Winding cobblestone streets, ancient churches, medieval squares – even a royal palace. It’s all here in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town. Dating back to 1252, it’s one of Europe’s biggest and best preserved medieval centers.
And a Gamla Stan walking tour is one of the first things you must do when visiting Stockholm!
We’d flown into Stockholm for a Baltic cruise a few days earlier so we could enjoy some “pre-cruise” time exploring the city.
And so, armed with our trusty Rick Steves’ Northern European Cruise Ports guide, we set off on foot to explore Gamla Stan.
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Photos of our Gamla Stan walking tour
Here are some photos – in no particular order – of our walking tour of Gamla Stan.
While we tried to follow Rick Steves’ Stockholm walking tour of Gamla Stan, we got lost anyway (just as we have in other higgledy piggledy medieval towns like tiny Trogir and the 1,700-year-old palace city of Split).
But that’s part of the fun of exploring these old European towns, isn’t it!
Stortorget (or “the Big Square”) is the oldest square in Stockholm. It’s lined by beautiful buildings and houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, once owned by wealthy merchants.
Cafés around Stortorget make good people watching spots…
Alley of Marten Trotzig:
How skinny can a street be? Pretty skinny!
The “Alley of Marten Trotzig” is the narrowest street in Stockholm – a mere 35 inches wide.
Built in Baroque style, the 18th century Royal Palace is the official residence of the Swedish monarchy (but the reception rooms, treasury and other rooms are open to the public).
Near the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan (literally “the Great Church”) has been around for as long as Stockholm.
On top is the clock tower, built in 1743 – at 216 feet tall, it’s hard to miss!
Lots of bicycles!
Gamla Stan itself is more geared to walking, but Stockholm in general is quite bicycle-friendly. And we noticed several people with bicycles.
Apparently there are more moose per square mile in Sweden than in any other country.
That probably accounts for why moose memorabilia are popular as souvenirs – like this blanket decorated with moose pictures.
Stop for fika:
Fika (pronounced “fee-ka”) is essentially Swedish for taking a break for coffee and a pastry, perhaps a cinnamon roll or vanilla bun.
Of course, we indulged in the Swedish custom too and stopped for fika while walking Gamla Stan.
Indeed, eating and drinking is popular in Gamla Stan!
And there are many tempting restaurants if you want more than just fika.
Come to think of it, walking and eating go hand-in-hand nicely on a walking tour of Gamla Stan…
Map of Gamla Stan
You can zoom in and out on this map of Gamla Stan to plan your own walking tour of Gamla Stan: