Summer in Sweden

After spending five of the best vacation days ever in Sweden, we’re finally ready to reflect on our experiences.  Our trip was full of sun, good food, and water.  Here’s how we spent two days in Stockholm.

Let me start by saying that we spent 300 Kroner, which is $54 (that’s £32) on a slice of pizza and a cookie in Stockholm.  I am not exaggerating.  This is what we spent at a small café in the touristy area of Gamla Stan: The old town that every guidebook will tell you to visit.  Don’t go here.  I’m serious.  You’ll think you should go here, but don’t.  You can have a much better time experiencing Stockholm for its natural beauty and local flavor.  That said, Stockholm is expensive, period.  But it doesn’t have to be that expensive.  See our suggestions below for a fabulous and moderately priced trip to Stockholm.

Day One Afternoon

For our first afternoon in Stockholm, we headed straight to Sodermalm.   It’s where people live and work and it’s full of great shops (record, book, and vintage clothes of good quality).  We walked around for a little bit and found ourselves at Mosebacke Terrass for a glass of wine and a pint of beer with a great international crowd.  This helped us wind down after our voyage and gave us a good perspective of Stockholm.  Afterward, we wished we would have stopped by the grocery store to buy lox, bread, cheese and wine, and walked up the hill to Vita Bergen, a beautiful park overlooking the city.  We did make it to the beautiful park after we ate at the Pelican, a historical restaurant that was overpriced and not that great.

Day 2 Morning

For our first morning in Stockholm, we ate breakfast at our hotel and went straight to Djurgården on the ferry.  We rented a canoe and paddled toward the nature side of the canal as far as we could in a half hour, allowing the time to get back for the hour rental fee.   The water was calm and the trip was beautiful.  It didn’t seem the rental shop was over-concerned with safety or skill.  After our canoe trip, we walked across the bridge to Ostermalm Saluhall for lunch.  We ate a delicious meal at one of the cafes in there and gawked at all of the food.

Day 2 Afternoon

We love to try to take public transport while in new cities, so we went back to Djurgården via public transport.  When we disembarked at the Vasamuseet station we began to circumnavigate the island, heading toward the mini island of Beckholmen.  Just check out this cute little place, and perhaps make reservations at Oaxmen for the outdoor patio for later in the evening.  We continued the walk around Djurgården to come across the Italian Embassy and then to the Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde.  This is a beautiful estate which is worth paying the entrance fee to visit.  Imagine what it would be like to live here on the best piece of property in Stockholm!  Learn a little about the art in a country not much known for its art.

After this house, you might be ready for a coffee and cake.  Slice up the center of the island, following the signs to Rosendals Slott.  You will reach the coolest area of the island:  a mini farm with vegetables and fruits and in the center, a café in a greenhouse where you can purchase teas, coffee, and desserts.  I had the best cookie of my life here!  It looked like it was going to be dry and crumbly, but it was actually moist and chewy.  I am still thinking about it.

Day 2 Evening

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Langholmen Swimming

Head next to  your hotel for a shower and rest or if you’re feeling like you want to do more, take public transport to HORNSTULL and walk to the tiny island of Langholmen.  Walk through the center of  the island to the northern shore, past the prison and through the school to a sandy cove where you can sunbathe and swim.  You’re on your own for dinner tonight, we struggled to find a restaurant that wasn’t overpriced and touristy.  You could always do another picnic, or you could have bought more food from the Saluhall earlier in the day to eat this evening.  There are many great restaurants in Stockholm, so do some research before you go, eat there, and then let us know.

 Now…Travelling outside of Stockholm…

We caught the train to Orebro just in time and arrived in this beautiful city of Fanthyttan where our friend’s relatives live.  I am not even joking, this was one of the best days of my life.  You might be wondering, “What is a perfect day?”  Well, here you go!  Start with a great Swedish breakfast…

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walk for hours in the forest…

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…visit a Quarry…

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..bathe in the lake, literally…

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…go fishing…

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… sing traditional Swedish drinking songs with Schnapps, even if you don’t speak Swedish…

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…take a midnight canoe trip up the lake to observe a beaver dam…

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…and fall asleep with your mind empty and your heart full, under the full moon.  We love our new Swedish friends and are so grateful to them for giving us one of the best days ever!

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