Stockholm, the city of the buzz and the beauty. The perfect combo of big city chic and peaceful, scenic Swedish archipelago. Of Södermalm hipsters and Stureplan stekare. My home away from home.
I lived in Stockholm for a year and a half. A short stay in the scale of life but so much more meaningful to me. I experienced so many great moments, met a lot of amazing people, worked for exciting brands and most notably, dare I say, grew a few inches taller as a person. Because you know, I never planned to move abroad. There even was a time, a long ago, when I didn’t even plan to move away from my hometown Turku. I quite liked my comfortable little bubble in Finland. But nonetheless I found myself moving across our Northern pond. And oh am I so grateful I did. They say that usually the path that seems the scariest ends up being the most freeing of all. This was definitely true for me. These were some of my greatest years, and I surely will miss Sweden and most of all my dear Stockholm.
Because Stockholm has that certain magic. I’ve talked about this with a lot of my friends in Stockholm and I know they understand what I’m talking about. That magic embodies itself in the moments when you just feel so in the right place on a random Tuesday afternoon, going with the green subway line with thousands of other commuters, looking at the short glimpse of waterside over Centralbron. Or when you decide to walk from Kungsträdgården to Söder after a long day at the office, just to enjoy the breath of fresh air and the beautiful scenery. Or when you’re having after work drinks in some of Stockholm’s amazing outside terraces with people you would have never met unless you had decided to take the leap. The leap to do something outside the comfort bubble.
In the midst of my nostalgia and going through mental memorabilia, I wanted to leave you with my top picks for spots in Stockholm that were especially memorable to me. Gamla Stan and shopping malls surely are nice but Stockholm has so much more to offer.
My favorite spots of Stockholm:
1. Norra Mälarstrand and Mälarpaviljongen
I have a thing for riversides and long walks. The route from the City Hall to Rålambshovsparken was one of my favorite places for this, even when I lived all the way in Sundbyberg. Stop by Mälarpaviljongen for after work drinks on a sunny day and enjoy the atmosphere by the water. You can even take a cooling plunge from the bar’s dock!
2. SoFo and Norra Hammarbyhamnen
I lived in Södermalm’s SoFo area for the last half a year and loved every second of it. SoFo is filled with cute little coffee shops, restaurants and edgy clothing boutiques. I never thought of myself as a Söder tjej but once you’ve strolled the streets of this southern island, you just feel at home. As I said, me and riverside walks have a tight romantic relationship so of course I had a go-to walking route right by my apartment. This route by Norra Hammarbyhamnen from SoFo to Tantolunden was where most of my thinking happened. Often I even suddenly found myself walking around the entire island, continuing to Södra Mälarstand and Slussen.
3. Tuletornen and Sumpan, aka Sundyberg
My first apartment was a brand new studio in Sundbyberg, with big windows and Carrera marble countertops, located in the twin towers they called Tuletornen. It was the dream. I had the sweetest landlord who arranged me an air mattress and kitchen utensils before I got my furniture from Finland, drove me to Skatteverket and helped me get a painting up on the wall. I really grew to love the peaceful little Sumpan during my first year. And that apartment… I will be forever happy if I ever get to live in a place like that again.
4. Skansen and Fotografiska
Out of all the touristy places in Stockholm, Skansen and Fotografiska are my absolute favorites. I went to Fotografiska a lot, and it’s the perfect place for some artsy inspiration and a nice glass of wine with a great view. Skansen then again is the perfect mix of an outdoor museum and an animal park. And occasionally, the perfect space for a summery Out of Office -event.
5. Kungsträdgården T-bana station
My favorite subway stop. It’s the end of the blue line, which I took to work, so I passed through the gates of Kunsträdgården t-bana almost daily. It’s also the most beautiful one in my opinion. I love the assemble of relics, the water element and the street lamps it has in the side of the hallway. And when you come up, you see the amazing Kungsträdgården and the cherry trees. The heart of Stockholm, in all its beautiful buzz.
But now, it’s time to say yes to new adventures and find new scenic walking routes. Helsinki, see you in three weeks!