Long time traveler, first time solo-er.
Stockholm was the last leg of my journey on a trip through Scandinavia with fellow bloggers Cam & Claudia. After coming by train from Oslo, the girls had it planned to leave earlier than me so I had no choice but to spend 3 days in the city all by my lonesome.
I’ve flown back and forth to Europe by myself but have never spent more than a day there alone so I’ll admit, being on my own in a foreign place for the first time was quite intimidating. Luckily, Stockholm’s charm completely enveloped me and I got lost in everything it had to offer. The youthful vibe it exuded still had this pristine sophistication about it that made it quickly soar up to one of my favorite cities I’ve been to.
Here’s the Solo Girl’s Guide to Stockholm:
Why Stockholm is a Good Place for Female Solo Travel
I’ve heard from multiple people that Scandinavia is one of the best places to travel as a solo female. I definitely felt that way while in Norway but I wasn’t sure if that safety and security would uphold when I got to Stockholm.
The city of Stockholm itself and all of the activities and sights it has to offer is so easily-accessible. The subway system is simple to navigate, the streets are pedestrian-friendly and the various districts offering multitudes of activities means you could spend a whole day wandering the same area.
As far as safety goes, I really did feel very secure in Stockholm. I walked 2 miles one way to a concert venue in the middle of the night and was not bothered one time. I also trekked for an hour to catch a bus to the airport and, while I did see and hear a lot of drunken ruckus, nobody even noticed me, the girl dragging her suitcase through cobblestone streets at 3 a.m. The thing is, I wouldn’t even do that here in the States in the middle of the night so that’s saying a lot for the safety of Stockholm.
Interestingly enough, 9 out of 10 people in Sweden speak English, making Stockholm a great option for female solo travelers who aren’t bilingual. The vibe of the city is more youthful and hipster, offering plenty of restaurants and chill bars dotted around every corner and creating a social environment that’s good for people by themselves.
Where to Stay
Not only do female solo travelers want to feel safe where ever we’re staying, but budget is important too as places tend to be cheaper when you’re splitting the bill.
The best two districts to stay in as a solo traveler are in the Old Town of Gamla Stan or the hipster district of Södermalm:
- Hotel Point or Hotel Söder in Södermalm
- Castle House Inn or Old Town Lodge in Gamla Stan
Click here to save some money on your first stay with AirBnb!
Where to Eat
Budget, safety, good eats and the feeling that we don’t stick out like a sore thumb are all the factors that go into choosing where to eat as a female solo traveler.
Here are some worthy places to eat at that combine all of those elements:
- Breakfast: If you’re not eating at your hostel or hotel (which I highly recommend you do!) then try out a couple of other breakfast-worthy places:
- Lunch/Dinner: Sooo many yummy options here in Stockholm for lunch or dinner, especially for vegetarians. I was pleasantly surprised to see nearly more vegetarian options on menus than meat options! Here’s where I’d recommend:
How to Spend Your Time in Stockholm
Stockholm is chock-full of things to do and things to see. With just over 50 museums and 100 attractions, the city boasts loads of history and offers multiple options for tours.
Here’s how I spent my time alone in the city for a few days, including all the activities I’d recommend for a female solo traveler:
A Walking Tour
Follow this map to go on a self-guided walking tour in Stockholm, beginning at T-Centralen.
At nearly 70 miles long, Stockholm’s Tunnelbana is the longest art exhibit in the world. Beginning at T-Centralen is the perfect place to embark on a self-guided subway art tour. For a full guide on Stockholm’s Tunnelbana + Subway Art, take a look at my post here.
Take a Ferry
Ride a ferry to different areas in the city like Djurgården, a tranquil park in the midst of the island of museums. While here, explore the more popular things to see like the Skansen open-air museum, the aquarium, Gröna Lund amusement park and the interactive Abba Museum.
You can buy tickets for the ferry at the booth here in front of the Grand Hotel.
The bridge that connects Blasieholmen to Skeppsholmen features a beautiful golden crown with stunning views of Gamla Stan across the water.
One of my favorite areas in Stockholm, quiet Skeppsholmen is home to a park, walking paths and a couple of popular museums like the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art), featuring works from artists like Picasso.
Across the small bridge is the quaint island of Kastellholmen featuring a 19th-century castle.
And this was about the time I fell completely head over heels for Stockholm.
Gamla Stan, or the Old Town of Stockholm, dates back to the 1200s and features medieval-style colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s no secret with history like this that you could spend a whole day exploring Gamla Stan alone.
Here are a few worthy things to see in Gamla Stan:
The Royal Palace
Acting as the residence for the King, the Baroque-style Royal Palace is one of the more famous sights in Stockholm. Multiple tours of the inside of the Palace are offered year-round and you can buy your tickets here.
Possibly the most photographed area in Gamla Stan (behind the Palace) is Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm, and it even presents a Christmas market here in the winter.
Stockholm’s skyline is dominated by church steeples and some of the most beautiful cathedrals exist here in Gamla Stan. Storkyrkan is the oldest church, opening in the early 1300s. Be sure to see the Saint George and the Dragon statue, a medieval bronze sculpture that was installed here in the 1400s.
Mårten Trotzigs Gränd
Stockholm’s oldest street is also the narrowest and is a popular thing to see in Gamla Stan.
This smaller public square in Gamla Stan offers multiple cafés and shops and the entrance to the square is probably the coolest as you walk through a colorful tunnel under a building.
Eat a Chocolate Ball at the Oldest Café
One of Stockholm’s delectable desserts is this small chocolate ball filled with oats and butter and rolled around in coconut. It’s such a dreamy little snack and the perfect thing to pair with a latte.
There aren’t many more things I love doing more in European cities than sitting at a café outside drinking coffee and watching people stroll by. The Sundbergs Konditori has been operating in Gamla Stan since the late 1700s and has the most adorable atmosphere on the inside, jetting you back to the interior style of that era.
Stockholm boasts some of the best shopping in Europe, I mean, it is where IKEA came from! Hit up the posh Östermalm district for some thrift stores and shopping malls or in Södermalm for more high-end designer shops.
This popular viewpoint is an amazing place to come for sunset as you can watch the colors of the sky change over the water and Stockholm’s buildings. Views of Kungsholmen across the water is a sight to see.
One of my favorite little spots in Stockholm is the harbor over on the Katarina-Sofia side of Södermalm. This pedestrian-friendly walkway hugs the edge of the island to the water, featuring multiple house boats and spectacular views of Stockholm. There are also a couple of different restaurants and bars in this area, even one like the Thai Boat that offers late night eats and cocktails in an awesome setting.
Go to a Concert
Who cares if you don’t have anyone to accommodate you, head to one of Stockholm’s 10 concert halls to jive away front row to your favorite band. Tons of American artists frequent Europe for their tours and I was lucky enough to see Dave Matthews Band front row during my stay in the city!
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