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