Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm (Self Guided), Stockholm

Riddarholmen, a small island that is part of Gamla Stan, houses several beautiful historical buildings dating back to the 17th century. Its most important landmark is Riddarholmen Church, the burial place of Swedish monarchs. The Old Riksdag Building is also located here. The western side of the island offers a spectacular view of the bay, Riddarfjärden. Discover Riddarholmen’s historical landmarks in the following guide.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm Map

Guide Name: Riddarholmen Landmarks Walk in Stockholm
Guide Location: Sweden » Stockholm (See other walking tours in Stockholm)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Author: rose
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Riddarholmsbron
  • Hessenstein Palace
  • Gamla Riksarkivet
  • Norstedt Building
  • Birger Jarls Torn
  • Wrangel Palace
  • Riddarholm Church
  • Old Riksdag Building

1) Riddarholmsbron

Riddarholmsbron is a simple bridge that connects the two islets of Stadsholmen and Riddarholmen, in Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm, Sweden. Known as “The Knights Islet Bridge,” Riddarholmsbron was first constructed in 1630 as a wooden drawbridge for the Councillor Åke Tott, with consideration for both foot and horse traffic. In 1784, the wooden bridge was reconstructed out of stone with a high arch to accommodate passing boats and the carriages of the Royal Family and nobility. Designed by architect Erik Palmstedt, the bridge lasted less than 100 years and was destroyed in 1867 to make way for the railroad. The preferred materials of the time was cast iron to accommodate the weight and stress from the passing locomotives. During the reconstruction in 1867, architect Ragnar Östberg had an idea to preserve history and to recycle the bridge’s stone vault by reconstructing it as part of the gardens at the Stockholm City Hall. The Vault has come to be known as Palmstedt Grotta or “Cave of Plamstedt.” With the ever constant changes in the way people in Europe traveled during the 1950s, the bridge was demolished, once again, and a closed frame concrete bridge was put in its place to accommodate traffic from automobiles.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hessenstein Palace

2) Hessenstein Palace

Designed by famed architect Nicodemus Tessin, the Hessenstein Palace was erected in 1630 for State Councilor Bengt Bengtsson. Tessin, who favored the Renaissance style of architecture, impressed the style upon the Hessenstein Palace. The palace was inhabited by nobility, over the years, including Bengt Gabrielsson Oxenstierna, a nobleman and Swedish diplomat, and his 18 children. In 1687, the Royal Family moved into the palace after a fire which destroyed the Royal Palace. The building is still being used today by the Swedish government. Currently, the building is used to house the Environmental Court of Sweden. Located in Old Town Stockholm, which is filled with many palaces and government buildings with histories which date back to the Middle Ages, the area sits up above the city at the highest point and, is filled with fabulously restored renditions of the historical buildings of the past. This is the place to go for tourists who want to be transported back in time. The attractive aged cobble-stone streets surround the many parks and historical sites. Visitors will enjoy walking throughout the area, visiting the numerous shops filled with handmade items or sampling some of the local flavor at one of the countless cafes that line the streets.
Gamla Riksarkivet

3) Gamla Riksarkivet

Gamla Riksarkivet was once used as the National Archive of Sweden. Located on the islet of Riddarholmen, the archives were housed in the building until the middle part of the 1960s. Designed in the Romanesque style of architecture, the building hints at the medieval past of this city, while articulating the grandeur of this architectural style. Designed by the architect, Axel F. Nyström, the building was once the tallest building in Stockholm and a distinctive model of the architecture of the late 1800s. The building is connected to the Stenbockska Palace and the Norstedts Publishing Building. Constructed on cast iron columns and rolled iron, the building was constructed with strength to last many years. The interior windows are emblazoned with decorative iron implements while the door frames and window sills are made of sandstone. The building was the first in Sweden to have an electric elevator. Much of the building was designed to be fire retardant. In fact, the only wooden part of the structure was the bookshelves. Spiral slides were added to the building in the 1940s to accommodate the quick removal of materials should it become necessary during World War II. The National Archives were moved in 1995 and at present, the building houses genealogical records.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Norstedt Building

4) Norstedt Building

Designed by architect Magnus Isæus, the Norstedt Building was erected between 1882 and 1891. The impressive spire roof is a landmark on the Stockholm skyline and appears to be pointing into the heavens. The building has an impressive location and is surrounded by water on two sides. Located on the islet of Riddarholmen, the Norstedt Building sits amongst many historical landmarks of Stockholm. The building is perched on the eastern shore of the islet. The building itself got its name from the publishing house of Norstedts, which once was housed in the building. The islet is part of the Gamla Stan, or Old Town Stockholm, a popular spot among tourists. The western part of the island is a fabulous place to take in the incredible scenery surrounding the town and is a favorite spot to visit for photographers. The Vasabron Bridge can be seen in front of the Norstedt Building. The bridge connects Norrmalm to Gamla Stan. Visitors will want to explore the island and all it has to offer. The Old Town itself has a huge selection of architectural structures to explore, many of which date back to medieval times. Stockholm has a rich history and the Norstedts Building is a part of that history which should not be missed.
Birger Jarls Torn

5) Birger Jarls Torn

Birger Jarls Torn is a tower located on the north-western side or Riddarholmen. Named in honor of Birger Jarl, who was a leader in the Second Swedish Crusade and a Swedish Statesman. Birger Jarl was one of the most powerful men of his time and, was credited with ending the many years of hostilities between Sweden and Norway during the 13th century. He was a significant part of the Treaty of Lödöse, too. The Birger Jarls Torn is one of the oldest structures in the town. Build for King Gustav Vasa as a defensive tower, it is the only remaining tower of Vasa’s defensive system of the 16th century following the Protestant Reformation in Sweden. Birger Jarl was such an important man, that he is commemorated throughout the city of Stockholm. There are several other landmarks in the area named after Birger Jarls including the street Birger Jarlsgatan and the Hotel Birger Jarl. Located next to the Birger Jarls Torg, a square commemorating Birger Jarls, stands an impressive statue which was erected in his honor. A cenotaph intended for his remains is located at the base of the Stockholm City Hall Tower. However, the great duke remains at rest in Varnhem Abbey.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Wrangel Palace

6) Wrangel Palace

Wrangel Palace, known as Wrangelska Palatset, is a historical piece of architecture located in Stockholm, Sweden. The townhouse has been the home of government nobility like Svea Hovrätt of the regional court of appeals during the 18th century. During the first part of the 19th century, it housed the royal court. The building itself is combination of various architectural styles. One the Southern part of the building stands a tower which was one of the defensive towers of Gustav Vasa during the 16th century. During the 17th century, the palace was expanded by architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, who was responsible for many of the buildings in the Old Town of Stockholm. The building was constructed for Count Carl Gustaf Wrangel, the building’s namesake. In 1693, a fire broke out and the building was once again expanded during the rebuilding process. The Palace was rebuilt again in 1802 following another devastating fire. Over the years, the building has been home to many members of the Royal family and their court. The walls decorated with paintings of the royal family and their court which just adds to the regality of the facility. Visitors to the city will want to devote several hours to taking a walking tour of the city.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Riddarholm Church

7) Riddarholm Church (must see)

The historic Riddarholm Church dates back all the way to the 13th century. Originally, it was built with two naves but, by the 1400s, one additional nave was added. This church facility represents the last abbey left in Stockholm and is a product of the Protestant Reformation in Sweden.

The place itself has been used as a funeral and memorial church since 1807 and is known for being the final resting place of many Swedish Royal family members. In fact, several chapels are dedicated to the various kings of Sweden, whose remains rest within. In the chapel of Gustavus Adolphus Magnus lie Gustav II's bones in a large marble sarcophagus, while the lower crypt holds the bodies of his decedents. The Karolinska Chapel was built in the 17th century and Karl XII is buried beneath a black marble sarcophagus along with his family and, the Bernadotte Chapel honors Karl XIV Johan. The Royal Graveyard at Haga holds remains of other members of the Royal family, while the Haga Wall displays the elaborate shields of the Royal Family members buried in the graveyard.

Why You Should Visit:
Interesting spire and external architecture – the history of Royal Sweden in this one building.

Try to catch a guided tour (included in the entry fee) which lasts ~45 mins but makes the visit a lot better, because of the information and interactivity you get.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (Oct-Apr); 10am-5pm (May-Sep)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Old Riksdag Building

8) Old Riksdag Building

Located in the Birger Jarls Torg, the Riksdag Building is known as “The Old House of Parliament.” The reason for this name is because this was the original home of Sweden’s Parliament for most of the 1800s. The Birger Jarls Torg is a square located on the island of Helgeandsholmen in Old Town Stockholm. The historic square is the location of many other historic landmarks which date back to ancient Swedish times. Once the seat of Sweden’s Riksdag, Sweden’s Parliament, the building dates back to 1833, when it was the estate home of Swedish nobility. In the 1860s, the parliament moved into the building and remained there until 1905. The building has a majestic front facade and is styled in the neo-baroque style of architecture. Flanked by Corinthian columns, two neoclassical wings span from east to west. A detailed relief of the Swedish coat of arms is inlaid into the grand bronze doorway at the entrance of the building and a statue of Mother Svea sits atop the balustrade. On the interior of the building, a massive staircase guides visitors to the two assembly halls, which were once used by the bicameral assembly and, each octagonal hall is protected by massive glass domes.

Walking Tours in Stockholm, Sweden

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Create Your Own Walk in Stockholm

Creating your own self-guided walk in Stockholm is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Gamla Stan Walk, Part 1

Gamla Stan Walk, Part 1

Gamla stan (The Old Town) is the oldest part of Stockholm, officially known until 1980 as “The Town Between Bridges” (Staden mellan broarna). Established in the 13th century, the area abounds in medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture, showing a great deal of North German influence. There are quite a few historic sights in the area, including The Royal Palace, The Royal...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Gamla Stan Walk, Part 2

Gamla Stan Walk, Part 2

Gamla stan (The Old Town) is the oldest part of Stockholm, officially known until 1980 as “The Town Between Bridges” (Staden mellan broarna). Established in the 13th century, the area abounds in medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture, showing a great deal of North German influence. Among the many places of interest found here are The Stockholm Stock Exchange (built...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Djurgården Museums Walk

Djurgården Museums Walk

With almost 70 museums in operation, Stockholm houses more museums than almost any other city on the planet. The island of Djurgården, inside Stockholm, is home to an array of museums and historic monuments, including Scandinavia’s most popular Vasa Museum and Sweden’s first open-air museum. To explore these and other museums of Djurgården in detail, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Norrmalm Cultural Walk, Part 2

Norrmalm Cultural Walk, Part 2

Once an independent city, Norrmalm has been a part of Stockholm (one of its central areas, these days) since 1635. Many of Norrmalm's old buildings were torn down during the 1950s-60s to clear space for modern construction. Still, the most notable pieces of local architecture are in place and reveal a wide range of styles - Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque. The district is a home to The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Södermalm Cultural Walk

Södermalm Cultural Walk

Södermalm, or "Söder" for short, is a borough in central Stockholm, incorporating a large island of the same name (formerly known as "Åsön"). Although considered an island, the water surrounding Södermalm to the north and south does not flow freely, but passes through a series of locks. Visitors are charmed by the borough's narrow, cobbled streets and neat squares, as...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Östermalm Nightlife Walk

Östermalm Nightlife Walk

If you enjoy glamor and style, this nightlife tour of Stockholm is exactly what you need. Östermalm is an affluent area of the city, with higher prices and exclusive nightclubs. Put on your trendy clothes, fill your pockets with kronas, be patient in line and get the party started! Don’t miss the opportunity to check out some of Stockholm’s best nightclubs.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 15 Distinctly Swedish Products to Buy in Stockholm

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 15 Distinctly Swedish Products to Buy in Stockholm

If you come to Stockholm on the trail of Karlsson-on-the-Roof character (Swedish: Karlsson på taket), created by Astrid Lindgren, you're bound to enjoy yourself big time! Just don't forget to spare some time for gift shopping, so as to please your loved ones back home. In doing so, you...