Stockholm is a storybook dream. Meandering around the Swedish capital’s 14 islands, stuffed with cobblestone streets and new-age design, you’ll soon fall in love with this city of contrasts. You could spend a lifetime exploring the archipelago’s restaurants, museums, hotels and quirky shops – but if you’re spending just one day in Stockholm, you need to line up the creme de la creme of must-visit hotspots. Pop these attractions to the very top of your itinerary:
Is there anything more quintessentially Swedish than meatballs? Those supermarket exponents will never taste the same again once you’ve tried the real thing at Meatballs For The People. Pop into this ambient deli for meatballs made with fowl, fish, game, and, of course, meat. The company go beyond the tried-and-tested cream sauce and mashed potato – try yours with everything from pickled cucumber to lingonberry jam.
Overlooking the inlet to Stockholm, just 20 minutes from the city itself, is Högberga Gård. This spectacular manor hotel is a perfect base for your day in Sweden, complete with a unique China Room that offers a magical antidote to busy city vibes. The only thing that beats the location, rooms and hospitality is the food. Whether you’re enjoying a late-night lobster-on-sourdough combo or a lavish brunch, expect genuinely sublime cuisine using sustainable, seasonal and local ingredients.
If you’re hankering something completely different, meander through the streets of Stockholm to Nook. This unusual fusion restaurant mixes Korean-influenced cuisine with reimagined Swedish dishes such as sardeller, Torskrygg and gröna ärtor. If you’re feeling brave, pluck for the Korean blood sausage.
From upmarket fashion to minimalist homewares, Stockholm is a shopping Shangri-La. For high-end retail therapy among pretty 18th-century buildings, Östermalm is the place to be. Make your way down Hamngatan for a peep into NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), a swanky department store stuffed with aesthetically pleasing swag.
Södermalm or ‘Söder’ as the locals call it, is one of Stockholm’s edgier shopping islands. Buzzing creatives flock here to get stuck into the city’s coolest stores, highlights including Grandpa and Jus. Bargain hunters will think they’ve hit the jackpot in this region – have a rummage around Smiley Vintage concept store, which refreshes second-hand clothing with clever cuts and designs.
In Sweden, design is a way of life. The capital, not surprisingly, boasts an unparalleled collection of design museums, galleries, stores and studios – an entire district, to be precise. Moderna Museet is a must-visit, home to modern art from 1900 to the present day, while a stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Town (Gamla Stan) on the island of Stadsholmen will give you a generous dose of classic architecture and cosy cafes.
Serious design isn’t restricted to galleries. Spend the night in Krägga Mansion for uniquely themed rooms. Crafted by interior designer Gunilla Thiel, three rooms in the South Wing of the mansion are dedicated to Sweden’s most famous icons: Greta Garbo, Ingrid and Ingmar Bergman. If your one day in Stockholm lands on a Saturday, treat yourself and a friend to a glorious afternoon tea, with pastries baked in the mansion’s very own bakery.