Stockholm. A city, that is cold, but also quite cool. A city that follows trends quite religiously, let that be fashion, music or any other type of a trend. If you reside in Stockholm, you are bound to hear about it first. The hipster city. One of the most adorable cities I have visited.
About & time to visit
Visiting the middle of Sweden in the beginning of February might not sound like a particularly good idea but general opinions about coldness, winds and overall ‘winterness’ of Stockholm in the winter is a tad overrated in my opinion. The weather was cloudy but dry. I would recommend visiting from May – September since you can really enjoy the parks and the scenery really well. I spent 3 days in the central part of the town and tried to absorb as much as I could.
Food & drink
The second most common thing you usually hear about Stockholm is, how expensive everything is. My perspective is coming from living in Malmö and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised in how comparable the prices are. Note, that people working in Stockholm earn on average quite a lot more in comparison to Malmö but I guess all of that goes towards real estate costs. Those are both ridiculous and sickening 🙂 Overall, I got a beer for cheaper than in Malmö. Weird. Overall, the prices are similar to something like central London, Paris or some bouji part of Rome.
I would split the Stockholm city in 3 areas, as far as I saw it. City centre, old town and Södermalm island in the south, which is supposed to be more of the hip, party, hipster area.
Getting around & shopping
You would usually arrive by plane and land in Arlanda airport. From Arlanda to the train station, it makes the most sense to take an express train. It’s cost effective and really fast (around 20min). If you arrive by the fast train from inland, you end up at the train station near the center anyways. Hotel I stayed in is the Haymarket by Scandic, located in the heart of everything.
Getting around Stockholm is a piece of cake. The public transport is quick and extremely reliable and taxis can be pricey for just around the town commute. You can do most of the sightseeing on foot if you choose a hotel that is located in the center. For a cool shopping experience, I would recommend Drottninggatan that runs along everything important to get your basic shopping fix. Stockholm is also a perfect place to go shopping for antiques or to find some decorative items in that classical clean, scandinavian style. There is also no shortage of antiquariats and organic markets open and covered. Knowing the term of Fika is essential in all of Sweden. Fika is the kind of midday coffee and pastry break that is so deeply rooted in the swedish culture, that it’s one of the first words you learn.
What to see?
Fotografiska, Moderna Museet, Medieval Museum, Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cosmonova and the Royal Palace are just one of the few things that are awesome to see. But what I was the most impressed with, was the Gamla Stan or the old town. The buildings and their surroundings are breathtaking and I can imagine everything being even more charming in the summer. What is absolutely a must-do in that one week of summer Sweden gets, is to grab a blanket, some snacks and beer, hop on your bike and head to one of the amazing parks INSIDE the town. You will find people chilling, chatting, passing the ball, playing with dogs and generally being the happy swedes all over. Positive energy. A boat sightseeing is also just one more thing on my to-do list when I return in the warmer months. 😉