Hey guys!! So I thought I would round off all my Stockholm posts with a little bit of a travel guide. Everything written here has come from my own experience (nothing been Googled, apart from spelling 'cos I'm dreadful at that). So there will be loads I am missing out, as I am only going to talk about the places I visited. I also filmed a vlog (sorry about the length of it, I clearly like to ramble away) so that should give you a little more of an idea about what everything was like.
Stockholm is split into various islands and areas. I initially thought that would make it hard to navigate, but it really wasn't at all. We visited four areas in total: Östermalm, Norrmalm, Gamla Stan and Södermalm. I drew this little map for you to get an idea, all the areas with streets drawn on is where we covered. I would recommend all four areas for different things, and we walked between all four of them throughout out time there.
Our hotel was in Östermalm, which definitely felt like the more upmarket area. Here is where we found most of the posh restaurants, designer shops etc etc. It's definitely a shopper's paradise! Even if shopping isn't for you, it's lovely to walk around. It was always relatively busy with a pleasant buzzing atmosphere (I say relatively because at no point did Stockholm feel as busy as other cities such as London or Paris).
Norrmalm was probably the area we explored least, and most of it we experienced from a taxi. Again, this was full of shopping and eating opportunities, but felt a little less upmarket than Östermalm. Nevertheless it was worth the visit!
Gamla Stan is the old part of the city. This was how I envisioned Stockholm to be - a beautiful medieval city. Full of narrow cobbled streets, packed with boutique and independent shops and restaurants, Galma Stan was a pleasure to walk around.
Södermalm was recommended to us by a very kind and helpful shop assistant, and without this recommendation I am not sure we would have ventured that far. This was one of our favourite places too. It had a much younger vibe to it. I'm finding hard to describe it without using words parents often employ to describe places such as this, so I am just going to do it: it was a cool and hip part of the city!
What to do:
I would definitely say Stockholm caters to whatever you want to do, here is a list of the things we got up to in terms of tourist attractions and museums.
Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet): This was one of my highlights. To say I did a degree in History of Art, I don't love visiting Museums and Galleries, but this one was a real treat. It wasn't overwhelmingly big, but the collection was still very impressive. I particularly enjoyed the section on 1950s and 60s American art, but there was also an amazing selection of Constructivist pieces that I loved.
My rating: 8/10
The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design: This was attached on to the Museum of Modern Art and didn't have an exhibition on at the time, so it was included in the ticket for the Art section. That was definitely a good thing too, I would have been miffed if I had paid extra to see this. It was just a single room with various architectural models and informative videos. It was interesting and worth a look, especially as it was free. If you are more interested in this then art, it would be worth making sure there is some type of exhibition on before paying a visit.
My rating: 5/10
Swedish History Museum: We decided to check out the History Museum on a whim after aimlessly wandering for a while. I am so glad we did too! Generally, I would say it was aimed at children. There was lots of interaction points, and the presentation of information was easy to understand and digest (which is perfect for me, even as an adult!) There was a huge section of Viking history which was interesting and well set out - definitely lots to look at and take in. My favourite section was the History of Sweden. Again, it was interactive and aimed at children, but still fun as an adult!
My rating: 8/10
Where? Östermalm, on a main road called Narvavägen
Where to eat: Again, the following list is where we ate so based upon my own experience. Harry and I are both big meat eaters, so if you are a vegetarian I am afraid this section won't be of much help!
Vau De Ville: On our first day there Harry and I didn't really know where to begin. This restaurant was in the centre of a small square just of Birger Jarelson. We had spent some time aimlessly wandering with rumbling tummies, not being able to settle on a place to go. I am sure you've all been there, it's so hard to know what will be good when you're in a new city! We eventually got so hungry we settled on Vau De Ville - and we were glad we did! It was a lovely day, so great to sit outside. We both had Swedish meatballs which were SO tasty. The cocktails were pretty good too!
My rating: 8/10
Where? Östermalm, at the bottom of Biblioteksgatan
No Name Burgers: This was another case of wandering with empty tummies, and this time we weren't so lucky with our choice. The food was nice (nothing special), but the restaurant was empty, soulless, and pretty uncomfortable.
My rating: 4/10
Where? Södermalm, just off Götgatan
Boqeuria: This one was reccommended to us by a few people we spoke to while we were there. It was clearly very popular with the locals as it was heaving! The food (tapas) was seriously tasty too, so it was definitely worth the fuss. The atmosphere was relaxed, the service was good and quick, and the food was delicious - all round winner!
My rating: 9/10
The Hairy Pig Deli: This was a TripAdvisor find, and it deserves it's high rating. If you plan on visiting, I would reccommend getting there as it opens. We were amongst the first in, and within five mintues the place was full! It was very small, but in a cosy way rather than cramped. They offered lots of beers, and also homemade soft drinks such as Ginger Beer. The food was really good, we went with a charquterie board. It was a great lunch time stop, and would be amazing in the winter as an escape from the cold.
My rating: 9/10
Where? Gamla Stan
Storys Hotel: This was where we stayed so this was a room service experience for us! However, they served the same food in the bar downstairs (which also offered some amazing cocktails too, the best we had on our trip). We ordered burgers for our room service and they were SO amazing. I regularly order a burger when I am out, I love me some carbs and meat! This was one of the best I have had, and the chips were delicious too.
My rating: 10/10, you can read more about the hotel here
Where? Riddargarten, just off Birger Jarlsgaten in Östermalm
Wiener's Caffet: Again, this was a spur of the moment visit. It was very busy indeed, but due to its location on one of the main shopping streets this was to be expected. The busyness was its only drawback, and Harry and I sat on a very small table for two squished between people. Other than that, I can't say a bad word. The coffee was amazing, and the food even better. We both went with the roast beef sandwiches, it's making my mouth water thinking about them!
My rating: 8/10
Where? Östermalm, on Biblioteksgatan
B.A.R: This was our fancy meal of the trip, and definitely the best too. It was a seafood restaurant, which honestly isn't normally my first choice. Because of this, I know very little about seafood. Aside from a few, I couldn't tell you what different types of fish are like! We went for a mixed platter, so someone else would do the decision making for us. It was seriously amazing too!
My rating: 10/10
Where? Östermalm, down towards Gamla Stan
If shopping is your thing:
I am a self confessed shopaholic, and my highlight of a city break will always be shopping! Stockholm was no exception, and had some great choices. Here is a quick rundown of my shopping highlights:
Acne: I am a big fan of Acne anyway, and while I was expecting to see some difference in price when in Stockholm, I was pretty shocked at how much cheaper it actually was (we're talking £100s difference to the UK prices). If you're a fan of the brand, definitely do your shopping here. They have them everywhere too, the best one we went to was in Ostermalm.
NK: This is Stockholm's big department store. It was split into two sections, one which had all the big international brands, and the other with Swedish names such as Rodebjer, Dagmar and Fillipa K. If you aren't familiar with Swedish brands visiting here would be a great introduction to them all!
Birger Jarlsen: This was the fancy shopping street. For me, there wasn't many shops I would go into, it was more of a window shopping experience, but a good one all the same...
Biblioteksgatan: This was more my kind of shopping street! With favourite names such as COS, Sephora, Urban Outfitters and & Other Stories popping up! We were focusing on Swedish brands on our trip, so COS and & Other Stories were the top of the list. While I could have left with countless items, the price difference between the UK and Stockholm wasn't as huge as in Acne.
Södermalm: This is the place for you if you want Swedish brands and independent shops. Our fave shop in this area was Weekday, APlace and Grandpa. Both APlace and Grandpa were super cool, however as they both stocked Swedish brands there was very similar stock in each.