The quick and easy Stockholm city guide
Before I packed up and said goodbye to my London family, a very last minute trip to Stockholm was booked with my housemates. And it couldn’t have been a better time to go.
The city was lit up with Christmas lights, there was festive cheer in the frosty air, there was mulled wine on every street corner. And the cutest Scandi Christmas tradition of all, there was a glowing white star in every window. It was the perfect pre-Christmas getaway and we loved every minute of our 48-hour break.
If you’re thinking about booking a trip, here’s my list of where to eat, sleep, be merry and explore in the city.
Where to stay in Stockholm:
We stayed in the Norrmalm area of the city, about a 10-minute walk from the central station and it was the perfect location for exploring. We walked through the main shopping area every day to arrive in the cute Gamla Stan (Old Town) island where the Christmas market was held. There were a couple of occasions where we needed to hop into a taxi or uber (not recommended as they are fiercely expensive!) but otherwise, everything was just a scenic walk away.
Where to eat in Stockholm:
If you’re in Stockholm over Christmas break, you obviously must indulge in all the festive delights at the Christmas markets. Tuck into roasted chestnuts, delicious bratwurst sausages and plenty of glogg wine. If however, you’re not there on the sparkliest month of the year, there are other options…
Café Staturnus: This French-inspired bakery and restaurant was an absolute hit for our first brunch of the holiday. Highly recommend popping in and having their eggs Norwegian!
Grand Central by Scandic: We stumbled across this place on the way to the ultra-popular Greasy Spoon brunch café, and we are so happy that we decided to make a detour. While it is the buffet brunch of the Scandic hotel, and you will be sitting amongst their guests, you can pay just to have breakfast there. And boy did we feast – from porridge and all toppings, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, smoothies and juices, freshly brewed coffee and buttery croissants, we had it all. And for about £17 (which for Stockholm, was an affordable brunch) we were set for til dinner time. A win-win really.
Riche: This is definitely a more #treatyoself dining experience but it was so worth it. I was very confused over the price of a bottle of wine, which I thought was £20…was in fact about £200 (The Xe app came in very handy here guys!) But the food was delicious – it was a full table of traditional Swedish meatballs and oh. My. God. We almost licked the plates clean. One hundred million times better than IKEA. And the IKEA ones are pretty darn good.
Where to explore in Stockholm:
Gamla Stan: This is the old town area of the city and where you’ll find those iconic red and yellow townhouses. At Christmas, the market is right in the centre of the square so you’ll happily hang out here and enjoy the atmosphere (with a glass of glogg of course!). However, the streets around the whole island are filled with cute boutiques, souvenir shops and cosy bars and restaurants, so you can spend a couple of hours exploring the whole island.
Skansen Park: Again, we were lured here with the promise of a great Christmas market (yes, another one!) and cute animals, which it delivered on both accounts. The beautiful park is the largest open-air museum in the world, and well worth a wander around. There’s a lovely viewing point too that overlooks the whole city – we, unfortunately, had to sprint past as we left it a little too late to head to the airport! Also, nearby is the Nordic Museum and the Abba Museum so you could pop in there while you’re in the area.
Södermalm: Probably one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city, this area is great if you love vintage shops and looking for some one-off pieces. We loved Grandpa on Södermannagatan Street – there is so much lovely stuff inside and the staff are so helpful and friendly. I picked up some great sunglasses from Norweigan brand, Kaibosh as a little ‘merry Christmas to me’ present.