Chasing some Scandi Vibes, this quick weekend trip was an early surprise birthday present for my second half and a bit of a whirlwind! The city had received some early snow in the weeks prior and was still freezing cold by the time we arrived, which meant we had to spend more time indoors enjoying coffee, eating and shopping - which illicit no complaints from me!
With just over 36 hours in the capital we managed to squeeze in some great spots and hang out around the city, soaking in the atmosphere and vibes, without trying to see all of the "sights" in one go. We had some pretty amazing recommendations from friends who have traveled to the city recently, many of which I share below. In my mind, I'm leaving plenty more to come back to, hopefully soon, because Stockholm is one of the places that just has uber cool written all over it and deserves some more time to explore fully!
Where we stayed
Rated by Vogue as the "coolest neighbourhood in Europe" we were recommended by friends to stay in Sodermalm due to its young and buzzy vibes. Our Air B'n'B was just off Folkungagatan in an area known as SoFo, which is filled with bars, cafes, restaurants and an eclectic mix of vintage & fashion stores. For a weekend trip, this was the perfect location for us, we were completely immersed into the neighbourhood and felt at home, whilst still being within easy access and walking distance to the sights around town.
Where to Eat
This buzzing deli and restaurant combo on Nytorget Park in Sodermalm, is consistently packed with the trendy, fresh set of Stockholm. It is the perfect place to either begin your day, with a delicious brunch option, available for you to leisurely enjoy as your pretend to be able to read the Swedish papers, or as a place to set down and enjoy a few drinks and nibbles - the cheese & charceuterie boards were amazing! We didn't have a full dinner or lunch here, however the menu did look incredible and by the looks of the array of fresh, organic produce from the deli at the front of the location you know the restaurant is going to be top quality.
Always on the hunt for a great brunch spot, we found Greasy Spoon just around the corner from our apartment and headed there first thing on Saturday morning. With a modern twist on British classics, the extensive menu covers all the brunch necessities, with options for your smashed avo on toast, eggs bene or some fluffy pancakes. The lowly lit interior, friendly & chatty staff and option for unlimited coffee was a winner. Get in early to make sure you get a table!
Fika - the art of having coffee and a sweet treat in the afternoon- is an institution in Stockholm. Aiming not to miss out on blending in to Swedish Culture we were keen to try some of the local delicacies and stumbled upon Bageri Petrus. Hands down, the best cinnamon roll I have ever had in my life, whilst it may not look like much (see below) they nailed the balance of flaky and doughy and had I had no restraint, I think I probably could have had 10 of these, they were that good! With lunch options of yummy freshly filled rolls, or toast with cheese & marmalade, the Bakery was an awesome spot to drop by, enjoy a little Fika moment and delight in the deliciousness!
This uber cool cafe in Sodermalm is a great place to swing by for a quick coffee. With extensive seating, modern art displayed on the walls and a general vibe of a co-working space, it has the feel of collaboration and community, whilst also serving great coffee and displaying some mean looking pastries.
Meatballs are a Swedish institution, if not in the least because of their IKEA-related popularity. We swung into this local neighbourhood joint, with a reputation for the best meatballs in Stockholm, and scored a seat at the bar. Over a lovely bottle of red, we went with the meatball tasting plate option, trying some of the local meat delicacies- such as rooster, moose and deer. I'm not generally a very adventurous meat eater, and was a little squeamish when the waiter told us the options of the day, however when in Sweden....
The place was completely packed and had a great atmosphere and vibe, so definitely one to check out!
From the outside, you are at a commercial shopping mall, but step inside and you are at a beautifully designed food market with food outlets from some of the capitals top chefs and restaurants, at a fraction of the price, such as Hot dogs from Magnus Nilsson and Ramen from Adam/Albin. With intimate seating arranged in amphitheater style around the kitchens, this is a great place to start your evening, choosing and tasting different menu options - with many offering vegan/vegetarian or organic choices, even bio-dynamic wine and beer!
The renowned indoor food market of Stockholm is well worth a visit, even if just to cruise through and grab a quick coffee or snack. Most of the food outlets have seating so you can sit and enjoy your meal, but the market itself has a great range of fresh produce, local delicacies, seafood and sweets available.
What to See
The Old Town, home to the Royal Palace, is rather touristy, but is filled with beautiful old lanes that are lovely to walk through and explore. At the time of visiting, the Christmas Markets in the main square had just begun and whilst fairly small, were festive and buzzing with lots of gift stands, mulled wine and delicious treats.
Located in Sodermalm, this is the Centre for Contemporary Photography and is a famous visiting point for the city. We didn't get a chance to explore the gallery, but the rave reviews recommend it if you have the chance. Additionally, from here you get some beautiful views back over the city!
As previously mentioned, this is the area of Sodermalm we stayed in and loved to hang out for the weekend. There are plenty of cafes, eateries and shops to keep you occupied and entertained as you people watch the locals.
Shops: Grandpa Sodermalm, Lisa Larssons Second Hand, Acne Archive, Stockholms Stadsmission Second Hand, Dr Denim.
The streets around this area located on the island of Sodermalm are filled with cool stores and cafes and are another great area to cruise around for an afternoon of boutique browsing and Fika time!
Shops: Nitty Gritty, Herr Judit, New Black AB, Red Cross, Modern Retro, Papercut.
The main part of town was bustling with people on a busy Saturday and beautifully decorated for the festive season. Whilst not an overly large area, there was a huge array of commercial shops and business centres in the district and it was a good place to scope out some of the fashion whilst continuing on around town and up to the Ostermalm Saluhall.
Shops: Six Feet Down Sneaker Store, C Concept Store, Caliroots OG, SamsoeSamsoe, & Other Stories Flagship.
Strandvagen and Nybrokajen
For a walk along the waters edge we cruised along two main promenades connecting Ostermalm to Gamla Stan which provided some beautiful views of the Stockholm and back towards the Royal Palace and islands that create the city. If you chance on some nice clear skies then definitely take a stroll between Strandvagen, with its rows of pretty coloured buildings, and head on along Nybrokajen before hooking back across towards Gamla Stan.
Hopefully this Travel Guide will give you a kickstart to weekend away in Stockholm! If you have any other hot tips, send them my way!