Stockholm, the capital of Scandinavia, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Built where the lake meets the sea, this city is situated on fourteen islands – it’s easy to see why Stockholm has acquired the nickname the “Venice of the north.” Architecture, fashion, technology, film, design, and the game industry thrive here like never before. It is a place where creativity grows, and where dreams and new ideas are realized! But most of all – a city open for everyone!
Dating all the way back to the Viking era, Stockholm has a rich history of Nordic culture and exploration. Today’s modern Stockholm is a beautiful blend of minimal design, new Nordic cuisine, and pop culture. Scandinavian design is characterized by a minimal, clean approach that seeks to combine functionality with beauty. Its focus is on simple lines and light spaces, devoid of clutter. The new Nordic Cuisine in Stockholm and Scandanavia at large has been used to promote local, natural, and seasonal produce as a basis for new dishes both in restaurants and at the home. As a result, a number of restaurants have introduced local ingredients, in combination with traditional foods prepared in new ways! And you can’t mention Sweden without the country’s contribution to popular culture, with the likes of ABBA.. and Avicii, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Swedish House Mafia!
If it’s your first time in Stockholm, you’ll have to do all the things: Stroll through Gamla Stan – the old town of Stockholm, visit the amazing museums such as the Vasa Museet, Nordiska Museet, and Abba The Museum, shop for some Scandanavian apparel at NK Stockholm or Biblioteksta, and of course eat your way through the city! You’ll have to grab a Swedish cinnamon roll or cardamom bun from Vete-Katten to start off your day! Have a lovely lunch at Restaurant Hotel Diplomat, and farm to table at Oxienstiernan or Villa Dagmar. It wouldn’t be a visit to Sweden without trying some Swedish meatballs at Meatballs for the People!
Stockholm’s extensive and well-organized transport infrastructure ranks among the best in Europe. The Stockholm subway system is said to be the world’s longest art exhibit – 110 kilometers long. Stockholm’s subway system is truly one of a kind. One hundred stations, each with unique art on its platform, walls or waiting hall. Since 1957 artists have played a key role when new stations have been built. And over time the metro’s older stations – planned and built without any art – have been spruced up with beautiful statues, murals, and installations. Traveling by subway is like traveling through an exciting story that extends from the artistic pioneers of the 1950s to the art experiments of today. Travel within the city by bus, subway or bike, if you’re not walking! Or why not take advantage of the fact that Stockholm is built on 14 islands and go by boat?
Stockholm is also one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly cities and an international role model of global environmental and climate action. Five decades after the 1972 UN Conference in Stockholm made the link between environment and poverty and placed it at the forefront of the international agenda. Stockholm welcomes the world again in June 2022 to “Stockholm +50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.”
- *TAK – It’s a restaurant, a raw bar, and a rooftop bar all rolled up into one. The merge between Scandinavia and Japan is the core philosophy! Great spot for sunset drinks!
- Mahalo – A tropical vegan restaurant with great breakfast and smoothie bowls!
- Pom & Flora – The breakfast deal at Pom & Flora is known to be one of the best in town. They serve up beautiful interior and a menu worth returning for – whether you’re up for breakfast or lunch.
- Scarpetta – Traditional Italian & Mediterranean dishes, plus cocktails, in an elegant, plant-filled setting.
- *Meatballs for the People – Unfussy restaurant specializing in meatball dishes, plus global eats, desserts, wine & draft beer!
- Strandvägen 1 – Upscale restaurant with a bold gold & silver ceiling, showcasing Modern Swedish cuisine.
- *Nytorget 6 – A Mediterranean-inspired menu with elements of Swedish classics. This restaurant has everything from cheese and charcuterie, tacos and small dishes to filling main courses. The menu works just as well whether you are eager to share many servings or eat a classic three-course meal!
- Restaurant Hasselbacken – They offer Swedish food classics with a modern touch! A nice brunch place in a beautiful location surrounded by nature.
- *Villa Dagmar – The restaurant offers a modern, warm and contemporary environment and where the food and drink menus are created by two of Sweden’s most innovative and acclaimed chefs, Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson.
- Sturhof – Classic & creative seafood dishes in an old-world restaurant with quirky decorative touches.
- Pélikan – Traditional Swedish dishes in a venerable restaurant with a grand, wood-paneled interior.
- Bakfickan – Adjacent to the Opera Bar is the popular Bakfickan, “The Hip Pocket”, a small and intimate counter restaurant that seats only 28 guests, either at the bar or at the narrow tables set-up around.
- *Brasserie Astoria – Sophisticated restaurant preparing refined steak dishes & classic homemade pizza.
- *Oxienstiernan – Restaurant Oxenstiernan is run by star chef Elvira Lindqvist and silversmith Sebastian Schildt. This is where you’ll enjoy innovative, Swedish cuisine on a beautiful old “malmgård” which means an urban farm/summer residence that dates back to the 18th century.
- Punk Royale – A luxury restaurant that shuns convention with more of a rowdy vibe!
- Gästabud – Laid-back restaurant serving hearty, traditional home cooking in snug surroundings. Be sure to get the meatballs!
- Groden – Venerable fine-dining restaurant showcasing Swedish cuisine in ornate, 19th-century surroundings.
- Daphne’s – Daphne’s is a charming & cozy French restaurant that has been a fixture in Stockholm for years.
- Champagnebaren – This champagne bar has arguably got one of Stockholm’s best views – encompassing the entire northern half of town, from the Baltic Sea inlet far into lake Mälaren!
- Omnipollos Hat – Cozy destination with outdoor seating & an understated vibe serving pizzas & craft ales.
- *Jacqueline’s – Spacious corner eatery & bar featuring a robust drink list & global fare, plus outdoor seating.
- Tako – Sophisticated restaurant serving modern Asian fusion cuisine including seafood skewers & tempura.
- *Roda Huset – This restaurant is located fittingly enough in a cute little red building. The drink menu is designed by award-winning bartender Hampus Thunholm and incorporates local flavors from Sweden like carrots, plums, and raspberries.
- *Pas D’Art – Chic French bistro situated in the heart of the Biblioteksta shopping district!
- *Misshumasshu – Found in the corridor, of the Biblioteksta district fun for drinks! A Diner liquor bar mash-up. One part Stockholm, one part Tokyo. Lively, diverse, fun. Noodles and whiskey, sliders and sake!
- *Calle P – Small and cozy modern tapas bar and restaurant in Berzelii Park. Interesting menu and a good wine list.
- * Restaurant Hotel Diplomat – Upscale rooms in a polished hotel with an airy restaurant & a stylish cocktail bar, plus a spa. Get the meatballs and fried fish!
- Långa Raden at Hotel Skeppsholmen – Great for brunch or an afternoon drink
- *A Bar Called Gemma – Laid-back spot with understated decor & a convivial vibe specializing in fancy mixed drinks. Voted top 50 bars!
- *Lucy’s Flower Shop – This flower-themed speakeasy is hidden away deep underground in a 20th-century building in the heart of Stockholm. Great cocktails!
- *Spresso – Chic restaurant with a rooftop terrace serving choice meals & drinks in sleek, minimalist environs.
- Cork Vinbar – Intimate wine bar specializing in Portuguese vintages & classic Mediterranean fare.
- *Spy Bar – Elegant nightspot with a labyrinth of stylish spaces & DJs creating a varied soundtrack! One of my favorite clubs!
- Stockholm Under the Stars – Vibrant rooftop located on the top of At Six hotel! It’s one of the nicer rooftops in the city!
- *Riche – Hip bistro with a Swedish/French menu & a quirky decor of bold artworks & chandeliers.
- Mälarpaviljongen – Renowned summer-only cafe/bar on a floating pontoon, with seasonal, creative menus & lush garden.
- Miss Voon – Excellent Asian-fusion cuisine with upscale and delicious cocktails!
- *Pharmarium – Pharmarium is a mixology bar and restaurant at Stortorget, a small public square in Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm.
Coffee & Bakery:
- Mr. Cake – A café and patisserie based on craftsmanship, where American café culture meets Swedish coffee with a twist.
- Vallhallabageriet – Valhallabageriet is a must for anyone with a penchant for pastries and sourdough bread. This bakery is many a locals’ go-to for breakfast and indulgent treats – they are particularly famous for their cardamom buns.
- Vete-Katten – Genteel, 1920s-style cafe for self-serve lunches & pastries, snacks, coffee & afternoon tea. Get their vanilla cardamom bun!
- Skeppsbro Bageri – Skeppsbro bakery is a 100% organic craft bakery.
- Fabrique – This Swedish bakery chain serves up favorites like cardamom & cinnamon buns. They have locations in London & NYC!
- Kaferang – Cute cafe serving up delicious cocktails and cocktails!
- Lykke Kaffegårdar – Cute corner coffee shop that grows its own coffee beans!
- Svenskt Tenn – Prominent retail shop featuring refined, modern textiles, lighting, decor accessories & wallpaper. A classic interior design company with its flagship store on the beautiful shoreline boulevard Strandvägen. The store originated with the fortuitous combination of two courageous people with fresh ideas: the stylist and businesswoman Estrid Ericsson and the designer Josef Frank. The store has modern classics, and a lovely gift department with glass, pottery, and objects by younger established designers.
- NK Stockholm – Sweden’s oldest department store (1902) in a beautiful building
- A Day’s March – Day’s March is a Swedish clothing label offering quality shirts and wardrobe staples at a friendly price. I got 4 shirts here as I loved their simple cuts and linens!
- 6/5/4 – Alaid-back celebrating nordic surfing culture! Great outdoor/adventure brands for men & women
- Grandpa – Carefully curating the Scandinavian way of life. Scandinavian and international fashion, accessories, and home decor from brands such as Patagonia, Levi’s..
- Esteriör – bold & funky home goods
- Movesgood – eco-friendly all-bamboo brand with apparel, home goods, and linens!
- High-End Shopping in Biblioteksta – an upscale shopping district where many Swedish brands have their concept stores.
- Acne Studios – A fashion house that has met with great success all over the world, using its trendy and innovative jeans collection
- Asket – Asket started out as a men’s wear brand in 2015 but has since then branched out into women’s clothes as well.
- Byredo – Exclusive Swedish perfume house whose products are as beautiful to look at as they are fragrant. What makes
- Hope – The collections from the Hope design duo are pure in style, timeless and androgynous, inspired by uniforms and
- Myrqvist – Swedish shoe brand Myrqvist produces menswear in a variety of models. Both sneakers in suede and leather
- Sturegallerian – An exclusive mall in the middle of Stureplan square, with fashion boutiques, restaurants, cafés
- See why the Vasa Museet is the most visited museum in Scandinavia
- Enjoy the attractions at Grona Lund – Stockholm’s amusement park
- Dance along at Abba The Museum
- Take a step back in time touring Gamla Stan – Stockholm’s Old Town
- Soak in the Art in the Subway during your commute
- Get your game on at Space Stockholm
- Journey through Avicii’s life at Avicii Experience
- Visit the Nordiska Museet
- Ride the ferry to Djurgården for some quality museums
- See where the Royals reside at The Royal Palace
- Sqeeze through Mårten Trotzigs gränd – Stockholm’s most narrow street
- Kungsholms strand / Norr mälarstrand are nice for a stroll
- See contemporary photography galleries at Fotografiska
- Relax at The Nordic Spa at Grand Hotel
- At Six – Hotel At Six is a destination where contemporary art, fine dining, and exquisite interior design meet to create a modern luxury hotel in central Stockholm.
- Hotel Schepscholmen – A modern and eco-friendly hot spot situated on the waterfront. Hotel Skeppsholmen is a place to recharge your batteries, at a quiet, yet central location. The hotel combines a historic landmark with the very best of contemporary Swedish cuisine, art, design, fashion, and music.
- Ett Hem – Specifically designed by the owners to feel like a home rather than a hotel, Ett Hem provides just 12 stylish rooms and suites. It is not a typical hotel – it is a place that allows the guest to become part of it, a place where guests are treated as friends of the family.
I flew the new direct route from NYC to Stockholm via Finnair! Getting to Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) from JFK and LAX just got easier with the new Finnair service on Airbus A350-900s. Flights between JFK and ARN are daily with three weekly flights between ARN and LAX. Extreme comfort, full flexibility, top-class service – Finnair’s Business Class is truly elevated. All the comfort, space & privacy that you could want in a business class experience! They are the first to launch the entirely new “Collins’ AirLounge” seat with an innovative, contoured fixed shell design to amplify your personal space & freedom to move. The seat offers you best-in-class sleep comfort by turning into a spacious lay-flat bed with a proper mattress pad & exclusive textiles from Finnish designer, Marimekko! All this together with the ample storage features, personal custom-design reading light and built-in USB A & C sockets, Wi-Fi, PC power, and wireless charger really helped make you feel at home above the clouds! Have you been to Stockholm or spent any time in the Nordic countries?