It’s Travel Tuesday and if you’re new around here, today’s post is another travel guide in my Eat+Stay+Play series. This post is all about Stockholm, but if you’re looking for other city guides you’ll find them under the Travel menu at the top or click here.
Getting to Stockholm
We arrived by overnight boat from Tallinn, Estonia. Tallink’s Baltic Queen makes trips back and forth between Stockholm and Tallinn. We have done an overnight train before, so taking an overnight cruise was a no-brainer. If having outdoor space is a priority and your budget allows it, upgrade to an executive suite. You’ll have a spacious room with a rather large terrace. We enjoyed this because of the onboard grocery and wine shop. We bought some rosé and enjoyed outdoor sea views from the privacy of our own room.
Arriving in Stockholm is an easy debarkation. You’ll have plenty of time to get off the boat, so don’t worry about being in a rush. Most people gather and crowd the exits trying to be the first ones off, so we waited a few extra minutes and walked out without issue.
Stockholm is breathtakingly beautiful. I can best describe it as the Paris of Scandinavia. Many of the buildings were actually built in classic French style, so it’s easy to feel romantic as soon as you arrive. I loved that there is so much waterfront. It’s a striking scene of gorgeous modern yachts and sailboats against a backdrop of well-preserved European classical architecture.
Where to Eat
Pastis in Gamla Stan has lighter French bistro fare and wine, beer and cocktails. We enjoyed this find in Old Town because of its corner location with views of a courtyard and statue of St. George slaying a dragon. It’s perfect in the evenings as the last cruise goers make their way out of the city and you’re left with the sounds of the café bouncing over the cobblestones.
Barrels Burgers and Beer, also in Gamla Stan, is a great lunch spot if you need a little comfort food. The burgers here can compete with any top burger place and they have comfortable outdoor seating.
Corvina is a great spot for a romantic dinner or to grab drinks and get that outdoor European café ambience we always enjoy. They have a very helpful sommelier, too. Come hungry and enjoy not being rushed.
The Hairy Pig Deli is a fun atmosphere for dinner and the charcuterie and cheese boards are some of the best. They also have tapas items and really delicious homemade gourmet sausage. This place is a must!
Tip: Make time for Fika, a Swedish coffee break that is a large part of Sweden’s culture. Morning, noon, or night you can have coffee and a little something sweet like cinnamon buns, cookies, or cake. When enjoying Fika, sweets are crucial to accompany coffee and there are plenty of cafés to partake in this fun tradition.
Where to Stay
We opted for this Airbnb in Gamla Stan. Hotels can be pricey and we knew we wanted to stay in Old Town. It was perfectly located about a block or so off the water. Although small, it was comfortable and had everything we needed. The location is perfect.
Tip: Check with your lodging host to see if you can drop your bags even before the room is ready. We were able to drop our bags off as soon as we arrived so we could explore without the burden of heavy luggage.
Where to Play
We spent most of our time in Gamla Stan when in Stockholm, with day trips to various locations throughout the archipelago.
Södermalm – You may recognize this area from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Unlike its gritty descriptions and depictions in books and movies, Södermalm is now hip with trendy shops and cafés. It’s been called Europe’s “coolest neighborhood” by Vogue and can be a fun place to spend an afternoon. We watched a World Cup match here over Swedish meatballs (yes they are a thing and they are quite good) and local beer.
Gamla Stan – This is Stockholm’s Old Town and is very charming. You’ll find the Nobel Museum here as well as the Royal Palace where you can watch the changing of the guard to a very enthusiastic military band. In this neighborhood, look for Stockholm’s tiniest public statue, Iron Boy (he’s actually much tinier than I even expected), as well as a rune stone and cannon barrel.
Vasa Museum – If you only go to one museum make it the Vasa Museum. Here you’ll see a complete 17th-century warship that was raised from the ocean floor. It sank on its maiden voyage and was brought to the surface shortly after it was found again in the 1950’s. It’s fascinating!
Tip: There are a variety of day trips and archipelago tours from Stockholm. We loved going by boat to Sigtuna, Drottningholm Palace, Vaxholm, and Gilleleje. I recommend getting the Stockholm Pass if you’re planning several days of sightseeing.
Have you been to Stockholm? I’d love to know your favorite spots or if you have tips on how to spend your time there. Comment below!
As always, thank you so much for reading and sharing!
xo – Erin
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