Stockholm is one of those magical cities where good views seem to await you around every corner – whether you’re down by the waterfront or walking along a handsome side street in the Old Town. But there are some spots in Stockholm that offer extra-special views of the city.
Follow these insider tips and you’ll soon be seeing Stockholm at its best. And who knows? You might just grab a beautiful snap or two for your Instagram. Here are our favourite lookouts.
If you’re in Södermalm for the shopping and the bars and the weather’s looking good, make a quick detour to Skinnarviksberget, of one the most popular viewpoints in the whole city. The lookout is easy enough to find: take the tunnelbana to Zinkensdamm and then walk north for around five minutes until you reach the summit.
The hill is the city’s highest natural point and if it’s sunny enough you’ll usually spot locals here with snacks, disposable barbecues, or a bag of warm beers from Systembolaget. The view over Stockholm is especially attractive after the long winter, when spring sunshine gives the whole city a special glow. Another great time to visit is New Year’s Eve, when fireworks light up the inky-black sky.
Even during the summer,Skinnarviksberget is a nice place for anyone who wants to get away from the crowded touristy places and blend in with the locals. One tip for journey up to the top: wear trainers rather than heels or flip flops, as it can be a bit of a scramble.
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Katarinahissen, or the Katarina Lift, is right in the heart of the city. It opened way back in 1883 as a shortcut between the high and low parts of Södermalm and, although the lift itself is no longer in operating, its viewing deck still offers a cracking view back towards Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town.
To bag a beautiful photo from the top, start by taking the tunnelbana to Slussen. Once you’re outside on the Södermalmstorg side of the station, walk past McDonalds and head through the door marked ‘Gondolen’. Then take the lift to the top and then climb a flight of stairs to get outside onto the terrace.
What can you expect to see when you arrive? Well Slussen, right beneath the viewing deck, is where the Baltic Sea meets Lake Mälaren. To your left, you’ll get a view of the island of Södermalm and of the colourful houses of the Old Town, with the lake providing a perfect backdrop.
On your right you’ll see the Baltic, along with the islands of Skeppsholmen and Djurgården. Usually, you’ll also be able to see the Viking Line ferries at the nearby Stadsgården, some of which are bound for Helsinki (more on that journey here).
You can visit the viewing platform all year round but it’s best in the summer when there’s an open-air bar. Expect to see wealthy locals sipping champagne here after work.
On the western part of Södermalm there’s another fantastic panoramic view over Stockholm. This time we’re talking about a whole street, Katarinavägen, which offers 600m of breathtaking views across the water, with slender spires pointing skywards in the distance.
To get there, leave the tunnelbana at Slussen and walk east along Katarinavägen. The views aren’t up to much to begin with but after a couple of minutes you’ll understand why this is one of the most popular places for local photographers who want to capture a nice landscape shot of the city.
To the left, Katarinavägen offers you a view over the Baltic Sea and some of the city’s most central islands in the background. You’ll also see the Old Town to the east, and the Gröna Lund amusement park on Djurgården to the west.
Bonus tip: you can walk all the way to Fjällgatan for different variations of the same great view. This isn’t really a tourist spot since it’s just a regular street, but Katarinavägen is still worth visiting whatever the time of year.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN STOCKHOLMMORE TOURS
Monteliusvägen is another Södermalm street that’s popular with local snappers – and it may just be the best viewpoint in all of Stockholm.
From Slussen, walk west for about 10 minutes, soaking up the hip vibe of the local neighbourhood along the way. Before long you’ll end up at the wonderful Ivar Los park, where the photo above was taken.
There’s plenty to admire from this spot: right in front of you is the famous City Hall, on the other side of Lake Mälaren. To the west of the City Hall you’ll see the laid-back district of Kungsholmen, as well as the Västerbron bridge. Also visible is the beautiful Old Town and Norrmalm, the modern centre of Stockholm.
More free Stockholm viewpoints worth checking out
You can enjoy views of the vast Royal Palace from the tiny island of Skeppsholmen. To get the best views, head for the island’s highest point – the leafy area outside Östasiatiska museet is a great place to sit and watch the boats glide in and out of the harbour below.
Kaknäs TV Tower
Okay, so this one isn’t completely free, but it does give you a chance to pair stupendous city views with a refreshing drink (or a cheeky glass of wine). Kaknästornet, a TV tower, is 4.5km east of the city centre and you’ll pay around 70 SEK for the ear-popping elevator journey to the top of the 155-metre-high tower.
We mentioned that it’s visible from one of the lookouts above, but the Västerbron bridge (which links Långholmen with Kungsholmen) is actually a great little viewpoint in its own right. It’s not particularly high up, but it does give you a good sense of how few high-rise developments there are in Stockholm compared with other European capitals.
Evert Taubes Terrass
Named after the famous Swedish troubadour Evert Taube, this plaza on the western side of Riddarholmen is a great place to visit on a warm summer’s evening. When the sun sets, you can get postcard-quality pictures of the City Hall, just on the other side of the water.
The City Hall
If you’re prepared to spend around 50 SEK you can climb the steep steps of the City Hall to drink in beautiful views of Stockholm’s Old Town, with its tangle of narrow streets and colourful painted buildings. The tower is usually open from May–September each year. As tickets are limited, our advice is to go early in the day for the best chance of getting inside.