Some types of places are inseparable from big cities and at the same time, they can hardly be found in smaller towns. One such type is wide avenues where long, green tree alleys surround busy roads and thousands of people cross paths with one another every day. In this post, I show you the most beautiful avenues in Stockholm. At each and every place included in my list, you will get the chance to admire some interesting architecture, experience the busyness of the Swedish capital, and explore the way the locals live.

In Stockholm, the wide avenues as we know them today originate in the so-called Lindhagen’s city plan presented in 1866. I have talked about this plan, which changed the landscape of the city significantly in the post on hill parks in Stockholm, where you can learn more about it.

1. StrandvÀgen

StrandvÀgen in Stockholm

Perhaps the most well-known avenue in Stockholm is also the one where first tree alleys were planted. The construction process began as early as 1861 but it was not before 1879 that the tree alleys reached the area by the DjurgĂ„rdsbron bridge. It was around the same time that this street was turned into Stockholm’s noblest avenue with prominent residential buildings quickly replacing existing courtyards on the northern side of the avenue.
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2. NarvavÀgen

Residential building in Östermalm, Stockholm

As the Östermalm district was growing rapidly around the same time as the avenues were appearing in Stockholm, this district is where you will find the largest number of them. NarvavĂ€gen, connecting StrandvĂ€gen with KarlavĂ€gen, is one of the city’s calmer avenues, which was built in the 1890s. Here, you can observe that the tree alleys are planted in the middle of the street, which is typical of the avenues in Östermalm.
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3. KarlavÀgen

Karlaplan in Stockholm

Modern-day KarlavĂ€gen was created in several stages and because of that, its eastern parts are about forty years younger than the areas west of Karlaplan. At the time of the construction, it was seen by many locals as a Parisian boulevard located in Stockholm but over time, this street became one of the district’s landmarks. Its face was slightly changed during the 1960s when more plants and flowers were added to the middle of the avenue.
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4. ValhallavÀgen

Royal College of Music in Stockholm

ValhallavĂ€gen is a street parallel to the previous avenue on my list where you will find a plenty of beautiful places to see. In the street’s immediate neighbourhood, you can see a couple of university campuses or the legendary Stockholm Olympic Stadium (Stockholms stadion), for instance. Around the turn of the twentieth century, ValhallavĂ€gen was described as the city’s last northern boundary between the urbanised area and the countryside.
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5. Birger Jarlsgatan

Danelius House in Stockholm

Likely the most exclusive avenue in Stockholm when it comes to shopping, named after the city’s founder, Birger Jarl, forms the boundary between the Östermalm and the Norrmalm district. Planting of tree alleys in this location began in the southern parts near StrandvĂ€gen in the late 1890s and continued on the northern side all the way to 1924.
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6. Odengatan

Odengatan in Stockholm

Interestingly, Odengatan is the longest street oriented in the east-western direction in the Swedish capital. It was completed in 1913 but has been altered in the following decades because of the increasing traffic. Trees were often moved from their original location closer to the houses on both sides of the road and many have been removed completely.
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7. KarlbergsvÀgen

KarlbergsvÀgen is unique among the avenues on my list as according to preserved historical sources, there used to be tree alleys around the street already in the 1700s. Just like today, the street stretched from Norrtullsgatan to the Karlberg Palace (Karlbergs slott), which not only gave the avenue its name but was also likely the reason for the tree alleys in the first place.
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8. S:t Eriksgatan

View of Sankt Eriksplan

Sankt Eriksgatan begins on the Kungsholmen island and goes all the way to Vasastaden’s border with Solna. The oldest parts of the street date back to the 1800s when it was formed by simple wooden cottages. The modern era of the avenue began in the 1880s and 1890s when many of the buildings you can find there today were built. Last gardens disappeared from the area in the 1930s.
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9. SveavÀgen

Stockholm Public Library in Stockholm

This avenue was first planned under the reign of King Gustav III in the 1650s together with the Norrbro bridge. The King had wished to connect his residence at Haga Park with the Royal Palace in the Old Town (Gamla stan) by a street passing approximately where SveavĂ€gen was later built. The northern parts of the street were built first following Lindhagen’s plan with the southern end being finished in the 1960s. The construction of the subway passing under the street, carried out around the same time, affected the looks of SveavĂ€gen significantly.
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10. RingvÀgen

Mariaskolan in Stockholm

The only avenue on my list located on the Södermalm island is RingvÀgen, the round street that was meant to be the main connection between the western and the eastern parts of the island. It was not before 1949 that the plantation around the 3-kilometre-long street was finalised even though it began as early as 1912.
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By now, you should see that the avenues in Stockholm are not just long, wide streets connecting various parts of the city but carefully planned elements incorporated into the city landscape. They are meant to both facilitate easy transportation and be enjoyable, especially for pedestrians.

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Sources:
Åsker, Bertil, 1986. Stockholms parker. Innerstaden.
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