Stockholm grows on you quickly. We had such a great time on day 1 getting lost through Old Town and along the water that we decided to be spontaneous on day 2. We read that SOFO was a cool neighborhood, kind of like Brooklyn is to NYC, so after breakfast we made the 20 minute walk from our hotel. I'm sure public trans is great here, but we walked the entire weekend...averaging about 7-9 miles per day.
//The hotel breakfast at the Clarion Sign Hotel did not disappoint. //
We wandered up through SOFO and at first glance it feels a little like San Francisco because of the hills. It's a little bit gritty and you can tell there are a lot of young people living and working here. We stumbled upon a quintessential Swedish boutique called Grandpa, and had fun getting lost there. A little expensive but there are some great Scandinavian/trendy finds.
A short walk from here was an amazing photography museum, Fotografiska. To be honest, we're not really into museums when we travel unless the weather is unbearable. Often times we'll hit one good museum in each major city, but for the most part we prefer to be outdoors.
I'd highly recommend Fotografiska if you're looking to do a unique museum that takes 1-2 hours. There were multiple exhibits featuring incredible artists including classic American photographers from the turn of the century, mid-century couture, science photography, and more. There's a special surprise at the end of the exhibits - the most beautiful views of Stockholm in the cafe upstairs. I highly recommend grabbing a fika here.
[fika: coffee and cake - a practice engrained in Swedish culture...always stop for coffee + cake!]
After Fotografiska, we were hungry for lunch. Perched above a seaside cliff is Hansens - a magical 100% plant based vegetarian buffet with panoramic views of the city below. Vegetarian or not, this restaurant is a must-try when you're in Stockholm.
It turned out to be quite the day for stunning views because we stumbled upon so many viewpoints walking around the city. Completely unplanned, we ended up walking by a restaurant called Gondolen that is suspended in the air high-above Stockholm. There is a walking bridge into the restaurant that has such an incredible view. This place is definitely worth checking out - just don't forget a camera.
A few more sights leaving SOFO and walking back into Stockholm Central.
After crossing the bridge into Stockholm central, the sun was blazing - a rarity in Sweden. All of a sudden there were flocks of people soaking up the sun on outdoor restaurant patios and terraces. Obviously, we decided to stop for a drink.
Jet lag finally crept in around 3pm, so we went back to the hotel for a siesta before dinner. Every time we travel to Europe, we usually need at least an hour nap in the afternoon. Also, because the sun sets in Sweden so late (around 9pm), we ended up staying up until midnight - so the middle of the day pause is perfect for us.
If you're in Stockholm, I recommend making a reservation at Giro's - it's an authentic Napoletana pizzeria with great wine and romantic/fun atmosphere. We didn't make a reservation when we peeked our heads in around 6:30pm, and ended up putting our names in and coming back at 8:30pm for our table. We had a drink nearby at Retro Bar, which was fun but a little dirty/quirky to be honest. But back to Giro's -this photo doesn't do our pizzas any justice. Don't even look at the rest of the menu, just order the margherita bufala.
And that was it! After dinner, took a night-time stroll through a more quiet Stockholm, and then made our way back to the hotel to get some sleep.
All in all, we walked about 10 miles on day 2 and had the best time meandering through the city, letting it guide us versus creating an itinerary for ourselves. We're usually planners and we've really enjoyed doing this a little differently this time.
Are you planners or do you go with the flow when you travel?
Have a questions about Stockholm, Sweden?
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