Being one of the main hubs of Scandinavia, Stockholm has a growing popularity among tourists. However, if you want to explore a different side Stockholm, these are the best secret spots.
Blå porten © Billy Lok Ming Poon
If you are visiting the open-air museum Skansen or the exciting amusement park Gröna Lund, you are welcomed by the Blå porten. Blå porten, which literally means ‘the Blue Gate’, is a historical monument situated in the entrance to Djurgården. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, Djurgården was a hunting park, and the Blue Gate was used as a marker for the King’s private hunting park. Apart from its historical significance, the Royal National Park located close to the gate also provides a green open space with a lake, and is perfect for walks, picnics and cycling.
In recent decades, Sweden has been playing a more significant role in the field of art and design. WIP:sthlm (the ‘WIP’ stands for ‘work in progress’) is considered to be the hub of artistic creation in Stockholm. WIP:sthlm houses 93 talented artists, 83 studios and a gallery. The artistic space aims at bringing artists together and sharing their ideas with their neighbors. If you are looking for a visit to Stockholm’s most modern and updated arts, then WIP:sthlm is surely the place to go. You can spend a whole day appreciating the art pieces and sharing your thoughts with the artists.
Kungens Kurva IKEA
Beginning in Sweden, IKEA has been a global furniture giant that has branches all over the world. The store is now almost synonymous with Sweden, so it makes perfect sense to visit IKEA in this Nordic nation. Kungens Kurva IKEA is the world’s largest IKEA store with 55,000m2 floor space and a 8,000m2 furniture exhibition area. Apart from buying furniture by Scandinavian designers, this store has a cafeteria that is a must-go. From traditional Swedish meatballs to baked salmon, Kungens Kurva IKEA offers you a lot of dining options at a very reasonable price. Make sure you check out the bistro for some light snacks before leaving the store.
Stockholm’s metro Tunnelbana is more than just a railway system that transports you to wherever you want to. It’s also the world’s longest art exhibition, and artworks cover a total of 110km. Commuting can be boring, but your underground journey will be an artistic one in the Swedish capital. Since 1950, artists have been incorporating their creativity into Tunnelbana stations using sculptures, paintings and installed structures. There are several stations that are worth a visit. Kungsträdgården puts on an impressive exhibition of broken sculptures that resemble ancient relics, and Solna Centrum station gives you a spicy visit with the use of red in its wall paintings.
Around an hours’ traveling time from Stockholm Central, Sigtuna is a completely different town which gives you a historic vibe and a window through which to look back at the history of Sweden. Founded in 980, Sigtuna is Sweden’s oldest town and was once the center of commercial activities in the country. The old town structures are still well preserved, including many churches built in the 14th century. Mariakrykan (St. Mary’s Church) and St. Olaf’s Church Ruin are the two of the best attractions in the town. As one of the most famous baroque castles in Europe, Skokloster Castle is a place for experiencing the life of royal family in the 18th century. For those looking for a day trip to the suburbs, Sigtuna is ready to impress you.
Summer Sing-Along Shows
Sweden is the world’s third largest music exporter. The country has provided the world with talented and sensational artists, from ABBA to Avicii. Every year, Skansen and Gröna Lund house two live music shows, Allsång på Skansen and Sommarkrysset respectively. Famous Swedish singers will be invited to perform live and interact with the crowd by singing traditional Swedish songs. These shows are a great way to indulge yourself in the power of live music and the electrifying vocals of local singers. Make sure you get your tickets in advance, as places are limited.
From the exterior, Mälardrottningen may look like a yacht just anchored on the water of Gamla Stan. However, it is actually a hotel, which has been transformed from a ship that was built in 1924. The hotel has an impressive restaurant, where you can have a relaxing meal on the ship while enjoying the view of Djurgården and Södermalm. Grillad rosékalv is highly recommended to get a taste of the Scandinavian cuisine.
Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.