Stockholm is a great spot if you like a relaxed city break - sightseeing grand palaces, hanging out eating and drinking in stylish places by the water, and leisurely strolls across the 14 islands that make up the city.
A friend of mine gave us some fab tips and things to def do whilst we were there so now I’m passing these on to you...
If you fly into Arlanda, (which most people do), hop on the express train to the city, it’s super quick (20 mins), costs about £50 for a return depending on exchange rate. But it’s def the easiest way to get into the city. Taxis are more interesting here, I think you have to negotiate a rate, and hotels generally have preferred taxi companies and offer to agree the rate for you, which is handy.
Our hotel was very cool, and was in the perfect location in Norrmalm - Downtown Camper. The staff were all really friendly, the hotel itself is very funky, and you can rent skateboards, bikes and kayaks. They do yoga on the roof, and show movies on a Friday night. The room was cosy but we did opt for a smaller one, bed was comfy and shower was great, and it had everything you could need, iron, hairdryer, toiletries (organic and vegan), TV.
There are two other things to mention about the hotel, the incredible breakfast and the rooftop lounge and terrace. The breakfast was delicious and had every choice of brekkie food possible, fruit, cheese, meats, breads, cereals, hot options including porridge, pancakes, eggs, bacon. And you could eat as much as you wanted, so if you time it well you can do brunch and skip the need for lunch (Stockholm is seen as being on the pricier side).
And their rooftop lounge and terrace is the perfect place to relax with far-reaching views across Stockholm, they even have a telescope. You need to book a spot on the outside terrace, and to be able to use the pool but can spend an hour or two in the lounge if you want some chill time.
Lots of people use bikes to get around and there are bike lanes everywhere so seemed very safe. We opted for just wandering round by foot. Stockholm is split into neighbourhoods, Gamla Stan (old town), Sodermalm (nightlife), Norrmalm (shopping district), Ostermalm (fancy part), Kungsholmen and Vasastan (more residential).
Gamla Stan has the main palace, Kungliga Slottet (which is not anywhere near as heavily guarded as Buckingham Palace), Storkyrkan (cathedral) and various museums (Royal Armoury, Nobelmuseet). Gamla Stan then links through to both Sodermalm and Riddarholmen, and you can look back to the impressive Town Hall building from here too (unfortunately, against a cloudy sky).
I think we walked about 15km that day, the weather was warm and a little cloudy, we found a gorgeous little wine bar - Dryck where the champagne was cheaper than the wine.
Then about 3 we thought we should head to a bar to watch the football (the world cup quarter final), we made it back to the hotel, found seats in their bar and thought we’re not moving. The Swedes were very gracious and we tried to keep the cheering down to a minimum.
Dinner that night was at Nisch (formerly known as Smorgastarteriet), it was a gastronomic adventure, beautifully done. There were 7 courses in total but as you can see, I forgot to photograph some of them!! Too keen to eat clearly. I picked a nice light red wine to the delight of the waiter, I was then nervous I’d missed a couple of decimal places as he was so excited! It was delicious and fortunately reasonably priced. I would def recommend this place, my husband said he could have eaten double so be prepared that it’s all about the taste and flavours not the portion sizes.
We visited a couple of museums while we were there, the Vasamuseet museum which was quite incredible, and rather interesting, all about the Vasa ship which sank on 10th August 1628, 1500m into its maiden voyage. They carefully brought it back up from the bottom of the sea in 1961 and reassembled 14,000 individual pieces.
And then got a boat trip out to the summer palace Drottningholm on Lovon, about an hour trip depending on stops, and the scenery is picturesque and serene.
The palace is beautiful but quite different to Versailles which was built around the same time. The gardens were divine too, lots of interesting plants and scents.
If you fancy an afternoon in the sun, all the little bars along the front of Ostermalm are perfect for this. We frequented the Strand Baren. You can sit out on the water and be lulled by the slight motion whilst enjoying your vino or Aperol spritz.
The other place worth a visit is Ostermalm's Saluhall (food hall), although currently not housed in the original building, the food stalls are so fresh and enticing, and we had a superb lunch in Lisa Elmqvist, a Stockholm legend here in the food hall.
We managed to squeeze in a visit to a quaint little bar and bistro in the old town, Stockholm's Gastabud for Swedish meatballs too one evening. You have to queue and someone jumped the queue which didn’t go down too well with the British!! They were super friendly in here, and the food was yummy.
Although we didn’t get to visit them as there wasn’t time, these restaurants come highly recommended, I think they’re more high end...
After a few days of doing lots of walking, we ended our trip lounging on the 9th floor overlooking the city with a brooding sky, before heading back to the airport.
I didn’t discover any scents that inspired a new candle but the flowers in the palace gardens gave off some lovely fragrances, they did remind me a little of our Floral & Ginger Candles.
We're wondering where to go next for some inspiration for a new collection...