Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is a city that exudes a charm that's both captivating and understated. Nestled amidst the picturesque archipelago of Lake Mälaren, the city seamlessly blends its rich history with modern vibrancy. These are our favourite fun facts about Stockholm that might make your visit even more special.

1. Stockholm is a city of islands

The city of Stockholm sits on 14 islands, which are connected by 57 bridges. Each island has its own history and unique characteristics to explore on your visit to Stockholm. The 14 islands are: Stadsholmen, Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen, Strömsborg, Kungsholmen, Långholmen, Södermalm, Djurgården, Becksholmen, Reimersholme, Skeppsholmen, Kastellholmen, Lissa Essingen, and Stora Essingen.

Beyond the city lies the Stockholm archipelago, which consists of over 30,000 islands, skerries and rocks. It is the largest archipelago in Sweden and the second largest in the Baltic Sea. All these islands mean that Sweden has the most islands of any country in the world, 267,570 islands at last count most of them uninhabited.

2. Stockholm was the home of many famous Swedes

The richness of Stockholm’s culture shows in the many famous Swedes it has produced. Avicii was born in here, ABBA was formed in here and Astrid Lindgren the author of Pippi Longstocking died in the Swedish capital. Today you can visit museums and attractions dedicated to these famous Stockholmers at the Avicii Experience, ABBA The Museum and Junibacken.

3. The Vasa Museum is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia

One of the most famous museums in Stockholm is the Vasa Museum. This museum is built around the 17th-century ship the Vasa, which is the most fully intact salvaged ship of its kind. The 64-gun warship sank on her maiden voyage, before it even left the harbour of the city, in 1628.

The ship was discovered on the bottom of the harbour in the 1950s. And 333 years after it sank it was salvaged. After being on display in a temporary museum for 30 years, the current, specially designed museum opened in 1990.

4. The Stockholm metro is the longest art gallery in the world

Travelling by metro in Stockholm is an artistic experience, as 90 of the tunnelbana’s 100 stations have artwork on display. The first art displays appeared in the 1950s on the metro system which spans over 100 kilometres. Some of the most eye-catching stations are the ‘grotto’ stations which sit deep under the city and have exposed but decorated bedrock.

10 fun facts about Stockholm

5. Stockholm is one of the cleanest capitals in the world

In 2010 the Swedish capital was named the first ‘green capital’ of Europe, and ever since then the city has continued developing smart, clean and green initiatives. The city has reduced its carbon emissions by over 25% since 1990 and aims to be fossil free by 2050. There is little to no heavy industry in the city and most people make their living in the service industry.

The metro is but a small part of Stockholm’s public transport network, which also includes buses and trams, and many people make their way around the city by bike. In summer the locals often swim in the water off of Södermalm and Kungsholmen. The city further recycles or reuses over 98% of its garbage and produces no landfill at all.

6. The world’s oldest open-air museum is located in Stockholm

In 1891, Artur Hazelius realised that the many changes of the industrial age would result in the disappearance of traditional Swedish life. To preserve traditional Swedish customs and occupations, he opened Skansen, the first open-air museum in the world. A visit here will take you back in time to pre-industrial Sweden, you can visit craft workshops, learn about Swedish traditions and culture, and learn about Nordic animals.

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Skansen – Open-air museum
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Skansen – Open-air museum

7. Stockholm’s Avicii Globe is the second largest spherical building in the world

From 1989 until 2023 the Avicii Globe, formerly known as the Globe Arena and the Ericsson Globe, was the largest spherical building in the world. It has a diameter of 110 metres and a capacity of 16,000 people, and represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System. In 2023, the Sphere in Las Vegas took the crown, which seats 20,000 people.

8. The city’s highest point is in a public park

The highest natural point in Stockholm is Skinnarviksberget on Södermalm, at 53 metres. You can climb to the top with different walking paths that run through Skinnarsviksparken. From the top you have incredible views over the city, including Gamla Stan, City Hall and Skeppsholmen. This spot is popular with both locals and tourists, especially at sunset.

10 fun facts about Stockholm

9. Stockholm boasts the world's first national city park

Many countries have multiple national parks, but national city parks are much rarer. There are less than 100 national city parks in the world and most of them are in Sweden. The very first of its kind is the Royal National City Park in Stockholm, which was established in 1995.

The sprawling park stretches from the northern corners of Sörentorp and Ulriksdal to the southern reaches of Djurgården and the island of Fjäderholmarna. It seamlessly weaves through the municipalities of Stockholm and Solna, and is the most well-visited recreational area in the Stockholm region. The park is a great place for a walk or a bike ride, and the park is easily reached with public transport.

10. Gamla Stan is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe

Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, is home to a wealth of historical landmarks, including the Royal Palace, the Storkyrkan cathedral, and the Riddarholmen Church. The town was founded in the 13th-century and along with its landmarks it has many narrow cobblestone streets and colourful 17th and 18th-century buildings. The narrowest street is Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, at its narrowest it is no more than 90 centimetres wide.

10 fun facts about Stockholm