Exploring Stockholm – New Year’s 2017

  

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

Having spent New Year’s away from home for the past four years, this year we decided to head over to Sweden to spend a few days in Stockholm. Having never visited any of the Scandinavian countries I wasn’t sure whether it would be a city break I’d enjoy. I’m usually someone who opts for chasing the sun so I wasn’t overly optimistic about sight-seeing in sub-zero temperatures.

Firstly, visiting Stockholm it’s worth noting that they only have around six hours of sunlight in the winter months. This was ideal for seeing their amazing Christmas lights and the New Year’s fireworks but perhaps not the best time of year to go if you want to spend hours seeing the sights.

We stayed at the Story Hotel which is a centrally located boutique hotel, complete with what has to be one of the world’s smallest lifts. They have an Asian fusion restaurant and bar with incredible cocktails so it is certainly worth a visit.

Top Ten Things to See/Do in Stockholm:

  • Skansen – We visited the world’s first open-air museum, Skansen on our first day in Stockholm. The museum covers five centuries of Swedish history and holds historical traditional buildings. They also have a zoo with the cutest Scandinavian animals.


  • Gramla Stan – The old town in Stockholm is the tourist hub of the city. It is a great place to wonder around full of shops, cafes and bars. It looks like a story book town with cobbled streets and has the narrowest street in Stockholm.

  • Köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs) – It wouldn’t be a trip to Sweden without Swedish meatballs. We stopped by Husman’s Deli to have a huge portion of meatballs. Served with potatoes and covered in cream sauce they are certainly not to be missed. Make sure to add traditional lingonberries.
  • Moderna Museet – The modern art museum in Stockhom is free to enter and hosts incredible exhibitions. Located on the Skeppsholmen island, we caught a ferry across to have a look at the visiting gingerbread house competition which takes place every year
  • Fika – Whilst there isn’t a direct translation, fika is to go for a coffee and piece of cake or a pastry with someone. We certainly made the most of this trend by stopping off for endless coffee and cake. Be sure to make a visit to Drop Coffee whose CEO is the second best roaster in the world.
  • Ice Bar – Many cities now have an ice bar but Stockholm is home of the world’s first permanent ice bar. They had a Wild Encounters theme on so we enjoyed a cocktail in an ice glass among bears carved of ice.

  • Fondue – Not strictly Swedish but we were feeling wintery so wanted to go for a fondue night whilst we were away. For all those after a hygge evening enjoying a bottomless cheese or toberlone fondue, stop by Fondueboden. It is best to reserve a table in advance as they are extremely popular.

  • Djurgarden – The island houses many of the popular sightseeing attractions such as the ABBA museum (sadly my boyfriend wasn’t game for this one). It is worth grabbing a coffee or taking a picnic in the summer months and wondering around the parks on the island.
  • The Royal Palace – It is no Buckingham Palace but the Royal Palace in Stockholm is worth seeing. Just as in London there is a changing of the guard that can be seen on certain days at set times.
  • Hot Chocolate – After walking around in the freezing cold we were on a mission to find the best hot chocolate. Chokladkoppen in Gramla Stan near the Nobel Museum serves incredible hot chocolate in bowls.

After a few drinks on New Year’s we went to watch the fireworks in Fjällgatan. It has great views overlooking the city and was filled with people sharing champagne, setting off their own fireworks and releasing paper lanterns into the sky.

Stockholm is crazy expensive even by London standards so I wouldn’t recommend going for more than a few days, we managed to see everything we wanted in the four days we were there. Hopefully you found this guide helpful, let me know if you visit.

 

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2 Comments

  1. January 22, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    I love the idea of visiting a new city or country for New Years! It sounds like you had a perfect few days away. I’ve never been to Sweden either but it’s certainly on my list. I could definitely get on board with the tradition of Fika. Although they don’t get many Sunlight hours during winter, it sounds like it would make it that extra bit hygge and magical – ultimate cozy, relaxing getaway!
    xx

    Tasmin | http://www.grandiosedays.com

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