Back in October, I went on a short but sweet solo weekend trip to Stockholm. Whilst I wasn’t there long enough to put together a huge, comprehensive travel guide, I wanted to share some tips and recommendations from what was an amazing trip.
There are four international airports in or nearby Stockholm; Arlanda, Skavsta, Vasteras and Bromma. Arlanda is the main airport and is located 40km north of Stockholm. It’s really straightforward to get from Arlanda to the city by train, bus or taxi. The bus is the cheapest option; book ahead on the Flybussarna website. Tickets are valid for 3 months from date of purchase and a return costs 198 SEK (£17.50). The buses are regular, with one leaving every 12 minutes.
I stayed at the cool and well-located City Backpackers Hostel, check out my full review here.
City Backpackers Hostel
Things to see and do
- Check out some cool modern art at Moderna Museet. (Main collection free)
- Wander around the beautiful Gamla Stan (Old Town). Head there early morning to beat the crowds (free).
- Stop for Fika, a Swedish ritual where you take the time to enjoy a coffee and perhaps a sweet treat (Swedish cinnamon buns are highly recommended!) with friends. Travelling alone? Grab a book and relax with your coffee instead.
- Head to photography museum Fotografiska to check out some beautiful and thought-provoking exhibitions.
- Fan of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson? Head on the tour which will take you around the Sodermalm neighbourhood where much of the books and films are based. Book your place here here. (Please note that tours only run on Saturdays).
- Visit Stockholm Public Library and marvel at the incredible architecture by Gunnar Asplund (free)
- Go on a boat trip. Stockholm is an archipelago made up of 3000 islands, skerries and rocks, so there’s plenty to see.
- Tour the metro to see the art installations in the stations. The network is known as the world’s longest art exhibition. Check out my post for more info here.
- Get lost in Sodermalm. Across the water from Gamla Stan, this is undoubtedly the coolest neighbourhood in the city.
- Explore indoor food market Ostermalms Saluhall.
Gamla Stan, Old Town
Stockholm Public Library
Stockholm Public Library
T Centralen Metro Station
Places to eat and drink
- My favourite meal of the whole trip was Meatballs for the People in Sodemalm, a cool and laid back restaurant. I had, you guessed it, Swedish meatballs and they were amazing. Head there during a weekday lunch if you can, the prices are much cheaper.
- Although not quite as tasty as Meatballs for the People, Nomad is worth checking out for meatballs and beer. There’s a hefty discount on both for those staying at City Backpackers.
- Giro Pizzeria is also worth visiting if you’re a fan of proper, wood-fired Neapolitan in pizza. I ate here alone but would say the vibe is quite romantic and cosy. Grab a seat at the bar if you’re dining solo.
- Hotdogs are a cheap and tasty option if you’re looking to save some money in a very expensive city. Head to Gunters Korvar in Vasastan for hotdogs with a twist; they offer over 140 types of sausageon freshly baked bread.
- La Neta is a backpacker-orientated restaurant, offering cheap but tasty tacos in a no-frills environment.
- Espresso House and Wayne’s Coffee are decent chain coffee shops, dotted around the city. Perfect for grabbing a quick drink between exploring. Try the yummy coconut latte at Wayne’s Coffee.
Meatballs for the People
- Explore the city by foot. Public transport is expensive and the city is relatively compact, so you might as well take it all in above ground.
- Pack a refillable water bottle, particularly in the summer. Bottled water (as with everything else) is on the pricey side and the tap water is perfectly safe to drink.
- Be aware that a lot of places don’t allow you to pay with cash (weird I know!). Card is king in Stockholm.
- Buy alcohol at the airport in duty-free if you plan on drinking a lot. Yup, you guessed it… alcohol is expensive, particularly if you’re drinking in bars and restaurants.
- Tipping is expected in restaurants, usually 5-10% of the bill is fine.