weekend away - Stockholm
Written by Oryx
In February, Stockholm is still in its winter deep freeze, but don’t be put off visiting the Swedish capital, which presents a winter wonderland with a very cosy ambiance.
In Stockholm, you’re never far from water, with islands and canals sewn together by bridges offering wonderful vistas wherever you look. Wrap up warmly and set out: the sense of sea and sky is exhilarating. You can even hit the downhill ski slope at Hammarbybacken or ice skate at Kungsträdgården in the historic royal gardens. At Hellasgården, the brave run from sauna into frigid lake water is the ultimate winter dare.
Gamla Stan (old town) has grand 15th-century houses painted in shades of orange and pink, housing interesting boutiques and antique stores. Dozens of cafés will warm your fingers and provide coffee and waffles topped with Arctic cloudberries. Stroll on to the contemporary districts of Norrmalm and Östermalm for shopping: chic glassware, stainless-steel kitchen utensils, and knitted Nordic sweaters make great souvenirs.
For something different, check out Sónar, hosted in Stockholm this year, for the latest in electronic and dance music from February 13 to 14, or visit Liljevalchs Art Museum, whose Spring Salon is in full swing until March 29, featuring the works of established and aspiring Swedish artists.
The northern lights
The aurora borealis, unfolding in the sky in a kaleidoscope of violets, blues, and eerie greens, is one of nature’s greatest wonders. Head to Aurora Sky Station at Abisko National Park in northern Sweden to find one of the world’s best places to admire the electric display. An exhibition centre and restaurant on site will keep you warm.