My goal for May is to restrict myself from doing any more trans-European traveling, and to see as much of Sweden as possible. Unfortunately this meant passing up on a trip to Copenhagen with friends, but in exchange I got to spend a day biking along the beautiful Swedish countryside, trying my hand in Swedish baking, and engaging in plenty of Swedish fika. For the rest of the month, I plan to do at least one more day trip to Stockholm, spend a weekend getting out Pippi Longstocking’s home turf (Gotland Island), and hiking as much as possible through the nearby Swedish countryside.
After a semester in Sweden, I should now be the go-to point for any friends traveling to Stockholm in the future, right?
That’s how many days I have spent in Sweden [give or take a few weeks since I've been quite the European traveler this semester].
Despite being only an hour’s train ride away from Stockholm, I’ve let the price ($24 roundtrip) and day commitment limit me to visiting the city only 4 times. 7 days divided between 4 trips, 3 groups of visitors, means I’ve repeated quite a bit of the same activities. At this point in my exchange I’m a little disappointed in how little I’ve explored Stockholm.
But for those friends who have already contacted me/will contact me in the future for advice on what to see/where to go in Stockholm, I’ve documented my recommendations for a trip to Stockholm. Including things I’ve personally tried, have heard great things about, and would like to try in the future. As I (hopefully) get to know the city better, I will add to this.
Stockholm is made up fourteen islands connected by bridges, so its important to keep this in mind when planning your way around the different islands.
I stayed here twice, first with Carolyn and then again with Maja. Super hip, very clean, close to the train station, bit pricey, includes free pasta and a sauna. Good social area, TV, free computers with wifi that you can use, and print from. Overall, I would recommend it
Stayed here with my family, super cool experience. You can either get a room on the mainland building or IN THE BOAT. I stayed here immediately after spending way too much time sleeping on crowded cruise boats so I expected to be annoyed of yet another boat, but it is really well decorated, comfortable, and a fun novelty. Better for families or if you’re not super set on making friends with other travelers. It is located kind of far from the main tourist attractions and the train station. If you rent a bike it’ll be totally fine and worth the cool experience, but otherwise (or if you’re traveling with jet-lagged family) the distance is annoying
Another option is to rent an apartment from someone in the city. I haven’t tried this, but will be using Airbandb in a few weeks and have heard really great things about it.
Attractions I’ve tried:
Free tours are great, with tips at the end of course. I’ve done it a couple times now, and they’re different every time because I’ve gotten different tour guides. They offer one in the morning of the new town, and in the afternoon of the old time.
A ticket gets your entrance into three separate parts: Royal Apartments, Treasury, Tre Kronor Museum . Pretty cool if you like pretty royal things
Since Stockholm is made up islands, the water connecting the plays a big role and is essential to experiencing the city. I did this tour with my family, and really enjoyed being on the water and hearing the history while floating past the different parts of the city. I recommend this, especially if you come during the summer because it is beautiful! There are many different tours which all leave from the same port, so you can just show up and decide which one fits best for what you’re looking for.
This was super fun especially since I went with my mom and we’re both HUGE ABBA fans. (Unfortunately I didn’t get to appreciate it as much as I would have liked since I was frantically trying to figure out how to register for classes on phone over unreliable wifi). It has the history of ABBA, all of the costumes, and fun activities to do like singing, dancing with a hologram and filming a music video. Its kind of pricey and non essential if you’re only in Stockholm for a few days but a lot of fun!
Located on the island of Södermalm past Gamla Stan is this great gem. If you’re even slightly into photography, I highly recommend checking this out. The exhibits change but when I went there was wide range of different styles, photographers from all over the world, and very different moods. Also, it’s by the “hip trendy” party of time nicknamed SoFo (wanna be SoHo), so you can make an round out the experience with vintage shopping and fika at a cute nearby cafe (which is exactly what I did when I visited)
Attractions I’ve heard great things about/want to see in the future:
Moderna Museet (modern art museum)
Grönalund (amusement park open in the summer)
Östermalm Saluhall (food market)
A big part of swedish tradition is Fika. Basically coffee and dessert, but OH so much more. Very swedish desserts you’ll probably find the the cafes:
kanelbullar, like cinnamon roles but better (#tbt that time I accidentally pronounced it cinnabon in Swedish class and everyone laughed at me for the rest of class)
Prinsesstårta, Swedish princess cake, creamy, yummy, and green
Chokladboll, nobake cocoa balls
Kladdkaka, if a gooey brownie transformed into Swedish cake
[Swedish baking is the plan for this weekend, so hopefully I'll be adding my own pictures soon]
Because eating out is so expensive in Sweden (typical meal at least $30+) I can’t say I’ve had much experience eating out in Stockholm, but of the few cafes I’ve tried..
Tössebageriet Stockholm’s oldest cafe located in Gamla Stan. I went here on Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) and tried the traditional Swedish Semla Bun
Gildas Rum, super cute located in SoFo. I want here after my trip to the photography museum
(more to come once I figure out the places I went to. This is what I get for not instagraming every adorable fika I have)
Cafes I havent been to yet, but would like to:
Cafe Edith (walked past this place on my last visit, feel in love, look at the menu price, hurt my heart. Too expensive for me to spend on lunch, but would willing to splurge for fika)
If you’re looking for thrift shops and antiquing check out SoFo
Beyond Retro, multiple locations so kinda chainy and overpriced, but still good and they had lots of Michigan apparel when I went!
(I went to a really great store down the street from Gildas Rum which had nice things and was very cheap. Can’t remember the name right now…racking my brain for now)