I just want to start by saying that Stockholm has honestly got to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Everything is so radiant and well-taken care of. The architecture and colors of the buildings are very enticing which make it a city to fall in love with quickly. All my life I had visited Little Sweden in (Lindsborg, Kansas) so I was happy to finally be able to visit Big (and actual) Sweden!
So here I was at stop two on my Scandinavian adventure. I arrived to Stockholm Arlanda Airport very early in the morning–at about 08:00AM from Oslo. I took the Arlanda Express train to the central station located in Stockholm city center. I fell in love instantly because I was greeted with snowy, cold weather which anyone that knows me knows that is my favorite type of climate. To be honest, I had a list of things to do while in Stockholm, but nothing like what I had in Oslo. Stockholm for me was more of a city to visit and get lost in without getting tied up in a schedule. My friend Amber who is also teaching in Spain was going to be meeting up with me in Sweden but she would not come until my second day there.
When I first arrived I made the way to my hostel, which was also an old ship. It was literally the coolest thing ever! I think that’s what I was most excited for when I arrived, maybe also because I was in desperate need of a nap and it was only 09:00AM. Amber and I had found the ship online when we were searching for accommodation. The hostel name is the STF/Chapman and it was only $40 a night, which yes it is more expensive than your normal hostel, but reasonable for Scandinavia AND IT WAS A SHIP! The experience and quality were definitely worth it. After checking in, I was able to start exploring!
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS IN STOCKHOLM
Stopover in local cafes and get your fika fix
-During my time abroad I have come to love visiting cafes. Cafes are a great place to unwind, write journal entries, and just take in the moment of being in a new city. Stockholm has many cute and unique cafes hiding in the city’s old town, Gamla Stan. In Sweden, getting coffee is called fika and is usually accompanied by a dessert or pastry. On my first day, I went exploring through Gamla Stan and came across the cutest cafe…Cafe Schweizer. This was my favorite cafe that I came across in Stockholm. They make all tea infusion and juices homemade, so before even entering the door you smell hints of fresh citrus that they use to make the drinks. Deciding what to eat and drink was so hard! I ended up eating a Spinach and Feta cheese quiche that was super delicious! Så bra! I was too full after the quiche to get dessert and I told myself I would go back with Amber but it ended up closing for the rest of the time we were there! I was heartbroken.
Another coffee shop that Amber and I ended up at was called John Chris Coffee, which was also a nice place to sit and relax! It was more of a commercial type of coffee shop I think but everything else was closed! *Side note: public places in Scandinavia close really early so if you travel there make sure you are mindful with when you choose to eat dinner, especially if you enjoy a later time! We actually got kicked out of like three places that night because we would go to one cafe–they would close, we would go to another one–they would close, then we finally found the John Chris Coffee, sat for about 30 minutes–then they closed…but we got our fika fix and that’s what matters!
Get Lost in the Old Streets of Gamla Stan
-Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town and it is absolutely breathtaking! Here you can find the Gothic cathedral, Storkyrkan, the Royal Palace, the Parliament Building, Stortoget (Stockholm’s oldest square) plus many more! The streets are lined with so many artisan shops and cafes. You can find real Swedish goods here. I took so many pictures in this area because it was so wonderful and unapologetically Swedish.
Walk through Södermalm
-Södermalm is an island that is located on the southern side of Gamla Stan. The area is very relaxed and a little grungy but I like it for that reason. There are many lookout points and great areas to get pictures of Stockholm and Gamla Stan. I also ran into a thrift shop while there, but left quickly because I didn’t have any room in my backpack for more clothes so it was a dangerous situation that I had to excuse myself from.
Stay at the STF/af Chapman!
-I already discussed this above but this hostel is great! I recommend fully–unless you are planning on partying in your room. It is very similar to a hotel so there are quiet hours and families stay there so if you plan on getting wild, maybe skip this one so you don’t get kicked out.
Shopping in Stockholm
-If you have explored the old town area and would like to surround yourself with something more modern, Kungsträdgården is a great place to start! Kungsträdgården is beautiful park and plaza area full of cherry blossom trees and it’s where you can find restaurants, St. Jacob’s Kyrka (church), and the Stockholm Opera. If you wander through any of the surrounding streets you will find the shopping district in Stockholm. Stockholm has an amazing shopping district that went on for what felt like ever. This whole area is worth exploring because there are so many modern places to see, you will eventually hit the central station as well. Stockholm was especially enjoyable because it is very walkable and easy to get around.
Finally…Get some Swedish meatballs!
-Eating real Swedish meatballs was on my to-do list before I even arrived in Stockholm. I had them before in Little Sweden Kansas and they were always my favorite part about visiting the museum there so to actually try them in Sweden was fantastic! Amber and I shared a plate of them because they were expensive and we didn’t want to spend a lot of money just to try a dish.
-I didn’t actually get to do this but I really wanted to. Stockholm has a range of small islands that you can travel to by boat, much like I did in Oslo. The only thing that kept me from going was because they didn’t have many boat times and because the weather was not great while I was in Stockholm. It was very rainy and snowy so I knew that when I got to the islands that I would not be equipped to walk in that type of weather. However, if I go back to Stockholm someday and there is better weather or I at least have better winter clothes then I will invest in a trip to the islands.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my blog post about Stockholm! It is a charming city with lots of Swedish culture to offer and great for travel of all types. With streets full of color, gorgeous architecture, museums, shops, and cafes, Stockholm will supply you with a good time, always. Feel free to add Stockholm to your travel bucket list, you won’t regret it!