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Free Things to Do in Stockholm

Updated: March 12, 2024

As local tour guides who live on a budget here in Stockholm, we take advantage of the free things there are to do in our city.

In this post, we share 21 of our favorite free (or very cheap) things to do including free museums and attractions, free things to do at night and family-friendly activities that don't cost a thing.

1. View the Changing of the Royal Guard

This popular 40-minute ceremony takes place daily in front of the royal palace. 

Swedish Armed Forces guard march in time with a military band as they hand over protection of the royal family to the next squad. 

There is no cost Ceremony times can be found here.

2. Visit the Nobelmuseet

The Nobel Prize museum can be found in the Gamla stan in one of Stockholm’s 18th-century buildings. 

The exhibits cover Alfred Nobel, an inventor and the founder of the prize, as well as other Nobel Laureates, celebrating the fact that  “ideas can change the world”.

It's always free for children and youth, aged 18 and under. Check out the website to see any special dates it may be free for adults as well. 

TIP: It's always free for holders of a money-saving Stockholm Tourist Attraction Pass.

3. Discover Medieval Stockholm at the Medeltidsmuseet 

Here you will find a medieval graveyard loaded with skeletons, a warship, a city wall, life-sized replicas of medieval buildings, and a display of Stockholm's beginnings centuries ago.

There is something of interest to both adults and children, and entrance is free.  Find more information here.

4. Stroll through Gamla Stan

Old town Stockholm is pedestrian-friendly and packed with charming buildings edging cobblestone streets.

In addition to cafes and restaurants, there are 11 museums, the Royal Palace, three medieval churches, the stock exchange building where the Nobel Prize is announced, and many tourist shops.

5. Take a Free Walking Tour

If you're on a budget, a free walking tour is one of the best ways to see Stockholm.

With these tours, you tip only what you think the tour was worth and you aren't required to pay anything. 

Read our post on a few different companies that offer free walking tours.

6. People-Watch in Kungsträdgården

One of the city's oldest parks, Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden), is one of the city's most popular meeting spots.

Here you’ll find Cherry Blossom trees, flowers, festivals, concerts, restaurants and cafes, fountains, and more. It’s the perfect spot to relax, have a cup of tea and people-watch.

The park is located here in the Normalm district of Stockholm, on the water. 

If you have the Stockholm Pass the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus makes a stop at the end of the park.

7. Free Museums

Several museums in Stockholm, like the Medieval Museum mentioned above, are free to visit.

Below is a list of museums that offer free admission on specific days or times.

8. Go ice skating in the center of Stockholm

Speaking of things to do in Kungsträdgården, during some months there's ice skating in the park, even at night.

Ice Skating In Kungsträdgården

Entry to this fairy-light-draped-rink is free to enter, and skates can be cheaply rented if you don’t have your own.

Visit here for their schedule.

90 of Stockholm’s 100 t-bana (subway) stations are decorated with themes reflecting an important time in Swedish history or a subject relating to Stockholm.

Décor has been created using tiles, paintings, drawings, sculptures, lighting, and more.

Information on tickets and travel cards can be found here.

10. Walk Amongst the Graves of Skogskyrkogården

This world heritage site is home to an early 20th-century graveyard, one whose design of the natural and architectural have become the model for cemeteries around the world. 


Visit the Mediation Hill, chapels and buildings, and even the simple gravestone of one of Sweden’s most famous exports, Greta Garbo.

A visitor and audio tour can be found here.

11. Window Shop in Stockholm's Hippest Neighborhood  

Sofo (South of Folkungagatan) sits in the Sodermalm district.

The neighborhood was named by those who wanted to mimic the coolness of the Sohos of London and New York.

Here you'll find places that are kitschy, colorful, or just plain creative.

In addition to boutiques, design showrooms, music shops, and vintage stores, you'll find it a better spot for rubbing shoulders with locals than some of the more touristy areas of the city. 

12. Follow a Self-Guided Tour

If you want the freedom to explore Stockholm at your own pace, consider downloading an audio tour.  All you need is your cell phone. 

Self Guidedf Tour Stockholm

Click here to find one short and one much longer self-guided audio tour.  

13. Visit An Old Church

Katarina Kyrka, named after the mother of one of Sweden’s Kings, is over 325 years old and one of Stockholm’s most important churches.

Katarina Kyrka

The church has been rebuilt more than once due to damage from fires.

It's a stunning yellow beauty with gold decor, a front-facing clock, and a dark-tiled octagonal dome. 

There are free 20-minute pipe organ concerts a few times a week, in addition to other cultural events For information on activities at the church, visit here.

14. Eat at Östermalms Saluhall

One of the largest food halls in the world, Östermalms, opened in 1888. You can find all sorts of Swedish delicacies such as reindeer and moose meats.

Of course, it also includes regular daily fare such as fish, bread, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, and cheeses.

Casual, and within a 10-minute walk from the city center, it is soon to move back from across the street after a three-year renovation.

Entry is free. The address and hours of operation can be found here.

15. Take pictures from Monteliusvägen or Fjällgatan

Monteliusvägen is considered to have one of the best views in the city.

Follow this footpath along the cliffs of Södermalm, catching sight of Stockholm City Hall across the water in one direction and Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town, across the other. 


Another stunning view can be had from Fjällgatan, also in Södermalm, along the edge of a cliff. This is a great spot for a panoramic view of the city.

Fjällgatan is a popular stop on the city bus tours, so that provides another way of getting there: 

16. Let Your Kids Run in Mulle Meck Park

Mulle Meck Park was built to be interactive. It's located in Järvastaden, the children's district of Stockholm. 

Mulle Meck Park

Kids have access to airplanes, boats, houses, rocket ships, a garage, a zip line, a water pump and more. It's the perfect place to let their imaginations fly!

Access to the park is free and parking is close by.

More information about the park.

17. Visit  Stockholm's Parliament Building  

On the little island between Gamla stan and Stockholm’s city center, is Sweden’s Parliament, one of the city’s most recognizable buildings.

As Swedes say, “Openness and transparency are central to Swedish democracy” – therefore guests are welcome at hearings, debates, and votes.

Tours go out five times a day though they are limited to only 28 people in each.

Read more about theses tours.

18. Take a picture of Stockholm's Narrowest Alley

Not for the claustrophobic, the Mårten Trötzigs Gränd is a high-walled narrow alley in Galma stan, one with a width that tapers down to just 35 inches. 

Mårten Trötzigs Gränd

If you have the Stockholm Pass the hop on hop off tour visits Galma Stan. 

19. Take You Own Millenium Series Tour through Södermalm

If you're a fan of the best-selling, Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, you might enjoy visiting the neighborhood where the characters and the author frequented!

Kaffe Bar

Follow the map at the bottom of the page here.

20. View Stockholm From the Top of One of Stockholm's Most Well Known Buildings

The world's largest spherical building is known to Swedes as "the Globe" (pronounced gloo-ben).

Its exterior round glass elevator, Skyview, takes you to the very top of the building where you can look out over the city at 400 feet above sea level. 

Entry to Skyview is free with both the Stockholm Pass and the IVenture Card.

Galleri Kontrast is owned by the Swedish Press Photographers Club, has a fantastic reputation for its display of photojournalism photography.

Galleri Kontrast

As Sweden's newspapers fund the gallery, entrance is free. Opening times can be found here


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: March 12th, 2024
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