Stockholm, with its quiet, confident charm and a perfect blend of nature and city life, personifies a lagom approach to life - a Swedish philosophy of ‘not too little, not too much - just right’. Surprisingly underrated as far as European capitals go, the lack of crowds in Stockholm will certainly act in your favour as you navigate the city on your next Swedish adventure.
So, if you need a little escape from it all, remember that paradise doesn’t have to be tropical - sometimes all you need is a cinnamon bun and a sense of adventure!
Without further ado, here are the top 5 things to do on your next trip to Stockholm.
- Visit Monteliusvägen View Point
Begin your adventure at Monteliusvägen in northern Södermalm. Once considered a notably poor area, Södermalm has undergone a major overhaul in the past decades and is now considered one of the most hip (or shall I say, hipster) parts of the city. But before you get your hands on that vegan coffee and set off on a vintage shopping spree, be sure to pay a visit to Monteliusvägen, one of Stockholm’s most beautiful viewpoints. Don’t forget to stop by at Ivar Los Park which is right at the back of the viewpoint. It’s usually much quieter and boasts equally stunning, if not more beautiful, views.
- Have a fika at Ritorno Konditori
Fika, which can be roughly translated as ‘coffee break’, is pretty much institutionalised in the Swedish mentality. However, fika is much more than just your usual coffee break. It’s all about taking the time to reconnect with your friends, colleagues or loved ones - with a warm drink and a little something sweet to eat to mark the occasion. It’s less about what your drink and more about who you share the time with. The best way to embrace fika is by heading to your local cafe. Seeing as kanelbulle (cinnamon buns) and coffee are the most popular fika combos, go to a place where you can enjoy both. There are plenty of wonderful cafes in Stockholm, but my personal favourite is Ritorno Konditori opposite Vasaparekn in Vasastan. The cafe remained practically unchanged since the 1950s and is often a meeting spot of a local literary crowd. All for a good reason, as Astrid Lindgren used to live just around the corner. So, grab your kanelbulle, pair it with a cup of coffee and fika away!
- Stop by at Stadsbiblioteket (Stockholm Public Library)
Bookworms and architecture lovers shouldn’t miss out on Stadsbiblioteket. Its unique, rotunda-like shape, designed by Gunnar Asplund, makes it one of the most unique buildings in the city. If you like the idea of wandering amongst 2 million books covering the library walls from top to bottom as they circle their way around the rotunda, then you have to pay the city library a visit.
Stadsbiblioteket is nested inside Observatorielunden Park, so once your inner bookworm is satisfied, take a stroll up the hill where you can enjoy views of Vasastan or perhaps even an impromptu picnic!
- Unwind at Rålambshovsleden in Kungsholmen
Few capitals manage to blend nature with a busy city life as seamlessly as Stockholm.
From forrest, parks and city beaches to the archipelago with its 30,000 islands, a huge part of the Stockholm’s charm lies in its closeness to nature. While Hagaparken and Djurgården may be the city’s biggest parks, I recommend starting your nature adventure at Rålambshovsleden in Kungsholmen. Sat on the edge of Riddarfjärden bay with its tiny beach nooks overlooking the Old Town, the park looks beautiful regardless of the season. It’s also only a few minutes walk from Smedsuddbadet, one of Stockholm’s city beaches. While spring is definitely not an ideal time for a swim (although if you’re feeling brave - go ahead!), there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting by the beach with a coffee and cinnamon bun, watching the ships lazily making their way towards the Baltic sea. So, sit down, relax and enjoy, one cinnamon bun bite at a time!
- Embrace Scandi fashion and shop till you drop
It’s not all nature walks and coffee breaks - Stockholm is a bustling capital city and, with Swede’s undeniable fashion sense and appreciation for quality, you won’t be short of opportunities to shop till you drop. Drottiningattan, Stockholm's major pedestrian street, is a perfect place for all things high street, however, those of you looking for a more sophisticated shopping experience should head towards Stureplan. Stop by at NK on Hamngatan - Stockholm's most upscale department store, stroll through Biblioteksgatan and finish off at Sturegallerien in Stureplan. Enjoy a lunch break at Sturehoff or Riche and celebrate a successful shopping spree with a glass of bubbly at Brasserie Vau De Ville at Norrmalmstrog.
And there you have it - 5 perfect ways to kick start your Stockholm adventure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do every time I visit. Be sure to comment and let us know which of the 5 tips you enjoyed the most.
About the author
A lover of all things Scandi, Marta is a travel and lifestyle blogger and a Girl Who Travels, where she inspires her readers to live unapologetically passionate lives.
To learn more about Scandinavian lifestyle, head to her latest post on Embracing Happiness the Lagom Way.
Marta wears LJXII Lugano Milanese in Gold White - Shop the look here.