Have you thought about visiting Stockholm, see what the buzz is all about? I'm a born and bred stockholmer and visit as often as I can. Scandinavian culture has the rest of the world under a spell lately, and there are plenty good reasons to visit our "Venice of the North". I've put together a little selective guide in this post with clues on real essentials like where to get the best coffee, art and how to enjoy Stockholm like a real local.
But first, coffee!
Finding good coffee in Stockholm is easy. Swedes are serious about coffee and you might already be familiar with "fika", a cosy daily ritual involving chit chat, a cup of joe, with cookies or cinnamon rolls (which goes under the name "kanelbulle" in Sweden). Most coffee bars makes italian style coffee with an espresso base, but slow drip coffee and traditional brew are also popular choices. Listed below are some of the best places to get your daily fix of coffein.
Mellquist kaffebar: Maybe the best cup of coffee in Stockholm! Tiny, cosy and cool at the same time. This is where I picked up my morning coffee for years. Their breakfast is worth a detour alone, great sandwiches made with artisan bread, their famous boiled egg and freshly squeezed orange juice. For opening hours, check their facebook page here.
Street address: Rörstrandsgatan 4 (Vasastan) Metro: St Eriksplan
Il caffe: Great coffee with trendy locales, perfect for a meet up or just hanging around, reading or working. Serves grilled sandwiches and sweet fika breads. Il caffe has three locations in Stockholm. A small and cosy spot on Kungsholmen, and a bigger cafe in the buzzing Sofo area södermalm. You're going to love it. For opening hours check their homepage here.
Street address : Södermannagatan 23 (Södermalm branch) Metro: Skanstull
Street addressBergsgatan 17 (Kungsholmen branch) Metro: Rådhuset
Kaffeverket / Snickarbacken 7: In a slightly hidden location in the midst of city you'll find this charming and fashionable coffee bar, combined with a fashion and design store. Excellent coffee and a good selection of sweets for the fika. For opening hours check the website here.
Street address: Snickarbacken 7 (city) Metro: Östermalmstorg or Hötorget
Foodies will enjoy the big variety of eateries in the city. Food trucks, gastro delis, international kitchens and nordic flavors are all on offer. Here are some highlights and my personal faves.
The green Queen: Really worth a little detour to Kungsholmen. This spot is the health nuts dream cafe. The menu reads organic wheat grass shots, raw cakes, smoothies, salads and not to forget, the coffee is great too! Do have breakfast here, its totally Instagram worthy! For more information check this.
Street address: Norr Mälarstrand 64 (Kungsholmen) Metro: Rådhuset
Matapoteket: Located in buzzing Sofo, this raw food cafe and lunch restaurant serves vegan and gluten free wonders, and they have kombucha too! Since it opened two years ago it has become a popular place for the health conscious locals and it's common to spot famous Swedish musicians and actors in the tiny space. But leave the celebs alone and focus on the fabulous dishes, raw food pizzas and burgers. If you are a coffee nerd, their hawaiian coffee with floral notes is heavenly. For more information check this.
Street address: Bondegatan 6 (Södermalm) Metro: Skanstull
Sally Voltaire & systrar: The Voltaires are known in Sweden through their inspiring cookbooks and health food products. They opened a restaurant in Åhlens City department store with vibrant juices and salads. Clean and organic stuff! For opening times and more info visit the website.
Street address: Plan 2, Åhlens City, Drottninggatan 45 Metro: Centralstation
FOODIE - BUDGET
(Budget, - kind to your wallet!)
Urban Deli: Eat, drink and shop in the same space. On the corner of Nytorget in Sofo, with a kitchen and deli store attached. Terribly popular. For more information check here.
Street address: Nytorget(Södermalm) Metro: Skanstull
Hornstulls Marknad: Food trucks are a common sight in Stockholm, from tacos and spring rolls to sourdough bakeries on four wheels. You can be sure to find them from the first weekend in May to the last in September, at the market on Hornstull strand. For more information visit the website.
Street address: Hornstulls strand (Södermalm) Metro: Hornstull
Gro: I have one word for you: texture! What I was raving about in my previous post. And then I have two more words for you, Urban and Seasonal. The talented people at Gro, knows how to plate food and seduce you with beautiful food combinations. The minimalism of the space, the beautiful ceramic plates, it's a crush that's developed into a long lasting affair. Go enjoy! For more information, visit their website.
Street address: St Eriksgatan 67 (Vasastan) Metro: St Eriksplan
FOODIE - LUX
Esperanto: Eating at this gastronomic restaurant feels like visiting a sacred space - it's small with a few tables only. All senses engage. Dining here takes hours and the courses are petite with stories of origins and artistic ideas. It's an experience that will stay with you long after you leave stockholm. Be sure to book way in adavance, for more information visit the website.
Street Adress: Kungstensgatan 2 (Östermalm) Metro: Östermalm
Shibumi: the creator of Esperanto, Sayan Isaksson, recently opened a japanese food bar where tapas style asian dishes flirts with american food. The quality and originality of the kitchen is on a level with Esperanto, but the atmosphere is laid back lounge. For more information visit the website.
Street dress: Kungstensgatan 2 (Östermalm) Metro: Östermalm
Frantzen: Located in the Old Town with a door man that looks like he comes straight out of Downtown Abbey. This gastronomic restaurant is ranked amongst the 50th best restaurants in the world, and has the edge on Scandianavian cooking. For more information visit the website.
Street address: Lilla Nygatan 21 (Old Town) Metro: Gamla stan
Oaxen Krog & Slip: One of Sweden's most reputable restaurants, divided in two, a bistro and a fine dining area. Local and seasonal Scandinavian cooking. Located by the water in beautiful Djurgården. For more information visit the home page here.
Street address: Beckholmsvägen 26 (Djurgården), getting there is best with car.
Will walk for art!
Stockholmers are well versed in the cultural arts and the city has a broad range of galleries and museums. Feed your artyness by visiting these iconic spaces.
Moderna Museet: The number one museum for modern art, with a large permanent exhibition and temporary shows featuring modern and contemporary artists. Located on the waterfront in the heart of the city. The building itself is reason enough to drop by. For opening hours and exhibitions, check here.
Street address: Skeppsholmen (City). Metro: Kungsträdgården
Fotografiska: Recently opened beneath Slussen and the Old town. An impressive large building housing several exhibitions of contemporary photography on different floors. The cafe on the top floor, offers an amazing view on the water. For more information on shows and opening hours check out their home page here.
Street address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22 (Södermalm ) Metro: Slussen
Hallwyllska Museet: A residental palace turned into a museum. Visit the elegant home of eccentric aristocrat family Hallwyl and enjoy their collections of art and design. Time travel to another time, and the world of the swedish upper classes in the turn of the 1900 century.
For opening hours and more information check this.
Street address: Hamngatan 4 (Östermalm-City) Metro: Östermalm
Kulturhuset: To get some perspective from Halwylskas exessive luxuries, visit the number one cultural centre for the people. Kulturhuset is a large building in the central city offering theater, exhibitions,libraries and cultural events . It's a very popular public meeting spot with bars and cafes on most levels. For more information check the website.
Street address: Sergels torg (City) Metro: Centralstationen
Bonnier Konsthall: After a coffee or breakfast at Mellquist kaffebar in Vasastan, head to nearby Bonniers Konsthall for some high browing contemporary art. The galleries are currently rebuilding and opening in january 2016. For more information check here.>
Street address: Torsgatan 19 (Vasastan) Metro: St Eriksplan
Stockholm is easy to get around by the metro and by foot. Here's a little breakdown of the various areas and their charachter.
The Stockholm neighborhood with the mostest personality! Sofo is the home to Stockholms creative scene, hipsters and bohemians all have their coffees around Nytorget, Södermanna - and Skånegatan. It's great for shopping, check out the Pet Sounds store, for records and books. Mini Rodini for childrens clothes, and various fashion and design stores like ACNE are situated in the area. Götgatsbacken offers young fashion, and Mosebacke torg is the perfect spot for drinks in the evening with a view of Stockholms water. The streets around Mariatorget are also filled with charming small bars and shops. And situated at the outmost corner of Södermalm, Hornstull with its vibrant weekend market, is a great hang out.
Cosy and classic. A beautiful resident area with plenty of antique shops, cafes and restaurants.
Vintage design stores are big in this area, stroll down Upplandsgatan for both modern classics and 18th century goods. Rörstrandsgatan and St Eriksgatan has a small number of great cafes and shops.
OLD TOWN (Gamla stan)
The number one tourist destination in Stockholm. The old town with its picturesque cobble stone streets, is both cosy and crowded, with plenty of cafes and restaurants to rest between strolls.
THE CITY & ÖSTERMALM
The main shopping streets of downtown of stockholm is Drottninggatan and Hamngatan. NK, is the finest department store in Stockholm and especially famous for their creative Christmas decoration. Stureplan is home to night life and luxury shopping.
OUT OF CITY
Skärgården: On the many islands of Stockholms archipelago, you will find your own secret salty hide aways. Sandy beaches, and rocks for cliff diving, charming hotels and restaurants are all a boat ride away from the city. To find out more visit this website.
Stockholm is child friendly and there's plenty of fun to be had in the city, for kids ALL ages!
Magiska trädgården: A magical garden for kids and grownups! Build and play in tree huts, run free or chill out in hang mats. A true creative oasis on the edge of the city. This is what you wished childhood would be for everyone. For opening times check here.
Street address: Juvelvägen 1 (Nacka) BUS 402 from Nacka to Mjölnarevägen.
Skansen: This open air museum and zoo is located on a hill on Djurgården, overlooking the city, and facing the biggest amusement park (Gröna Lund). After your elk and monkey encounters, You can visit potteries and other historical houses, plus buy cinnamon buns in the old fashioned bakery. Find out more about Skansen here.
Street address: Djurgården BUS: 69 or 76.
There's so much more discover than fits into a blog post. If you have have your own favorite spots in Stockholm, please share in the comment field. This guide will be edited and expanded with new tips with time.