12 min read
After our Travel Expert Ellis shared his top tips on how to spend 48h in Gdansk, one of our other Travel Experts Roxana takes you on a journey to Stockholm, a city known as the “Venice of the north”.
Stockholm? More like Stock-holy moly I didn’t realise how incredible this city is! If your perfect city break includes jaw-droppingly gorgeous landscapes, architecture straight out of a fairy tale, and virtually mandatory coffee and cake pitstops, Sweden’s capital is the destination of your dreams.
Sometimes referred to as “the Venice of the north”, Stockholm is built across 14 main islands with 57 connecting bridges and found where the Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Set against this backdrop of sparkling blue waters, you find the spellbinding sights of one of the largest and best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. Pretty impressive stuff right?
Well, I’m only just getting started! Since rising to prominence as a key trading city in the middle ages, Stockholm has continued to grow into a thriving and modern global powerhouse. The city boasts a leading fashion and design scene, tonnes of quirky bars, and of course, is home to the one and only ABBA! Between hopping on a two-and-a-half-hour flight to this dreamland or commuting home for a weekend of chores and Netflix, I know which I’d choose!
Now, I wouldn’t be doing my honest duty if I didn’t give you fair warning that Stockholm can be a little more on the expensive side. What can I say, sometimes this pretty city can cost a pretty penny! Though you might leave with slightly lighter wallets, I guarantee you will also leave with absolutely priceless memories. This guide is here to help you make the most of every second you have in this wonderful city, so keep reading and get ready for a trip of a lifetime.
After a 2 hour flight from London Heathrow, I land at Stockholm Arlanda (the main out of four airports in Stockholm). I want to make the most of my time in the city so I jump in a taxi and head straight to the At Six Hotel to drop off my bag.
Situated in the historic heart of the city, close to some of Stockholm's most popular landmarks, such as Strandvagen and Stockholm Cathedral, At Six is a destination where contemporary art, fine dining, and exquisite interior design meet to create a modern luxury hotel in central Stockholm.
The rooms are decorated in a minimal design, with a touch of classy and comfort but the best part is yet to come, your own concierge service and a private fitness room where you can enjoy a morning early workout, how amazing is that?
First thing up on your itinerary is the truly riveting task of heading to an underground station and buying a travel card. Exciting I know but trust me, this is your ticket to unlocking the city. Costing £25 and lasting the duration of your stay, the travel card will allow you free access on all public transport around the city and will come in very handy for a little something special I have in store for you later.
Photo Credit: @aksioma21
Travel card in hand, its time to explore the world’s longest art exhibition, otherwise known as the Stockholm subway! Ornately decorated with paintings, sculptures and mosaics created by 150 artists, Stockholm’s underground truly puts London’s to shame.
Photo Credit: @follow_loloche
I’d recommend heading into the T-Centralen station, having a nosey around there, and then hopping on a train for the 2-minute journey to Kungsträdgarden station to get a look at two of the most iconic designs.
Photo Credit: @juliedici
From Kungsträdgarden, a short walk over Strömbron bridge takes you to the Old Town of Gamla Stan. This is the medieval heart of Stockholm and here you will find picturesque cobbled streets, quaint little boutiques, and colourful churches.
Photo Credit: @go.go.travels
Allow yourself to get lost down side streets and enjoy meandering around this beautiful district. During your wanders make sure to visit the Storkyrkan, otherwise known as Stockholm Cathedral.
Photo Credit: @sydstallningar
This is such an impressive church you will be shocked that it dates all the way back to 1279. Inside, you will find a transfixing ebony and silver altar, two magnificent royal chairs, and a spectacular sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon.
Photo Credit: @miss.valeriyaaa
Kick of your afternoon in true Swedish style with Fika! Essentially, Fika means “coffee and cake” but it is much more meaningful than that to Swedes. It is about making time in your day to have a break, refresh the brain, and check in with friends and family.
Photo Credit: @iogonfallande_hem
Across Sweden, it is widely considered important to have Fika every day. I don’t know about you, but this is a custom I’d definitely like to bring to the UK! You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a café but one of our favourites in Gamla Stan is Chokladkoppen, an establishment famed for its hot chocolates.
Photo Credit: @kaffekoppen_chokladkoppen
With your bellies and hearts full, explore Stockholm’s Royal Palace or Kungliga Slottet. Taking 57 years to build, and with a staggering 608 rooms, this is the world’s largest royal castle still used for its original purpose.
Photo Credit: @kimielfeky
Despite being a working government building, the Palace is open to the public for a good ol’ fashioned snoop around. Highlights include the decadent Karl XI Gallery and Queen Kristina’s silver throne. A ticket for the Palace also allows access to the Royal Treasury (where you can see crowns, sceptres and more) as well as the Museum Tre Kronor.
Photo Credit: @passenger84
The Tre Kronor was a castle that once stood where the Kungliga Slottet is situated now and the museum tells the fascinating history of the lost building and how it tragically burned down in 1697.
As the day comes to its close, there is no better place to put your feet up and watch the sun set over the city than from the water. Most tourists book a water tour and have to pay an extortionate amount for this experience, but I have a handy trick up my sleeve to share with you, my faithful BRBers.
With your travel card (told you it would be important!) you can take unlimited water taxi trips, giving you the same experience as a water tour but completely free! You’re welcome! One of the best routes for viewing Stockholm’s cityscapes is the Riddarholmen - Södermalm - Kungsholm service.
Photo Credit: @thomasmozzi
This boat ride will take you in a triangle across the largest body of water in the centre of Stockholm and it offers the perfect opportunity to snap those all-important Instagram pics!
What better way to wrap up your first full day in Stockholm than with dinner and drinks? And where better to go for them than a beautiful 17th century theatre with an excellent restaurant as well as a roof top terrace bar? Sound good? Then head to Södra Teatern for a delicious meal, drinks with a view, chic decor, and a spot of live music.
Photo Credit: @visitstockholm
I hope you are feeling ready and rested because I have a spectacularly packed morning in store for you! Coffee in hand, start by heading to the Edenic island of Djurgarden.
Photo Credit: @car0lina_s
Here you will find luscious gardens, the Vasamuseet and the ABBA museum. In the Vasamuseet, discover the story of the 17th-century Vasa warship which sank just one kilometre out to sea on her maiden voyage in 1628.
Photo Credit: @vasamuseet
300 years after it sunk, the ship was salvaged and is now on display in the museum along with the skeletons of some of the 30 people who lost their lives in the disaster. Walking around the exhibit, staring at the imposing 18m tall ship with its ornate carvings, cannon holes and vast decks, is truly a jaw dropping experience and not one to be missed.
Spend the second part of your morning at the ABBA museum. Well worth a visit for die-hard fans and uncertain listeners alike, this museum celebrating the iconic pop group is bright, bold, cheesy, and always a good time.
Photo Credit: @ve_basti
You can do everything from dancing with holograms of the band, to recording your own song, and admiring some of their signature costumes. Take a chance on me and give it a go!
After that hectic morning, I bet you’ve worked up an appetite! Following your nose, head over to Östermalms Saluhall. Named the 7th best food hall in the world, this sophisticated take on an indoor market is a veritable paradise for your tastebuds.
Photo Credit: @mariapancaro
The impressive building is home to both fine dining restaurants and high-quality local food stalls, so take a wander and see what tickles your fancy. It’s a great place for you to embrace Swedish cuisine and gobble down some traditional meatballs or enjoy some fresh fish. If you’re feeling really adventurous you could even try a more unorthodox Nordic delicacy such as elk or bear.
Photo Credit: @alltinggottt
Feeling energised, its time for you to learn a little bit more about the history of Stockholm. If you’re anything like me, knowledge of Sweden’s past might not be a strong suit, but the Swedish History Museum is the perfect place to rectify this. Covering everything from prehistorical archaeological finds to Vikings to medieval massacres and present day, this vast museum offers a captivating insight to the country’s heritage.
Photo Credit: @carolineperier
Fancy a drink? I think you deserve a drink! Take the short walk to The Hallwyl Museum for some much-needed refreshment. I know museum is in the name, but I promise I am not tricking you into walking around another exhibition! Hidden away, in the museum’s gorgeous inner courtyard, lit up with fairy lights you will find a bar.
Photo Credit: @bybenedicthe
A secret oasis away from the busy streets of central Stockholm, this spot feels magical and is ideal for starting off your final evening in style.
The glitz and the glam is only going to increase as you close your weekend with a bang at the Michelin star restaurant Ekstedt. This exquisite eatery is all about fire. I’m talking wood-burning oven, fire pit and chargrill, so expect some incredible smoky flavours and skilled caramelisation techniques.
Photo Credit: @ekstedtrestaurant
Working with carefully selected seasonal ingredients, this restaurant will give you a taste of traditional cuisine with an exciting twist. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate a successful holiday completed to perfection!
If like me you love taking short weekend breaks across Europe and spending 48 hours in cities like Barcelona, Prague, Porto, Split, Bologna, Stockholm or Venice, but if like me you hate wasting hours trawling travel sites to plan and research your next weekend break, only to be hit by increased flight prices just before booking, then BeRightBack is for you!
The team at BeRightBack believes that the mission of a travel company should be to save you both time and money.
With BeRightBack, you get three trips a year to three surprise European destinations, all for the monthly cost of £49.99, which includes your return flights and your hotel.
With BeRightBack, creating a trip takes 60 seconds. Simply tell us how you like to travel when you create your account, and our concierge service does everything else for you. You won't have to lift a finger.
Best of all, you always pay the same price for your trips, no matter when you go away and we help you spread the cost of your travel, thanks to our monthly subscription.
I hope you enjoyed my 48 hours city guide to Stockholm and do not hesitate to use our website chat or to email us if you have any questions!
Roxana (Travel Expert at Berightback)
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