Stockholm is known for its snuggle-up weather, untouched nature merged with contemporary architecture, 14 islands, lots of museums, and summer evenings filled with the breathtaking Northern Lights. Stockholm is a place where locals share an impeccable sense of design and trends, prefer a direct style of communication and pretty much everyone is fluent in English.
But what are the less clichéd notions and more alternative things to see and do in Stockholm? If you only have a day or less to spare for sightseeing, Showaround local John comes to the rescue and shares his favourite spots in the city.
I’m an art director living in Stockholm for the past 10 years. As a passionate traveller and foodie, I'm always curious to meet new people and explore other cities. I can show you Stockholm by bike or on foot, everything from the old architectural styles to hip and never-sleeping areas pulsating with energy. Most of them also have plenty of tasty restaurants, of course.
Above all neighbourhoods, my favourite one is Södermalm. Here's my guide on how to spend a chilled and well-balanced day in the area, with shopping and great food added into the mix.
Start your morning with a hearty brunch in Södermalm. In a small corner of this district, you will find cafe Pom & Flora, near the hipster area Nytorget. The café is an excellent place for fresh brunch with acai bowls, yoghurt combos, and smoothies.
One of my favourite secret spots is Moneliusvägen near Mariatorget. Walk the small path on the mountain to get a scenic view over the Lake Mälaren, City Hall and Riddarholmen.
Photo: Falafelbaren by Stellan Stephenson
Pick up some lunch at Falafelbaren, or take a bao at Barabao on the other side of the street. If you want more street food to choose from K25 or Teatern, both are great food courts with plenty of restaurants.
If it’s time for shopping, there are plenty of great design shops at Södermalm. A place at Brunogallerian has a bunch of Scandinavian fashion brands, Granit - a Swedish interior shop and Grandpa which sells clothes and things you didn't know you needed before you visit.
Let’s get inspired and admire photo art. Fotografiska museum has a photo exhibition space of 2,500 square meters. Stop by Katarinavägen on the stairs down to Fotografiska, and you have a fantastic view over Djurgården and the Tivoli Gröna Lund.
Photo: Farang by Tuukka Koski
Did someone mention craft beer? Every week Omnipollo has their own fresh craft beer with flavours like Pineapple IPA, Passion Fruit, and Sour Beer. They also do great homemade pizzas. Bear in mind though that it can be really crowded. Lådan is similar to Omnipollo but it’s a much bigger place which has a lot of Swedish craft beers and homemade sliders like mini hamburgers. For those who are more interested in drinks, TAK is a highly recommended spot. It also has a stunning rooftop view.
Bring your dancing shoes. Trädgården is a great outdoor club and playground in the summertime, and it also has a club inside during the winter. Located just outside the Södermalm area, it’s an arty, industrial club playing techno until the early mornings hours. Are you more into fancy nightclubs? Berns is an old hotel building with a stunning interior, and it has Stockholm's biggest chandeliers hanging from the roof.
Showaround: Thank you John for your tips!