I was very fortunate to have met some close friends that are from Sweden while I was abroad. While visiting them, I learned a couple things about the country that I absolutely love. It’s true, Sweden really is heaven on earth. The free education, coffee, pastries and drinkable tap water are only a couple highlights from this spectacular city. To understand why you need to see Sweden with your own eyes, here are my top reasons!
Art is everywhere!
No really, not only are there enough museums to keep you entertained for a week, but Stockholm is home to the longest art museum in the world and it’s inside of every train station terminal! Each terminal has been specifically designed to represent the area and they all have a story/meaning. It’s a pretty fun rainy day activity to train hop between the different stations.
Also be sure to check out a couple of the fabulous museums the city has to offer. I highly recommend:
- Vasa Museaum – Houses the world’s best preserved 17th century ship (it’s massive!!) We spent the entire day in this area, after you’re done with the Vasa, the ABBA museum is also close by!
- Adult Admission is 150SEK (~21CAD)
- Fotografiska museum – I really am a sucker for modern photography and I especially loved this museum as it had some great pieces of work displayed! Surprisingly the museum was quite large and kept us in awe for the couple hours we spent there!
- Adult Admission is 165SEK (~$23CAD)
- Moderna Museet – If you’re interested in modern art, this is the place to go. From the history of Sweden’s architecture to the interesting displays, videos and installation art, this museum was extremely entertaining.
- Adult Admission is free for all public exhibitions, there is a cost to see the special exhibitions.
Sweden has some pretty cool bars and what a good time they all are! Downtown Stockholm (near T-Central Station) has a rooftop bar (TAK) which offers great views of the city, amazing cocktails and the best environment for a Friday night out. TAK is linked to 4 other rooftops, so you really do have quite the pick for where you’d like to go!
Although not a rooftop bar, Stockholm has a pretty fun place that my friends referred to as “Under the Bridge.” It’s cool because it’s literally a make shift bar that they have created under a huge bridge. When we went on a Friday night, they had converted the outdoor dance floor to a wrestling arena and were having wrestlers perform! We did not anticipate to watch a wrestling match but it turned out to be a fun experience and an absolute highlight to our weekend.
It’s well known that the Sweds are meticulously well dressed and have nailed the casual effortless look. Everywhere I turn in Stockholm, guys and girls are so well dressed, you will literally want to buy their entire look! I was shopping in Stockholm around the first week of August and there were sales everywhere. Not sure what the occasion was but everything seemed to be on sale. Here are a couple of my favourite places to shop while in Stockholm:
- Drottninggaten – This was THE BEST street to shop on! It’s just outside T-Central station and very easy to find this long narrow road full of amazing shops.
- Stockholm Quality Outlet – I love a good deal and this place was full of it! Make sure to check out Vagabond, a Swedish shoe brand with the most well made shoes. If I had room in my suitcase I would have bought 10 pairs!
- Sodermalm – this downtown area is adorable with it’s cafes and boutique shopping. A store to keep your eye out for is Grandpa, this funky store sells fun knickknacks, men and women clothing, accessories and shoes! Also near by is Twist and Tango selling quality women’s clothing. It’ll be hard to resist shopping at these 2 stores!
- Gamla Stan – oh the old street is GREAT for souvenir shopping! You’ll find everything from salty liquorice to varying sizes of the Dala horses.
- Mall of Scandinavia – the largest mall in Scandinavia is in Stockholm and it will have all the stores you need. When you get tired of walking, you can stop for a Fika at Espresso House!
If you want a full list of the coolest stores to go to in Stockholm, read up about it here!
This will become your favourite word and if you’re like me, it was the first Swedish word I learned! Fika essentially means coffee break. The Spanish have siestas, the Swedish have Fika! A chain but seemed to be our favourite go to place for Fika was Espresso House, they’re everywhere and extremely cozy! A popular and well known Fika place that has been around since 1928 is Vete Katten. Be sure to try the Princess Cake! It’s soft, bouncy and the jam inside is to die for. This cafe is decorated to perfection and you’ll love spending a couple hours eating great pastries and drinking unlimited amounts of coffee.
The Stockholm library is one of the cities most notable structures due to the shape of the library’s interior. If you are in the area, it is worthwhile to wander through and admire the work of Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund.
You won’t be able to miss the palace if you’re on the way to Gamla Stan. The Royal family have many palaces throughout Sweden but the largest one is in Stockholm.
You can not go to Sweden and not visit the largest Ikea in Sweden! Although I already get lost in the Ikea back home, I can guarantee you’ll be stuck in the Stockholm Ikea for a couple hours. This store is MASSIVE and offers so much more than what we see back in North America.
Be sure to go for the all you can eat breakfast or lunch buffet! It is very affordable ~$10CAD and has so much variety!
I think my fondest memory while in Stockholm was grabbing some food and walking over to the harbour with my friends for dinner. Hanging out on one of the docks enjoying the food and company was spectacular. There are also restaurants and bars along the walk way with great views of the harbour front.
Narrowest Street in Stockholm
Stockholm’s most narrow street is located in Gamla Stan and it really is quite narrow. There wasn’t a whole lot of people here as it’s a little hidden and to discover this alley way requires keeping your eyes peeled. To find this narrow path, look for the restaurant Aifur, the alley is just a little past this restaurant on the opposite side of Aifur.
What does Stockholm not have?! They even have an amusement park smack downtown near gamla stan! Grona Lund is packed with excitement for all ages. Whether you’d like to attend a concert, go to an amusement park or just hang out with friends, this is the place to be, especially in the summers!