I’ve travelled a fair bit around Scandinavia and the Baltic States but somehow Stockholm has eluded me – until now that is. With the announcement of cheap fares by SAS Go direct from the North of England we didn’t have an excuse not to visit.
So, after a mammoth seven week half term (our daughter is still at Senior school) we donned the thermals and headed off for a five day break.
On the shortlist were: The ABBA museum, the Vasa Museum, The Royal Palace, a boat ride, the Fotografski Museum, Marina Abramovic at the Moderna museum and of course some retail therapy.
What I can tell you is that five days isn’t long enough! Not by half.
It’s a beautiful city. The architecture (unaffected by WW1 and WW2) is to die for. Unlike most European cities there are no ’60s monstrosities and there’s little in the way of modern architecture, not in the central part of the city anyway.
The people are incredibly friendly and it goes without saying, supercool. Everyone seems to talk English so language barriers aren’t a problem and there is a gastronomic option available whatever your taste in food and budget.
That’s not to say it’s not pricey, it is. A standard three course meal in a well established restaurant is around £70 a head. However, if, like me you’re less bothered about what you eat and would rather spend your money on beautiful things to take back with you, then my suggestion would be to eat at the various restaurants and cafes situated in the museums and galleries – the food is just as good, if not better.
So, if you’ve got five days or more to spare and fancy a city break, I can highly recommend Stockholm.
The highlights of our trip are below and don’t forget, pre-buy your City Pass before you go to make savings (although leave out the travel option, it’s all easily accessible by foot).
Gamla Stan – for amazing shops, bars and coffee shops.
The Nobel Museum – highly inspirational whatever your age (kid friendly).
Fotografski – fabulous exhibits all year round. Make sure you take a trip to the restaurant to see the most fabulous view of the city (and sample the cakes on offer).
Royal Palaces – our trip coincided with a State visit so we had to contend with a brochure to view the State Apartments (which was a bit disappointing) but we did get to explore the Treasury, the Armouries and Kronor Museum which were all great.
The Vasa Museum is amazing if you have a love of boats and history and it puts Henry VIII’s salvaged Mary Rose warship in Plymouth to shame. This boat is a miracle and you can easily spend half a day here exploring (kid friendly).
Skansen – if you’ve not got the time, leave this until last. It’s probably a place best experienced the the summer months. There’s a zoo, an aquarium, a fair and a chance to experience Skandinavian life through the ages (outdoor, kid friendly).
Nordiska Museum is an imposing architectural masterpiece filled with historical and modern age exhibits from every age. One of my favourite exhibits is The Power of Fashion – 300 Years of Clothing (kid friendly).
Junibacken – if you have kids under eight this is a must. The best bit is a ‘Disney’ style story train ride which takes you into the fairytale world of Astrid Lindgren, the writer behind Pippy Longstocking.
Moderna Museet – hosts one of the world’s finest collections of 20th century art. Currently on display is The Cleaner by Marina Abramovic (until 21.5.17) a retrospective of her work and it’s the first time it’s been displayed in Europe. Take my word, it’s better than MOMA in New York!
Without a doubt TheABBA Museum- dance, sing and generally make a fool of yourself in this interactive pleasure palace.
There’s loads of other stuff to see and do but sadly we didn’t have the time. Not that we need an excuse to come back, that’s a given anyway.
Where to eat:
We’ve all got different tastes but we tried these four restaurants and enjoyed them all (even with a pre-teen in tow).
Or if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the article below:
Taxis are unregulated in Stockholm so negotiate your price before you get in.