50 free ways to enjoy Stockholm

We’ve compiled a resource of 50 free things to do in Stockholm – from museums and tours to concerts and other activities – to help you plan your travel budget while exploring and immersing in Stockholm.

Gamla stan

All photos by author.

As much as we try to convince travelers to Stockholm to stay longer and travel slower, and that our city isn’t as expensive as they assume, it’s still on the higher end by European city standards.

That said, there are many ways you can enjoy lots of free things to do in Stockholm and I’ve compiled activities, local experiences, and events that appeal to a variety of tastes. Some of these experiences are seasonal and I’ve denoted them if so.

And as always, please check individual websites for full schedules and opening hours where applicable.

  1. Take a free walking tour around Stockholm through Stockholm Free ToursFree Tours Stockholm or Free Walking Tour Stockholm.
  1. Learn all about Swedish design and architecture for free at the Architecture & Design Center. Free admission every Friday from 4-6pm.
  1. The Maritime Museum – Sjöhistorika museet – provides free daily admission to explore Sweden’s nautical past and present as well as its history in shipbuilding and maritime archaeology.
  1. Wander around the eclectic neighborhood of Södermalm for vintage stores, ethnic restaurants, offbeat nightlife, and cozy cafes.
  1. Photographers – head up high for the best panoramic views of Stockholm.
  1. Learn Swedish for free at a Språkcafé. These are free language meetups usually held at libraries, bookshops, and cafés around town where you can meet with locals to learn and practice your Swedish for free.
  1. Catch the changing of the guards at the Royal Place. During the summer, it takes place daily at 12:15pm except Sundays and holidays which is at 1:15pm.
  1. Go swimming in Stockholm’s canals and beaches. Popular beaches are Långholmsbadet and Smedsuddsbadet alongside Brunnsviksbadet, Fredhällsbadet, Fjäderholmarnas bad, and Oxhålsbadet.
  1. Explore lush Djurgården with its flower gardens, green spaces, parks, and forests – all backdrops to some of the best museums in town.
  1. If you have kids, Rum för Barn (Room for kids) is a children’s library which allows you to read (free) and borrow (if you have a Stockholm library card) books in many languages as well as let your kid try their hands at painting and sculpting, listen to stories and fairy tales, participate in sing-alongs, and other daily activities organized by staff.

Stockholm subway tunnelbana

  1. Explore the world’s longest art museum – Stockholm’s subway system – with a free guided art tour.
  1. Take in modern contemporary art for free at Moderna Museet (The Museum of Modern art) on Fridays between 6-8pm.
  1. Catch a free summer theatre in the park. Called Parkteatern, from May through September, there’s a schedule of live performances, concerts, entertainment, and plays going on in various parks across the city (Summer).
  1. Get lost in Stockholm’s old town Gamla stan’s labyrinth of photogenic cobblestone alleys.
  1. An insider tip for you – If you’re pushing a child in a stroller, you can actually ride the public buses for free. Check out 20 more insider tips for Stockholm.
  1. If you enjoy Medieval and Viking history, then learn all about the middle ages and the Viking era for free at the Medeltidsmuseet (Medieval Museum).
  1. Explore Stockholm’s historic food halls – Östermalms Saluhall, Hötorgshallen, and Söderhallarna. They are perfect places for vibrant photography and will definitely induce hunger.
  1. There are usually free displays and exhibitions going on at iconic Kulturhuset located right in the heart of town at Sergels torg.
  1. There are 38 free outdoor gyms all across Stockholm you can use to get your workouts in. You can learn more over at our friends, Stockholm on a Shoestring.
  1. Check out some free summer culture and arts festivals such as Stockholm Kulturfestival, Stockholm Pride, and Stockholm Street Festival (Summer).

Street performers in Stockholm

  1. There are a handful of free winter festivals for you to enjoy as well such as the Stockholm Winter Show (Winter).
  1. Explore Stockholm’s public libraries particularly the visually stunning Stadsbibliotek with its circular interior architecture and Kungliga Biblioteket – Sweden’s National Library.
  1. Check out Stockholm’s Christmas markets (Winter).
  1. If you’re an avid runner, check out these free curated running trails all over Stockholm.
  1. While you would have to pay for your cocktails, you can actually get into many lounge bars and some nightclubs to enjoy their DJs and live music for no cover charge if you come early enough. For example, popular music club Debaser lets you in for free before 10pm and Södra Teatern has a calender of free musical and club acts as well. Lydmar Hotel also hosts its Lydmar Summer Sessions with DJs spinning every day during the summer with free entry.
  1. If you enjoy the performing arts, Dansmuseet – The Museum for Perfoming and Visual Arts – is free to enter and you can explore dance and theatre from various cultures including live performances.
  1. Mill around Kungsträdgården. There are always free performances, events, concerts, and entertainment going on. It’s also the best place in town to catch cherry blossoms in bloom in the spring.
  1. Galleri Kontrast provides free admission to come view its documentary photography displays and photojournalism exhibitions.
  1. One of Stockholm’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Skogskyrkogården – The Woodland Cemetery – is one of those rare heritage sites which bears witness to mankind and the fragility of life while celebrating nature, innovation, and all that makes life beautiful.
  1. Want to try your hands at Frisbee golf? Here are some free Frisbee golf courses in Stockholm where you can play.

Stockholm_041

  1. Tour the Riksdag – Swedish Parliament – for free. On offer are hour-long tours that take place every weekend at 1:30pm during the winter and, additionally, four times daily every weekday during the summer. Spaces are limited and usually fill up fast so plan accordingly.
  1. Go for a relaxing hike around Hellasgården which is a protected nature reserve about 15 minutes from Slussen.
  1. Sweden’s public radio service, SR, offers free live concerts called “Music Place Stockholm” at Radiohuset every Friday at 12.30.  These are very popular and fill up fast so plan an hour ahead to guarantee a spot.
  1. Explore one of Stockholm’s three major hiking trails – Sörmlandsleden,Upplandsleden, and Roslagsleden.
  1. Pack your own lunch and go splay out under the apple orchards at Rosendals Trädgård.
  1. There are free improv comedy shows you can catch around town. In English too.
  1. If you love cathedrals and their intricate décor, there are several beautiful churches to explore in Stockholm such as Stockholm Cathedral, Riddarholmen Church, Katarina Church, and Maria Magdalena Church. Most of them offer free concerts and choir performances too.
  1. The Nobel Museum which chronicles the history of Alfred Nobel, the prestigious award as well as the Nobel Laureates offers free admission on Tuesdays from 5-8pm.
  1. Browse Meetup.com for free gatherings going on in Stockholm based on your personal interests and hobbies. A solid way to connect with locals and expats.
  1. The Stockholm City Museum is also free to visit and you can learn about the city’s birth, growth, and modern day lifestyles through various permanent exhibits.

Stockholm skyline

  1. If you’re traveling with kids, Stockholm is littered with free outdoor playgrounds. Humlegården is a wonderful central park with a popular playground and a skate park as well.
  1. Listen to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for free during the summer. A long standing tradition in which the royal orchestra plays a free concert at Gärdet at the Maritime Museum (Summer).
  1. Spend your Christmas Eve at the world’s oldest open air museum, Skansen. Founded in 1891, it is a visual manifestation of Swedish tradition, culture, history, and folklore. Admission is free on December 24 (Winter).
  1. Go ice-skating on frozen Lake Mälaren as well as many ice-rinks around town. You’ll have to bring your own skates of course (Winter).
  1. Love collecting coins? You might find The Royal Coin Cabinet fascinating. It is the national museum of economy with over 2,500 years’ worth of history on coinage. Check it out for free.
  1. Visit Stockholm’s iconic City Hall (Stadshuset). While you have to pay to go up its tower for stunning views of the city, you can still explore its grounds and impressive archways for free. Very photogenic building from all angles.
  1. Go to court…literally. Stockholm’s District Court House (Rådhuset) is an impressive 20th century Romanesque building. You can visit the building for free to take a look around its architecture, art, and sculptures but you’ll have to go through security check first.
  1. Take a free Zumba class.The docked Thaiboat Restaurant & Club organizes a free Zumba Caribevibe class at the quay from 4-5pm during the summer months of June-August (Summer). Other gyms like Zumba Sol offer free test classes as well.
  1. Another kid-friendly place to explore in town, Rikidrottsmuseet – The National Sports Museum of Sweden – which has exhibitions covering Swedish sports history, its hosting of the 1912 Olympic Games, and its current athletic stars. You can try various sports, activities, and physical challenges as well.
  1. Enjoy free concerts at Stockholms Konserthus featuring teenage maestros in the making. 16-19 year old classical and jazz musicians take the stage for 20 minutes four times daily during the summer months of June-August (Summer).

Stockholm skyline, Sweden

free-things-to-do-in-stockholm

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Check out our What’s On page where you can see a ton more cool (and free) offbeat events happening around Stockholm that get you off the tourist track and deeper into the culture. Gratis i Stockholm is also a wonderful resource for up-to-the-minute free events and experiences in Stockholm (in Swedish only).

For overall value, if you’ll be spending three days or more in Stockholm (which we highly recommend of course), you can look into getting a My Stockholm Pass city card which gives you free admission to 75 attractions, 14 free tours, and tons of discounts.

Here are also some of the best and some free Stockholm apps to download – with everything from the public transport schedules and street food truck locators to discovering the city’s best parks and exploring Stockholm’s history in real-time (cool app here!).

Now that you’ve saved all that money through free activities and experiences, be sure to splurge on some of Stockholm’s best seafood restaurants and steakhouses.

Do you know of more free things to do in Stockholm? Please share below and we can compile 50 more tips.


Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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  • Katarina Wohlfart

    Wow, what a massive post! 🙂

  • What a fantastic list, wish I had more time to explore everything you listed. Here are a few more of my favorite things to do in Stockholm when I visited http://travelphotodiscovery.com/top-20-things-to-do-in-stockholm/

  • This is a wonderful list. I’m really looking forward to visiting Sweden later on in the year!
    Well done! 🙂

  • Sonja

    That’s a great list and some excellent tips, Lola! I certainly won’t be short of things to do on my second Stockholm visit this July. 🙂

  • Onur Kirman

    It is great to find this long and detailed list about Stockholm. Thanks a lot. I will go there for a week in the winter tho 🙂 I hope it will be great for me. I will try as much as I can from the list. If you would like to add something out of this list, I will be really thankful 🙂

    • Glad to hear you found the list very helpful! There’s lots to do in town that are wallet-friendly 🙂

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