When I moved to Örebro, Sweden, for my term abroad, one of my first trips has been to Stockholm. Read about how our weekend schedule was packed and still perfect for an allround genuine Stockhom experience – and what not to miss out on.
On Friday, we took the bus to Stockholm at 7.30 in the morning and although we felt just beat-up Sunday night after heaps of sightseeing, it was totally worth it!
After lunch we strolled around quite a bit and were discovering the near places by foot – which, in my opinion, is the best way to discover Stockholm. I might have been there +/- 10 times by now, and mostly walked anywhere: To the ferry terminal in the north, the Eastern parts of Östermalm, anywhere around central station and Gamla Stan, to Marieberg and Djurgården, all over Södermalm and south till Globen. I feel like I’d lived in this city for ages – and I love it!
Basically, Gamla Stan (“old town”) is kinda the centre and in my opinion, although a little pricey, still the best place to stay and grab a fika (this great Swedish coffee tradition).
You’ll get a nice view over big parts of Stockholm from Mariaberget, where you acan have a walk around or grab a coffee.
Södermalm is kinda the cool alternative fancy area to hang out for another coffee, some shopping, nice bars and restaurants, etc.
For a first typical culinary experience, check out Strömmingsvagnen at Södermalmstorget!
As you can see, silly sightseeing is a big talent of ours.
Our healthy dinner that night contained (free!) pasta with sauce and cheese, later on we had a beer with some people from our hostel in an Irish pub. Lovely cheerful live band! Funniest part: They played the melody of “An der Nordseeküste”, of course Julia and I were singing along the German lyrics 😉 The night ended with an international cards round of Mau-Mau and a long night’s girl’s talk…
Where to stay
We arrived at 10.30 and headed to our hostel, ca. 2km from central station. It was situated right at the water front of Gamla Stan and as it was pretty cheap (prices seem to have increased since then though) just the perfect cozy place to stay!
—> the hostel is located in the narrow white-ish building in the middle
Another cheap place to stay for us was Best Hostel Old Town Stor Torget for just 100 kr per person and night in one giant but cozy dorm. However, it seems to be closed down currently, but just have a look whenever you go.
What to do
Saturday we got up as early as possible to see as much as possible. We bought the “Stockholm Card”, allowing us to use all public transport as well as free admission to more than 80 museums (seriously, Stockholm has a museum for anything you can imagine; e.g. for far eastern antiquities, pharmacy history, laundry in general, for Swedish liquor, matches, Abba of course…).
First, we took the ferry to Djurgården, one of the city’s islands or archipelagos. We went to Gröna Lund, an amazing amusement park! Actually we left more money there than we intended to but it was totally awesome, sheesh, better than anything else! Best thing we could do. Look at those foolish-happy grins…
Afterwards, we visited Skansen, an open air museum with Swedish traditional houses, historical sights, wild animals and FINALLY Julia and I got the opportunity to say that Swedish sentence we learned first: Titta, en älg! (well, actually second, first was En stor stark, tack!). An still energy for silly photos, who would’ve expected…
You could imagine we were pretty done by now. But the money we spent on the card as well as our infatigable curiosity didn’t allow us to stop yet. We visited the Nordiska museet about Swedish traditions and history as well as Vasa Museet, a huge ship supposed to be “the biggest fail of Europe”. Due to wrong ballast and bad conditions the ship sank after only 20 minutes on its maiden trip in 1628. Until it got retrieved in 1961 it was just lying in 32m depth in the harbour.
In general, for shopping you can check out the surroundings of Drottnigsgatan (pretty close to central station); Åhléns is a great and huge store for simply anything. And then there’s Hornsgatan in Södermalm, which is also a nice area for a walk. Actually, Stockholm as well as other Swedish cities is packed with malls, you’ll always find what you’re looking for.
Bars & Clubs
We took the ferry home, unbelievably tired but satisfied. After an even healthier dinner (pizza and fishfingers) and a couple of relaxing hours we headed to a bar called Ugglan, nice atmosphere, beer affordable, with lots of (free) games like darts, pingpong, billard etc., great way to meet people.
If you then feel like a little dancing to different tunes, check out Pet Sounds Bar, just 5 min walk from Ugglan. Upstairs is the bar with great music and downstairs a stage and the dancefloor. They usually have a cool liveband around 10pm, for that just check the website.
A must since you’re in the neighbourhood (just again 5 min walk from Pet Sounds Bar) is Restaurang Himlen. “Himlen därtill” gives you a top panorama view over Stockholm. A bit pricey but just take a drink and watch the scenery … it’s amazing!
If you want to end the night dancing, a perfect choice can be Imperiet. In the same building as Himlen, it has the best spontaneous dancefloor and is open till 3 am.
So far to the night life in Stockholm…
How to spend a great Sunday
On Sunday we got up early and had a quick walk through the royal palace (impressive!), did the “Royal Canal Tour” to see Stockholm from the water and went to Hornstulls Marknad, a lovely flea market next to the water. My newest attainment: a genuine leather jacket for fckng 50kr! So happy!
Feeling like a genuine Swede, you defintely have to grab some fika – meaning a hot drink and some kind of pastry or cake. It’s incorporated in Swedish everyday life to an extent you might not imagine – coffee is a must, and even at work 5 minutes per hour are usual for a fika break. I liked Café Järntorget, it’s nothing fancy really, but offers a variety of food that tastes amazing, and service was exceptionally friendly.
Another museum definitely worth to pay a visit to: the fotografiska museet. I’ve seen some of the most impressing exhibitions of my life there!
Eventually, it was time to leave. We took a last free coffee in our hostel and walked to the metro station – of course it started thundering and pouring as soon as we left the hostel with all our luggage. But actually, as soon as you are wet anyway, it is wonderfully silly to walk through the rain…. some cheesy pictures for the end –
The ride back was quiet, everyone happy to be in her own room, having a healthy dinner (haha), go to bed early….
Hope you got a fair general impression about this gorgeous city!
What’s your favorite place in Stockholm?
PS: True, not much of culinary advice here…. but since we were on an absolutely tight budget and had free pasta in our hostel – we took the chances!