There are locations that you have in no way provided substantially believed – sitting idly someplace on the periphery of your thoughts, their existence acknowledged but in no way seriously explored additional. Then, all of a sudden, they leave a mark so profound you cannot really shake it off.
That is how my adventure with Stockholm started.
I’ve generally been fascinated with Scandinavia, but somehow that sentiment in no way really extended to Stockholm. I’ve visited it more than ten years ago on a rather dreadful January day, the hood of my puffa jacket sliding down my face as I attempted navigating the streets, the snow melting on the pavements and gradually turning into grey mush. I neither liked it or disliked it but, obtaining booked a flight to check out my family members in Västerås in August this year, I decided to give Stockholm yet another attempt.
It might’ve been that late summer season really feel that produced all the distinction – the warm light gently diffused by the clouds, illuminating the colourful buildings and sparkling in the water. Or maybe it was me that was distinctive. Either way, on the really 1st evening of my arrival, as I crossed the bridge from Södermalm to Gamla Stan – the dusk gradually turning into evening as the lights went up, bicycles passing me by and the smell of kanelbulle filling the air – I felt each enchanted and at household. Strolling about the town felt superb and strangely familiar. The very best way I can describe it is coming to a warm household following a cold day out. There are a handful of locations that produced me really feel this way and that feeling stayed with me for the rest of the trip.
I’m not certain if this is how you will really feel about Stockholm you but in case you want to give it a attempt, let me take you about my favourite – and most enchanting – components of the city.
STOCKHOLM BEYOND GAMLA STAN – THE CAPITAL’S MOST ENCHANTING SPOTS
Södermalm: Mariaberget and Surroundings
Gamla Stan (The Old Town) may perhaps look like an clear decision when it comes to Stockholm’s most gorgeous areas, but I substantially preferred the quieter and extremely charming northern portion of Södermalm exactly where I was primarily based for the majority of my keep.
The streets surrounding Mariahissen are especially gorgeous, every single street corner bearing a superb surprise – staircases major to narrow alleyways overlooking the city, cobblestone streets waving their way about the hills, tiny bridges crisscrossing the landscape.
Do not miss Mariahissen itself – the view from the top rated of the creating faces colourful, nearly castle-like townhouses connected by a narrow bridge and appears just beautiful. From there, stroll about Bellmansgatan, especially the portion exactly where it reaches Brännkyrkagatan. The city views from Monteliusvägen are also beautiful, and if you stroll additional down towards Skinnarviksberget, you will be rewarded with a sight of gingerbread-like homes across the river.
The Rival Hotel south of Mariahissen is yet another magical spot. Red velvet seating, old film photographs hanging on the walls, gold specifics and dimmed lights reign all all through the creating, providing it a sultry, nearly cinematographic really feel. All this is for a fantastic explanation, as the hotel homes a cinema in what utilised to be an old theatre subsequent door. There’s also a café and a bistro upstairs, emanating a related charm. As I later located out, The Rival Hotel is owned by Benny Andersson, a member of ABBA – which would clarify the photo of the group hanging more than my hotel bed! One particular of my favourite memories of Stockholm is waking up to the sight of the sun-drenched square outdoors The Rival, with townhouses towering more than the trees. Magical!
Discover Residential Vasastan
I do not know what it is about Vasastan but the whole location has this extremely warm, homely really feel to it. Marked by neo-Renaissance buildings in what seems to be common for Stockholm warm block colours and filled with charming cafes, Vasastan is a ideal spot to unwind. When central, the location has a beautiful sense of calm to it.
Pay a visit to Stockholm Public Library and Observatorieluden Park
Commence off on Tegnergatan – a grand street with a welcoming, residential really feel. If you will need a small choose me up, grab a latte and cinnamon buns at Green Rabbit and head north towards Stockholm Public Library (or Stadsbiblioteket in Swedish).
It may perhaps look random but trust me, it is worth it – it is not just any library. The creating is centred about a rotunda, with bookshelves covering it from top rated to bottom, forming a circle in an nearly temple-like manner. The smell of books and hushed conversations generally remind me of my childhood and trips to the regional library (except mine wasn’t really as impressive). It was beautiful to rediscover this feeling of nostalgia in Stockholm.
You do not will need a library card to stroll about the bookshelves. The employees is really friendly and pleased for you to take photographs – just make certain to retain your voice down 😉
Stadsbiblioteket sits on the edge of Observatorieluden Park, named this way mainly because of the Old Stockholm Observatory. I have a feeling that the park will forever stay one particular of my favourite locations in the city. I visited it just hours just before catching my flight to London and the view stretching from the top rated of the hill is one particular of the most gorgeous I got to see in Stockholm – a ideal way to say goodbye to what’s swiftly turn into one particular of my favourite capitals.
Love fika at Stockholm’s prettiest cafes
The Swedish notion of fika, which can be roughly translated as ‘coffee break’, is fairly substantially institutionalised in the Swedish mentality. Even so, fika is so substantially far more than the easy act of grabbing your favourite brew. It is the time to reconnect with close friends, co-workers or loved ones, concentrate on the ‘now’ and appreciate the easy factors in life – like a fantastic conversation more than a cup of coffee and cake. Fika goes hand in hand with yet another delightful notion devised by the Swedes – lagom, which focuses on living a easy, balanced life. It is about generating the ordinary moments that small bit unique and a small bit sweeter, and I think there’s a unique sort of magic in that.
You can appreciate fika at household, function and, of course, at a café – right here are some of my favourites.
There are locations you appreciate, and there are the ones filled with magic, exactly where you obtain your self extending every single job into infinity just so you can keep that small bit longer. That is how Konditori Valand felt to me. My absolute favourite café in Stockholm, Valand is a spot like no other. It remained unchanged due to the fact its creation in 1954, the décor paying homage to the mid-century era.
At Valand, a sense of melancholy cuts by means of the air, and you cannot really get adequate of it – at least I couldn’t! Millenial meals trends have no spot right here – the choice is wonderfully easy and homely, with tea, coffee (neglect latte or macchiato) and household baked cake reigning the menu.
An additional favourite of mine, whilst really distinctive from Valand, Green Rabbit is equally charming. Sat suitable on the edge of residential Vasastan and trendy Norrmalm, the interior is a nod towards Scandinavian simplicity. Green table tops contrasting against the black and white checked floor are the only splash of colour in an otherwise white-toned café. The menu is equally easy and scrumptious. Anticipate freshly produced rye bread, pastries (like the renowned kanelbullar, of course!) and excellent coffee, served in homely mugs.
Vibrant, relaxed and cozy, Drop Coffee sits suitable subsequent to a exciting small street in Södermalm, lined up with comfy benches exactly where you can spot locals sipping their coffee or just sharing a chat. What I located especially superb is that this ‘routine’ extends to Monday mornings – a stark contrast to London.
The tradition of fika reigns at the café, and for a fantastic explanation – Drop Coffee came in second at the World Coffee Roasting Championship in 2015 so they definitely know their stuff! The huge windows bring light to the space and wooden chairs with two-tone mint green walls acting as a backdrop give it a cozy, inviting appear.
STHLM Brunch has a really London really feel to it – that goes for each the eclectic interiors and the ever-present avocado on toast and acai bowls. When it may perhaps not be your ‘traditional’ Swedish café, it with out a doubt has some of the very best (and definitely most Instagrammable) brunch selections in Stockholm!
It is a ideal spot if you want to indulge in far more than just a easy coffee and cake, and a superb way to start out your weekend.
I was in Stockholm only for a couple of days and I’ll be certain to update the list following my subsequent check out – which is significantly less than a week away! Think it or not but Stockholm charmed me so substantially, I booked a one particular-way flight the day following I left. If this is not a testament to just how magical it is, then I do not know what is!
Watch this space for far more posts on what’s now one particular of my favourite cities and, as generally, pleased travels x