Stockholm has a gentle charm to it – lots of lovely yellow and light orange old buildings along the river. Small and easy to get around, it’s great for a long European weekend. Here were a few of my favorites spots!
Check out the modern photo museum Fotografiska which not only has great exhibits but great views from the restaurant. Loved the Ellen von Unwerth exhibit and a cool Christian Tagliavini one where the photos are crafted to mimic Italian Quattrocento paintings.
Walk around the old town in Gamla Stan. Very charming part of town where you can wander up and down the narrow streets. It’s pretty touristy with souvenir shops galore, but still sweet to walk around and dip into a few antique shops or get your fika fix for the day (more on that later).While you’re in Gamla Stan, head over to see the cool cast iron spire of the Riddarholmen Church, where all the Swedish monarchs are buried. It’s one of the oldest buildings in Stockholm, with parts of it dating back to the 13th century. Note that it’s only open to the public in summer and fall (learned that the hard way).
City Hall was super cool. It’s where they have the Nobel Prize banquet, and you’d feel like a baller walking through the courtyard and porticos if you were a Nobel recipient. Hell, I felt cool and I’ll never get one. Also note the moon on top of this turret – in Stockholm, there’s always some sort of little gold object on the top of spires. Keeps you looking up.
Go to the gorgeous Royal Swedish Opera. This is the “new” one built in 1898. The king was actually fatally shot in the foyer of the old one! Totally worth going just to see the inside of this place. It’s actually cozy as far as big city opera houses go, but the decor is stunning from the two-ton chandelier to the sumptuous red stage curtain. The productions aren’t bad either.
The Royal Institute of Art has some small exhibits – usually prefer these to the gigantic museums. You can really walk around and enjoy the art in peace. The RIA has over 800 plaster casts, which used to be used to teach art students in the 18th century. Now they populate the beautiful entrance.
Get your grape on at two amazing wine bars:
Folii which has a TON of incredible wines by the glass that they serve by Coravin. They also play albums on vinyl, and spun a few of my favorites (Lauryn Hill, Talking Heads and Lucio Battisti) while I got half-glasses of some great wines. Left there with a hefty bill but every wine was on point.You can also skål it up at Tyge & Sessil, an all natural wine list from small producers. A few more tables at this place, though you can also sit outside on the sidewalk and chill on the lovely side street.
fika, fika, fika!
How did I not know about fika??? It’s Swedish afternoon coffee and snack – basically like English tea but much more fattening. There’s even this spoofy video these two guys did about it last year and it now has over 4 million views! Go to Vete-Katten, one of the oldest bakeries with incredible pastries.
I loved the black and white foyer and lively restaurant Noi at Nobis Hotel, though the rooms were sort of sparse (very Swedish, but still prefer a lusher hotel room).At Six was more luxurious, though the rooms were charcoal grey and sort of dark. But had a fun little wine bar to get a drink at. Both were centrally located and chic, with very friendly and helpful staffs.