Gamla Stan, the Old Town, is a small island filled with colorful buildings from the 1600s and 1700s. Stockholm was officially founded here in 1252, even though there had been a town since at least 1187. The narrow cobblestone streets and the cozy cafées, bars and shops gives Gamla Stan its unique charm.
In recent years, the food scene on the island has become fantastic with many award-winning restaurants, along with great ones in the mid-price range. Take a stroll through the streets and buy a fika at one of the many coffee shops to choose from. This part of the city is always alive!
The Royal Palace where the Royal family resides, and it has been in the same place since the 1200s. The current building was founded in the early 1700s and is one of Europes largest palaces. It offers five museums that are open to the public. The exchange of guards, with their parade through the city and rituals in front of the castle, is a very popular event.
Stortorget is the heart of Gamla Stan and is the oldest square in Stockholm. This is where the Stockholm Bloodbath took place in 1520, where the Danish King Kristian II let almost 100 noble people get executed. This is also where the annual Christmas Market is held. Sit down for a fika at Chokladkoppen and take a look at the Schantzska building, where the Swedish Academy (who nominates recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature) and the Nobel Museum resides.
Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan are the two main streets of the island, along which you will find many souvenir shops. On these long streets and their side streets, there are many great restaurants to look out for. Djuret is one of them, located on Lilla Nygatan with its own gastropub Tweed. If you are into French cuisine, do not miss out on the small Bistro Pastis, located on Baggensgatan. Den Gyldene Freden is probably the most iconic one, serving traditional Swedish cuisine since the year 1722.
Riddarhuset, the House of Nobility, is a palace and an organization for the nobles in Sweden. It has been protecting the historical heritage of all Swedish noble families for almost 400 years. The building can be used by the members for private events. Of course you can visit the palace as a commoner, and a guided tour is recommended. Because of Corona the palace is closed for the moment (April 2021).