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Gamla Stan

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Want to go back in time in Stockholm? Direction Gamla Stan!

Literally "the old town", Gamla Stan is the origin of Stockholm over 700 years ago. This neighborhood medieval past the 13th century and we discover happiness with a rich and preserved heritage. Gamla Stan extends over 3 islands which form a natural border between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. Stadsholmen is the largest island, home to the Royal Castle and the Cathedral. To the east you will find Riddarholmen with its old church, the necropolis of the Swedish rulers, and to the north, the islet of Helgeandsholmen where the Parliament stands. It is the quintessential tourist district but you cannot visit Stockholm without exploring this iconic and picturesque part of the city!

Gamla Stan

Gamla stan  Gamla stan

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Most streets in Gamla Stan are closed to traffic and reserved for pedestrians. Its main axis Västerlanggatan is the longest shopping street in the city. It is full of gorgeous old houses remarkably well preserved architecture characteristic of the period of the Middle Ages but also baroque, inspired by the Renaissance or Romantic early 20th century. From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, Gamla Stan was a poor and run down, overcrowded and overrun by disease. Many alleys in this part of town were demolished after WWII to enlarge the Riksdag (Parliament).

Gamla stan
Gamla Stan

The district of Gamla Stan has preserved its medieval atmosphere with its narrow, dark and sloping alleys, its squares, its antique shops, its second-hand shops, its souvenir shops, its craft shops and its art galleries grouped together in the two Västerlanggatan and Österlanggatan streets. On the other side of the old town to the east, Stora Nygatan and Lilla Nygatan streets concentrate traditional restaurants and typical cafes.


This painting "Vädersolstavlan" dates from the year 1535 and is the oldest image of Gamla Stan and Stockholm. Probably painted by Urban Malare, this work no longer exists but a copy dating from the 1630s painted by Jacod Elbfas can be admired in Storkyrkan Cathedral.

During the end of the year celebrations, the Christmas market takes place on Place Stortorget, the historic center of the medieval town. Its name means "great place" because at the time of the founding of the city in the 13th century it was a large and was the neuralgic heart of the city surrounded by walls. Since its wooden houses were replaced by more solid structures in the 17 th and 18 th century.

Christmas market

What to see in Gamla Stan?

    The essential Stortorget

    Stortorget  Stortorget

    Not only is it the main square in Stockholm's Old Town, but also the oldest square in the city! It was mentioned in the city archives as early as 1420. This unmissable square is home to several points of interest such as the Nobel Prize Museum, the popular Chokladkoppen cafe, the Grillska Huset bakery and the Pharmarium bar and restaurant. Notice to photographers and Instagramers! The colorful facades of the buildings on the west side of the square are probably the most photographed in the city!


      Prästgatan  Prästgatan

      Prästgatan is a picturesque street with beautiful houses in the old town. The street is mentioned as early as 1586. Its name (Prästgatan) comes from the fact that this is where many priests of Stockholm Cathedral and the German Church lived. At the corner of Prästgatan / Kåkbrinken, there is a real runestone in the wall from 1100. For obvious reasons, this is the favorite spot for Instagramers.



        The Nobel Museum was founded in the former Stock Exchange building in 2001 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. Sporting a modern and digital museography, we discover the winners of the competition, their lives, their works and the memories they left at this institution. Three rooms are entirely dedicated to the founder of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel, a child from Stockholm born in 1833, who became a chemist and inventor of explosives such as dynamite.

            Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace

            Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace
            Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace  Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace
            Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace

            This building is the pride of the Swedes by expressing their deep attachment to the monarchy that has spanned the centuries. This castle was built from a tower of the 12th century known as Tre Kronor (Three Crowns). Constantly expanded over the centuries, it was embellished with a Renaissance architecture in the late 16th. Ravaged by fire in 1697, its reconstruction took the form of a vast quadrangle inspired by Roman Baroque architecture. Today, the royal family no longer lives there, preferring to retire to an island far from the crowds and tourists.

            Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace

            Throughout the tour of the castle, you will first discover the different apartments: the ceremonial bedroom of Gustav III, the gallery of Charles XI, the living room of Don Quixote, the apartment and the Bernadotte gallery. In the cellars of the north wing is the museum of the castle Tre Kronor Museum which exhibits medieval remains and traces the history of the site, illustrated by models, objects and period weapons. The treasure room, Skattkammaren, contains symbols of the Swedish monarchy such as the Swedish royal crown dating from 1561 or the Royal Arms Cabinet. Three small dimly lit rooms are full of precious pieces: rare goldsmiths, sublime royal jewels, scepters, thrones and baptismal fonts of incredible wealth! In the part of the Livrustkammaren, the vaulted rooms house a museum dedicated to other treasures: chain mail, coaches and coat of arms of the kingdom!

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                Marten Trotzigs Gränd

                Marten Trotzigs Gränd  Marten Trotzigs Gränd

                Marten Trotzigs Gränd is the narrowest alley in the city with its 36-step staircase only three feet wide. This passage connects Västerlånggatan and Järntorget with Prästgatan and Tyska Stallplan. One can easily imagine Stockholm in the Middle Ages, abounding with small shops!

                    Riddarholmen Church

                    Riddarholmen Church  Riddarholmen Church

                    Riddarholmen Church (the Church of the Knights) whose bell tower dominates the island of Riddarholmen and Gamla Stan is the only surviving medieval church in Stockholm. Built in 1280, this former Franciscan monastery of Gothic architecture was embellished with small chapels in Renaissance and Baroque style. The royal burials rest there next to the coats of arms of the knights of the royal order of the Seraphim.

                        Storkyrkan Cathedral

                          Overlooking the Slottsbacken the entrance to the Royal Palace, the Cathedral was built in the 13th century on the highest point of Stadsholmen by Birger Jarl, the founder of the city. This simple wooden chapel destroyed by fire gave way to a larger church in 1306. She underwent multiple transformations in the 15th century inspired by Gothic architecture. Enlarged and embellished, it became “the Cathedral with 5 naves”. Its interiors richly decorated house from the 17th century sumptuous works of art. Among these treasures, visitors can admire the sculpture oak and horn momentum of the 15th century "Saint George slaying the dragon", the gigantic painting of the "Last Judgment" dating from 1696 or "the crucifixion of Christ" Painted in the Renaissance. Note also the incredible seven-branched candlestick, 3.70 meters high, more than 600 years old.



                            The Medieval Museum in Stockholm transports the public to the heart of a true journey to the Middle Ages. Located on Stömparterren, it traces the history of the city and its development during this period. You will discover models, models of Viking ships, vintage mannequins, computer graphics, weapons, torture instruments and a very realistic reconstruction of part of the port!

                                Judiska Museet Stockholm

                                Judiska Museet Stockholm  Judiska Museet Stockholm

                                The Stockholm Jewish Museum, located on Själagardsgatan, was established in 2018. On the historic site of Stockholm's first synagogue, this museum chronicles the history and customs of the Swedish Jewish community.

                                    Sundbergs Konditori  

                                    Sundbergs Konditori

                                    Stockholm's oldest pastry shop can be found on Järntorget Street 83. Founded in 1785, this real city institution has an old, classic and traditional decoration, plunging us into its past. According to legend, King Gustav III went there in person to taste his coffee and feast on some delicacies still on sale today!

                                        Tyska Kyrkan, the German Church

                                        Tyska Kyrkan, the German Church
                                        Tyska Kyrkan, the German Church

                                          Strolling through the alleys of the old town, you will inevitably come face to face with the German church (Tyska kyrkan), whose 96-meter-high copper spire proudly dominates the skyline of Gamla Stan. Sometimes visitors confuse it with Stockholm Cathedral (Storkyrkan) because it is taller than it. Also known as the Sainte-Gertrud church, it was built in the 15th century in honor of the patron saint of travelers and merchants. Indeed, the district of Gamla Stan was populated mainly by Germans in the Middle Ages. Mainly made up of Germans, the Hanseatic League (the historical association of the merchant towns of northern Europe around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea) at the time controlled most of the trade in the region of the Baltic and many of its merchants lived in Hanseatic ports, such as Stockholm. These merchants, who belonged to the upper class in terms of wealth and influence, enjoyed many advantages. Admire the splendid royal tribune covered with gilding and paintings in the boxes above the entrance.

                                            Top tip: Stockholm Free Tours, free guided tours

                                            Stockholm Free Tours

                                              Locals, connoisseurs of the city, are happy to guide visitors through the center of Gamla Stan (in English) for free. Every day from 10 a.m. from Mälartorget 8

                                              Visit their website to find out more!

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                                                Stockholm Ghost Walk

                                                Stockholm Ghost Walk

                                                  Looking for mysteries and thrills? During 90 minutes, the Stockholm Ghost Walk immerses you in the historic and unusual atmosphere of the old town by making you relive its legends, its most famous murders, its periods of epidemics when the population of the insanitary city was plagued by illnesses, and of course, its ghost stories that still haunt certain dark alleys.

                                                    Pier for Djurgarden


                                                    To visit Djurgaden from Gamla Stan, nothing could be simpler! The Stockholm Slussen Kajen pier located on Skeppsbron serves Djurgarden and Skeppsholmen by very regular small ferry (every 20 minutes) for the price of a trip by public transport with your card. You arrive in 15 minutes in front of Gröna Lund, the amusement park and enjoy from the boat breathtaking views of Sodermalm, Ostermalm, Skeppsholmen and Djurgarden.