Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sources of inspiration: Stockholm // bridges & water // delicate cuisine // Scandinavian design // top 5 things to see and reasons visit

Traveling to colder climates is not something I usually do when I decide to book a trip and travel. Stockholm has been on my list of places to visit for a while. The center of design, the clean, breezy and pure style is something that attracted me to visit this city. For me the summer is the only time of the year to travel more north from the Netherlands so when I realized this summer I could only take a short trip I finally got to visit Stockholm.

We all know Sweden from it’s clever designs solutions. Think about furniture from IKEA. Practical, stylish and brilliant. The Swedish design cultures have set foot on oversees markets too. Swedish brands are booming and fashion is getting more minimal and conscious, a clear sign of the Swedish design influence in trends nowadays. This ‘design’ state of mind and the beautiful waters and architecture of the islands of Stockholm were the main reason to visit for a visual peep like me.

Scandinavian countries are pretty expensive. Stockholm is also one of the most expensive places to visit so if you are traveling on a budget keep in mind that alcohol is pretty crazy expensive. You might just want to order some water. And Stockholm food portions are also pretty mad so if you travel with someone you might want to try and order just one main dish to share. You can always order more. The food is very good though. it is pricy but very pure and most places serve organic only. Try out the seafood, fresh and very tasty. And don’t miss out on the cinnamon buns. They are so good! Most sweet treats are a little less sugary than in other countries.

Of course with every trip we write a little piece here on the blog about what to do and what places to visit. Even though I think you should just explore and go with the flow, that is how you discover little gems, we did make a top 5 of things you really shouldn’t miss. So if you plan a trip to Stockholm this summer and wanna get some inspiration you can find it here!

1 // Underground Art
Of course I have to start with Stockholm’s best kept secret. I entered Stockholm by public transportation and to arrive at my little hostel I had to change trains and head for the subway. What I didn’t know was that Stockholm has an incredible amount of gorgeous subway stations. It is considered to be the largest art exhibit in the world with over 90 decorated stations with all sorts of art: sculptures, paintings, mosaics. Most of the subway stops are shaped like caves, cut out of stone that alone already creates a magical experience taking public transportation. I cannot imagine having a more inspiring commute to work every day. My favorites must be Kungsträdgården & T-Centralen. So if you have the opportunity go ride those trains for an our and visit all beautiful stops.

2 // Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s old town is one of the best preserved city centers in Europe. Gamla Stan must be the most touristy place of Stockholm, this medieval island dates back to the 13th century. Go visit the place in the morning before the tourist rush. Wander around the cobbled stone streets and little narrow alleys. Get lost in the maze and have a drink in one of the tiny cafés or visit small designer boutiques. You can also visit some beautiful churches and museums. And don’’t forget to check out the amazing facades of the old architecture.

3 // Cycle around
I love using public transportation because you get to be part of the every day vibe. But Stockholm is also a great place to rent a bike and cycle around, visit all it’s islands, it brings you places you would never visit by foot. Especially on a hot summer day it is a great way to escape the busy streets and enjoy some green ease. I discovered a great place to have lunch and get a refreshing drink. Boulebar Rålambshov located in the Rålambshovsparken is a great place to get some food and watch people play the old French game of jeu de boules. Strangely enough there were only young peeps playing the game. So ladies, enjoy a refreshing cider and enjoy some eye candy. You can also find a little beach there if you want to dip in. And from here you can cycle next to the water to the city hall that is definitely worth checking out. I love the architecture that reminded me a little of Berlage, the red brick and the chunky shapes. From here you can enjoy the city skyline and cycle towards Gamla Stan and discover old town.

4 // Södermalm
My hostel, Tre Små Rum, was located south of Gamla Stan on the island of Södermalm. When you stay in one place for a few days and enjoy the direct surroundings it starts to feel like home a little. I loved the neighborhood with its little boutiques and vintage shops. I discovered a brilliant shop for illustrators like me: The Penstore. Seriously you should have seen my face when I entered the store, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I spent way too much money on pencils.

Södermalm also has some fun shopping streets with main fashion brands, green area’s, and little squares with places to hang out, get a drink, small bistro’s and good quality restaurants. Did you know Sweden does not have any bars? You have to serve food when you serve liquor. Not bad! Since I love food and always get hungry at bars because the (finger)food sucks. The island is a vegan heaven. Organic and vegan restaurants are all over the place. I was very happy with my room located in such a great location. Around the corner of my hostel I would get some good coffee in the morning at Johan & Nyström and after a busy day exploring the city coming back to the area, having a proper wine at Bistro Süd before heading to bed. Perfect. Everything you need around the corner.

5 // Skeppsholmen
Pay attention creative peeps! You need to visit this little creative island. I was lucky enough to spend a truly magical summer night here with some live music and street food in the Moderna Museet garden during the Yayoi Kusamas exhibit. Surrounded by picasso scultures I was enjoying a live performance of one of my fav sing and sing writers José González. You can visit the Moderna Museet but don’t forget to enjoy the outside sculptures by Calder and Jean Tingely and Niki de Saint Phalle. From the island you have a beautiful view over Stockholm. Walk around the island and check out the little harbor on the northern part with old teamships and fishing boats. A great place to enjoy the sunset. From the south side you can take a ferry to the Abba Museum or Nordiska Museet.

It was pretty hard to filter and high light some of the amazing places to visit in Stockholm. There are so many things to love about the city, the food, the water, the peace and relaxed atmosphere. But I hope these tips might bring a little more in dept info for your visit. Enjoy!