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The Perfect Weekend in Stockholm - Travel Guide

Updated: Jan 7


the perfect weekend in Stockholm travel guide, kpm photo art

I had never ventured to the Nordic countries until relatively recently.  I don’t know why.  Growing up in the U.K., our holidays tended to head in a southerly direction or more long haul.  I supposed sunnier climes of Europe trumped the chillier north.


As an adult, I have now visited numerous Nordic hotspots like Copenhagen, Oslo, and Reykjavik; now Stockholm is added to that list.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, gamla stan

What strikes me most about all of these places is the remarkably lovely adoption of hygge.  Hy-what I hear you say.  The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of hygge is: the quality of being warm and comfortable that gives a feeling of happiness.


Originally coined in Denmark, hygge includes warm cups of cocoa, log fires, candles galore, and the joy that comes from these simple things as well as spending time with loved ones.


Stockholm is the capital city and the largest urban area in Sweden.  This Baltic Sea archipelago consists of 14 islands and more than 50 bridges. 


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

It is pretty spread out but easily accessible with the help of a boat ride here and there.


Stockholm weekend a perfect travel guide, kpm photo art

Of course there are many things to see and do, but I’m highlighting a few favourite little gems here for you.


 


Gamla Stan

This is the quintessential old town of Stockholm.  The maze of narrow cobblestone streets flanked by tall colorful buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries drops you right into a storybook delight of old style restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. 


It is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe.



Stortorget square found in the middle of this medieval masterpiece is the oldest square in Stockholm and is the site for the ultimate photo op of the many super colorful building facades.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, gamla stan

It’s also quite a pleasant resting spot sitting on the steps of the Nobel Prize Museum steps and taking in the bustle of the square.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, gamla stan, stortorget square

 


Vasa Museum

When it comes to museums with old boats, I’ll usually pass.  But a friend of mine highly recommended checking out the Vasa Museum, home to the 17th century ship which unfortunately sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.


It didn’t even get that far, only making it as far as the harbour before capsizing, to be brought back to the surface in 1961 after 333 years spent on the seabed, and incredibly restored to its former glory.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, vasa museum

You can’t not be wholly impressed by the sheer size and volume of the ship.  At 52 meters from keel to mast and additionally 7 floors of museum space to explore, it’s definitely worth a visit.



It costs SEK 170 (around US$15) for adults and… wait for it… kids under the age of 18 are FREE.  If fact, most museums in Sweden are free for kids.  Amazing!.


 


More notable museums

The ABBA Museum - The pop icon shrine!


Fotografiska - World class photography in a converted Art Nouveau customs warehouse, with a top floor restaurant featuring amazing views.


The National Museum - Beautiful Renaissance building home to the largest art collection in Sweden.


The Viking Museum  - All things Viking - you get the idea.


Spirit Museum - The alcoholic kind!  A museum dedicated to all things alcoholic, and you can even drink while wandering.


Drottingholm Palace - The Swedish royal family home - but they’ll let you in to a section of it!  Don’t miss the immaculate gardens.


Moderna Museet - Stockholm’s version of MOMA or the Tate Modern


 


Ferry Boats

There are a myriad of tourist boat trips that you can easily book or hop on from one of the many docks.  It is a good way to take in the 50 bridges of the capital.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

We found a little travel hack though (stick with me) - the commuter boats are much cheaper than the tourist boats and you can just hang out on them for the entire round trip if you want.


The cost for a one journey ticket is SEK 39 (US $3.50) and kids are free.  This might be the most kid/wallet friendly town ever!



Commuter boats 80 and 82 we found had a good overall route and we enjoyed the ride and the views from the water.


 


Rosendals Trädgård

On the same island as the Vasa Museum and the Lil-Skansen Zoo, among the wooded pathways, we found an absolutely lovely place to wander and eat.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

Rosendals Trädgård glass greenhouses hold a gorgeous cafe with plenty of outdoor seating, a cute farm shop and an outside space perfect for letting the kids run free while you enjoy a hot coffee or a glass of wine.  It’s very civilized indeed.



 


Gröna Lund Theme Park

This seasonal theme park, with a seemingly incredible amount of rollercoasters for the area, sits on the waterfront and due to its central location, cannot be easily missed.


Sadly (or not), it was closed when we were there, but it was definitely a site to behold and with over 30 attractions dating back to 1883.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, Grona Lund theme park

 


Ångbåtsbryggan Bar & Restaurant -  the perfect drink spot

All along the Strandvägen there are wonderful bars and restaurants with water views.  This particular spot, Ångbåtsbryggan, is a floating bar and restaurant.



If you walk all the way to the rear, there is a perfect little deck with a gorgeous view that really warrants a glass of champagne (or at least Prosecco) or two.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

 


Miss Behave Bar and the most delicious burgers ever!

When disembarking the ferry at Slussen to go to Gamla Stan, we came across a nice collection of bars and restaurants along the dock, perfect spots to watch the boats come and go.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, miss behave bar

Miss Behave Bar offers casual beers and burgers (or salads if you are that way inclined).  I have to say, the burgers were absolutely delicious.  I’m not even usually a burger fan, but my oh my these were the best ever.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art, miss behave bar

In fact we had lunch at another restaurant which has two locations in Stockholm called Barrels. There’s one in the city area (next to the hotel we stayed at) and another in Gamla Stan.  Again, these burgers were out of this world.  Watch out USA, the Swedes are taking over!


 


Fika

Fika is the Swedish word and feeling for a national tradition in essence meaning ‘a coffee and cake break’.  It is a tradition that I could very easily adopt. 


It is also a cultural state of mind, a ritual to make time to stop and socialize, to refresh the brain and build relationships - all with caffeine and a sweet treat.  Genius and tasty!


The Fika cinnamon buns offered at most cafes were a big hit, and we found a cute outdoor cafe Tehhuset that that had the best little Fika worthy deserts.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

 


Shopping

As far as shopping goes, there is a huge area of shops to get lost in.  If you need a break from the museum culture and the Fika bites, there’s plenty of retail therapy on hand.



 


Restaurants


 


Hotel

We stayed at the Nobis Hotel which is centrally located and allowed us to walk (with a little one) comfortably to most places.


The hotel is a lovely old building and has an impressive lounge, a golden bar, and a couple of restaurants.  The breakfast rated as an all-time family favourite, and the rooms were elegant and very chic.  A whole hearted win.


 


Getting there

The Arlanda Express is an airport rail link that connects the Stockholm Arlanda Airport to Stockholm Central Station.  It only takes 18 minutes making it way faster than a taxi and runs four to six times an hour.  It’s a no brainer.


You can buy tickets at one of the yellow machines after following signs to the Arlanda Express when you come out of Arrivals.


Note that there is a significant discount when you buy a ticket for groups of 2, 3 or 4 adults traveling together.   For example return tickets for two adults are SEK 798 (US $69) saving you SEK 398 (US $35).


All tickets are valid for 90 days so you can just jump on any train for the return journey.  In true Swedish style, kids under 18 (traveling with an adult) are free.


Stockholm travel blog, kpm phot art

Stockholm has all the grace and charm of a nordic city, and when you combine hygge (the joy of being cosy) together with fika (coffee + cake + friends) you really can’t go wrong.



 

Frame at last!

Black and white framed prints of Stockholm and many more cities around the world are available. Check out the galleries and enjoy FREE U.S. shipping of all framed prints..




 

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The Perfect Weekend in Stockholm travel guide, kpm photo art


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