My family and I had been brainstorming about where to go in the Summer for such a long time. Like I already discussed in a blog post about traveling with friends, with your family you also have to agree on a city where to go. My travel bucket list is pretty long and I keep adding more cities and places to it. But when we were brainstorming, I thought about one city that we would love to visit and that is Stockholm. Stockholm has been on my travel bucket list for a while now and since my family really likes Scandinavia, we decided on Stockholm and Copenhagen. We would first be in Stockholm for about five days and then take the train to Copenhagen. In this travel diary I will be sharing everything we did and saw each day of our stay in Stockholm. Enjoy!
DAY ONE | Monday 1 August, 2016
Just four days after I got back from my trip to London, again my alarm went off around 4 AM because my family would leave for a trip to two Scandanavian cities. First on the list was Stockholm, Sweden. Just before 9 AM we landed at Arlanda Airport, which is just outside of Stockholm. From the airport we took the Arlanda Express to the centre of Stockholm. I would definitely recommend to get this train to the centre of Stockholm because you are there in about 20 minutes and it’s a very comfortable train ride.
Our hotel was around Kungsträdgården so we took a little walk until we were there. On every map you will use in Stockholm everything looks so far but in reality it really isn’t. In about ten minutes we ended up at our hotel called the Kungsträdgården Hotel. Before we got there of course I searched the hotel on the internet and it looked very pretty and Scandanavian (duh haha). We were actually able to check-in from 2 PM but our rooms were already ready so we got settled down and then started to explore the city.
We made a little plan for what to do the rest of the afternoon. First we wanted to walk around the Kungsträdgården a little more. There’s this beautiful park where there was lots to see. Since we had a pretty early breakfast, we all got pretty hungry. That’s why we sat down at the Tehuset. Here we all ate a toasted sandwich with different toppings. I really needed this because traveling makes you hungry. While we were eating, suddenly we heard lots of music coming from the streets. I looked behind me and saw lots of horses coming my way. Appearantly it was the beginning of the changing of the guards. So we packed up our stuff and walked with the horses to see the changing of the guards.
After that we explored around the old part of Stockholm, which is called Gamla Stan. Of course there are lots of souvenir shops around here but I also found some hotspots (should I share this in a seperate blog post?). This is a part of the city where I could definitely walk aroud for ages. It kind of looks like Barcelona (at least that’s what it reminded me of) with all of the colorful buildings.
For dinner we didn’t really know what we felt like having. So we just walked around for bit in our hotel area and then ended up at Restaurant Barcelona. Yes, Barcelona in Stockholm. Who would have thought haha. Anyways, they had tapas and all those kind of things. So I got quessedilla’s, which are delicious and I and definitely going to try and make myself. Just across from the restaurant was Wayne’s Coffee. I had seen this so many times during our walk through the city so we decided to get a typical Swedish snack here. It’s kind of like a cinnamon bun but just a little different. We tried it and it was delicious. A perfect evening snack before going to bed.
DAY TWO | Tuesday 2 August, 2016
First thing in the morning we all got ourselves ready because we would have breakfast in the hotel. As we got downstairs, we started to smell the freshly baked bread and coffee brewing. There was this huge buffet with lots ofdifferent kind of bread, croissants, cheese, ham, jam and more. Of course I got the most delicious bread that was there (they have the best bread in Scandanavia, let me tell you), a croissant and some other things. I think this is the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever had in a hotel. After we finished eating the whole entire breakfast buffet (well, not all of it but a lot), we went back to our rooms and made a plan for the rest of the day.
For Tuesday we decided on exploring a little more of the old town. On Monday we already walked through it for a little bit but this time we wanted to explore a little more. Since our hotel is pretty close by everything in Stockholm we walked to the old town. You can find the old town in the part of Stockholm called Gamla Stan. Here is where you’ll find buildings that kind of reminded me of Athens, Greece sometimes. In photos below you can see some examples.
After we walked around Gamla Stan for a while, we grossed the river to Södermalm. Stockholm consists of various small islands and this is one of them. This island is also still considered the old town. When we crossed the river, there was lots of construction going on. At first you feel like you’ve entered a strange new part of Stockholm but in reality, in five minutes you’ll be in the beautiful old town of Stockholm again. While walking on the bridge we saw this viewing point and we definitely wanted to go put there. We took a little hike upon lots of stairs and a steep street and then ended up upon the Gondolen. From this viewing point you have a beautiful view over the city.
Since we there had already past a couple of hours since we had breakfast, we all felt like having a little snack. Just below the Gondolen was this cute spot where you could still enjoy the view and have something to eat and drink. As you can see in the photos above, I didn’t really get a little snack. They had all types of freshly baked goods so of course I had to get something like that. I got this cake thing (they didn’t have a name for it) that looked very much like a millionaires shortbread and it tasted like it as well.
When we finished eating our delicious ‘snack’, we walked for a little and ended up at the Götgatan. This is a really long street with lots of different stores. I discovered so many different hotspots and new stores around here. Some time in the future I will definitely be sharing those on here because you’ll love them as well (read: lots of Scandinavian design and minimalistic interior). Throughout the day we all got pretty tired because we did so much walking. So at the end of the afternoon we went back to the hotel to relax and after that went to dinner at Café Milano. I had a delicious (and very large) pizza salami, which is my favorite.
DAY THREE | Wednesday 3 August, 2016
On Wednesday we actually had to set an alarm. At 9:45 in the morning we had to be at a part of the city where we would start our cycle tour. After we had breakfast (it is less busier when you go early, which is a plus), we got ourselves ready and started walking to Stockholm Adventures. This is where we had our cycle tour from and got our bicycles at. When everyone got used to their bike, we cycled to our first stop.
When you go on a cycle tour you go with a whole group and cycle to different places. We went with a very interesting group. There were three elderly men that were in our group and they didn’t really know how to cycle so at the beginning I tried to cycle in front of the group so I won’t be bothered by them. Anyways, our first stop was the City Hall. When we were walking to Stockholm Adventures we already saw a little of the City Hall but this time our guide told everyone a little more about the City Hall, the three crowns on top and the water in front of it. Apparently this is where they get all of their drink water from and in the winter you are able to skate from one island to another. How cool! From there we got on our bicycles again and cycled through a part of the old town where we went the day before.
After cycling through a part of the old town and past by the Royal Palace, we ended up cycling along Strandvagen. This is where all of the fancy hotels of Stockholm are at. Since the weather was so nice, it kind of felt like we were at the beach or something like that. Anyways, I loved how all of the hotels looked and the boats there. When everyone already cycled to the next stop, I really wanted to take a photo of the hotel with the red sunblinds. It looks pretty, right?
From there we cycled up to Djurgården. This is again one of the islands of Stockholm and when we cycled through it, it had a completely different vibe than the other islands. I really liked it because it was very relaxed and pretty here. On the way we stopped at the Vasamuseet. This is a museum where they have a ship that capsized and sank hundreds of years ago. I won’t tell the whole story because it’s way too long but it is very interesting. In the museum you’ll get to know more about its history.
Our guide showed us some other stops on Djurgården and then we went to our last stop. If we didn’t do the cycle tour, I don’t think we would have gone here. I am talking about Rosendals Trädgård. Before I had never heard of it but it is a public garden where the public can get to know more about everything that grows in this garden. There is a cafe where you can have lunch but also a boutique (or as they call it: butik) with products made from things that grow in the garden. They have everything from jam to bread and so much more. We only had a couple of minutes to stop here but I thought it was very beautiful and it is a great place to go when you feel like doing something different in Stockholm.
We walked through the Rosendals Trädgård for a little bit and then had to get back upon our bicycles and that was already the end of our bicycle tour. When we cycled back one of the elderly men struggled a lot and almost fell in front of my bicycle. So maybe I was a little glad that our tour was over so I didn’t have to deal with watching the road and watch out for a men struggling to stay on his bicycle. Anyways, we made it back to the Stockholm Adventures place and then went to Norr Mälarstrand and searched for a place to have lunch. In Sweden it is normal to have lunch as if you’re having dinner and then have a salad or a sandwich for dinner. So that is what we did! We had ‘lunch’ at this small place and then explored a little more around the City Hall.
In the evening my dad and brother went to a football game so my mom and I had the evening to ourselves. We went to Kungsträdgården to search for a spot to have dinner. Apparently the cafes around here closed their kitchen really early so we couldn’t eat at any place. Pretty strange… So we went to Nordiska Kompaniet (also called NK), which is a big compartment store, and walked around for a bit. We also went to Biblioteksgatan where there are lots of different stores. There also was an Urban Outfitters store that was located in an old theatre, which looked amazing. In the end we ended up eating at our hotel and the food was pretty delicious so it was okay.
DAY FOUR | Thursday 4 August, 2016
The night before we discussed what we should do on Thursday. Before we went to Stockholm, my mom made a list of thing we could do or see in Stockholm and one of those was ABBA The Museum. In my Athens Travel Diary posts you could already tell that lots of places reminded me of Mamma Mia the movie. This is one of my favorite movies and I love the music in it so of course I wanted to go there. After breakfast we left to go to Djurgården again because on this island is ABBA The Museum located. It is a interactive museum. When you scan your ticket at a machine you can take a quiz, make yourself wear ABBA clothes and participate in a dance off. I would definitely recommend going there because it’s such a fun museum and I had a blast! We stayed inside the museum for a really long time, got some things from the gift shop (which you’ll see in another blog post) and had lunch. I got this shrimp sandwich and it was really good ?
Like I already told you, Stockholm consists of lots of different little islands. One of those is Skeppsholmen. From Djurgården we took a ferry to Skeppsholmen. From the other side you can just walk to this island but from Djurgården you have to take the ferry. It’s a pretty fun experience to get to a different place by ferry. Anyways, we went to Skeppsholmen because we wanted to visit Moderna Museet. As you might know, I am really into modern art so this was definitely on my list to visit. The museum is actually free and you only have to pay for certain exhibitions. It kind of reminded me of MOMA in New York because they had lots of the same art work and work from the same artists in there. Below you can see some pieces that were in the museum and that I really liked.
After we walked around Moderna Museet for about two hours (I believe), we sat down in the garden for a little bit before we started walking back to our hotel. This time we didn’t have to take a ferry and could just walk around the island. We passed by this restaurant, called Restaurant Hjerta, that looked over the water and nearby all the boats. We decided to sit down and enjoy something to drink and eat. When we sat down here, I really felt like being on holiday. The sound of the water made everything very relaxed and the snacks were very delicious as well.
At the end of the afternoon we were all pretty tired. Then it is always nice to have an hour of laying in your freshly made hotel bed very tempting. So we went back to our hotel and layed down for a little bit. Around 7 PM we decided it would be fun to have dinner at the hotel again. My dad and brother hadn’t eaten there on Wednesday and since the fries are absolutely delicious, I didn’t really mind staying at the hotel for dinner again.
DAY FIVE | Friday 5 August, 2016
Friday would be our last full day in Stockholm. The day started pretty slow because we didn’t really know what we wanted to do. So first we went to breakfast and then decided on what to do. I really wanted to go back to Götgatan to buy some souvenirs and other things. Before we did that, we thought it would be a fun idea to go to Fotografiska. This is a photography museum in Stockholm, like FOAM in Amsterdam. They had five different exhibitions at Fotografiska and I especially really enjoyed the Bryan Adams exhibition. I didn’t know he also took photographs but his photos are absolutely stunning. Below you can see a photo he took of Lana Del Rey.
Outside of Fotografiska they had a small café where we sat down. While we sat down, the sun came out and the weather got a little better and warmer. In the harbor next to it were some really big cruise ships. I had never seen such big cruise ships so we got to enjoy a nice view for about half an hour. From there we started walking towards Götgatan again. The first time we were here I already saw some shops I wanted to see again and maybe buy some things for myself. I did buy some lovely things, which you’ll see in an upcoming blog post. And since shopping makes hungry, we went to Espresso House in Götgatan to have some lunch.
For the last souvenirs we decided to go back to Gamla Stan to buy those. There are lots of souvenirs shops in Gamla Stan and the souvenirs aren’t that expensive here. Besides that, there were also some other stores I really liked and wanted to take some photos of so I can show and share them with you as well (this will be up pretty soon…).
My mom kind of fell in love with Restaurant Hjerta on Skeppsholmen (where we ate a snack before) so that is where we went for our last dinner in Stockholm. While we were waiting for our food I started to realize that we almost had to leave this beautiful city, which made me kind of sad. But of course I enjoyed this time more than I was sad because that would be a waste. In the photo above you can see the delicious (and healthy) pizza I had for dinner. This was definitely a good final dinner in Stockholm!
Back at the hotel we packed our bags because in the morning we had to check out of the hotel around 11 AM and then go to the central station in Stockholm because we would take the train to Copenhagen. Everything about Copenhagen you’ll read in an upcoming blog post so look out for that one! After this trip to Stockholm I’ve definitely added it to my favorite cities list. In a couple of year I am going to come back here and explore the city even more. Have you ever been to Stockholm? What is your favorite thing I did or saw?