Where to get the best free views of Stockholm

With its beautifully preserved medieval old town, numerous green lungs and quaint districts, the low rise city built across 14 islands lying on a shiny archipelago – Stockholm can justly be proud of its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

But where can you get those picture perfect, birds eye view shots of Stockholm? There are paid attractions such as SkyView Stockholm but what if, like me, you are a budget conscious traveller? Where can you get amazing views of the city by paying only in terms of effort to climb up?

Here’s some suggestions from me 🙂

Katarina Hissen

The highest point on the list, and the most visible and accessible.

Katarina Hissen, greets you just next to the exit of Slussen station (in the direction of the city). Located on the hily island of Sodermalm (Southern Hills) the structure overlooks the whole of Stockholm City. A hissen is a lift, it was constructed in 1881 when elevators and lifts were new to connect the lower level Slussen area with the elevated Mosebacke torg. The lift was shut in 2010 because the actual elevator component was considered structurally unsafe, there are plans to renovate the lift so that it is operational again – slated for 2019.

The bridge area of the lift is today occupied by a restaurant, the Gondolen with a cocktail lounge that serves both Swedish and international food with a spectacular city backdrop.

The restaurant is sheltered and enclosed so you won’t freeze, don’t worry 😉

NOTE: Walking to the bridge is completely free, do not listen to anyone who tries to tell you that you need to pay to get on the bridge.



The Katarina Hissen is located on high ground and not everyone takes well to heights (I don’t just mean people with acrophobia, but people in general) in that case walk in the opposite direction of the Katarina Hissen in the direction of the Hilton Hotel to another lookout point called Monteliusvagen.

Unlike the Katarina Hissen which is a man made bridge, the Monteliusvagen is carved out from the hills and there is a solid natural barrier preventing you from getting too close to the edges.

The Monteliusvagen lookout point also has the advantage of being next to the quaint Mariahissen another lift, which was made in a neo-Gothic style. What I like about the lift is its connection to other houses around the area – its worth getting lost here.


Katarinavagen and Fjällgatan

Next to the Katarina’s Lift, is another set of hilly paths and lookout points that lookout into the city.

Whereas the two I mentioned previously give you an amazing view of the old town and the city area, Katarinavagen and Fjällgatan include the major green lung of the city – Djurgården. Depending on the time of day your view might be disrupted/complemented (however you like it) by a Siljia or Viking Line Cruise ship (usually traveling to Helsinki in Finland or Tallinn in Estonia).



The cafe in Fotografiska also has an amazing lookout into the city.

Granted this isn’t absolutely free, since you need to pay for entry into the Fotografiska before you can enter the cafe, but if a trip to the museum is on the cards than this cafe is certainly worth stopping and having a fika at.



The last suggestion on the island of Sodermalm is Skinnarviksberget, the highest natural point in the city area. This viewing area places the district of Kungsholmen at the centre of your view and is great for picnics – I think the others have better views but not the environment for a picnic.



Most lookout points are located at the southern side of Stockholm, this one is no exception. Except its on a different island.

The island of Långholmen is beautiful on its own although amazing views of the city can also be had from the Västerbron bridge and on the east side of the island – Långholmens Klippbad.



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