Where, When & Why
Stockholm, Sweden // January 2018 // Spontaneous trip for snow and podcast politics
Stockholm is a very open city, its "available for everyone" ethos is apparent from the moment you step off the airport transit bus. It is compact and welcoming and has something for everyone in an art filled, respectful, gender neutral environment. Stockholm sure ticks all the boxes so let's start at cosiest one.
Fika is to Sweden what hygge is to Denmark. If you didn't indulge in a little fika did you even go to Sweden? So where to go for your caffeine fix?
Local chains Wayne's Coffee, Il Caffe, & Espresso House will have you buzzing with cinnamon buns and chit chat in a jiffy. If going local is more your bag, pop into one of the many cafes around the city.
For organic, veggie eats in a cute & cosy setting get down to Cafe Pom & Flora in Katarina-Sofia, or to Sara's Art & Coffee in Gamla Stan. The latter is mere minutes from the famous Stortorget. Or if one hell of a mixtape is as much your thing as it is mine, Cosy Cafe in Gamla Stan won't disappoint - think Rammstein into Jason Deulo. Legends.
After spotting a Herb Ritts tagged on the wall of interior mogul @anettetalstad's home, the Fotografiska was an absolute must for me - albeit initially purely for the next level gift shop which doesn't ship outside Sweden and, oh boy, I NEEDED this Madonna print.
The entry fee of about £15 felt a little steep at first but grants you access to all exhibitions plus the very cool top floor bar & restaurant. The sun had gone down when I visited but can only imagine the views over Gamla Stan are lovely in the day time.
For me, the diversity of the exhibitions from X-Ray supremo Nick Veasey, Ida Borg's take on the circle of life, Chen Man's jaw droppingly striking photography, and the calm hope & sadness behind Åsa Sjöström's Moldova made the entry fee more than worth it. In addition to the emotional rollercoaster inside, this cashless museum is open until the wee hours all week making it a no brainer, even a short trip.
In case you hadn't heard, Scandinavia is expensive so imagine the delight upon discovering that a visit to the Modern Art Museum is free (yes, free!) and within their well sized collections the likes of Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Larry Clark reside as voyeurism, propaganda art from the Russian Civil War and transatlantic pop adorn the bright white walls.
Thought provoking political posters sit side by side with impressionism and photography of the darker side of life yet, being on the cusp of millennial-ism, the video narrated from the POV of a stray dog was a strong highlight.
At around £4 for a single journey, the metro is a little on the expensive side so plan your routes in advance. This is even more important if you're hoping to visit any of the beautiful artworks in and around every single metro station. Luckily, Stockholm is a very walk-able city for the most part - and an attractive one at that!
Norrmalm and Gamla Stan offer grand buildings, including the famous Stortorget, dotted along cobbled streets as rounded bridges connect islands over flights of ducks and swans and really decent shopping.
Simply walking passed Bengans it was love at first sight to the point of picking up a Dookie picture disc for less than it cost to buy and ship from the official artist store. Bonkers, right? For those about to rock, get yourselves to Sound Pollution for the full metal treatment.
Bordered by beachside parks and long avenues are the hip areas of Södermalm & Hornstull, who are very handily located adjacent to each other in the south of the city. The former was the home of Hollywood legend, Greta Garbo. Head here for the best in gender neutral dressing, vintage apparel and a thriving music scene.
Filling up on Fika was one thing but stomping around Stockholm all day in very chilly weather called for another kind of comforter: delicious dinners and beery beers.
Smack bang in the heart of the city lies Vau De Ville: a dainty brasserie focused on fusion eats in a warming atmosphere. They can sure knock a coffee out of the park too.
Slightly less refined, sure, but Barrels Burgers is not to be sniffed at. Friendly waiters serve up second-to-none American fare in an industrial Brooklyn-esque set-up.
Icha Icha is essentially Stockholm's answer to Wagamama but with a far more concise mix & match menu. Complement the hot noodles, super spiralled courgetti, and tempeh balls in sticky sweet & sour sauce with locally brewed God Lager.
Quench your thirst after a long day of walking, sight seeing and record shopping with a pit stop in Mikkeller Bar, Kaken or Ugglan Bar. However you discover your own Stockholm, you won't be disappointed.
Want more pics? See the gallery in full here.