Indian Summer in Stockholm
21 October 2013 • Don’t go to Stockholm in October people told us. Well, my parents decided to go anyway and we joined them for a couple of days enjoying amazing weather, beautiful places and a very peaceful city without any crowds.
We stayed in the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel. It serves the biggest breakfast I have ever seen, it has comfortable modern rooms with a nice view on the water and the city hall. The hotel is conveniently located near the central station so if you either arrive from Bromma (by bus) or Arlanda (with the Arlanda Express train) it is an easy walk.
Stockholm, the city spreading over fourteen islands, is beautiful. We were there earlier this year, when it was freezing cold and when we were more looking for warm places inside. This time the sun accompanied us most of the time and the autumn leaves had turned different shades of red, brown, purple and yellow. New England in Europe.
We walked for hours discovering the many different parts of the city.
A nice way to start the visit in Stockholm is a stroll through the cosy Old Town or Gamla Stan in Swedish. Here the narrow streets have many souvenir shops but also some very nice local art and craft shops, coffee shops and restaurants.
The island of Skeppsholmen is superb. We briefly visited the Skeppsholmen Hotel at the waterfront. It looks perfect for a next family holiday.
Many museums are located on this island. This time we were in the Museum of Modern Art for coffee but I do want to come back to visit it properly. For food and drinks there are three options; The Restaurant (with amazing views over the city), the Espresso Bar (for a quick coffee) and Café Blom. We choose the Restaurant for the views but a visit to Café Blom told me that I want to chill there next time after discovering the museum.
Djurgården is a natural oasis. Perfect for walkers, runners, and picnics in summertime and also for museum lovers (as there are many on this island). We loved walking near the waterfront. On this island there are some of the most known museums such as the Vasa Museum (holds the only 17th Cie preserved ship in the world and the Skansen Open Air Museum (historic Sweden in miniature and zoo). Again two more reasons to come back with the whole family.Skansen
Food makes me happy. Luckily Mike and my parents share this love. When we visited the Östermalm Saluhall we walked into paradise. This hall from the 1880 features authentic food stalls and Swedish and Scandinavian delicacies. Trying to find a table can be a challenge but this is something in which my mum excels so in a short time we were able to enjoy delicious stuff such as fresh Swedish meatballs (köttbullar) with mashed potatoes and lingonberries or gravad lax.
Stockholm counts numerous fashionable and/or traditional restaurants. We loved every single one we tried. Nalen serves tasty Swedish food, beautiful presented and with a friendly and professional service. B.A.R. has everything a seafood lover wants in a cosy, hip interior. You can choose the fish you would like to eat at a market-like counter and order your side dishes and drinks with the waiter. Food was delicious and the waiters are friendly. We watched somebody of the staff skilfully opening oysters the entire evening. Grill has that Bohémien touch and craziness, and is mostly a hit for meat lovers but three of us ordered perfectly grilled fish and were very happy with the taste. A trio was playing chill jazz music in the background and the crazy décor is a pleasure for the eye. There is a salad buffet and a grill with different kinds of meats. Another traditional restaurant, right in the touristic centre is Den Gyldene Freden (The Golden Peace). Reviews were good for this restaurant and although I was afraid for the food quality, given its location in the heart of Gamla Stan, the food was very tasty.
We love to wander around in hotel lobbies and check out the bars and see how they look & feel. The stylish Hotel Diplomat on Strandvägen in Blasieholmen is centrally located, is near the waterfront and welcomes the rich and famous. The contemporary Lydmar Hotel has a nice restaurant and is also located in Blasieholmen. The hotel is part of the SLH chain, it offers top quality and as we experienced when we had coffee in a relaxed and friendly environment.Coffee @ Lydmar Hotel
We still love our travels Black Blue Green so the main attraction was once again found on the water when we discovered the Stockholm archipelago with its many islands on board the S/S Stockholm. An excellent guide described the many beautiful sites we passed accompanied by some anecdotes in perfect English and Swedish. She even did a tour within the audience to ask if we had further questions. We had brunch on board and were not disappointed, a large Swedish buffet (“smörgåsbord”) was awaiting us not to forget the many dessert options. I will not try to describe how beautiful the archipelago is and how lucky we were with the weather; the pictures do that so much better. There were not only tourists on board; also some Swedes were enjoying the trip with family, friends or their partner.Ticket OfficeDesserts on board
Stockholm is big but so nice to walk in and discover the very different islands and if you don’t want to walk anymore there are boats sailing between the different islands. To go to Djurgården you can take an antique tram too.Ferry serviceAntique tram to Djurgården
The weather was too nice to do much shopping but also for the shopaholics there are many options. There are different shopping centres and areas in the different neighbourhoods. Hip and stylish MOODS has several restaurants and a tapas bar with a DJ, very busy on Friday evening.Even dogs are welcome in MOODS
On our last day the hippie in me wanted to visit Södermalm, the alternative part of the city with nice little shops and restaurants. I cannot imagine being bored in this city with so many possibilities.
True beauty of the city for me can be found in its many waterways and the bridges over it. This combined with the autumn colours and time spent with loved ones made this a perfect holiday.