Paris in Four Months

Stockholm

CITY GUIDE: STOCKHOLM

Here below I’ve tried to gather a few tips and suggestions for anyone travelling to Stockholm, Sweden. Growing up I feel as though I might have taken this city’s beauty for granted because every time I go back as an adult now, I’m always taken by what a charming city this can be. I love the colourful little alleyways of Old Town, the friendly service, the cobblestone streets, the ferries you can take from the middle of the city to get out in the archipelago and the huge island called Djurgården, located in the city centre but gives you the feeling of being in the countryside instead. There are so many cute places and so many interesting things to see and do. Since it’s where I grew up, I sincerely hope that anyone who visits, will enjoy it as much as possible! And hopefully these little tips below can make this happen.

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GOOD TO KNOW

People have told me that they’ve perceived Swedes as quite cold and not very friendly. I think this is a huge misperception. Swedes can be very private and we’re not really used to start conversations with people we don’t know – in saying that though, that doesn’t mean we don’t like it. I believe that Swedish people are happy to help, talk and open up if you’re willing to take the first step! I guess it also depends on what you’re used to. After spending time in Paris I think Swedish people are the friendliest ever when I come back to visit. People randomly smiling when crossing paths, greeting each other with a smile when walking into stores etc. …Something I’m not overly used to in Paris let’s say, haha.

Almost everyone you come across in the city speaks English. Even if we do it with a Swedish accent. This makes it easy to get around and to ask for help if needed. It’s even gotten to the point that some restaurants, cafés and shops now hire only English-speaking staff.

In Sweden we don’t have Euros so you will have to exchange your money in case you’re bringing cash. In Sweden we use the currency “Swedish Kronor” and you can exchange your money at Forex for example.

This is a good website to check out in case you’d like more information about travelling in Stockholm: www.visitstockholm.com.

DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY

Stockholm has a few different neighbourhood but since it’s all quite small, you can manage to get around quite easy no matter where you choose to stay. Let’s go through a few of the neighbourhoods very quickly. So let’s see, we have: Östermalm, which is a quite fancy part of the city. Here you’ll find lots of beautiful residences, offices and shops. Stureplan, around this area is where you’ll find some of the most expensive shops in Stockholm as well as a busy spot for Stockholm’s nightlife. Vasastan, is a cute little area of the city which is home to many families and cute cafes and little restaurants. Gamla Stan is the most historic part of Stockholm with beautiful colourful houses and tiny little alleyways. Södermalm used to be the edgy, bohemian part of Stockholm while I was growing up but today the contrasts are a bit less obvious in my opinion. Here you’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants as well as vintage shops and other things you shouldn’t miss while in town. The area around the main train station, called T-Centralen, is not the nicest in my opinion and a place I prefer not to stay around if I could have my pick. Kungsholmen is another part of town which is definitely becoming more and more popular for cafes and restaurants etc. I used to go to school here when it was not super cool, I would say that it’s much more trendy today. Djurgården is a beautiful place in the middle of the city. It’s like a part of the countryside in the city centre. I love coming here for long walks and getting a little breather.  

WHEN TO GO?

This is really something that depends on what you personally prefer. Me? I’m not into the dark winter period so I would recommend going between June-October. If you’re a fan of Christmas it could be charming to go during December. But let’s just be very clear: it will be cold and it will be dark. Between November - Mars it can be very cold and the sun is not up for long. Spring can be tricky in Sweden since it can snow even in April if you’re unlucky… Or, you can get beautiful sunshine and warmer-than-normal temperatures – it’s a little bit of a gamble.

Summertime in Sweden is beautiful (if you don’t get a rainy summer that is…) and temperatures are normally between 22-27 celsius degrees if I can take a shot in the dark here based on memories. Evenings can still be chilly during summertime while the days can get really nice and warm.  

HOW TO DRESS?

All I can say here is: check the weather forecast before you go. As the weather can be unbelievably unpredictable (just like anywhere else). Scandinavians are also famous for sticking to monotone colours such as beige, black, white and grey. I can safely say that this tends to be the case for many of us but that doesn’t mean that everyone follow these rules – and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should shy away from packing lots of colour.

TRANSPORTATION

The best way to get from Arlanda Airport (main airport outside of Stockholm) is by taking the express train straight from the airport into the city centre. I even prefer this over a taxi! It’s quick (only 20 minutes), environmentally friendly, clean and efficient. You can buy the ticket for the train when you land at the airport. The train is called “Arlanda Expressen” and the machines to buy your ticket are easy to find. You can also buy a ticket on board of the train, but that will be a little bit more expensive. There is also free wifi on board on the train. You’ll arrive into the city centre train terminal of Stockholm. From here you can either take a taxi, bus, walk or take the metro to your final destination. A taxi from the airport has a set price (exact price depends on the company you choose I think) and is normally around € 50 to the city centre.

When it comes to getting around inside the city I personally prefer walking. If the distance is too far I also like taking the buses. Like this you get the chance to see the city while in transit. The metro is also clean and relatively easy to use (some people also go alone for the interesting and artistic metro stations). There are also trams in the city centre or you can take a taxi or Uber.

WHAT TO DO?

There are plenty of things to do while in Stockholm. Museums, sights and strolling – it all depends on what you’re into yourself! A few things that I wouldn’t miss though is definitely Gamla Stan (the Old Town in Stockholm), taking the little ferry boats from the harbour in the middle of the city to go out in the archipelago (or just to get to Djurgården if you prefer to take the ferry rather than walking). If you have some more time while in Stockholm taking the ferry to Fjäderholmarna, Grinda or Vaxholm is a beautiful trip and all very cute destinations. All of this is much better to do during warmer days.

People have told me many times that they’re not very into Swedish food… Which feels a little bit sad. I mean, I can’t really say that I disagree but I do think that you can eat quite well in the city if you know where to go. For a typical Swedish experience, I would suggest to order one of the following dishes: “Köttbullar" (meatballs in Swedish) with mashed potatoes, brown sauce and lingonberries. "Biff Rydberg”, a meat dish made up of little pieces of diced meat, potatoes and onions (often served with an egg yolk). “Fiskgryta” (fish stew), normally made with salmon, other white fish, little shrimps and maybe with clams as well. This making of this dish really depends on where you decide to go. “Skagenröra” is a little “mix” of shrimps, mayo, crème fraiche, dill and lemon if I’m not mistaken. It’s often served on a piece of toasted bread. “Löjromstoast” is another little dish made of a type of caviar, called "Caviar of Kalix”, served along with crème fraiche, diced red onion and a lemon slice together with a piece of toast. 

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Matbaren 🍴

This has to be one of my favourite restaurants ever. Yes, that’s right, not only in Stockholm. Mathias Dahlgren is one of Sweden’s most famous chefs. His restaurant Matbaren (literal translation would be “the food bar”) with 1 Michelin star serves smaller dishes both influenced by different cuisines around the world as his own take on Swedish classics. Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6, Stockholm.

EAT 🍴

Asian fusion food in Stockholm I feel can be quite hard to find but EAT usually does a pretty good job to satisfy this craving of mine. Jakobsbergsgatan 15, Stockholm.

B.A.R. 🍴

A classic place to come for seafood and fish. Pick your fish at their counter and choose what you’d like to have with it and how you’d like it cooked. Blasieholmsgatan 4A, Stockholm. 

Vassa Eggen 🍴

I come to Vassa Eggen (or well, I used to at least) for their delicious fries along with a nice piece of meat or roasted chicken. Birger Jarlsgatan 29, Stockholm.

Riche 🍴

I always drop by Riche while in Stockholm. Why? Their meatballs are everything I’ve been missing. Serving classic Swedish dishes, this is a great choice if you’d like to try a bit of the Swedish cuisine. Oh, and don’t forget the Gino for dessert! I always used to make this at home. Birger Jarlsgatan 4, Stockholm.

Greasy Spoon 🍴

The brunch scene in Stockholm is definitely evolving (although maybe not there just yet). Greasy Spoon is a good option if what you’re craving is Eggs Benedict or a classic English breakfast. Tjärhovsgatan 19 & Hagagatan 4, Stockholm.

Pom & Flora 🍴

This family friendly little spot serves açai bowls, avocado toasts along with a Swedish classic: the porridge in many different shapes and forms. Bondegatan 64 & Odengatan 39, Stockholm.

Urban Deli 🍴

Urban Deli on Södermalm usually fills up pretty quickly and is a nice little hang out both during lunch and dinner time. The restaurant is connected to their own grocery store, which is way better than your usual Monoprix… Nytorget 4 & Sveavägen 44, Stockholm.

Villa Godthem Café 🍴🍰

If I have visitors in town while in Stockholm, I love taking them here during warm and sunny days. The food might not be mind-blowing but sitting by the water, in the middle of the nature on Djurgården, is pretty magnificent. I love this little garden restaurant/café for lunch or just something to drink. Rosendalsvägen 9, Stockholm.

Östermalms Saluhall 🍴

This is one of Stockholm’s oldest food halls (if not the oldest). It dates back to the 1880s and here you can buy different delicacies, vegetables or sit down at one of the restaurants inside, which usually serves up very traditional and classic dishes. Östermalmstorg, Stockholm. 

Babette 🍴

This cosy little restaurant serves smaller dishes in a very neo-bistro style along with thin, crispy and delicious pizzas (toppings varies depending on the day). Roslagsgatan 6, Stockholm.

Strandvägen 1 🍴

On one of the most famous streets in Stockholm you’ll find this restaurant. Because if this it can be both picked and a little bit pricey but I feel that the quality and the cosy atmosphere makes up for this! Strandvägen 1, Stockholm.

Stallmästaregården 🍴

Located a little bit outside of the centre, by a beautiful little lake, you’ll find this hotel and restaurant. If you’re looking for Swedish food and Swedish atmosphere you’ve come to the right place. It’s beautiful during summer days when the lawns around the property are filled with people playing games, sunbathing or walking their dogs but also charming during winter days if you want to stay inside with a cup of hot cocoa. Stallmästaregården, Stockholm.

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Kaffeverket 🍴☕️🍰

This little café, located in Vasastan of Stockholm, serves salads, sandwiches for lunch along with different pastries and a delicious cup of coffee. Sankt Eriksgatan 88, Stockholm. 

... More food:

Bistro Berns, Nytorget 6, Matkonsulatet, Cajsa Warg (grocery store).

Pärlans Konfektyr 🍬

Their caramels (or do you say toffee in English?) are truly heavenly. These women started making their own caramels in a little factory/shop close to where I used to work – which ended up being extremely dangerous. Their caramels comes in a bunch of different flavours like: vanilla, sea salt, liquorice, raspberry, chocolate and the list goes on. Nytorgsgatan 38, Stockholm.

Xoko 🍰

For a taste of classic Swedish pastries I can suggest dropping by Xoko. A few of my favourites? Try a Mazarin, a traditional “Prinsesstårta” (Princess Cake) or Chockladbeskvi. Rörstrandsgatan 15, Stockholm. 

Rosendals Trädgårdskafé 🍰

Another place I love bringing people who are visiting to. It’s just too cute not to. The café is located on Djurgården, a 20 min walk from the city centre but believe me, you do not feel like you’re anywhere near the city. Surrounded by rose bushes, apple trees and the cutest gardens you can have a cup of tea, cakes or cookies while just taking in the surroundings and beautiful nature. Rosendalsvägen 38, Stockholm.

Wienercaféet 🍰

The cutest little café serving a great breakfast and delicious pasties during the day. It looks so old school and charming and I love stopping by during a little shopping day or for a meeting. Biblioteksgatan 6-8, Stockholm.

Café Pascal 🍴☕️🍰

Another cute little café in Vasastan inspired by France serving nice pastries, little sandwiches and lighter lunches. Norrtullsgatan 4, Stockholm.

Fabrique 🥐

This bakery chain has several locations throughout the whole city and offers some of the best cardamum and cinnamon buns I think you can find.

NK 🛍

For shopping I would recommend visiting NK. It’s a classic but a classic for a reason. Think a much smaller more Scandinavian version of Galeries Lafayette. Hamngatan 18-20, Stockholm. 

Djurgården 🌳

A must if you’re in Sweden. This little island is home to the famous Vasamuséet (Vasa museum), Gröna Lund (amusement park) and Skansen (zoo) as well as million dollar homes, beautiful nature and cute restaurants and cafés. 

StallmästarEgården 🛏🍴

This hotel, located by Hagaparken in Stockholm (but not in the city centre) is like checking in for a weekend on the countryside – while you’re in Stockholm. It’s cute, romantic and such a nice retreat from the city strolling. Their restaurant is also a lovely option for Swedish classics. Stallmästaregården, 113 47 Stockholm.

Hotel Diplomat 🛏

This classic hotel is located on Strandvägen, one of the most known streets in Stockholm. Why? It goes all along the water – from the city centre all the way out to Djurgården. Strandvägen 7C, Stockholm.

Lydmar Hotel 🛏🍸

I love this hotel for its location, the interiors and the bar outside during warmer days. You can literally sip a glass of rosé while looking out over the Swedish Royal Castle – pretty ok. Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, Stockholm.

Nobis Hotel 🛏

When this hotel opened a few years back it was the hottest place in town. Now it’s been a couple of years but it’s still a beautiful spot in one of the most central locations. Norrmalmstorg 2-4, Stockholm. 

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Hotel Kungsträdgården 🛏

The location is unbeatable and the French-inspired style of the little rooms (which I find to look more Swedish) is adorable. The breakfast could use an upgrade but other than that I had the loveliest stay. Västra Trädgårdsgatan 11B, Stockholm. 

Hotel Miss Clara 🛏

I loved staying at Hotel Miss Clara. Their sleek, Scandinavian minimalistic interior design is what you’ll find in almost any interior decoration magazine. The restaurant supposedly also serves a very lovely brunch on Saturdays. Sveavägen 48, Stockholm.