Stockholm is known to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and despite its relatively small population it has a lot to offer. We have the best insider tips for you, showing you hip and cool places in the Venice of the North that aren’t overrun with tourists yet.
The renowned Swedish architect and Stockholm native Anders Berensson teamed up with smart magazine to show you corners of the city that are really worth seeing. You won’t find Anders’ insider tips in any travel guide, giving you the opportunity to get to know not only the best but also the most undiscovered spots in Stockholm in just a couple of days. It’s time to start planning your next city trip to Stockholm!
Stockholm Trip: Real insider tips from Anders Berensson for your next trip to the Swedish capital!
Favourite neighbourhood: SoFo in Södermalm
The name of the small neighbourhood SoFo („South of Folkungagatan“) on the south island of Stockholm sounds pretty similar to the name of the the busy neighbourhood SoHo in London – even though on first sight it seems to be quite plain. If you are looking for nicely decorated houses and fancy shops, you might need to look elsewhere as SoFo offers a real insight into the lifestyle of people living in Stockholm.
This neighbourhood is home to small coffee shops, boutiques and trendy barbershops, in which you can get to know the locals in a heartbeat. In the evening the supermarket restaurant “Urban Deli” is not only packed with friendly Swedes but also serves up a delicious menu – according to Anders, the steak tatar is out of this world!
Adding to this, the atmosphere in the streets of SoFo is simply amazing. People here are pretty much relaxed, but still straightforward. In places such as Nytorget this mentality can be felt best. Nytorget is a square that doesn’t need to have any of the usual decorations like statues or a perfectly cut lawn to be pretty. This is where you can experience the real Stockholm, which is precisely the reason why Nytorget is Anders’ favourite place to be and a must-see during your stay. Nytorget also is a great starting point to discover the rest of the city on foot. It’s only a short walk to the centre from which you can make your way to Östermalm and take the ferry to Djurgården.
Favourite spot for outdoor adventures: Djurgården
There is a lot of fun stuff happening on the small island of Djurgården in the east of Stockholm. In the past this island was home to the royal zoo. Nowadays, however, there is (nearly) everything your adventurous heart desires. Even though this tip isn’t top secret anymore, it should still make your list.
The journey alone – on a small little ferry – is pretty cool already. Alternatively you can make your way onto the island by car over one of the many bridges. In Djurgården you have the choice between a number of different museums and the amusement park Gröna Lund, with some spectacular rides that will get your adrenaline pumping. There is also a 10 kilometre long sandy beach and even a miniature jungle. Whenever you find yourself bored in Stockholm, head over to Djurgården!
Favourite spot for art & culture: Moderna Musset & ArkDes and Sven-Harrys Artmuseum
Every person in Stockholm is mad about art and culture, which is why it should also be part of your tour through the city. The Moderna Museet, Museum of Modern Art and the ArkDes Architectural and Design Centre are located in the same building. The exhibitions are constantly changing, giving you the chance to gain great insights into Swedish art and Scandinavian architecture.
Anders is also giving another insider tip for art lovers during his tour with smart: The Sven-Harrys Artmusuem. This place has a huge selection of art objects, a restaurant and a pretty cool design shop, but the true highlight is on the roof of the building. This is where a replica of Sven Harrys’ old Swedish mansion was created. To even top this, the popular Vasa Park is right next to the museum!
Favourite food: Teatern Streetfood Market
You find a large variety of restaurants in Stockholm but according to Anders the food is nowhere as good as in the Teatern Streetfood Market. The street market in the Ringen shopping centre consists of many different small stalls – some of them are run by the best chefs of the country. The great food in combination with the cool and relaxed atmosphere of the place makes your Swedish food experience unforgettable!
The stall of Adam & Albin is all about reinventing the traditional Japanese cuisine by pimping it with regional Swedish delicacies. According to Anders this is the stall to go for the best food in Stockholm!
Favourite style: Shops in SoFo
You probably didn’t miss the hype around Scandinavian style and design. The bright colours and straight lines on clothes and furnishings are increasingly popular with just about everyone. During your visit in Stockholm you are right at the source of this trend. To find the best locations, you have to go back to SoFo where the streets are lined with vintage shops and small independent boutiques. Anders’ favourites include the boutique “Acne”, a very trendy jeans shop with the name “Dr Denim”, Grandpa, where you find stuff for your home as well as clothes and the furniture store Stalands.
Favourite place to relax: Hagaparken
Even though you might not expect a lot of nature from a city trip, nature is a big part of Stockholm. The most popular spot to chill out and relax in Stockholm is probably Hagaparken. This is a huge park in the heart of Stockholm, which makes you feel like you are no longer in a buzzing European capital city but somewhere in rural Sweden.
The park is most popular in summer because of the large lake and the wide green areas that are perfect to relax and soak up some sunshine. If you like being active, you can also explore the park and its royal buildings – either on foot or by bike. If you are lucky you might even get a glimpse of the royal family as their palace is located right in the park.
Favourite nightclub: Trädgarden
Once the sun is setting Stockholm transforms into a busy nightlife hot spot, especially in Trädgarden. This is an open air nightclub that is located right under a large bridge. Yes, this is as crazy as it sounds! Yet this unusual location is a great solution to noise pollution. Here you are able to rock it out, sing to the songs of many different live bands, play bowling and enjoy the best cocktails in town until the early hours of the morning. Whenever possible Anders spends his nights in Trädgarden and what he likes most about the nightclub is its odd location – he simply loves Stockholm for those bizarre ideas.
Favourite adventure: Ocean Bus & Kayak trip to the archipelago
Stockholm has more to offer than trendy neighbourhoods, charming people, culture and crazy nightclubs – a few really cool adventures for example! One of the most unique experiences in Stockholm is a tour with the ocean bus. The tour starts like any other ordinary bus tour through the streets of the city. After a while though the entire bus just drives into the water. Not possible? Oh, it’s possible! The bus is an amphibious vehicle, which is a brilliant idea, especially in a city like Stockholm. This way you can explore the city from land and water in just one go.
Another amazing water adventure in Stockholm is a kayak trip to the archipelago. All those little islands with the typical red wooden cabins look like a postcard and you and your kayak are right in the middle of it. For the ultimate outdoor experience you can even hire your kayak for a couple of days and camp on the islands or stay in one of the many cosy guesthouses – there is hardly anything more Swedish than that (Kayak rental company: http://horisontkajak.se/)!
Explore Stockholm like a local, not just like a visitor
There is a difference between getting to know a city by its crowded touristic highlights or by being part of it like a local. I prefer to get around off the path – away from the crowds. Thanks to the many great insider tips from Anders Berensson in the smart magazine you are now able to experience the real Stockholm just like a local as well!
Have you been to Stockholm before? Do you have some more insider tips to add to this list?