Excited states in the 153Sm nucleus have been investigated via the (p,d) reaction performed with a good resolution. About 170 levels were observed below 2.2 MeV excitation energy; for most of them the ℓ-transfer value could be assigned. Distorted wave calculations have been performed and discussed. The 153Sm is already rather deformed, and can be described in terms of the Nilsson model. Levels below 0.5 MeV were identified as members of rotational bands based on the Nilsson orbitals. The strength distributions have been described within the Quasiparticle Phonon Model.