My solo trip to Scandinavia came about a bit spontaneously as I stumbled upon a good deal on airline tickets to Stockholm and Copenhagen while also needing a little getaway to clear my head. Both cities had been on my travel wish list for awhile and were small enough cities to do in only a few days, while being safe for me to travel by myself.
I kicked off my trip with just over 48 hours in Stockholm, Sweden. The city was so gorgeous and quiet during the winter months – it was really easy to navigate (and reminded me of Chicago a bit with all of the bridges!) and I got lucky with weather and had plenty of sunshine to walk around and explore.
Some favorites from my time in Stockholm:
I stayed at Hotel Skeppsholmen, on one of Stockholm’s many little islands, and it was honestly one of the best hotels I have ever stayed at. From the design, to the location (so close to everything!), to the service and staff – it was the perfect start to my trip. It was quite charming to be right on the water, yet only a quick walk to the main areas of the city, Hotel Skeppsholmen managed to be really quiet without feeling isolated. My room was incredible, with one of the most comfortable beds ever and a huge walk in rain-shower with a big tub as well which really came in handy after spending a lot of time walking around the city in the chilly weather. Hotel Skeppsholmen also had a really amazing complimentary breakfast spread each morning with various pastries, ham and salmon, scrambled eggs, bacon and french toast (yum!) and I had an excellent dinner at their restaurant on my final evening in the city. Could not recommend it enough!
To Eat & Drink:
Before my trip I used good old Foursquare to help map out some restaurants and cafes that were highly rated around the city so it would be easy to just pop in while I was out and about. Overall the food was really good in Stockholm, especially their bread and butter (um, I may have eaten like six slices a day…). A few of my favorite spots:
- Urban Deli: Really cool grocery store / restaurant combination with a Brooklyn vibe to it and very tasty food. Skip the long wait for a table and grab a seat at the bar for some solid people watching – I really liked the Skagenroll (shrimp salad on brioche) and their Charkbricka plate for a late lunch with a few beers.
- Meatbals for the People: When in Sweden, you have to eat Swedish meatballs! They had several different meatball options to choose from, all made from locally sourced meat and other organic ingredients (and they have a location in NYC as well!)
- Johan & Nyström: Living in SF has made me a bit of a coffee snob and the espresso at Johan & Nyström was some of the best I’ve ever had. I made a few stops at their cafe during my time in Stockholm and loved the lovely atmosphere with plenty of seating to thaw out from the cold and enjoy a latte.
- Fabrique: The Swedes love their pastries and Fabrique was a great place to grab a mid-morning bite while I was out and about. Their cardamom buns were really tasty and the interior of the bakery is just so cute (I wish I had snapped a photo!)
Stockholm is a really easy city to cover on foot or by bike with lots of bridges connecting the various small islands that make up the city. The views along the water are absolutely stunning with beautiful architecture everywhere you look. Some favorite things I did during my trip:
- Stockholm Pass: I picked up a Stockholm Pass from the Stockholm Visitor’s Center at the beginning of my trip which made it really easy to tackle all of the main tourist attractions for free. I wish I had more time to take advantage of everything the Stockholm Pass gave me access to including boat tours and the Royal Palace, but I loved being able to visit the museums for free!
- Galma Stan: The most picturesque part of Stockholm – Galma Stan is also known as “The Old Town” section of the city and is full of history and historic buildings in rich colors. Spend some time wandering around its curvy streets and snapping plenty of photos and be sure not to miss Stortorget which is a really cute plaza area in the middle of Galma Stan (although the square has a bloody past as it was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520).
- Fotografiska: A small but really great photography museum – Albert Wiking’s We Have a Dream exhibit was one of the best I’ve ever seen with really inspiring stories from leaders and change agents throughout the world.
- Granit: If you love IKEA you’ll go crazy for Granit, with tons of really great home decor pieces representative of the sleek, modern design that Sweden is known for. Great spot for grabbing some small pieces to bring home with you (I ended up with a bud vase and some really cool matchbooks).
- Moderna Museet: Stockholm’s modern art museum has several free galleries (including their main art collections) with a ton of incredible pieces from the legends of the Modern Art world. The museum’s gift shop is also full of great art and design books and really beautiful souvenirs to stock up on to bring home.
Have you ever been to Stockholm? What were some of your favorites?