Stockholm, what can I say? It took us completely by surprise! From its impressive low-rise skyline to the natural beauty of its lakes and forests, from its deep rooted patriotism and concurrent embrace of other cultures in food and style alike. If I can suggest one thing, it would be to book a ticket and head to this amazing city to experience it yourself. Here is where I think you should start!
Firstly, be warned that Stockholm is actually a bigger city than it appears (we walked almost 18 kilometers in just one day of exploring). So, taking the ‘Hop On Hop Off’ bus to get our bearings was perfect as it saved us some very sore feet, at least for that day!
The bus takes you past most of the main attractions like the ABBA Museum (just the perfect amount of kitsch, interactive fun and interesting facts), the Vasa museum (a ship wreck which lay at the bottom of the Stockholm harbour for more than 300 years, remaining almost 100% preserved) and the Royal Palace.
J was good enough to spend the afternoon wandering through the Palace and the inspiring Royal Wedding Dress exhibition with me, that I obviously loved!
We were lucky enough to have clear blue skies for most of our time in Stockholm and a trip to Skansen was just the way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
Essentially it’s an outdoor museum showing Swedish life over the last few centuries and a small arctic zoo. We loved seeing the wolves and lynx.
Another great way to enjoy perfect weather in Stockholm is to get lost in quaint Gamla Stan. With many boutique shops and café’s serving ‘fika’, you can easily forget the time.
Our favourite streets to explore were Riddargarten that leads down to the glamorous, posh Strandvägen. Apartments here can be as large as 20 rooms and they each would have the perfect view! To take a peak at what they may look like inside, head to the Hallwyl Museum.
Stockholm is definitely a ‘design’ city and consequently, there are countless museums and galleries to discover, many of which are on the Skeppsholmen island.
But, it was the Fotografiska that truly captured our imagination. As the name suggests, it is a photography museum and we were lucky enough to visit the ‘We Have a Dream’ exhibit. They change regularly and would always be worth a visit.
For a delicious and arguably ‘hipster’ brunch, Kaffeverket is the place to go. Located a little out of town but worth the distance. We had incredibly nutritious meals with delicious coffee.
If you are in search of a traditionally Swedish menu (that won’t break the bank) then look no further than the Langdon restaurant at Hotel Skeppsholmen. I enjoyed not only the crowd favourite, Swedish meatballs but also an enormous shrimp sandwich. The hot chocolate is also to die for!
The Hotel Skeppsholmen is perfectly situated on a nearby island to the city centre. The views (especially at night) are unmatched, the rooms ooze Scandinavian style, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and the breakfast is all you could wish to start your day with. Need I say more?
Take a look at my previous post for more on Hotel Skeppsholmen.
A trip out to the islands of the archipelago is a must. Although our cruise didn’t stop at any of the islands (during the winter they are mostly closed to tourists), we heard that during the warmer months they are extremely popular with restaurants full and many people picnicking on the shores.
Although it may require a little more than a day to truly experience, the lakes region of Kronoberg is worth a visit. We stayed in a charming, typically Swedish hut for the weekend with friends.
We made a quick visit to the home of Kosta Boda on our way to the forest for a walk. But, when we saw an incredible deal on sleds, we couldn’t resist. Hence, we embarked on a mission to find the best sledding hill ever. After walking for about 30 minutes into the forest, we hit gold. For the next hour we raced, spun, slipped and face planted our way down that hill and had the best time doing it. We decided to walk a little deeper into the forest until we spotted what we suspected were wolf paw prints. Needless to say we sped back to the car, which of course, felt considerably further than on the way in!
We also visited a small, local ski slope in the area and for less than $100 (AUD) we got ski hire and lift pass. Money very well spent.
In a region of the world that is known for being expensive, cold and design savvy, it exceeded all our expectations and we cannot wait to return.
xxx The Strawberry Story