Can you really see Stockholm in a day? Yes, here’s how

Connecting flight? Time to kill? Whether you arrive first thing in the morning or just as the sun is setting, The Local has your Stockholm sightseeing plans sorted with tips for even the briefest of stopovers.

Can you really see Stockholm in a day? Yes, here's how
Photo: Henrik Trygg/

If you only have a day in the city, there’s no time to waste. As soon as you touch down in Stockholm, hop aboard the Arlanda Express, recharge your phone and make use of the wifi onboard; in just 20 minutes you’ll be at Central Station, ready to start your whirlwind tour of Stockholm.

Here in the morning? Stop off at Stadshuset and saunter around Södermalm

Now you’re slap-bang in the city centre, make your way to nearby Stadshuset (City Hall). View the stunning architecture, including the famous Golden Hall which is covered from floor to ceiling with 18 million gold tiles, and discover stories about the building's history on a guided tour. If you don’t mind heights, scale the tower during the summer months for magnificent views of the city.

City Hall. Photo: Henrik Trygg/

Get from Arlanda Airport to Stockholm in just 20 minutes

When you’re done, head to the hipster-chic island of Södermalm for breakfast at Greasy Spoon, where you can chow down on a traditional English fried breakfast (when in Sweden, eh?), or Nytorget 6, for a taste of classic Swedish fare, including plenty of filling frukost (breakfast) options.

Take a short walk around the SoFo area for a spot of people watching, ducking into the quirky shops on your way to Fotografiska, the internationally-renowned photography museum. With four major exhibitions every year, you’re sure to catch something new and exciting.

View from Södermalm. Photo: Ola Ericson/

For the best views on Södermalm, check out Fjällgatan or Monteliusvägen. With beautiful 18th century Swedish buildings on one side and picture perfect views of the island of Djurgården, these are the best spots to sneak a peek of Stockholm in all its glory.

Here at midday? Ferry from historical Gamla stan to idyllic Djurgården followed by retail therapy in Östermalm

Once you step off the Arlanda Express at Central Station, it’s just a stone’s throw to the picturesque cobbled streets of Gamla stan (the Old Town). Wander the winding alleyways until you reach the large square, Stortorget. Here you’ll find the Nobel Museum and some of Stockholm’s oldest and most iconic buildings. You can even explore the nearby palace and its Royal Armory.

Book your Arlanda Express tickets before you touchdown in Stockholm

Once you’ve found your way out of the maze of streets in the Old Town, jump on the ferry from Slussen to the island of Djurgården. Once the royal hunting ground, this lush, green island is a favourite recreational spot for Stockholmers and is now home to many museums including the world’s largest open-air museum, Skansen, complete with a zoo and Swedish architecture dating from as early as the 16th century.

Djurgården. Photo: Jeppe Wilkström/

You’ll also find the Viking museum, Vikingaliv and the Vasa Museum, dedicated to a seventeenth-century ship that was fully recovered from the seabed 333 years after it sank. Thrill seekers will revel in the chance to ride the rollercoasters and giant drops at the theme park, Gröna Lund.

Remember, this is the city where Swedish pop legends ABBA formed, so don’t miss the chance to take a picture outside the museum dedicated to the band (let’s be honest, who hasn’t dreamed of being Benny, just for a minute?)


A post shared by ABBA The Museum (@abbathemuseum) on Apr 20, 2018 at 7:50am PDT

By now you’ve probably worked up an appetite. Take part in the most Swedish of traditions by going for fika (i.e. coffee and a snack) at Rosendals Trädgård or Villa Godthem. If a cinnamon bun just won’t cut it and you fancy something a bit heartier, they also have lunch options available.

After a jam-packed afternoon traipsing around Djurgården, head to the upmarket area of Östermalm to rest those weary legs at the luxurious Sturebadet with a spa treatment. You will also find many shops around this area, so if you’ve been eyeing up that designer handbag, now’s the time to treat yourself.


A post shared by snickarbacken7 (@snickarbacken7) on Apr 22, 2018 at 3:55am PDT

Top off the afternoon at Instagram-worthy café, art gallery and concept store Snickarbacken 7 for a cocktail or a bite to eat in this prime example of Scandi-cool.

Here for the afternoon/evening? Keep it central!

If you arrive a little later in the day, drop by ultra-hip ‘wine cafe’ Tyge & Sessil. Owned by celebrity chef, Niclas Ekstedt, this new kid on the Stockholm block opened in 2017 and prides itself on its wine list featuring independent, small-scale producers. It’s your chance to try out ‘natural wine’, a craze currently taking the city by storm.

Cherry blossom trees on Kungsträdgården. Photo: Nikke Lindqvist/Flickr

Take an after-drink stroll to Kungsträdgården, famous for its shopping centres, the luxurious Nordiska Kompaniet (known locally as ‘NK’) and Gallerian, Stockholm’s first and largest galleria, as well as its postcard-worthy cherry blossom-lined square.

Peckish? Nearby Eataly has something for everyone. Enjoy shopping for fresh produce at their market, eat fresh and authentic Italian food, watch a cooking demonstration or roll up your sleeves and get in on the action with hands-on cooking classes.


A post shared by TAK (@takstockholm) on May 12, 2017 at 5:59am PDT

Take one last glimpse of the cityscape from TAK, the popular rooftop bar near T-Centralen, before sitting back on the comfortable Arlanda Express. You’ll be back at the airport in the blink of an eye!


This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Arlanda Express.



IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images