It could be the Scandi-Noir or the Michelin stars, but Stockholm has fast become a mini-break magnet. While most tourists flock to the world-famous Vasa Museum and Skansen, there’s another side to this trend-setting city. Here’s our guide to the in-crowd hotspots – from dawn to dusk and beyond.
OK, a library may not sound all that trendy, but this is a masterpiece of early 20th century architecture – designed by Gunnar Asplund. You could grab a mid-morning coffee in the library’s café, borrow a book, then head down the road to the Vasaparken, a beautiful city park.
From here you could visit the modern art gallery of Sven-Harrys or make a beeline for the Portal restaurant for lunch.
If you haven’t already had a cinnamon bun, now’s the time to track down some fika. A social institution in Stockholm, there are countless konditori’s to visit.
Some of our favourites include Drop Coffee, Café Pascal and – on the south side of town – Pom & Flora. Coffee in Stockholm is taken very seriously but, whatever brew you choose, make sure you pair it with a freshly-baked cinnamon roll.
After all that cake, you deserve a rest, so park up the bike and board a boat for an archipelago tour.
There are lots of trips to choose from, so what would the in-crowd go for?
The trip to Sandhamn is our top pick. You’ll pass the tourist hotspots of Vaxholm and Grinda and venture out into the archipelago, before arriving at this impossibly cute island, complete with walking trails and white sandy beaches.
Stockholm Old Town is always worth a visit, but it can be very crowded during the day. Instead, go at night when the small streets and narrow alleys are lit up and the area feels a lot calmer. The Old Town is also home to some of the city’s best cocktail bars such as Tweed, Corner Club and Pharmarium.
DAY 2 Morning:
After a night of partying, it’s time for a system cleanse. Grab a taxi and head for Hellasgarden. Just 15 minutes from downtown Stockholm, you’ll find a traditional sauna, open-air pool, plus great views of the Nordic countryside.
Alternatively, stay closer to home and explore Södermalm or SoFo. Home to Stockholm’s most trendy vintage stores and barbershops, this is the city’s hipster neighbourhood.
For something a bit different, try the atmospheric and innovative Woodland Cemetery.
Like the city library, a cemetery may not sound cutting-edge cool, but this one’s designed by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz. And it features on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
For even more fresh air, pitch up at Millesgården. 20 minutes out of downtown Stockholm, this sculpture garden and gallery feels a world away from the tourist crowds. Built by famous sculptor Carl Milles and his painter wife Olga Milles, it’s packed with inspiring artworks – and has a top-notch restaurant and café too.
Back in the city, there are plenty of tempting ways to round off your weekend. You could opt for a tried and tested classic and sample the world-famous fish soup at Kajsas Fisk. Or dive into one of Stockholm’s more alternative eateries. Taylor & Jones, Hötorget, is a carnivore’s paradise serving turkey, ham, pork and a whole lot of sausages. They even have their own meat-related magazine: The Sausage Telegraph.
For a slice of new Nordic cuisine, it has to be Eksted – a Michelin-starred restaurant where seasonal food is cooked on a fire pit, wood fired oven and a wood stove. Think dried reindeer with charcoal cream’ and birch fired duck with elderflower’. Forget meatballs and lingonberry sauce, this is what modern Swedish food is all about.