A Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm was almost where I took a job before I ended up in Oslo, so I’ve always been interested to see “what could have been.” This weekend trip was mostly just to get a feel for the city and experience the highlights. Many travel blogs had suggested that two days are enough for Stockholm, but after a jam-packed Saturday and Sunday, I would argue that you should squeeze in one more day yourself. Here’s what we did:

Day 1: Gamla Stan and Skeppsholmen

The Gamla Stan islands represent probably the most famous area of Stockholm. It’s where the Royal Palace is located, as well as the picturesque old town square:

The main square of Gamla Stan with colorful buildings in the background

We visited the Nobel Prize Museum in Gamla Stan, which was interesting but a little small. There’s really not much to it. Pro tip, though: check out the chairs in the cafe. Nobel Prize winners who have visited the museum in the past have also signed the bottoms of some of the chairs.

Gamla Stan itself is a fun neighborhood to walk through. The different buildings and churches are neat, if you haven’t seen much European architecture before. And there are many photo ops nearby, like “Stockholm’s narrowest street” and the tiny but cute Iron Boy sculpture.

To the east of Gamla Stan is another island, Skeppsholmen. The main reason we headed to this island was to see the Toy Museum. If you have any interest in old toys and comics, then it’s a fun visit. The presentation of some of the toys is sometimes better than the toys themselves:

A car split in two with smaller model cars on display inside

Lastly, if you head farther south on Skeppsholmen, you can also see the Kastellet citadel:

The red brick Kastellet citadel in Stockholm

Day 2: Djurgården

Djurgården is another island even farther east of Skeppsholmen. This is where many of the city’s most popular museums are. We were able to fit in three museums that day.

The first museum, the Vasa Museum, was our favorite museum of the whole trip. This well-preserved 17th-century warship is a sight to behold and has a fascinating history:

The preserved, wooden Vasa warship

Down the road is the Viking Museum, which I felt was a little underwhelming at first. I was about to rank this museum as my least favorite… until we visited the second floor that has an amusement park style ride through a series of dioramas:

A diorama of an old Norwegian village

It’s funny that an otherwise unassuming museum would have something like this in it, and it certainly elevated my opinion of the museum overall.

The last museum we visited was the ABBA Museum. I can’t say I am a huge fan of ABBA’s music. Aside from a few cutesy, interactive displays, there really wasn’t much here for me to get excited about. But I know other people love this museum, so don’t skip it on account of me.

Life-size, silicone models of the ABBA band members

Overall, it was a good trip, but, again, I wish we had spent one more day there. It would have given us a chance to hunt down more food options and possibly take a boat tour around the islands.

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  1. Maybe I’m channeling Kent by visualizing you checking out the signatures on the bottoms of the chairs @ the cafe when you visited the Nobel Prize Museum ~ were there also wads of gum affixed under there?

    Their colorful buildings truly lend themselves to possible puzzle pictures…

    Keep traveling! We’re willing stowaways!

    Did you take stock of what could’ve been in Sweden?

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