So you’re in Stockholm and you have a couple hours in between flights. To be worth getting out of the airport, I apply the following daytime rules
- >=6 hours, in any large metropolitan city in Western Europe – since there is always great rail travel with no traffic
- >= 8 hours, in any large metropolitan city in Asia – since the traffic is always a killer – and there is no way to actually beat traffic
- >= 4 hours, in any small Caribbean island – since the airport will be tiny, the lines will be short and the traffic will be fairly non existent (Doesn’t apply to Jamaica, Trinidad or Puerto Rico)
- I wouldn’t even bother with a layover in Trinidad, unless it is super early in the morning and you have a really late evening flight – the traffic and taxi situation destroys any possibility rocking a layover
- >=7 hours, in any large metropolitan city in North America – the lineups at North American airports can be brutal, unless you have airline status
Once you’ve set the threshold, then you’re off on your epic layover in Stockholm … the easiest way to spend your layover time would be do the “Hop On, Hop Off Boat Sightseeing” tours. Unlike other cities where you can do this by bus, Stockholm offers the opportunity to do it by boat – which is completely more effective than using the roads as taxis are SUPER expensive!
The Hop-On Hop-Off boats are popular with cruise visitors because they offer convenient access to top attractions like: Gamla Stan, The Royal Palace, Vasa Museum, the museums on Skeppsholmen and the open-air museum, Skansen.
How to buy tickets
The tickets are easy to buy. You can buy them online, at a ticket booth at Nybroplan or just go up to one of the jump off points and buy them in person at the boat itself. Single use tickets are available on the Hop-On Hop-off boats. The price of an adult ticket is 100 SEK, which is about US$15.88. Children between the ages of 6-11 go for half price ,and children 5 and under are free.
Don’t bother with the extra fees/add-ons, like paying an extra 20 SEK, about US$3.18 per ticket, to get some additional perks: free admission to Gröna Lund, 50% discount to the Fotografiska, 30% discount to Aquaria and 10% discount to Skansenshop – it’s a waste of money, since you won’t be able to do this on a layover.
What to see?
Since you’re only rocking a layover, you will have to pick one of the list below – I would pick either The Royal Palace or Gamla Stan – both are great for photography and both can be weather independent.
- The Royal Palace
Hop-On Hop-Off boat stop closest to the Swedish Royal Family’s official residence, The Royal Armory and Royal Coin Cabinet. Watch the changing of the guards or visit the Cathedral of Stockholm.
- Vasa Museum
A pretty popular attraction, however I think warships are lame … so I didn’t do it. That being said, anything from 1627 has to be cool … right?
If you like museums, then this would be the jump off for you. At this stop, there would be the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities and the Museum of Architecture.
The boat stops by the Aquaria water museum, which is close to Gröna Lund, the amusement park. Walk across the street to Skansen, the open-air museum.
- Gamla Stan (The Old Town)
The Hop-On Hop-Off boat dock serving Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan will deliver passengers to the historic cobblestone streets, cafes and shops.