People walking and sitting by the water in Fjäderholmarna, one of the islands closest to Stockholm city

Best of Stockholm in Summer: Festivals, Food, and Fun

One of Scandinavia’s most visually stunning cities, Stockholm in summer reveals its beauty, perched on an archipelago encompassing roughly 30,000 islands leading to the Baltic Sea. The city’s extensive waterways, bays, and rivers cradle numerous islands, each offering a treasure trove of architectural, cultural, and natural wonders.

From the quaint and meticulously preserved 13th-century Gamla Stan, or Old Town, to the expansive, attraction-filled Djurgården park island, Stockholm is a floating, visual masterpiece that leaves visitors in awe of its breathtaking landscape.

Stockholm’s appeal is not solely tied to its striking geography. The city also boasts a unique climate and setting.

Visiting in the summer allows you to experience nearly 24 hours of daylight, a phenomenon celebrated with a lively Midsummer Festival, where you can immerse yourself in Swedish cuisine and traditions. The extended daylight provides ample opportunity to explore the city’s numerous attractions, from historic sites like the Royal Palace to the contemporary ABBA Museum.

Stay at the luxurious Grand Hôtel, which offers stunning views of the waterfront and the Royal Palace, or at a more budget-friendly option, Hotel Rival in Södermalm where you can stroll through the charming streets of Södermalm, enjoy a fika in cozy cafes, or take a boat tour through the serene Stockholm Archipelago.

The combination of Stockholm’s vibrant energy and stunning beauty promises an unforgettable summer adventure.

Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your summer visit to this vibrant city.

Explore the Archipelago

Stockholm is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its stunning archipelago of over 30,000 islands.

Summer is the ideal time to explore these islands, whether by boat, kayak, or ferry.

sunrises in Stockholm archipelago
Experience the beautiful sunsets and sunrises in the archipelago. Photo by Lars Sjöqvist/Visit Sweden

Popular islands like Vaxholm and Sandhamn offer charming villages, beautiful beaches, and opportunities for hiking and swimming.

Visit Historic Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town, is a must-visit in the summer.

Aerial view of The Royal Palace in Stockholm
The Royal Palace in Stockholm. Photo by Jeppe Wikström

Wander through its narrow, cobblestone streets, marvel at the colorful buildings, and visit historic landmarks such as the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan Cathedral, and the Nobel Prize Museum.

The long summer days allow for extended exploration of this picturesque area.

Enjoy Outdoor Museums and Parks

Stockholm is home to several fascinating outdoor museums and parks. Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, offers a glimpse into traditional Swedish life with historic buildings, Nordic animals, and seasonal events.

Skansen Open Air Museum in Stockholm
Skansen Open-Air Museum. Photo by Oskar Scheller

Djurgården, a lush island park, is perfect for a leisurely bike ride, picnic, or visit to the Vasa Museum, which houses a well-preserved 17th-century ship.

Indulge in Swedish Cuisine

Summer in Stockholm is a culinary delight. Enjoy fresh seafood at outdoor markets, indulge in traditional dishes like herring and gravadlax at waterfront restaurants, and don’t miss the Swedish tradition of fika, a coffee break with pastries, at one of the many charming cafes.

Stockholm in summer has many street food festivals where people line up near food and drink trucks

The city’s food festivals, such as the Stockholm Street Food Festival (26-27 July), offer a chance to sample a variety of local and international flavors, while enjoying Stockholm in summer warmness.

Experience the Midnight Sun

Extended daylight is one of the most magical aspects of Stockholm in summer. The city experiences nearly 18 hours of daylight in June, giving you plenty of time to explore and enjoy outdoor activities.

rooftop bar overlooking Stockholm
Enjoy delicious cocktails and a magnificent view on the rooftop at Freyja. Photo by Emmie Bolmstedt/Visit Sweden

Take a late-night walk along the waterfront, visit an outdoor concert, or simply soak in the endless daylight at one of the city’s rooftop bars.

Attend Summer Festivals

Stockholm’s summer is packed with festivals and events. The Stockholm Culture Festival in August showcases a diverse range of music, dance, theater, and art.

Pride festival in Stockholm, Love letters in LGBTQ colors
Stockholm Pride Festival. Photo credit: Emmie Bolmstedt/Visit Sweden

Stockholm Pride, held in late July and early August, is Scandinavia’s largest Pride festival, featuring parades, performances, and celebrations of LGBTQ+ culture.

Relax in Stylish Neighborhoods

Explore Stockholm’s trendy neighborhoods like Södermalm, known for its bohemian vibe, hip cafes, and vintage shops.

Two guys drinking coffee in Södermalm
A coffee break at Södermalm. Photo by Tove Freij

Östermalm offers upscale shopping, dining, and beautiful architecture, while Norrmalm is the bustling city center with major attractions and vibrant nightlife.

Stockholm in Summer: Take Scenic Boat Tours

Experience Stockholm from the water with a scenic boat tour.

Various options range from short city canal tours to full-day excursions to the outer archipelago.

archipelago tour by traditional boats
Traditional boat going to the archipelago. Photo by Jeppe Wikström

These tours provide a unique perspective of the city’s architecture and natural beauty.

Stockholm in summer is a city bursting with life, offering a perfect blend of cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights.

The main/top photo shows Fjäderholmarna, one of the islands closest to Stockholm city.
Photo by Anne Sofie Eriksson

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