The capital of Sweden and one of the most picturesque cities in Scandinavia, Stockholm is at its best in the fall. Cool days paired with brilliantly colored leaves create the perfect atmosphere for sightseeing, shopping and soaking up the Swedish culture. If you’re planning a vacation in Stockholm before winter hits, take advantage of these entertaining activities.
Nordiska Museet Choklad Festival
Indulge your sweet tooth at the Choklad Festival, which takes place each fall at the Nordiska Museet. During this weekend-long event, Sweden’s best chocolatiers show off their world-class sweets. Taste unusual chili chocolate, buy a box of candies to take home, and watch the chefs compete for top baking honors.
Stockholm’s tree-lined streets and shores burst with radiant color in late September and early October. No fall visit to the city is complete without an afternoon spent among the changing leaves. Grab a cup of coffee and stroll through Humlegården in the Östermalm district, or take a commuter train out to the Järvafältet nature reserve for a quiet lunch and stunning fall foliage and field views.
Stockholm International Film Festival
Each November, indie filmmakers from around the world gather at the 10-day Stockholm International Film Festival. Check out new films, attend seminars by world-renowned industry figures and mingle with movie luminaries. Smaller and more intimate than Cannes or Sundance, the festival offers ample opportunity to meet your favorite actors and directors.
Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival
Join other beer and whisky connoisseurs at the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival, which takes place near the beginning of October. Participate in tasting events to expand your palette, or try out different brews on tap to find a new favorite. Bring a group and enjoy a day of drinks and snacks, or learn more by attending information sessions and classes.
Join the Locals for Fika
“Fika” is a beloved tradition in Stockholm that involves coffee, dessert and friendly conversation. When a fall vacation day turns cold or rainy, don’t despair! Grab your travel buddy and head to Café Panorama or Lisas Café & Hembageri for a strong cup of coffee and homemade pastries — for the full Swedish experience, try a marzipan covered princess cake or a slice of apple cake with vanilla icing.
Hit the Water
During the warm summer months, tourists crowd onto boats to sail through the thousands of islands that make up the Stockholm archipelago. If you’re visiting in the fall, enjoy the same experience, complete with shorter lines and less crowded boats. Book a full-day or half-day tour from any travel agency in the city center; many include excursions and activities. Go back in time on the island of Grinda, which prohibits traffic and boasts numerous walking trails. If you’re after a more high-end experience, check out the regular festivals on Sandön, the farthest island from Stockholm. Alternatively, bundle up and take a ferry through the islands to take advantage of crisp air and beautiful photographic opportunities.
No matter what the weather, Stockholm offers an endless array of activities for autumn visitors. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing or snacking, you’re sure to find a pleasant pastime.