Nov 30, 2021
5 min read
A City Guide to Stockholm
Swedes live by the concept of
, which loosely translates to ‘the right to roam’. And yet Stockholm is second only to San Francisco when it comes to unicorn startups per capita. What does this mean? The city strikes the perfect balance between work and wellness.
From parks to lakes to waterways, access to the wilderness here is a public right. Do as the Swedes do and take a moment to have
(a daily coffee and sweet treat ritual, which we highly approve of) outside to soak it all up.
If you have time, it’s worth getting out of the city to the Archipelago for a picnic and a walk (ferries from the city center take between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours). Scroll down for a few of our favorites in Stockholm.
Where to stay in Stockholm
As you might guess by its name, this hotel is great for anyone interested in Stockholm’s history. Just 15 minutes from the palace and next door to one of the city’s oldest cafés and bakeries,Sturekatten
, the walls definitely have stories to tell. The rooms were converted from former apartments (the old doors now serve as headboards), the reception was a barber shop and the restaurant used to be a garage. We also like the organic Swedish soaps from L:A Bruket.
Near the Ostermalms Saluhall food market, Hotel Diplomat is the perfect example of Jugendstil architecture. If you like antique decor, you’ll love the marble staircase edged in gold, old bookcases and the best seat in the house, by the fireplace. Owned by the Malmström family, all of the art you see has been collected personally by them. The spacious bedrooms seem more like apartments than hotel suites, complete with giant couches.
The best rooms here offer views of Norrmalmstorg square, Berzelii park and the sea.Noi
, the on-site restaurant specialises in ‘family’ portions to share – try the liquorice-fragrant sweetbread and dry-aged beef on salt stone. Thanks to its fantastic food, Nobis is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. You’ll also find several Swedish flagships stores nearby, including Acne, Hope and Rodebjer.
Where to eat in Stockholm
Södermalm is the main area for foodies, and one of our favorites is this experimental restaurant. They offer decadent small plates, such as foie gras, caviar, oysters and lobster. It’s as much about the experience as the food – guests are given Lego to play with in between courses and 90s music plays from the speakers. If you can’t get a table, don’t worry, try the nearbyBleck
For somewhere more central, Riche is a classic bistro with a Swedish/French menu. The quirky decor features bold artworks and chandeliers. Yes, there’s meatballs, but we’d recommend going with fish – the salmon and trout are always fantastic.
Great Japanese food with a modern twist, Tako is the best of the bunch when it comes to Asian fusion in Stockholm. Downstairs in the Östermalm basement, the decor is sleek, and the crowd is cool.
Where to get a coffee in Stockholm
Swedes love their coffee and this small chain Johan & Nyström is a favorite for locals. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes in Stockholm, but this is a good starting point.
If you’re interested in the full Swedish
experience, go to Mellqvist, where they care as much about the coffee as they do about baking. Don’t miss the fluffiest cinnamon and cardamom buns (‘kanelbulle’ and ‘kardemummabulle’).
A former ‘Swedish Barista of the Year’, Linnea Vannesjö is known as the best in town for coffee roasting. Drop usually have a variety of coffee to sample, as well as hosting brewing courses and selling coffee-making gadgets.
Where to shop
The Swedes are known for their love of minimalist design, so you can count on the local stores. Some key areas to browse the shops are:
The town square that connects shopping streets Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan. You’ll recogniseAcne Studios
, but make sure you also check outRodebjer
(founded in New York in 1999 by native Swede Carin Rodebjer) andFilippa K
(one of Sweden’s leading fashion brands).
The street that continues towards Humlegården and the Royal Library. TryEytys
for edgy sneakers (think towering platforms) orByredo
for luxury fragrances and candles (founded in Stockholm in 2006).
There’s only one place for your list, here.Svenskt Tenn
is a famous interior design store with plenty of small pieces that make great gifts.
Where to get a hit of culture
This place is packed with amazing collections of contemporary and modern art. You’re also guaranteed a great lunch.
Perhaps not a local hangout, but this sunken ship is a sight to behold. There’s a reason it’s one of the main highlights in Stockholm.
Where to work out
is popular here, too. For anyone that likes being yelled at in a dark room with treadmills and dumbbells, that is.
For a more calming experience to stretch out after a flight,BeCore
hosts reformer pilates classes or try a yoga class atYogaYama
Soothe aching muscles atSturebadet
with a Swedish massage (of course) orGrand Hotel
if you’re up for paying a little extra.
Where to party
In the summer,Trädgården
is where it’s at. This outdoor club is open from morning till late on the weekends, and there’s no place like it in the city. Make sure to check if there’s a daytime session happening while you’re in town.
as backups if it’s out of season (or follow ons!). And go toUgglan Bar
before (or after) to play ping-pong and pool with the young hipster crowd.
For less party, more low-key date vibes, head toTyge & Sessil
– a great wine bar (next to Stureplan) located on the quieter Brahegatan.
What to do
If the weather allows, take advantage of Stockholm’s green spaces. The best long walks are inHaga Parken
, where you can stop byCarl Eldh Studio Museum
or Djurgården. Start atKMK (Kungliga Motorbåtsklubben)
and grab a coffee to go. Then, swing byRosendals Trädgårdar
when it’s time for lunch.
Another good option isIvar Los Park
, at the top of Södermalm. This spot overlooks Stockholm and the city hall.
Want more? Hop on one of the many boats that take you further out onto the Archipelago – don’t forget to take a picnic.
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