The Stockholm Main Street is made up by three pedestrian streets in different districts: Drottninggatan in Vasastan and Norrmalm, Västerlånggatan in Gamla stan and Götgatan on Södermalm. Together they make up a 5-kilometre walk through Stockholm‘s most interesting venues for shopping, dining and nightlife, similar to the Axe historique of Paris.
With the redevelopment of Norrmalm in the 1960s and 70s, pedestrian and bicycle traffic was put on exception in central Stockholm. From the 1990s, pedestrian routes have been restored, and by 2020 an extensive network of bicycle paths has opened.
The green metro (tunnelbana) line runs parallel to the streets. Cycling is a practical option unless it is too cold and rainy.
There are no staircases, so the route is generally accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. The passage through Slussen has some re-routing due to construction until 2025. Northern Götgatan has a steep slope, which however does not deter bicycle commuters.
Since 2019, Stockholm has a fleet of rental e-scooters. As in many other cities, their future is uncertain.
Car traffic from Sergels torg to Gullmarsplan is diverted to tunnels and highway bridges. While Gamla stan and Södermalm can be traversed by car, parking spaces are few, and driving is altogether impractical.
Drottninggatan is a pedestrianised street from the Observatorielunden park to the Riksbron bridge to Gamla stan. The section north of Kungsgatan is the most interesting, with independent cafés, restaurants and stores. Between Kungsgatan and Sergels Torg you will find the Åhléns and PUB department stores, as well as flagship stores for some national and international fashion chains, including as many as eight H&M stores. South of the Sergels torg square, the street is a typical tourist trap, dominated by stores selling tourist souvenirs and cheap clothes, and bland and bleak restaurants.
- 1 Stockholm Odenplan Station. A commuter rail (pendeltåg) station at Odenplan below ground opened in 2017, with controlled atmosphere and contemporary art.
- 1 Stockholm Public Library (Stadsbiblioteket), Sveavägen 73 (T Rådmansgatan). Built in 1928 and designed by the famous Swedish architect Erik Gunnar Asplund, the interior of the cylinder-shaped main hall is spectacular, with three floors of bookshelves covering 360 degrees of circular wall. Books (fiction and non-fiction) are available in many languages, including English and German. This museum does lend books, while the equally beautiful National Library of Sweden on Östermalm does not.
- On the cliff above the Library is the old Stockholm Observatory, which has a fine view of the city to the east. There is also a small café.
- 1 Gustaf Vasa kyrka. A neo-Baroque church built in 1906. One of Stockholm’s largest churches, with frequent concerts.
- 1 Astrid Lindgren’s home. Astrid Lindgren, one of the world’s most read writer of children’s books, lived in this Stockholm apartment from 1941 until her death in 2002. Reservations only.
Mst of Stockholm’s second-hand record shops are clustered in the area between Odenplan and St Eriksplan. Most are open M-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 11:00-15:00. Some examples (starting from the Odenplan end) are:
- 1 Cosmos Factory, Upplandsgatan 47. (updated Aug 2015)
- 1 Stockholms Skivbörs, Upplandsgatan 47. (updated Aug 2015)
- 1 Sko dig, Hagagatan 4. Second-hand store. (updated Aug 2015)
- 1 Nu och då, Norrtullsgatan 31. Second-hand store. (updated Aug 2015)
Vasastan has plenty of restaurants, most in the mid-range bracket, many in ethnic style. They are usually crowded by office workers during lunch break (from noon to 13:00).
- 1 Tennstopet, Dalagatan 50 (T Odenplan), ☏+46 8 32 25 18. Open M-F 16:00-01:00, Sa Su 13:00-01:00. More traditional Swedish cooking. On one evening in August each year they will serve the Swedish culinary delicacy Surströmming (fermented herring). Mains 130-265 kr, slightly lower prices at the bar.
- 1 Tranan, Karlbergsvägen 14 (T Odenplan). A good brasserie-style restaurant opened in 1929, with a dark downstairs bar that is popular Vasastan hangout, with a mixed crowd. Occasional live music.
- 1 Inferno (T Rådmansgatan). A part of the Norrmalm bar scene, Inferno takes its name from a semi-autobiographical novel by one of Sweden’s most famous authors, August Strindberg, who lived in the building from 1908 to his death in 1912. (Strindberg’s apartment is now a small museum, open Tu-Su 12:00-16:00). The warm atmosphere, the ambitious drink list and the attentive service gave Inferno the Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter‘s Gulddraken award for Best Bar 2007.
- 1 Centralbadet, Drottninggatan 88 (entrance from the courtyard T Hötorget), ☏+46 8 545 213 15. Open M-F 06:00-20:00, Sa 08:00-20:00, Su 08:00-17:00. A classical bath-house in one of Stockholm’s most beautiful art nouveau buildings, this is a place where you can go for a swim, have a beer in the sauna bar or enjoy a full spa treatment. Rather expensive and sometimes crowded on weekends. Adults 130 kr (Friday after 15:00 and all day Saturday 180 kr), includes entrance to pool, jacuzzi, gym and saunas. University students and seniors 70 kr Su-F until 15:00. Most spa treatments 350-700 kr.
- 1 Adolf Fredrik’s church (Adolf Fredriks kyrka), Holländargatan 16 (T Hötorget or T Rådmansgatan), ☏+46 8 20 70 76. Open to the public M 13:00-19:00, Tu-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 10:30-16:00. Adolf Fredrik’s church, named by King Adolf Fredrik, was built in 1768-1774. The exterior is quite intact, while the interior was radically changed in the 1890s. In the church, there is a monument to the philosopher René Descartes, who spent his last years in Stockholm tutoring Queen Christina, until dying of pneumonia. The church is known for the grave of Prime Minister Olof Palme, who was assassinated in 1986. The grave can be found just to the south of the church building.
- 1 Skandia cinema, Drottninggatan 82 (T Hötorget). This 1850s building houses a 1920s cinema designed by the Stockholm Public Library architect Erik Gunnar Asplund. A beautiful and intimate setting.
- 1 Stockholm Concert Hall (Stockholms konserthus) (T Hötorget). The home stage of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the place of the annual Nobel Prize ceremony.
- 1 Spaghettioperan Regina, Drottninggatan 71 A. Combines dining with opera-inspired stage shows.
- 1 Strindbergsmuseet, Drottninggatan 85. Tu-Su 12:00-16:00. Dedicated to fin de siècle writer August Strindberg. Closed Monday. 60 kr.