I get asked very often ‘What shall I see when I come to Stockholm?’ ‘What are the most important sights, cafes, bars in the city?’. This is always a hard question for me, because I’m very bad at limiting myself as well as limiting my recommendations. However, this summer I got a couple of people coming to see me in Sweden and it was the first time since I moved here that someone visited me. First, because our apartment wasn’t ready and second, well, Covid-19 happened and everyone had to cancel their trips here. Now finally, I had someone to show the city to, including my favourite sights, streets, cafes, restaurants and bakeries in Stockholm.
Everyone visited me for longer than a day, but walking through the streets of the Swedish capital several times, showed me which corners of the city I like the most. Perfect, to give you a little glimpse of what you can do here within 24h.
1. Have breakfast at Bageri Petrus
What’s better than starting the day with a fresh sourdough sandwich and a cinnamon bun from one of the best bakeries in town? The bakery is situated on Södermalm, a very young, modern and vibrant neighborhood with many small shops, cute cafes and bakeries and plenty of good wine bars and restaurants. The coffee at Petrus represents Swedish coffee drinking culture thus you’ll only find filter coffee. If you fancy a cappuccino or a flat white, just walk around the corner and grab one at Drop coffee.
2. Take the Ferry from Gamla Stan to Gröna Lund
Once you’ve eaten your cinnamon bun, you can head directly towards Gamla Stan, the old town of Stockholm. Just a 15 minute walk away are colourful houses, winded small streets and the Royal Palace. When you head towards the Eastern side of the island and towards the water you’ll see boats as well as a ferry that can take you to Djurgården. The ride takes only 5 minutes and gives you a beautiful view over the city. It costs as much as one Metro or bus ride, which is around 37 Swedish Crowns (3.5 Euro). The Ferry will drop you off at Gröna Lund, the huge amusement park of Stockholm.
3. Eat meatballs at Ulla Winbladh
Stop at one of Gröna Lund’s roller coasters or don’t, I get dizzy there so I continue straight to Ulla Winbladh for lunch. A bit more towards the middle of the island is the traditional restaurant that in my view serves one of the best Köttbullar (pronounced something along the way of ‘shoot-boh-larrrrrrr’, meaning meatballs). Served with an insanely creamy and buttery potato puree, a rich gravy, lingonberry and pickled cucumbers. The perfect lunch spot, as they also have seating outside in the sun. A plate of meatballs costs around 200 Swedish Crowns (19 Euro).
4. Have a Fika at Rosendals Trädgård
Swedish people love coffee breaks and therefore you now love them, too. A Fika is a coffee break mostly accompanied by something sweet. Rosendals Trädgård is perfect for this. A 10 minute walk from your lunch spot is this beautiful garden with glass pavilions, flower lawns, a small deli with fresh and preserved produce, a plant shop and a cafe that serves homemade and often homegrown food as well as delicious baked goods. In summer, you can borrow a pair of garden scissors and pick your own flowers in the garden that you can take home as a bouquet and are paid by weight.
5. Go to Svenskt Tenn
It’s time to walk back into town now. The nicest way is via Strandvägen, a wide street that leads along the water, with pompous and chic buildings. On that street is a not so un-expensive interior shop selling pillows, fabrics and other decorations that you’ll find in many Swedish apartments and houses. The main designer whose patterns you’ll find here is Josef Frank, an important figure in the previous century.
Now, walk towards Birger Jarlsgatan, while enjoying a view on the water and the Royal Dramatic Theater. Once on Birger Jarlsgatan peak into the shops and restaurants along the way. If you have time, take a small walk in Humlegården, another nice park that Stockholm has to offer.
6. Drink a glass of wine at Savant Bar
After a while, you’ll reach Tegnergatan. There is one of my favourite wine bars, Savant Bar, which serves a great selection of mostly natural wines. Their snacks are also delicious and so is their coffee, but keep your appetite, because our tour isn’t over yet.
7. Enjoy a 4-course menu at Prospero
Just 8 minutes walking from Savant Bar is Prospero, a small restaurant in the North of Stockholm. It’s not typical Swedish food, but you had meatballs already and I think that was enough for today. Prospero is very modern, contemporary and the menu is seasonal, regional and changing frequently. The combinations of flavours, textures and ingredients are always outstanding, with a lot of fermented or pickled components, very tasty meat and veggies. Their butter and homemade sourdough bread as well as the wine list are to die for! A 4-course menu costs 540 Swedish Crowns (around 50 Euro).
8. Sleep a night at Grand Hotel
After this delicious dinner, either take a walk through dark Stockholm lit up only by street lamps, or drive by taxi or metro and spend the night at one of the oldest and most classic hotels.
Not cheap, but located in the center of the city with a beautiful view over the old town. Sleep well!