As a city built on fourteen islands (which are parts of an archipelago of 30 000 islands, no less), there’s no doubt Stockholm can be a bit overwhelming at first.
With my trusty city guide in hand, I looked for places to stay in Södermalm, a lively neighborhood I knew I would feel « safe » to come back to at night if needed; as a girl traveling solo I didn’t want to have to walk more than 10 minutes in empty streets.
The Airbnb I stayed in was in a great location. The metro stop was Skanstull, on the green line, and I was just 15 to 20 minutes to other hyped up neighborhoods.
If you’re planning a trip to Stockholm, I found that the best way to get to the center of Stockholm from the airport is to take the Arlanda Express. It’s a 20-minute train journey and I couldn’t believe how smooth and easy it went. It’s cheaper if you book your tickets on the Internet at least 30 days in advance which cost me about 40€ for the round-trip tickets. I then bought a travel card at the central station (T-Centralen) in order to take the metro and be able to use public transport during my stay there. If you’re in Stockholm for more than 3 days but less than a week, just go for a 7-day travel card as it will cost you less than a 72-hour card + a 24-hour card because I was there for 4 days and I should have checked the prices beforehand, my bad!.
Day 1: Gamla Stan
So first day was actually only half a day as I arrived in Stockholm around 2pm and once I got the keys to the flat, I decided to have a stroll around Stockholm’s old town, called Gamla Stan.
Gamla Stan feels like a little village to itself. The streets are narrow, cobbled, and the facades a golden yellow. There are numerous shops and souvenir stores. I find it so amusing that the souvenirs there are very Viking related!
I really really liked the vibe there. Even if the weather wasn’t particularly nice at first, the sun finally came out as the sky cleared up at the end of the day. The reflection of the sun on the buildings looked absolutely beautiful.
In the evening, I tried to be brave and go for my first ever dinner in a restaurant. I chose to eat at Meatballs For The People, a place in Södermalm that quite obviously does meatballs, a typical Swedish meal. The experience was weird as I was so shy of actually doing this alone and even more as they made me sit at the bar, but I got through it and felt way better afterwards.
Day 2: Södermalm and the Archipelago
I checked the weather app constantly while in Stockholm and so I knew the second day was going to be the sunniest and warmest day. With this in mind, I tried to plan things to do that involved being outside, leaving shopping and museums to rainy days.
So the first thing on my list was to go to the Monteliusvagen viewpoint to possibly enjoy the best view over the whole city. I was surprised but delighted that there was almost no one there. As expected, the city was stunning from up there and the efforts to reach the top of the hill were absolutely worth it.
As I made my way back down, I wandered into the cutest streets and then went back to the station, hoping to take a bus to have lunch at Café Pom & Flora in Södermalm. It didn’t go as smoothly as expected as I took the bus in the wrong direction! Only to get off 3 stops later and take it again the other way. Once I got off at the right stop this time, I stumbled across Sofia Kyrka a beautiful church in a nice neighborhood. Now the second issue was that Café Pom & Flora in Södermalm was closed. I don’t know if it was getting renovated or just transferred to another neighborhood but hey, these things happen! I ended up eating at Prime Burgers because it was a restaurant on my list that happened to be not too far away. I enjoyed lunch on the terrace and the burger itself was excellent!
After lunch, I had planned to take a boat to visit Vaxholm, which is like the main island of the Archipelago. There was a boat leaving for Vaxholm at 2pm and the next one was at 3pm. I didn’t have much hope to catch the one leaving at 2pm but I made it and was on the boat at 1:53pm! Unfortunately that meant all the seats were already taken (outside anyway) but it was fine as I had planned to take loads of photos during the ride.
I arrived at Vaxholm about an hour later and spent the afternoon wandering through little paths and red houses. Some of these paths even led to beaches (!!) where people (mostly kids) were actually bathing. You can also find stores and cafés on the island if you fancy taking a break.
To make my way back to the city, I decided to take a bus that would take me to a metro station not too far from my flat. It took less time than if I had taken the boat to return (and also it was cheaper as I already had a travel card for the bus+metro), I was also super exhausted and if felt good to sit and relax for a while. The bus dropped me off kind of in the middle of nowhere which freaked me out a bit. The stop was Mörby Centrum and thanks to Google Maps I figured it was a shopping center and so I just needed to find the entrance and then the way to the metro.
I was drained from the day but once I was home, I couldn’t bear to not go out in the evening as the weather was so lovely. I didn’t feel like going to a proper restaurant again so after a couple of hours of rest, I made my to K25, a food court near Hötorget. It was 20 minutes away from my flat and felt like I was up for that kind of atmosphere!
And that’s a wrap for day 1 and 2! The rest of the trip will be up next Sunday, have a lovely week :)