I headed to Sweden’s capital for a long weekend in March to meet up with my Canadian family and to discover Stockholm – a city I’d never visited before. It’s fun to spend a few days here, walk around in the charming streets, discover the museums and do a little bit of shopping – aka the perfect city trip location. Here’s a mini guide with my recommendations!
Don’t miss (but I’m pretty sure that’s impossible) a walk around Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s (tiny) historic center that is filled with cute houses and charming streets, (tourist) shops & of course – places to eat. If you’re going to visit one museum, I’d recommend going for the Vasa Museum which displays an almost fully intact war ship from the 17th century – it’s extremely huge & impressive to see! The walk to get there is also really lovely by the water, especially on a sunny day. Other options – depending on your interests – are the ABBA Museum (of course), Fotografiska (photography museum opened by Annie Leibovitz), the Nordic Musem and Moderna Museet, to name a few. Safe to say, there’s no shortage of museums in Stockholm so it’s best to check beforehand which ones interest you most and see if the Stockholm Pass can offer an advantage for you. Another thing to do is pay a visit to the Royal Palace and see the changing of the Royal Guard. I also think it could be interesting to make a stop at the Stockholm’s public library, thanks to its particular shape. Alas, we didn’t see it from the inside since it was closed when we visited.
FOOD & DRINKS
Ok, so there’s plenty of great places to eat & drink in Stockholm – but something you have to take into account when you’re visiting Sweden (or Scandinavia in general) is that it will cost you a heftier penny than in your own country. Belgium isn’t the cheapest country to begin with, but Sweden will definitely cost you more – best to mentally prepare for that. For a totally perfect (and also, yummy) Instagram worthy breakfast and interior, go to Greta’s. The pink interior will make all your Insta-dreams come true. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly and filling lunch, head to Falafel Bar. It’s tiny and fills up quite fast for lunch, but you can also get it to take away. Another great breakfast or lunch option is Snickarbacken 7, which also has a really nice interior. Go there if you’re into healthy, delicious stuff – they offer sandwiches, soup, salads & more.
A favorite for dinner with friends was Boqueria, a tapas-style restaurant with New York-feels. It’s definitely the place where all the hipsters seem to go, and it gets quite loud at night (especially on weekends) but it has a cool vibe to it. And the food’s delicious too. A nice place for drinks by the water is Mr. French, they have a big terrace where you can enjoy coffee, beer or whatever with a great view whilst enjoying the sun. The inside is also pretty cool (think green velvet couches), and they offer a pretty big & fancy brunch on weekends. You can also head for more greasy food or drink options to the Miss Behave bar next door. The name sounds a bit strange, but we also had a really nice meal at the Urban Deli on Seavägen 44. It’s a store, but also a big restaurant in the back and the food was really good. In conclusion: I’m not sure if this is a general thing, but we all felt like the food had a fresher, more qualitative feel in Stockholm – no matter where we ate. Maybe you do get (more) what you pay for?
TAKING THE SUBWAY
Alright, normally taking the subway doesn’t really count as an activity in itself, but in Stockholm it does! It is said that the subway system in Stockholm is the world’s longest art exhibit, being 110 kilometers long. Over 90 of the subway stations in Stockholm have been decorated with some kind of art going from sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations or engravings. Have a look at the subway system to figure out your route – these stops are a good starting point: Stadion, Universitetet, Tekniska Högskolan, Mörby centrum (red line), Fridhemsplan & Thorildsplan (green line), Kungsträdgardsgatan, T-centralen, Radhuset T-station and Solna centrum (blue line).
Another thing Stockholm has in abundance: shops! Head to the Södermalm area for a bit of hipster shopping. Stop by Herr Judit Brandstationen for the best, craziest, quirkiest interior stuff. It’s a bit crazy, but fun! Go to Grandpa on Södermannagatan for typical Scandinavian stuff from clothes to accessories to books. This one’s also closeby Coctail, a super kitschy store with a pink bike outside. Make a stop at the English Bookstore if you’re looking for some new reading material. You’ll also find a lot of highstreet stores around the main street (Götgatan) here like Weekday, H&M, Monki and more. More fancy shopping can be done around the area of & Other Stories at Biblioteksgatan, and more highstreet shopping can be done around Norrmalm.
Hope you enjoyed reading, and let me know if you have more tips!