slightly more mature crowd and houses three dance floors and five bars, one of which is a karaoke bar.
At Mahalo you can enjoy delicious food without feeling the least bit guilty. Everything is made from scratch, with ingredients that are beneficial for both body and soul. The menu includes smoothie bowls, sandwiches and freshly pressed juices.
Breakfast in peace and quiet
Wake up gradually as you break your fast and drink your first cup of coffee in peaceful, relaxed surroundings. Systrarna Andersson in Vasastan is a classic café which has been around since 1930. Everyone is welcome, including four-legged friends, for a gentle start to the day.
Pom & Flora has an all-day breakfast concept, so you there's no need to drag yourself out of bed early after a big night out. You need to be prepared to stand in line though, as their sandwiches, bowls and porridge are very popular.
Hit the shops
Stockholm's fashion mecca
If you have a weakness for exclusive designer clothes, both Swedish and international, Nathalie Schuterman is the obvious shopping destination. You'll find shoes, handbags, accessories and clothes for both men and women.
This interiors shop has stocked a wide range of things for your home, whether you're after a gift or need help designing an entire home. You'll find products from Asplund Collection, as well as a selection from other designers. The Östermalm store sells soaps, candlesticks, lamps and rugs, among other desirable decorative items.
Personal service and knowledgeable staff. At Lund & Lund the team are passionate about helping you find what you're looking for, and what suits you. You'll find a range of stylish suits, accessories and shoes for men.
Treat yourself to something really exclusive to wear on your wrist. This elegant watch boutique stocks several exclusive brands, both classic and trendy, and the staff are happy to help you find the right one.
Head to Slipen for a hearty dose of Stockholm romance. In an old boatyard out on Djurgården, weekend lunch is served with both classic brunch elements and modern bistro dishes - something to suit all tastes, in other words. Sit indoors and look out through the huge windows, or out on the cosy terrace if the weather's fine.
Not long after opening, Bleck became one of the hippest spots in town, not least thanks to its sunny terrace which guests flock to in fine weather. During the colder months of they year, the restaurant's glassed-in outdoor room is like a cosy living room. The menu includes small and medium dishes with a large vegetarian selection, inspired by Europe and other parts of the world.
For more than 90 years, Tranan has been a place to meet up, have something to eat and a glass or two of wine. A real Stockholm institution, in other words. The menu changes according to the seasons, but two dishes that are always available are fried herring and meatballs - the latter of which isn't actually listed on the menu but can always be ordered.
Ok you're enjoying your weekend in Stockholm, but don't we all always slightly wish we were in Capri? Head to the rooftop terrace of the Åhléns department store for sunny Italian vibes, complete with Italian food, cocktails and al fresco post-work socialising when the weather allows.
Luxurious fast food falafel
Take a break with a freshly-fried falafel at Falloumi in Skanstull. Their falafels are served in a creative way with masses of colourful and innovative sides in pita bread, wraps or bowls. Food comes fast and tasty.
Biere et boules
Take a well-deserved afternoon break at Boulebar and challenge your friends or family to a boules match. Combine your game with a refreshing French beer or something to eat if you're peckish. Fun for adults and kids alike.
Divine tea salon
You may want to skip lunch if you've booked in for afternoon tea at the Hotel Diplomat; their cake stands groan with scones, sandwiches and cakes and pastries, both classic and with a more modern twist. The tea salon at this luxury hotel is reminiscent of a forest glade in a fairy tale.
Museum of royal Swedish history
Sweden's royal history is full of fascinating stories. Find out about some of them at Livrustkammaren, the Royal Armoury, which is full of ceremonial equipment, weapons and costumes from as far back as the 17th century.
Travel back 100 years in time
Experience Stockholm as it was around 1900 - in its most luxurious guise. The Hallwyl museum was built as a private palace for the von Hallwyl couple, who were one of Sweden's richest families at the time. Today it looks just as they left it in 1920 and the baroness's huge art collection remains. Either wander round at your own speed, listen to a live or audio guide or go on a dramatised tour.
Visit the animals
Visit Stockholm's largest open air museum and animal park. Learn about Sweden's history and visit Nordic animals including moose and bears. On certain days they have special events, markets and workshops. Don't miss visiting one of their cosy cafés for coffee and cake.
From then til now
Learn all about the history of Sweden at Historiska museet, which, with more than ten million exhibits, is one of the country's largest museums. Join a guided tour or wander round on your own among the Viking treasures and relics. During the summer they put on activities in the inner courtyard so you can try your hand at prehistoric crafts and games.
Stockholm's centre for contemporary photography is a popular must-see for tourists and locals alike. As well as one of Stockholm's most spectacular views, the building houses several exhibitions of modern, iconic art.
A slice of Stockholm history
You've most likely heard of the Vasa warship which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged from the waters of Stockholm harbour in 1961. At the Vasa museum you can see the ship in all her glory and find out about the lives of Stockholmers at the time.
Minigolf for all ages
Become a swing king (or queen) at Golfbaren, where they've created an experience that includes food, drinks and minigolf that suits couples, groups of friends or families alike. If you want to play indoors, Swing by Golfbaren in Vasastan is a good option, while Golfbaren Kristineberg is a centrally located outdoor alternative perfect for sunny summer days.
Take a boat to the art
The Modern Museum is in beautiful surroundings on the city-centre island of Skeppsholmen, making it an ideal spot for a short outing. Take the boat from Slussen to experience contemporary art, with both free permanent exhibitions and ticketed temporary exhibitions.
The history of Stockholm
If you want to learn more about the history of Stockholm, a visit to Stockholm City Museum in Slussen is an excellent way to go about it. People, events and places all meet here to tell the story of the city's development from being a small town on the fringes of northern Europe to the modern capital of today. One of the few museums in Stockholm that has free admission, but you'll often have to pay for guided tours.
Rolfs Kök is like a warm hug, full of the smells of comforting Swedish homecooking and the friendly sounds of locals and curious new guests. The open kitchen produces dishes made with care and simplicity, such as beef cheeks and fish stew, a couple of the restaurant's signature dishes.
Well-loved Italian dishes
Relax and enjoy the Italian atmosphere that pervades Trattoria Montanari. This taverna serves an Italian menu with classic and popular dishes. The menu includes cheese and charcuterie, homemade pasta, meat, fish and fowl, perfect for pairing with Italian wines.
As the name (which means craftsmanship) suggests, this restaurant is passionate about all things artisan. Nordic flavours combine with international influences for creative flavour fusions. The interiors include plenty of natural materials and woodwork inspired by Nordic landscapes.
Both classic and contemporary
Take a walk out to beautiful Djurgården and Villa Källhagen's brunch buffet. They lay out popular brunch favourites such as freshly-baked bread and preserves, along with more unusual elements such as California rolls. During the summer months you can enjoy brunch outdoors, with views over the water.
Enjoy a touch of French flair at Hotel Kung Carl, where they lay out a generous brunch buffet with everything from fresh salads, salmon sashimi and ceviche to glazed rack of lamb. Pair your meal with a refreshing margarita or bellini and enjoy the Parisian atmosphere.
Sociable and laid-back
Urban Deli is a go-to meeting place for countless city-dwellers, with its relaxed but lively atmosphere. Families and friends gather here to enjoy a nice Sunday moment. The brunch menu includes fresh shellfish, Mediterranean salads and classic brunch plates.
Bank Hotel serves a “lazy breakfast and bubbles” brunch every weekend in magnificent surroundings, which many regard as being the best in Stockholm. Choose between classic brunch dishes such as egg dishes, waffles and sandwiches, which can be washed down with fresh juices, coffee, tea and a glass of champagne that's included in the price.
Insta-friendly rooftop pool
The rooftop pool at Selma City Spa pops up all the time on Instagram and tv - not surprisingly, as the view from up here is unbeatable. Relax with a glass of bubbles in hand and enjoy the views over the the rooftops of Stockholm. Pamper yourself properly with one of the many body and facial treatments they offer.
Visit an exotic paradise and pick and choose from the list of treatments. Whether you're in Södermalm, Östermalm or Kungsholmen, there's a Sparadiset ready to welcome you and take care of your wellbeing.
Rooftop terrace with pool
Check into The Nest spa on the rooftop of the Downtown Camper hotel. Dive into the the rooftop pool, warm up in the sauna and relax in one of the sun loungers. There are several areas for relaxation, as well as an open bar serving tea, breakfast and fresh juices.
Let yourself relax totally in this modern spa. The pool, which has both indoor and outdoor sections, has views over a leafy park, creating a harmonious atmosphere. There's a poolbar, two saunas, several showers and a relax area. If you're hungry, you can order both food and drink without having to leave the spa.