WINTER WEEKDAY EDITION
In the summertime, when the parks are lush and the water glitters, it's enough to buy an ice cream by busy Kungsträdgården and head down Strandvägen towards Djurgården to enjoy Stockholm. When icy winds and dark skies make people scurry inside, a few hints about where to go make all the difference. This is my cheat sheet for dear friends about to visit Stockholm, and for you.
GET A GUIDE
As beautiful as it is, unless you have a guide to unfold its history, the city will be mostly old buildings and waterfronts. Maps with suggested walks for each island are provided here, and updated bikemaps found here.
"Free" (tip the guide) guided tours in English offered most days at 10 AM. Or download TalkoftheTown, a good mp3 guide available in 6 languages, perfect for bikers. Lonely planet has a clever .pdf shop where you get downloads of individual chapters from their guide books. Or take a sightseeing tour by bus or boat with Strömma.
Don't miss: The view over Stockholm from Fjällgatan or Monteliusvägen.
Eat: Spectacular view and vegetarian lunch and dinner buffets at Hermans (11.00-21.00). Our favorite "hole-in-the-wall"for laaate dinner is Amida Kolgrill. (12.00-23.00)
Don't miss: Riddarholmen, the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan (09.00-16.00), and the change of the royal guards (12.15). Make sure to return after sundown for a romantic walk among the cozy dwindling narrow streets and dim lights. Do miss: The tourist-traps (a.k.a. plastic viking helmets and overprized restaurants) of Västerlånggatan.
Eat: Tasty lunch or dinner at Vapiano.
Eat: Breakfast, lunch, and other delights at phenomenal Petite France (08.00-18.00)
Don't miss: The petite island Skeppsholmen and the bridge that leads to it. Free art exhibitions on the gallery floors at Kulturhuset.The small cozy Dance Museum, free admission to museum collection and films. One hour before performances, all remaining tickets are sold at half price off at The Royal Opera's box office: top notch opera and ballet, cheaper than the cinema! Visit S:t Jacobs Church from 1588 (free admission). Free organ recitals in S:ta Clara's Church, Fridays 12.00. Free lunchconcerts in S:t Jacob's Church, Thursdays 12.00, and free organ recitals Fridays 17.00.
Shop souvenirs: H&M Flagship Store, Hamngatan 22. Boho style at Indiska, Hamngatan 37. Scandi style for the home at Bruka Design, Granit, Stockhome. Fun independent designers at Designtorget. On the lowest floor of NK is a nice grocery store perfect for food souvenirs in all price ranges.
Eat: NK Lunch in the shopping centre NK serves regular Swedish lunch dishes (maincourse, salad buffet, bread) fast and easy. Great flavour at great prices from La Neta Taquería y Tortillería Mexicana.
Eat: Swedish meatballs and such at Café Oscars from the 1940's. Try Swedish pastry, such as the Semla at Sturekatten, Tösse or another bakery in the area.
Don't miss: If the weather is nice, a walk or bikeride around the island. The large museum of cultural history Nordiska Museet offers free admission on Wednesdays 17.00-20.00.
Eat: Lunch with an great view at Moderna Museet (11.00-14.00). Lunch by the fire place at Flickorna Helin& Voltaire.
IMAGE: BY BOTAN (OWN WORK) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons