Last week I spent 2 days in the beautiful capital of Sweden. Stockholm was never on top of my where-to-go-next lists, I just wanted to visit a city in a Scandinavian country someday. But when I read about the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at Stockholms Modern Museum I wanted to go instantly. I found great flights with Eurowings for 110€ return, leaving Cologne in the early morning and flying back in the evening on the next day. So I had 2 full days to explore while only having to pay for one night.
Here’s what I got up to:
Where I stayed: Generator Hostel & Hotel
I arrived in Stockholm without having a accommodation booked. While I was sitting on the bus from Arlanda airport to the city center I spotted the Generator Hostel and it was only a few minutes before we arrived. I walked back there to ask for a single room and they offered me a double room for single use for about 75 euro per night. Score! My room was spacious, clean and the bed was comfy – I was super happy. I didn’t have time to make use of the common areas or the breakfast but it looked great from what I saw. The only disappointment was when I wanted to store my luggage after I checked out. They have lockers but you need coins in swedish currency to use them. I didn’t had any and they couldn’t help me/charge my card and give me cash or change my Euros to Swedish Krona. I ended up storing my luggage at the central train station where the lockers can be paid by card (and by card only!).
Stockholms old town is situated on an island, a five-minute walk from the central train station. It is super cute with its narrow cobble-stoned alleys and colorful houses. The shops and restaurants cater to tourists as it is the case in most cities with idyllic old towns. I wandered around for quite a while and probably never saw a local.
Söndermalm and “SoFo”
The neighborhood Södermalm is where the cool kids hang and the even cooler crowds is in SoFo, the area south of Folkungagatan street. There are plenty of hip restaurants, vintage shops and cool coffee shops! I liked Urban Deli at the little park Nytorget.
I wanted to eat at Greasy Spoon but there was already a group of people waiting for a table so I moved on. Lots of the places there had people waiting in line or at least not a free table outside in the sun. So be prepared to wait a little bit if you visit on a sunny afternoon.
The Yayoi Kusama exhibit “In Infinity” was what made me wanna visit Stockholm and it was just as great as I anticipated. The exhibit had 3 of her famous infinity rooms and I loved them all, especially the new one “Hymn of Life”. The museum is located on the Djurgarden island and the permanent collection is admission free. The museum has a nice restaurant with a great view and a hip café “Cafe Blom” with outdoor seating in the garden. I spent most of my second day in the museum and I couldn’t have been happier. What I great spot to spent your time!
I have a thing for cool metro stations as documented in my art underground series. Whenever I read lists of the coolest metro stations worldwide Stockholms Tunnelbana always gets a mention, so I knew I had to explore. I bought a 24hr ticket and visited about six stations that are famous for their designs. And they were absolutely breathtaking! I took way too many photos and will share them over the next weeks.
Note: not all stations look like this! In fact, most if them don’t. Many of the good ones are on the blue line.
Fika basically means having an afternoon break with coffee and a pastry and the Swedes take it very seriously. As a good tourist wanting to get to know the local culture I had to try it myself and I’m definitely a fan now! I think we should import this concept (as well as a Spanish siesta beforehand). I went to Fabrique for Fika: they have locations all over the city and super delicious cinnamon snails and other pastries.
In conclusion: I really liked Stockholm: it’s pretty, it’s walkable, the people are super friendly and everyone speaks perfect English. But it’s expensive! Things are up to twice as expensive than they are in Germany. I spent just as much money in a day in Stockholm as I do in NYC and Stockholm just doesn’t offer as much as NYC does (at least to me). Furthermore the climate, the vegetation and the architecture are very similar to Germany, so I’m paying a fortune to get (more or less) the same I get at home. I’m super glad I visited and I had a fabulous time but I’m not sure if I’ll visit again sometime soon.