Where to Stay in Stockholm: Best Areas and Hostels

Where to Stay in Stockholm: Best Areas and Hostels

Stockholm, the Swedish capital, might not be one of the first destinations you think of for a holiday – but it sure ought to be!

Made up of fourteen islands on a Baltic Sea archipelago on the east coast of Sweden, this capital city is one of culture, romance, style, history, modernity, beautiful scenery, elegance and cool urban grit; it’s a delightful place to spend a weekend city break or an extended vacation, blessed with warm, long summer days and a wonderful winter atmosphere.


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Best areas to stay in Stockholm

Where to stay in Stockholm is an important consideration when planning a trip; this sprawling city is very well connected and it’s very easy to get around, but each of its distinct districts offers different characteristics, so, depending on what you want from your time here, finding the right hotel, hostel or other accommodation location can be key to how you experience Stockholm.

We’ve put together a breakdown of some of the best Stockholm neighbourhoods to stay in to help you choose, depending on your preferences.



Norrmalm is right in the centre on the map of Stockholm neighbourhoods and is where the Stockholm central station is located. This is most likely where you’ll arrive to if you visit Stockholm by train, bus, or by public transport from Arlanda or Skavsta airports – so it is an ideal location to stay in for first-time visitors and convenient for short trips as you can easily get in and out of the city, as well as visiting other areas of Stockholm, from here.

This is, technically, the ‘business district’ of Stockholm but doesn’t have the overwhelming commercial character that you might expect of typical business districts. Norrmalm is a cultural haven, offering a wealth of galleries, museums, theatre, opera & ballet, as well as a bustling café-culture, shopping streets and vibrant nightlife.

stay in stockholm

While being, perhaps, the busier of Stockholm’s neighbourhoods, Norrmalm also possess ample opportunity to reprieve from the urban buzz in the shape of the tree-lined and pretty Kungsträdgården park which consists of green spaces punctuated by outdoor cafes, statues, water features, open-air concerts in summer and ice-skating in winter.


See also: Free tours in Stockholm, Sweden


Popular among visitors, there is plenty of accommodation in the Norrmalm area of Stockholm to suit all budgets and tastes. Stockholm is not cheap when it comes to hotels, with many of the higher-end hotels, boasting luxurious style and regal charm, costing, on average, around €200 per night, but there are high-quality hostels in Norrmalm in which a standard twin room will cost between €55 to €75 per night, depending on the day of the week, and shared dorms cost a good bit less.


Gamla Stan

places to stay in stockholm

Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s historic ‘Old Town’. Steeped in history and consisting of beautiful old buildings, cobblestoned streets and well-preserved ancient character, Gamla Stan is a very popular place to stay in Stockholm.

There is much to see and do in Stockholm, but especially in the Old Town of Gamla Stan. This is reflected in the fact that there is not one, but four free walking tours in the area which take you through the remarkable history of Stockholm and the fascinating buildings and attractions of the Old Town district, including the impressive Royal Palace and the enthralling Nobel Museum, dedicated to celebrating the incredible ideas that have impacted the world for good.

Medieval charm aside, this part of Stockholm has developed in tandem with its tourist-appeal and, as with any popular city, the more tourist-centric zone will be slightly costlier than elsewhere in the capital, both in terms of accommodation and dining out. That said, it is a very beautiful place to stay in Stockholm and well worth the extra few euros to have these be the streets you stroll through on the way back to your bed at night.



places to stay in stockholm

Djurgården is arguably the greenest of Stockholm’s districts; an island with an abundance of nature trails, sections of forest, and water-side pathways. This central island offers a lot in things to do – if you’re travelling with children, the Gröna Lund amusement park is sure to entertain and excite, while Skansen, the open-air museum and zoo, showcases a typical traditional Swedish village of days gone by, as well as 75 species of Scandinavian animals.

Djurgården is also home to the ABBA museum, a must-visit for fans of the famous quartet, as well as The Vasa Museum which counts an impressive giant 17th-century war ship among its many exhibits. The island also offers a wonderful setting for romantic couples’ strolls, especially among Rosendals Trädgård, a vast rose and fruit garden.

With only a handful of hotels, no hostels and a minimal amount of Airbnbs in Djurgården, accommodation options are few and can be, relatively, very pricey. As well as this, there is no supermarket in the district, and restaurants and cafes are on the more expensive side, so, despite all Djurgården offers for a nice day out, it is not the best area to stay in Stockholm unless, of course, you are looking for a more upscale experience.

We recommend taking the Slussen ferry to Djurgården for incredible views and just spending a few hours here.



places to stay in stockholm

Once the unapologetic working-class district of Stockholm, Södermalm, or the South Island, has since been somewhat gentrified but has become a kind of ‘hipster-haven’ complete with a creative vibe, eclectic galleries, cool cafes, trendy eateries, chic boutiques and plentiful vintage, retro and second-hand shops and markets.

It’s arguably the more ‘student-friendly’ area of Stockholm, owing to both it’s affordability factor and nightlife offering, with less ‘high-end’ venues than other parts of Stockholm, and more of the kinds of dive-bars, clubs and trendy-haunts that tend to appeal to a younger audience – indeed, it is in Södermalm that the Stockholm Pub Crawl frequents – this uber-cool neighbourhood is full of attitude and soul.

With a really fun and interesting afternoon free tour in Södermalm, this is a great area to stay in Stockholm for a more accessible ‘local’ lifestyle as it is, perhaps, the last of the more popular districts to retain much of its authentic charm; however, the relatively recent gentrification of the area has seen it become a somewhat more touristic place to stay in Stockholm than it might have been, with the arrival of hotel chains catering to the commercialised appeal the island increasingly embodies.

Among the many ultra-cool hangouts and hidden surprises of Södermalm, there is plenty to see and do including the Stockholm City museum which houses some very fascinating artefacts, the picturesque Tantoludnen Park, and the marvellous Gothic Revival Mariahissen building.

If you do stay in the Södermalm neighbourhood of Stockholm, then don’t miss the chance to walk along the Monteliusvägen at sunset, or sunrise if you’re an early bird, as the half-kilometre walking path offers unrivalled views of Lake Mälaren, the Riddarholmen islet, and City Hall.

While these four areas are all great places to stay in Stockholm, there are some other areas surrounding these that are nice parts of the city to stay in too, especially Vasastan in the north of the capital, and the trendy Östermalm district next to Gamla Stan.


Recommended hostels to stay in Stockholm

Here are some budget accommodation options in Norrmalm, the main shopping district and one of the most convenient areas to stay in Stockholm, with an excellent transportation system that makes it easy to get around.


City Backpackers Hostel

⇒ Upplandsgatan 2, 111 23 Stockholm, Sweden

Located very close to the T-Centralen subway station and bus terminal, this friendly hostel is a great choice for people travelling alone and those who like meeting new people. They've got private and dormitory rooms, female rooms and a bar called 'Nomad'. Plus, popular city sights such as the Medieval area of the Old Town can be found within walking distance.


Generator Stockholm

⇒ Torsgatan 10, 111 23 Stockholm, Sweden

This Nordic-style hostel is located 12 minutes away from Stockholm Central Station. It has clean, elegant rooms, free WiFi and a trendy cafe and cocktail bar. Also, the breakfast menu is delicious!


Birka Hostel

⇒ Luntmakargatan 14, 111 37 Stockholm, Sweden

Although rooms are generally small, this hostel is very clean and comfortable and offers great value for its price. Situated within walking distance to the Old Town and main station, the subway is only 5 minutes away and there are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.


To get the best insight into Sweden and the capital we highly recommend joining a lovely local guide for a free walking tour while in Stockholm. You can find the best free tours in Stockholm, as well as other cities in Sweden and around the world, on FREETOUR.com and on the FREETOUR app where you can view pics, videos and details of available tours, read verified reviews from other travellers who have taken the tours, and even book your spot on tours with no booking fees or charges, and instant booking confirmation.

There you have it, wanderers & wonderers, our little bit of local insight to Sweden’s capital city’s most popular neighbourhoods which we hope will help you when deciding where to stay in Stockholm during your visit.

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