Monday, 19 September 2016

Travel: Postcard From Stockholm

Another 5am alarm, another early morning airport train. Only my weekend in Stockholm wasn't my usual mini-break. My friend M and I planned our trip around Les Mills Live - a sort of convention for gym instructors and gym bunnies alike which tours the world, feeling like a mix between a gym, a nightclub and a cult. We picked Stockholm because budgets couldn't quite stretch to Shanghai but cheap flights and Airbnb meant that it didn't cost an awful lot more than if we'd gone to Manchester. While the weekend predominantly involved working out in a concert arena and being surrounded by more Lycra-clad fitness obsessives than I ever knew existed, we still had time to get a feel for Stockholm and I sort of fell for the Swedish capital with its clean streets, friendly residents and effortless Swedish chic.


Getting There

Norwegian do relatively cheap flights, have in-flight wifi and make for a less stressful experience than Budget Air. Stockholm has four airports - Arlanda is the largest and is easily reachable from the city centre via the Arlanda Express. Cheaper carriers sometimes fly into Bromma airport which is 100km from the city centre so if time is short it might be worth paying a little more to land closer to the centre. A three day metro pass is around £20 and can be used on the metro and on the trams and the centre of town is easily walkable - I managed 20,000 steps daily!


Where To Stay

Les Mills Live was at Globen - Stockholm's answer to the 02 arena so we picked our apartment based on being a short tram journey away, in Hammerby Sjostad which turned out to be a great area, quiet and residential but easily accessible by Stockholm's excellent tram and metro system. If I return to the city I'd love to stay in the Sodermalm neighbourhood which is a little livelier and has some very Swedish looking Airbnbs.


What To Do

The old town, Gamla Stan, has to be your first port of call. It's pedestrianized cobbled streets are perfect for having a wander, stopping for coffee and doing a spot of people watching. The area around T-Centralen station is shopping central - the exchange rate and Swedish prices mean that shopping isn't the cheapest but Sweden is home to H&M so picking up some bargains is a must. Also check out Face Stockholm, Tiger (actually Danish) and the plethora of Moomin (actually Finnish) souvenirs.



Where To Eat

Stockholm is excellent for food options - there's something for all tastes and budgets but as my friend and I are both veggies we visited two of the city's vegetarian restaurants (minus any guilt for depriving omnivorous friends of their meat). Chutney in Sodermalm (the supposed "hipster area") is a great dinner spot - it has a chilled out hippie vibe and the menu features vegan and vegetarian dishes inspired by Asian flavours. There's a great selection of raw vegan desserts and portions are very generous (just what was required after a day of exercising - my falafel burger disappeared at record speed). In Gamla Stan, Hermitage is the only veggie / vegan restaurant in the area and it's pretty popular as a result both with veggie tourists and man-bun sporting locals. For around £11 you can help yourself to their buffet which was delicious and was continually replenished during our visit with a range of salads, hot dishes and the best hummus I've had in a long time.



BRB, just re-reading Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and planning my return...

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2 comments

  1. That salad looks delicious!
    If you like those sorts of books, there are some older Swedish detective stories - the detective is called Martin Beck (can't spell the author's names- they are a husband and wife I think). Anyway, worth a look if you like that sort of thing.

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  2. This post made me so excited to go to Stockholm next month! I'm definitely adding that veggie buffet place to my list. It looks so nice and fresh!

    - Elodie x

    www.elle-yeah.com

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