Europe Travel

Why You Should Get Lost in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

We ventured off to visit Stockholm, Sweden without any plans and without knowing much about the city. We had already made the journey from Miami all the way to Lapland for our Finland adventure , so we figured why not visit a city that is close by like Copenhagen or Stockholm. If it was up to me, I would visit both and even include my beloved Tallinn that I have been wanting to visit, but due to time restrictions (a.k.a hubby ultimatum), we had to chose one. The flight from Helsinki to Stockholm was so incredibly cheap that we decided to visit  Stockholm. We booked a hotel in the downtown of the city so we could have easy access to restaurants, shops and most importantly Gamla Stan which was the place that made us consider this city all together.

Gamla Stan dating back to the 13th Century is the oldest part of Stockholm  and is best known for its characteristic quaint and colorful alleyways, cobblestone streets and archaic architecture. The narrow alleyways and medieval character is what makes you fall in love with this place. 

With no plans and completely overwhelmed with how much there is to see in  Gamla Stan, we embarked on a mission: getting lost in the streets for the next 2 days. And that is exactly what we did, morning, afternoon and evening just walking around from street to street from alleyway to alleyway admiring all of the architecture, history and design. The first day we decided to leave the camera at the hotel so we could actually get to enjoy the city but naturally, we regretted it as we are always looking for photo opportunities. Once again the next day we spent all day just wondering around with no map, no plans but with our camera from early morning until the evening.

Though most of the alleyways were empty, we witnessed how the main streets got busier and busier. Stora Nygatan is a street full of shops, restaurants, bars and character in Gamla Stan. Always lively and full of people, the only way to properly shoot this street is by using long exposure. Or perhaps if you are brave go at sunrise.

A visit to Gamla Stan would not be complete without a stop at The Big Square or Stortorget which is the oldest square in Stockholm. This historical centre is considered to be the starting point of the city. Tens of thousands of tourists visit this place annually so make sure to visit early morning and if possible avoid the summer months.

Stockholm is home to plenty of museums including the Nobel Museum which focuses on the Nobel Prize. Unless you are an avid museum and/or viking fan, I recommend you skip them and plan on just getting lost. Sometimes when we travel we stress too much about doing and seeing everything. We want to take down every land mark and visit every main attraction of a city, but sometimes the best way of exploring and getting to know a city is by venturing off with no plans and no expectations. The only exception would be if you are truly passionate about visiting a specific place than do that first and by all means , trust yourself and get lost!

Claudia Zeeba Life

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11 Comments
  • Christina

      REPLY

    Gamla Stan looks like a combination of culture and character. The streets look so clean! Actually, it would be an awesome place to do a fashion photo shoot. I like how you've puit yourself in the photos too.

  • barb

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    Gamla Stan is so beautiful and there is so much history behind this place. I was there over the Summer. The best was to take the Ghost Tour around the neighbourhood.

  • Sandy N Vyjay

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    Gamla Stan, seems to transport one to another time. A charming time when the world was not as fast as it is today. A laid back time when one could exhilarate in the small things of life. The old world charm of Stockholm seems to come alive in Gamla Stane. The place is so endearing and a walk around the place would be a wonderful experience.

  • carla abanes

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    All the right reasons to get lost in Stockholm are right here in your photos. I always get lost somewhere in my solo travels but I always find gems and treasures in people, food and places so I'm glad that I got lost.

  • Megan Jerrard

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    Such a beautiful area of Stockholm, I'm so glad you had the chance to experience Gamla Stan. We also love exploring a new destination by choosing a central spot and wandering at leisure, you discover the real heart and soul of a neighborhood that way, and pick up on the little hidden gems behind different corners. This is a beautiful place :)

  • Dave

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    Gamla Stan looks like a very picturesque district of Stockholm. It is the perfect place to get lost and wander as you mentioned. I would personally love to visit the Nobel museum too, sounds interesting.

  • Ivy

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    Haha the hubby ultimatum! Love what you did with the long exposure shot- how long did you have to let it sit for before you could get something without so many people? We don't like spending time at museums either so this getting lost idea sounds like a good plan :) It looks soooo cold though with all your layers, what was the temperature like?

  • Lauren

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    Such a beautiful place! I like that you just wandered around and explored. That's my favorite thing to do sometimes in a brand new place.

  • Reshma

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    Gamla Stan looks very wonderful, with the colourful building all around and the rustic cobbled streets. Stockholm is so wonderful, and it's true that we get overwhelmed and wish to tick off every place. But I enjoy the most when I go without plans or go off the beaten path. That's when the surprises happen :)

  • Samantha Sparrow

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    This brings back wonderful memories of visiting when I was 15 - I'm desperate to go back., The architecture and the narrow cobbled streets are so pretty and inviting, and I found Stockholm to be super clean and friendly. Thanks for capturing its heart and sharing!

  • Priya

      REPLY

    Gamla Stan looks like a wonderful place to wander, with pretty colorful buildings and the cobbled stoned streets.

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Hi, I am Claudia! I am a wife and mommy who wishes to share our families journey and travel adventures around the world in hopes to inspire you to love and explore our planet and to become a more conscious world citizen. Join us in our journey of exploring new destinations, delicious plant based food and discovering conscious brands. LEARN MORE

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