When people say the people of Stockholm are tall and blonde, they aren’t wrong—not to mention, charming and very elegant! With an endearing natural ease, Swedes show a great respect for nature and the environment, living in harmony with it. I enjoyed this authenticity, which is reflected in their way of life. No wonder Swedish design is so popular, both in fashion and home decor.
Located on the Baltic Sea, Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, is made up of 14 islands and over 50 bridges. While this city of many canals enjoys a full 18 hours of sun during the summer months, its winters are harsh, with the sun setting at 3:00pm after a brief pass through the sky. Visitors wishing to gain a better understanding of this complex city are well advised to take a boat tour.
Like many European cities, Stockholm is full of history and the colourful buildings typical of Gamla Stan (the Old Town) are vivid examples. Exploring the Nobel Museum and the Museum of Photography were two stops at the top of my list.
The Swedes love spending as much time as possible outside. Interestingly, the vast majority of outdoor patios provide lovely colourful blankets for patrons to use as needed.
The food is also wonderful. Without question, one of the finest restaurants is Oaxen, where double Michelin star chef, Magnus Ek, works in an open kitchen, proudly producing ultra-creative, mouth-watering dishes with a Zen vibe. There are, in fact, two options at this hip stop: Oaxen Slip has a bistro-type menu and atmosphere, while Oaxen Krog serves a more refined cuisine. The latter gave us an opportunity to sample no less than 18 different dishes, from savoury appetizers—a veritable treat for both the eyes and the palate—right up to predessert and post-dessert courses.
For a little exercise, visitors often combine the pleasures of city walking with excursions to the surrounding countryside. Moreover, Stockholm has nearly 40 free open-air gyms.
Another typically Swedish custom is to make time for fika, a slang word for having coffee with pastry or a slice of cake. The city is full of lively cafés as Swedes are very fond of their traditional treats.
No trip to Stockholm is complete without exploring the city’s many design shops—be sure to take something special home!