Stockholm is an underrated travel destination, as the Swedish capital is perfect for a city break.
In this travel guide, I will look closer at where to stay in Stockholm for the best experience.
Stockholm is a big city, but the centre is relatively compact, so if you stay centrally, you can walk around to many of the city’s best things to do.
So let’s get started with the guide: where to stay in Stockholm? 👇🏻
- Best areas in Stockholm
- 1. Gamla Stan – where to to stay for first-time visitors ⭐️
- Hotels in Gamla Stan
- 2. Norrmalm – stay in the city centre close to everything 🏨
- Hotels in Norrmalm
- 3. Södermalm – stay in Stockholm’s hipster area 👩🏻🎨
- Hotels in Södermalm
- 4. Östermalm – where to stay for families with children 👨👩👦
- Hotels in Östermalm
- What’s the best area to stay in Stockholm for tourists?
- When is the best time to visit Stockholm?
- How much do hotels in Stockholm cost?
- How long should I spend in Stockholm to see most of it?
- Is Stockholm an expensive city to visit?
- What is the best way to get around Stockholm?
Best areas in Stockholm
If you’re in a rush and want the highlights – here are the best places to stay in Stockholm for different types of travellers:
- Gamla Stan – where to stay for first-timers & most normal tourists
- Norrmalm – where to stay if you want to be in the city centre
- Södermalm – where to stay for hipsters and trendy vibes
- Östermalm – where to stay for families with children
The guide on where to stay in Stockholm continues below.
1. Gamla Stan – where to to stay for first-time visitors ⭐️
Gamla Stan is, without a doubt, the best area to stay in when travelling to Stockholm as a tourist.
When searching for pictures of Stockholm or looking for which sights to experience in the Swedish capital, Gamla Stan undoubtedly appears.
- Gamla Stan translates to Old Town.
It’s like with Nyhavn in Copenhagen: you can’t travel to Stockholm without experiencing Gamla Stan.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to stay in this area, as you’ll be within walking distance of most of Stockholm’s main attractions and quickly get from Arlanda Airport to your hotel.
Gamla Stan is located on its a small island south of Norrmalm (which is the next area on the list) and has sights such as:
- Stockholm Palace
- Riksdagen (the parliament building)
- Riddarholmen Church
- The Nobel Museum and numerous fantastic small shops, restaurants and cafes.
In other words, Gamla Stan is the perfect area to stay when heading to Stockholm.
Get a feel for the vibe in Stockholm’s Old Town in this video:
Hotels in Gamla Stan
There are plenty of hotels to choose from, so there are plenty of options. The only downside to the area may be that hotel prices can be pushed up if you’re travelling during peak season.
However, my advice is that if you can find space in your budget, consider a hotel in Gamla Stan.
Specifically, I can recommend this fantastic 4-star hotel in Gamla Stan.
This is an excellent hotel with complimentary breakfast, a fitness centre, and a location just a few minutes walk from Stortorget in Gamla Stan. It doesn’t get much better than this.
A slightly cheaper alternative could be Scandic Gamla Stan, a 4-star hotel in the heart of Gamla Stan.
The hotel receives good reviews, and as always with a Scandic hotel, you know what you’re getting: excellent service and nice, clean rooms.
Finding cheap hotels in Gamla Stan is difficult, but the best bet is probably Mälardrottningen Hotel, a 3-star hotel with excellent reviews from previous guests.
This hotel on a boat might be particularly suitable for those looking for an untraditional place to stay in Stockholm.
As I said – I recommend staying in Gamla Stan for first-time travellers to Stockholm, but it’s a small area, so it might be hard to find a hotel in peak season.
So let’s look at another fantastic area to stay in Stockholm for first-timers and tourists.
2. Norrmalm – stay in the city centre close to everything 🏨
Norrmalm is just a short walk across the bridge to the north from Gamla Stan, where you’ll find what could be called Stockholm City Centre.
If you stay in Norrmalm, you’re guaranteed to be in the centre of Stockholm and can easily travel to other areas you wish to explore.
Much like Gamla Stan, there are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars here – precisely what you’d expect from a modern capital the size of Stockholm.
This is also where the city’s central train station (Centralstationen) is located.
In my opinion, Norrmalm is the second-best area to stay in Stockholm.
Gamla Stan is more charming with its old buildings, but Norrmalm is a good alternative, and it may be easier to find a cheaper hotel here since both the area and the selection are larger.
Hotels in Norrmalm
There are, of course, plenty of good hotels in Norrmalm – both luxury and slightly cheaper alternatives.
Suppose you’d like to stay at one of the better hotels in Norrmalm.
In that case, I recommend Elite Hotel Adlon, a 4-star hotel with various room types, providing excellent accommodation options for families with children, couples, and solo travellers.
If you want to stay at one of the most luxurious hotels in Stockholm, with a swimming pool, four restaurants, rooms overlooking Stockholm’s harbour, and a spa area, then book your stay at Grand Hôtel Stockholm.
It’s undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Norrmalm and probably all of Stockholm. So, this is a great option if you want to stay at a luxury hotel in Stockholm.
However, there are also many cheap hotels in Norrmalm. One of the best and most conveniently located is Comfort Hotel Xpress Stockholm Central.
The hotel is next to Stockholm Central Station, the city’s largest train station and a great hub to stay at if you want to go around and experience a lot in the Swedish capital.
Just be aware when choosing a room at the hotel – the cheapest rooms don’t have windows, which is the primary reason the hotel doesn’t score top marks from previous guests.
It’s clearly stated when booking, so if you don’t want to stay in a cheap room without a window, choose one of the other options.
And then it’s one of the best cheap hotels in Stockholm city centre.
3. Södermalm – stay in Stockholm’s hipster area 👩🏻🎨
On my first trip to Stockholm, I stayed in the Södermalm area south of Gamla Stan.
This is a more alternative part of the city than the two areas mentioned above.
Only much larger, thus giving a feeling of having more space around you.
Södermalm is often on lists of the coolest areas in the world, and it’s undoubtedly where you’ll find the most hipster-like atmosphere in Stockholm.
With that comes lively nightlife, so if you’d like to go out and perhaps visit less traditional nightclubs, Södermalm is an excellent choice.
I would also choose Södermalm as a base if I were going to Stockholm with my partner, and we never go out on the town – so it’s not just because of the nightlife that you should choose to book a hotel in Södermalm.
By the way, I highly recommend walking up Mariaberget, where you’ll get a phenomenal view over Gamla Stan and the rest of central Stockholm.
To be close to the rest of Stockholm, I’d recommend choosing a hotel in the northern part of Södermalm.
Hotels in Södermalm
Hotels in Södermalm are typically cheaper than in Gamla Stan and Norrmalm, so you can find some great deals here.
I stayed at the Scandic Malmen Hotel, ideally located right next to the Medborgarplatsen square and where there’s also a metro station.
It was, by the way, somewhat cheaper than hotels further into the city centre 😉
If you’re looking for a more luxurious hotel in Södermalm, NOFO Hotel is perfect.
It’s a 4-star hotel that’s extremely nice and has a perfect location within walking distance to Gamla Stan, so even if you’re staying in Södermalm, you can quickly get to the many famous sights in central Stockholm.
If you’re okay with staying in the southern part of Södermalm, you should consider checking out Clarion Hotel Stockholm.
It’s a surprisingly cheap place to stay in Stockholm when considering what you get for your money.
It’s a luxurious 4-star hotel with rooms overlooking the harbour, an indoor pool, and a cosy atmosphere.
The downside is that you’re a bit away from the city centre of Stockholm, but if you want to save money and stay at an excellent hotel, it’s a great option.
4. Östermalm – where to stay for families with children 👨👩👦
Östermalm is located just east of Norrmalm (central Stockholm with Drottninggatan, the main shopping street).
Östermalm is slightly less busy than Norrmalm, so I’d consider it the perfect area in Stockholm if you’re travelling with children.
That being said, none of the areas in this guide on where to stay in Stockholm wouldn’t be suitable for families with children.
The most significant advantage might be that, in Östermalm, you’re close to Djurgården and Gröna Lund, which is Stockholm’s equivalent to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen – so an amusement park you can’t miss if you’re travelling with kids 🎢
Both are things to do in Stockholm I highly recommend. Many sightseeing boat tours pass by, and a sightseeing boat tour is a must when travelling to Stockholm.
In Östermalm, I can also recommend stopping by Saluhall, which is a great indoor food market.
Hotels in Östermalm
There are many good hotels in Östermalm, and you’ll stay within walking distance of most things in central Stockholm, making it an excellent area for a city break.
It’s slightly cheaper to stay here in Östermalm than in the absolute centre of Norrmalm, so you typically get a bit more for your money here.
One of the best 4-star hotels in the area is Elite Eden Park Hotel.
It’s a good hotel with large rooms next to a lovely park in the city centre of Stockholm, so several rooms have a stunning view.
If you’re looking for a slightly more luxurious hotel in Östermalm, you might want to look at The Sparrow Hotel.
The hotel has everything you need to relax after a day of sightseeing in Stockholm – and it scores excellent ratings from previous guests, so it’s a safe choice if you want to stay in the best surroundings in Östermalm.
I hope you found this travel guide helpful in deciding where to stay in Stockholm and that you’re now ready to book your hotel in the Swedish capital.
If you have any questions about your trip to Stockholm, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Frequently asked questions:
What’s the best area to stay in Stockholm for tourists?
The best area to stay in Stockholm for tourists is usually Gamla Stan (the old town) or Norrmalm, as they are centrally located and close to many of the city’s most popular attractions. However, there are also other suitable areas in Stockholm, which I cover in this guide.
When is the best time to visit Stockholm?
The best time to visit Stockholm is during the late spring and summer months (May to August) when the weather is mild and daylight hours are longer. However, these months also tend to be the busiest and most expensive. If you don’t mind cooler weather, visiting during the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) can be a good option for fewer crowds and lower prices.
How much do hotels in Stockholm cost?
The prices for hotels in Stockholm vary depending on the season and location. Prices can range from around 80 euros to over 300 euros per night. Generally, hotels in the city centre and in the most popular areas are more expensive than hotels in the areas further out. In this guide, I recommend, among others, a really good hotel in southern Södermalm, which would be twice as expensive if it were located in the centre.
How long should I spend in Stockholm to see most of it?
I recommend spending at least three days in Stockholm to see most of the city’s main sights and experience its culture and atmosphere.
Is Stockholm an expensive city to visit?
Stockholm can be an expensive city to visit, especially regarding dining out and accommodation. However, there are ways to save money, such as staying in budget-friendly hotels or hostels, using public transportation, and visiting free attractions like parks and museums.
What is the best way to get around Stockholm?
Stockholm has an efficient and extensive public transport system, including buses, trams, ferries, and the metro (the Tunnelbana). The city is also walkable and bike-friendly, making exploring different neighbourhoods and attractions on foot or by bike easy.