Start at the Obelisk outside Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace). Facing the palace is an orange Finnish church, where you'll find Stockholm's smallest statue (14cm tall) known as the Iron Boy at the back.
Exit the churchyard via the gate in the wall, turn left onto Tradgardsgatan, then left to Stortorget (the scene of the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520). Here, you'll find the Svenska Academien (Swedish Academy), now the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building, and the Nobel Museum.
Walk onto Transgund and head to Storkyrkan (oldest church in Stockholm - see the original George and the Dragon statue inside). From Transgund, walk down Storkyrkobrinken to the end of the road, look for the white building of Bondeska Palatset (Supreme Court of Justice) and Riddarhuset (The House of Nobility).
Head towards the waterfront, and turn left onto Lilla Nygatan. Continue up this road and look out for the Hotel Victory - this is where a trove of silver weighing 300kg was discovered in 1937. Turn around to where you came from, and turn right onto Gasgrand and continue along until you reach Gastorget (once a turning place for horse and carriages). Walk through the arch and turn right; this will take you onto Vasterlanggatan (main shopping street).
Continue on Vasterlanggatan and turn right onto Kakbrinken (look out for the Viking rune stone set in the wall as you climb up the slope). At the top of the slope, turn right onto Skomakargatan. At the end of this street lies the Tyska Kyrkan (the German Church) with a tower that reaches 96 metres high.
Walk through the churchyard and onto Svartmangatan, turn right onto Tyska Stallplan and look for Stockholm's narrowest street, Marten Trotzigs Grand, on the right (measuring at only 90cm wide). Walk down the steps onto Jartorget, then take the street on the left called Osterlanggatan.
Walk up Osterlanggatan and look out for the 2nd statue of the George and the Dragon on your left. Walk up the slope, to Kopmantorget, and walk down Kopmangatan, and this will take you back to Stortoget.
Storkyrkan ("Great Church") is Stockholm's oldest church, located between Stortorget and the Royal Palace. Orange-yellow on the outside, Baroque on the inside, this is where Swedish monarchs are crowned and married.
Of course you won't want to miss this street in Gamla Stan, as it is the main street and completely pedestrianized. Of course it is very touristy, but it is still nice, with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, and an interet cafe. Alot of the shops sell Swedish glass, Scandinavian sweaters, tshirts, etc.
I would recommend to walk once during the day but be sure to come back at night when the streetlights are on and people are out dining, because the street takes on a special atmosphere in the evening and in many ways is more pretty, especially once the hordes of day visitors have gone.
I thought this statue on the Järntorget looked so cute that I couldn't resist to take a picture of it. In his hands he has a sheet of musicpaper that cought my attention and after a little research I found out that this is the statue of the famous Evert Taube. The statue is made in bronze, lifesize and by K G Bejemarks. The location is close to Taubes favourite pub Gyllene Freden. In his hands he holds his latest composition. The statue is a gift from Ikea (the famous furniture shop from Sweden) on the 18th of June 1985.
At his feet there was a little bouquet of fresh flowers, sticking up from the snow. A touching symbol and a show of the love and respect the Swedish have for Evert Taube. The man who is probably the most loved and famous of all artists in Sweden. Evert Taube was a poet, troubadour, writer, artist and adventurer (1890 - 1976)
The square the statue is located is the Järntorget; Stockholms next oldest square. Only the Stortorget is older.
I love the colours of the Gamla Stan and of these two houses on the Stortorget in particular. It is a close up of the two houses you could see in the previous photo. The red and yellow colours are so warm, so nice to see, whether the sun shines or on a snowy day in January, they always looks picturesque.
You can even go inside these two houses as they both are now turned into restaurants and on the inside you can still enjoy this nice feel of times long gone by. You can read more about these restaurants (Kaffekoppen and Chokladkoppen) in the restaurant tips.
Here you can see a nice winterview of the Finnish Church (Finska Kyrka) during christmas time. The Finnish Church is also located in the Gamla Stan, directly behind the Storkyrkan and the Castle (this area around the caslte is called Slottsbacken). The Finnish Church is the smallest of the 5 churches in the Gamla Stan. The church doesn't have a tower and dates back to the 1640, which makes it Slottsbackens oldest building. The official name of the church is "Fredriks kyrka", named after King Fredrik I.
The main square on Staden is Stortorget ("Big Square"), located close to the geographical centre of the island. Surrounded on 3 sides by old townhouses, the square is a natural focal point of Gamla Stan and was the scene of the notorious Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520. On the north side of the square is the old stock exchange building, which now houses the (slightly disappointing) Nobel museum.
"The love of my people is my award," was the motto of King Karl XIV Johan who was King of Sweden and Norway from 1818.
I looked at the Statue of the King, pointing at something while sitting astride his rather frisky Horse.
To me and outsider's, nothing looks wrong, but to the Swede's, this 1854 Statue of King Carl XIV Johan, is facing the wrong direction!
The statue was originally placed in the position of arriving in Stockholm, but in 1930 the square was rebuilt to enable more space for road and the statue was turned the wrong direction and now the King is leaving Stockholm instead of arriving!
When you follow the "Stora Nygatan" street through the Gamla Stan, or follow the "Västerlånggatan" and take a turn to the right into the Torgdrag.gränd, you will end up on the beautiful Kornhamstorg, or in English the "Grain Harbour Square". There is a lot of activity going on on this little square at the waterside, so you might overlook the beautiful buildings at first sight. But that would really be a pity, because this relatively small square does deserve some more attention. The facades of the building surrounding the square are really beautiful and make it possible to imagine how Stockholm might have looked during the 17th century.
The square was laid out after a huge fire in 1625, a fire that destroyed almost all building on the South-West side of the Old Town. The end result are the "new" streets of Lilla Nygatan and Stora Nygatan and the Kornhamstorg.
There are many nice facades here, but I would like to point out two nice elements on this square. First of all the statue high up in the middle of the square called "Bågspännaren" from 1916 (photo 3). The other thing that cought my attention on this square is a beautiful bay window located on the Kornhamstorg 51 (also called the Scharenberg House) wich dates back to 1630 (photos 4 and 5).
You already saw a statue of St.George and the Dragon in the Cathedral of Stockholm, but that is not the only one to be seen in town. This is another one, but now located on the Köpmantorget in the Gamla Stan. If this statue looks similar to you, hahaha, that could be right; because it is a copy in bronze of the one in the cathedral.
Close to the statue is a beautiful restaurant called ”Fem Små Hus” (Five Small Houses). The restaurant isn't cheap, but not over-the-top expensive either, and seems worth while going to. So it is on my wishlist to try their meny some day! The restaurant contains of five separate houses which have been connected to form a restaurant. The oldest of them "Hans Hanssons Hus", dates back to 1651. Here you can eat inside a valved cellar.
When you are at the Riksdagshuset it really pays off to take the stairs down from the Norrbro bridge towards the Strömparterren (on the other side of the road from the Riksdagshuset) on the eastern side of the island of Helgeandholmen. From here you will have a wonderful view over the waters of the Norrström and you are surrounded by some of Stockholm most famous buildings: the Opera to the left, the Riksdagshuset behind you, the Grand Hotel across the water and the Royal Palace to the right. Although not all visible from here, the views are wonderful all the same.
Strömparterren is a little park which opened to the public in 1832. It is the location where you can visit the "Medeltidsmuseum" (more about that later), have a nice lunch or cup of coffee, of course enjoy the lovely views, and also see the statue by Carl Milles called "Solsångaren" (see photo).
Carl Milles (1875 - 1955) was a famous Swedish sculptor and you can still see quite a few of his works around Stockholm. The statue in the photo is called "Sölsångaren" or in English "The Sunsinger" (1925). He created this statue as a memorial to the poet Esaias Tegnér. Carl Milles was inspired by two lines of a Tegnérs poem:
"To you I sing a song, to you, oh radiant sun."
Carl Milles made a wonderful interpretation of this poem: the statue is facing the blue water and the bright sunshine, stretching out his arms towards the sun and you can just imagine the man singing in admiration to the sun and embracing its warmth. A feeling I could understand so well on this bright beautiful sunny day in the very heart of Stockholm.
Västerlånggatan is the main street through the Gamla Stan and now taken over by shops and tourism. This street is often crowded with people and a street to avoid when looking for the picturesque Old Town, hahaha, but at the same time it is unavoidable. I am guilty of it too, I somwhow always end up here, even if I don't want to. It is just the natural route to take when wanting to get around in the Gamla Stan. The street leads from one end of the Gamla Stan at the Mynttorget to the other (Järntorget). The Västerlånggatan is a good place to do some souvenir shopping or just do some windowshopping instead. If you are looking for the 'real' Old Town, don't forget to explore one of the side streets, which are much more quiet and to me much more picturesque.
I wondered who Evert Taube was, he had a statue, so he must have been important!
Evert Taube was a Swedish musical composer and author, born in 1890 and lived until 1976, living most of his life in Stockholm, Sweden.
Evert Taube was one of the most beloved figures in Swedish literature, he also composed a fair amount of music and his poems are found throughout Stockholm in libraries and bookstores. His work is widely translated into English.
He happens to be one of Sweden's most beloved poets, and has the "Evert Taube Terrace" named after him.
The statue shows Evert carrying a newspaper under his arm with his coat draped over his shoulders and a pair of sunglasses pushed up onto his forehead, looking just how he did in real life!
Evert Taube terrace is located between Wrangel palace and Riddarfjärden and part of North Riddarholm Harbour
I have lost count of all the tourists I have seen walk right past the rune stone in the middle of the Old Town without noticing it. It was found nearby and added to the house wall, along with a canon used as a bollard and is quite a decent example of a runestone even if it is no longer in one piece. Don't miss it!
Gamla Stan is the "old town" in Stockholm. It is a small island in the middle of Stockholm. This is the most charming area to walk around and enjoy the lovely atmosphere. The streets are made of stone and are narrow. There are many small cosy restaurants, cafes to sit eat or just sip coffee on a beautiful day. But don't over do it, food & drinks can be rather expensive here.
The largest square in Gamla Stan is Stortorget. It is nice to sit here on one of the benches and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings surrounding you.