As we had anticipated, we took some 5 days in Stockholm, taking advantage of some seriously cheap Ryanair flights.
So what are our suggestions to fellow travellers to the Swedish capital city? Here they come.
Bear in mind, Stockholm is overall more expensive than London, thus likely more expensive than anywhere you are. But if you are a bit careful, you might be able to avoid splashing your cash. The two most expensive things you will notice are drinks and accommodation: 11£ for a pint and a half of lager is clearly a bit too much, in the same way about £60 for a room in the city hostel. But, while you will need a place to stay, you can surely do without a few pints for a couple of days, can’t you?
We did our homework and studied beforehand the best places to go and have proper Swedish food. We basically only left 2 meals to chance in the 4 days, and got fairly lucky, too. Our suggestion is, no matter where you are staying, do check out the City Backpackers hostel suggestions page for your stay. Their tips are awesome overall, not only for the food, but what we enjoyed the most was:
- Tennstopet, the oldest pub in Stockholm, with very good value for money and “local” atmosphere
- Pelikan, apparently the best meatballs in town. Meatballs are indeed awesome but heavy as hell! They come in portions of 4 and they are about 4 times larger than the Ikea meatballs, so keep this in mind!
- Östermalms korvspecialist, amazing sausages booth, fantastic for a meal on the go. Strömming is another booth where they mostly do fried herring sandwiches, which we strongly recommend.
There’s plenty of things to see in Stockholm, and a good selection of museums, too. The most popular tourist attraction is Skansen: bit of a park, bit of a museum, bit of a zoo. Originally intended as a open-air museum to showcase life in Sweden pre-industrial era, it is also home to several Scandinavian animals, such as moose, bears, reindeer and many others.
The Nordiska Museet, on Djugarden, is the museum of Swedish cultural history. It is well worth a visit on the way back from Skansen and it has a nice restaurant. Exhibitions include interior design and trends throughout the centuries, as well as fantastic samples of Nordic textiles.
On Gamla Stan (the Old Town) you have the Nobel Museet, which showcases the history of Alfred Nobel and the prize that he set in his will. They seem to regularly have pretty good temporary exhibitions too: we got to see one about Galileo’s telescope, in its 400th “birthday”, which is on until January 17th.
There’s also the Historiska Museet, of course, which has very rich exhibitions on Scandinavian prehistories, the Viking period, textiles and golden artefacts.
Buses and the Metro work very smoothly and are an affordable and reliable way to get around town. I’m not sure whether they run overnight or till a certain hour but I highly recommend them. Bear in mind Stockholm is not a huge city: the city centre is perfectly walkable and mostly flat, so keep this option in mind, if you want to save some cash (although prices are reasonable).
The overall feeling
Stockholm is a beautiful city. I think it could give different impressions depending on when you visit in the year, specially considering the daylight: we visited in late November, and at about 3pm it started getting dark, and eventually got dark by 4.30pm. But, even in the morning, the sun is never high so it always seemed like it was setting… Weird…
And, last but not least, a big thanks to Melina who suggested Chokladkoppen, on Stortorget.