This post lists 21 top free (and cheap) things to do in Stockholm, as well as family-friendly events and activities.
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, and ceremony times can be found here.
2. Visit the Nobelmuseet
The Nobel Prize museum can be found in the Gamla stan in one 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”.
Always free for children, check out the website to see when it is free for adults as well.
It's also always free for adults with the Stockholm Pass.
3. Discover Medieval Stockholm at the Medeltidsmueseum
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. Ride the IKEA bus
Have the desire to eat Swedish meatballs at the biggest, and second-oldest, IKEA in the world? There’s a free bus to get you there!
Ikea has its own bus stop at Vasagatan 38 very near the Norrmalm station.
The bus takes you 20 minutes south of Stockholm to Ikea Kungens Kurva, making it a good way of seeing Gamla Stan and Södermalm for free.
7. People Watch in Kungsträdgården
One of the cities oldest parks, Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden), is one of the cities 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.
8. Ice skate 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.
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.
9. View the World’s Longest Art Gallery While Riding the T-bana
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 across 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 on your own time, consider downloading and following an audio tour. All you need is your cell phone.
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.
The church has been rebuilt more than once due to damage from fires.
It now stands as 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.
The 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 hard 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.
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. Visit here for more information about the park.
17. Visit Stockholm's Parliament Building
On its own 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. Information can be found on the Swedish Parliament website.
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.
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, Millenium series of books, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, you might enjoy visiting the neighborhoods where the characters and the author lived, worked and had coffee every day!
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.
21. Visit a Documentary Photography Gallery
Galleri Kontrast is owed by the Swedish Press Photographers Club, has a fantastic reputation for its display of photojournalism photography.
As Sweden's newspapers fund the gallery, entrance is free. Opening times can be found here.