I could really see myself living in Stockholm one day. I absolutely loved it! Stockholm has a small town feel with all the amenities of a large city. It’s located right on the ocean and consists of 14 beautiful islands.
When my family and I were in Stockholm we toured the blue and gold rooms of City Hall where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year on December 10th. We also visited the Vasa museum where we saw the Vasa ship- a fully intact boat from the 1600s that was found and excavated in the 1950s from Stockholm’s harbor. We ended our day in Gamla Stan which is Stockholm’s Old Town. Here you’ll find endless amounts of cafes, quaint boutiques, and cobblestone streets. We had Swedish meatballs for lunch which was quite literally one of the best meals I’ve ever had- homemade gravy, mash potatoes, pickles, berries, and some Swedish mystery meat that was to die for! We also visited the Nobel Museum, which is located in the main square of Gamla Stan. The company that I interned for over the summer, EF, is the number one sponsor of this museum, so I got to enter for free! Thanks EF!
Stockholm may not be at the top of everyone’s European bucket list, but here are 10 reasons why I think it should be:
- There’s no language barrier. All Swedes are required to study English in school, so chances are anyone would be able to help with directions or be willing to strike up conversation (they are SO friendly!).
- FIKA. A concept, a state of mind, a part of everyday life for Swedes, fika translates to “coffee break” and is an important part of Swedish culture. It is celebrated across the country daily by meeting with friends or colleagues around a cup of coffee and pastries. It’s important to note that fika can NOT be practiced at your desk alone- that would just be coffee and cake. It’s meant to be very social! EF is a Swedish company, so I regularly practiced fika this summer and was able to meet so many new people because of it!
- It’s the second largest country in Europe. Meaning that there is a world of possibility. Most Swedes live in the southern part of the country, since 15% of Sweden is located in the Arctic Circle. However, its wildlife and Northern Lights attract brave tourists from all over the globe.
- Education and Healthcare are F-R-E-E. If you just plan on visiting temporarily this doesn’t apply to you, but I still think it’s fascinating. Over 80% of Swedes go to college (after taking a gap year), so they are super educated and well-cultured. No wonder Swedes are some of the happiest people in the world!
- Stockholm hopes to be car- free by 2025. Who doesn’t love biking and clean air??
- H&M was founded here. Meaning it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find one on every street corner in Stockholm.
- Sweden is home to IKEA. I mean who doesn’t love IKEA. Did you know that the “I” and “K” represent the founder’s initials, “E” is the first letter of the name of the town where the founder was born, and the “A” represents the first letter of the town where the store was founded.
- Swedish Meatballs. That is all.
- ABBA is Swedish, and there is an ABBA museum in Stockholm. CALLING ALL MAMMA MIA LOVERS. When I listen to the famous soundtrack, I envision Meryl Streep dancing in Greece, but ABBA is actually a beloved Swedish band. When I visited, I heard the soundtrack playing in restaurants and shops…on repeat. Never mind the entire museum dedicated to making everyone and anyone feel like a dancing queen.
- The Stockholm Metro. The main transportation system in the city of Stockholm is actually considered to be the longest art exhibit in the world… that’s how beautiful it is.
Hopefully this list has convinced you to add a visit to Stockholm to your travel bucket list! I can’t wait to go back one day.
Coming up next: The last post in my Scandinavian series… Norway!