Founded in the 13th century and Sweden’s capital since 1684, Stockholm is a city in which history meets modernity and locals meet to fika at least twice a day. Fika, don’t you know, is the Swedish tradition of getting together with friends to sit and chat and indulge in a pastry or two making this super social country a perfect Girls Flight Out destination. Cafés abound in Stockholm and burst with astonishing selections of little cakes and cookies, pastries and the like. Camera-girl, Samantha Gary, and I did our best to fika our way through as many cafes as possible while still maintaining enough room to eat our way through the city’s robust food scene. If you’ve ever wondered why Nordic cuisine is all the rage, you'll find out when you dine at Sturehof, a century-old restaurant situated on the Stureplan, Stockholm’s trendy public square that is filled with posh shops and upscale eateries.
With the Stockholm Cathedral dating back to the 13th century, there is no shortage of historic structures dotting the landscape of the city. Most of the oldest, including the cathedral, are situated in Gamla Stan also known as Old Town, one of the largest and best-preserved medieval centres in Europe. Here, meandering cobblestone streets are lined with designer boutiques, upscale restaurants, casual eateries and cafes. There’s also a smattering of iconic structures including the Nobel Museum, and the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Swedish monarchy.
For a more contemporary experience, there's a place we know where the hipsters go called Sodermalm. Billed as the next Brooklyn and packed with specialty stores and vintage shops, Girls Flight Out spent an afternoon lollygagging about shops such a Grandpa, a cool “lifestyle” shop featuring everything from clothes to furnishings.
Food and entertainment-wise, the hood is filled with casual eateries such as the iconic, Meatballs for the People. Nightclubs abound so if you're looking for good times, good drinks, and good dancing Sodermalm is a must.
Rising out of the Baltic Sea, Stockholm is comprised of 14 islands and 57 bridges making it a photographer’s dream. Expect your smartphones photo collection to include plenty of shots from the water as Stockholm boasts an extensive ferry system that collects you at the docks in one hood and drops you off in another.
Yet another scenic way to get around? Beneath a city packed with galleries and museums, lies Tunnelbana, the subway line where 90 of the 100 stations boast sculptures, paintings and installations. At 110 kilometres, it is the longest art exhibit in the world and considering you only have to buy a subway-ride ticket to get in, possibly the cheapest!
Happily our hotel was steps from Central Station so we could begin our day’s at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel’s enormous breakfast buffet overflowing with international as well as Swedish cuisine, and conclude it with a nightcap in lively bar in the lobby. If you're looking to learn more about Scandinavian lifestyles that are all the rage here in North America, check out From Scandinavia with Love: Hygge, Health and Happiness.