Last weekend I got the incredible opportunity to visit Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Flights from London were only ~$75 so a few friends and I thought we would seize the opportunity and head up north. On top of this, we only paid ~$100 for three nights at Generator hostel, a very trendy and clean accomodation.
I’m going to share with you all why I fell in love with Stockholm on my past trip. I hope this post inspires you to travel here someday if you ever get the chance.
Food & bars
I’m going to start off with addressing my obsession with these little Swedish cinnamon buns which were absolutely mouth-watering. Kanelbulle, which are little cinnamon-packed twists of gluten were amazing and very customary in Swedish bakeries. You MUST get one if you are there.
Kanelbulle aka heaven.
A picture of me about to dig in.
A close-up of this exquisite pastry.
I wanted to quickly chat about the bar scene in Stockholm. We hopped around a few different bars in Stockholm, but I have to say this one was my favorite.
This picture was taken at Akkurat, a really vibrant bar in Stockholm — I loved this bar because they had such a wide variety of beers that it even left you not knowing which one to order! The bar itself was quite big and it was popping with people. Although quite pricey, they had such an expansive selection of drinks. However, I have to admit that if all you’re after is cheap beer, I would definitely head to Prague instead. Beer is about 10% as expensive there as it is in Stockholm.
The streets and buildings by the waterfront
Taking a break from booze and Swedish pastries, I can’t forget to mention how Stockholm has some of the most beautiful waterfront areas I’ve ever seen. Since the city is situated as little islands, it is inevitable to cross over many bridges and take in views of the glimmering water. One of my favorite places to walk around was Strandvägen and Södermalm. They both had very lovely views of the city.
Here is a picture of Södermalm — the buildings had seriously epic Swedish architecture.
Now here is Strandvägen. It was so picturesque I could stare at these views for hours…
No wonder why the Swedes are so happy, they have such clean and beautiful cities to live in.
Here I am looking very happy in sunny Stockholm 🙂
More views of the waterfront areas. I couldn’t get enough of these views, they were absolutely breathtaking no matter which perspective you were looking at them from.
On sunday when my friends were off wandering around Stockholm, I decided to take a hour long walk to Hornstulls Marknad, which is a flea market that occurs on the weekends. I didn’t really know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by what I came across.
As you can tell the flea market had lots of secondhand clothes for sale. It was also next to these beautiful mirrored mosaic walls which gave the whole market a hip vibe. I was surprised by how much artwork I found in this area. Later when I was walking in the park next to the market, I saw some young boys spraying graffiti on this wooden wall (don’t worry, it was definitely legal haha). The people of this city seem very inspired and forward thinking.
There were a few street food vendors, in addition to miscellaneous goods for sale.
We also stopped by Östermalms Saluhall, another (indoor) market which sells all kinds of high quality Swedish goods and produce. I noticed there was tons of fresh seafood, especially salmon which I was very tempted to buy.
This was a neat market to check out because it was very authentic Swedish. It wasn’t selling Italian pasta or street food from Asia, but prioritized Swedish products. What a smart idea to focus on keeping markets local and responsibly sourced? 😉
I noticed so many parks, trails and green areas in Stockholm. For being a capital city of a powerful Scandinavian country, it was a very touching concept to see so much of the city be dedicated to nature. The parks are definitely put to good use as I saw many people running and going on walks. The Swedes are a healthy crew!
It seemed to be part of their culture to be in tune with nature and respect the environment, something I think more American cities can learn from. When people are in nature and less connected to technology, they are less stressed and can have more meaningful experiences with the people around them.
One of the many beautiful green spaces in Stockholm. What a wonderful place to read a book and admire the scenery.
And of course, lots of bike lanes! Definitely quite different from London where you have to fear your life everyday as a cyclist. In Stockholm and many other Nordic countries, biking is a main mode of transportation and is very encouraged due to health benefits and pollution concerns. Therefore, bike lanes are very prominent in Stockholm and can be seen throughout the city.
Stockholm was a very eye-opening experience for me. The only negative thing I have to say about Stockholm is the price. With about 100 SEK equal to $12.5 USD, prices were usually 100 SEK for a beer, 160 SEK for a cocktail, 200 SEK for an average entree. It definitely added up even after a long weekend here. However, the price of Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries will not stop me from returning. Next time, however, I will plan to do a lot more cooking 🙂
It was very interesting to understand how the Swedes live so gracefully and how their society is so functional even with a high tax burden and frigid winters. It was a great first experience into Scandanavia, however now I am only craving to see more. Until next time!