In Stockholm on a budget? And only for a short visit? Here are my 5 top film fan tips for things to do in Stockholm…
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, features in many Swedish films and also some international ones. Among the most a famous films that have been shot in Stockholm are Stieg Larsson's Millennium films, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).
Read more about the Millennium film location tour in Stockholm
1. For access all areas, get your access card
The easiest way to get around is via Stockholm's underground system, called tunnelbana! Single tickets are a bit complicated to get and quite expensive, so I got myself an all-in-one card, called access card, at the airport. For 72 hours this costs you 230 SEK (about 24 Euros) and will give you unlimited access to all public transport (tube, buses, ferry) in Stockholm. The method used is similar to that of the London underground. Whenever you put your card on the reader, it will magically open doors.
The riverside in evening light
2. Stay somewhere central
As the capital of Sweden, Stockholm is not the cheapest place for accommodation, so I booked myself into a hostel. As I soon found out, the Lillabrunn Hostel was a good choice as it's very centrally located, has friendly staff, a good-sized kitchen and excellent WiFi.
You can easily walk to the main train station (Centralen) or catch the tunnelbana just a few metres from the hostel's doorstep. Furthermore, I can recommend the cosy Castanea Hostel located in an old building in Stockholm's historical city centre called "Gamla Stan" (Old Town).
Staying central might be a little more expensive than staying further out of the city centre, but if you are squeezed for time staying somewhere central is best to the most of all the things to do in Stockholm…
A central square between Royal Palace and riverside
Before coming here, I was a bit nervous whether I would find my way round. A different language, an un-known city… all that intimidated me. But to my surprise this was actually really easy as (just like in London) all street names are attached to buildings, so you always know where you are. If you still get lost, you can always ask a friendly local for directions. They all speak excellent English!
3. Explore the past in world-class museums
When I think of Swedish films, the first thing that comes to mind are the characters of world-famous children's book author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Ronia the Robber's Daughter and Madicken were the heroes (and heroines) of my childhood. In the open-air outdoor museum Skansen you can get a good idea of how these characters may have lived once upon a time in rural Sweden.
The museum is located on an island, but you can easily reach it by bus or ferry. During the high season (June to August), it's 170 SEK (about 18 Euros) entry for adults, so quite pricy. But therefore you can spend the whole day here and basically have a zoo and museum in one as there are many Nordic animals to see as well.
With the Stockholm Pass, the entry prices for all of these museums (with the exception of the Abba Museum) are already included, so this is a worthwhile investment if you're planning on visiting several of the great museums that Stockholm has to offer.
I really enjoyed going through all those old houses (most of them original) and the actors/guides that waited in every house to tell me something about its history. In excellent English, of course!
Old style wooden house in Skansen
The Medeltidsmuseet (museum about the Middle Ages in Stockholm and Sweden) is another hot spot for history fans and time travel lovers! Here, you can walk through several reconstructed houses that bring history to life! To my surprise (and delight) this museum is free to enter every day it's open (closed on Mondays). It also opens longer (until 8 pm) on Wednesdays. In the Swedish comedy Solsidan (2017), the Medeltidsmuseet also featured as a film location for a hilarious "single-mingle" dating event!
Inside the Medieval Museum
Among Stockholm's other great museums are the Vasa Museum, which exhibits a large original ship from the 17th century, the Abba Museum about Sweden's famous music band, the Viking Museum and the Museum of Spirits. Except for the Abba Museum, all museums are included in the Stockholm Pass.
Read more about these museums in my blog post
From Vasa to ABBA – Night at the Museum in Stockholm
4. Trace the footsteps of royalty
The Royal Palace of Sweden is located right in the heart of Stockholm. In the last few years, several royal Swedish weddings have been broadcasted around the world and made a certain royal balcony world-famous. Whenever there is not a royal wedding or other big event going on, you can wander this balcony freely and feel a bit like a princess (or prince) looking over the historic centre of Stockholm.
The view from THAT balcony
The front of the Royal Palace
5. Get a typical taste of Sweden
According to my travel guide, the Café Valand, which was literally around the corner from my hostel, has served as a popular location for many films and TV productions. However, I only got to the see the outside of this café as it was the first day of their summer break and therefore closed.
Instead, I tried a real Swedish cinnamon bun and a huge bread roll at Nybergs Konditori (Norrtullsgatan 25, tunnelbana: Odenplan) and yep – they were heavenly and reasonably priced!
Coffee, cinnamon bun and over-sized poppy seed bagel
Even though my hunt for a vegetarian option of the Swedish national dish meatballs was unsuccessful, I did find a really good and affordable veggie deli called SönderManna (Medborgarplatsen 3, get off the tunnelbana stop of the same name and find it inside the Söderhallarna food court).
Stockholm's front row
Did I miss anything? Got a great tip for film fans? Feel free to share your favourite spots in Stockholm in the comment section below!
Unless otherwise credited, all photos by © Sonja Irani | filmfantravel.com
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links to the Stockholm Pass and Booking.com. If you click on any of these links and make a booking through them, I will receive a small commission fee.