Those looking for alternative activities in Stockholm will quickly find that the Swedish capital is truly an inventive and curious city. Stockholmers are known for their propensity to embrace and try out new trends, and this curiosity is reflected in the city's exciting array of edgy activities, gastronomic experiences and sightseeing excursions with a twist.

    Explore Stockholm's hidden and supernatural history, see the city from a dizzying new perspective, or round up the family and head out for a moment of verdure tranquillity. And be sure to immortalise your visit with a unique photograph of a strange and unusual attraction.

    1

    Amphibious bus

    See the capital from both land and sea

    • Photo
    • History
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    An amphibious bus is a great way to get an alternative perspective on the city as you first drive around Stockholm's streets before plunging into the water. The adventure begins ashore on Strömgatan street which is located between the Royal Swedish Opera and the Grand Hotel. After a thorough tour around the districts of Stureplan, Östermalm and out to the Kaknäs Tower, the ten-tonne bus will roll into the water. Sailing along Stockholm's waterways, it will take you to the islands of Djurgården, Skeppsholmen and Gamla stan before transforming back into a bus again.

    The entire 75-minute experience is guided so you'll get to learn a thing or two about the Swedish capital en route. And don't worry – your ride may be a bus, but life vests are on board.

    Location:  

    Open: Times vary depending on season

    Phone: +46 708 879 854

    Map
    2

    Ghost walk in Gamla stan

    Quell your curiosity about medieval executions and haunted homes

    • History
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    A ghost walk in Gamla stan combines macabre history with eerie myths on an entertaining 90-minute stroll through Stockholm's historic heart. Book your tour in English, brace yourself for adventure and head to Järntorget square which can be reached by metro, bus or on foot from central Stockholm. Over the course of the walk you'll not only hear ghoulish stories and creepy tales, but experience history through touch and smell.

    Many associate Gamla stan with charming streets and smiling tourists, but the fairy tale district once served as the backdrop to infamous executions, murders, plague and superstitions. The tour organiser has partnership deals with a number of local restaurants, so take the chance to linger on and soak up the otherworldly atmosphere of Gamla stan over lunch.

    Location:  

    Open: Times vary depending on season

    Phone: +46 76 14 666 00

    Map
    3

    Dinner and a show at Svartklubben

    Challenge all your senses but sight

    Svartklubben (lit. Dark Club) is a popular show restaurant where you can enjoy good food and company while listening to quality entertainment. The only twist? You'll do so in complete darkness! This unique addition to the Stockholm dining scene is located on Nytorget square on the island of Södermalm, close to the Medborgarplatsen and Skanstull metro stations. After a welcome drink and a quick briefing at the bar, you'll enjoy a specially curated three-course dinner in the dark that will challenge your senses of touch, taste, sound and smell. You'll also enjoy some quality music and thought-provoking stories.

    Most of the staff at Svartklubben have some degree of sight impairment so they are well used to relying on their other senses. But don't worry – the cook can see what she is doing and all the bathrooms are fully lit!

    Location: Södermannagatan 27, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden

    Open:  

    Phone: +46 70 644 20 72

    Map
    4

    Haga slottsgrund

    Visit the huge palace that never was

    • History
    • Budget

    Haga slottsgrund is a grand palace that was never finished following the death of King Gustaf III. The leafy area, which is also home to other lavish, historical buildings, is a part of the Royal National City Park (Kungliga nationalstadsparken) and is located north of central Stockholm. Take the bus to Haga norra or arrive on foot from the district of Vasastaden. Once there, you can visit the palace cellar which had been intended for use as a repository for Gustaf's collections of antique statues.

    At first glance, many people think they are visiting the ruins of an old castle but in fact the grand palace was never finished and what you can see is the extent of what actually got built. Construction ended when the king was killed at a masquerade ball in what is now an infamous moment in Swedish history.

    Location:  

    Open: Always open

    Phone: +46 8 402 61 00

    Map

    photo by Holger.Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Stockholm Rooftop Tour

    Feel a rush of adrenaline from the city's rooftops

    • History
    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    A Stockholm Rooftop Tour is a nerve-wracking yet completely safe sightseeing tour from the rooftops of the centre. Enjoy historic buildings from a dizzying perspective which is just as exciting as the guide's unique and insightful stories. It is also quite the thrill to stroll around several dozen metres above ground level, entirely without risk.

    You'll walk along a set course of footbridges laid out above the roofs, with a safety harness on for your protection. But that vertiginous tingle is all part of the fun, so if you're afraid of heights or feeling unwell then it's best to keep your feet on firm ground.

    Location:  

    Open:  

    Phone: +46 8 22 30 05

    Map

    photo by Holger.Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    6

    Wooden Horse Museum

    Step into a world of wooden horses

    • Shoppers

    The Wooden Horse Museum in Gamla stan is a celebration of Sweden's national symbol, the wooden Dala horse, in an endless array of sizes, shapes and colours. The museum is located inside Runstenen, which is a little souvenir shop by the Nobel Prize Museum at Stortorget square, just a stone's throw away from Stockholm Palace. Entrance is free so pop in on your way past and see what you might discover. Be mindful that photography is banned in store.

    The world-famous Dala horses naturally take centre stage in this unique environment, but there are also wooden horses from all over Sweden as well as hand-painted roosters and other folk craft artefacts.

    Location: Stortorget 14, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden

    Open: Opening hours vary depending on the season

    Phone: +46 8 20 60 89

    Map
    7

    Walk around Cedergrenska Tower

    Visit an impressive landmark in gorgeous surroundings

    • Photo
    • History
    • Budget
    • Unusual

    The Cedergrenska Tower is an imposing and impressive landmark to the north of the city, set in the luscious and leafy park of Stocksund. The tranquil waterside promenade of Stocksunds strandpromenad and Svanholm Park are both nearby. The area is easily reached by metro and bus, local train or by car.

    You will soon notice the impressive tower, built in a romanticised medieval style, with its lofty windows and broad roof terrace. However, you can only get inside if you've been invited here for a brunch, Christmas lunch, party or conference. The surrounding Cedergrenska Park is full of planted trees from all over the world, including cypress trees and Douglas fir.

    Location: Kungsvägen 2, 182 79 Stocksund, Sweden

    Open:  

    Phone: +46 8 85 35 00

    Map

    photo by Holger.Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Bergian Garden (Bergianska trädgården)

    Stroll around and stop to smell the flowers

    Bergian Garden (Bergianska trädgården) is a great place to admire and smell thousands of flowers from all over the world in a gorgeous setting that boasts beautiful buildings. This huge botanical garden enjoys a pleasant location by the shores of Brunnsviken lake, not far from Stockholm University and the Swedish Royal Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet). The metro, local trains and buses all serve the area, or alternatively you can take the car to more easily dash between the different sights.

    Be sure to go down towards the water and admire the giant water lilies (Victoria regia) which live in their very own dome house made from glass and metal. The largest building in the Bergian Garden, however, is the Edvard Anderson Conservatory where you'll find terraces and themed rooms.

    Location: Gustafsborgsvägen 4, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden

    Open: Tuesday–Friday 11 am to 4 pm, Saturday–Sunday 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +46 8 16 35 00

    Map
    9

    Tantolunden

    Breathe out in a popular city park

    Tantolunden park is a popular and laid-back meeting spot on the island of Södermalm where locals picnic in the summer and ride sleighs in the winter. The hilly park is close to the district of Hornstull with all of its many cafés, pubs and terraces such as Debaser Strand, where many gather to begin the evening. Two metro stations and several bus stops can be found within walking distance.

    Many also come down for the open-air theatre, to play mini golf, frisbee golf or beach volleyball. You'll also find locals eagerly tending to their allotments with green fingers or building structures with a creative joy. The park is also home to remains from an old anti aircraft battery which makes for an interesting contrast against the gorgeous views.

    Location: Zinkens Väg, 118 42 Stockholm, Sweden

    Open: Always open

    Map
    10

    Källargränd urinal

    Do your business in style in a historic setting

    The Källargränd urinal is a surprisingly beautiful, cylinder-formed construction complete with a golden globe on its top. The design is reminiscent of a sentry box from a fairy tale or a period film. In this part of Gamla stan, by the street of Slottsbacken and close to the Stock Exchange Building (Börshuset) / Nobel Prize Museum and Stockholm Cathedral, nothing has been left to chance.

    The capital's public amenities actually have a long and rich history. The Källargränd urinal dates back to 1890 and is in fact the oldest urinal still in operation. So just think of all the nobility who have been there before you as you empty your bladder in regal surroundings. Or if nature doesn't seem to be calling, simply content yourself with a photo of the outside.

    Location: Slottsbacken, 111 30 Stockholm, Sweden

    Open: Always open

    Map

    photo by Holger.Ellgaard (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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