Why Sweden’s capital is worth it
14 islands and up to 18 hours of daylight are just two of the many reasons why Stockholm is worth visiting in summer.
Summer vacation is just around the corner. If you don’t want to travel to France, Italy or Spain repeatedly, travel north. There is a lot to discover in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Those are the highlights.
Close to nature
It’s not for nothing that Stockholm is nicknamed the Venice of the North: the city is built on 14 islands. The center is the old town Gamla Stan with its colorful gabled houses and winding streets. The tower of the town hall gives an overview of the unique location. The Stadshuset, in which the Nobel banquet takes place every year, is one of the main attractions of the city and attracts, among other things, with the Golden Hall.
Ships are anchored at the foot of the magnificent building, taking tourists to the next attraction in an hour: Drottningholm Palace. The journey from the city center to the archipelago takes a little longer. But the trip is worth it: the 30,000 islands, many of them with red wooden houses, show Sweden as if from a picture book.
Good news for all those who visit the archipelago in summer: the “Allemansrätten” ensures everyone has free access to nature and allows you to jump into the cool water anywhere. Provided that the privacy of the residents is protected. Those who have less time can cool off in municipal bathing establishments such as Långholmen or Tantolunden. The local recreation area Djurgården or the Hagapark invite you to relax.
Culinary flights of fancy
Stockholm’s proximity to the water is also reflected in the cuisine. Various fish dishes such as shrimp rolls (“Räksmörgas”) or the crayfish traditionally served with “Kräftskiva” in late summer can be found on the menu. Those who cook themselves get their ingredients in the market hall Östermalms Saluhall, which opened in 1888. She offers a wide range of Swedish delicacies – from elk salami to pickled herring.
Between meals, Swedes meet up with friends for coffee and cake, called “fika”. Cinnamon buns (“Kanelbullar”) are just as important as the “Prinsesstårta” covered with marzipan or the juicy chocolate cake “Kladdkaka”. The love of sweets goes so far that some of them have their own entry in the calendar. Scandinavia celebrates Cinnamon Bun Day on October 4th and Waffle Day on March 25th.
Although many dishes have a long tradition, Sweden is by no means stuck in the past when it comes to culinary delights. Vegan restaurants and cafés and alternatives to animal products are also booming in the far north. The most famous example: The Oatly group based in Malmö in southern Sweden, which exports its oat drinks far beyond the country’s borders.
Timelessly beautiful design
Designs by IKEA and H&M can now also be found all over the world. But Sweden has a lot more to offer when it comes to interior design and fashion. If you want to take a piece of Scandinavia home with you, drop by Svenskt Tenn, Designtorget or Carl Malmsten. Fashionistas with a penchant for Nordic minimalism will get their money’s worth in the boutiques of Acne Studios, Filippa K or Totême.
Speaking of costs: Swedish design has its price, but thanks to timeless shapes and colors and high-quality, durable materials, it lasts for several seasons. Thrift shops, which abound in hip Södermalm, offer Scandinavian classics at a fraction of the original price. Protects the wallet and the environment alike!
Focus on sustainability
The ecological footprint can already be kept small upon arrival: with the new Berlin-Hamburg-Copenhagen-Malmö-Stockholm connection, a night train has been operating on the route between Germany, Denmark and Sweden for the first time since the 1990s. Ferries are also used between northern Germany and southern Sweden.
When you arrive in Stockholm, you won’t be missing a car either. The city is small and easy to explore on foot, by bike or kayak. Sports haters can move from one part of the city to the next in just a few minutes by subway. It is worth planning enough time for the transfer: the longest art gallery in the world awaits underground at 110 kilometers. More than 90 of the 100 stations of the Stockholm subway network are designed with works by a total of 150 artists.
history up close
The museum island of Djurgården can be reached by tram, bus or boat. Among other things, the Vasamuseet is located on it, which houses the galleon Vasa, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The neighboring Skansen open-air museum conveys even more Swedish history. Even the king of the forest, the elk, feels at home in the associated animal park.
Fans of Swedish pop music shouldn’t miss the adjoining ABBA Museum. In addition to walls full of vinyl records and original props, the interactive exhibition offers the opportunity to prove your talent as the fifth member of the group.
So it will definitely not be boring in Stockholm – regardless of whether you are only visiting the Swedish capital for a city trip or planning a longer stay.