Where to stay in Stockholm


Stockholm, the vibrant capital of Sweden, is a city spread across 14 islands, known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and beautiful waterways. It is a city of contrasts, where historical charm meets modern innovation, and peaceful green spaces sit alongside bustling urban areas. Each neighborhood in Stockholm has its unique personality and charm, offering a diverse range of experiences to visitors. Whether you're looking for the heart of cultural life, the tranquility of nature, or the pulse of the city's nightlife, Stockholm has a place for you. In this guide, we'll explore various neighborhoods to help you choose the perfect base for your stay in this wonderful city. Remember, each area comes with its pros and cons, and we aim to provide an honest evaluation so you can make an informed decision.

  • Old Town / Gamla Stan

    • 🏛️ historical
    • 📸 touristy
    • 🏰 medieval
    • charming
    • 👫 busy

    Gamla Stan, Stockholm's 'Old Town', is the historical heart of the city, characterized by cobblestone streets, colorful old buildings, and significant landmarks like the Royal Palace. It is picturesque and great for those looking to stay in a historical setting. However, it tends to be one of the most touristy areas, which can mean overpriced restaurants and shops. It can also be very crowded during high season, which might detract from its charm for some visitors.

  • Norrmalm

    • 🏙️ central
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 💼 business
    • convenient
    • 🏬 commercial

    Norrmalm is considered the heartbeat of Stockholm's city life, hosting the central train station and buzzing with shoppers along the pedestrian street Drottninggatan. The area is also home to cultural institutions like the Royal Swedish Opera. However, it can feel quite commercial and lacks the charm of older parts of the city. Norrmalm can be crowded and might not offer an authentic Stockholm experience, but it excels in convenience with lots of hotels and public transport options.

  • Södermalm

    • 🎨 bohemian
    • 💅 trendy
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 🕶️ hipster
    • 🕺 lively

    Södermalm, often referred to as 'Söder', is Stockholm's hipster haven filled with vintage shops, trendy cafes, and a vibrant nightlife. The relaxed, bohemian vibe attracts a young crowd and creative types. The neighborhood offers great views of the city and a more laid-back experience compared to the hustle of central districts. However, this popularity comes at a price: expect higher costs for accommodation and a potential for noise in the livelier parts of the district.

    SoFo and Hornstull are located within Södermalm.
  • SoFo

    • 🕶️ hipster
    • 👗 fashion
    • 🍤 foodie
    • 💅 trendy

    SoFo, short for 'South of Folkungagatan', is Södermalm's bohemian and trendy heart. Popular with the Stockholm creative crowd, it offers numerous vintage shops, designer boutiques, bars, and unique eateries. Its laid-back atmosphere can be very attractive, but it also means the nightlife can get lively and noisy. Prices can be steep for dining and shopping due to its hipster reputation.

    SoFo is a part of Södermalm.
  • Östermalm

    • 🥂 upscale
    • 💎 luxury
    • 🌳 parks
    • 🌟 exclusive

    Östermalm is Stockholm's most upscale neighborhood, boasting high-end boutiques, luxury shopping, and refined dining options along its broad, orderly streets. The area has a reputation for being the 'posh' part of town and is home to many embassies and affluent residents. It’s quieter and considered safer than lively hubs like Södermalm, yet the cost of staying here can be prohibitive for some budgets. It may also lack the cultural diversity of more bohemian neighborhoods.

  • Vasastaden

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏛️ historical
    • local

    In Vasastaden, you'll find an attractive mix of residential tranquility and bustling city life. This neighborhood is known for its beautiful architecture, abundant green spaces, and a plethora of cafes and boutique shops. It's a bit removed from the most tourist-heavy areas, which can be a relief for those seeking a more 'local' feel, yet it remains easily accessible. However, the area can feel quiet during the nighttime and may lack the kinds of entertainment options found in more central neighborhoods.

  • Kungsholmen

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘‍♀️ peaceful
    • 🌳 green spaces
    • 🦭 laid-back

    Kungsholmen is a largely residential area that provides a more regular Swedish living experience. It's home to City Hall and offers a good number of restaurants and bars but is more peaceful than more central areas. While it offers a quieter stay, it might not be the first choice for those seeking nightlife or a traditional tourist experience. Its distance from the city center also means you might be relying more on public transport.

  • Djurgården

    • 🌳 green
    • 🏺 museums
    • 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 family-friendly
    • 🧘‍♂️ tranquil

    Djurgården is perfect for nature lovers and families, offering lush parkland and attractions like Skansen and the Vasa Museum. The ambiance is very relaxed, and although it is a bit of a trip into the city, it's an absolute haven of tranquility. This is the place to stay if you prefer nature over nightlife. However, late night transportation back to Djurgården can be limited, and dining options on the island are not as varied.

  • Hammarby Sjöstad

    • 🏙️ modern
    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🌱 sustainable
    • 🌊 waterfront
    • 🦭 laid-back

    Hammarby Sjöstad is a modern, eco-friendly district known for its innovative urban planning and waterfront living. It is great for those who appreciate contemporary Swedish architecture and sustainable living. The area has its own ski slope and is well-connected to the city center by public transport. However, this is a newer development that might feel too residential and lacking in historical character for some visitors' tastes.

  • Hornstull

    • 🕶️ hipster
    • 💅 trendy
    • 🍺 bars
    • gentrified
    • 💃 vibrant

    Hornstull lies at the western end of Södermalm and has undergone a transformation from a rough area to a trendy hotspot. It's full of lively bars, organic food markets, and waterfront parks. It maintains a youthful and hip atmosphere and is popular with locals. However, the brisk gentrification has driven up costs. While it is still less hectic than central Stockholm, recent development might not appeal to those looking for traditional Swedish charms.

    Hornstull is a part of Södermalm.
  • Skeppsholmen

    • 🎭 cultural
    • 🧘‍♂️ tranquil
    • 🏙️ central
    • secluded

    Skeppsholmen is a small island and peaceful oasis right in the heart of Stockholm with lovely views of the surrounding areas. It hosts several museums, including the Moderna Museet. The island's tranquil setting and lack of traffic make it an escape within the city, but overnight options are relatively few and can be pricey. It's also somewhat detached from typical day-to-day city activities and amenities, which might not suit everyone.

  • Långholmen

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘‍♀️ peaceful
    • 🌳 nature

    Långholmen is a serene escape within the city, known for its green spaces and the former prison turned into a hotel and hostel. This leafy island offers a unique and tranquil stay, particularly appealing to those interested in a more unconventional lodging experience. It's lacks the variety of dining and shopping options, but Hornstull and Södermalm is still within walking distance.

  • Reimersholme

    • local
    • 🏘️ residential
    • authentic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🕶️ hipster
    • off-the-beaten-path

    Reimersholme is one of Stockholm's smaller islands and offers a more local and authentic Swedish residential experience. The accommodations here are likely to be apartments or smaller hotels, giving visitors a taste of residing in Stockholm rather than just visiting. While it might lack major tourist attractions, this could be seen as a positive for those aiming to avoid tourist crowds. The nightlife is not prominent, and amenities can be more limited, which means you might need to travel a bit for diverse dining or shopping experiences. However, its proximity to the trendy Södermalm district means that livelier environments are within easy reach.