Travelling is one of the best ways to clear the mind, explore new adventures and meet new people; and what better way to start the year off than to head down to one of Scandinavia’s treasures. Stockholm is a city full of life, colour and wonderful food and we’re happy to say we experienced it all last weekend! We stayed right in the city center, walking distance from Stockholm’s oldest town Gamla stan which is filled to the brim with history, and just moments away from some of the world’s finest meatballs. We’ve tried and tested all the best aspects of Stockholm and we couldn’t wait to share our top tips for making the most out of our favourite Nordic city.
Gamla stan/Old Town
There’s no way you can visit Stockholm without coming to one of Europe’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval towns. Gamla stan is where Stockholm was founded in 1252 and it’s currently one of the best spots in the city for amazing traditional Swedish food, souvenirs, and exhibits. There’s so much to see on this small island that we recommend trying one of the brilliant walking tours that take you all around Old Town and some surrounding areas that only takes 2-3 hours! Visit the Royal Palace, which is one of the world’s largest palaces with around 600 rooms, Stockholm’s Cathedral and even the famous Nobel Prize Museum. Even if you’re not into exhibits or don’t fancy paying the tourist prices, Gamla stan is the perfect place to soak up the beautiful medieval Swedish architecture.
Stockholm’s Top Museums
If you’re into your history and love to roam around huge museums for a day then Stockholm will easily become one of your new favorite places to visit. From learning about Nordic history to seeing huge warships lost at sea for hundreds of years, Stockholm has it all.
Check out the huge Nordiska Museet located on an island off of central Stockholm for a mindblowing look at the cultural history of Sweden leading to the modern/contemporary period. Or if you’re interested in the famous rivalries of the Swedish settlers, check out the Vasa Museum, just 3 minutes away from the Nordiska Museet. This museum holds the only fully intact 17th-century ship that has ever been found, and it is the focal point of the entire museum, allowing you to walk all around the ship at an estimated sea level. Find out the secrets behind the ship’s crew and women’s role in the 17th century. Get an up-close look at the ship in its entirety as you explore all three levels via special viewing points- and also see how the ship was salvaged and preserved from the ocean after hundreds of years.
Yes, we’ve all been to Ikea and tried a glimpse of Swedish meatball delight but let us say that we never knew how delicious meatballs could until heading down to Meatballs For The People in Nytorgsgatan, a bit deeper into Stockholm’s trendy neighborhoods. Try a range of tasty meatballs and deliciously iconic lingonberry jam all locally sourced for that extra dose of real Swedish culture. You can find fantastic meatball restaurants all over Stockholm, especially as you get closer to tourist areas, but we always find the further you explore the more traditional experiences you’ll find!
Fika is a very important part of Swedish culture, and you’ll see references and signs for Fika all over the city. Fika is a saying that means taking time out of the day to catch up with friends or family, usually over coffee and sweet treats. It’s tradition to do this at least once a day, and you’re encouraged to not discuss work, so this is not to be confused with a coffee break or a meeting. During a Fika, most Stockholmers have coffee with tasty Swedish snacks such as Kardemummabullaer, a sweet and sticky spiced pastry that is quite similar to a cinnamon roll. There are tons of great coffee shops and restaurants around the city that have special menus dedicated to Fika – it’s a tradition like no other!
We had such an amazing time staying in Stockholm and exploring all it has to offer. We couldn’t get enough of the friendly people, breathtaking views, fresh air, and long scenic walks surrounded by history and nature. We will definitely be back to enjoy more Fika, meatballs, and fun!
For lots of options on where to stay whilst in Stockholm click www.booking.com