Our next stop on our Nordic Adventure was Stockholm, Sweden. We have been to Sweden a couple of times, but this was our first time visiting the capital city. Stockholm is the most populous city of the Nordic countries and the centre for cultural and economic centre of Sweden. We allocated two and a half days for Stockholm and if we had more time we would have loved to stay longer. The food, the shopping, the architecture and the sites, make it an amazing destination that you don’t want to leave.
Our first day in Stockholm was relatively lay back by my travelling standards. We experiences amazing Swedish pastries, had family fun at Skansen open air museum, did fika with our cousin, window shopped in the old town and finished the evening with a plate of Swedish meatballs.
We arrived in Sweden late in the evening, after flying from Bergen. So once we picked up our Airbnb key from a late night store, we went to the apartment and went straight to sleep. This is the beautiful apartment we woke up in. This was probably one of the most stylish apartments we stayed in. It located in the trendy district of Södermalm and was perfect to make us feel like we were living the Scandi lifestyle. We didn’t meet the host, who was holidaying herself. However, she left good instructions and some cherry tomatoes for us.
I woke up that morning really hungry and ready to sample the best of pastries Sweden had to offer. The best bakery within walking distance from my apartment was Fabrique Stenugnsbageri. I heard they had great coffee and amazing stone baked bread and cardamon buns. Fabrique Stenugnsbageri are a chain of traditional wood-fire bakeries, which you can find throughout Stockholm. They bake sourdough breads, sweet rolls and cakes made with natural ingredients and prepare in the traditional way.
Since I had a stroller I wasn’t able to get the coffee, but I did get the Kardemummabullar (cardamom bun) for me, Sockerkringlor (sugar pretzel) for Octavia and Ham cheese roll for Marco. Yes, it was all really, really yummy and a wonderful introduction to Swedish baked goods.
Once Marco was ready we made our way out to the main road of Götgatan and picked up some coffees from Götgatan STORIES. This is also a cafe chain that you can find in Stockholm. They offer coffee, pastries, cakes, salads, hot dishes and kids meals. I had heard that they had pretty great coffee, so I ordered a soy cappuccino and Marco had a regular cappuccino. They were right, the coffee was perfection.
Once we worked out the transport system we took a metro to Slussen and then walked up to Skeppsbrokajen (Gamla Stan). From there we took a ferry to the island of Djurgården. This trip was relatively quick and dropped us on the western side. The island features many attractions, including Gröna Lund, Abba Museum, Aquaria Vattenmuseum, Mamma Mia! The Party, Skansen, a variety of museums and a large garden park.
We only had time to visit one attraction, so we visited Skansen. It is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden. It showcases the average 19th-century town and many native animals of Sweden. Since I have too many photos I will dedicate whole post to Skansen. I really believe its a must do attraction and great for a couples and families alike.
We had lunch at Skansen and then made our way towards the city centre, Norrmalm, to meet Marco’s cousin. To get there we were able to work north along the Djurgårdsbron (bridge) and take a tram closer to the centre. Along our way we saw the beautiful Royal Dramatic Theatre and a party truck of drunk teens. We were meeting our cousin in stylish Nordiska Kompaniet shopping centre, since it was to hot outside. Its a nice shopping centre if you have money to burn or want to design your own Magnum (temporary store).
While we were waiting I slipped out to Akademibokhandeln, where I bought Hanna Karlzon and Maria Trolle’s new colouring books. They had a nice collection of colouring books and offered more then most bookshops. Its definitely a stop you need to make if you are a colourist or book lover. I was expecting to find colouring books everywhere in Sweden, but I think the craze has passed a little. Its was all about Flow now.
Once we caught up with Marco’s cousin we made our way out in search of coffee. We found the coffee house Johan & Nyström (Norrlandsgatan). They have a few locations in Stockholm, also operate as a coffee bar, roastery and concept store. Their award winning coffee is for people who are serious about their coffee. So this was the perfect place to have our afternoon fika (Swedish coffee break). I ordered an oat milk cappuccino and Marco had a regular cappuccino. They were both fantastic and tasted well balanced.
Afterwards we walked from Norrlandsgatan, through the Kungsträdgården, crossed the Strömbron (bridge) into Gamla Stan (Old town). We walked past the grand Royal Place and through to the Stortorget (oldest square in Stockholm) and through the lane ways of shops and restaurants. After doing some window shopping we cross the bridge onto Södermalm towards the restaurant we had chosen. I just found Stockholm’s streets and parks to be really clean, not over populated and really relaxing to walk around. We also had fantastic weather at this time of year in June.
One of our favourite things to eat in Sweden is Swedish meatballs. There are plenty of places to find them in Stockholm, but one of the more affordable restaurants I found was Meatballs for the People. They offer predominantly meatballs and beer and a couple of other items. Its quite a casual restaurant, which is perfect if you have a kids or just want to chill out.
So we ordered the Homemade Lingonberry Drink for the table and three plates of the Swedish Classic Meatballs. Each dish came with potato puree, gravy sauce, lingonberries and pickled cucumber. We each ordered a different meat type of meatball. I had the wild boar, Marco had the beef & pork and Ivana had the rooster. Everything was fantastic. The lingonberry drink was sweet and refreshing. The meatballs and accompaniments were all spot on. So whose were the best? Marco and I voted mine, the wild boar. Ivana’s were also nice. I didn’t know you could eat Rooster, but apparently its also popular in Serbia. So if your in town and want to try this classic Swedish dish, you must try this place.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our first day in Stockholm. In my next post I will take you along to Skansen open-air museum, which we spent at least 4 hours at. Have you been to Stockholm? What did you think?