With its tangle of cobblestone streets, brightly painted buildings, and bustling squares, Gamla Stan is one of Stockholm’s most photogenic districts. The historic center also boats the city’s oldest quarter, dating back to 1252, and home to some remarkably preserved medieval monuments.
The many historic landmarks of Gamla Stan are easily explored on foot, starting with the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral), and the Riksdagshuset (Swedish parliament building). Other highlights include the central square of Stortorget, the main streets of Vasterlanggatan and Osterlanggatan, the Nobel Museum at Borshuset, and Riddarholmen Church.
Stockholm sightseeing tours and hop-on hop-off bus or boat tours typically stop at Gamla Stan, but the best way to explore the Old Town is by foot. Opt for a guided walking tour or biking tour; discover Stockholm’s dark history on an after-hours ghost tour; or maximize your chances of capturing the perfect snapshots on a photography tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are free Wi-Fi spots located around Gamla Stan.
- Most of the main attractions of Gamla Stan are wheelchair accessible, but some of the narrow cobblestone lanes might be tricky to navigate.
How to Get There
Gamla Stan comprises the main island of Stadsholmen and the smaller islands of Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, and Stromsborg. The pedestrianized district can be reached on foot from Norrmalm or by taking the Tunnelbana (subway) to Gamla Stan station.
When to Get There
Gamla Stan is atmospheric both by day and night, but many visitors opt to time their sightseeing for midday, to coincide with the changing of the guards at Stockholm Royal Palace. The district is at its busiest during the peak summer season, but it’s also a popular destination during the holidays, when it hosts one of Stockholm’s most popular Christmas markets.