As you might expect from a centre for Nordic cool, Stockholm is tastefully and beautifully illuminated in the weeks leading up to Christmas, a good destination if you want to escape the desperation that seems to characterise the run up to the so-called festive season elsewhere….
Enjoy a glass of glögg – mulled wine laced with snaps – and browse for handicrafts, food and designer-ware in:
Gamla Stan (Stockholm’s old town)
Drottningholm (the King and Queen’s summer, and preferred, residence)
SKATING IN KUNGSTRADGÅRDEN
Up Close – Martin Schoeller exhibition (till February 2016)
Restaurant at top excellent, beautiful salads and unusual vegetarian dishes as well as, meat and fish. Lively bar. Fantastic view. Café also good. Open most evenings till late. Must book for dinner.
Walk from Slussen underground by the water.
Impeccably restored, magnificent 64-cannon warship which sank in Stockholm Harbour in 1628
http://www.ostermalmshallen.se – old food hall in Östermalm.
Favourites are Nybroe for smorrebrod and Tysta-Mari for open sandwiches.
8t8 – healthfood store in Soder
In the heart of Sofo, organic food shop, noodles and salad, coffee.
Right above Götgaten, in the middle of Söder.
Gets busy on Friday evenings for After Work, a big thing in Sweden. Be there by 5 if you want a table. Don’t go to the restaurant, go to the bar. Great views over the city.
Berns has a huge bar and two nightclubs. The first is mainstream classic and charts, gets going earlier and ends at about 2.30 am. The second more dance/trance; gets going after around 2 am.
Djurgården national park, wildlife and nature in the heart of the city. Take the tram, walk along Strandvägen or take bus no. 69 from Central Station. Canal from bridge leads to the outlet to the archipelago.
Götgatan in Soder – small shops, fashion and furnishings. R.O.O.M. for interiors.
NK department store – good quality. Harvey Nicks meets a nicer version of Selfridges and Harrods. Superb staff. Basement has good selection of Scandinavian design and food.
Åhlens department store – less prestigious but good selection, more reasonable price wise. Lots of branches over the city.
Bruka Design http://www.brukadesign.se
Svensk Tenn http://www.svenskttenn.se – classic, though pricey Swedish design
Coffee or tea with a cake, typically kardemumma or kanellbullar (cardamon or cinnamon buns)
Avoid Wayne’s coffee and Espresso House (big chains) and go Nyströms.
For luxury, elegance and a view, Grand Hotel, Diplomat and Lydmar bars.
EXPLORE GAMLA STAN
Small, old, medieval town. Nightclubs, restaurants and tourist shops. Perfect if you want to buy a Viking helmet. Walk up by the Royal Palace and have a coffee on the main square. Busy christmas fair. Visit the Nobel Museum in the run-up to the Nobel Prize Awards Dinner – the top social event of the year – on Friday 10 December.
FIND A LITTLE PEACE IN ROSENDALS TRÄDGÅRD
Biodynamic garden and garden centre with popular restaurant in Skansen.
Photograph: Ulf Lundin-christmas-fair/imagebank.Sweden.se