To say Sean and I were novices about Scandinavia would be an understatement, we didn’t have a clue what we were getting ourselves into.
I had suggested Stockholm as a possible destination last year because I had always been fascinated by Scandinavian fashion and Swedish brands in particular. I have friends who had been to Stockholm in the past and I had always wanted to see the city and what a better way to embrace Scandinavia than visiting the capital city.
We went ahead and booked our flights and accommodation for three days at the beginning of January. The apartment we chose was a delightfully kitsch 1950s apartment in a district just minutes from Stockholm Central Station.
The first thing I noticed when entering the city was the vastness of the place - it’s huge! The night sky made everything look so stark and all that could be seen was highways and neon signage, I was curious as to where exactly all the beautiful architecture and picturesque canals could be found. Never the less, we made it to our apartment in Sundbyberg, stopping along the way for a quick bite at the local supermarket before bed. We were as they say in Ireland ‘knackered’ but couldn’t wait for morning to get up and explore!
We purchased the ‘Stockholm Card’ a week in advance of travelling and were so glad we did as the card entitled us to unlimited use of public transport for the three days as well as free entry to the majority of the tourist attractions around the city. Our first stop on day one was Espresso House, a charming coffee shop where we surely found our morning caffeine fix.
On the second day, the temperature fell to minus seven degrees and we woke to discover Stockholm covered in snow, looking every inch the wintery landscape you imagine when you think of Sweden at Christmas. We walked to the nearby old town, known as Gamla Stan and fell in love immediately. A district of quirky boutiques, lantern decked alleyways and medieval buildings. We took a short walking tour of the Royal Palace and were mesmerised by its regal beauty and its impact on the surrounding skyline.
Feeling peckish, we made our way to a famous vegetarian buffet style restaurant called Hermans. The staff were extremely friendly and the food consisted of salads, various Mexican inspired dishes and mouth watering desserts - Sean was in heaven as he could eat almost everything as most of it was vegan friendly and he’s still participating in #Veganuary!
From the restaurant we spotted ‘Fotografiska’, one of the best photography bookstores and galleries in Stockholm so we checked it out and got lucky as there was an incredible Herb Ritts exhibition on at the time.
After strolling back through Gamla Stan in the snow lined streets, we were freezing so of course we popped into another beautiful cafe and warmed ourselves up with a delicious chai latte. It seems when we’re travelling we spend most of our time in cafes and restaurants sampling all sorts of delicious treats!
That night, although still stuffed full from Hermans, I suggested the famous Hard Rock Cafe for dinner as I’d always dreamt of eating there.
Typical that we ended up eating American food in Stockholm! I was still craving some traditional Swedish dishes but that would have to wait until the following day - for now I'll just have a burger, fries and an ice cream ‘Sundbyberg’, please?
Look out for part 2, covering the rest of our Swedish adventure!
Our favourites from day one...
Espresso House Coffee Shop
Drottninggatan 18, Stockholm, Sweden
Drottninggatan 63, Stockholm, Sweden
Fjällgatan 23B, Stockholm, Sweden
Hard Rock Cafe
Sveavägen 75, Stockholm, Sweden