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Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour (With Map!)

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Tour: An aerial shot of the adorable Old Town of Stockholm is one of the must-see attractions in Stockholm.

Stockholm signifies elegance, rich cultural heritage, and flair perhaps better than any city in the Nordic region. It is a stunningly beautiful city that is blessed with eclectic architecture and design. A Stockholm walking tour is one of the best ways to see most of the city’s best sights, important landmarks and explore some elegant neighborhoods. This post includes a map for a self-guided free walking tour of Stockholm. Enjoy your walk! 🙂

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Why Choose This Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour?

This free self-guided Stockholm walking tour itinerary is perfect if you are short on time and trying to save some money. With our free map, you can follow the route quite easily without having to hire an expensive guide for the day.

The tour will take you through the center of Stockholm, principally focusing on the attraction studded areas of the Old Town (Gamla Stan), and the borough of Norrmalm. For practical reasons, we haven’t included the popular island of Djurgården and the Östermalm borough.

You will pass the city’s major attractions, landmark public buildings, historical palaces, places of worship, cultural venues, popular neighborhoods, shopping streets, restaurants, and cafes. You’ll also learn a few lesser-known facts about Stockholm along the way.

Stockholm Walking Tour Itinerary

The self-guided Stockholm walking tour covers a total distance of approximately 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles). The tour starts at the Stockholm Central Station and terminates at Adolf Fredrik Church in Norrmalm.

Feel free to take a break if you feel jaded along the way. I have included some cafes and restaurants in the map where you can take a breather and grab a bite. On this free Stockholm walking tour, you will see:

  1. Stockholm Central Station
  2. Klara Church
  3. Stockholm City Hall
  4. Norstedts Building
  5. Birger Jarl’s Tower
  6. Wrangel Palace
  7. Stenbock Palace
  8. Riddarholm Church
  9. House of Nobility
  10. Bonde Palace
  11. Västerlånggatan
  12. Mårten Trotzigs Gränd
  13. Prästgatan
  14. German Church
  15. Stortorget
  16. Nobel Museum
  17. Tessin Palace
  18. Stockholm Cathedral
  19. Axel Oxenstierna’s Palace
  20. The Royal Palace
  21. Parliament Building
  22. Rosenbad
  23. Sager Palace
  24. Arvfurstens Palace
  25. Royal Swedish Opera
  26. St. Jacob’s Church
  27. Kungsträdgården
  28. Grand Hôtel
  29. National Museum
  30. Great Synagogue
  31. Royal Dramatic Theater
  32. Norrmalmstorg
  33. Nordiska Kompaniet (NK)
  34. Hötorget
  35. Stockholm Concert Hall
  36. Adolf Fredrik Church

1. Stockholm Central Station

What to see in Stockholm: Stockholm Central Station is one of the most well-known landmarks on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

Kick off your free self-guided Stockholm walking tour at the Stockholm Central Station (Stockholms Centralstation). It is conveniently located and is a good starting point for discovering Stockholm.

The train station has been around since 1871 making it nearly 150 years old. It is one of the busiest stations in the Nordic region with around 200,000 visitors a day. There are plenty of cafes and stores inside.

Directions

Your next stop is the Klara Church (2) which lies on Klarabergsgatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 230 m.

2. Klara Church

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: Exterior view of the attractive Klara Church spire.

The Klara Church (Klara Kyrka) is a lovely red-brick church that is hemmed in on all sides, with only the spires visible from the streets around. It stands on the site of St. Clare’s Priory, a Roman Catholic nunnery that was destroyed in 1527.

The construction of the current church was started in 1572 under Gustav III completed in 1590. Its 116-meter church tower was built as part of restoration work in the 1880s and for many years could be seen from all over the city. On a sunny day, its golden domes shine strongly, making it a great subject to photograph.

Directions

Your next stop is the Stockholm City Hall (3) which is on Hantverkargatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 1 km.

3. Stockholm City Hall

What to see in Stockholm: No free walking tour of Stockholm would be complete without seeing the Stockholm City Hall.

The Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms stadhus) is one of the most notable points of interest you’ll encounter on this free Stockholm walking tour. It is situated on the island of Kungsholmen and was probably Sweden’s biggest architectural project of the 20th century having been completed in 1923.

Designed by Swedish architect Ragnar Östberg, the building showcases elements from the Nordic Gothic and Northern Italian schools of design. The result is a fine blend between a medieval fortress and an Italian Renaissance palace.

The Stockholm City Hall is one of the most recognizable sights in Stockholm with its tower reaching a height of 106 meters. The tower is noted for its three golden crowns at the top, which is the Swedish coat of arms.

The City Hall is also renowned for its opulent ceremonial halls and grandiose works of art. It also plays host to the great Nobel banquet held every year in December.

Directions

Your next stop is the Norstedts Building (4) which is Riddarholmen in the Old Town. You’ll be crossing Norra Järnvägsbron and walking a distance of 700 m.

4. Norstedts Building

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The attractive Norstedts building is one of the best known landmarks in Stockholm.

The Norstedts Building (Norstedts Huset) is one of my favorite sights in Stockholm. The building itself derives its name from the Swedish publishing house Norstedts, which still has its headquarters there. It was designed by Swedish architect Magnus Isæus and was constructed between 1882 and 1891.

I really love the building’s architecture and its alluring facade consists of varying materials such as gray concrete in the plinth, yellow rusting plaster, and burnt red bricks for the rest of the building.

Its striking tower and spire roof cast an impressive silhouette on the Stockholm cityscape. The building is also adorned by a neon sign with the publisher’s name in blue.

Directions

Your next stop is the Norstedts Building (5) which is just down the street on Norra Riddarholmshamnen. You’ll be walking a distance of 70 m.

5. Birger Jarl’s Tower

Birger Jarl’s Tower (Birger Jarls Torn) is one of the former defensive towers in the Old Town. It stands out due to its distinctive rotund shape and whitewashed exterior. Despite its name, the tower had nothing to do with Birger Jarl (a Swedish statesman who is generally credited with founding Stockholm in 1252).

The tower was actually built in the 16th century, and part of the structure was built with bricks from St. Clare’s Priory that was destroyed in 1527.

Directions

Your next stop is the Wrangel Palace (6) which is just down the street on Birger Jarls torg. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

6. Wrangel Palace

What to see in Stockholm: Exterior of the Wrangel Palace, a historic townhouse and former residence of the Swedish Royal Family.

Wrangel Palace (Wrangelska Palatset) is a historic townhouse in the Old Town that was once part of the defensive fortifications in the 16th century. It was originally built as a residence for the nobleman Lars Sparre in 1629.

After the Thirty Years’ War, the house was reconstructed for its new owner – field marshal Carl Gustaf Wrangel, thus becoming the largest private residence in Stockholm.

In 1693, much of the building’s ornate facade was destroyed by a fire, and it had to be reconstructed again. When the Tre Kronor Palace burned down in 1697, the Royal Family moved into Wrangel Palace, and it served as their temporary residence till the reconstruction of the new Royal Palace in 1754.

Since 1756, Wrangel Palace has served as the home of the Svea Court of Appeal, the regional court of appeal.

Directions

Your next stop is Stenbock Palace (7) which lies on the opposite side of the street on Birger Jarls torg.

7. Stenbock Palace

The elegant pink facade of the historic Stenbock Palace is one of the highlights of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

Next up on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour is the Stenbock Palace (Stenbockska Palatset). It is the best-preserved nobleman’s residence on Riddarholmen and is known for its elegant pink facade.

It was built in the 1640s by the State Councillor Fredrik Steinbock and the family’s coat of arms can be seen above the porch. The palace obtained its current Baroque style during reconstruction in the late 17th century.

Since then, a number of government institutions have resided in the palace and its wings. Today it houses parts of the Svea Court of Appeal.

Directions

Your next stop is Riddarholmen Church (8) which is just down the street on Birger Jarls torg. You’ll be walking a distance of 50 m.

8. Riddarholm Church

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Tour: The striking Riddarholmen Church with its captivating cast iron steeple is one of the recognizable sights in Stockholm.

The landmark Riddarholm Church (Riddarholmskyrkan) is one of the several beautiful churches you’ll come across on this free Stockholm walking tour. It is one of the oldest churches in Stockholm and served as the burial ground for Swedish monarchs for over 600 years.

In addition to the 200 graves, there are a number of pewter and gold coffins, as well as an array of stone crypts in its interior.

The Riddarholm Church was built on the site of the 13th-century Greyfriars abbey. The church suffered a major fire in 1835 and thereafter acquired its present lattice-work, cast-iron tower. The cast-iron church steeple is very beautiful and interesting to look at.

Directions

Your next stop is the House of Nobility (9) which lies of Riddarhustorget, just beside Riddarholmsbron. You’ll be walking a distance of 120 m.

9. House of Nobility

Must see attractions in Stockholm: The elegant facade of the 17th century Baroque style House of Nobility is one the most well-known landmarks in Stockholm.

The House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) is one of my favorite things to see in Stockholm. It is a magnificent work of 17th-century Dutch Baroque architecture and coloring. It was constructed between 1641 and 1672 as a base for the Swedish nobility to congregate and host events.

The nobility’s motto Arte et Marte (Art and War) with Minerva, Goddess of Art and Science, and Mars, God of War can be found over the entrance on the northern facade. The building currently houses an organization for Swedish nobles and provides a meeting place for the Assembly of Nobles every three years.

Directions

Your next stop is the Bonde Palace (10) which is just further down on Riddarhustorget. You’ll be walking a distance of 50 m.

10. Bonde Palace

What to see in Stockholm: The beautiful Bonde Palace is one of the best things to see on this self-guided Stockholm walking tour. Photo Credit: Zeke530, modified, [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Bonde Palace (Bondeska Palatset) is another former notable noble residence in the Old Town. It was built in the style of a graceful French manor between 1662 and 1673 for State Treasurer Gustaf Bonde. Since then, the Bonde Palace has had several owners and served as the City Hall from 1730 to 1915.

The building fell into a state of disrepair and was considered being demolished, but public opinion saved it from being razed. It has served as the home of the Supreme Court since 1949.

Directions

Your next stop is Västerlånggatan (11). You’ll be walking a distance of 150 m.

11. Västerlånggatan

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: Västerlånggatan is the main shopping street and one of the most popular sights in Gamla Stan.

The next attraction on this free Stockholm walking tour is Västerlånggatan, the Old Town’s most popular shopping street. It cuts through the heart of the Old Town and follows what used to be part of the old defensive walls.

The street is home to some beautiful architecture and venerable old buildings. Some of the stunning facades here are located at numbers 7, 29, and 33. In medieval times, Västerlånggatan was home to numerous local copper and iron merchants and was filled with workshops.

The character of the street changed in the 20th century when the artisans moved out and it became more commercialized. As a result, it is thronging with tourists and locals and unfortunately has lost a bit of its charm.

Directions

Your next stop is Mårten Trotzigs Gränd (12). You’ll be walking a distance of 400 m.

12. Mårten Trotzigs Gränd

No free walking tour of Stockholm would be complete without seeing Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, Stockholm's narrowest street and popular photo site.

Mårten Trotzigs Gränd is one of the best places to see in Gamla Stan. It is Stockholm’s narrowest street and is one of those places that can be overlooked in the blink of an eye. This small street consists of 36 steps and measures only 90 cm (35 in) at its slimmest point.

The street gets its name from a German merchant called Traubzich, who owned two houses here at the end of the 16th century. After being cordoned off for more than a century the street was reopened in 1945 and is now a popular spot for photos.

Directions

Your next stop is Prästgatan (13) which lies at the end of Mårten Trotzigs Gränd.

13. Prästgatan

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The colorful old houses on Prästgatan are of the must-see attractions in Stockholm.

Prästgatan (Priest’s Street) is the most charming of the various cobblestone streets that you’ll come across in Gamla Stan. The street gets its name due to the fact that three chaplains and a bell-ringer resided here in the 16th century.

During medieval times, the northern section of Prästgatan was known as Helvetiegränden (Alley of Hell), due to it being the supposed residence of the town’s executioner.

The corner where Kåkbrinken intersects Prästgatan is home to one of the most fascinating oddities in Stockholm – a runestone in the wall. The stone dates back to the Viking Age and is one of the oldest items found in the city.

Directions

Your next stop is the German Church (14). You’ll be walking a distance of 170 m.

14. German Church

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The excellent German Church is one of the major attractions in the Old Town of Stockholm.

The German Church (Tyska Kyrkan) is the most notable landmark of the legacy of Germans in Stockholm. The German Church was originally built in the 14th century as a guild house for the German merchants of the Hanseatic League. Its current appearance originates from the 17th century.

The church’s spire, built in 1878, is 96 meters tall and is the highest point in Gamla Stan. In accordance with Lutheran tradition, one does not have to pay to enter as it is a functioning church.

The interior is very ornate and gilded, with richly colored stained glass windows depicting scenes from daily life or religious figures and an ebony-alabaster pulpit.

Fun Fact

Many German merchants of the mighty Hanseatic league settled in Gamla Stan during the 14th and 15th centuries. They exerted a large influence on politics and were so dominant in the local trade that a law was even passed to thwart people of German birth from obtaining a majority in the city council.

Directions

Your next stop is Stortorget (15). You’ll be walking a distance of 100 m.

15. Stortorget

Stockholm sightseeing: The main square of Stortorget in the Old Town is one of the highlights of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

No sightseeing tour of Stockholm would be complete without seeing Stortorget. Stortorget is the vibrant and exuberant main square in the Old Town. It’s the oldest square in Stockholm and a popular meeting point for tourists and locals.

The colorful facades of the 17th- and 18th-century buildings on its west side is a dazzling sight. It does get quite busy here, so be patient if a tour group comes through every now and then.

There are many nice cafes and restaurants here which makes it a great place for people watching. Stortorget is the ideal place for grabbing a fika (a coffee break accompanied by some pastries like the delicious cinnamon buns)!

Stortorget is intricately linked with the infamous Stockholm Bloodbath of November 1520. Denmark’s King Christian II defeated the Swedish Regent, Sten Sture the Younger, and the Swedes chose Christian as their king. None of the Swedes liked their new king but were promised amnesty if they cooperated with him, so they did.

The king hosted a party at the Tre Kronor fortress to celebrate and invited Stockholm’s most prominent people such as councilors, noblemen, and priests. Towards the end of the festivities, Christian broke his promise and the partygoers were suddenly bolted in and rounded up for heresy.

The following day more than 80 Swedish noblemen and burghers were guillotined in the square on Christian’s orders and a pyramid of their heads was displayed in the square.

Directions

Your next stop is the Nobel Museum (16) which is in Stortorget.

16. Nobel Museum

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: Exterior of the former Stock Exchange, which is now home to the Nobel Museum, is one of the main attractions in Gamla Stan.

The most notable building in Stortorget is that of the Nobel Museum. This beautiful building dates to 1778 and was formerly home to the Stock Exchange (Börsen) for more than 200 years till 1990.

The Nobel Museum was inaugurated in 2001 to mark the centenary of the Nobel Prize and celebrates the achievements of the prize winners through the use of multimedia installations and artifacts.

Directions

Your next stop on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour is the Tessin Palace (17) which is on Slottsbacken. You’ll be walking a distance of 220 m.

17. Tessin Palace

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour - Exterior of the beautiful Bonde Palace in Gamla Stan. Photo Credit: FriskoKry, modified, [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Tessin Palace (Tessinska Palatset) is yet another famous Baroque palace in the Old Town. It was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, one of the most prominent Swedish architects, for himself, in 1697.

Don’t be fooled by the rather austere-looking facade of the building as the Tessin Palace is often regarded as the most beautiful private residence north of Paris.

The interior of the Tessin Palace opens up into a delightful courtyard with an enchanting Baroque garden. The decor and garden were inspired by Tessin’s tenure in Paris and Versailles.

Today, Tessin Palace serves as the residence of the Governor of Stockholm County. You can walk into the garden for free from 18:00 – 24:00.

Directions

Your next stop is the Stockholm Cathedral (18). You’ll be walking a distance of 250 m.

18. Stockholm Cathedral

Visit Stockholm: The exterior of the Stockholm Cathedral, one of the highlights of this free self-guided walking tour and must-see attractions in Stockholm.

Built in 1279, the Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan) is one of the most notable landmarks on this free Stockholm walking tour. The Stockholm Cathedral is of great national religious importance since it was from here that the Swedish reformer Olaus Petri spread his Lutheran message around the kingdom.

The cathedral serves as the site of religious services and concerts, as well as royal coronations, weddings, and funerals. The church has undergone extensive renovations over the centuries, and its 66-meter tall clock tower is a notable feature of Stockholm’s skyline.

The interior is quite tasteful with exposed brickwork and some beautiful but not extensive carving. It is interesting to observe the interior Gothic style which strikes a contrast with the Baroque exterior.

The church has a unique and beautiful collection of medieval and contemporary art, including the metal statue of St. George and the Dragon which is an amazing work of art.

Wood, iron, and gold leaf were used in carving the sculpture, and elkhorn was used for the dragon’s scales. The glittering royal pews and the stellar black and white altarpiece are other highlights of the interior.

Opening hours of the Stockholm Cathedral are daily from 09:00-16:00 (September-May), 09:00-17:00 (June), and 09:00-18:00 (July-August). The entrance fee is 60 SEK.

Directions

Your next stop is Axel Oxenstierna’s Palace (19) which is just on the adjacent street Högvaktsterrassen. You’ll be walking a distance of 50 m.

19. Axel Oxenstierna’s Palace

What to see in Stockholm: The red colored Roman Mannerist facade of Axel Oxenstierna's Palace is one of the must-see attractions in Gamla Stan. Photo Credit: Bysmon, modified, [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Axel Oxenstierna’s Palace (Axel Oxenstiernas Palatset) is one of the hidden gems in Stockholm. It is unique among Stockholm’s architecture as it was designed in the Roman Mannerist style. It was built in the 17th century for Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna, one of Sweden’s most powerful and distinguished statesmen.

I really like the red facade of the palace which varies in roughly carved sandstone and plaster. What’s interesting is that Axel Oxenstierna perished during construction and thus the Oxenstierna family never resided in the building and it was never completed according to its original plan.

Directions

Your next stop is The Royal Palace (20) which is just opposite Axel Oxenstierna’s Palace.

20. The Royal Palace

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The Royal Palace is one of the must-see attractions in Stockholm and one of the highlights of this free self-guided walking tour.

The Royal Palace (Kungliga slottet) is one of Stockholm’s must-see attractions that should be an essential part of any Stockholm walking tour. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe with over 600 rooms and is the official residence of the King of the Swedish Royal Family.

The Palace was built between 1697 and 1754 in the Italian Baroque style, on the spot where the Tre Kronor castle burned down in 1697. It’s a low, squat yellow-brown edifice with two arms that stretch towards the water and doesn’t look so much like a palace from the outside.

The building is still quite remarkable and the Rococo interior is pretty good. However, if you’ve visited other major palaces in Europe like Versailles, Caserta, or Schönbrunn, it will seem a little inferior.

Besides the Palace Apartments and stately rooms, the Royal Palace is home to several museums containing various antiquities and the amazing Royal Armory. If your timing is right, be sure not to miss the daily changing of the guard that takes place in the Outer Courtyard at noon (Sundays and holidays an hour later).

Directions

Your next stop is the Parliament Building (21) which is on Riksgatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 170 m.

21. Parliament Building

The Swedish Parliament Building is one of the must-see attractions of this free Stockholm walking tour.

The Parliament House (Riksdaghuset) is the seat of the Swedish Parliament, the Riksdag. The building complex is divided into two distinct halves, the old building and the new one.

The old building was lavishly constructed between 1897 and 1905 in Neoclassical style and features an attractive neo-Baroque columned facade. An enormous relief of the Swedish coat of arms looms over the central bronze doorway.

Two large arches connect the two buildings, which are divided by a pedestrianized street. The new building was formerly home to the Swedish National Bank and is notable for its semicircular glassy bulge. I’m not really a fan of its design though.

It is the hub of parliament activity and parliamentary debates can be seen here from the public gallery, which holds up to 500 spectators.  

In the summer you can visit the Parliament Building on a guided tour. Tours in English start at 13:30, every Saturday and Sunday, and are free of charge but have to be booked in advance.

Directions

Your next stop is Rosenbad (22) which lies on the other side of Riksbron. You’ll be walking a distance of 100 m.

22. Rosenbad

What to see in Stockholm: The palatial Rosenbad complex, home to the Prime Minister's office, is one of the must-see attractions on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

The Rosenbad Complex consists of a collection of palatial buildings overlooking the Strömmen channel. These buildings are significant because they house the Swedish Government, the Prime Minister’s private office, and parts of the Migration Ministry and the Ministry of Justice in three internally linked sites.

The buildings were formerly home to a few prominent Swedish banks and private residences before the government offices took residence in 1981. Rosenbad gets its name from a former 17th-century bathhouse, which offered bathers a choice of a lily bath or a rose bath (rosenbad in Swedish).

The three buildings were built at the turn of the 20th century and showcase a variety of architectural styles. The Venetian-style palace along Strömgatan and the elaborate Baroque-inspired Art Nouveau features of the building on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan are so beautiful.

Directions

Your next stop is the Sager Palace (23) which is lies just ahead on Strömgatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 90 m.

23. Sager Palace

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The Baroque style Sager Palace is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden.

The Sager Palace (Sagerska Palatset) is a former palace that now serves as the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sweden. The current structure is a result of several renovations at the end of the 19th century initiated by the diplomat Robert Sager who acquired the building in the 1880s.

The house was inhabited by members of the Sager family until 1986 and was then the last inhabited private palace in inner Stockholm. It was subsequently acquired by the state and since 1995 has served as the Prime Minister’s residence. The building’s facade is a lovely example of the French Baroque Revival style and features a mansard roof.

Directions

Your next stop is Arvfurstens Palace (24) which is just beside the Sager Palace.

24. Arvfurstens Palace

Free self-guided Stockholm walking tour: The yellow colored Arvfurstens Palace, home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a grand Baroque style palace.

Next up on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour is Arvfurstens Palace (Palace of the Hereditary Prince), which lies on one side of Gustav Adolfs Square. It was inaugurated in 1794 having been built for King Gustav III’s sister Sofia Albertina.

The palace and its decor are prime examples of the late Baroque style. Watch out for the pair of lions with the coat of arms on the roof and the festoons in the upper window areas. Since 1906 the building has been home to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Directions

Your next stop on this Stockholm walking tour is the Royal Opera House (25) which is just on the other side of Gustav Adolfs Square. You’ll be walking a distance of 100 m.

25. Royal Opera House

Stockholm sightseeing: The Neoclassical facade of the wonderful Royal Opera House is one of the must-see sights in Stockholm and one of the highlights of this free Stockholm walking tour. C: Anton_Ivanov/shutterstock.com

The Royal Opera House (Kungliga Operan) is Sweden’s premier stage for opera and ballet. It was built in the nineteenth century at Gustav Adolf Square, the site of Stockholm’s first opera house.

It is a slightly ostentatious Neoclassical building dating back to 1898. The coloring of the building in the late Renaissance style is congruent with the Royal Palace and Parliament Building.

I’m not the biggest fan of its exterior but the interior is sublime, with ceiling paintings above the staircase inspired by the Paris Opera. The auditorium is all gold leaf and red velvet and has its fair share of ornately decorated boxes, including the Royal Box.

Trivia Tidbit

King Gustav III was shot at a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in 1792 by a bloke called Jacob Anckarström. The story is recorded in Verdi’s opera “Un Ballo in Maschera”. Interestingly, the murder had been predicted to the king four years earlier, when he paid an anonymous visit to the celebrated soothsayer of the Gustavian era, Ulrica Arfvidsson.

Directions

Your next stop is St. Jacob’s Church (26) which is on Jakobs torg. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

26. St. Jacob’s Church

What to see in Stockholm: Exterior of the red-brick St. Jacob’s Church, which is one of the highlights of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour. C: jorisvo/shutterstock.com

St. Jacob’s Church (Jakobs Kyrka) is another overlooked attraction on this walking tour of Stockholm. The building of the church started in the 1580s but due to various delays, it wasn’t completed until about 60 years later.

It thus incorporates a wide range of architectural styles, such as Late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque in its built-up. This probably makes this red-brick church the most eclectic one in Stockholm. Watch out for the stone porches that are beautifully crafted.

Directions

Your next stop is Kungsträdgården (27) which is just behind St. Jacob’s Church.

27. Kungsträdgården

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The verdant Kungsträdgården park is Stockholm's most popular park and one of the free things to do in Stockholm.

Kungsträdgården (The King’s Garden) is the oldest park in Stockholm and the most fashionable park in the center of the city. It was once part of the King’s kitchen garden in the 15th century.

The name is a little misleading since you won’t find designed flowerbeds and rose gardens here – it’s a pedestrianized paved square, in the form of an elongated rectangle, with a couple of lines of elm trees.

Today Kungsträdgården is one of the most popular recreation centers and meeting places in the city. There’s almost always something going on here like free music, live theater, food festivals, and exhibitions. There is also a Christmas market held in the park every weekend throughout December.

Directions

Your next stop is the Grand Hôtel (28) which lies on Södra Blasieholmshamnen. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

28. Grand Hôtel

The famous Grand Hôtel occupies an enviable location on the city’s waterfront. Sweden’s first five-star hotel has a rich history and tradition that stems back to 1874. The list of politicians, royalty, Nobel Prize laureates and glitterati that have all been guests of Grand Hôtel who have stayed here is impressive.

The hotel’s interiors carry substantial historical significance and have been classified as Swedish National Treasures. Most notable are the Spegelsalen (Hall of Mirrors), a copy of the one at Versailles, and Vinterträdgården (Winter Garden). Suffice to say that staying at the Grand Hôtel is out of my budget range!

Directions

Your next stop is the National Museum (29) which lies further down on Södra Blasieholmshamnen. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

29. National Museum

What to see in Stockholm: The excellent National Museum is home to some amazing works of art and is one of the highlights of this free Stockholm walking tour.

The National Museum is the largest art museum in Sweden that is one of the most notable points of interest in Stockholm. The building was magnificently designed by the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, who was inspired by the Renaissance palaces of Florence and Venice.

Completed in 1866, the museum houses over 16,000 paintings and sculptures from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century. In addition, there are around 500,000 drawings and graphics from the 15th century to the early 20th century.

Old Masters like Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya are well represented as are Swedish artists like Alexander Roslin, Bruno Liljefors, and Anders Zorn. One of the highlights of the museum is the Lady with the Veil, painted in 1769 by Roslin, and considered as an emblem of 18th century Sweden. The museum is also home to Scandinavia’s largest collection of porcelain.

Directions

Your next stop is the Great Synagogue (30) which lies on Wahrendorffsgatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 600 m.

30. Great Synanogue

What to see in Stockholm: The whitewashed Moorish style facade of the Great Synagogue is one of the must-see attractions of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

The Great Synagogue (Stora Synagogan) is the largest and the oldest of the three synagogues of Stockholm. It was inaugurated in 1870 and has since served as the focal point of Jewish life in the city.

I really like its whitewashed exterior and Moorish Revival elements. The western facade features a richly decorated cornice and the eastern facade’s got a rose window with six petals signifying the Star of David.

Directions

Your next stop is the Royal Dramatic Theater (31) which lies on Nybroplan. You’ll be walking a distance of 230 m.

31. Royal Dramatic Theater

No free walking tour of Stockholm would be complete without seeing the marvellous Art Nouveau building of the the Royal Dramatic Theatre. C: Rolf_52/shutterstock.com

The Royal Dramatic Theater (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern) is the leading theater in Stockholm, with Sweden’s best thespians performing Shakespeare and Strindberg and more outré theater.

When plans were drawn up in the early 20th century to build the present Royal Dramatic Theatre, the State refused to give financial aid, so it was funded by lotteries instead. The result was nothing short of spectacular and the building was erected using white marble inspired by Art Nouveau architecture in Vienna.

Fun Fact

Ingmar Bergman, one of the most accomplished and influential filmmakers of all time served as Director of the Royal Dramatic Theater from 1960 to 1966, creating more than 100 theatrical productions.

As much as I love the design of the building’s exterior, its interior is even more exquisite, The staircase and foyer are bedecked with opulent gold decorative work. Fantastic sculptures and busts are also found inside while the main auditorium is decorated with stucco and a ceiling painting.

Stockholm sightseeing: The bronze statue of the Swedish actress Margaretha Krook outside the Royal Dramatic Theater is one of the most well-known landmarks of this free self-guided  Stockholm walking tour.

Fun Fact

Just outside of the Royal Dramatic Theatre, near Nybrogatan, is a statue of the acclaimed Swedish actress Margaretha Krook, who died in 2001. The bronze statue is famous for maintaining a constant temperature of 37 ºC (99 ºF), even during wintertime, courtesy of heating coils.

Directions

Your next stop is Norrmalmstorg (32) which lies on Hamngatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

32. Norrmalmstorg

What to see in Stockholm: The Norrmalmstorg Square is best known as the location of the botched robbery that led to the coinage of the term "Stockholm Syndrome" and is one of the highlights of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour.

The next attraction on this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour is Norrmalmstorg, a small square in central Stockholm that connects the shopping streets Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan. The square itself is nothing special and is most famous for the Norrmalmstorg bank robbery.

This botched robbery incident took place in the former Sveriges Kreditbank in 1973, located on the corner of the square. During the six-day standoff, a seemingly anomalous and irrational bond developed between the four hostages and their two captors.

This strange phenomenon confounded psychiatrists and gave birth to the term “Stockholm Syndrome,” which has since found its way into the popular lexicon. The unfolding chaos dominated headlines around the globe and played out on television screens across Sweden.

Directions

Your next stop is Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) (33) which lies further west on Hamngatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 200 m.

33. Nordiska Kompaniet (NK)

Shopping in Stockholm: NK is Stockholm's premier department store and is noticeable for having the letters NK encircled in gold. It is one of the highlights of this free self-guided Stockholm walking tour. C: Tommy Alven/shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for shopping options on this Stockholm walking tour, Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) is a great option. It is a large department store on Hamngatan that has been Stockholm’s premier upscale department store since its opening in 1915.

The imposing building is famous for having the letters NK encircled in gold. Nordiska Kompaniet is one of the best places to shop for high-class fashion, cosmetics, Swedish crafts, jewelry, gourmet food, and much more.

Directions

Your next stop is Hötorget (34). You’ll be walking a distance of 550 m.

34. Hötorget

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The bustling Hötorget market square is one Stockholm's main landmarks.

Hötorget (Hay Market) is a public square, which during daytime is known for its bustling market for fresh produce and flowers. Stockholm’s main market square has been around since the 1640s, except then it was a place for trading animal fodder, milk, vegetables, and meat.

The main attraction at the square is the Orpheus fountain, which was created by Carl Milles, probably the most famous Swedish sculptor of the 20th century.

Among the buildings nearby the square is the glass-fronted Filmstaden Sergel, Stockholm’s biggest cinema complex, and the five high-rises of Hötorgs City. The five modern high-rise buildings, erected in the 1950s, were regarded as iconic landmarks at the time and long symbolized modern Stockholm.

Fun Fact

Greta Garbo, the legendary Swedish actress and recluse, began her working life in Hötorget in Stockholm. She worked as a sales assistant in the hat section of the defunct PUB department store (the building is now home to the Scandic Haymarket Hotel) on the square before making it big in Hollywood.

Directions

Your next stop is the Stockholm Concert Hall (35) which is on the other side of Hötorget.

35. Stockholm Concert Hall

What to see in Stockholm: The Neoclassical Stockholm Concert Hall, where the Nobel Prizes are awarded, is one of the highlights of this free Stockholm walking tour. C: Claudio Divizia/shutterstock.com

The Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset) is the prominent building on Hötorget. The building is an architectural masterpiece having been built in Neoclassical manner and looks like a Nordic-themed Greek temple.

Its monumental yet rather austere facade is characterized by its light blue color and ten tall Corinthian columns.

Since its opening in 1926, the Stockholm Concert Hall has been the home of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. The annual Nobel Prizes are awarded in its main hall every December.

Directions

Your final stop on this Stockholm walking tour is the Adolf Fredrik Church (36) which lies on Holländargatan. You’ll be walking a distance of 450 m.

36. Adolf Fredrik Church

Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour: The Neoclassical Adolf Fredrik Church is one of the most prominent churches in Stockholm.

Your last stop on this self-guided Stockholm walking tour is the Adolf Fredrik Church (Adolf Fredriks kyrka). It was designed in Neoclassical style with hints of Rococo. The church was erected in the 18th century in the shape of a Greek cross and has a central dome.

Although the church itself is rather unremarkable, it is famous for its noteworthy past. The French philosopher Rene Descartes was buried in the church’s cemetery for eleven years before his body was taken back to France in 1661.

The reason why Adolf Fredrik Church holds particular significance for Swedes is that it is the final resting place of the former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. On 28 February 1986 Palme, who was without a bodyguard, was gunned down in front of his wife at the corner of Sveavägen and Tunnelgatan, while on his way home from Riviera cinema.

The street where the murder occurred, is just around the corner of the Adolf Fredrik Church, and its western section was renamed Olof Palmes Gata. A memorial plaque has now been placed there.

Olof Palme’s murder sent shockwaves through a nation that was rather immune to extremism at the time. Sweden’s biggest-ever murder inquiry was subsequently launched but to this day the murder remains unsolved, and allegations of police cover-ups and conspiracy theories still surface about the tragedy.

Guided Stockholm Walking Tours

If you are very short on time or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of a self-guided Stockholm walking tour, you can also opt to take a guided tour instead.

Stockholm Old Town Walking Tour: This 90-minute walking tour of Stockholm takes you through the heart of the historic Old Town. Listen to interesting stories and legends as you go past historic landmarks and palaces.

What Else to See in Stockholm

Obviously, there is plenty more to see in Stockholm than what we have covered in our walking tour. Places like the ritzy Östermalm borough, the hipster Södermalm borough, the verdant island of Djurgården, and quaint Skeppsholmen all deserve to be seen.

Check out our post on how to spend one marvelous day in Stockholm, the perfect 3 days in Stockholm, or 30+ best things to do in Stockholm 🙂

Where To Stay in Stockholm

The best place to stay in Stockholm would be in the inner city (Gamla Stan, Norrmalm, Östermalm & Södermalm). Virtually all of Stockholm’s main attractions can be found here, so they’re a perfect base for sightseeing.

Hostel: City Backpackers Hostel, a popular choice for budget-minded travelers looking for someplace close to the city center

Budget: Comfort Hotel Xpress Stockholm, an excellent choice if you’re on the lookout for a frugal, no-frills option in central Stockholm

Mid-range: Scandic Sjöfartshotellet, a great choice if you are planning to stay in Södermalm. In keeping with its name, the rooms are tastefully decorated with a maritime theme

Splurge: Grand Hôtel, undoubtedly Stockholm’s most prestigious hotel and still the benchmark for hotel opulence


Now, what do you think? Did you enjoy our self-guided walking tour of Stockholm? Are there any other stops that we should be adding? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

About Mihir

Hi there, I'm Mihir! I was born in India, raised there and in Australia before spending nearly a decade in Finland. I suffer from chronic fernweh and am always looking forward to a new adventure. Besides traveling, my other loves are my beloved cats, architecture, art, beer, classic movies, history, cricket, and Australian Rules Football. Oh, there's also my partner in crime Jacky who's not too bad either 😉

2 thoughts on “Free Self-Guided Stockholm Walking Tour (With Map!)”

  1. Hi! I just wanted to say thank you for this great guide! I was in Stockholm for a few hours only on a layover, and this walking tour was perfect. The descriptions & background info you provided made it so much more enjoyable. Great stuff!

    1. Dear Grace, thank you for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed the walking tour and found the information useful. Cheers!

      Mihir

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