As I discovered on my recent Scandinavian escapades, Stockholm definitely cannot be conquered in a day. With so many vibrant museums, beautiful outdoor scenery and superb history, to do Stockholm in a day would be merely scratching the surface of a wonderful city. However, if your stay is brief and you wish to see a selection of Stockholm, may I suggest the following:
Breakfast on the run….
Unlike Australian culture, there isn’t as much of a massive market for early morning breakfast in Stockholm. I did find CykelCafe which does a breakfast buffet as well as acai bowls and some terrific salad bowls. But if you’re up for a day of wandering, just grab something to go from one of the local bakeries (healthy options are usually a sandwich on deliciously fresh bread or yogurt with granola). I really loved the rye bread at Brod & Salt and their avocado and feta sandwich on rye washed down with berry yogurt smoothie as perfect fuel for an active morning.
Walk down to the Fotografiska
This was my favourite museum in Stockholm as I love photography (even if I’m not a professional at it!). There are two levels densely laden with photographic modern art on a particular theme / artist, as well as a cafe to rest your feet if needs be. I thoroughly enjoyed the Penn exhibition while I was there, with many recognisable works from his collaborations with famous celebrities and Vogue magazine.
Walk along the river to Galma Stan
This is the old part of town which was unfortunately ravaged by multiple fires over the ages. The old buildings and cobblestone streets haven’t lost their charm though, and it makes for a picturesque and charming wander. The shops are very tourist orientated and overpriced but still worth a window shop.
Visit the Palace
Time your visit so that you’re in Galma Stan at midday and make your way up to the palace for the Royal fanfare and magic that is the changing of the guard. Colour, music and men in uniform, exactly as expected but certainly no less enjoyable!
Hot Chocolate at Chokkoladekaffe
While you’re still in Galma Stan and near the palace, take the opportunity to grab a cup of hot chocolate at Chokkoladekaffe. When I say cup I really mean bowl. They also serve some delicious radiation all Swedish baked goods if you need a snack but save some room for later!
Visit the Palace and the Royal Armoury
Now that you’ve refuelled, you can take a tour inside the palace, or you can take the free option and visit the Royal armoury downstairs, filled with all the costumes and weaponry owned by the royal family over time. Make sure you visit the bottom level for the carriage collection which is rather extraordinary.
Walk back towards the city via parliament and the medieval museum
The parliament building doesn’t necessarily require an inside look, but it certainly is a beautiful sight from the outside. The medieval museum is a little hard to find as its underneath the bridge that the parliament sits on, but it’s a cool museum if medieval history is your thing.
Go to Hovenhalle food hall for the fish soup at Kajas Fisk BUT you must get in before about 4pm! This is the single best fish soup I have EVER had, and with the tempting offer of free re-fills, you’ll find it hard to leave room for dinner….
Shopping at Mood
Mood is not your average Westfield. Decorated with ample amount of foliage akin to Cloudland, it’s a fashion lovers dream and a surprisingly serene little spot to wander around. The clothes were all far out of my price range, but that didn’t stop me from having a look.
Dinner at Pelikan
Time for a traditional Swedish beer hall! The high ceilings and wooden interior make pelican incredibly noisy, but the atmosphere is nothing but authentic. For starters, you must try the traditional pickled herring with dill potatoes. For mains the carnivores will love the massive pork knuckle or soft-ball sized meatballs, but I adored the mushrooms, spinach and brown butter vegetarian dumplings instead!
If you have extra time…..
Skansen (picture featured at top of page)
Part Scandinavian zoo and part Swedish living history museum, this was one of my favourite activities while visiting Stockholm! Make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes as you’ll want to see everything while you’re there, and it makes for a beautiful day out if the weather permits.
If you time your visit correctly you may be lucky enough to witness feeding time at the animal enclosures, and if certainly makes seeing the wolverines, wolves, bears, lynx, moose, reindeers and aquatic animals when there’s food around! As an Aussie, these animals are not seen back home even in many of the zoos, so seeing a family of reindeer and a bunch of bear cubs having a swim was very cool indeed! The living history exhibits like the olden day bakery, pottery workshop etc were also a lot of fun, and you must stop by the petite cafe for some beautiful Swedish cakes and tea!
You wouldn’t believe that a 300 year old ship could be preserved so well, but it certainly makes for an interesting and beautiful museum. The detail on the boat is extraordinary and the exhibits about the excavation efforts and life on board the ill-fated boat are quite interesting. Very busy and packed with tourists though, but this is to be expected as it’s not something I’ve seen anywhere else I’ve travelled!
Smorgasbord at Verandan – see the full post here!
Despite the many negative reviews on Trip Advisor, I actually really enjoyed this museum! I found the Absolut art exhibition quite interesting albeit small, particularly how they have changed the label at times for various causes. As a food blogger, I thought the main exhibition was quite fun, particularly the tidbits about Swedish drinking culture and getting to smell the different ingredients used to flavour alcohol. I didn’t eat or drink at the bar here, but the street outside makes for a very pleasant walk on a summer day as well.