Stockholm - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Stockholm for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

The capital of Sweden and the most populous of the Nordic countries, Stockholm, is the largest urban area with a population of 1 million people. If you’re looking for where to stay in Stockholm, know that this place is a global city and a centre of cultural, political, media and economy in the country.

The city is located on Sweden’s east coast and enjoys a climate very similar to the northern area of the US. When talking about Stockholm, you should know it is always divided into three main parts: Innerstaden (Stockholm City Center), Söderort (Southern Stockholm) and Västerort (Western Stockholm). Visiting this vibrant destination, you will experience lots of music, design, fashion and technology innovations. History and culture will also fascinate you.

Question: Where to stay in Stockholm?

The answer depends on your preferences, but overall, the city has many charming neighbourhoods. Your decision regarding where to stay in Stockholm, Sweden also depends on your budget and what kind of a traveller you are.

Stockholm is the most popular for its open-air museums and a lot of unmissable attractions and idyllic restaurants and bars. It is very often referred to as the Venice of the North, because of its beautiful buildings and exquisite architecture, numerous parks and open water space. This megalopolis is the cleanest in the world due to the absence of heavy industries.

Now, let me start by suggesting the best places to stay in Stockholm and how to spend quality time there.

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. In this guide include the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Stockholm.

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Stockholm.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Stockholm for the first visit?

The answer is simple: Gamla Stan (Old Town)

Gamla Stan is the Old Town of Stockholm and is assumed to be one of the best-preserved mediaeval city centres in Europe, attracting tourists from all around the globe. It is a picturesque and historic district paved with cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and charming shops and cafes. It’s famous for the Storkyrkan Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

Some of these areas include:

  • Royal Palace
  • Stortorget
  • Nobel Museum
  • St. George and the Dragon Statue

Why do we recommend these areas?

Stockholm is an unforgettable site, and the Royal Palace will definitely fascinate you. This baroque-style home and workplace of the King and Queen contains three museums: the Treasury with Regalia, the Tre Kronor Museum which portrays the palace’s mediaeval history and the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiques. The changing of the Royal Guard is something you mustn’t miss while you’re here.

Stortorget is the public square in Gamla Stan. It is the place where the Stock Exchange Building is located and it houses The Swedish Academy, the Nobel Museum and the Nobel Library. Wandering around, enjoy the colourful buildings and the vibrant atmosphere. If you’re thrilled by art and history, don’t spend another minute before you start searching for where to stay in Stockholm.

The Nobel Prize Museum is a dome of creativity development, where you can follow the changes of the 20th century through the Nobel Prize laureates. The work and the ideas of more than 900 creative minds are presented through short films, original artefacts and computers.

The St. George and the Dragon is located in the Old Town Stockholm on Merchant’s Street. It dates from 1912 and it is a bronze replica of the wooden version of the statue located in Stckholm’s Storkyrkan.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Gamla Stan (Old Town)
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Backstage Hotel Stockholm
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Clarion Hotel Stockholm
💎 Best Luxury HotelVilla Dagmar
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Hellstens Glashus
😎 Best for Groups:UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:City Backpackers Hostel
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Pärlan Hotell
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Ersta Hotell & Konferens
👌 Safest Area: Södermalm

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Stockholm

The list below will help you decide and I hope it will satisfy your needs whatever traveller you might be.

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

The family-friendly atmosphere, good vibes and diverse offerings that this city proposes are worth your search for where to stay in Stockholm with your family. The attractions and activities are lots, but before recommending some, I will remind you to check if there are any age restrictions, so you can plan accordingly.

Some of the best family holiday attractions are the Vasa Museum, interesting for adults and kids with its great insight into maritime history, as well as Skansen- the open-air museum and zoological park. Moreover, you can enjoy family time together on the green island of Djurgården. For music lovers, there is the ABBA museum, the iconic Swedish group.

For the more adventurous families, plan a day trip and join a Stockholm Archipelago tour. If you’re looking for more centrally-located entertainment, visit the City Park, the Swedish National Museum and the amusement Tivoli Gröna Lund.

The two most appropriate districts for families are:

Östermalm

This district is in the centre of Stockholm and represents a mix of shopping areas, cultural attractions, green spaces and residential areas. The most beautiful views of the harbour can be seen from the Strandvägen boulevard, while Stureplan Square is famous for socialising and entertainment.

Try the authentic meal in Saluhall, the oldest food market. Do not miss the peaceful Humlegården park, perfect for family picnics. The National Library of Sweden and the Royal Dramatic Theatre are cultural attractions in this district. Dining options and cosy cafes are great places to relax while exploring.

Djurgården

Looking for where to stay in Stockholm, Sweden will lead you right to Djurgården. This island is in the central part of Stockholm, representing a green oasis of attractions and thus a destination for recreation and entertainment. Today, it’s a popular family destination including Skansen, ABBA The Museum and Gröna Lund, surrounded by the Royal National City Park.

Handpicked accommodations for families

Mornington Hotel Stockholm, Östermalm, Stockholm

The individually designed rooms of Mornington Hotel Stockholm feature wooden flooring with an armchair or a small sofa. Some rooms include bathrobes and a little kettle. Free gym and sauna access. The hotel restaurant offers traditional Swedish cuisine as well as international dishes.

The hotel’s inner courtyard is a popular meeting place for afternoon coffee and evening cocktails. Other relaxation options include the health club and sauna. It has a perfect location and thus it is great for both children and adults. The whole family will enjoy the stay.

Book Mornington Hotel Stockholm here

Relax and unwind at Mornington Hotel Stockholm

Have a great time at Mornington Hotel Stockholm

Backstage Hotel Stockholm, Djurgården

Set on Djurgården Island in the same building as ABBA The Museum, Backstage Hotel Stockholm is a 5-minute tram ride from Central Stockholm. It offers rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and free WiFi access.

You will enjoy free access to a small fitness room. Many international à la carte dishes and selected wines are served at the in-house restaurant. Trams for central Stockholm stop outside the property.

Book Backstage Hotel Stockholm here

Private room at Backstage Hotel Stockholm

Have a pleasant stay at Backstage Hotel Stockholm

 1.2 Couples

Looking for where to stay in Stockholm with your loved one? The city’s combination of historic charm, cultural attractions and natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for a romantic escape.
If you are a couple that enjoys exploring historical sites, dining in cosy restaurants or taking leisurely strolls along charming streets, Stockholm is a place you will love.

Södermalm

This southern district in Stockholm is a place where the atmosphere is relaxed, trendy and creative. The neighbourhood offers a variety of vintage, fashion and design shops. The best spot here is the Sofo area.

Besides bars and nightlife, Södermalm is also known for its rich cultural heritage. You’ll find small cosy cinemas, like Viktoria and Bio Rio and concert venues & theatres. Along Hornsgatan’s eastern edge, you’ll also find a large concentration of art galleries. Well, this easily makes this the best place to stay in Stockholm for anyone who enjoys art.

Gamla Stan ( Old Town)

Gamla Stan, The Old Town of Stockholm is at the crossroads of past and present. Among its historical buildings, there are unique boutiques and modern restaurants. The main square Stortorget and all the big attractions lead off to the baroque-style Royal Palace and The Royal Chapel Storkyrkan. When being there, “a must” is to attend the changing of the royal guard.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Clarion Hotel Stockholm, Södermalm

The rooms in Clarion Hotel Stockholm are spacious and comfortable. The in-house restaurant invites you to a memorable “all-day dining” experience. You’ll find all your classic favourite dishes there.

The hotel’s living room is the place where you can relax in a peaceful conversation with your beloved. Elements Spa includes pool and sauna facilities, as well as a terrace with a bar.

Book Clarion Hotel Stockholm here

Make yourself at home at Clarion Hotel Stockholm

Enjoy your time at Clarion Hotel Stockholm

Lady Hamilton Hotel, Gamla Stan

Lady Hamilton Hotel is housed in a 15th-century building, right next to the Royal Palace. Gamla Stan Metro Station is 400 metres away. Rooms in classic style will add to the glamour, but for an extra historic feel, they feature old paintings, antique furniture and crystal chandeliers.

There is also a relaxing area with a sauna. At the in-house Bistro, you can enjoy an afternoon tea. Outside the hotel, there are many shops, cafés and the Nobel Museum. No wonder it’s regarded as one of the best hotels in Stockholm!

Book Lady Hamilton Hotel here

Experience comfort at Lady Hamilton Hotel

Have a wonderful stay at Lady Hamilton Hotel

1.3 Luxury traveler

There are plenty of upscale experiences, such as luxurious accommodation and dining, exclusive shopping and cultural attractions if you are in this category. This modern and sophisticated destination offers you pure luxury if you know how to enjoy it!

Östermalm

With its high-end shopping facilities and Michelin-starred restaurants, this district is the poshest area of central Stockholm. Stockholm’s most majestic residential buildings and a beautiful market hall from 1888 offering gourmet foods from around the world are located here.

The Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre with its fascinating architecture and legendary nightclubs will make the perfect location for you to explore. You can enjoy the latest in the Swedish house music scene here.

Djurgården

Looking for where to stay in Stockholm? The island of Djurgården impresses with a blend of nature and many museums, located within walking distance of Stockholm’s city centre. Its waterfront views and the combination of cultural attractions together with green spaces, make it a nice place for luxury travellers.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Villa Dagmar, Östermalm

Villa Dagmar offers accommodation with a fitness centre, restaurant and a bar. The property is 500 metres from Stureplan and within 300 metres away from the centre. Some of the rooms have a balcony. You can enjoy the buffet, à la carte restaurant and breakfast. For your commodity, there is room service.

Book Villa Dagmar here

Enjoy your stay at Villa Dagmar

Have fun at Villa Dagmar

Hotel Hasselbacken, Djurgården

Hotel Hasselbacken is located on Djurgården Island in Stockholm, next to the Skansen Open-air Museum. You can enjoy a buffet breakfast in the morning. Rooms include wooden floors and a marble bathroom.

Swedish and international dishes are available at the elegant restaurant, offering waterfront views. Enjoying a drink in the lobby bar, which has an outdoor terrace in the summer, is really indulging.

Book Hotel Hasselbacken here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Hasselbacken

Have a great time at Hotel Hasselbacken

1.4 Design-lovers

Stockholm, with its islands and waterways, effortlessly melds natural splendour with cutting-edge design. Besides great sights, the premier shopping and dining areas, the secret treasures to cherish and visits to contemporary art galleries or stops at trendy cafes, this is a desirable holiday place for a design traveller. So let’s peek into the enchanting allure and sophistication as I’m trying to help you find the best place to stay in Stockholm!

Södermalm

This urban island has gone through a real renaissance. Today it is one of the city’s must-see districts. It became the trendy heart of Stockholm, although it used to be a former working-class suburb as can still be seen from the old small red wooden houses.

Nowadays, students, young artists, hipsters, designers and creators meet in this neighbourhood. Södermalm is walkable, so take time to stroll through the streets. Fotografiska Museum is the most popular cultural spot.

Norrmalm / City Center

This area offers plenty of shops and restaurants. It is the centre of Stockholm, located north of Gamla Stan. The Royal Opera House, the National Museum of Sweden, Oceanbus and the Centre of Culture are all located here. The Central Station makes everything close and it is widely known as the best part of Stockholm for tourists. Great vibes and culture are within this district, making it one of the best choices for where to stay in Stockholm.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Hellstens Glashus, Södermalm, Stockholm

Hellstens Glashus is located in the vibrant Södermalm district in Stockholm. Gamla Stan, the Old Town, is only a 15-minute walk away. The bright and colourful rooms offer a flat-screen TV, work desk and free WiFi. The tiled bathrooms feature a glass wash basin with a shower. Rooms have either large windows or visible beams.

The on-site restaurant serves international cuisine, based on a mix of Nordic cuisine and exotic flavours. In the summer, you can even dine on the terrace. The location is perfect, so you can connect to the main spots in the city. Mariatorget metro station is located just across the street and the Royal Palace is a 20-minute walk away

Book Hellstens Glashus here

Private room at Hellstens Glashus

Have a pleasant stay at Hellstens Glashus

Sheraton Stockholm Hotel, Norrmalm

Being one of the best hotels in Stockholm, this stylish accommodation is only 300 metres from Stockholm Central Station and 5 5-minute walk from the Old Town. Modern cosy rooms offer luxury beds with soft mattresses and goose feather pillows.

Leisure facilities include a sauna and a 24-hour gym. The social Lobby Bar is the hub of the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel and a place where guests relax.

Book Sheraton Stockholm Hotel here

Make yourself at home at Sheraton Stockholm Hotel

Enjoy your time at Sheraton Stockholm Hotel

1.5 Groups

Travelling to Stockholm with a group can be a great opportunity to share experiences. The thing you must take care of is to schedule online any guided tour you would like to join.

Södermalm

There’s a hint of playfulness in this creative district that opposes the museum-stacked tourist centre. Independent boutiques, artsy corners and prominent cafe culture are just some of the big draws in Sodermalm. The hotels are cheaper than in the city centre. It can be a perfect place for a group to settle. This is a place to dip into Stockholm’s laid-back side.

Norrmalm / City Center

This area is extremely well catered for tourists, offering plenty of restaurants and shops. Many significant visit spots are nearby. Besides exploring other districts of Stockholm, having the Kulturhuset with exhibition halls, cinemas and concert halls will give you plenty to do in your neighbourhood.

And now, let’s see where to stay in Stockholm!

Handpicked accommodations for groups

UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad, Södermalm, Stockholm

UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad provides express check-in and check-out. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a lift, along with free WiFi throughout the property.

Each room is equipped with a private bathroom with free toiletries, while some rooms are equipped with a fully equipped kitchen. A continental, vegetarian or gluten-free breakfast is available daily and there is a coffee shop. Guests at UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad can enjoy skiing nearby, or make the most of the sun terrace.

Book UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad here

Experience comfort at UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad

Have a wonderful stay at UNITY Hammarby Sjöstad

Scandic Continental, Norrmalm

Scandic Continental is across the road from Central Station, making it a very convenient place to stay in Stockholm. It has a rooftop terrace bar with a city view, which is great after a day of strolling around. Each room offers modern furnishings, hardwood floors and a private bathroom.

There is a restaurant and a cafe within the property. For your commodity, there is a gym and sauna which never close The Old Town and parks are only 10 minutes walk away.

Book Scandic Continental here

Enjoy your stay at Scandic Continental

Have fun at Scandic Continental

1.6 Solo-travelers

A fantastic destination for solo travellers, that offers a blend of cultural experiences, historic sites and the opportunity to relax. Indulging in the city is guaranteed.

Södermalm

This district in Stockholm is an excellent choice for a solo traveller because of the cultural experience it offers. It also is a trendy neighbourhood with relaxing vibes. Götgaten is the main street with many cafes, local shops and boutiques.

The panoramic breathtaking view from Skinnarviksberget is a great escape in the afternoons, while the narrow streets of SOFO are places where you can wander for hours. The area is known for its cosy cafes, so you can take a “fika” break- a Swedish tradition of enjoying coffee and pastries.

Norrmalm / City Center

The city centre is perfect for a solo traveller to settle in, providing an easy answer to where to stay in Stockholm. It is very dynamic, offering great advantages since all the transportation options to explore the rest of the city are easily reachable

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Bohemian and Light, Södermalm, Stockholm

Bohemian and Light offers accommodation set 2.4 km from the centre of Stockholm, featuring a garden and barbecue facilities. The property is around 1.9 km from Monteliusvägen and 1.9 km from Stockholm Cathedral. Fotografiska – Museum of Photography is 1.6 km away.

The apartment has 1 bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen with kitchenware, a washing machine, and a bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. During the colder months, guests can enjoy winter sports in the surrounding area or relax on the sun terrace.

Book Bohemian and Light here

Relax and unwind at Bohemian and light one room apartment

Have a great time at Bohemian and light one room apartment

City Backpackers Hostel, Norrmalm

City Backpackers Hostel is set in a 19th-century building, 500 metres from Stockholm Central Station and 5 5-minute walk from Drottninggatan shopping street. Evening saunas and pasta are free. Ice skates can be borrowed for free, during winter. Snacks and drinks are available in the reception throughout the day. For self-caterers, there is a fully equipped kitchen.

Book City Backpackers Hostel here

Make yourself at home at City Backpackers Hostel

Enjoy your time at City Backpackers Hostel

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

Looking for where to stay in Stockholm, Sweden and be in the centre of night events? The city has a diverse and vibrant nightlife, which you can get a taste of at some of the many cosy bars, live music, trendy clubs and cultural events.

Södermalm

Södermalm offers an alternative and bohemian nightlife experience. You can visit bars like Marie Laveau, Debaser, or Morfar Ginko for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Östermalm

Cosy wine bars, innovative bartenders and nightclubs open to the break of dawn; this is how you can spend a night in the district famed for its immersive nightlife.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Courtyard by Marriott, Kungsholmen, Stockholm

Courtyard by Marriott located on a Kungsholmen island, just 5 minutes away from the metro station, offers modern and cozy rooms where you will indulge a big bed, a fridge, and air-conditioning. Selected rooms have a view of the lake.

A tasty breakfast is served every morning and during the day, in the hotel’s restaurant, you can try delicious dishes prepared with fresh ingredients. The Stockholm City Hall is about 20 minutes walk away from your hotel.

Book Courtyard by Marriot here

Make yourself at home at Courtyard by Marriott Stockholm Kungsholmen

Enjoy your time at Courtyard by Marriott Stockholm Kungsholmen

Pärlan Hotell, Östermalm

Great spot, just a 5-minute walk from Östermalmstorg Metro Station and a 2-minute’ walk from Strandvägen waterfront. The rooms in Pärlan Hotell have wooden floors, private bathrooms and street or courtyard views. Leather sofas, an ornate fireplace and a traditional tile stove make for an atmospheric communal lounge. The cosy balcony faces the inner courtyard.

Book Pärlan Hotell here

Have a wonderful stay at Pärlan Hotell

Experience comfort at Pärlan Hotell

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

Wondering where to stay in Stockholm on a budget? Why not? Here are some tips: budget hotels; public transportation; biking; free museums; free walking tours; street food markets or budget-friendly restaurants.

Södermalm

This area offers a diverse and bohemian atmosphere and a lot to explore without overspending.

Norrmalm / City Center

The city centre offers budget-friendly activities, accommodation and all important spots within walking distance.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Ersta Hotell & Konferens, Södermalm

The rooms at Ersta Hotell & Konferens have a parquet floor or carpet. You can choose between a private bathroom and shared facilities. A service room with ironing facilities is also available on every floor.

During warmer months, you can enjoy breakfast on the hotel terrace. It has a great location as well. Ersta Sjukhus Bus Stop is 150 metres from the hotel, while Slussen Metro Station is within a 15-minute walk.

Book Ersta Hotell & Konferens here

Enjoy your stay at Ersta Hotell & Konferens

Have fun at Ersta Hotell & Konferens

Scandic No 53, Norrmalm

Scandic No 53 is very close to the Stockholm Central Station. The rooms offer a private bathroom. You can enjoy a meal in the restaurant or relax in the bar and on the terrace. Nice and budget-friendly accommodation.

Book Scandic No 53 here

Relax and unwind at Scandic No 53

Have a great time at Scandic No 53

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Stockholm

I hope that the above-mentioned places and suggestions where to stay in Stockholm have been of great help. Being considered a safe city, almost all the neighbourhoods I’ve mentioned are perfect choices for whatever traveller you are. Different districts give a chance to get a notion of the city from a different perspective and witness Stockholm’s diversity, charm and sophistication at the same time.

  • Gamla Stan (Old Town)
  • Södermalm
  • Östermalm
  • Norrmalm/City Centre

FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Stockholm?

The best neighborhood to stay in Stockholm for a first-time visitor is Gamla Stan (Old Town). It is known for its picturesque and historic charm, cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and proximity to major attractions like the Royal Palace and Nobel Museum.

Where should you not stay in Stockholm?

While Stockholm is generally a safe city, it's advisable to avoid staying in areas with higher crime rates. It's recommended to research specific neighborhoods and read reviews to ensure a safe and comfortable stay. As a general guide, areas known for higher crime rates should be approached with caution.

What should I avoid in Stockholm?

While Stockholm is a relatively safe city, it's advisable to avoid engaging in risky behavior and be cautious in crowded areas, especially in the evening. Additionally, be aware of pickpockets in touristy areas and public transportation. It's always a good idea to stay informed about local customs and regulations to ensure a respectful and enjoyable visit.

Where should I stay in Stockholm for the first time?

For a first-time visitor to Stockholm, the recommended neighborhood is Gamla Stan (Old Town). This area offers a blend of historic charm, cultural attractions, and a central location, making it convenient for exploring the city's landmarks such as the Royal Palace, Stortorget, Nobel Museum, and St. George and the Dragon Statue.

Map + All Sights

Summary where to stay in Stockholm

According to the research made, this would be the list of best areas to find accommodation during your visit to Stockholm.

I truly hope that these tips on where to stay in Stockholm will be helpful. For more travel inspiration and advice, don’t forget to check out my blog page.

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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