Stockholm: A Further Afield guide
Think Scandi chic and the chances are you’ll think of Sweden and Stockholm as being at the heart of this scene. They are. But there’s so much more that makes Stockholm such a special, and above all else, easy place to visit. Here’s a quick guide to the city, and some top tips from members of the Further Afield family.
Getting to grips with the city
Made up of 14 islands, the centre of Stockholm has a unique and beautiful cityscape; medieval streets interspersed with baroque palaces, green open spaces and monuments to the 20th century modernism that formed the foundation of the country’s reputation for style and taste that continues today. It’s all here.
There are several neighbourhoods that make up the city centre; from the ancient tourist mecca of Gamla Stan, to Södermalm with its reputation for being the creative hub of the city, across by ferry to Djurgården (a huge park) with its amusement parks and the wonderful ABBA museum, and a taxi to Östermalm for its upmarket shopping and then wander to the park-filled, predominantly residential, Vasastan.
Whatever you choose to explore, the city is easily navigated using its trams and metro, and if you’re heading out to the further islands, by ferry. But, because it’s so compact, the city also lends itself brilliantly to being explored on foot or bike.
When’s a good time to go?
Stockholm is a true city of seasons and you’ll get a very different experience depending on when you visit. Whilst the city is warmer than some of the rest of the country – with summer temperatures up to 30c – the temperature in January and February rarely goes above zero. But remember, this is a city designed to stand the weather so wrap up and savour its winter delights – snowy streets and warm bars!
A couple of our favourite things
Wander the streets of Gamla Stan (the Old Town, see below) which are in the main pedestrianised, taking in the stunning architecture, the café culture and the odd museum should the mood take you (our favourite being The Royal Palace where you get to get to snoop in royal apartments as well as the related museums attached to it).
In the summer months jump on the ferry to Långholmen (once a prison) where you can take in a bit of beach style relaxation, with open air concerts, picnic spots and beautiful views back to the city. Also think about taking a boat trip around the islands which gives you a great sense of the layout of the city and a unique view of its beautiful architecture.
Finally, for us, it’s the people who live and work here that make Stockholm so beautiful. Never pushy, never brash, but instead warm, welcoming and above all else, inclusive.
Some tips from the Further Afield family
We spoke to the concierges (who best to ask about top tips) at two of our favourite hotels – Ett Hem and Hotel Kuntsgarden:
Johan at Ett Hem
“One of my favourite things about Stockholm is its many beautiful parks - one I especially love is located not too far from Ett Hem - the Haga park. Inside the park you’ll find not only the beautiful lake but also tennis courts and the Royal Botanical Gardens”
Some of Johan’s favourite places to eat in Stockholm:
Linus at Hotel Kunsgarden
“For me the view at Mosebacke is just beautiful and I love going there. The shopping in Stockholm is uniquely varied too; Rose & Born (herrkläeder), Dusty Deco (vintage Möbler), Herr Judit (vintage kläder) Svenkt tenn (inredning) are some of my favourites”
Some of Linus’ favorite bars in Stockholm
Here are some top tips from the Further Afield community:
“Staying at Ett Hem meant leaving the hotel was a challenge as we would happily live there, but when you do check out the 1950s Valand Café or the fantastic Fotografiska museet for contemporary photography” Mark and Neal, London
“Obviously the AbbaMuseum is a must but so are some of the other museums, in particular the Vasa Museum which houses an enormous Swedish warship that sank on launch in 1628” Mark and Tony, West London
“Dinner at Den Gyldene Freden (below) was a highlight for us – trying reindeer meat for the first time” Stuart and Rachel, Brighton
Getting to Stockholm
Many of the major airlines fly direct to Stockholm from around Europe and beyond