Monday, August 10, 2015

Stockholm in July

We had what felt like a whirlwind trip to Stockholm at the end of July. It is beautiful although, perhaps, my expectations were unreasonably high. It is a lovely northern European city but, probably, it could never have been the perfect utopia that I imagined. Mostly because of the dodgy weather and remarkable expense.

Still, the architecture is elegant, the people are pretty and I love a city on the water. The black seas are particularly striking against the grey skies. The fashion is very cool if strikingly homogeneous in comparison to London. The bread products are excellent and the Swedes are masters of breakfast.

Some favourites:
  • Nytorget 6 - Pulled pork croquettes with mint and avocado.
  • Hornhuset - Drinks and tapas on the ground floor; a restaurant on the first floor; a pizzeria-sports bar on the second floor.
  • Il Caffé - Fabrique is an excellent bakery and they provide the sourdough for Il Caffé's grilled sandwiches. Perhaps one shouldn't eat mozzarella and prosciutto in Scandinavia but if you can't face any more herring they are a nice break. 
  • Vasa Museet - This C17th ship is at the top of every Visit Stockholm list but the guidebook writers aren't wrong. I am not a big one for ships but even I can admit that both the preservation and the presentation are remarkable here.
  • Fotografiska - My favourite place in the city, I think. This photography museum opened in 2010 in an art deco customs building on the waterfront. If you luck out with the weather you can sit and drink outside or, if you're a statistical norm, their café on the top floor has floor to ceilings windows and fantastic views. The main exhibition in July, and running until 27th September, looks at the work of Inez & Vinoodh and I really loved it. A great, wide selection of photos, beautifully printed and displayed. Many variations on Kate and Gaga but some more obscure and artistic work too. Thumbs up.
Most favourite: the archipelago.

Our one day of perfect summer weather was spent travelling to and lounging around Svartso, one of the 30,000, I think, small islands that form an archipelago outside Stockholm. I will, more or less, accept city rain for island sunshine. Like Derek Shepherd, I love a ferry boat and the two hour trip to Svartso was shockingly lovely and the island was idyllic and blonde children in life-jackets frolicked everywhere you looked. The skies were blue and the islands were a lush green (all the rain) and yellow and purple flowers were inescapable. If the weather were reliable (and I had unlimited holiday time) I would happily spend two months in the archipelago every summer. It is bliss.

There were lots of things we didn't get to see or eat in Stockholm - plenty of reasons for a re-visit. And now that I have a better sense of the city I can come up with a more cogent plan of attack. We had better get saving... 


  1. I've been dreaming of vacationing in Sweden and ferrying around to various islands. Though I probably can't afford the adventure right now, I still think about it often. You should be used to the rainy weather, right? ;)

    1. You would have thought, right? But somehow I never get used to it... I can't recommend ferrying around the islands enthusiastically enough.

  2. I best bookmark this then, potentially could be going for work in September.

    Buckets & Spades

    1. How exciting! I mean, there are many many people who know Stockholm better than I do but I would recommend the above.

  3. "Bread products" - SOLD. Really though, I've been eschewing most bread products (!!!) this summer, just to see what it would do to my body. I know, I don't even know myself anymore

  4. Oh, I love Stockholm - especially in the summer. My husband's family lives in Uppsala so I normally have a good excuse to visit a couple times a year. Still feel like I'm discovering gems in the city though so thanks for the new tips!


  5. I have so many sthlm-tips! Write to me of you want any! (---: