Stockholm. A city I experienced for the first time last year in June, and had no doubts visiting again. This time in March. Below isn't a typical guide but more a tiny recap with some visual support of some of things we did. Hope you find some inspiration for your next trip to Stockholm, or at least see the beauty of this city through our experience.
Walking through any city is the best way to really capture the scenery. We stayed in Södermalm, walked through Gamla Stan and even walked to the city center. I would suggest to do the same.
We purchased a 7-day travel pass for their public transportation. As much as we walked around the city, we also took the metro to avoid the rain and cold. Each metro line has a different feel in their stations. The blue line houses the Kungsträgården station you see above. Cave like to say the least.
When we told our local Swedish friends we went to Millesgärden, they replied - "Why?"
Well, from the pictures above - we figured out why. A little outside of the Stockholm city, you get beautiful views, a picturesque sculpture garden, a house that you can tour and a tiny museum exhibit (Pompei was the one currently featured). For a couple hours out of our day, it was worth it. I can only imagine what the summer there looks like...
We got lucky with the Kungliga Opera House. We had met a new friend who happened to work there and kindly offered us a full VIP tour. Gold, red, chandeliers and decked out ceilings for days. Backstage access at its finest. Although I can't give you a link to the same tour, below are some cool things to keep an eye out for if you catch a show or happen to pay for a tour:
- There's a decked out room in all gold, literally plated top to bottom, normally used for private parties and events.
- The King has his own private staircase and waiting room when he comes to the Opera House once a year. He even has his own bathroom! Don't worry I only took the liberty to lounge on the chairs in that room. Royalty for a couple of minutes (hah!).
- They are currently building a Cafe/Restaurant and Bar in the next couple of months. We got a sneak peak of the construction, but hopefully you can see the finished product. I can already tell it'll be for the elite taste.
Nestled right in the city center is the Kulturhuset. A culture mecca filled with theater, design, literature and music. We actually stumbled upon this by wanting to get out of the cold and get a quick bite to eat at one of their cafes.
My favorite part: Their libraries. A music library where you can sit and listen to records? Yes please.
Least favorite part: No free wifi. C'mon.
Regardless, no regrets for this place.
My favorite part of any trip: shopping. Shopping in Stockholm? Yes please - take my arm and leg while you're at it so I can get everything. The mecca of minimalist designs and key pieces that this project lives for, oh hello.
Here's a small list of shops to check out that you can only find in Sweden:
Grandpa, Södermannagatan 21, Stockholm - Carefully curated pieces ranging from home goods to clothing. Helpful (and cute) staff = bonus.
Nitty Gritty, Krukmakargatan 24 or 26, Stockholm - Two stores, one for menswear and one for womenswear. Their mens store is a bit better, but both carry those one off brands that you'll have a hard time finding elsewhere. Another well-curated shop.
C Concept Store, Regeringsg 75-77, Stockholm - The Premium shop for Caliroots which stems from the skate sub-culture and brands. They carry menswear only, but who said it can't be womenswear if you want it to be.
Stutterheim, Åsögatan 132, Stockholm - The sign outside says REGN so don't be fooled. It is their main store that carries all of the Stutterheim's raincoats. Made in Sweden.
Acne Archive, Torsgatan 53, Stockholm - Acne's version of an outlet. Yes you can find this shop in Copenhagen and Oslo as well, but being a Swedish brand, you need to visit this one. Acne jeans at half the price and one of a kind sample pieces? C'mon.
Jus, Brunnsgatan 7, Stockholm - Another premium concept shop to check out. Thanks to a local friend, it comes highly recommended.
I'm no foodie, but Stockholm really doesn't disappoint with their food. Yes you will pay the price, but we all know that normally happens when you want quality.
Here's a list of some eateries we tried and loved:
Pelikan, Blekingegatan 40, Stockholm - Traditional Swedish food at it's best. Grab a drink at their bar while you wait. Then get ready to stuff your tummy.
Ramblas, Sankt Paulsgatan 22, Stockholm - A tapas restaurant. Enough said!
Nytorget 6, Nytorget 6, Stockholm - You'll read about it in reviews as a must-go. It is true. The tuna burger tho.
Bröd & Salt, Multiple locations - A cafe chain, but definitely better than most we tried. Need a quick snack? Find one of their shops.
Café String, Nytorgsgatan 38, Stockholm - A cafe with mismatched furniture, platforms lined by the windows to eat on and an underground basement where you can find live music. Casual dinner or lunch, make it happen.
K25, Kungsgatan 25, Stockholm - A restaurant hall we came across while shopping. Tons of options and was actually pretty tasty. If you're in the area, which you probably would be at some point, grab a quick bite to eat. Easy peasy.
It isn't a real nightlife experience without the lack of pictures. Although I'll list a couple of cool spots to check out in Stockholm towards the end (slim pickings during our visit), there were some learnings we had.
- Nightlife is lacking on the weekdays, especially in any season besides summer. The cold weather doesn't really appeal to the locals so they tend to stay at home after work and bars/restaurants tend to close early.
- Mondays are not a good day to go out at all. Places close really early and it is the least favorite day for the city locals. However, Wednesday is named "Little Saturday" so it tends to make up for the lack of a pulse on Monday.
- There are Berlin inspired underground club parties that are sometimes only publicized through social media (ie. Facebook). Luckily we had a local friend that took us for the experience. Will share the link below.
Some nightlife to check out:
Slakthuset - Berlin inspired club parties. Warehouses, minimal house and early mornings.
Trädgarden - Only during the summers, but I have to list it as a must-do if you can. They have a section open for other seasons.
Pet Sounds Bar - A chill bar inspired by Pet Sounds, a well known vinyl shop in Stockholm. Not only will you find good drinks, but there's an underground basement with live music most of the week. Grab a burger while you're at it if it isn't too late.
Debaser - They have several locations for live music, DJs and bands alike. Look up if there are any shows to check out during your visit. Sadly the one Swedish band I wanted to see (Say Lou Lou) was performing the day I left for Budapest. Maybe you'll be luckier.
So, ready for a trip to Stockholm?