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In the footsteps of famous Swedes

Stockholm has produced a number of famous sons and daughters, from filmmaker Ingmar Bergman to writer Astrid Lindgren and ABBA’s Benny Andersson. But Alfred Nobel, August Strindberg and Greta Garbo continue to be the most famous of all. They acquired their fame during their own genres and eras, but all left their mark on the Swedish capital – enough for an entertaining day of sightseeing.

The department store where Greta Garbo once worked as a salesgirl and where she was scouted for her first film role is still around and her final resting place is now listed as a World Heritage Site. Visitors can book the Red Room from August Strindberg’s eponymous book in the city’s trendiest design hotel and wander around the stately ballroom where the prizes named after Alfred Nobel are presented. Follow in the footsteps of 3 famous Swedes.

Strindberg monument
Strindberg monument


Garbo’s grave at Skogskyrkogården

Greta Garbo: ‘I want to be alone’

To visit the Greta Garbo Museum, you’ll need to travel to Högsby, her mother’s birthplace. However, there are also plenty of traces of Garbo to be found in Stockholm. She used to work as a salesgirl at PUB and played her first film role in a commercial for this department store. She also once stood on the stage of the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Garbo is buried in the Skogskyrkogården cemetery, now listed as a World Heritage Site.

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Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern, Nybroplan 111, Stockholm,

August Strindberg’s Red Room

August Strindberg was not the most famous, but definitely the most illustrious of all Swedish writers. Visit the Strindberg Museum, where his apartment has been preserved for 100 years. The Red Room, formerly a meeting place for intellectuals and the location of Strindberg’s most famous novel, is also still intact and can be found in the Berns design hotel. His plays are performed in the tiny Intima Teater, which he personally established.

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August Strindberg's desk

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Strindbergsmuseet, Drottninggatan 85, Stockholm,
The Golden Hall in the city hall

The explosive Stockholm of Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Museum is small but delightful, and surprisingly modern. In the Golden Hall in Stockholm’s city hall, which can be visited during a guided tour, the Nobel Banquet takes place each year and the menu at the Stadshuskällaren restaurant contains all Nobel menus from 1901 to today. Vinterviken, where Nobel started a nitro-glycerine factory and produced dynamite, is now a park. Nobel’s grave can be visited at the Norra Begravningsplatsen (Northern Cemetery).

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Nobel Museum, Stortorget 2, Stockholm,

Photo credits

  • Garbo’s grave at Skogskyrkogården: mertxe ituttioz, Flickr
  • August Strindberg's desk: Martin Pulaski, Flickr
  • The Golden Hall in the city hall: Emil Stefanov, Flickr