Amusement parks, main symbols of the city, pedestrian streets, beautiful gardens and cave-like underground – Stockholm is full of this kind of stuff. It is not a jot industrial: the city is perfectly clean and tidy. Everything you need to know about Stockholm is in our collection.
Working class once inhabited Södermalm Island. Later on artists and musicians came to live there. Various cafés, clubs and second-hand stores opened on the island. GrandPa Shop was among the pioneers back in 2003.
I like this part of the city – rather bohemian, though not so posh, as in Ostermalm, and definitely not boring (as downtown area). Totally independent but solid Söder has its own lifestyle. It is often called Swedish Brookline; and its southern part, SoFo, can be compared to London's Soho. Anyway, things are humming in this place.
If you've never been there before, check out www.sofo-stockholm.se for sales, discounts, special offers and concerts in advance.
Many things in Stockholm remain unchanged for centuries. For example, Gröna Lund Amusement Park, created in 1883 is still one of the most visited places in the city. In offers recreational facilities, beautiful views and wonderful evening atmosphere, made by street lights and music, prize teddy bears and a nice feeling that you're a child again. Don't miss the Freefall attraction, where you will literally fall from a 80-meter height at a speed of 100 m/sec. Another 'not for the faint-hearted' spot is a vertical roller coaster thoughtfully called 'Insane'.
Built in the first decade of the 20th century upon the project of Ragnar Östberg, the City Hall hosts lots of important meetings, and even the annual Nobel Prize award ceremony (in December). The building was constructed in a so-called 'National Romanticism' style with many interesting details. For example, all the halls are decorated with busts of its constructors who built the City Hall for 12 years. There is even a bust of Munich brewery worker who delivered beer to the workers. Special attention should be given to the gigantic mosaic made of 18 million gilded tiles by Einar Forseth. The artist wanted to picture the whole history of Stockholm in it. When he was told that Queen Mälaren looked ugly in his masterpiece, he said he had used his wife for a model. Admit it, you just can't help loving this building!
You might want to dedicate a whole day of your trip to Stockholm metro. Its three lines offer a lot of interesting stations. The blue line is famous for its ‘rocky’ cavy stations. The red and green ones are also full of surprises. For example, Odenplan station, built half a century ato, features an exhibition booth right in the middle. Stockholm Tram Museum (today on Södermalm Island) was open in a bombproof shelter under this station from 1963 to 1989. Today it is a glazed tram platform with temporary exhibitions of works by graduates of designer and art institutions. The exposition changes once in three months.
This urban area of the early 20th century, located in luxurious Ostermalm, is not a common place for tourists. You won’t see any snooty stores, or Michelin-starred restaurants serving exquisite dishes, or cozy little cafés, or even museums here.
Engelbrektskyrkan Church in the center of Lärkstaden (Swedish for "Lark City") is the only point of interest. The area consists of 4 streets: Odengatan, Valhallavägen, Karlavägen and Uggleviksgatan. Ornate streets with tall brick houses decorated in Northern Art Nouveau style are a silent feature of Lärkstaden. A hotel (two buildings, 77 rooms) is scheduled to open here in 2014. Meanwhile, you can book a room at Ett Hem.
Gamla Stan is a place where Stockholm was born in the 13th century. Its narrow cobbled streets, purple-colored little houses and a stunning city view from the embankment are among the main themes on Swedish postcards. Come and discover the narrowest Mårten Trotzigs Gränd alley, melt when seeing the tiniest monument “the Iron Boy”, watch the guard mount at 12:15 by the Royal Palace and promise yourself to attend the hearings at the Parliament someday.
The place makes simple souvenirs into super useful and timely things. You’re gonna want to buy a magnet, a smaller copy of Carlson, or a canvas bag with an image of Pippi Longstocking. It all looks really pretty, especially to those who haven’t seen Unibaken or the designer’s store yet.
This mansion of the early 20th century was once owned by a couple of artists. Later it became a heritage of the Swedish people. Now it is rather a museum complex with a lot of interesting stuff: interiors, works of art, sculpture park with a wonderful view of Stockholm. And, of course, a café and a small shop selling organic products. The city center can be reached in less than an hour on foot through the most “expensive” areas of the town.
Perhaps the best way to enter Stockholm (overnight from Helsinki). This multideck Viking Line ferry arrives to the historic part of the city (unlike its fellow Silija Line, which moors a dozen kilometers from downtown). The excursion lasts 30 minutes; you'll see a 500-meter length rock with mansions at the top and a small blue train disappearing inside the mountain. On the other bank lies Old Town, Gröna Lund Park and STF Vandrarhem af Chapman & Skeppsholmen Hostel-Ship.
Viking Line Terminal is a 10-minute walk from the famous Fotografiska Gallery and a 5-minute walk from the Marine Institute (a building of red brick walls). Here you will also find a glass bridge of Gondolen Restaurant offering high prices but stunning views of Gamla Stan. Patricia steamer is moored nearby; it is a typical mecca for gay people – a restaurant during the day and a club at night.
At the end you'll find yourself at the crossroads – Södermalm designer stores on the left and Gamla Stan tourist spot on the right.
Probably the most spiffing street in Stockholm, covered with an all-season red carpet. It is one of the main shopping arteries of the city, rich in storefronts displaying clothing and jewelry. Biblioteksgatan is less crowded than such cultural and consumer-oriented routes as Drottninggatan (with its PUB) and Cheap Monday. You'd rather see an office worker heading off to Filippa K, young people from Diesel, and youngsters from WeSC and Urban Outfitters here. Hasteless, unhurried atmosphere of the business center during the day transforms into a tourist area lit by street lamps and storefront lightning at night.
Situated in the very center of the city, Queen's pedestrian street (Drottninggatan) is a great example of Stockholmers' attitude towards their city. It's covered with citations from Strindberg's poems, cast in stainless steel and installed in the asphalt. Strindberg Museum is also located in this street, at 85, Drottninggatan. All the historic buildings are 'protected' by stone lions, who sit 100 meters away from each other. The street itself almost never sleeps.
Drottninggatan, an absolute tourist hot spot (tourists come here for postcards and souvenirs), is crowded with Gamla Stan citizens. Don't forget to explore the blue building of the Concert Hall (across the street from PUB – a reloaded center of reasonable shopping). Hotorget Market, a cozy place offering fresh berries and fruits in summer and warm clothes in winter, lies between the PUB and the Concert Hall.