One of Europe’s most beautiful cities Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North. Sweden’s capital is a dynamic mix of hip and historic with grand palaces next to cutting edge design shops. An emerging culinary hot spot - lately even stealing the limelight from neighboring Denmark - yet still true to the traditional Swedish delicacies of it’s past. On a quick concert stop to see Pearl Jam, our friends packed a lot into a short visit. In the summer the sun doesn't set till after 10 making it a perfect time to see Stockholm at it's most vibrant. Here's how they spent the day as groupies on the Eddie Vedder tour.
Tripper Tips:Interested in contemporary photography? Fotografiska is a great photography museum in an old art nouveau customs house. Rather see some Picasso’s? Visit Moderna Museet, the Museum of Modern Art and Architecture.
Surprise: My husband surprised me last June. We were headed to Italy for a friend’s birthday celebration, and he discovered that Pearl Jam was playing in Stockholm. Now anyone who knows me knows I love Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, and have traveled to many places to see them, so stopping in Stockholm where I had never been was truly a great surprise.
First Impressions: The city is a beautiful collection of small islands all connected by bridges and surrounded by water. It has a very Northern European feel. This was my first trip to Scandinavia and was struck immediately that everyone was young, attractive and extremely well dressed. We may have been the oldest couple around. What do they do with all the older people? Luckily we had one day of beautiful weather and got to see the city really come alive.
Stay: Lydmar Hotel. We loved this boutique hotel right in the city center with great harbor views. The bar out front was hopping at night and filled with beautiful people.
Morning Workout: Take a run on the bike path along the waterfront that goes for miles.
Lunch: Walk to the island of Djurgarden and if your inclined check out Skansen, the open air museum or visit Vasa to see the worlds only fully intact 17th century warship, salvaged in 1961. Have lunch at Oaxen-Krog and Slip. Krog is the fine dining restaurant open only for dinner. Slip is the more casual bistro. It was a beautiful day; we sat outside, and enjoyed a fantastic lunch. The menu is a modern take on Scandinavian food with lots of fish and vegetables form neighboring islands. It was an excellent farm to table meal.
Explore: We spent the rest of the day wandering the city, it’s easy to navigate by foot. Stockholm is very cosmopolitan, with beautiful decorative buildings, lots of green squares and parks, and a very beautiful old synagogue. You can choose to tour the Royal Place, where the Swedish monarch still resides, or visit the state rooms at City Hall, but we choose to just admire them from the outside. We ended up in the old city which I found very touristy and not that interesting.
Foodie: We love visiting food markets and heard Ostermalm Saluhall food hall was a must. This gorgeous market dates back to the 1880’s, large and lively, this is the place to enjoy Husmanskost, traditional Swedish fare. Lisa Elmqvist, a very popular restaurant is located here, I heard it has the best toast skagen in town. Once you go to Stockholm you too will know what toast skagen is!
Café Style: Not far from Ostermalms visit Snickarbacken 7 for a late afternoon coffee. The café and concept store in an old stable from the 1800’s is worth a stop.
Dinner: We loved our meal at Ekstedt! Right in the center of town, all the ingredients are cooked over an open fire. This restaurant is not just about the ingredients, but about the cooking technique. As it says on the website, “No electric cookers, no gas burners; just heat, soot, ash, smoke and fire.” I loved the space, and the food was fantastic.
Side Note: The next night we saw Pearl Jam at Friends arena, which is the city’s soccer stadium. It’s a great venue, but not easy to get to. After the concert it was pouring, we finally got a taxi and made our way back to the Lydmar to find that the hip bar from the night before had moved inside. We had a late meal with all the beautiful people. The food was delicious and it was quite a scene, DJ and all in the tiny lobby. It was a great end to a quick stop. Stockholm is farther afield, but definitely worth it.