One of the most popular tourist attractions in any city that has it, is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. The ceremony signifies the handover of guard duties to a new shift rotating in to relieve the current shift. Each city’s ceremony is unique in the way the ceremony unfolds and they are a heck of a lot of fun to watch. Stockholm’s Changing of the Guard is no exception! In this photo series, we’ll take a look at some of the pomp and pageantry.
Stockholm’s Changing of the Guard ceremony is a very popular draw with the tourists. It takes place at The Royal Palace in it’s Outer Courtyard. The Royal Palace is perfectly situated on the northern tip of Gamla Stan, making this a perfect itinerary item to link up with other activities. Read some plan recommendations at the bottom of this post.
The Royal Guards
The Changing of the Guard ceremony is performed by The Royal Guards, who have been protecting Stockholm’s Royal Palace since 1523. The Royal Guards are from units of the Swedish Armed Forces. The Royal Guards keep watch over two palaces. The larger regiment, the Main Guard, are stationed at the Stockholm Royal Palace while a smaller regiment is at the Drottningholm Palace.
Watching the Changing of the Guard is a visual feast. Children, especially, will be wide-eyed as their attention will be locked on the crisp military uniforms, the guard units marching in precise formation, the many horses that are an integral part of the ceremony, and the music of the Royal Guard military band. I hope the following photos capture all of this to give you a sense of what a treat it is!
All in all, it’s great fun to watch and great entertainment for tourists of all ages. Be sure to plan this into your itinerary and you’ll have a free show to enjoy!
Need to Know
- Occurring at 12:15 p.m. (or 1:15 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays), the Changing of the Guard occurs every day of the year.
- The ceremony is approximately 40 minutes in duration.
- Before arriving at the Outer Courtyard, the Royal Guards parade through the streets first. The foot parade normally starts from the Army Museum, and if mounted, the parade starts from the Cavalry Barrack.
- The Royal Guards may or may not have a military band accompanying them. If there is no military band, then the march starts from the nearby Obelisk just to the south of the Royal Palace at Slottsbacken (use the search term “Obelisk at Slottsbacken” in Google Maps).
- There are some exceptions to the above depending on season and more details are available at the Swedish Armed Forces page detailing the Changing of the Guard.
Recommendation for your plan
As mentioned earlier, the Royal Palace is nicely situated in Gamla Stan making it a perfect and fun in between itinerary item for your plan. The Changing of the Guard can be watched before/after visiting the narrow medieval cobblestone streets filled with restaurants, cafes, churches and interesting little stores. Or maybe walk the bridges crossing over the water to visit Stockholm City Hall Garden or to stroll the Strandvagen Promenade after this midday performance.
To complete your Stockholm City sightseeing plan, be sure to read some of the other helpful posts comprising Ken’s Stockholm Mini Guide.
- 5 Free Things To Do in Stockholm With the Family
- How to Get to Slussen T-Bana From Stadsgarden Port Area
- Free Wifi Around the Stockholm Stadsgarden Port Area
- 8 Practical Tips for Visiting Stockholm’s Subway Art
- Photo Series: Stockholm Subway Photo Series
- 15 Fascinating Things To Do and See In Gamla Stan
- Photo series: Gamla Stan
- Photo Series: The Stockholm Archipelago – A Photographic Tour