Traveling the world

36 Hours in Stockholm

36 Hours in Stockholm

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Stockholm is the epicenter of fashion, music, cuisine, and design in Northern Europe. Courtesy of Visit Sweden
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The Bouillabaisse dish at Urban Deli. Photo by Monique Lavie
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Barnacles from AG Restaurang & Bar. Photo by Julia Rothman
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Sweden might be home to Pipi Longstocking, ABBA, and IKEA, but its capital is the heartbeat of Scandinavia. Scattered over 14 islands on breathtaking Lake Mälaren, Stockholm is the epicenter of fashion, music, cuisine, and design in Northern Europe. Not to mention, one of the cleanest and most efficiently run cities on the Globe. If the cool architecture doesn’t win you over, the gorgeous model citizens just might do the trick.

Friday

2:00 p.m.

  1. All-You-Can-Eat Vegetarian Food With A View

Every time I visit Stockholm, I ALWAYS have lunch at Herman’s (Katarina/Sofia Fjällgatan 23B 116 28 Stockholm). The food is consistently good and the restaurant is perched high on a hill that overlooks the lake. During the winter, customers can get cozy on their enclosed porch with blankets and tea. They also offer free Wi-Fi.

6:00 p.m.

  1. The Best Neighborhood Bar

Pet Sounds Bar (Skånegatan 80  116 37 Stockholm) is one of my favorites. Start the night off right by grabbing a drink here -- they serve all kinds of beer, including Dale’s Pale Ale in a can. If you're lucky, you might catch my homegirl, Hannah spinning some cool indie tunes.

8:30 p.m.

  1. Dine Like A Rock Star

Restaurang 1900 (Regeringsgatan 66 111 39 Stockholm) offers classic Swedish food with a modern twist. Around 11:00 p.m. you will start to see an influx of Stockholm’s hipsters stumble in and make their way to the back of the restaurant. That’s just your cue to follow them through the secret backdoor.

11:00 p.m.

  1. Party With Some of Stockholm’s Best Looking

Kåken is Restaurang 1900’s hidden (outdoor) bar. The entrance is located in the back of the restaurant and it is open even in the coldest of months. No worries, they have heat lamps during the winter or just get sandwiched in between super models and Ryan Gosling look-alikes. It can get incredibly packed, so get there early.

Saturday

11:00 a.m.

  1. Do Fika like A True Local

Odds are you’ll probably be hungover from the night before and needing a major pick-me-up. Have a Fika (coffee break) at Il Caffè in the hip neighborhood of Sofo (Bergsgatan 17 112 28 Stockholm). Spend several hours strolling through the neighborhood and check out its numerous vintage shops and boutiques. Be sure to stop by the new Acne Studios location on Nytorgsgatan for simple, yet beautifully designed Swedish clothing and jeans. Head a couple blocks south towards Skånegatan and grab a tasty bite at Urban Deli. If cooking is your thing, definitely explore Urban Deli’s grocery store, which is attached to the restaurant. Afterwards, walk towards Galma Stan on bustling Götgatan and you’ll find tons of cool shops, including one of my favorites, The Press Stop. They carry a very extensive (and awesome) magazine selection. Bruno Galleria is directly across the street and houses some expensive, but cool Scandinavian duds.

2:00 p.m.

6.  Sweat Out Last Night’s Alcohol

Perhaps the key to glowing Swedish skin is spending countless hours at the thermal baths. 220 Swedish Krona (approximately $32) grants you admission into Centralbadet (Drottninggatan 88 ö.g. 111 36 Stockholm). They also rent towels, robes, and bathing suits for an additional fee. Be sure to utilize their saunas and swim in circles in their majestic pool until you work up an appetite.

4:00 p.m.

7. Load Up On Swedish Products. Trust Me, Your Hair Will Thank You.

If shopping is your thing, you must check out Stockholm’s two largest department stores, NK (Hamng. 18-20, across street from Kungsträdgården, City, Stockholm) and Åhléns City (Klarabergsg. 50, City, Stockholm). If you’re a fan of luxury hair products, head straight to the pharmacy, which is in the basement level of both department stores, and stock up on SACHAJUAN hair products. Sephora Online sells this brand for $30 or more a pop, but you can find it here for the cost of Pantene. Load up!

6:00 p.m.

8. Get Your Wine On

After soaking in some thermal baths, pay a visit to sommelier, Daniel Agerberg at Eriks Vinbaren (Stadsgården 6, 104 65 Stockholm, across the street from Slussen T-Bana station). He will set you up with some fantastic wines. Grab a seat outside for some people-watching and views of Gamla Stan (Old Town). It definitely beats waiting in long lines at the dreaded Systembolaget (a chain of stores controlled by the Swedish government to control the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages).

8:00 p.m.

9. Eat Crazy Things Like Barnacles

I’ve watched the Travel Channel enough to know that the Bourdains and Zimmerns of the world LOVE these alien-like crustaceans. One of Stockholm’s most buzzed about restaurants, AG Restaurang & Bar (Kronobergsgatan 37, 112 33 Stockholm) features them on their menu. If barnacles don’t pique your interest, sample one of their prime meats, which are proudly on display in their all-glass meat locker.

11:00 p.m.

10.  Dance your heart out. Robyn would be proud.

Stockhomers party long and hard. They’re always on the lookout for new hotspots. If you’re fortunate enough to get on the guestlist and avoid the commoner’s line, check out Trädgården, which literally means under the (Skanstull) bridge. The industrial space is cool and gives off a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle feel, while playing hot tracks to get your groove on.  

If you go: Consider visiting this picturesque city during the summer and enjoy nearly twenty hours of daylight. Newsstands are your friends: Food is hard to come by after 11:00 p.m., but 7-11 stores in Stockholm come fully stocked with surprisingly tasty pannis, pressed before your eyes, and freshly baked calzones. Most Pressbyrån marts sell T-Bana passes. If you want to purchase a T-Bana pass using an American credit card, you will be told to buy one here. BYOB for the commute: Open containers are allowed on the T-Bana, which runs until 4:30 a.m. on the weekends. Make local friends and tag along:  During the months of July and August, most Stockholmers leave the city for their summer homes and go island hopping on their boats. Live like a true Swede (temporarily): Hotels in Stockholm can be expensive and dull. Check out airbnb for apartment rentals in Sofo.