Monday, April 2, 2012

From Place To Space: Stockholm


Here it is. Finally. My special, dedicated post to a fabulous, design savvy city that I visited a week ago: Stockholm. You've been flooded here on Happy Interior Blog with Swedish inspiration over the past few days. I hope I haven't been bothering you too much, but I loved my little Swedish trip so much and it was so inspiring that I had to share all my ideas and thoughts with you. But let me take you now on a little Stockholm trip in a retrospective. Ready? Let's roll!


Stockholm, as almost every city, is organized in various boroughs and the most central and most relevant for visitors are Norrmalm, Gamla Stan, Östermalm, Södermalm, Djurgården and Kungsholmen. I visited every quarter but the latter one. I was staying in a solid, mid-class hotel in Norrmalm and it was just a stone's throw to one of the major shopping thoroughfares, the Drottninggatan. This street leads from the north to the south and it is an ideal way to experience a big variety of cafés, bakeries, shops, department stores. Here you will find amazing shopping temples like the PUB department store with a super extensive homewares section, Scandinavia's biggest department store, the Ahléns with great home decoration and Scandinavian fabrics, and a huge H&M with a big H&M Home store. Luckily, many cafés invite you to have a little break while the number of your shopping bags is continually growing. Just a few streets further, check out the brand new MOOD department store (it opened during my stay) and opposite of it you will find the super lovely Bruka Design store with adorable tableware and home décor. For a great dinner, try the super cool and urban B.A.R. restaurant at Blasieholmsgatan. You will love the industrial interior design and enjoy the delicious cuisine with a focus on fish and sea food. Another tip: For a fabulous start into a Sunday, head to the amazing design hotel Nordic Light Hotel for a fantastic American brunch. The food is beyond yummy, the selection huge, the local DJ takes good care of you for a smooth start into the day and the design surrounding you - I have no words. It was one of the highlights! Not to mention the fact that it is super value for money! At the end of the famous Drottninggatan you will reach the end of Norrmalm and set over to the 'Old Town', to Gamla Stan. 


Gamla Stan is something like the touristic heart of Stockholm. Here you have a big number of sights that are must-sees. The Parliament building, the Stockholm Palace, the Storkyrken church, the Stortorget Square, the Nobel Museum, the German church (Tyska Kyrken), and the city's narrowest pathway, the Marten Trotzig path. Västerlånggatan is the main shopping street on Gamla Stan and usually packed with picture taking tourists. Nonetheless, risk a little stroll as you will pass the cute little store E. Torndahl with fine Scandinavian design. However, do make a turn and wander the paths off the beaten track and you will find cute, quite corners like the Chaikhana tea salon or the Magnus Ladulås restaurant with traditional Swedish cuisine. For a little break, stop at the magnificent tiny Chokladkoppen at Stortorget Square - you will enjoy a cup of Stockholm's finest hot chocolate and cakes to die for. 


At the end of Gamla Stan you can cross one of the city's many bridges and step over to the hip, southern island named Södermalm. Climb the Slussen Square and you will end up in Götgatan, the island's main commercial street with great stores like Granit with fine homeware in black, white and grey hues. Keep on walking and you will end up in the bustling, hip heart of Södermalm (the area between Götgatan, Folkungagatan, Renstiernas gata, and Ringvägen). Many cafés, restaurants, and shops are lining the way and you will be drawn to real treasure spots: the vintage stores have a huge density in this quarter. Don't miss the cool concept store Grandpa with fashion, deco and vintage furniture. If you love good chocolates, make a pit stop at Chokladfabriken - you won't leave the store empty handed (well, I didn't). On the way back, climb the Katarinavägen street for a great panoramic view of Stockholm and its numerous waterfronts. If you feel like walking a bit more, try the Hornsgatan street and walk it all the way down to the western tip. You will pass the fabulous Mellqvist Kaffebar for a little 'fika' break (traditional coffee and cake break) and at the end of the street you will be rewarded with a visit to the grand Bio Rio cinema from the 1940s with original interior design and a café that takes you back in time. Adjacent is the quirky little Copacabana café with homemade sandwiches and cakes. Both places well worth the walk!
If you fancy a little trip to the opposite island named Djurgården, take the ferry from Slussen. You will enjoy a 20 minutes ferry trip to the park island with century old flora, a huge park, and some fine museums like the Nordic and Vasa Museum. I wandered back from Djurgården via Östermalm (with a fantastic, maritime waterfront - enjoy the many little anchored boats along the water) to Norrmalm. In general, I suggest a lot of walking as it is the best way to see the varieties of Stockholm and discover some hidden, unexpected gems along the way. The city's size is also very ideal for walking adventures - moreover, the public transport is rather costly. 

Oh my, there is so much to see and experience. I am pretty sure I forgot many other cool and great spots. But hey, you should discover some places by yourself, too. In a nutshell: If you love design, you'll love Stockholm! Happy start of the week!

Photography by Igor Josifovic


24 comments :

  1. Igor, that's a great post. Be sure, when I finally hit Stockholm, I will print it out and follow some of your suggestions. Nice pics of you. Glad you had such a great time. Happy Spring my fellow blogger:)

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  2. Great post & virtual meander Igor. Love the dreamy images. Very cool thanks!

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  3. so envious. Officially need to plan, pitch and do a design scouting trip - and for some reason I'm envisioning you, Will, Bradford and I. At least to start. Whatta say?!

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    1. I'd say sheer perfection and I am so in:-)

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  4. Where to start? Where to start?! Such a comprehensive and engaging post! Your opening shot had me so excited to scroll through, so I did! Then, after devouring the shots, I scrolled right back up to the top to get the inside scoop. The Nordic Light Hotel for breakfast sounds fab? Great that they even have a DJ first thing - fun! Fabrique has a great store front - love the lights across the window, it makes it look super welcoming. As for the Bio Rio cinema? What a cool place!

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  5. I'll be the first to buy the "Happy City Guide",if you ever publish one!!!!

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  6. thank you for the wonderful tour ;-)

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  7. Looks amazing, Igor. Thanks for such a detailed post...would love to get there one of these days!

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  8. It's a great post! Even though I've actually lived in Stockholm I found a few gems I haven't seen before :) I think it's time for a new trip to Stockholm soon.

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  9. I simply LOVE all your travel posts! I live vicariously through you, Igor! Happy Monday to you!

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  10. I totally agree with Jennie! And you have such great taste, I honestly love and look forward to all your discoveries and travel inspirations. Great post, Igor! xo

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  11. THANKYOU FOR A GREAT INSPIRATION GUIDE - NICE TO READ AND KNOW YOU ARE RIGHT

    Your positive eyes and feeling for the calm and dynamic Scandinavian life style

    is charming - your pen is nice and fair - I have been there - of course since

    Am from Denmark - Copenhagen.

    Next time you will see much alike in Copenhagen - 1 hour from Sweden. Welcome.

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    1. It's the next Scandinavian destination on my travel wishlist!! Thank you so much!

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  12. Love your latest Place to Space feature Igor. Never been to Stockholm but have always wanted to. Makes me want to go even more. I'll be coming to you for recommendations!

    Mary :)

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  13. What a GREAT post Igor! Thank you so much for sharing you experiences here with us :) You have totally given me Stockholm envy now! You can be sure that when I visit I will print out your post and carry it with me for reference ;)

    Xx.

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  14. I've been meaning to visit Sweden for a long time now. I went to Norway twice, in 2008 and 2009 and have been swept away ever since by all thing Scandinavia. Music, design, language, the food...Your post will be safely printed and cherished when the time comes to visit Stockholm.

    As for my Paris visit, the date is approaching and I still have no idea how to contact you for some inside info. Cause when I press "contact me" nothing happens :)

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    Replies
    1. Actually, I'll drop you a line in your facebook inbox :)

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    2. Sure! Or send me an email to happyinteriorblog@googlemail.com

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  15. Really love the tilt shift you've used in the photographs. Glad you had hot chocolate at Chokladkoppen and visited SOFO. Isn't just the fab-est place? We walked for Miles and Miles but had so much fun. Spent a fortune on interiors bits n bobs. Grandpa is great isn't it? Hubby did well with the Mens shopping. I want to go back at the height of Summer too and see it when its at its sparkling best. Gotta say just like the above Copenhagen is next on my list too.... might have to wait a little bit though

    So glad you had a fab time and dead jealous you were there so recently. I'd go again tomorrow if I could!

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  16. you added a lot of addresses that I will re look for the day I will go to Stockholm Thank You.... amazing long report of what sounds like an amazing trip!

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  17. Fantastic post Igor! - I recognise so many places in your photograph's :)

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