Gamla Stan is one of Europe’s oldest and best preserved medieval old towns, and one of Stockholm’s major attractions. It was here that Stockholm was founded in 1252.
The whole of Gamla Stan and the neighbouring Riddarholmen area resemble a living, walkable museum, filled with sights, attractions, restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. Gamla Stan is also popular with arts and craft, curiosity and souvenir hunters. The narrow, winding cobbled alleyways with buildings in all shades of yellow give Gamla Stan its unique character. Behind the visible facades, you can still find underground vaults and murals from the Middle Ages. On snowy winter days, the area feels like it’s straight out of a fairy tale.
Gamla Stan is home to several beautiful churches and museums. Here you can find Storkyrkan, Sweden’s national cathedral, and the Nobel Museum. The area’s greatest attraction of all is the Royal Palace – one of the world’s largest – with over 600 rooms. In addition to the entertainment rooms, the Palace is home to several interesting museums, including the Royal Armoury, with its royal dress and armour. Don’t miss the guards’ parade and the daily changing of the guards.
Västerlånggatan and Österlånggatan are the main streets in the area. Within them, along what is now Prästgatan, ran the city wall which once surrounded the city. In the centre of Gamla Stan is Stortorget, Stockholm’s oldest square and central point, where Köpmangatan, Stockholm’s oldest street, starts. The street first appeared in records from the 14th century. Mårten Trotzigs gränd is hard to find. This is Gamla Stan’s narrowest alleyway: just 90 centimetres wide at its narrowest point. Don’t miss Riddarholmen and Riddarholmskyrkan church either. The church is a venue for royal funerals, built as a Franciscan monastery for the so-called Grey Friars in the 13th century.