Visit Stockholm in the Winter – What to See & Eat in Stockholm
Just returned from a 4 day trip to Sweden, and while I prepare a full guide with tips to visit Stockholm in the winter, list of the best eateries in Stockholm for vegetarians, etc. I leave you with a bit of what was my experience, and my itinerary to visit Stockholm.
Desperately in need of a break from the city, I finally went on my first trip to a Scandinavian country, Stockholm in Sweden was the choice for a 4-day trip in this bitterly cold beginning of March. I confess when I booked the flight tickets, hotel and transfers to visit Stockholm I had no idea that the temperature ranges for those days would be -4 to -14ºC. I didn’t even know what temperatures lower than -8ºC feel like and was actually mentally prepared to stay 4 days in a hotel room. But once I stepped outside the aircraft at the Skavsta airport I knew it could be alright and the very low temperatures would be bearable, all I needed was some extra clothing layers and enough Fika (Fika is a Swedish word that describes the “sacred” coffee and pastries break).
Once in Stockholm city centre and quite hungry, I head up to the Södermalm area, I had saved a few eateries on google maps in that area but because it was late in the afternoon, I end up eating at the Paradiset Södermalm, an upscale organic grocery store with a small but vibrant food court where you can have good “fast” food.
After the late lunch went to the hotel, checked-in, unpacked and went to buy some basic groceries for the time I would stay to visit Stockholm, some bread, jam, cheese, juice, fruit, etc.. I was surprised that the fruit in Sweden is actually tasty and sweet unlike what I get in London. A visit to the Scandinavia must always include having dark crusty bread and Nordic pastries. For great bread, there are a few of the Bröd & Salt and Fabrique stores across the city, make sure to try it with the local produce like the lingonberry jam.
Second day in Stockholm, and after having breakfast in the hotel studio apartment, I went to the Gamla Stan area or Old Town, after walking through the narrow historic streets, I’ve reached the Royal Palace to visit the Royal Armory and the collection ‘I love you madly – a passionate story of the forbidden love between Axel von Fersen and Marie Antionette’, in exhibition until the 6th January 2019.
From the royal palace, I walked across Kungsträdgården admiring the waterfront area, to Östermalm where I had the most delicious lunch, in a small but cosy place, the Lilla Ekot Organic cafe with vegetarian, vegan and rawfood lunches.
Lunch was amazing but there was still space for coffee and dessert, 2 minutes away from the Lilla Ekot Cafe, had my treat at a small coffee shop in the Birger Jarlsgatan street, a popular street for the international luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Bottega Veneta…
All warmed up and with the tummy full, went to visit The Hallwyl Museum – former house and art & artefacts of the Countess Wilhelmina von Hallwyl.
From there went to Kungsholmen island, to visit the Stockholm City Hall. The Stockholm City Hall is most known for hosting the Nobel Banquet in the Blue Hall. But it has also other rooms equally interesting. To visit the City Hall join a guided tour, there are between 6 to 9 tours in English a day, the visit takes around 45 minutes and it costs 80 SEK (around £7) in the low season. You can also get married in the Oval Room in this City Hall, the waiting time is of around 6 months and you can choose between the longer ceremony that takes 3 minutes or the normal one that takes just 1 minute. Every Saturday around 60 couples get married in the oval room and therefore the visits on this day from 11 am do not include this room nor the Prince Gallery. The City Hall is also located on a waterfront and it’s a great advantage point to take pictures or just admire the city view.
Early evening, continued my visit heading to Norrmalm, to walk around and check the city vibes. This area is also “the place” to check the Swedish fashion stores and design shops.
Only 2 days away and I was already craving for Indian food, a quick search on google and found the Indian Street Food & Co, it “creates a modern Indian cuisine inspired by food vendors in the streets of India… blending tradition with modern tastes and sustainable ideals…” sounded great and so I went to the Vasastan area and check it.
On the third day in Stockholm, decided to have breakfast in the city and try the semla, a sweet cardamom bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream. No place can make it better than Vete-Katten, an iconic 1920’s style cafe serving coffee, pastries, lunch and afternoon tea since 1928. This place gets very busy, it’s best to visit right after opening time.
The Swedish History Museum would be the next stop, an interactive place where you have a chance to actually hold a sword, play the organ or try on medieval helms. I’ve spent 2 hours in this museum, there is just so many artefacts from the Vikings era & the middle ages to see.
All of this made me very hungry which is the perfect mood to go have lunch at the Hermans, a vegetarian all you can eat place with a terrace and harbour views. This is a place with more than 1100 google reviews and an average rating of 4.4, so I really wanted to check what was all the buzz about. The placed was packed, and it took me a while to understand how it works. First, you head to the terrace to grab a sit, then once you are set up, go to the till and pay for a plate, grab the cutlery and water, and serve yourself from the buffet area. Was interesting to try, and a few of the dishes were very tasty, a herbed beetroot salad, mushroom and tofu borek, roasted potatoes. I am not sure if I would repeat the experience as I am not a big fan of buffet service where the quality and freshness of the food can never be compared to a made to order meal.
The rest of the day was dedicated to shopping and then relax in the hotel because walking on the snow and the freezing temperatures can be exhausting.
On the last day and after checking out, I went to visit Stockholm Modern Museum that is located on the Skeppsholmen island. The djurgården ferry that connects the Old Town (in Slussen) to the Djurgården island, stops in Skeppsholmen. It’s a 15 minutes ferry trip with views of the city, and you can travel on this ferry at no extra cost if you buy any of the Stockholm’s public transportation travelcards.
From there I went back to the Central station where the airport transfer bus terminal is located and made my way back to the Skavsta airport and back home in London.
How much did it cost me to visit Stockholm?
- Ryanair Flight London Stansted to Stockholm Skavsta and return – £37 (Booked 2 weeks in advance, no extras)
- Transfer London Golders Green to Stansted and return – £7 Booked on the easyBus website service operated by National Express Coaches
- Transfer Skavsta to Stockholm Centre and return – 250 SEK (around £22)
- Stockholm 72 hour travelcard – 250 SEK (around £22) Valid to travel on the buses, metro, tram, light railway and some ferries
- Accommodation, Hotel Studio Flat, 20 min from the centre, 3 nights – £170
- Food – Around £120 Expect to pay £4 for a coffee | £3 for a pastry | £10 for a starter | £13-26 for a main course
- Sightseeing – 80SEK (around £7) Royal Armoury – Free | The Hallwyl Museum – Free | Stockholm City Hall – 80 SEK (around £7) |Swedish History Museum – Free | Modern Museum – Free
Total – £385
A full guide to visit Stockholm coming soon, with info on how to reach Stockholm from Skavsta and Arlanda airports, where to stay, public transportation options, free admission museums and etc..