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New Year in Stockholm

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder”, this Swedish phrase means there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes that don't keep you warm. So there's no excuse not to have an unforgettable time during mid winter in a city like Stockholm, which brings in the new year with joy and hope (despite the cold).

For anyone who wants to have an unforgettable time bringing in 2015, Stockholm is definitely one of the best options in Scandinavia. Its streets fill with life, with excellent restaurants and little places to drink glögg (mulled wine) and eat pepparkakor, the typical ginger biscuits eaten at Christmas.

While it is true that most New Year festivities in Stockholm take place in hotels, clubs or friends' house, the city also prepares great New Year celebrations.

The church in Storkyrkan de Gamla Stan – Stockholm's old quarter – is the venue for the New Year's Eve concert called Nyårskonsert. The City of Stockholm also organises a fireworks display to welcome the New Year. The resulting image is unforgettable, as the light from the fireworks creates a dramatic contrast with the snow covering the entire city.

After the chimes have struck, most of the big parties take place in the alternative neighbourhood of Södermalm. One of the best known is the Södermalmstorg, which takes place on Götgatan Street. Music and fun are guaranteed to keep going till dawn.

On January 1st, the open-air Museum of Skansen hosts the Ring Out Wild Bells concert, with a reading of the New Year's poem of that name by Tennyson, which is broadcast live. This event also closes with a fireworks display.

For more sporty people, another option for January 1st is to go ice-skating in Kungstradgården, a kind of Central Park and one of the most popular places in Stockholm.

By Eddy Lara Brito from DestinosActuales.com

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Stockholm–Mad About Design

There must be something in the icy, snowbound winters with their short days, or the endless daylight and mild temperatures of summer that sparks so much creativity in the Scandinavian countries. Or, might the source of inspiration be the vast, leafy forests and myriad lakes? Whatever lies behind the secret, the fact is that the visitor to Stockholm never fails to be stunned by the sheer reach and quality of design there. It is present in the architecture, the apparel, the decoration in shops, bars and restaurants, hotel interiors and the privacy of people’s homes. It is all-enveloping and exerts a fascination on the traveller. Their flair for creating soothing environments based on simple, yet warm lines never ceases to be a source of wonder. In a nutshell, it can be defined in just three words – modern, simple and functional.

Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair

Needless to say, Stockholm hosts one of the leading design fairs in Europe, the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, where the latest trends in Scandinavian design are rolled out. This year it will be held from 9 to 13 February and will feature all kinds of relevant activities. As with previous years, the lounge in the main entrance will be designed by an international designer or studio. On this occasion, the Britons Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby will do the honours, as well as chairing a mass seminar for all atendees at the Stockholm Design Talks. Among the novelties at this year’s edition is Established, a section dedicated to promoting designers and studios with small-scale production, also known as makers.Young designers and design schools have also been addressed at this fair, as they have their own section, Greenhouse, a display window produced by the studio, Form Us With Love.

Stockholm Design Week

Stockholm Design Week will be held from 8 to 14 February, overlapping the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair. It will involve all kinds of design-related activities, including lectures, presentations, events and inaugurations, to be hosted in a wide variety of showrooms and other venues in the city. Check out the full programme here.

Still More Design!

If you’ve still got the energy after so much activity, or you aren’t able to attend the fair, you can always steep yourself in design by touring some of the city’s leading districts and even pick up the odd souvenir. Following are some pointers:

Östermalm is Stockholm’s most exclusive district, where you are best positioned to find the major upmarket brands. There, everything is distributed by areas. If you’re looking for the best fashion labels, you would head for Biblioteksgatan and Bibliotekstan. If, on the contrary, you’re hunting for the big international brands, and stores specialising in design, fashion and jewellery, the best places are Birger Jarlsgatan and the area around Stureplan. If antiquities are your thing, then pay a visit to  Arsenalsgatan and Nybrogatan, where you will also come across some of Stockholm’s major auction houses. Lastly, the area ringed by Sibyllegatan, Östermalmstorg, Karlavägen, Stureplan and Strandvägen boasts some of the best interior design stores in the city.

Then there is Södermalm, on the South Island. It is more of a small hipster town than a district. It goes without saying that vintage fashion and design are the all rage here, as are long beards (albeit well trimmed) and organic cuisine. Everything is centred around Götgatan, Skånegatan and the area known as SoFo, the abbreviated form of “south of Folkungagatan”. Finally, there are a number of craft shops near Slussen and in Hornsgatan.

To wind up, in contrast to the aforementioned areas, you should make a point of visiting Gamla Stan to find out what the city was like before the design craze set in. Gamla Stan, the old city, is one of Europe’s largest and best preserved medieval cities and one of Stockholm’s major landmarks. This is where the city was founded in 1252. Indeed, the whole district is from a wholly different era. You will, of course, come across tourists but, unless you get caught up with the flow, and if you pay attention, you will have the odd pleasant surprise in the form of a traditional Swedish craft shop.

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Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair



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Stockholm: city open to the sea

The Stockholm Vasa Museum could be a good metaphor of what has happened today in Spain: a country that is sinking as a result of having failed to take care of what matters, how to sustain itself. The Vasa warship did not even manage to make it out of port. Loaded with 700 sculptures, 64 canons, 300 soldiers and 130 sailors prepared for their first voyage to dominate the Baltic Sea on 10 August, 1628. And it wasn’t even necessary to fire one shot at them, not even cross paths. The wind battered its sails just a few metres from the port and it slowly began to sink in full sight of the people and King Gustavus Adolphus II who had commissioned its construction. 333 years later, she was found intact submerged in the mud, still blushing from the insults of all the enemies of Sweden and the anger it arose in the Royal Family. She now rests in the same place as from where she started out, in the port of Smörland, and is the only conserved warship from the 17th Century and the perfect excuse to get to know the Scandinavian capital. In Piedra de Toque we take a trip to Stockholm to discover the other face of different European capitals with My Vueling City.

Stockholm is a city divided into thirds: one third fresh-water, one third sea and another third city. Made up of 14 islands it has more than 100 museums and among these is the highlight, the Vasa: constructed to dominate the Baltic and sunk beneath its own weight the same day as its launch.

Image: Holger.Ellgaard

By Iñaki Makazaga from Piedra de Toque

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Stockholm According to Millennium

The writer and journalist, David Lagercrantz, took up the challenge of continuing the trilogy begun by Steig Larsson, having authored the fourth novel in the Millennium series, That Which Does Not Kill. In addition to instigating Scandinavia’s black novel phenomenon, this popular trilogy featuring Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist as the main characters has turned into a fascinating alternative guide to the city where the action is set – Stockholm.


While not a particularly interesting spot for sightseers, establishments like 7-Eleven, at number 25 Götgatan Street, can always comes in handy. As a regular, it is here that the hacker and social recluse, Lisbeth Salander, sources the two essential ingredients of her pernicious diet – frozen pizzas and cartons of Marlboro Light.


Ikea is a veritable institution in Sweden and Steig Larsson could not afford to ignore it in his trilogy. It features in the second instalment, when Lisbeth Salander turns up at the Kungens Kurva premises (the largest in the world) to buy furniture for her new apartment. Larsson provides such a detailed list of the purchase – Karlanda sofa, Galant desk, Bonde bookshelves… – that anyone wishing to faithfully replicate Salander’s flat interior could easily do so.


Among Lisbeth Salander’s few friends are the members of the heavy metal group, Evil Fingers, who she usually meets up with at Kvarnen on Tuesday evenings. Located at number 4 Tjärhovsgatande Street and with over a century’s standing, it is one of Stockholm’s oldest taverns, offering such noteworthy traditional Swedish dishes asköttbullar (meatballs) and surströmming (herring).

Lisbeth Salander’s House

In The Girl Who Played With Fire (2008), Lisbeth Salander moves to a luxury apartment at 9 Fiskargatan Avenue. This block, built in 1910, stands out in Stockholm’s skyline for its green metal roof. Salander enjoys no fewer than 21 rooms in her new abode, as well as tempting views of Djurgården island and Saltsjön Bay!

Mikael Blomkvist’s House

It requires no feat of the imagination to picture Larsson walking in front of 1 Bellmansgatan Street and fantasise settling down in such a privileged enclave. His desire, at least in the fiction tale, materialised when he had one of his main characters, Mikael Blomkvist, move into the attic, a 65m2 apartment flooded with light, affording beautiful views over Riddarfjärden Bay, Gamla Stan and the Stockholm City Hall.

Mellqvist Kaffebar

At 78 Hornsgatan Street, the Mellqvist Kaffebar is not just one of the cafés most frequented by the protagonists of Millennium. It was actually one of the author’s favourite spots, too. There are even those who claim that, between one café and another, it was there that Larsson wrote more than a chapter of his successful trilogy. Indeed, the journal, Expo, of which Larsson was the director, was housed on the floor above it.

Mosebacke Torg

Just a few metres from Salander’s new apartment lies the Mosebacke Torg, one of Stockholm’s loveliest squares. Sited on the square is the Södra Teatern, the city’s oldest theatre, built in 1859. It is in the theatre bar that Lisbeth usually meets Annika Giannini to exchange confidences over a few beers. The Mosebacke Torg also houses one of Stockholm’s last-surviving telephone boxes still in service.

Millennium’s Editorial Office

Located on the corner of Götgatan Avenue – one of the busiest arteries in the Södermalm district – and Hökens Gata Street, the editor’s office of the Millennium journal is housed on the floor above Greenpeace’s headquarters. Staunch enthusiasts of the trilogy are likely to be disappointed when they realise that, while the offices of Greenpeace are indeed located on that corner, the upper floors of the building are all just apartments.

Samirs Gryta

Enthralled with their couscous and mutton stew, the Samirs Gryta Syrian restaurant is a favourite among the Millennium editorial staff. The exact address of this fictitious eatery is never divulged in any of the instalments but, in terms of its appearance, Steig Larsson was probably inspired by the Indian restaurant Dado (Tavastgatan, 28) and the adjoining Lebanese restaurant, Tabbouli (Tavastgatan, 22).


Stortorget is the square where Dragan Armanski catches sight of Lisbeth Salander shortly after being hired by Milton Security. Stortorget is one of Stockholm’s historic sites as here, in November 1520, the Bloodbath took place, when Danish King Christian II had hundreds of members of the ruling classes executed in order to seize control of the country. Also in Stortorget is the Nobelmuseet, the Nobel Prizes museum.

The Stockholm City Museum offers a fascinating tour of the city inspired by the Millennium trilogy. Click here for further details.

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Text by Oriol Rodríguez for ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Holger Ellgaard, I99pema, Kirsty Komuso, Arild Vågen, Mstyslav Chernov

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