When we travel, our favorite thing to do is wander around a new city and find hidden spots off the beaten path. Don’t get us wrong, we generally go into a trip with a meticulously planned itinerary outlining all of the restaurant reservations we’ve made and top spots that we want to hit.
But we do make a point to take our time getting to each destination, preferring to walk across the city and see all of the sites along the way, rather than zipping by in a taxi or an underground train.
On our recent trip to Stockholm, we walked the 2.5 miles to Hornstulls Marknad on the western side of Sodermalm from our Airbnb on the southeastern side of the island. Along the way, we stumbled across Tantolunden and the beautiful Tanto Allotment Gardens nestled in the hills overlooking the park.
While this may not be a “hidden” spot, it still felt magical discovering the quaint, colorful cottages and wild gardens bursting with plant life that we had never read about before in any Stockholm travel guide.
No one does coffee better than the Swedes. They love a good coffee break so much that they’ve created their own word for it: Fika. Fika loosely translates into meeting up for a coffee and a piece of cake or pastry. It’s all about slowing down for a moment during our busy days to catch up with friends, enjoy a delicious bite and sip, and savor the moment. We can get on board with that.
There’s a great coffee shop around every corner in Stockholm. But these are our four top picks…
There’s no shortage of exceptionally delicious food in Stockholm. And trying the local food was one of our top reasons for visiting the city, especially given the still-growing popularity of The New Nordic Cuisine.
While a majority of the restaurants we dined at were affordable, we treated ourselves to a luxurious meal at Mathias Dahlgren Matbordet on our final night in the city. In the more than two months since our visit, our dinner at Matbordet still remains one of the highlights of our trip – and it’s a meal that we won’t soon forget.
As we mentioned in our last post, the green island of Djurgarden outside of Stockholm’s city center is home to 22 museums. One of the largest and most popular is Skansen – the world’s first open-air museum. Founded in 1891, Skansen showcases five centuries of Swedish history, bringing to life Sweden’s traditional rural culture through historic homes, farms, gardens and even a zoo!
Djurgarden, a green island near Central Stockholm, is part of Sweden’s Royal National City Park, but it’s much more than just a park. In addition to abundant green space, Djurgarden offers 22 museums and an amusement park, Grona Lund.
It’s also home to a number of restaurants and cafes, including the beautiful Rosendals Tradgard. Beyond its cafe, Rosendals’ Garden Foundation also oversees lush gardens, an orchard, picnic grounds, an artisanal bakery – which provides all of the cafe’s bread and pastries – and a biodynamic farm – which provides organic, in-season vegetables and fruit also served at the cafe.
So on a bright Sunday morning, we took a ferry from our Airbnb in Sodermalm to Djurgarden to experience the incredible farm-to-fork brunch at Rosendals’ greenhouse cafe for ourselves.
It may sound like a cliche, but one of our 2016 resolutions is to travel to as many new places as possible. We’ve already hit Seattle and Tulum this year, but one of the places highest on our “Dream Destinations” bucket list has been Scandinavia.
This month, we finally crossed it off, spending 10 days in Stockholm and Copenhagen over the Labor Day holiday.
These two cities are incredibly rich in culture, fashion, art, design, architecture and – especially – food. And we can’t wait to share our favorite places and moments from our unforgettable trip.