Ultimate city guide: Stockholm

Jenessa Williams

Embrace chic design, cultural hubbub and stunning views in the capital of Sweden. Stockholm is known around the world for its innovation and it offers a touch of class that makes visiting a pleasure. Plan your perfect trip with our top recommendations below

Stay

For those viewing their visit as something of a mindful escape, Yasuragi blends minimal, Japanese-meets-Scandinavian architecture with incredible views across the water, creating an instantly calming environment. A pool, sauna and choose of three nutritionally varied restaurants aid rest and relaxation. 

Haymarket by Scandic takes residence within what was previously 1920s department store. Its art deco details remain with glossy abundance, paying homage to Hollywood star Greta Garbo who once worked in this very building. 

Enjoy proximity to the city centre for easy exploration and shopping, and embrace the hustle and bustle—with 401 rooms over eight floors, there’ll be plenty of new people to chat to in the bar.

 

Eat

There are a huge range of local delicacies to discover in Stockholm, and the Hötorgshallen is a great place to tick a few off your list. This market is filled with independent stalls and cafés that’ll allow you to sample such treats as reindeer sausage, Västerbottensost cheese and all kinds of pickled herring. 

If you’re seeking a more formal dining experience, Lilla Ego offers an affordable seasonal menu that is hugely popular with locals—be sure to book in advance. 

Continuing with the Swedish principles of mindfulness, the ritual of Fika is hugely popular in Stockholm as a means of taking a rejuvenating coffee break at any time of day. 

Cardomom buns and cinnamon cakes are essentials with your brew—try bakery Valhallabageriet or cosy café Chokladkoppen for a seriously authentic experience. 

 

See

When the weather is fine, get outdoors in Stockholm Old Town (Gamla Stan), the perfect place to admire medieval architecture. Largely pedestrianized, this area is full of restaurants, shops and churches to admire and acclimatise with Swedish culture. Take care not to miss Stortoget, the Old Town’s mains square—the tall, colourful buildings make the perfect photo backdrop. 

If planning your trip in advance, consider the events calendar at the Kungsträdgården public gardens. Easily amongst Stockholm’s most popular people-watching spots, the park hosts a wide array of concerts, operas and art showings in summer, and an outdoor ice rink in the winter. 

 

Shop

Fashion and Homeware aficionados will want to leave plenty of space in their suitcase for Swedish trinkets. Known for a classic, functional approach to design, there is no shortage of places to shop for quality pieces that will last far longer than the usual holiday souvenir. Östermalm is the best district for high-end names, home to the stunning Mood Gallerian mall that pipes birdsong into its cobbled walkways to connect you with the outdoors. 

Bargain hunters will enjoy the district of Södermalm, one of the trendiest spots in the city. This island is chock-full of affordable vintage shops, hip cafes and the store Grandpa, home to plenty of Sweden’s young emerging brands. 

 

Learn

One of Sweden’s most successful exports, musical group ABBA are the subject of their very own museum in Djurgården. A highly interactive space, you’ll learn more about their story, taking in costumes, gold records and instruments from over the years. 

Back in Gamla Stan is the Nobel Museum, which celebrates and highlights the outstanding contributions to knowledge worthy of the Nobel Prize. You’ll leave feeling inspired not only by the achievements, but the impressive architecture of the building itself, highly reflective of Sweden’s rich history.