24 hours in Stockholm

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Olympic host 1912 & 1956

It took author Stieg Larsson’s widely popular Millennium crime trilogy to break Sweden’s stereotypical image of blondes driving Volvos and shopping at IKEA; revealing a richly diverse and complex side of the country’s photogenic capital city, Stockholm.


With more than 28,000 islands within its greater archipelago, Stockholm sits on 14 islands – from ritzy Östermalm and wooded eco-paradise Djurgården to old-school Gamla stan and bohemian chic Södermalm – each a testament to its diversity. 

Stockholm’s nautical flair means locals are water babies, and often found outdoors sprawled across green parks soaking up any sunlight while digging into seafood sandwiches. Renowned for its sustainable eco-friendly culture, time in Stockholm means dropping cans and food wrappers in separate recycling rubbish bins, making way for bicycles, reusing shopping bags, and limiting your carbon footprint by walking everywhere. Minimalist Scandinavian design and trendy fashion with simple clean lines reign supreme here, fostered by the unspoken Swedish cultural norm – lagom – which means ‘everything in moderation’.

The 1912 Summer Olympics (Games of the V Olympiad) welcomed Japan as Asia’s first participant. Passing out in the heat, Japan’s Shizo Kanakuri could not finish the marathon. Some 50 years later he discovered that he was officially ‘missing’, and returned to post a time of 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8:32:20.3.

Pick up a bike from Strandvägen
and explore green island, Kungliga Djurgården – home to Skansen, an open-air museum and zoo; rose gardens and apple orchards at Rosendal, and lush parks.

Ride over to Vasa Museum
to marvel at an impressive 17th century Viking ship around which the museum was constructed. The ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 without leaving the harbour.

Ride back to the centre
to catch a Dagens rätt – daily lunch special – at Café Panorama on the fifth floor of iconic Kulturhuset with views over main squareSergels torg, and Drottninggatan.

Dash to catch the changing of the guards
at Kungliga slottet – the royal palace – in historic Gamla stan. Wander the streets, picking up odd souvenirs and enjoy hot chocolate from Choklad-koppen at Stortorget.

Housed in a 1906 Art Nouveau-style
industrial waterfront building, wander Fotografiska Museum’s 2,500 square metres of exhibition space, checking out contemporary and fine art photography.

Take the scenic cliff-edge route
along Monteliusvägen for photo opportunities of Lake Mälaren, Riddarholmen, and Gamla stan – as you head towards bohemian Södermalm.

Learn to fika like a local,
which means enjoying coffee with a sugary cinnamon bun or other fluffy sweet pastry at Café Muggen, a European-style eco-friendly bistro along Götgatan.

Go vintage shopping
in the eclectic SoFo. Stop at Sneakersnstuff, Lisa Larsson for 30s-70s couture fashion, Tjallamalla for shoes and accessories, and Coctail for nostalgic plastic knick-knacks.

Start off with the SOS plate
of pickled herring, almond potatoes, and sharp cheese. Then finish off with homemade traditional meatballs in gravy with lingonberry while fending off football fans at Kvarnen.

Scurry back to Stureplan to mingle
with Stockholm’s hip crowd, and dance the night away from your choice of after-work lounges like Riche, and dance clubs in upmarket Östermalm.

Stockholm, Sweden
Distance: 4,585 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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