An aerial view of Stockholm
neighbourhood guide

Where to stay in Stockholm

Looking for hotel recommendations for Stockholm? Here are our top picks...

Sweden’s incredible capital city offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for every type of traveller. If you are not sure where to stay in Stockholm, there are several neighbourhoods with something to offer travellers.

If it's your first time visiting Stockholm, you may want to stay in the heart of the old town with a view into narrow cobbled streets and colourful houses... Or perhaps you want to stay amidst the most unique museums of Stockholm,. Or maybe you just want to wake up to stroll down a quiet street for a coffee at a local bakery without the hustle and bustle of any tourists around you.

Stockholm has it all, and you might want something different for your second visit to the city than what you want for your first trip there. In this neighbourhood guide, we will guide you through each of Stockholm’s most popular areas so that you can find the right place to stay - no matter what you're looking for.

Best area to stay in Stockholm for first-time visitors

Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Colourful buildings in Stortorget Square in Stockholm's old town

The one neighbourhood in Stockholm you most likely are already familiar with even though you have not visited yet is Gamla Stan, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns.

The Old Town is where you find all the charming cobbled streets lined with colourful houses, small shops tucked away in narrow alleys, and cute squares with cafés to have fika. Whether it is your first or tenth time in Stockholm, you will likely spend time in the quaint 13th-century Old Town.

Among the main attractions you will find in Gamla Stan are Storkykjan, the largest church dating back to the 13th century, and the Royal Palace which should be on your Stockholm itinerary together with seeing the changing of the guards.

Besides, there are a whole lot of museums in the Old Town. The narrowest street in the city and Stockholm’s oldest square, which also happens to be the most picturesque is Stortorget where you find a couple of lovely cafés. They are both situated in the heart of Gamla Stan.

If it is tempting to stay in the middle of all this, we assure you Gamla Stan is the best place to stay in Stockholm. Note that many hotels do not have parking and the prices can be steep compared to other neighborhoods in Stockholm.

Stay at the Victory Hotel or, for something a little different, book a room on a yacht.

Best area to stay in Stockholm for culture


The Royal Opera House in Stockholm on a snowy evening.

Norrmalm is the commercial centre in Stockholm and though it is situated right on the edge of Old Town, it is quite the opposite. Wide, straight streets where big banks and corporate headquarters are situated.

This is the main hub for travel in and out of Stockholm as you find both the Central Train Station and the main Metro station in this area. The streets are also filled with exquisite restaurants and bars in different price classes.

If you want to experience Stockholm’s cultural scene, this is the place to stay. Experience a show at the Royal Swedish Opera House or visit Kulturhuset Stadsteatern for art exhibitions or modern dance performances. Stockholm Concert Hall is also the home of classical concerts.

But Norramalm also has several museums to its name, like the Hallwylska Museum and the Medelhavs Museum and if you want to explore even more, it is an easy ferry ride over to Djurgården where you find most of Stockholm’s museums.

Staying in Norrmalm is slightly more affordable than the Old Town and less crowded as it is not such a popular tourist area. This neighbourhood is most popular with those travelling for business or who have already visited Stockholm multiple times.

Stay at the Hobo Hotel Stockholm

Best area to stay in Stockholm for families


Museum Island from the water

Being the Museum Island of Stockholm, Djurgården is a lovely place to stay for anyone wanting to deep dive into the city’s museums. Housing several children's museums and an amusement park too, it can be a lovely area to stay for families. 

Astrid Lindgren’s world is perfectly re-modelled in the Junibacken Museum where you can sit on top of Pippi Longstocking’s horse, ride a train through Lindgren’s magical world, or watch fun theater plays. ABBA fans will love dancing along to the Swedish 70’s band’s most famous tunes in the ABBA Museum.

Other museums you can find in Djurgården are the Vasa Museum, the Viking Museum, and the Nordic Museum where there is a whole wealth of history to uncover.

Besides visiting museums, Djurgården is a great place to walk around the idyllic countryside or rent a bike to cover more ground. In fact, the island was declared a Royal Park back in the late 1500s by King John III. Large parts remain so to this day. You can easily get the ferry over to Gamla Stan on a 10-minute ride to visit other Stockholm attractions.

Stay at Hotel Hasselbacken

Best place to stay in Stockholm on a budget


Cafes and shops in Sodermalm, Stockholm

Södermalm is Stockholm’s bohemian neighbourhood and is mostly a residential area. There, you will find quirky cafes and bars, vintage shops selling alternative clothing, and art galleries.

This is the area for those who like to stand out, to be a little different, and want to experience Stockholm behind the touristic shops.

Together with the popularity of the quirkiest quarter in Stockholm, several new hipster bars, coffee shops, and fast food chains have popped up and you can be guaranteed great nightlife.

There are numerous places with live music too. Besides eating and drinking, the district has a few museums worth checking out like Fotografiska and Stockholm City Museum.

When it comes to accommodation, the neighbourhood offers anything from budget hostels to quirky cottages dating back to the early 1900s. Generally, it is an affordable district in Stockholm. If this sounds like you, Södermalm is the best place to stay in Stockholm.

Stay at ApartDirect Hammarby Sjöstad

Best area to stay in Stockholm for luxury


view of luxury yachts moored by the Ostermalm district on a sunny day.

Östermalm is the district in Stockholm that throughout history has been the most luxurious and opulent part of the city - and still is. Dating back to medieval times when it was Royal Land, the district was handed to the military in the 17th century.

In the late 19th century, the middle-upper class started to build extravagant houses on the waterfront. Östermalm slowly turned into the place for Stockholm’s wealthiest as exclusive restaurants and bars started popping up.

In Östermalm, you find a number of museums, including the Maritime Museum, the Swedish History Museum, and the Royal Dramatic Theater. But you can also browse the exhibitions at the Art Warehouse. Of course, the best of the best when it comes to shopping is found there too, and Östermalm is the place to go if you want to purchase a new Prada bag or see the newest from Chanel.

There is no surprise that this is the most pricey area to stay in Stockholm. Not only for the hotels but also the fine dining and exclusive nightclubs are only for you if you are ready to splurge.

Stay at Hotel Diplomat

Best area to stay in Stockholm for foodies


People eating outside at a restaurant in Vasastan, Stockholm

Vasastan is a quiet residential area in the northern part of the city where you can enjoy a fancy brunch or indulge in French pastry. This is definitely the neighbourhood for chic restaurants and cafes. But there are also lovely parks knitted between elegant homes from the early 20th century.

In Vasastan you can feel like a resident for a while, doing “normal” Swedish things like going for a fika where other local Swedes go. Compared to the busy Gamla Stan, you will not be reminded about being a tourist around every corner, and in that way, Vasastan might just make you slow down a little.

That said, there are a few tourist attractions in Vasastan like the Sven-Harry Art Museum, the Observatory, and Gustav Vasa Church.

You find different accommodations from hostels to luxury hotels and whole apartments but bear in mind that it is a good 40-minute walk to Gamla Stan.

For this reason, it is not as popular among first-time visitors as it is for those who have visited Stockholm multiple times and are looking for a quiet area far away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist centre of the city.

Stay at Hotel Ruth

Best area to stay in Stockholm for a local experience


People sitting on benches outside a monument in Kungsholmen, Stockholm

Kungsholmen district sits on a small island and is mainly a residential neighbourhood, though there are some hotels there. The City Hall might be the top attraction in the area and is where the Nobel Prize banquette is held every year. It is open to visitors for guided tours through the premises every day and is one of the most popular places to visit in Stockholm. 

Kungsholmen is perfect for you if you like browsing through fashion and niche boutiques and second-hand shops with random items. The little island also has a great number of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars for all clientele. 

The harbour is beautiful to walk along, or you can walk around the entire island in about one and a half hours. From Kungsholmen, you can easily take the boat to the other islands to explore the rest of Stockholm, so there are no worries about the island getting too small. 

The accommodation in Kungsholmen is also fairly affordable compared to other districts in Stockholm and you can find hotels, self-catering apartments, and houses available.

Stay at Sky Hotel Apartments

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Linn Haglund

Author - Linn Haglund

Originally from Norway, Linn is an avid traveller and freelance travel writer that has a passion for the outdoors, wildlife, and responsible travel. She is currently living the van life in southern Europe with her fiancé and their dog.

Having travelled in 50+ countries and lived in five countries, she has developed a fervour for helping people to travel more responsibly and leave a positive impact on their destinations through her blog, Brainy Backpackers.

Last Updated 8 January 2024

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