Sweden's capital offers museums and cultural treasures, unrivalled big city vibes and gorgeous natural beauty, but how can you be sure which of the city's many popular neighbourhoods is the best one for you?

    There are shopping districts and culinary quarters with restaurants of the highest quality. Not to mention nightclubs, bars and arenas which play host to huge concerts, big games and other exciting events. Or if you'd rather take refuge from the capital's dizzying urban pulse, you'll find plenty of places all around the city where you can enjoy peace and tranquillity in leafy parks or by the water's edge. Experience Stockholm, the city of islands, and make it your own!

    1

    Norrmalm

    Experience shopping and culture in the heart of Stockholm

    • Shoppers

    Norrmalm offers urban pulse and excellent shopping as well as some of the country's most important cultural treasures. In a part of town often referred to as Stockholm's modern heart, you'll find shops and department stores to satisfy even the most insatiable of shopaholics. For example, check out the flagship store of Swedish high-street staple Åhléns or luxury shopping at NK, both housed in stately buildings by Sergels Square (Sergels Torg). Culture also abounds at the Kulturhuset Cultural Centre and the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern).

    Norrmalm enjoys a central location in Stockholm, immediately north of the old town, Gamla Stan. It is home to Stockholm Central Station, so you could hardly ask for an easier district to reach.

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    2

    Vasastaden

    Stroll around parks and enjoy historic buildings

    • Couples
    • Families
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    • History

    Vasastaden is home to several parks which are great for a stroll as the sun goes down, as well as a number of pleasant restaurants. This neighbourhood lies to the north of Stockholm's most central areas and is home to the city's old observatory – an incredibly gorgeous and highly unique building. Right next to the observatory lies Observatorielunden – a glorious park with views over the city's rooftops. And just a short stroll away from the park is the grand and stately Stockholm Public Library (Stockholms Stadsbibliotek).

    Perhaps you'd prefer something a little more modern and fast-paced? In that case, indulge your inner child with a visit to the Stockholm Museum of Video Games (Stockholms Spelmuseum) where you'll find all your favourite retro classics in a whirlwind of fun and nostalgia.

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    photo by Blondinrikard Fröberg (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Östermalm

    An elegant experience for both the eyes and the taste buds

    Östermalm is known for being one of the more elegant areas of Stockholm, with plenty of historical sights and delicious flavours to explore and enjoy. Sample delicacies at the Östermalm Market Hall (Östermalms Saluhall) where you'll find everything from green smoothies to traditional fish dishes, or check out Viking weapons and medieval art at the Swedish History Museum (Historiska Museet).

    Östermalm also offers plenty of shopping in the form of luxury boutiques around trendy Stureplan Square, and if you feel like a bit of verdant tranquillity you can check out the calm and quiet Humlegården Park, which is also home to the National Library of Sweden (Kungliga Biblioteket). Östermalm is centrally located within Stockholm, just over half a mile from Stockholm Central Station.

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    4

    Norra Djurgården

    Visit museums, experience nature and step into sports history

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    • Adventure
    • History

    Norra Djurgården is home to museums, green spaces and facilities from sporting history which are still used today. The neighbourhood is located to the north of Östermalm and can be reached in less than 10 minutes by metro from T-Centralen. Once here, you can recharge your batteries with a stroll through the leafy Bergianska Botanic Garden. From there, it's only a short stroll to the grand and magnificent Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet) with its many exciting exhibitions on everything from extinct animals to outer space. The museum is also home to the Cosmonova – a combined planetarium and dome-shaped IMAX cinema.

    The southern part of the neighbourhood is where you'll find the Stockholm Olympic Stadium (Stockholms Stadion). It was built for the 1912 games and is the oldest Olympic stadium still in active use.

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    5

    Djurgården

    Stroll around a leafy island full of sights, right in the city centre

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Djurgården is a part of the Royal National City Park (Kungliga Nationalstadsparken) and besides offering a wide range of internationally renowned sights, the island is largely comprised of a leafy park-like environment. It's located just on the edges of the city centre, less than 10 minutes away by metro from T-Centralen Station – a fact which can feel hard to believe when surrounded by small-scale structures and such an abundance of trees.

    Besides greenery and nature, Djurgården is also home to some of Stockholm's best known museums such as the Vasa Museum, ABBA The Museum and the open-air museum of Skansen. Or if it's pulse-raising adventure that you and your travel companions are after, make your way to Gröna Lund – one of Sweden's best known amusement parks.

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    6

    Gamla Stan

    Feel the pulse of history in Stockholm's most beautiful neighbourhood

    • Food
    • Shoppers
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    • History

    Gamla Stan is the oldest neighbourhood in Stockholm and home to the city's oldest and most beautiful buildings as well as plenty of places to go shopping and enjoy good food. This centrally located island right in the heart of the city boasts one of Europe's largest and best preserved medieval centres. And you'll certainly feel like you've stepped back in time as you stroll through its narrow and picturesque side streets.

    Besides interesting architecture, Gamla Stan is also full of small stores, cosy cafés and nice restaurants to visit. If you're a bit of a history buff, be sure to visit the Museum of Medieval Stockholm (Stockholms Medeltidsmuseum), the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet), the Royal Armoury (Livrustkammaren), the Nobel Museum and more.

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    7

    Södermalm

    Enjoy picture-perfect views and a relaxed atmosphere

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Shoppers
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    Södermalm is a relaxed and creative district where you can stroll around and check out everything from off-beat shops and cosy cafés to the stylish Museum of Photography (Fotografiska). Södermalm is located south of the centre, scarcely 10 minutes by metro from Stockholm Central Station.

    Be sure to enjoy the incredible views from Fjällgatan up on the so-called Heights of Söder, or check out an exhibition at the Göta Lejon Theatre. You'll also find plenty of nice restaurants in the neighbourhood where you can cap off the day with an unpretentious dinner. In the summertime be sure to check out Tanto Beach, which is a great spot to take a dip right in the city centre.

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    8

    Södra Hammarbyhamnen

    Experience a transformation from old to new

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    • Nightlife
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    • Unusual

    Södra Hammarbyhamnen is a textbook example on how to transform an old industrial area into a fresh and modern district which simply exudes urban soul. This district, located to the south of Södermalm and just 10 minutes away from Stockholm Central Station by metro, is the place to go for colourful performances and incredible concerts at the popular venue of Fryshuset.

    Or for a somewhat more tranquil experience, come down in the springtime and see the cherry trees in full bloom at Luma Park. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Södra Hammarbyhamnen is also home to a ski slope where Stockholmers who are pining for the pristine pistes of the Alps can enjoy world-class skiing without having to travel far at all.

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    9

    Johanneshov

    Attend an immersive concert or a hair-raising match

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    • Nightlife
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    Johanneshov is the city's arena district and home to both the iconic Globen Arena and to the Tele2 Arena. The neighbourhood is located to the south of Södermalm and on the other side of the Årsta Bay and Lake Hammarby. It is just 10 minutes away by metro from Stockholm Central Station.

    Over the years, Johanneshov has seen performances by world famous artists and huge, nail-biting games. It is home to huge arenas such as the hulking, golf ball-shaped Globen Arena and its annex, and to the Tele2 Arena, where artists such as KISS and Elton John have performed and where a number of important showdowns in the Allsvenskan Football League have been played out. For a somewhat different way to enjoy the views offered by this district, take a gondola over the roof of the Globen Arena.

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    10

    Kungsholmen

    Take a walk along the water's edge and dine in a cosy restaurant

    Kungsholmen is largely a residential part of town but it is also packed full of exciting restaurants, bars and cafés which are well worth a visit. The island is located to the west of the centre and is easy to reach either by foot or by metro.

    Kungsholmen is a great place for a stroll along the water's edge, as you will be able to appreciate great views of the iconic Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms Stadshus) where the Nobel Banquet is served up to all manner of scientists and celebrities each year. Then visit one of the cosy restaurants in this neighbourhood before rounding off the evening in a lively bar.

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