My Alternative Top Ten List for Stockholm!

Skokloster castle
There are a plethora of top ten lists to be found online over what to see & do when visiting Stockholm... like this great list from Visit Stockholm. Gamla Stan, Vasa Museum, Skansen, ABBA the Museum are great, but what is there to do if you have already visited these popular attractions/sites or if you want to get off the beaten path? Well, you obviously need an alternative top ten list! These aren't wild & crazy alternatives, just great options that might not have made it into your guidebook or things I feel visitors often overlook. In no particular order...

  1. Skokloster Castle- If you feel like you haven't had your fill of palaces and castles after visiting the Royal Palace and Drottningholm Palace... take a trip out to visit Skokloster Castle, one of the best preserved baroque castles in the world and a monument to Sweden's Age of Power. Boat tours to the castle are available during the summer months, otherwise you can get there with public transportation. 
  2. Skogskyrkogården (Woodland Cemetery)- Just a few subway stops south of central Stockholm you will find this beautiful cemetery designed by famed Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to it being "an outstanding example of the successful application of the 20th-century concept of architecture wholly integrated into its environment". Especially popular to visit on All Saints' Day when people light candles at the graves of loved ones. 
    Skogskyrkogården. Photo by:
    (c) Susanne Hallmann, Kyrkogårdsförvaltningen Stockholms stad
  3. Historiska museet (Swedish Museum of History)- This is a museum that I feel is oddly overlooked by many visitors, even though it is centrally located and has free admission. The museum has several exhibitions on Sweden's history, but of special note is their permanent exhibition on the Vikings. Don't miss the Gold Room where Viking treasures are on display! Interested in Vikings? Click here for more options for getting to know Swedish Viking history while in Stockholm.  
  4. Unusual sightseeing tours- The company Strömma has a wide range of great bus and boat sightseeing options that are very popular with visitors... but why not see Stockholm from a bicycle, vespa or kayak as well? Maybe take a food tour, rooftop tour or wildlife safari? Many of these offer you a more intimate view of the city than, say, a tour bus. 
    Roof top tour!
  5. The Great Synagogue- You will probably visit a church or two while here, like Storkyrkan, Riddarholms Church or even Uppsala Cathedral... but the Great Synagogue is worth a visit as well. During the summer months they have public guided tours of the synagogue and Holocaust memorial (days/times in link above). Private tours are available if booked in advance. You can also visit the memorial on your own on weekdays. Don't miss the monument to the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi occupied Hungary, located just a stone's throw from the synagogue. 
  6. Haga Park- Stockholm is famously 1/3 parkland (and 1/3 water and 1/3 city). The most famous park is Djurgården where you will find many popular attractions. However, on the northern outskirts of the city you will find another fantastic park, also filled with attractions (and perhaps less tourists), called Hagaparken. Take a stroll around the lake Brunnsviken, visit the Butterfly House, Copper Tents, Echo temple and Chinese Pagoda. Popular park with locals. Earlier blog article
    The Copper Tents at Haga Park
  7. Sigtuna- Founded in 980, this is Sweden's oldest town and, before the founding of Stockholm (circa 1250), Sweden's most important town. "Where Sweden began" is their tagline. They have quite a few attractions to visit there including churches, castles, museums, runestones and their old town. It takes a little over an hour to get there by public transportation (train and bus), but during the summer you can take a boat tour to the town. Another similar option? Visit the town of Uppsala
  8. Artipelag- This museum, located in the archipelago, is starting to become more well known but is still overlooked by many as it is outside of the city... but this is a great way to combine nature, art, the archipelago and a boat trip. Boat tours there in the summer months, otherwise the museum's own bus (weekends and holidays) or public transportation. Another similar option? Visit the porcelain factory at nearby Gustavsberg
    Photo by Anders Fredriksen
  9. Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum- Stockholm has some great art museums like Fotografiska, Moderna and Millesgården... but there are many less known ones that are definitely worth a visit. One of these is the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum. Besides interesting temporary exhibitions, you can also visit a replica of Sven-Harry's villa, on the roof of the museum, which houses his own private art collection. An added bonus is that the museum is located in Vasastan, a great neighborhood often overlooked by visitors. 
  10. Hötorgshallen- The most famous indoor food market in Stockholm is Östermalms Saluhall, but there is another great food market called Hötorgshallen, located at Hötorget. While the Östermalms market is upscale and more Swedish, the Hötorgs market is more local and has food from the four corners of the world. Great options for lunch there as well! An added bonus is that there is a fruit and flower market in the square out front (Mondays through Saturdays). 
    Part of the rooftop sculpture garden at Sven-Harrys


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