A Weekend in Stockholm

Your Stockholm weekend guide: the best meatballs, city views, shopping, museums and more!

stockholm view of gamla stan

Stockholm City Trip

October isn’t an obivous time of year to visit Sweden – while London enjoys mild autumn weather, Stockholm is already pretty cold and wintery. But when I spotted flights for £25 each way, I just couldn’t resist! Chris had always wanted to go too, so we booked the flights straight away and started to look forward to wandering the colourful streets of Stockholm’s old town.
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How to get there

Rynanair have return flights for under £30 return, which is an amazing deal! I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights and love the price alert feature.

We landed at Skavsta airport and found it very easy to get bus tickets (look out for the ticket machine next to baggage reclaim). These cost around £24 return per person and the trip to the city center takes around 80 minutes. People say Stockholm taxis are very expensive so we went straight for the bus.

Another option is Arlanda airport which is only 45 minutes away from the city and you can fly there with SAS, British Airways or Norwegian.

The autumn colours on the way to the city were incredible! We spotted quite a few cute red farmhouses as well. I would love to go back to Sweden to explore the countryside one day!

 

Where to stay

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We arrived on Saturday morning, got the bus into the city and walked to our hotel in the cool Södermalm area. Hotel Rival was such a treat. We expected to be in a standard room so we were so happy when we were taken to one of the deluxe rooms with a view over beautiful Mariatorget square.

We felt so at home that we could easily have stayed for weeks. We loved having a bath and a big shower, super-soft white sheets, fluffy bathrobes, lots of space, and free wifi.

The best thing about our stay was the glorious breakfast we had on Sunday morning though; I got a bit overexcited and tried all the Swedish things, from the fresh bread to the marinated salmon and the shrimp salad. I also couldn’t resist having poached eggs and a healthy juice ‘shot’. Sadly we only had one morning to enjoy the breakfast so I didn’t get to have the french toast, pancakes, sausages or yogurt! Everything looked delicious.

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Hotel Rival is owned by Benny Andersson of ABBA, so naturally every hotel room has its own copy of ABBA Gold (as well as a teddy bear and lots of DVDs).

For a slightly more budget option, Generator Hostel looks really cool!

 

Where to eat

stockholm-cinnamon-rolls

My extensive research into Stockholm’s meatballs (i.e. Googling) told me that the best were to be found at Pelikan or Bakfickan, with Meatballs for the People being the new cool kid on the block.

We got hungry very early on Saturday night and managed to get a table at Pelikan, a big hall that is home to over 100 years of culinary history. It wasn’t even 6pm yet and already the restaurant was filled with locals enjoying reindeer, boiled pork knuckle, and of course the famous meatballs. We went for a platter of Swedish charcuterie, followed by the (huge!) classic meatballs with cream sauce, creamy mashed potato, and lingonberry sauce. It’s safe to say we were stuffed!

meatballs-for-the-people-stockholm-food

Because we had a very limited amount of time to enjoy as much food as possible, we actually had meatballs again on Sunday for lunch. We went to Meatballs for the People, which is a casual but homely and slightly hipster place. The lunch offer lets you choose between the traditional meatballs and something a bit different like meatball spaghetti. Tasty and great value!

If you’re more interested in fine dining and amazing views of Stockholm, I think Himlen looks perfect. We were on a bit of a budget for this trip but we’ll definitely give it a try next time.

For a good vegetarian buffet and a view, go to Hermans.

A photo posted by Nina Martina (@nintschgiii) on

I love the Swedish concept of ‘Fika‘ . It’s all about taking a bit of time out of your day to sit with a cup of coffee, some good company, and maybe a little treat like a cinnamon roll. It’s the perfect way to take a break from the cold and spend quality time with friends. Unfortunately we did so much exploring that we didn’t find the time to visit any bakeries, but Vete-KattenFabrique and Cafe Saturnus were the ones that I found many people recommended online. Luckily, Fabrique have also opened up in London so we can have some quality Swedish fika-time and cinnamon rolls close to home.

 

What to see

stockholm-river-view-gamla-stan

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Stortorget stockholm

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I highly recommend heading over to Monteliusvägen with a hot drink to spend some time admiring the great view of Gamla Stan, the old town. Then head over across a bridge and explore! What you absolutely need to see is Stortorget, the colourful square that I’m sure you’ll have seen on Instagram. I also loved walking down Prästgatan, a very quiet and narrow cobblestone street where all the houses are painted in shades of red and orange.

If you’re unlucky with the weather or if you feel like getting in a bit of culture, you should also visit one of Stockholm’s museums:

  • ABBA Museum for your fix of fun and music (195 SEK)
  • Fotografiska for photography inspiration (SEK 120) and a nice café with a view
  • Vasa Museum for the world’s only preserved 17th century ship (130 SEK)
  • Moderna Museet for modern art (free!)

 

Where to shop

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I’ll admit that we didn’t actually buy anything during our trip, but we did go to a lot of shops! We found everything a little bit expensive (maybe it was just the £ exchange rate) but so, so cool.

I am seriously so tempted to open up my own Granit/Designtorget-style design store in London!

 

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Going to Stockholm was such a fun thing to do, even if just for two days. (If you have more than 48 hours, check out Arzo‘s tips too.) Next time, I’d love to go back in the summer and have a cycle around like Anna did. We still have plenty of museums, shops, and parks to explore so I’m sure we’ll be back!

Do you have any tips for Stockholm? What would you like to do there?

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