In 2015 for Richard’s Birthday we headed to Stockholm for a long weekend. We are both massive Nordiphiles and this trip just cemented our love for the north. Stockholm manages to be charming and historic, but also exceptionally cool and fashionable. A winning combination that makes it a perfect destination to spend a long weekend.
We stayed in the Östermalm district, close to some of the most upmarket shops and restaurants and only a short walk from Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and Djurgården. We had an amazing time, here are some of our highlights.
Things to do…
Probably one of our Highlights or the trip! Situated on Djurgården, Skansen is part zoo, part outdoor museum. It has about 150 preserved houses and building moved from all over Sweden, many of the museum staff are in period attire and help give a great insight of how Swedes used to live. It is huge and you could easily spend all day here. We learnt about Swedish wildlife, folk traditions and sampled local food. Find out more.
On Djurgården is a museum dedicated to a massive fail! The Vassmuseet is the home of the 17th century warship the Vasa. The Vasa was the flagship of the Swedish navy, but within minutes of setting off on its maiden voyage in 1682 the top heavy ship sank. Preseverd by the cold Baltic waters the ship was salvaged in the 1950s and moved to the custom designed Vassmuseet in the 1980s and is brilliantly exhibited. Well worth a visit. Find out more.
Also on Djurgården, not far from the Vassmuseet, is the Nordiska Museet a large cultural history museum. It is housed in an impressive building, a pastiche of a Scandinavian castle, and has huge collection of things Swedish. We love a museum anyway, but this really helps you understand the country’s culture. We loved finding out all about Swedish traditions, and the exhibition about Sami life in Sweden. Find out more.
You’d be hard pressed to miss the Royal Palace (Kungliga Slottet) on Gamla Stan, it is one of the largest royal palaces in world. Although it is no longer the King’s actual residence it is still the official home of the Swedish monarchy, and hosts most of the official functions and court department. A wander around is very interesting. Also make sure you check out the royal regalia in The Treasury and Armoury. Find out more.
We loved Drottningholm! This is 17th Centaury palace on the outskirts of Stockholm is the royal family’s residence. It is UNESCO protected and well worth the boat trip out to have a look around. The boat takes about an hour and leaves from near the City hall. It is a gorgeous trip in itself but when the palace comes into view it is something else. As well as looking around the beautiful rooms in the palace we has a tour around the Court Theatre, built in 1766 it has remained almost untouched since 1792, making it the Oldest theatre in the world still in its original state. The palace grounds are particularly lovely to walk around, and the Chinese Pavilion, an 18th Century ‘summer palace’ in the ground is gorgeous highlight with its rococo interiors with chinoiserie. Find out more.
Stockholm is built on 14 island, so water is everywhere! This makes a boat trip one of the best ways to see the city. There are plenty of tours to choose from, we did the Royal Canal tour. Find out more.
Food & Drink…
It is clear that the Swedes love their food, and there is a brilliant selection of places to choose from. Here is a few of the places we discovered:
Meatballs for the People
When in Sweden eh? Situated on the southern island of Södermalm (cool area, worth a visit) Meatballs for the People was a great find! A casual place for meatballs and a beer, we were very happy travellers!
A large bar on a terrace overlooking Gamla Stan and Djurgården. Mossebacke is a bit run down, but the views more than make up it! Head here for a beer at sunset.
Near out hotel we found Taverna Brillo, it bills itself as ‘an Italian brasserie in a Swedish form’. In Östermalm there are lots of lovely restaurants to choose from, but we chose here as it was the Dining Room right combination of formal and casual for Richard’s Birthday meal. It also has a food market and a separate bar.
Burgers are probably the hipster’s food of choice, so in a city as cool as Stockholm it seemed a good idea to join the locals and head to a burger joint. Flippin’ Burgers has some of the best in the city, and it is well worth the queue to get in.
There were lots of other cool things about Stockholm. The fashionable shops, the great food, the cafes, the Princess Cake (delicious!), the cool locals – this list could go on and on. We loved our 4 days in Stockholm and will definitely be heading back!
Have you been to Stockholm, what were your highlights we’d love to know?