How to Spend 3 Days in Stockholm

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With three days in Stockholm, you have plenty of time to soak in the city’s atmosphere, see its most famous sights—by both land and water—and even head out of town for a history- or nature-filled day trip into the surrounding countryside. Here’s how to experience the best of Stockholm in 72 memorable hours.

Day 1: See the City’s Sights
Spend your first day in the Swedish capital getting your bearings and hitting the top sights. There are multiple ways to explore Stockholm. You can take a bus tour or a boat tour, or a combination of both. Guided tours by both bus and boat typically take visitors to major attractions including the Royal Palace, City Hall, and the Vasa Museum, and conclude with a cruise around the Stockholm archipelago. With many miles of bike lanes and a population for whom pedaling is a part of life, Stockholm is an exceptionally bike-friendly city, so another option is a guided bicycle tour, which has the added benefit of reaching places missed by big buses. Alternatively, a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus or boat tour allows you to set your own schedule, create your own itinerary, and spend as long as you like at each stop before continuing along the route.

Day 2: Get Out on the Water
As Stockholm is spread across 14 islands, water is a crucial element in the very existence of Stockholmers. Immerse yourself in this aspect of Stockholm life on a sailing or kayaking tour around the archipelago—which is made up of around 3,000 islands in total. Tours typically include onshore time on one of the islands and the opportunity to swim in the water; many often also provide lunch.

If you’d rather not stray too far from the city center, you can cruise Stockholm’s central canals and islands on a sightseeing tour by boat. Tours typically offer historical and cultural insight into the city as you glide through tranquil waterways lined with interesting architecture and leafy vegetation, and past such central islands as Reimersholme, Långholmen, and Kungsholmen.

Continue the watery theme by boarding a dinner cruise. Tours typically include a 3-course meal, offering dinner with a view and a relaxing way to top off the day.

Day 3: Venture into Viking or Wildlife Territory
Sweden is, of course, land of the Vikings, and you can uncover some of the secrets of this heritage during a full-day trip from Stockholm into the surrounding countryside. Tours typically head to historic sites such as the ruins of an ancient Viking parliament, runic stones, and burial mounds. Viking heritage–focused tours usually also visit Sigtuna, Sweden’s longest established town, and the Norse religion cultic center of Gamla Uppsala.

If you’re more interested in the natural world than ancient history, you can take a wildlife-focused evening excursion from Stockholm. Tours typically head into the rural landscapes surrounding the Swedish capital, delving into the dense forest to track wild boar, hares, deer, and elk, who are all at their most active at the beginning and end of the day.
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