Hej! I am an American grad student studying and living in Sweden. Being a grad student, I have perfected the act of budget traveling. I have a fierce passion for cute dogs, film festivals, coffee and traveling. Join me as I work towards my personal goal of visiting all 28 EU countries before I graduate in June 2019! Feel free to pop over to my personal blog, Little Mouse. Big World, to read more about my travels while balancing grad school life.
26 years old
Things to do in Stockholm
Top Fika Spots in Stockholm
Before you even begin to plan your trip to Stockholm, you need to understand the great importance fika has on the Swedish culture. Fika doesn't have a direct or clear translation into English. However, after living in Sweden for almost six months, I can personally describe fika as a cozy, quiet moment taken during the day to enjoy the presence of others or delight in the absence of distractions while drinking coffee and snacking on something sweet. Swedes fika daily, sometimes even multiple times a day. Stockholm is not only the capital of Sweden but also the center of all things fika. There are so many lovely places to enjoy coffee, no matter what your budget is. Let's break down some of some great fika spots in Stockholm as well as fun things to enjoy that surround them.
If you google “Stockholm”, I bet the first picture will be of Gamla Stan (Old City), which is the center of tourism in Stockholm. And rightfully so, it’s the best neighborhood to spend the day in. There are many little nooks with cafes and tiny shops. One of the best is Café Kladdkakan (Stora Nygatan 32, Stockholm, Sweden). It is nestled nicely in the middle of Gamla Stan. Kladdkaka translates loosely to “sticky cake”. Café Kladdkakan has multiple different types of kladdkaka to choose from. I enjoyed a Nutella version while my travel buddy had one topped with berries. Both were delightful. The mugs and plates were cutely mismatched in a way that reminds you of your grandmother’s kitchen. Since the café is in the center of the most touristy part of the city, the prices are not exactly student-budget friendly. Don’t expect to sit and occupy a table for hours. There is a constant turnover of customers, especially those in tour groups. Gamla Stan is a neighborhood with a rich history. You can start your day in Gamla Stan with a free walking tour to gain some background on the area. Walk around and you can explore the neighborhood that many actors, Nobel Prize winners and ABBA members once called home. Gamla Stan is also home to one of the best free museums. In the basement of the Royal Palace is the Royal Armory, which is free to the public. There are the usual “royal armory” artifacts (swords, breastplates, etc.) but the museum also includes some clothing from the royal family, which was intriguing. There was even a free exhibit about the forbidden love between Marie Antoinette and Axel von Fersen, which it was well done.
I highly recommend a visit to Vete-Kaffen (Kungsgatan 55, Stockholm). Styled like a classy turn of the century café with its clean, sleek white marble look. Here you can find a wide range of treats to pair with your coffee. From traditional Swedish goodies to your average coffeehouse options, they have everything. One thing to note is that the staff is very knowledgeable about the ingredients of their products in case you or your travel buddy suffer from certain allergies. In addition to coffee breaks, Vete-Kaffen offers a large food menu if you'd like to prolong your fika into lunch. Tuesdays, the café offers Afternoon Tea without reservations; however, it's always safe to call before you head over. If you are looking for a fun and different souvenir, Vete-Kaffen sells some of their famous jams, teas, and candies for you to take home. Their packaging is so gorgeous, you'll want to buy something for yourself just to keep the container (or at least I did).
One of the most fun and unique cafes to visit has to be the Muffin Bakery in Stockholm (Linnégatan 42). Can you guess what they are famous for serving? Daily, they have about 12 different types of muffins to choose from. Some, of course, are your average muffin flavors (blueberry and carrot), but then they also offer many unexpected, yet super delicious recipes. My personal favorite was the cinnamon and apple—it was like having a portable apple pie without all the fuss. However, the double chocolate and gingerbread were close favorites as well. Muffin Bakery serves a larger choice besides just the simple muffin. They also offer a wider breakfast menu and open-faced sandwiches for a light breakfast; they also have bagel sandwiches that look great. You can just tell by the constantly full tables that this was a fun place to meet up with friends or co-workers. Muffin Bakery is a very agreeable option if you are on a student budget; a simple breakfast (muffin and to-go coffee) was comparable to an average café at home.
These are just a few of the many coffee shops that can be visited while in Stockholm. There are also so many other neighborhoods and tiny streets packed with lovely cafes to enjoy, no matter which season you visit Stockholm.
While walking through Kungsgatan, take some time to window shop and explore some of the fun sights and sounds Stockholm has to offer. Kungsgatan and Drottinggatan are two major streets in Stockholm. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these two streets, then it just doesn’t exist in Stockholm. While my student budget does not allow for such expensive items, I enjoyed walking around some of the shops of famous Scandinavian designers. Fabrique is a small chain of coffee shops sprinkled all over Stockholm. The way the staff interacts with its customers is personal and cozy. The cafes are also intimate and inviting. It could easily be a great place to study as well as catch up with an old friend. The café focuses on traditional Swedish pastries, such as cinnamon buns and saffron buns. Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) and coffee are a classic, can’t-go-wrong fika pairing.
Your Bus Stop in Stockholm
Cityterminalen111 64 Stockholm
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