Stockholm is arguably Scandinavia’s most picturesque city, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Europe. Even if you don’t want to take part in the countless experiences that Sweden’s capital has to offer (though you should), booking a trip for the sake of photography alone isn’t the worst idea in the world.
One of the most satisfying things about Stockholm is that something exists for everyone. You’ll find modern Scandinavian design jostling for competition with timeless architecture and a unique blend of urban life and natural surroundings.
This extends to if you’re a photographer, too. Stockholm is great for street, portrait, food, and urban photography—plus many other kinds.
So, where are the best places to point your camera in the city? Here are 15 must-visits for photographers.
The Stockholm Metro
Stockholm’s metro is commonly referred to as “the world’s longest art gallery”. You’ll find a mixture of older works combined with newer versions along the entire line.
Realistically, you could spend a day hopping from station to station and snapping away. Five of the absolute musts include:
- Stadion (T-14 line towards Mörby Centrum)
- Mörby Centrum (Final stop on the T-14 line)
- T-Centralen (Accessible from all lines)
- Citybanan – Odenplan (T-18 towards Alvik, T-17 towards Åkeshov, or T-19 towards Hässelby Strand)
- Tekniska Högskolan (T-14 towards Mörby Centrum)
- Solna Centrum (T-11 towards Akalla)
The Stockholm metro is an excellent addition to your itinerary when the temperature outside is too cold to bear. All you need to do is make sure you have a valid public transport pass.
I’ve spoken in-depth about Skeppsholmen in previous blog posts—and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that a lot of my Stockholm-related images come from this tiny island in the city centre.
Both of those are for good reasons.
As you walk around, you’ll find plenty of picturesque yellow houses to grab a shot of for your Instagram feed. It’s also a good viewing spot towards the Vasa Museum and Gröna Lund on Djurgården, as well as Södermalm.
Skeppsholmen is easily reachable by ferry and foot.
One of the best things about Stockholm is that it has so many natural vantage points, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to pay to climb up an observation deck. And where better to start than at the city centre’s highest spot?
Skinnarviksberget is at the northern part of Södermalm and adjacent to Kungsholmen. You can get an excellent view towards that particular neighbourhood, as well as back over towards Stockholm’s city hall. On a day where the sun is shining, expect to be accompanied by locals and tourists alike.
Skinnarviksberget is a particularly good place to watch the sun come up or go down, and you can enjoy a scenic walk back into the city centre along the waterfront once you’ve captured that Instagram banger. To get here, get the metro to Mariatorget or Zinkensdamm and walk.
Monteliusvägen is one of the most popular photography spots in the city. Like Skinnarviksberget, this vantage point is in the Södermalm district.
From Monteliusvägen, you get an excellent view towards Riddarholmen, Gamla Stan, and the city hall. Since it’s closer to these parts of the city and not as high up, coming here is a good idea if your lens doesn’t have a huge focal length.
Monteliusvägen is quite a narrow pathway, and it’s a popular walking route with locals. Combine this with the number of tourists, and you can quickly figure out that things sometimes get crowded. To avoid this, consider visiting early in the morning.
Getting to Monteliusvägen is easy; all you need to do is hop on the metro to Slussen and walk the rest of the way.
One of the most striking things you’ll notice about downtown Stockholm is the number of church spires. The Swedish capital has several picturesque churches, and one of the prettiest is on Riddarholmen.
Riddarholmen is a pretty small island that you can easily access by foot and public transport. In addition to the church itself, you’ll find a couple of quaint alleyways with a view towards the building. And on top of that, the bright pink Stenbock Palaces provide a superb backdrop for portraits and street photography-style shots.
To get to Riddarholmen, cross the footbridge from Gamla Stan. Alternatively, you can take the metro to said station. If you’re coming from the city hall, all you need to do is cross the bridge connecting Central Stockholm and the old town – and walk along the waterfront for a little longer.
Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm’s city hall is unlike any other building in the city. It opened in 1923 and sticks out like a sore thumb from the vantage points mentioned earlier in this article.
The building itself is pleasant enough from afar. But when you enter its courtyard, you’ll find a whole range of photo opportunities waiting for you. At the bottom of the city hall, you’ll notice a group of archways that have become popular with many Instagram photographers.
When you come out the other side, you can enjoy a view towards Riddarholmen and Södermalm—and if you come in the winter and you’re lucky, Mother Nature might throw a frozen sea into the mix.
To get to Stockholm’s city hall, you can take the metro to Rådhuset and walk.
One of the biggest joys about Sweden is the colourful red cottages that you see dotted throughout the country. If you’ve ever been on a long-distance train journey through the country, you’ll almost certainly know what I’m talking about.
If you’re only visiting the country for a short period, don’t worry; you don’t need to leave the capital to see examples of these. Stockholm has plenty of small collections, and arguably the prettiest is Klefbecks Backe.
Klefbecks Backe is close to Sofiakyrkan, perched on a hill in the northeastern part of Södermalm. It’s free to walk around, but remember to be respectful as people still live in these houses.
To get here, it’s a 20-minute walk from Slussen and just under 30 from Mariatorget.
Let’s face it—an article about the best photography spots in Stockholm would be incomplete if it didn’t include Gamla Stan. The Swedish capital’s old town is loved by locals and tourists alike, and it’s not difficult to see why.
A walk around Gamla Stan might very well make you forget that you’re a) in Sweden and b) in the 21st century. Its timeless streets provide an endless supply of Instagram content, and so will its distinctive colourful houses.
Considering that Gamla Stan is pretty much the geographical centre of Stockholm, getting here is a breeze. You can use the namesake metro station; if you’re coming from Djurgården or Skeppsholmen, the ferry is your best option.
Alternatively, you can walk from pretty much any corner of the city and get here in little time.
Stockholm is blessed with stunning nature in close proximity, and you don’t even need to leave the city limits if you’d like to experience this. Djurgården is one of the inner city’s largest islands and the perfect place to escape downtown Stockholm’s (relative) hustle and bustle.
The further you venture on Djurgården, the less urban it gets. The southern and eastern parts of the island are remarkably tranquil; you get an excellent view of some of the closest islands to central Stockholm from its southern shores.
Djurgården is well-connected to the city centre by public transport. You can get here by ferry or tram, and you can navigate your way around the island by bus.
Kungsträdgården is one of Stockholm’s many open public spaces, and it’s arguably the most picturesque of them. Located a stone’s throw away from the Royal Palace, it’s a great place to go ice skating in the winter and people-watch year-round.
If you visit around late April and May, you’ll get to enjoy the cherry trees blossoming and trick your friends into thinking you’ve taken a trip to Japan. Kungsträdgården is also particularly pretty in autumn.
To get to Kungsträdgården, hop on the metro to the namesake station. Alternatively, you can walk along the waterfront from Djurgården and Skeppsholmen; it’s also easily reachable on foot from Gamla Stan.
In addition to its more famous older architecture, Stockholm is home to newer and more functionalist designs. One of the most striking examples is Sergels Torg, a public square dating back to the 1960s.
Today, Sergels Torg is the primary meeting spot for significant events in the Swedish capital.
If you head into nearby Kulturhuset, you can get a (low-flying) bird’s-eye view over the square and surrounding areas. Getting here is easy; it’s right outside T-Centralen and served by train, tram and bus.
Stockholm has several beautiful churches, but few are more beautiful than Katarina Kyrka. This imposing dome-shaped structure dates back to the 17th century, though it has been burned down on more than one occasion—the most recent being in 1990.
The church you see today opened in 1995 and has become an essential part of the Stockholm skyline. Surrounding it, you’ll find a mixture of chocolate box houses and cobblestone streets that will help step up your Instagram game with minimal effort.
To get to Katarina Kyrka, take the ferry or metro to Slussen. From there, the church is a short walk away.
Just Outside Gamla Stan T-Bana
I don’t think this spot has an exact name, but you’ll probably have seen photos of it in the past. From this area, you get an excellent view next to Södermalm in one direction and Stockholm’s city hall in the other.
When you get to Gamla Stan’s metro station, take the exit towards Riddarholmen rather than the old town. Walk down the footbridge to the waterfront and snap away.
Skansen is an open-air museum on Djurgården, and it’s effectively Sweden in a nutshell. Coming here feels like stepping back in time.
At Skansen, you’ll find several events and activities held throughout the year. These include:
- Autumn harvesting and bread baking;
- Festivities around Midsummer;
- Christmas markets in December.
You’ll need to pay an entry fee, and you can find the prices for those here. To get to Skansen, take the tram from just outside the Åhléns City department store; there’s a stop right outside the museum.
This library’s interior is one of Stockholm’s most-photographed spots. The lighting’s pretty good, and its bookcases go in a dazzling circular motion that is difficult to not find a little impressive.
To get to Stadsbiblioteket, take the metro to Odenplan.