Stockholm has been on top of my list for quite some time and it was about time I took the 90-minute flight up north to visit the capital of Sweden for one day. Especially now as all the Christmas lights are up and Stockholm´s Christmas spirit is as high as you can imagine.
With my plane landing at 9am and leaving Arlanda Airport at 8pm I knew I wanted to be efficient and prepared with my time. This little Itinerary of mine will hopefully give you an outlook of what you can expect to see in a day and fit in some of the best the city has to offer.
And let me start by saying a lot. But also a lot in walking distance.
If you are like me and enjoy exploring a city as much as possible within the power of your own two feet, then Stockholm is perfect for you. Otherwise, you can always go for the various tour bus routes showing you all around town in 60-90 minutes.
Some might say you should not go north during winter but I can only disagree. All of the charming lights and the cozy atmosphere is all you need. If you are lucky enough you will get some clear skies, unlike me. But it was alright since I did not experience any heavy snow or rain.
I started out arriving at the central station and making my way through Kungsträdgården, hosting an ice rink during the winter days and showcasing some of the first impressive Christmas lights. My first stop then was the bridge Skeppsholmsbron. Most famous and known for its golden crown in the middle of it. One of the most instagrammed and photographed motives all over the city.
The view is so spectacular, which is why I absolutely had to join in on that.
Afterward my next destination was Gamla Stan, the center of the city and best preserved medieval in Europe. And my first stop was the Royal castle or Kungliga Slottet which builds up right in front of you when you cross the bridge to Gamla Stan.
Within the castle, I was anxious to see the Royal Apartments. You really felt like in the middle of your favorite medieval movie. The atmosphere, attention to detail and the extravagant furniture. The walls, the ceilings, as well as the floor - mind-blowing. The castle is to this day the official residence of the queen and was built in the 18th century. There is so much to see, you could almost spend a day if you really wanted.
I proceded strolling through the narrow and charming streets of Gamla Stan until I ended up on Stortorget, which is the main square of the old town. And the ideal place for one of Stockholms main christmas markets.
As you can imagine the air smelled of candy and roasted almonds, with mistletoes all around a beautiful tree in the middle of the square. The mood was so cozy, it immediately transformed the vibe and did not give you the feeling that you are being a city of a million people.
Also located on stortorget is the Nobel Museum. Being a medical student and an aspiring future member of the scientific community, it was a given for me to visit. At the time the museum held an Exhibition of former Nobel Peace Prize recipient and human rights leader Dr.Martin Luther King. It is still on until September 19th of 2019 and i highly urge you to pay a visit. It really touched my heart.
My next stop was Södermalm, a hip neighborhood south of the center with a very up and coming culture. I went there especially for two reasons:
Visit Monteliusvägen, a 500m long walking path, with some saying, one of the most spectacular views of Stockholms City Hall and the south of Gamla Stan, all while overlooking the Lake Mälaren. Even though I experienced some rain there, the view still took my breath away.
I then continued to visit my first two coffee stops, which were not to far from here: Drop Coffee and the original shop of Johan & Nyström, since there were just a few minutes from Monteliusvägen. You can read more about my experience there in my other blog, but let me just tell you, the coffees already made my day. After this high quality caffeine fix, my next stop was meant to be the Vasa Museum, but they always say: If you go to Stockholm, you have to ride a boat. So I did. And the easiest and most convenient way was to simply use the fairy, about 5 minutes from Södermalm, straight to Djurgardens, where the Vasa museum is.The ride with the ferry took me only about 10-15 minutes but created some amazing photo ops and gave me a sense of what its like.
Once I arrived on Djurgardens it was about an 5 minute walk to the Vasa Museum. It holds the almost fully preserved ship which sank in 1628 and was salvaged in 1961. From the exhibitions surrounding the sinking, salvation to the history - there is a reason why the Vasa museum ranks number 1 in places to visit in Stockholm. Pictures don´t even do it justice, how impressive this ship was.
Afterward, it was around 3.30 pm, the day has turned into night and it was time for me to discover all of the beautiful Christmas lights around the city center in Östermalm and Gamla. It is a beautiful walk to take and there is also a map of all the lights, which you can pick up at the visitor center or download online here every year. My absolute favorite ones are the huge moose on Nybroplan.
From there I returned back to Gamla Stan to see the old medieval city centre in the luminescent light, as well as the Christmas market in the dark. It is really magical, unfortunately the sleet made it a little hard for me to take good photos and I was yearning for some warm and comfortable place.
Vete Katten it is! A Fika institution of Stockholm. What we in Germany call "Kaffee und Kuchen", the Swedish simply say Fika, which means a break for some pastry and coffee. The perfect and warming ending to my trip, since the Cafe was just a few minutes from the central station, from where I took the Arlanda Express train back to the airport.
Let me just add one more thing. Even though I love exploring cities by walking as much as I can, you need to check out Stockholm´s metro! It is often referred to as the worlds longest art exhibition and from my visits to some of the stations, I can only agree. Just check out these few shots from the two stations I have been to. So stunning!
Here goes another quick overlook of my trip and timetable:
Check out my impressions here:
I would like to thank Visit Stockholm for sponsoring my trip but as always all opinions are my own and I cant wait to go back to Stockholm and take my family along this time!