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Stockholm in Five Museums

The lively city is a hatchery of new trends in music, technology and design, innovations which often go viral around the world. Its art centres –museums, galleries, spaces for creation– are the places for taking the city’s pulse and feeling its spirit. Let’s visit the most emblematic venues, each of them a world unto itself, and immerse ourselves in the city’s contemporary art, photography, decorative arts, and music.

Stockholm boasts a rich, thousand-year-old cultural heritage, with wonderful architecture, museums, the Royal Palace, and the perfectly preserve medieval city centre, the Gamla Stan. Here, trendy bars and fine restaurants mingled with historic cafés and pubs. Similarly, modern shopping streets and malls feature all the major international brands, along with a stunning variety of local boutiques unusual shops, and the city’s museums range from the classic Vasa Museum to ABBA The Museum, and Fotografiska. In Stockholm there are more than a hundred cultural and recreational attractions to choose from. Here’s our choice of just five:

The Vasa Museum

The Vasamuseet features the Vasa, the world’s sole surviving, almost fully intact 17th C. ship, a real artistic treasure. More than 95% of the ship is original, and it is adorned with numerous carved wooden sculpture. The 69-metre-long, 64-gun warship sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later, in 1961. Nearly fifty years were spent restoring the ship to her original splendour. Her three masts tower above the building that now houses the Vasa. The museum is today the most popular in all Scandinavia, and receives more that a million visitors each year. Ten separate exhibits illustrate different aspects of the ship, including what life aboard was like. Children are admitted gratis.

Royal Palace

The 600-room Royal Palace or Kungahus, still the residence of the Swedish royal family, is one of Europe’s largest palaces. It is open to the public and houses no fewer than five museums. It was built in the Italian baroque style in the 18th C. on the site of the 13th C. Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) palace which burned to the ground in 1697. Visitors first see the splendid reception halls whose breathtaking furnishings and adornments date from the 18th and 19th centuries. Next is the Rikssalen (Hall of State) with the silver throne used by Queen Christina (1629-1689). Also worth seeing are the Ordenssalarna (apartments of the orders of chivalry), the Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Kronor Tre Museum, and the Treasury.

The Royal Palace also houses the Armoury, with its marvellous collection of royal costumes and body armour, the coronation carriages, and the magnificent horses in the Royal Stables. The colourful changing of the guard ceremony can be watched at 12:15 h. on weekdays and at 13:15 h. on Sundays and holidays.

Fotografiska

One of the world’s largest photography museums, Fotografiska stages as many as four major and twenty smaller exhibitions each year. It shows the works of Swedish and foreign photographers, both established and emerging. The new restaurant in the museum is run by master chef Paul Svensson and has already won awards for its seasonal and ecological dishes. From the café on the top floor visitors can enjoy some of the best views of Stockholm.

Moderna Museet

Here we find one of Europe’s most important contemporary art collections, with works dating from the early 20th C. to the present, including masterpieces by Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Sweden’s own Siri Derkert. Its permanent collection and its temporary exhibitions make it a must for visiting art lovers. The Moderna Museet is located on Stockholm’s fairytale Skeppsholmen island in a spectacular building by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. Its restaurant affords lovely views Djurgården park and Strandvägen boulevard.

ABBA The Museum

Music, clothing, lyrics, videos, and interactive displays concerning Sweden’s most celebrated pop group ABBA can be seen and heard in this museum on the island of Djurgården. The famous quartet, founded in 1970, sold more than 378 million records before is disbanded in 1983. Its biggest hit, “Waterloo”, reached the top of the charts in 1974. The 1994 musical “Mamma Mia” revived interest in the group.

The vibe in Stockholm is open, easy-going, and welcoming. Diversity and innovation are prized. Stockholm is a place the whole world should visit. So, what are you waiting for? Check out our fares here!

Text: Isabel y Luis Comunicación

Illustrations: Visit Stockholm, Ola Ericson

 

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Stockholm in 6 Culinary Styles

Without even having to leave the city, you can get a good idea of the culinary gems that attest to the potential of Nordic cuisine. In Stockholm, excellent avant-garde cuisine weds “bistronomies” and gastrobars with oodles of character. Depending on the style you’re after and how much you want to spend, here are six culinary lines in Stockholm which bear out the city’s gastronomic vigour.

Gastrologik Avant-garde

The moment you take a seat, you will find a menu waiting for you on the table. But, instead of a list of dishes, this is a statement of intent and attention, in a restaurant that takes care of the finest details. Avant-garde cuisine in a succession of bites strictly in season, asserting the wealth of local produce, pampered from source by the chef duo of Jacob Holmstrom and Anton Bjuhr. Algae, indigenous fish and alluring natural rarities are the highlights of a unique gastronomic experience.

Ekstedt Authenticity

Warmed by hot coals, the restaurant run by the popular Niklas Ekstedt has made its mark by creating a highly personal culinary line which the chef rounds off a few metres away in the guise of another, more “casual” business. Brilliant cuisine over the fire, in dishes which take shape before the diner’s eyes. I can highly recommend going for the room’s imperial table, even if you have to share it. Watch your bread being baked and brought warm to the table; be spellbound by the flames in surprising, ongoing flambé surges, as with the oyster flambé; savour the singularities of Swedish produce, rigorously executed and served up with gusto… All this is Ekstedt – a genuine yet unusual restaurant.

The Plenitude of Lilla Ego

The queues at the entrance to Lilla Ego before each sitting are a constant feature. Here, the emphasis is on the informal offerings based on sturdy market fare. Dessert helpings are a tad oversize and dishes are presented rather haphazardly, while the extensive wine list and pairings are bold. You can watch them cooking from the bar counter, as well as observe the various steps involved in preparing dishes, something outside the scope of the table diners. A feature of this venue is the upbeat atmosphere, both at lunch and dinner.

The Warmth of Babette

You don’t need to be invited to see the kitchen for, as soon as you step inside, it is the first thing you see and almost stumble over, as well as hands-on chefs who frantically ply their wares. Pizzas, salads and sautés based on fresh produce are the standout traits of the dishes in this venue, where you will feel at home among the books and various seating arrangements. As in all restaurants, it is best to book in advance to secure your place on the terrace. It opens every day of the week, which is unusual in this city’s hospitality sector.

The Freshness of Kaffeverket

There are so many cafés in Stockholm that you would be hard put to choose just one – or even two or three. But Kaffeverket has that enveloping atmosphere which ends up cajoling you into whiling away the hours there. Even locals recommend it. Offerings in the spacious interior, which looks onto an inner patio, with high tables and stools – and low ones, too – include one-course meals, sandwiches and top-notch homemade pastries, with options for vegans and celiacs, too. The friendliness of their staff is another point in their favour.

Where to Sleep, Breakfast and Vice Versa – Miss Clara

This boutique hotel is ideal for staying at a place with endless sky views, but also for having breakfast in the purest Swedish style, just a stone’s throw away from the shopping hub. If you have time on your hands and you fancy it, you can opt for a brunch, with cocktails and DJ music or jazz, or else sip a drink on their large pavement terrace in the heart of the city.

Still intact in this erstwhile convent are the Art Deco foundations, which blend in with an elegant and equally cosy interior design.

HTL Upplandsgatan

It is ultramodern and highly functional. With its designer hostel appearance and B&B down-to-earthness, you will appreciate the splendid location of this hotel in the city’s major shopping district, as well as its price and more than adequate breakfast buffet.

Book your Vueling to Stockholm and discover their gastronomic variety.

By Belén Parra of Gastronomistas.com

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9 cafes in Stockholm

In Stockholm there’s a café on nearly every counter, a total of 502 in the Swedish capital. And each one strives to offer the best coffee and food, including pastries, sandwiches, and even whole brunches and lunches. They also vie with each other to display the most original concept and décor.

In Colour - Vurma Kafé (Gastrikegatan, 2)

You wouldn’t be surprised to see Frida Kahlo, Sara Montiel or Lola Flores flouncing through the door of this cathedral of Kitsch, with its deep red and blue walls, and colourful plastic flowers in every available spot –including the waitresses’ hair–where every chair and velvet cushion is a different colour and pattern. The initial psychedelic sensation quickly subsides, and the visitor realises that there’s a lot to like in the Vurma. Much to be prized is the organic milk accompanying a hot sandwich combining the unlikeliest ingredients; but all surprisingly delicious. Our favourites are the goat cheese with apples, honey, and walnuts, and the spicy hummus.

Perfect Chaos – String (Nytorgsgatan 38)

The is a café that doubles as an antique shop`. Everything is for sale –the furniture, the table linen, glassware, lamps, and many decorative items. But it is most famous for its unspeakably delicious red fruit strudel drowned in vanilla sauce. The best place to drink your coffee, which is served in thermos jugs, is at the high table by the window where you can watch the hipsters parading through the ultramodern Söderman district. For just eight euros you can order a Sunday brunch including a hot drink, fruit juice, bread, cheese, yoghurt, a crêpe, fresh fruit, egg and even ice cream!

Milky Coffee and a Newspaper - Saturnus (Eriksbergsgatan, 6)

Local and foreign newspapers, huge, rich pastries (one cinnamon band can be shared by at least two or three people), and an exquisite café au lait served in one of Stockholm’s largest cups. It’s a cosmopolitan and cordial setting, and a great place to meet and chat with friends. The menu includes sandwiches and salads made with recipes “from everywhere”, says the owner. Noteworthy among the fare are the Cuban sandwich of cured pork loin with barbecue sauce, the Ruben pastrami, the milkshake made with fresh fruit, and the cheesecake with macadamia nuts. Average cost per person: 12 euros.

In the Market - Roberto (Östermalmstorg, 114)

No visitor to Stockholm should miss the luxurious covered Östermalms Saluhall selling local gourmet products including reindeer specialities, salmon, shellfish, cheese, and cakes. Near the entrance is the Café Roberto, a great place to catch your breath whilst touring the city on foot.

Following the Footsteps of Mikael Blomkvist – Melquwist (Hornsgatan, 78)

One of Stockholm’s top-ranked cafés is the site at which Mikael Blomkvist, the hero of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, solved a mystery or two with the help of Lisbeth Salander. Regular customers tend to choose the full breakfast packages, which includes fresh fruit juice, a hot drink, and a hot sandwich (try the egg and mozzarella!) for 11 euros. Another appealing feature of the Melquwist is its outdoor terrace where blankets and stoves protect guests from the winter temperatures.

Shop and Café – Taverna (Hornsgatan, 5)

Unabashedly arty and contemporary, this café features a long, long wall adorned with sober black graffiti, plus a delicatessen selling a large variety of international foods, a pork butcher’s, and a bakery. There are strategically placed benches for visitors who want to enjoy a coffee on the spot.

The Infallible Classic - Vete-Katten (Kungsgatan, 55)

In business since the beginning of the 20th century, this is a classic and elegant tea room frequented by many generations of people who come to sample the delicious bread and traditional pastries, such as semla (a brioche filled with almond cream) or the cinnamon tolls made with extra sugar and butter, which are best with a big cup of steaming black coffee. The delicious baking aromas envelope the Vete-Katten and make it easy to find – just follow your nose!

Rock & Cakes - Café Fatölgen (Götgatan, 12)

The is a curious glam-rock café with enormous crystal chandeliers, rock posters, and floral wallpaper. At five euros per huge, tempting slice, the 12 kinds of cake are worth every cent and constitute the speciality of the house. Resistance is futile!

Simply Magic - Rosendals Kafé (Rosendalsterrassen, 12)

It’s the city’s most magical spot to for having a coffee, located inside a greenhouse crowded with plants, which in turn stands in a huge garden thronged with apple trees where the hip crowd can sit outdoors in the summer. You can’t help loving the bucolic atmosphere, where you can order 100% organic food grown in the garden. The Rosendals specialities are the soups, the carrot cake, and the pastries made with flowers from the garden –try the rose and nettles cakes! 

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by Gastronomistas

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Restaurant Kryp In

On the streets of Gamla Stan, also called “the city between the bridges”, which is the old town of Stockholm,you can found many historic buildings, religious and cultural. Walking this set of medieval and Renaissance Square is reached Stortorge, the oldest of the city and here, right next door is the restaurant Kryp In.

Provides Swedish food at its best, spiced with season European food influences. Some of the dishes that you can try are reindeer meat in sauce or carpaccio, smoked herring or duck breast.

And, although in general the Swedish restaurants are not exactly cheap, in Kryp In find a good value for money.

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