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 Gardensnestled 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.
Dating back to 1915, the allotments were created to help Stockholm's working class families grow their own vegetables and learn to garden. Today, a community of gardeners maintain more than 100 of these gardens across Sodermalm.
Each plot features a small area of land, flowering with everything from apples to vegetables to roses, with a even smaller shed painted in either red, white, yellow or dark green. Most sheds include a small stove, tables and chairs, and a daybed. But some owners have transformed theirs into livable and cozy summer homes.
Anyone can put his/her name on the waiting list to own an allotment, but it could take anywhere from a few years to 20 years before one can be yours.
We had a great time meandering through the gravel paths, exploring each unique plot and enjoying the fresh greenery. It really felt like we had traveled back to another time, in a rural part of Sweden far away from Stockholm.
We highly recommend a visit to this beautiful corner of Stockholm for an escape from city life.
Tanto Allotment Gardens Zinkens Väg 118 67 Stockholm, Sweden