Stockholm is built on water, and you are close to nature pretty much everywhere you go (seriously: 90% of Stockholmers live within 300 meters of some greenery!). Though most people think of cool & clean minimalist design and fashion (and super tall blonde people) when thinking of this city, today’s Stockholm also has more unicorn startups per capita than any other city in the world except for San Francisco. With the number of expats constantly growing as such, the city feels more international than ever, and it certainly helps you feel welcome that pretty much every Swede speaks close to perfect English.
In this time of climate crisis and single use plastic warfare, to enter a culture where nature is respected and revered so highly is refreshing. The concept of allemansrätten is something that is familiar to every Swede, and loosely translates to “The Right to Roam.” From parks to lakes to waterways, access to the wilderness here (even in the city!) is a public right – and a right that people don’t take for granted. Whatever you do in Stockholm, be sure to take a moment to have a Fika (the daily 3pm coffee & a sweet ritual) outside somewhere to soak it all in. And if you have more than a moment, be sure to get out of the city to the Archipelago (ferries from the city center are only 30 mins – 1.5 hours) for a picnic or a walk.
Where to stay
Very affordable, and right in the center of Stockholm. Designed with a great sense of style, the rooms are quite small, but hopefully you won’t be stuck in there much anyways.
The safest bet you can make (you pay extra for it though!), with an amazing traditional breakfast and rooms overlooking Nybroviken – the central bay. If you do not stay here, come for a drink on the outdoor patio to lap up some luxury for less.
Where to eat & drink
Södermalm is the main area for all things F&B and one of our faves is this experimental restaurant that is crazy fun. They only do a set menu, but for a very reasonable price. If you can’t get a table here, don’t worry, try Bleck, Bananas or Café Nizza instead for the proper local Södermalm experience.
Go to Ugglan Bar before (or after) and play some ping-pong and pool with the young hipster crowd that comes here.
If you’re looking for something more central, Riche is a classic that never goes out of style. Try Tako or Bardot that are both new editions to the restaurant scene in Stockholm and offers the best vibe for a dinner
Where to get a coffee
Swedish people love their coffee (did you ever read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? It’s like 50% people drinking coffee), so there are coffee places everywhere. The coffee brand and small chain Johan & Nyström is a favorite of locals- if you’re obsessed with coffee, this is your place.
If you’re more interested in the full Swedish Fika experience, go to Mellqvist, where they care equally about the coffee as they do about baking the juiciest cinnamon & cardamom buns (kanelbulle & kardemummabulle).
Where to shop
The Swedes are known for their minimalistic design and sense of style, so don’t bother going anywhere else than to the local brands’ own stores (ie this isn’t a city to shop at Zara). Go to Norrmalmstorg and start with Acne Studios, Rodebjer
Where to see some hits of culture
This place is packed with great collections of contemporary and modern art and is located on Skeppsholmen, where you can also get a great lunch if you’re feeling extra cultural.
Not a lot of locals will recommend this place (in the end it really is a ship that sunk), but that is a surprisingly impressive experience and worth going to, if you have an extra half day.
Where to work out
You might have heard about this before, and yes, it’s already a favorite workout to get in the city centre- for anyone that likes being yelled at in a dark room with treadmills and dumbbells, that is.
Where to party
In the summer, this is the place to be- this outdoor club is open from morning till late night on the weekends, and there’s no place like it in Stockholm. Make sure to check if there’s a daytime session happening while you’re in town, you don’t wanna miss that.
Trädgården turns in to Under Bron (and is all inside) in the darker months of the
What to do
If the weather allows you to, you should really take advantage of the nature around the city and fill those lungs with some fresh air. The best long walks are done in Haga Parken where you can stop by Carl Eldh Studio Museum or around Djurgården. The best way to do Djurgården is if you start at KMK (Kungliga Motorbåtsklubben) and have a coffee to go. By the time you’ve finished your coffee, it’s time to stop for lunch at Rosendals Trädgårdar.
If you crave even more nature, hop on one of the many boats that take you further out in the archipelago- bring a picnic, and sit on a cliff!
Best place to buy gifts
Svenskt Tenn is a famous interior design store with plenty of small pieces that make up for great gifts.
Best bar for a secret rendezvous
A newly opened wine bar (read wine café), next to Stureplan but located on the otherwise very quiet Brahegatan. Sexy times.
Where to get some R&R
Where else to do a Swedish massage than in Sweden? Go to Sturebadet (or Grand Hotel if you want to pay a little extra) and enjoy a well-deserved break from the city. Both places have a gym and pool you get access to, so why not make it a full wellness day while you’re at it.
Where to work/freelance
has a spacious inner courtyard with groups of sofas spread out where you can sit quietly, and plugin. They serve coffee and drinks but no food, which is probably why it never gets too crowded.
Best spot for your new Bumble profile photo
Ivar Los Park at the top of Södermalm, this spot is overlooking the city and the city hall and is definitely a safe bet.