As winter casts its icy spell upon Stockholm, the Swedish capital transforms into a mesmerizing wonderland. With its picture-perfect snowy (and, if you’re lucky, sunny!) landscapes, enchanting architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Stockholm in winter makes for an excellent weekend escape.
Take advantage of my winter weekend itinerary and embark on an unforgettable journey through this Scandinavian gem.
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Arriving in Stockholm
Chances are, you’ll arrive at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. When it comes to traveling from Stockholm Airport to the city center, I found the Arlanda Express to be the most convenient (while not cheapest) option. With its exceptional speed and efficiency, this train service offers a seamless and hassle-free journey.
Departing directly from the airport terminal, the Arlanda Express whisks passengers to Stockholm Central Station in just 18 minutes, making it the fastest mode of transportation available. Believe me, the price of 600 SEK (about 50 EUR) for single-travelers (return fare) is a good investment. Discounts are available for groups of two people.
Where to Stay in Stockholm
It’s no secret that prices for accommodation in the Swedish capital are not cheap. If you're seeking the perfect accommodation for a weekend stay in Stockholm that is more on the affordable end of that spectrum while still offering all the comforts of a midscale hotel, look no further than the Clarion Hotel Amaranten. This contemporary urban retreat combines style, comfort, and convenience.
Located in the vibrant Kungsholmen district, the hotel offers easy access to Stockholm's top attractions, including the Old Town and the Royal Palace. The modern and thoughtfully designed rooms provide a cozy and inviting atmosphere, ensuring a restful night's sleep after a day of exploration.
I highly recommend booking the breakfast option as the elaborate buffet left nothing to desire and was the perfect start into the day. Closeby, you’ll also find a number of rather affordable dining options, for example Brödernas (local chain serving burgers) or Meno Male (serving mouthwatering pizza, Naples style).
Weekend Itinerary for Winter Adventures in Stockholm
Saturday: Immersion in Nordic Elegance
Arriving in Stockholm, you'll immediately be greeted by the city's unmistakable charm. Start your first day with a visit to Gamla Stan, the Old Town, with its narrow cobblestone streets and colorful buildings. As you stroll through this medieval labyrinth, you'll feel transported back in time, marveling at the well-preserved architecture and discovering cozy cafes and boutiques along the way.
For a unique experience, head to the Royal Palace and witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Dressed in splendid uniforms, the guards parade with precision and elegance. Take a moment to explore the palace's magnificent interior, housing museums and awe-inspiring halls.
Embark on a serene winter walk through the snow-draped beauty of Skeppsholmen, a small island accessible via the beautiful Skeppsholmbron footbridge dating from 1861.
Afterward, warm up by participating in the Swedish tradition of fika, enjoying a coffee and pastry in a cozy cafe. If you’re on a budget, a fika at Bröd & Salt, a cafe chain with numerous stores throughout the city center, is a great option. Be sure to try the quintessential Swedish winter delight kanelbulle, a warm, cinnamon-infused bliss of a freshly baked pastry.
If you’re lucky to visit Stockholm during Christmas season, you may also opt for a steaming cup of traditional Swedish glögg, a mulled wine infused with aromatic spices.
Either before or after dinner, make your way to the modern marvel that is the City Hall. Admire the exquisite architecture and panoramic views of Gamla Stan from its seaside terrace, and learn about the Nobel Prize banquet held annually within its walls.
Sunday: Cultural Explorations and Winter Walks
After a hearty breakfast, dedicate your second day to exploring Stockholm's rich cultural scene.
You have several options at hand. You may visit the Vasa Museum, home to the remarkably preserved Vasa warship. Admire this 17th-century maritime marvel, which sank on its maiden voyage and was salvaged centuries later.
No matter what museum you ultimately opt for, do make sure to make your way to Södermalm after that. The trendy district is brimming with stylish boutiques, vintage shops, and design studios. Roaming the streets of Södermalm is a perfect way to spend your last hours in the Swedish capital.
If you got time for one last meal, make it a traditional portion of köttbullar, the Swedish take on meatballs. Meatballs for the People is an excellent spot to try them in various styles and flavors. I’d recommend reserving a table at least one day before your visit.
In a nutshell
Stockholm in winter offers an enchanting escape, combining rich history, artistic brilliance, and the natural splendor of the season. From wandering through the Old Town's cobblestone streets to roaming some of Stockholm’s museums, this captivating city will leave you with a deep appreciation for Scandinavian culture. And it will make you want to come back for more.