A beginner’s guide to Stockholm
The capital of Sweden may not automatically leap into your mind when considering summer destinations, but this is a city that really comes alive during the warmer months. Here’s why.
Light and water
Constructed over a cluster of 14 small islands, Stockholm is a city that is defined by light and water. The low-rise building code seems to somehow bring the sky almost within touching distance, and whichever way you turn, you’re crossing a bridge or looking out across the water.
One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the city and its surrounds is to jump in a boat and set sail. There are lots of different boating options available to you - an extensive network of ferries that whisk you from one island to another, or there are lots of small charter boats offering expeditions of varying lengths. We opted for something a bit more low-tech and hired a small self-drive motor boat - the eco-friendly electric engine gently propelling us around the harbour as we enjoyed the sunshine while slowly exploring the archipelago of islands.
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The Stockholm City Hall, designed by architect Ragnar Östberg, took 15 years to build and was inaugurated in 1923. Behind the magnificent facades of 8 million bricks are offices and session halls for politicians and officials as well as splendid assembly rooms and unique works of art by some of the most known artists and designers of the time. The City Hall is open to visit through daily guided tours. The most famous rooms are the Blue hall where the annual Nobel banquet is held on December 10th each year, the Golden room with its 18,6 million golden mosaic pieces and the Prince’s gallery with painted walls by Prince Eugén. #visitstockholm
The cafe culture
Stockholm is blessed with quite a lot of green space and small parks and squares. When the sun is out then the locals make the most of being able to relax outdoors. There’s also a strong cafe culture in this city - particularly on the island of Södermalm. The locals like to think that this neighbourhood feels a bit like Brooklyn, but to me it’s a lot more interesting than that – great independent stores, boutique fashion and homewares, and a laid-back vibe that’s hard to resist.
My favourite cafe here is the Urban Deli - part grocery store, part bar, part cafe, part restaurant, part movement for political change - but there are a wealth of cool cafes, bars and restaurants to choose from as you wander the streets.
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Have you explored the art in Stockholm’s subway stations yet? We love this photo from Stadion station by @bookfoodtravel! 🌈 Visit his feed for even more cool photos from our city and around the world.✨ Thank you for sharing your Stockholm experience with us! . This week we’re celebrating our 200 000 followers by posting a selection of great Stockholm images you’ve shared with us via #visitstockholm! We’re so grateful for every single moment you share with us – you’re all amazing!❤️
Museums and galleries
There’s a lot more to Stockholm than a wealth of tall, blond, gorgeous people. They also take their culture pretty seriously.
The Nobel Museum is worth checking out if you want to feel humbled by the genius of others, or for something a bit lighter then there’s the Abba Museum. Created by the fab four themselves, the Abba Museum is surprisingly interactive - you get to sing, you get to dance, you get to live out your Abba fantasies.
If you’re into photography, then there’s a great photography museum that showcases the work of some of the world’s leading photographers, or the Thiele museum presents a unique insight into Nordic and Scandinavian art. If you’re a history buff then you’ll love the Vasa Museum - the home of an ancient war ship that sunk on its maiden voyage, preserved and restored.
There’s a lot to explore in Stockholm.