Last updated: September 30, 2020
We all know that being a tourist in an exciting city like Stockholm can require some downtime. What better way to still experience the city while finding some peace and quiet than visiting one of Stockholm’s many great parks? Play with your kids, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the sun. Stop by for a short breather or spend the whole day in the green.
Despite all the water surrounding it, 40 percent of the city consists of green areas, and the city offers as much as 400 parks. In other words, there is a lot to choose from. Many of the parks also combine nature with culture in the form of beautiful sculptures and flowerbeds. Additionally, there are often beautiful houses and buildings to look at.
As always, View Stockholm has some favorites.
Haga Park – Photo credit: © Peter Isotalo / Wikimedia
Hagaparken (Haga Park) is located in Solna just north of Stockholm and is a vast and popular destination. This historical and royal park is British inspired and was built by King Gustav III. Nowadays, it is also part of Sweden’s first national urban park Nationalstadsparken Stockholm-Solna. The park is well worth a visit, among other things, it has been chosen as the best example in the world of an English park.
There are plenty of large green areas to enjoy for those who want to unwind in the grass. You can definitely spend a whole day here. If you would like to move your body, you can take a pleasant walk along Brunnsviken or in the cool woods. You can also admire all the parks’ beautiful buildings, including Gustav III’s Pavilion, Turkish Kiosk, Copper Tents, and Chinese Pavilion. And of course, you can also get a glimpse of the Haga Palace, nowadays the residence of Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.
Autumn in Humlegården – Photo credit: © Anders E. Skånberg
Smack dab in the middle of the city Humlegården is one of Stockholmers top spots for catching their breath during the day. There is a playground for kids at one end, the Royal Library at the other, and plenty of green space with nice benches in between. That it’s located in Stockholm’s tony Östermalm district means it attracts one of the city’s more posh crowds. The park was built in the 17th century as a royal garden where they grew hops, among other things, and that’s how the park got its name.
The cherry trees bloom in Kungsträdgården – Photo credit: © Hans Christiansson / Shutterstock.com
This hub in the heart of the city is lined with plenty of restaurants and bars but the real treat is just grabbing an ice cream and then taking a seat while watching the people parade pass by. A lot of concerts and events take place here during the weekends but on a weekday, there are few better spots to sit in the sun (during summer) or even try your hand at ice-skating (in the winter). And don’t miss watching the beautiful cherry trees bloom in April.
Kungsträdgården is located in Norrmalm and is often called ‘Kungsan’ in Swedish. It was originally a baroque park and is today, together with Humlegården, the city’s oldest preserved park. Between 1635 and 1825, the fancy palace Makalös was located here, which sadly burned to the ground. Today’s royal splendor consists of statues of the kings Karl XII and Karl XIII. There are also several other works of art to enjoy in the park, including Molin’s fountain that was built in 1873.
Ice skating in Vasaparken – Photo credit: © Hans Christiansson / Shutterstock.com
The lungs of Vasastan – Vasaparken is where locals go to kick a ball around, watch while their kids clamber in the playground, or just lay on the grass while the city rushes by. If you feel up to more than just chilling out, try the mini-golf in summer or ice-skating in the winter. It’s not a massively big park but it packs a punch.
Allotment garden in Tantolunden – Photo credit: © Holger Ellgaard / Wikimedia
This is a true oasis in the middle of the hip hustle and bustle of trendy Södermalm. The wide-open spaces of Tantolunden offer plenty of greenery but you can also swim and picnic, or maybe try mini-golf, Frisbee golf, or volleyball. Or may just enjoy a peaceful stroll amongst the 100+ allotments that have been in place for more than a century.
One of Stockholm’s most beautiful spots, Observatorielunden offers the chance to quickly escape the pulse of Drottninggatan. Climb up the hill and find your spot. Then sit, relax, and breathe in the clean air before perhaps heading up the hill further to visit the Observatory that dates back to the 1700s. You might even want to try the legendary waffles at Kafé Himlavalvet, which has outdoor seating between April and October.
The Djurgården canal – Photo credit: © Anders E. Skånberg
Located on an island of its own, popular Djurgården is 27 square kilometers of wide-open green spaces, culture to die for, and plenty of activities. There are plenty of museums and other tourist attractions located on the island, but the real treat for many is simply exploring the less busy parts of the park. Here you’ll find amazing nature – wide-open fields, woods to clamber through, and hidden spots where you can sit and catch your breath or have a nice picnic. And of course, all the water that frames the island enhances the experience even further.
Among the attractions, you can find Skansen, Gröna Lund, Junibacken, the Vasa Museum, Liljevalchs Art Gallery, Waldemarsudde, and Rosendal. And if there isn’t enough picnic food, there are also several restaurants and cafes in Djurgården.
Rålambshovsparken – Photo credit: © Jan Ainali / Wikimedia
This park is known locally as ‘Rålis’, located in Kungsholmen, and can be described as a playground for everyone. With a skatepark, a boule court, an outdoor gym, and space for volleyball, the emphasis might seem like it’s on being active. Still, if you look around, you’ll notice that the majority of people are simply laying on a blanket reading, chatting, or just relaxing. The best bit is the incredible views across Lake Mälaren, and if you like swimming, you can walk to the near located Smedsuddsbadet.
The park contains several beautiful sculptures and an amphitheater with seating for 5,000 people, built for Stockholm’s 700th anniversary in 1953. If you are interested in theater you can enjoy Parkteatern’s performances during the summers (no entrance fee).
Vitabergsparken – Photo credit: © Kerstin / Shutterstock.com
Located in the heart of SoFo, Vitabergsparken is set across several hills, where locals love to have a picnic or a barbecue while drinking in views across the city. The gorgeous church Sofia Kyrka sits atop one hill, while a music pavilion, seen as one of Stockholm’s major cultural heritages, makes its home on the other.
The park has a lot of green spaces for those who want to sunbathe, play football or other games. It is also ideal for pleasant walks. Furthermore, the area includes an outdoor theater that in the summer is used by Parkteatern for free theater, a dance floor, and one of Stockholm’s oldest allotment gardens.
Ivar Lo’s Park
Ivar Lo’s park – Photo credit: © Anders E. Skånberg
This is one of those hidden gems you’ll be very happy you sought out. It’s small, it’s cosy, and it has views over City Hall, Kungsholmen, Gamla Stan, and Lake Mälaren. Is it any surprise this is one of the best places in the city from which to snap the perfect photo? And in the winter you can’t find many better places for sledding.
We wish you a great day in Stockholm’s parks!
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