I have travelled to Stockholm, Sweden twice in two different seasons! My best friend has moved there with her Swedish husband and walking around this beautiful city with these two has been so much fun. Some call it “Venice of the north” because of all the islands (12) and bridges (42!). In winter, we spent the week ducking into shops and cafés, trying to stay warm (30 degrees!) and grinning at all the Christmas lights and decorations. In the Summer, we visited gardens and even ferried to one of the holiday islands, where locals have their weekend homes.
Christmas Shopping in Sweden
This super fun shop sells high quality Swedish handicraft like candles, wooden spoons, textiles, and toys. I found some beautiful towels for my kitchen here that were a woven texture in pink and red. Very bright and cheerful. They also had some antique pieces from the indigenous Sami people from the northern part of Sweden. Woven jewelry and those lovely carved horses that are seen all over Sweden.
Founded in 1902 and designed by Ferdinand Boberg, Sweden’s leading Art Nouveau architect, NK is the Bergdorf Goodman’s of Stockholm. I’m a sucker for luxury shopping, even if its just a visit to window peep and for a glass of warm glogg (pronounced glook) while I browse.
The Swedish interior design brand most well-known for its collaborations with Josef Frank. “Estrid Ericson’s store was more than a store, more than a showroom. It was a detailed dream version of a way to live.” I plan to research Estrid more as she sounds like a kindred spirit. The store’s commitment to sustainability and Swedish-made products is very impressive and there is a foundation set up to make sure the store is always around.
The textiles are very expensive but they are for sale by the yard. I chose the Zodiaken and Catleya fabrics and will make pillows or napkins.
Most Charming Cafés and Fika in Stockholm
FABRIQUE Although a chain (they are everywhere) – these are hands down the best quick fika stops in Stockholm! So charming, each café has their own wood-fired bakery onsite. Known for delicious sourdough bread, the traditional kardemummabulle and saffron buns that are baked by hand with natural ingredients.
VETE-KATTEN (meaning “the cat knows”) This institution founded in 1928 by earlydays-girlboss Ester Nordhammar. I wanted a traditional spot to try the classic “princess cake” and this place was perfect in its old-fashioned decor and ease. A labyrinth of halls and dining rooms, there is probably always a place to sit and have a quick sweet bite. Perfect spot to catch up with a close friend as the coffee is påtår ingår or as we Americans call it – free refills! Kungsgatan 55 in Stockholm
KAFFEVERKET Very chic cafe, has a west village New York-feeling to it. Sankt Eriksgatan 88, 113 62 Stockholm
Restaurants in Stockholm
TERRACE at TAK This rooftop bar has the most beautiful view of the city. Grab a glass of rosé and enjoy the people watching.
DINE OUTSIDE at MÄLARPAVILJONGEN (Summer)
Mälarpaviljongen, which is located along Lake Mälaren, is a magical floating restaurant with many seating options and delicious and traditional Swedish food and drink. In 2013, Condé Nast Traveller called it one of the “Best Neighbourhood Restaurants in the World”. If you happen to own a boat, you are welcome to sail up and moor to their dock!
BREAKFAST at POM & FLORA
This adorable café serves up the most instagram-worthy toasts I’ve ordered yet. Their matcha latte is also a stunner. I sat here and worked for several hours (I love how everywhere has free wifi!) and felt just like a local.
FOLII PERFECT NEIGHBORHOOD WINE BAR
Somm Jonas (who poured for us) and Beatrice choose lovely wines for their list including some from: Larmandier-Bernier and Radikon.
Food Boutiques in Stockholm
ANDROUET Den franska ostbutiken Best cheese shop!
ÖSTERMALMS SALUHALL Food hall, similar to SF’s Ferry Building, with high-quality ingredients and food from Swedish and international cuisines.
LAKRITS ROTEN “Lakritsrot” is a root and its boiled to make the special herbal extract that is used to make licorice. It has a long history in medicine and some research shows it was used as a drug dating back 4000 years ago. It became very popular in Sweden in the late 19th century. This kind of licorice is not sold in the US but the closest (super) salty licorice I’ve found is Lakritsfabriken.
FRYST The most delicious ice cream I think Ive ever had is from this tiny shop. The flavors are not ruined by too much sugar and the fruit and berry options are always only made from whats in-season. My favorite was “blueberries in cream” and “pistachio”. I heard the “salty liquorice” was surprisingly wonderful.
EATALY “Eataly Rome is an homage to beauty, Eataly Smeraldo in Milano to music as it is housed in an old theater, Eataly Istanbul to history, Eataly Dubai to the future… We have built it to create a connection between high-quality of Italian food and Swedish gastronomic culture, merging Italian cuisine with local traditions. With the opening of Eataly in Stockholm, we want to make the relationship and cultural exchange between our countries even more solid.” –Eataly.se Italy is my favorite country and this was my first Eataly experience. It really was lovely and the cappuccino might have been the best I’ve ever had.
Hotels in Stockholm
MISS CLARA HOTEL was perfect for our girls night out!
This hotel was fitting for our girl’s only staycation night. An all-girls school for nearly 40 years, it was named for its beloved head mistress, Clara Strömberg. The buffet breakfast is not to be missed and the decadent BYREDO toiletries in the bathrooms were a huge and exciting surprise after I lusted through all the products in a nearby store.
All Season Day Trips in Stockholm
All season DAY TRIP TO ROSENDALS TRÄDGÅRD
Of course my bestie knew the one spot we couldn’t miss ~ Rosendals Trädgård! The main purpose of this glorious place is to “spread knowledge and interest in gardening to the public” and to “inspire an enjoyable, yet sustainable life-style”. I love this mission. They value true craft (wreath making to bread baking) and the seasonal garden cycle leads the year’s focus. The bakery and plant shop were especially fun to shop for the holidays. // In summer ~ “The plant shop offers a carefully selected assortment of flowers and plants, seeds and tools for the urban gardener. During the summer season you can pick your own flowers to be paid by weight. Flower arrangements are available to order. The farmshop sells bread and cakes from the woodfired bakery, biodynamically grown vegetables from the garden, homemade preserves and pickles as well as carefully chosen books and crafts.” -Rosendals Trädgård
Winter DAY TRIP TO SKANSEN
The “worlds oldest open air museum” reminded me of a cross between Shelburne Farms in Burlington, VT and colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. At the Christmas market, I purchased a couple light brown patchworked shearling squares that I intend to make into luxurious pillows. Lots of traditional Swedish snacks and sweets to try and handmade crafts to enjoy.
Below, the Christmas market in Gamla Stan was in a gorgeous old square but not at all as interesting nor enjoyable as there where too many people and mainly cheap touristy souvenirs for sale.
Summer SPEND THE DAY at Hornsberg Strandpark
If it’s swimming weather, you definitely want to go to this waterfront park. If you have the kids with you theres a great shallow kiddie pool right next door. If I lived here, I’d swim everyday after work!
Summer Weekend jaunt / Ferry to YXLAN
The oblong island, Yxlan, of the Sweden archipelago is dotted with small, red cottages. We took the ferry and walked to the house from the where the boat let us off.
Florists in Stockholm
Floristkompaniet Norrlandsgatan 16, 111 43 Stockholm
Ginko Blommor Hornsgatan 60, 118 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Christoffers Blommor Kåkbrinken 10, 111 27 Stockholm
The Most Charming Neighborhood in Stockholm
(Swedish: [ˈɡamːˈla ˈstɑːn], The Old Town)
Dating back to the 13th century, the old town is made of medieval alleyways and cobbled streets. “The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. The following revolt and civil war led to the dissolution of the Kalmar Union and the subsequent election of King Gustav I.” -wikipedia
The restaurant Den gyldene freden has been in business since 1722 and according to the “Guinness Book of Records is the oldest existing restaurant with an unaltered interior.” -wikipedia
Cafe Schweizer has been open since 1920s. Originally, a coffee shop, or “schweizeri” where liqueur was served, this cafe was founded by Swiss immigrants that came to Sweden in the late 1800s. I didn’t make it to either this visit, but are on my list for the next. I’m a sucker for classic historical restaurant and bars and get the feeling these won’t disappoint!