the sunday guide to // stockholm
This week, our Sunday Guide series travels to Stockholm, a city renowned for its abundance of leisure activities, coffee shops and laid-back way of life. Read on for our top tips of how to spend a relaxing Sunday in the Swedish capital.
Located on a vast archipelago, the city of Stockholm actually consists of 14 different islands, connected by a series of bridges. Incredibly compact, it is easy and pleasant to walk or cycle around, although the famous underground network is definitely worth a visit, hosting the world’s longest public art exhibit throughout its stations. Each neighbourhood is distinctly different, and should all be explored to get a true representation of life in the city.
Stroll around Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s Old Town is one of the most beautiful areas of the city, and is the perfect location for a relaxing Sunday morning walk. A stroll around one of best preserved medieval city centres in Europe will delight those who are interested in history and architecture, and its streets are filled with popular bars, cafes and shops to explore. Seek out the Royal Palace, Gothic churches and a colourful variety of North German architecture as you wander along the narrow streets and cobbled paths, before stopping for a coffee in one of the many local coffee shops.
Photo: Maestro by Tumlare
Making time for a laid-back coffee break is so important a tradition in Sweden that they gave it a name: fika. Swedes enjoy a slower pace of life, and are dedicated to taking time out of their busy days to relax and catch up with friends over a coffee and a cinnamon bun. Ensure that you make time to honour this great relaxing tradition, and experience one of the cities many great coffee shops. We particularly love Johan & Nystrom’s flagship store or Café Pascal for sipping the very best coffee in Stockholm in stylish surroundings.
Photo: Café Pascal
Relax at a Spa
Named one of the best spas in Sweden, Skepparholmen Nacka is situated just twenty minutes from the city centre, surrounded by water and forests. Float in the infinity pool or relax in the traditional Scandinavian sauna, both looking out over the archipelago with spectacular views of the water. Alternatively, choose to indulge yourself in the extensive programme of eco-friendly massages and facials utilising traditional Swedish ingredients and methods. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling fresh and serene.
Enjoy the Archipelago
Don’t spend all of your time in the city, ensure that you explore the 30,000 islands and rocks that make up the Stockholm archipelago. Book onto a ferry tour that visits the city’s waterways to view the sights from a unique perspective, and also takes you out onto the archipelago to discover the islands. Head to Fjaderholmarna or Grinda if you are seeking a more tourist-friendly island where you will find restaurants and cafes, or seek out a more isolated island if you wish to explore the wilderness.
Photo: Sweden Wanderer
Admire contemporary art at Moderna Museet
Known in the ’60s and ‘70s as one of the world’s most ground-breaking art galleries, Moderna Museet introduced artists including Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg to the Swedish public. Reopening in 2004, the contemporary art museum features a bright interior, a great espresso bar and an outstanding collection of permanent exhibits from artists as diverse as Pollock and Picasso. If you fancy more art, The Art Library offers an extensive range of tomes covering Nordic art, photography and design.
Photo: Åsa Lundén
Ride the Metro
It may seem like a peculiar suggestion, but Stockholm’s underground stations are amongst the most stunning in the world, featuring a magnificent public art display that must be experienced. Purchase a day ticket for the metro and make your way around the stations with the most impressive displays. Some stations simply feature art work hanging on the walls, others have been completely transformed with sculptures, murals, mosaics, paintings and installations.
Photo: When on Earth
Visit the Centre for Contemporary Photography
Fotografiska is the perfect place to while away several hours, viewing the collection of impressive images. The gallery hosts four large exhibitions and 20 smaller shows every year, boasting several unique works. The atmosphere is always calm, relaxed and laid-back, making it the perfect destination for a chilled out Sunday. The top floor restaurant is the ideal place to end your day, offering delicious food and beautiful views of the water.