Seeing Stockholm: A Weekend Getaway
Now, more than ever, it is easy and affordable to make the trip to Sweden’s capital. Norwegian Airlines offers nonstop flights from New York to Stockholm on newly constructed Boeing 787 Dreamliners, often for around $500 roundtrip. (Tip for booking with Norwegian Airlines: Make sure the aircraft you book is the Boeing 787 when reserving your ticket; Norwegian also throws older planes into the mix, which from experience are not very nice at all).
♦♦♦ A Must | ♦♦ Recommended | ♦ Point of Interest
Day 1: Arriving in Stockholm
♦♦♦ Nobis Hotel – I loved staying at the Nobis Hotel. Located in Norrmalmstorg square in two refurbished historical buildings, the hotel was beautifully decorated with spacious rooms and free breakfast and within walking or biking distance to the major shopping and sightseeing areas. The hotel’s Gold Bar is also a great place to grab a delicious drink. I highly recommend the Nobis Hotel.
♦♦ Kungsträdgården – With limited time in Stockholm, we dropped our bags off and immediately began exploring, starting with Kungsträdgården right across from our hotel. Kungsträdgården is a park in the center of the city lined with cafes to enjoy some fika.
♦♦♦ Gamla Stan – The old town of Stockholm is perhaps one of the most charming places I have ever visited. The winding cobblestone streets are lined with picturesque shops and cafes. The Old Town’s history dates back to the 14th century and is one of the largest, most well-preserved medieval city centers in Europe. We found ourselves walking back through Gamla Stan several times over the weekend, completely entranced by the Old Town’s allure.
♦♦ Riche – For dinner, I made reservations at Riche, a bistro serving traditional Swedish food in a lively atmosphere. I ordered meatballs, and they were delicious. The staff was so friendly and accommodating. One perk of dining here is that connected to the restaurant is a very popular bar that you can get into after eating without waiting in the lines outside!
Day 2: Exploring on our Bikes
There were docking stations conveniently located around the city to pick up and drop off the bikes as we pleased. On our bikes, we rode through Östermalm and Djurgården.
♦♦ Vasa Museum – Located on Djurgården, the Vasa Museum is home to the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged. The ship is the focal point of the museum, but the floors surrounding it display many of the artifacts recovered from the wreck and the stories of those who were onboard.
♦♦ Blå porten – Hungry from riding around, we stopped for lunch at Blå porten, a self-service cafe with a relaxing outdoor seating area situated in a beautiful garden. It felt as if we had stumbled upon a secret, finding this gem of a restaurant hidden unassumingly behind wrought iron gates. This is a great place to stop by for a quick bike in the area.
♦♦♦ Fem Små Hus – For dinner, we opted for a more traditional experience and made reservations at Fem Små Hus. Located in the heart Gamla Stan, the restaurant has a culinary history dating back to the 17th century and is actually constructed from five different buildings that have been connected to create a charming, intimate dining experience. Specialties include the veal fillet, reindeer, and potato gratin.
Day 3: Stortorget & Royal Palace
♦♦ Royal Palace – Although the Royal Palace can be seen from many vantage points in the city, we only visited it up close on our final day in Stockholm. Stockholm’s Royal Palace is one of the largest in Europe and has more than 600 rooms. The Palace as it stands today is largely built in the 18th century, and its five museums are open to the public for 150 SEK.
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