Hamburger and interior of restaurant Grill
And if you have kids you will probably want to do some shopping in Stockholm's coolest kids clothes and toy shops! These are the best ones I know:Matador
, lots of colourful clothes in soft cotton from mostly Danish brands like Molo, Ej sikke lej, Silke og Sus and Katvig.
, handpicked retro clothes and toys from the sixties and seventies, along with brand new stuff from young indie designers.UNI
, unisex clothing in strong colours and cool patterns with inspiration from the seventies.Haven
, great clothes and small interior details for both you and your baby.Birka Baby
, your baby will be the most fashionable and streetcool kid on the block dressed in their clothes! They sport brands like Finger in the Nose, Cheap Monday's baby collection and Minirodini.
Exterior and interior of Birka Baby
Numero, a small toy store on Katarina Bangata 33, full of great stuff in all price ranges. You will find everything from marbles to retro robots here.Kalikå
, plush animals and real tools and kitchen stuff in miniature versions, free from stuffy old thoughts on gender roles.
If you are visiting in the summer, a swim in the middle of the city is a nice break from the shopping, walking and museum visits. My favourite is Långholmen, a small island between Södermalm and Kungsholmen with a sandy beach and some nice cliffs to jump into the water from.
Take a bath at Långholmen
When you have cooled off, perhaps a coffee and some cake sounds nice? If so, walk a few hundred meters to Lasse i Parken
(Lasse is a Swedish men's name, and the rest means "in the park"), a café in a red little house from the 18th century that lies in a small garden, just off the busy streets. Old fashioned, cute and often crowded. You won't find the latest trends in coffee shop culture here, but you can get ordinary coffee, lemonade, little short bread cookies and home made cinnamon rolls.
Lasse i parken café
A short walk from there you will find Street
, Stockholm's only street market, with lots of cool independent designers selling their stuff, and sometimes they have a farmers market where you can buy organic fruit and vegetables, jams, bread and flowers from nearby farmers. Look at the homepage for more info on upcoming events.
The Street market
Street is right by the water, and has a small café which is totally ok, but don't pause here. Instead you should go for a walk by the water, past the marina, the park and the little red cottages, to Café Tubby! This is a very relaxed outdoors café, with reggae music in the loudspeakers, hammocks suspended amongst the trees and blankets and rugs scattered on the grass where people chill out, gaze at the sea, eat blueberry pie and drink lattes. I love the atmosphere here, it feels like I'm on a backpacker's beach in Thailand!
Another café you shouldn't miss is Vurma
(very loosely translated: to have a passion for something). This is my absolute favourite café in Stockholm, and I don't mind travelling all over town just to get a cup of tea here! I love everything about it, the staff are so friendly, the sandwiches are amazing, the cinnamon rolls are enormous and sooo delicious, the interior decoration is totally inspiring (retro flowered cushions, fantastic wallpapers, simple wooden furniture, high ceilings and exotic little details) and the whole mood of the place is just so encouraging and happy! Actuallly there are to Vurmas, they are both equally nice, although the one on Gästrikegatan is a little bit bigger.
Vurma's baker, and a statue outside the café
If you like indie shopping and are curious about the latest Swedish trends in fashion, head to the SoFo area
on eastern Södermalm. It is crowded with cool little shops like Grandpa
, Nudie Jeans
, Lisa Larsson Second Hand, Under
, Acne Jeans
Coctail and Kunigunda
While you are there, visit Café String
, a retro inspired café where everything is for sale. So if you fall for the chair you are sitting in, the coffee cup the girl at the next table is drinking from or the paintings on the wall, just take them with you when you leave! (Well, you have to pay first, of course...)
Café String (photo taken from http://absurditypublishing.wordpress.com)
If you fancy something more substantial to eat, the area is full of nice restaurants, but one of my favourites is Berlin - Sthlm
, where you get to choose from around twenty small dishes to combine your own meal. The waiter will happily help you if you get confused with all the choices, and will also recommend one of their excellent wines to go with the food you have chosen. Other good restaurants in these blocks are Pet Sounds Bar
If you would rather buy your own food and cook it yourself, Cajsa Warg
is a good choice for organic groceries. They also sell readymade picnicbags that you can take with you to the park Vitabergsparken next to the store.
Cajsa Warg's interior, styled to look like an old village shop
For modern Swedish furniture and decorating details, go to Asplund
, they sell products from the greatest designers of the moment. The store is very fresh and cleanlined, and apart from the minimalistic furniture there are some really cute and surprising little things for sale.
Other good shops with modern design are Granit
If you are looking for place to stay, these are the hotels I'd recommend for a sleep in modern Scandinavian style.Rival
, a chic boutique hotel in one of Stockholm's trendiest neighbourhoods on western Södermalm, owned by former ABBA member Benny Andersson. In addition to the hotel they also boast a cinema, bars, a bistro, a cafe and a bakery. All rooms are decorated with an old-fashioned movie print over the bed, and are equipped with a plasma screen tv, egyptian cotton sheets, a selection of different pillows, DVD/CD player with a selection of CDs (movies and video games can be rented in the reception), wireless internet access and bathroom products from Crabtree & Evelyn.
Hotel RivalBirger Jarl
, a hotel in one of Stockholm's most busy areas, took it's name from the City's founder. The hotel is totally decorated by the most talented Swedish designers of today. Exept for one room, the Forgotten Room, looking exactly as it did in 1974. This room, situated at the end of a corridor, was simply forgotten by the builders during the renovation, and is now kept as a reminder of the old days. It is super cool though, with teak furniture all over, black leather chairs and brass wall lights! Some of the sources of inspiration in the renovation process were Sweden's tall, slender birch trees, the traditional copper-red paint of wooden houses and good old-fashioned thoughtfulness and consideration.
Hotel Birger JarlClarion
claims to be "Stockholm's art hotel no 1", which means that contemporary Nordic art can be seen in all rooms and in the public areas of the hotel, the two bars and the restaurant. The hotel also arranges live concerts with popular artists. Clarion is built on top of Söderleden, one of the largest freeways into Stockholm, and distinguishes itself with it's spectacular architecture featuring a large expanse of glass. The unifying feature of the hotel's interior - it's light background, dark base and accent colours - continues into the guest rooms, where white contrasts with dark wenge wood.
I hope you will find this guide useful, or perhaps just interesting if you are not planning to come here. I've only mentioned my personal favourites, so of course there is so much more worth writing about, but you will find that stuff in any travel guide... If you have any questions about Stockholm or this guide, just leave a comment or feel free to email me at emmas DOT blogg AT hotmail DOT com.
Welcome to Stockholm!