Stortorget Square Stockholm in September

The Perfect One Day in Stockholm Itinerary – How to See Stockholm in a Day

Heading to Sweden and wondering what to do with one day in Stockholm? This Stockholm travel guide includes everything you need do and how to get around for a day trip to Stockholm.

Stockholm is ranked as one of Europe’s best and most beautiful cities, and with this Stockholm itinerary for 1 day, you will realize why! The unique architecture, rich history, and ambiance make it the perfect place to explore. 

Stockholm’s distinct geography stems from its location across a cluster of islands, linked by bridges and ferries. This arrangement bestows a captivating essence upon the city, setting it apart in a truly enchanting way.

Whether you have 1 day in Stockholm on a cruise or a 24-hour stopover, here is the ultimate itinerary for Stockholm in a day. Prepare to be amazed by this stunning Swedish capital and all it has to offer its visitors.

Planning your trip to Stockholm last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. Another helpful post when booking your trip is the Best Boutique Hotels in Stockholm.

This post contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here.

One Day in Stockholm Sweden

How to Plan a Day in Stockholm the Easy Way

One of the things we like to do in a city, especially when time is limited, is to take a half-day tour where we can do something fun, learn about the city from a local, and get some insider tips for restaurants and things to do at night.

One of the most affordable tours is the Stockholm Archipelago Sightseeing Cruise. It’s a 2.5-hour cruise around the city’s islands. This tour is the most popular in Stockholm and seeing Stockholm from the water is a must-do!

If you are adventurous, try Stockholm Winter Kayaking, Swedish Fika, and Hot Sauna. The tour is 4 hours and a true Swedish winter experience. The people that take this tour, absolutely love it! Bring warm clothes.

Finally, one of the best ways to get to know the history and unique architecture of Stockholm’s Old Town is a Gamla Stan Walking Tour. In 2 hours you’ll see the hidden gems and iconic sights of the most historic part of the city.


Is the Stockholm Pass Worth it for a Day Trip to Stockholm?

To save money on entry fees for tourist attractions, tours, and transportation in Stockholm, conside buying the Stockholm Pass.

The Stockholm Pass is an all-inclusive approach to Sweden’s capital city. You can save up to 50% on buying tickets individually.

It provides free entry to over 50 top attractions and museums, including the Vasa Museum, the Royal Palace, the Stockholm Hop On Hop Off Bus, and sightseeing tours.

The 1 Day in Stockholm pass is ideal for a day trip to Stockholm. If you plan to stay overnight for 2 days in Stockholm, the 2-day pass is a better value.

  • 1-Day Pass: SEK 824 Adult ($80) / SEK 309 Child ($30)
  • 2-Day Pass: SEK 1289 Adult ($126) / SEK 509 Child ($50)

It’s easy to buy the pass and download the QR code to your phone for entry. When you use the pass at the first attraction, the 24 or 48 hours starts. 

When deciding whether the Stockholm Pass is worth it, visit the website to see what you will save on the activities you want to do. 

As an example, if you want to visit the Royal Palace (SEK 170), the Vasa Museum (SEK 190), take the Stockholm Hop On Hop Off Bus (SEK 370) and a Stockholm Boat Tour (SEK 355), the pass would already pay for itself. 


One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

Explore Gamla Stan

Many people think of Paris or Amsterdam when they imagine stunning capital cities but are surprised by Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s gorgeous old town that dates back to the 1200s.

It is a charming area of Stockholm where you will find colorful buildings, cobblestoned streets, and hidden alleyways. 

This is the best place to explore one day in Stockholm. Roaming through the charm of the historic streets, stumbling upon hidden treasures—it’s an exquisite experience all on its own.

Stortorget Square Stockholm in September
The Nobel Museum and multiple restaurants line Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm.

The streets of Gamla Stan are full of cozy cafes, delicious restaurants, and trendy boutiques, making it one of the best places to visit on a European girl’s trip!

In Gamla Stan, you will find Stortorget, the colorful main square, the Nobel Museum, the Storkyrkan Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

If you are only in Stockholm for a day, save time by booking a Gamla Stan Walking Tour. In 2 hours, you will see the main sites, some hidden gems and learn about the history of Stockholm.

This proximity makes it convenient to maximize your time, especially when you have just a day in Stockholm.

One Day in Stockholm Royal Palace

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace is located in Gamla Stan and is the official home to the king of Sweden. The palace was rebuilt in the 1700s due to a fire that destroyed the previous one. You will find an ornate exterior and a beautiful interior.

The palace has over 700 rooms. Spending an hours exploring the beauty inside is a great way to experience the royal side of Stockholm. The Queens Silver Throne and the State Rooms are full of period artwork pieces that are priceless.

At the Royal Palace, you can opt for a guided tour or walk around on your own. A guided tour is nice to see and hear as much as you can with your limited time during your 24 hours in Stockholm. 

Slottskyrkan Royal Chapel in Stockholm

Royal Chapel (Slottskyrkan)

The Royal Chapel is located inside the Royal Palace grounds and is a stunning church, to say the least. Opened in 1754, it is still in use today.

Due to its location beside the Royal Palace, this church often hosts ceremonies for the Royal family, as it has been for centuries. As a result, this is not only a beautiful church but also a historically significant one. 

Riddarholmen Church

Riddarholmen Church is one of the oldest churches in Sweden. It is a beautiful church and the burial place for various Swedish Monarchs.

Inside the church, you will find carved crypt slabs on the floors and walls covered in colorful shields for notables who have been knighted into the Swedish Order.

 Although you can’t go right up to the crypts and coffins you can look through the gates for a glimpse. With one day in Stockholm, this is a must-see! 

Kings Park Stockholm

King’s Park (Kungsträdgården)

Kings Park is one of the prettiest areas in central Stockholm. Depending on the season that you visit the park offers an array of activities.

In winter, the park becomes a wonderland for ice skaters gliding across the frozen waterways. As spring arrives, the park bursts into life with the mesmerizing sight of cherry blossoms.

In summer, Kungsträdgården hosts concerts, picnics, and outdoor events, drawing locals and tourists alike to bask in the sun and enjoy the lush greenery. As fall approaches, the foliage paints the landscape in rich autumnal shades.

Throughout the year, Kings Park, with its varied seasonal offerings, remains a cherished outdoor space that is well worth visiting on a day trip to Stockholm.

Östermalm

For the quick-paced traveler or those seeking a less-trodden path in Stockholm, a trip to upscale Ostermalm is a must.

This historic area boasts breathtaking architecture and picturesque surroundings, offering a unique and less-explored side of the city.

It is known for its boutiques, charming bars, and restaurants offering a diverse culinary scene. Try the mediterranean dishes at stylish and fun Paraden, the pizza at 800 Grader, small plates and beer at Omaka, or fine dining at Brasserie Astoria.

If you find yourself here, you can spend a few hours wandering around and enjoy a beautiful side of Stockholm that attracts fewer tourists than other popular areas. 

Stockholm City Library

The City Library in Stockholm

If you are a literature lover a quick stopover to The City Library in Stockholm is a must. Beyond the wide array of book options it offers, the library is a stunning architectural masterpiece just waiting to be explored. 

Designed by architect Gunnar Asplund, the building is in an unusual cylindrical style. The City Library in Stockholm has been rated as one of the most beautiful Libraries in the world and a must-see when in Stockholm.

Djurgården

Kungliga Djurgården is an island park area in Stockholm filled with activities. Start by taking a leisurely stroll through the lush pathways of Djurgården’s extensive parks.

For history buffs, the island hosts the Vasa Museum and Skansen, an open-air museum showcasing Sweden’s past with historic buildings and cultural displays. The Abba Museum is another popular attraction.

If you have 2 days in Stockholm and good weather, families will love Gröna Lund, the largest amusement park in Sweden with adrenaline-pumping rides.

Adventure seekers can rent a kayak or paddleboat to glide along the scenic canals or opt for a bike ride around the island’s perimeter, taking in breathtaking views of Stockholm’s skyline.

One Day in Stockholm Abba Museum

Abba Museum

You can’t go to Sweden without doing something ABBA-related. The ABBA museum in Stockholm is a treasure trove for any fan of the iconic band.

From the artist’s flashy costumes to interactive exhibits allowing you to sing along and even perform on stage with holographic band members, it’s an immersive experience that brings their music and history to life.  

Round off the ABBA museum experience with a drink at the themed bar to soak up the kitschy atmosphere afterward.

With only one day in Stockholm, it’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance. You can choose your time slot and avoid waiting when it gets busy.

Vasa Museum in Stockholm Sweden

Vasa Museum

Journey into maritime history at the Vasa Museum. It’s home to the meticulously preserved Vasa warship, an impressive 17th-century vessel that sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged centuries later.

The museum’s comprehensive exhibit details the ship’s ill-fated voyage, preservation, and the intricate restoration process.

Through interactive exhibits, you will gain insight into the cultural and historical context of this incredible ship.

What’s most exciting is experiencing the sheer grandeur of the perfectly restored ship, with its intricately carved sculptures and towering masts.

The Vasa Museum is a testament to both Swedish naval engineering and modern preservation efforts, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts.

Fika

Additionally, savor a relaxing fika (Swedish coffee break) at one of the charming cafes, or indulge in delectable Swedish cuisine at the various restaurants scattered across this enchanting island oasis.

Fika is a way of life for Swedish people, and when in Stockholm you must do as they do! It is a concept that means taking some time to sit with good company and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a small bite to eat. 

Engaging in this Swedish tradition is the perfect excuse to eat a fresh pastry and enjoy a warm drink. Fika allows you to step back be present and enjoy the moment.

Although your one day in Stockholm may be a little rushed, you can always find the time for Fika! This is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local way of life and enjoy a little bit of “slow travel”.

One Day Stockholm Itinerary Subway Art
Stadion

Stockholm Subway Art

The Stockholm subway system is often called the world’s longest art gallery. Each station showcases artwork, from sculptures to paintings and installations, making the commute a fascinating visual journey. 

A tour along the Stockholm subway line will bring you on one of the cheapest and most interesting art tours. You can easily spend a few hours riding underground and stopping at the marvelous stations to admire the ark works.

Some of the best stations include T-Centralen, Stadion, Kungsträdgården – King’s Garden, and Solna Centrum.

Meatballs for the People

Eating Swedish Meatballs in Sweden is a must, right? Meatballs for the People is a cozy eatery in Södermalm that combines a warm, welcoming atmosphere with a commitment to quality ingredients and authentic flavors.

Choose your protein for this delectable taste of traditional Swedish cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on offering a choice of meats and sourcing from the best places.

We chose beef and chicken, but adventurous diners can choose deer, moose, rooster, wild boar and ox. Choose a traditional presentation with mashed potatoes, pickled cucumber and preserved lingonberries or with pasta. Yum! Yum!


Have More Than One Day in Stockholm?

Drottningholm Palace Stokholm Itinerary

Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace is a little further away from the center of Stockholm but it can be reached by boat or bus. Located on the island of Lovön, Drottningholm is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the private residence of the Swedish royal family.

The palace was built in the 17th century with Baroque and Rococo architectural styles. Explore the lavish state rooms, adorned with period furniture, tapestries, and exquisite art collections.

Highlights include the Chinese Pavilion, Court Theater, the stunning Palace Chapel, and the beautifully landscaped gardens. If you have time, it’s a lovely place to walk around.

The combination of historical richness and natural beauty makes Drottningholm Palace a must-visit destination.


Where to Stay With One Day in Stockholm

It is best to stay in the city center / central area if you have a limited amount of time in Stockholm. This way you don’t waste time moving all around the city and can walk to the major attractions. 

Here are some great hotel choices at all price points. We also have a full post on the best boutique hotels in Stockholm with more detail and choices.

  • Motel L Hammarby Sjöstad – this is where we stayed. It’s inexpensive and stylish in a neighborhood that has more of a local vibe.
  • Hobo Hotel Stockholm – a mid-price hotel in a terrific location to be within walking distance of attractions. Modern style, attentive staff, rooms on higher floors, and the rooftop bar have great views.
  • Bank Hotel – A high-end hotel set in the upscale neighborhood of Östermalm in a former bank building, this chic hotel is within walking distance to most everything on this Stockholm itinerary. If you want a luxury stay, this is a great choice.
  • Ett Hem – Also in Östermalm, this exceptional Swedish design hotel with a Scandinavian aesthetic creates more of a personal, homey experience.

Getting Around During 1 Day in Stockholm

How to Get to Stockholm

The main airport is Stockholm Arlanda Airport. The best way to get from Arlanda Airport to the city center of Stockholm is via public transport. From the center, the metro connects to the rest of the city.

  • FASTEST: The Arlanda Express, conveniently connected to the airport, runs every 15 minutes and takes 20 minutes (32 USD one-way / 58 USD round-trip). With a companion, the price drops to 41 USD per person for a round-trip ticket.
  • CHEAPEST: The Flixbus runs 8 times/day (11 USD one-way / 19 USD round-trip). The Flygbussarna bus runs every 20 minutes and takes 45 minutes to T-Centralen (13 USD one-way / 21 USD round-trip). The price is discounted for groups of 3 or more.
  • TAXI/UBER: A taxi (60-80 USD) or an Uber (50-70 USD) from the airport to the city takes approximately 35 minutes.

With only one day in Stockholm, every minute counts. The Arlanda Express is the easiest and most efficient option. You can buy tickets at the airport.


How to Get Around Stockholm in a Day

The quickest way to get around Stockholm is with the metro called the Tunnelbana. The easy public transportation is perfect for seeing as much as possible in a limited time.

You can buy single-use tickets that are good for 75 minutes, 24-hour tickets, or 72-hour tickets. Use your credit card to purchase the ticket and scan your card when you enter the metro, bus, or ferry.

If you plan on using the metro often during your one day in Stockholm, a 24-hour ticket is cheaper than continuously buying single-use tickets.

Taxis are also an option in Stockholm but they are quite pricey and not necessary. The top-notch, convenient public transport system is so easy and inexpensive. Only use a taxi if you need it.


Tips for Enjoying Stockholm in a Day

  • The currency used is the Swedish Krona.
  • Sweden, and Stockholm, in particular, is widely known for its cashless society. Most places in Stockholm take cards only, so you don’t need to carry much cash.
  • There are plenty of healthy and vegan eatery options in Stockholm. Try the vegan buffet at Hermans.
  • Happy hour begins at 4:30 PM in Sweden. You can find some deals on drinks and food.
  • Avoid taxis by using public transport. Stockholm has one of the best public transportation systems. It offers an efficient and cheaper way to get around.

Final Thoughts About 1 Day in Stockholm

There is so much to see with one day in Stockholm and so little time. Use this post to guide your Stockholm adventures and don’t worry if you can’t do it all. There’s always next time!

This post is co-authored by Samantha Karen of Sam Sees World, a travel blog dedicated to sharing the world’s most beautiful and unique destinations. As a full-time traveler, she has visited over 50 countries with more on the way.

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One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

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