19 Jul 2015

The Nordic Nomad: Places to visit in Stockholm

Oh Stockholm, you pretty quaint city. It is a pity that I only spent 3 days here as I was on package tour. But 3 days is more than enough to create enough good memories to make me want to visit Stockholm, and the rest of Sweden again.

Stockholm, to put it simply, is hipsterville. Its architecture is not as beautifully polished as Paris, Prague or London. Imagine Paris, raw. One does not visit Scandinavia for its architecture, but instead, for its natural sceneries (which mainly could be found in Norway). Home to Stockholm is one of the world's most hipster districts: Södermalm. And fun fact: Fjallraven Kånken is a Swedish brand.

Sadly, we arrived on the midsummer weekend so most of the shops were closed on our last day in Sweden. If not this place would be an ideal shopping district (I wouldn't say paradise as things are still pricey)

Here are my recommendations for places to visit in Stockholm!

#1 Gamla Stan

A must-go place in Stockholm if you are a hipster or a sucker for handmade crafts/talented buskers is Gamla Stan. Start off your trip with Princess Cake and hot chocolate from Chokladkopen, then continue on to explore the alleys and main street of Gamla Stan, known as Vasterlangattan, which links you all the way across the bridge to the main shopping street in Stockholm, as known as Drottingatan. 

I think my tour guide would be proud of me if he knows I remembered so much. But then again, all things shopping I'll always remember very clearly, hehehehe. Sweden has one of the prettiest souvenirs to offer to her tourists, I must say, so do buy some when you're there for a visit! Also, many budding artists sell their work to local stores at Vasterlanggatan. Do look out for them if you're searching for an exquisite souvenir.

#2 Station hopping in the Tunnelbana (Stockholm's metro)

This is by far the CHEAPEST paid attraction in Stockholm. Just buy a single trip ticket and drop off at all these beautiful underground stations for a look! The prettiest in my opinion is at Solna Centum, with the red walls. My friend commented how lazy he thinks the architects and designers are by not cementing the walls smoothly. However, I personally think there is a hint of brilliantness amongst laziness as they made use of the rough texture of the rock structure underground to create masterpieces of wall art. Absolutely stunning, and I would say, a must-see when you're in Stockholm!

There is a list of Tunnelbana stations with wall art here: http://www.visitstockholm.com/en/See--do/Attractions/art-in-the-subway/

#3 Drop Coffee Roasters

Luckily, I joined a super relaxing tour group that allowed me to have my own free time in the city! Every city that I visit, I'd make sure that I would visit the best cafe in town. And for Stockholm,  Drop Coffee Roasters is the answer to my search. I had a Cappucino and it was amaaaazing. Just nice, not too sweet, not too bitter. The aroma of coffee and milk was rich, and just on point. Not to forget that their 27 year old barista and part owner Joanna Alm, came 3rd in the World Coffee Roasting Championships 2014 held in Italy. 

Drop Coffee Roasters is conveniently located few doors away from the exit of Mariatorget Tunnelbana station.

Places not worth a visit:
#1 Radhuset (City Hall)

I just don't see the point of paying to come in to see some ugly wall murals. Like, seriously?

#2 Skansen (World's largest open air natural history museum)

This place was close to being an absolute waste of time???????????????? I mean it was good seeing reindeers and elks for the first time. And also crazy brown bears chasing each other as though they were in the wild. But to spend 3.5 hours there, it was plain torture.


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