A weekend in Stockholm is not nearly enough time to truly experience all the stunning city has to offer, but it does provide enough to leave you with a nice taste, and wanting more.
The city is made up of 14 islands, connected by bridges. Over the weekend, we wandered across about five of its islands, and also made it out for a short trip into the archipelago.
Given Stockholm’s long summer days, we managed to take in some of the city even though we only landed in the evening.
Following our check in at the hotel, we wandered down to the main party street in Stockholm, where our dear friend Annette had booked us into a number of different restaurants and bars. We started the evening with a fabulous seafood dinner at Restaurant Sturehof by Stureplan. The food was delicious – fresh oysters and shellfish, and great fish as well. We were so stuffed that we needed to walk off the food before going out for drinks! So, we had an nice evening stroll through town before heading to Nosh and Chow for drinks.
After a traditional Swedish fika at Café Espresso, we stopped over to the Baroque Royal Palace, saw what seemed to be the changing of the guard, and then crossed over a couple bridges to Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s medieval old town.
This town is made up of little cobblestone streets and filled with red, orange and vanilla colored buildings that house an endless number of ice-cream shops, cafes and souvenir shops. We wandered through the maze of lanes on this island, stopping for lunch at Café Kastanjen.
Once we had enough of the cute but tourist filled island, we continued south to Södermalm to check out the famous and trendy neighborhood of SoFo (South of Folkungagatan). While everything we read raved about the trendy Swedish furniture stores and quirky vintage shops, we found the neighborhood to be much more quiet. Perhaps this is because it was 30 degrees and most locals were either too hot to come out or already off in their summer homes in the archipelago?
That said, we did meet up with some friends for a drink at the famous Urban Deli, and then walked over to the waterfront to visit Fotografiska. This converted warehouse is filled with three floors of photography exhibitions – the highlight was Sebastio Selgado‘s Genesis. This exhibition is a result of an 8 year journey through approximately 30 countries where he captures people and animals in their natural environment, without modern civilisation.
We spent the evening on yet another island, Kungsholmen, where we took in the steller views of the town hall and waterfront on our way over to Mälarpaviljongen – the perfect place for a casual dinner and an amazing evening of cocktails on the water, watching the sun go down and the bar turn into the Saturday night party.
Stockholm is surrounded by about 24,000 islands. There are a number of ways to get to the
islands, most notably tourist and local passenger ferries that run regularly through the intricate channels of the archipelago.
We took a local passenger ferry over to Vaxholm for the day, where we wandered through the sleepy town, spending time on the beach and enjoying a beer and pastry at a quaint local café. Its no wonder the Swedes go away for the summer – you can easily imagine a relaxing summer holiday in a cottage here.
That evening, a storm came passing through. Unfortunately, we found ourselves caught in
the open air, unprepared for a massive thunderstorm, with the only object resembling anything like shelter being a random construction site. We had no other choice but to wait out the storm under the construction and watch the lightening and rain pass through the
We still ended up pretty soaked, requiring an unplanned stop at the hotel. In addition, the storm massively affected all transportation – the trams were completely down as was the Arlanda Express. This made it tricky to fit in the rest of our itinerary, but determined as we were, we still made a quick visit to the Vasa Museum, before heading to the airport to catch our flight home.