Co-written by Travel Journalist Jeff Game
Visions of glamorous blonde Amazonian women and chiseled faced Swedish men with slicked back hair, wearing power suits may pop into your head when you think about Stockholm. Ok, yes Stockholm can sometimes look like you just walked into an H&M photo shoot of beautiful and stylish people. However, today the Capitol city of Scandinavia is more ethnically and culturally diverse than it has ever been and may feel as if you've popped into any modern urban city in America. And better yet, Stockholm’s diversity continues to thrive and evolve.
We’ve been traveling to Stockholm and Sweden for over ten years, and have been writing about the country for a few years now. Stockholm is city mixed with ancient cobblestone lined streets, that house modern Scandinavian designed apartments, along with trendy alfresco bistros. Every time we travel to this awesome city, it continues to surprise and amaze us.
Here are just some of the places we loved exploring, eating and drinking around Stockholm.
We began our Swedish experience at not only one of our favorite hotels in Stockholm; now the Haymarket Hotel is one of our favorite hotels in the world. Opened only less than a year ago, the Haymarket is a modern gem, with throw-back style and elegance of the 1920s. The details of this impeccably designed hotel are everywhere. From the vibrant pineapples that dot the dwelling, to the cultivated soundtrack of vintage tunes that get your feet tapping, to the Netflix worthy black and white film of sexy millennials that continues to loop in their grand entrance off Hotorget Square, right in the heart of the city.
Chinese food in Stockholm may raise a few eyebrows to those who have not experienced the influx of Asian immigrants and influences that make up the modern-day Swedish cuisine. EAT is Chinese food nirvana, and is now a station of the cross kind of place while eating your way through Stockholm, giving a glimpse into the Swedish culinary future.
Dining at the two Michelin-starred awarded Oaxen Krog is like having dinner at your friend’s house, who happens to have an amazing view of the water surrounding the Royal Djurgården, and serves you the best home cooked meal. Owner and Chef Magnus Ek creates a fun and inviting atmosphere, while still possessing mad culinary skills in the kitchen, using his home-grown herbs and the best Nordic local ingredients; bringing home cooking into his modern kitchen.
With a line usually out the door, Flippin’ Burgers is one of the best burgers joints in Stockholm right now, or anywhere for that matter. Prince Carl Phillip of the Swedish Royal Family even had to wait in line for their now famous burgers. Well worth the wait to get a juicy double cheeseburger and a cold PBR.
No electricity needed in the primal world of Ekstedt, owned by the inventive and laid-back top TV Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt. In the heart of the fashionable Östermalm neighborhood, the Michelin starred awarded Ekstedt is one the top-rated and busiest restaurants in the new thriving Stockholm food scene.
Hipsters and nature collide at Bleck, this hidden gem of a restaurant in the very trendy Södermalm district. When the weather is nice, Bleck is a perfect spot to soak up some sun, while relaxing with a glass of wine and noshing on marinated deer with mushroom sauce.
Located in the heart of the charming Gamla Stan (Old Town) area of town in an elaborate and historic building, Tweed is hands down one of the coziest places to grab a drink. Make some new Swedish friends while relaxing in one of their posh leather chairs and sofas, while sampling their house made beer that are all designed and named after some of their employees. How does a bacon brew sound?
Located inside the Haymarket hotel, the Americain is a swanky cocktail bar with old-school appeal, and a contemporary design and décor. Grab one of the plush seats by the window, channel your inner Don Draper, as you enjoy a classic old fashion while a live jazz band croons a Frank Sinatra tune.
The craft beer scene has come to Stockholm, and the crack team at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery) are making some really tasty brews. Take a tasting tour where all the beer-making magic happens, and stay for a feast and a beer in their locally sourced restaurant.
Enjoy some live music while you grab a cocktail with one of the best views in all of Stockholm at Södra Bar, situated in the heart of Södermalm island.
Newly opened Tyge & Sessil is the brainchild of chef Niklas Ekstedt and head sommelier Maximilian Mellfors. Just around the corner from his restaurant Ekstedt, this organic wine bar specializes in small producers who work as close to nature as possible, preferably from underrepresented regions around the world.
The Fotografiska Museum captures our world and daily lives through the art and history of photography. Housed in an old warehouse building with a picturesque view of Stockholm Harbor, this museum is an all in one art space with music and comedy nights, along with an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant overlooking the water.
Situated in the lush surroundings on the island of Djurgårdsvägen, the ABBA Museum and Swedish Music Hall of Fame pop music are chronicled through an interactive lifeline of one of the greatest acts of all time, Sweden’s own super group, ABBA. This collection of music also celebrates modern-day Swedish artists such as First-Aid Kit and Swedish House Mafia to historical musical influences of the past such as the Cardigans and Roxette.
Scaling the rooftops of Stockholm on a guided tour with the folks at Roof Top Hiking Tour is one of the coolest ways of experiencing this architecturally stunning city, with many Instagram-worthy moments along the way.
Fly through the sparkling waters of Stockholm harbor in RIB Boat extreme tour, as the city whizzes by your dancing eyes, while waves topple over your adventurous ride.
Combine your Stockholm exploring with some libations at the Spirit Museum. Spend an hour with some booze, as guests are guided through the relational history of Sweden and alcohol, along with the cultural significance around the world
Fika, pronounce “fee-ka” is one of the best Swedish traditions and a great excuse to catch up with friends over coffee and pastries. Try fika for yourself at the local favorite Vette Katten, located blocks from Haymarket Hotel. Snack on an indulgent piece of princess cake or classic cinnamon and cardamom buns.