A city that oozes with good vibes, friendly people and the trendiest streetwear fashion, you can probably guess that I’m talking about Sweden’s capital, Stockholm.
Stockholm is a fascinating city with so much history and character of over 750 years. The city itself is spread across 14 islands and each little neighbourhood carries a unique story of its own. Stockholm has that classic, historical charm that blends beautifully with the modern lifestyle.
One of the most famous areas (and my personal favourite) is Gamla Stan, also known as The Old Town. Gamla Stan is one of Europe’s best preserved medieval city centres. During World War 2, Sweden managed to stay neutral which is why the old town was never bombed and to this day still manages to keep its beautiful character in tact. Wandering the narrow cobbled streets and marvelling at the colourful architecture, you can easily pass up a few hours just capturing the essence of the city. It is so easy to get lost while discovering quaint little cafes, hidden spots and tiny colourful alleys.
Speaking of streets adorned with cafes and hidden spots, choosing a spot for ‘Fika’ proved to be a tough decision. If you’re wondering what Fika is, it’s widely translated as taking a break from work to socialise with family and friends over coffee and pastries. The cafe culture in Sweden is widely popular and Fika is known to be observed by all, so how could we visit the capital and not take part? Right in the heart of Stockholm, we discovered an Instagram-worthy cafe fit for a princess! Otherwise known as the 1920’s style cafe, Vete-Katten. With lavishly decorated interiors and a wide selection of traditional Swedish cakes, its a charming haven away from the outside world.
The more trendier neighbourhood of the city, is the vibrant, colourful and ultra-modern Sodermalm or locally known as SoFo. This is the more hipster side of town, filled with lively streets, art galleries, green spaces and endless stores selling everything from vintage clothing to vegan leather! There’s also no shortage of bars or outdoor places to socialise in this laid back and chilled area.
On the northern shore of Sodermalm, just a 15 minute walk away from Mariatorget station, you will find Monteliusvagen, a narrow footpath leading up a steep cliff to a viewpoint. This viewpoint shows the breathtaking skyline of the old town and across the islands. This is considered to be one of the best and most romantic views in all of Stockholm and I couldn’t agree more. There are benches up top where you can sit and marvel at the city below, there’s even space to take up a little picnic if the weather is as nice as when we visited! Views include Gamla Stan, Stockholm City Hall, a glimpse of the Royal Palace and the Churches.
Stockholm being a relatively small city, cycling or walking is encouraged. However, to go further out into the city the metro is very useful. What’s so exciting about the metro you may be wondering? Well Stockholm’s metro stations have impressive floor-to-ceiling art pieces, each station with a different direction of inspiration. It’s well worth paying for at least one ticket to see these amazing pieces of contemporary art.
The one drawback I found about Stockholm was how expensive the city truly is, and that’s coming from a girl born and bred in London! Aside from that, it is without a doubt a city worth exploring, the Swedish culture is definitely well-worth experiencing first hand I will for sure go back some day!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my recount of my moments spent in Stockholm, until next time…