Travel Notes | Stockholm

Travel Notes | Stockholm

BRB I’m just figuring out how the hell I can move to Stockholm and live in Sweden forever. I’m swayed pretty easily by any city as I love how there is so much going on but I did not expect to fall for Stockholm as hard as I did.

I had an amazing time here and I’m literally counting down the days until I can get back. It is such a buzzy city and I love the Swedish lifestyle. Everyone seems so chilled and relaxed and just a genuine enjoyment for life. We were also incredibly lucky with the weather in Sweden as they have experienced the hottest May ever this year.

Getting There & Getting About

We flew in from Amsterdam with SAS which was an incredibly comfortable flight and people under 25 (us) can fly on the youth ticket price which was fabulous as it about half the price of a full adult ticket, meaning we flew from Amsterdam to Stockholm for about £50 instead of £100. All of Stockholm’s airports are pretty far out of the city but accessible by bus so we were soon in this beautiful city.

We flew into Arlanda and out of Vasteras and managed to get to and from without much ado. To get back to Glasgow we chose to fly first to London Stansted and then from there onto Glagsow. Direct flights are available in the summer months but it was so much cheaper for us to do this even if did extend our travelling period by about four hours.

In the city itself the easiest way to get about is by the subway but if you are just focussing on the city centre then everything can be done on foot!

Where We Stayed

Accommodation in the centre of Stockholm is quite expensive but thanks to amazing subway system we stayed a little further out. It took us six minutes to get from our Airbnb to T-Centralen which was so good and it allowed us a chance to escape to full-on nature of Stockholm on an evening.

Our Airbnb was the most adorable place ever. It was a studio flat so Tori and I did have to share a bed with Rach on the sofa-bed but it was beautifully decorated and didn’t feel too snug at all. The kitchen had all the appliances for us to make breakfasts and packed lunches and our lovely host said we could eat anything in the fridge which was so kind of her – saved us buying butter that we would only need for a few days.

It was ground floor so we did have to be careful with leaving the windows open but it felt so spacious and airy. The bathroom had a walk-in shower that was so powerful and we spent our evenings drinking into the early morning on the sofa and laughing at profiles we’d found on Tinder.

The one blip in our Stockholm stay was the hostel we stayed in on the first evening. It wasn’t anything it didn’t advertise to be but it was a horrible underground room with about 12 beds (bunkbeds), far too hot so I spent most of the night sweating and the wifi didn’t reach down there!

Thankfully our experience in the Amsterdam hostel was so positive so it hasn’t put me off hostels for good but I’ll definitely be more sensible with accommodation next time and not leave it until the last minute.

What We Did

Our Stockholm adventure was a slower paced than Amsterdam – which was good as it was incredibly hot whilst we were there. One of my travelling companions used to au pair there so she knew the city really well and was full of recommendations for what to do. Our first stop was the Vasa Museum to see the shipwreck Vasa.

I didn’t know what Vasa was before I visited but it is incredible. I can’t remember how much it cost for us to visit but we got student discount so I definitely recommend taking yours along. It is a super cool museum and pretty big as there is plenty to see so give it a couple of hours at least in your itinerary.

After the Vasa we were wandering around the shore front and came across the Ships Museum. It is free entry and you get to explore three different types of ships: a lighthouse boat, a pleasure ship and a naval ship. It was super interesting and lots of fun to clamber around them – especially for free.

Another highlight of Stockholm for me was the ABBA museum. I adore ABBA’s music (like billions of other people) and this museum is the perfect tribute to them. You get to see their musical beginnings, how they came together, their Eurovision win, their recording studio and oh the outfits. The outfits! It is lots of fun and you get to do karaoke, a dance routine and lots more immersive things.

We spent a lot of time in Kungsträdgården as well. It has a beautiful fountain and grassy areas in the middle of city so perfect for basking in the sun, cooling off your feet and soaking up the city atmosphere. We also wandered around the shops in the city centre including Brandy Melville where I picked up an adorable gold ring to add to my ever-extending ring collection.

Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm which is on a little island in the middle of the city and it is adorable. It reminded me of Edinburgh’s Old Town and is filled with quaint cobbled streets with tall old buildings and narrow passageways. There are plenty of restaurants, gift shops and cafes on the island and we spent a lot of time wandering around with an ice cream in our hands. The Royal Palace of Sweden sits on Gamla Stan as well which we didn’t go into but if I had more time (and money!) I would have done. You can also see the narrowest street in Stockholm on Gamla Stan – a passageway called Mårten Trotzigs grand.

A great place to look out over Stockholm (for free!) is at the Katarinahissen on Södermalm which gives you sweeping views over the whole city including old town Gamla Stan.

What We Ate

Our first evening in Stockholm was spent in the TGI Fridays at Kungsträdgården I try not to eat in chain restaurants when I’m away unless it is McDonalds or I’m in the US but this TGIs is situated right at the head of Kungsträdgården with a beautiful outdoor seating area. It was the perfect meal to end our day of travelling and thankfully got us through that awful night at the hostel which I think I have PTSD from.

As we were staying in an Airbnb we opted to eat breakfast there and make packed lunches for exploring Stockholm to save money. We did have ice cream however from the Ben & Jerry’s shop on Gamla Stan and a Swedish delicacy called kladdkakan which is a type of chocolate cake from another café on Gamla Stan called Café Kladdkakan. Gamla Stan is filled with tourist trap restaurants but there a few cheaper options and plenty of ice cream parlours!

We also ate at Vapiano on our second evening. Vapiano have recently opened in Glasgow and I was impressed then but visiting it in Sweden was perfect. There was lots of choice for us all and thanks to the fast food approach it didn’t take long us to be fed and watered. The branch we went to was on Gamla Stan but they were spread across the city. It is very well-priced as well which is a huge bonus and had vegan options too!

We also ate a Mexican restaurant one evening. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was a chain in Stockholm as we saw several whilst walking around including one on Gamla Stan. It was super cheap, filling and quick and they had vegan options as well which was great.

Sweden also has its one variant of McDonald’s as well – Max – which I had to try. We had it at about 11am on our final morning before the bus to the airport and it was heavenly. Whilst it doesn’t topple McDonald’s for me it was delicious and I would 10/10 go again. Max also had vegan options!

Stockholm was a glorious city that was filled with adventure, good food and lovely people. I am desperate to go back!

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