With the undeniable realization that fall is now upon us, I am longingly reminiscing about those final summer days and the weekend trip I made to Stockholm before returning to university. Although it was September we were still enjoying gorgeously blue skies and strolling around the city in 25-degree heat. I had a fantastic friend and tour guide who took me around to all my favorite (old + new) spots around the capital. These are a few of the things worth mentioning.
The museum of photography, located by the water on Södermalm, is a personal must every time I visit Stockholm. With world-renowned photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Sebastião Salgado and Robert Mapplethorpe having exhibited their works here, I know I have something spectacular to look forward to each visit.
This time around the collections I was most fascinated by were Nick Brandt’s Inherit the Dust and Bryan Adam’s Exposed. Nick Brandt powerfully juxtaposes installations of life-size animal photographs against landscapes of massive dumps and construction sites, where the animals previously roamed free. Adam’s beautiful exhibition featured monochrome photographs of A-list personas – we’re talking Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, Michael J. Fox – with stunning focus on contrasts created by lights and shadows.
Gamla Stan (the Old Town) is perfect for discovering adorable little streets and alleys, filled with cute ice cream cafés, restaurants and souvenirs shops with traditional Swedish merchandise. We somehow ended up strolling through the area on three different occasions, each time discovering a new picturesque corner.
Riddarholmen & The Royal Palace
Riddarholmen (The Knights’ Islet) houses many noteworthy buildings, such as Riddarholmskyrkan (the Church of Riddarholmen), the Old Parliament Building and Norstedt Building (the old printing house of the Norstedt publishing company). My friend’s boyfriend took over as tour guide as we walked around these quarters, speaking of old kings and queens, and the markers of history that can still be seen in the heart of the capital. We made our way to Kungliga Slottet (the Royal Palace) and Kungsträdgården across the water.
Literally ‘The King’s Garden’, this public park lies in the center of Stockholm, mere minutes from the prominent department store NK. Always vibrant with locals and visitors on a nice day, it makes for a beautiful oasis in the middle of the trafficked city center. Walk along the rows of perfectly aligned trees, sit for a moment on the steps surrounding the central square fountain, or stop by the open-air cafés and ice cream kiosks for a treat.
Kaffeverket ticks all the necessary boxes: good coffee, pretty interior and homemade baked goods for those with a sweet tooth. Their walnut banana bread (served warm with honey – yum!) is not to be missed. We sat for a long time just talking and catching up on two years worth of stories, checking in on each other’s families, and discussing all the wonders of living on your own in a big city when in your twenties.
With the perfect location just a few streets away from the busy shopping district, Urban Deli was the ideal stop for a caffeine boost and a bite to eat in the afternoon. We sat outside soaking up every last bit of the September sunshine, people watching and eying the crowd for street style inspiration.
Café Pom & Flora
I could easily see Café Pom & Flora becoming my go-to breakfast spot if I lived in Stockholm. With a menu that offers more than a couple of variations on avocado toast and all kinds of dreamy bowl items (chia pudding, overnight oats, smoothies, yoghurt) it was pure heaven for a healthy breakfast lover like myself.
I opted for the blackberry chia pudding with saffron & sesame butter, while my friend had the peach overnight oats with chia, banana and peanut butter. We also shared an avocado toast, simply because we couldn’t resist!
To top it off they had the most gorgeous plate sets – they are definitely going on my wish list.
Going through all of my pictures and my travel diary makes me realize that it’s probably time to start planning the next little weekend getaway!