exploring stockholm, sweden

22nd September 2014

view of gamla stan from sodermalm in stockholm

Where: Stockholm, Sweden

When: September

With: Husband

How long: 2.5 days

(this is the third installment of our trip to Scandinavia! Check out Copenhagen part 1 and part 2)

After five awesome, busy, exciting, tiring days in Copenhagen, we made our way to Stockholm. When we were originally planning the trip I thought we might take a train–but after I realized how LONG that was, we decided on the 1-hour flight instead. As is usually the case with European cities, transportation to and from the Copenhagen and Stockholm airports was really easy. We opted for short cabs from the central train stations to our apartments because of our bags and tired feet, but you could easily transfer to a bus or subway to get there, too. Even with a bit of a delay, we still made it to Stockholm by early afternoon, just in time for lunch!

view of gamla stan from sodermalm in stockholm

Our Airbnb in Stockholm was even cuter than the one in Copenhagen. It was filled with vintage, homey touches! It was also in a really cool neighborhood: Södermalm. This is the up-and-coming trendy neighborhood of Stockholm (much like Vesterbro in Copenhagen). Our lunch location that day was really cool (and not cheap, but by this point we were kind of becoming immune to the prices). They served Mikkeller beer in the cutest bottle (because obviously I wouldn’t drink beer any other way). I was really pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming the city seemed, and was in heaven with the amount of secondhand shops, particularly in our ‘hood!

sodermalm stockholm airbnb rental apartment

our cute airbnb apartment! we would highly recommend staying here

urban deli restaurant in sodermalm stockholm

urban deli restaurant in sodermalm stockholm

urban deli

We spent the first afternoon roaming around Södermalm, going to the photography museum, Fotografiska, and picking up groceries before heading back out to dinner.

swedish meatball restaurant sodermalm stockholm

high school in sodermalm stockholm sweden

this swedish student was happy to be in my photo

cemetery in sodermalm stockholm sweden

view of stockholm sweden from Monteliusvägen

make sure to walk along Monteliusvägen in Södermalm for great views of the city

For dinner that night, we had made reservations at Pelikan, which is known for its traditional Swedish cuisine (most notably their Swedish meatballs). It felt like Peter Luger’s in NYC… but cooler. And friendlier. We had an awesome waitress and we were filled to the brim.

pelikan restaurant traditional swedish cuisine in stockholm

pelikan restaurant traditional swedish cuisine in stockholm swedish meatballs

The next day we started off by exploring Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old city. It is situated on a little island between Södermalm and the “downtown” area, and has tiny winding cobblestone streets, the Royal Palace and a mix of cute antique shops plus your typical tourist stuff. I was really charmed by it–maybe because of the time of year, it was not overly crowded and made for a great late morning stroll.

gamla stan narrowest street in stockholm sweden

gamla stan square in stockholm sweden

gamla stan street in stockholm sweden

gamla stan antique shop in stockholm sweden

gamla stan Stortorget square in stockholm sweden

royal palace in stockholm sweden gamla stan

From there we went to Norrmalm, the downtown area, and did some mainstream shopping. This definitely seemed more crowded at times, but the streets were beautiful and the shops nice and spacious. Miles’ office used to be in that neighborhood so we ate at a casual place for lunch that he used to go to during his lunch breaks.

view of norrmalm and ostermalm from gamla stan stockholm sweden

vintage secondhand shop in norrmalm stockholm sweden

don’t be fooled by this photo..this was the biggest vintage shop i’ve ever seen!

That evening we had dinner at this wild Thai place, Koh Phangan, that is totally over-the-top decked out in a million lights, palm trees, etc. The service wasn’t great, but it was such an experience and the food was really delicious! The location in Södermalm was on the same street with all the other cool bars and was swamped with young, cool kids.

On our final day in Stockholm, we started off with a 3-hour boat tour of the archipelago–a collection of over 30,000 islands sprawling into the Baltic Sea off the coast of the city. The boat tour was a great way to see other parts of the city we didn’t get to visit (like Skansen and the amusement park) and a peaceful way to get a little taste of what the archipelago has to offer. There were some insanely huge, beautiful homes and so many other boats out enjoying the gorgeous day. If we get the chance to go back, it’d be great to take a ferry to one of the islands and explore more.

stockholm sweden archipelago tour

stockholm sweden archipelago tour

stockholm sweden archipelago tour

stockholm sweden archipelago tour

stockholm sweden archipelago tour

After the boat tour, we stopped by a huge food market, Saluhall, in Östermalm for lunch — it’s kind of like Chelsea Market, or Eataly, in NYC.

saluhall food market in ostermalm stockholm sweden

I really enjoyed Stockholm much more than I was expecting–for some reason I had it in my head that it wouldn’t be as “cute” or something as Copenhagen. I was surprised how much I loved it! It is definitely much more of a cosmopolitan city than Copenhagen, which may be why I immediately felt comfortable (it was very reminiscent of NYC). But the buildings were so beautiful, the secondhand and modern shopping was hard to beat, and we ate really well, too.

On our last evening, we celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary at a nice restaurant in Ostermalm called Volt. An indulgent, upscale Swedish dinner and, yay!, wine pairings, was a perfect way to end our awesome trip to Scandinavia!


Eat: Pelikan – for traditional Swedish cuisine in a cool neighborhood; Urban Deli – for lunch with the cool kids; Volt – for a special occasion

DrinkMikkeller Stockholm (we were obsessed!) – perfect after a long day of shopping – oh, and I was the only girl there for hours… so, single ladies, go now.

Do: Archipelago tour (we liked ours with this company), explore the vintage shops in Södermalm and wander aimlessly in Gamla Stan (I thought the cute streets were more interesting than the palace, but that might just be me!)


4 thoughts on “exploring stockholm, sweden

  1. Emilee

    We didn’t get the chance to make it to Copenhagen but Stockholm is at the top of my list of favorite places (tied with Edinburgh). I would happily live in Scandinavia the rest of my life, haha.

    1. laura

      good to know! i’ve never been to edinburgh..will have to add to the list 🙂 but i agree, minus the winters, i could totally see myself living in stockholm!

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