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Stockholm Diary

Sunday, 6 March 2016
Stockholm, the queen of the Baltic sea. Scandinavian countries have this power to make us dream like any other place. No, there are no beaches full of white sand, not tropical heat, but the Swedish capital is one of the most marvelous travel destination once we have dare to go there. An indescribable charm blooms off this city, only by its geographical situation, a city made of small islands, linked together thanks to several bridges, crossing a river, or sometimes the salted water of the sea. Cities crossed by waters have got a special charm, we know it thanks to Paris, London, Venice or Amsterdam, but Stockholm seems to get out of the crowd. Its appeal wrap you up, and as soon as you get there, you seem to convert you to the Swedish lifestyle, one that makes the whole world dreams about in either design magazines or wild life ones. When I have visited this city, I have to admit that I didn't expect such a huge and mysterious city. I have been amazed by the huge size of the different islands, and the long distance - by foot - to get from one island to another. But visiting by foot - even if bikes are fine, it is not that easy in a unknown city with crazy traffic - is for sure the best way to have the best look over the city, I highly recommend it. You will be surprised by the small streets of Gamla Stan after you will have walked the large roads of the City center, but then you will breathe again when you will reach the seaside bordered by high colored houses. I guess that you got it know, Stockholm is an historical city, full of marvelous old houses and other buildings, and also the many churches that you can spot far away with their high bell tower ; but it is as well a modern capital, with a lot of start ups, especially on the design and fashion world, with young brands like & Other Stories, a cool city where you can also party. Actually, whoever you are and whatever you like, you will find your place in this city. Hot summer days, freezing winters, salted water and fresh water, city and nature, modernity and tradition, lands and sea, calm and animation... Everybody finds his place in Stockholm, and takes the time to live the Swedish lifestyle, what does mean quietly in effervescent city. 

Vasa Museet  

Stockholm is a city full of museums, and of all genders, which does translate the eclecticism of the Swedish capital. And of course, the city and country's history is something that does take a lot of place, and one of the most important and also curious museum is for sure the Vasa Museet. In this massive building takes place an impressive boat, part of the history of the city, the "Vasa", which sinked in Stockholm peer on August 10th 1628, only few minutes after the boat launch, 1300 meters wandered. You will only be impressed when you will discover this impressive vessel, not a replenishment, but the real one, the authentic wreck, which has been taken of the cold baltic sea. The several levels of the museum let you turn around the boat and discover all of its pieces and parts. The exhibition will also help you understand the history and this tragic event, what was on the boat, and why it has sinked. This museum is a must see, even if you don't really like navigation, it will be interesting and above all impressive to see such a beautiful and old vessel so goodly preserved. A true curiosity!


Vasa Museet is fare from being the only museum of the city of Stockholm. There are a lot of historical museums, and one of them is the Stockholms Stadmuseum, which is actually the museum of the city, whom opened on 1930. There you would be able to see illustrations of the city, but also the several steps it took to build it from 1520 to industrialisation during the 20th century which helped creating a new city center, and so until the Stockholm we know today. A lot of paintings and engravings are exposed in the library of the museum, in order to let you see how the city has changed in five centuries. After that visit you would be sure to know the history of your vacation place! Concerning the history of Sweden, you will have to go to Livrustkammaren museum, country's oldest museum, where are exhibited guns, clothes and coaches, for history's lovers. But Stockholm's museums are not only about history, there are also art museums, like the well-known Moderna Museet, focusing on Swedish art and Scandinavia artist. And one of the most popular museum is for sure the Nordiska Museet. This one os pretty interesting, because it is all about Swedish way of living and Stockholm's inhabitants' lifestyle, known alla round the world today thanks to shops like H&M or Ikea. You have to visit this museum just to see its building. Looking alike a Renaissance's castle, it intends to tell us about Swedish population's life from 1520 until today, focusing on many different topics, like house decoration, fashion, and even plates! Visiting this museum is being invited to discover a culture, and to understand a lifestyle different from everywhere else in the world. Finally, the Dansmuseet is the one dance lovers have to g to, but also for people who loves to see beautiful clothes, costumes and all those things related to theater. You will discover here clothes and tutus wore by emblematic ballerinas, but also a lot of traditional dancing outfits from all around the world.


Welcome to the marvelous world of smoke salmon and cream pastries lovers! It will be a lot about fish in Stockholm's restaurants where you will have lunch or dinner. Salmon with dill or the famous anchovies served with Swedish bread will conquer seafood lovers. But meat lovers haven't been forgotten! Swedish people loves meat, especially rein's meat, very tasty even if at first sight you might be a little bit reticent to eat a rein, but for them it is just like a cow for French or American people, so don't worry. You will also find a lot of traditional dishes, like meatballs made of beed or pork service with mashed-potatoes and cranberries dressing, something that you will find a lot in Sweden, in dishes or simply to eat on bread. Other typical dish, potatoes gratin with onions cooked with cream, and anchovies. Concerning desserts, the most traditional one is for sure a soufflé apple cake served with a cold vanilla cream looking a lot like custard. And of course there are all those pastries full of cinnamon and pastry cream which will let you finish your meal with a sugary touch!

Boat tour

There is nothing more charming, more typical  nor more agreeable than a boat tour between city's islands and the wild coast of the Baltic sea. A lot of cruises are recommended, you will only have to go to the tourists' office to choose yours and buy your tickets. One of the more agreeable is for sure the cruise departing from Gamla Stan little harbor to then follow the city's island until you can't see Stockholm's city centre anymore. Now, you are on the Baltic sea's salty waters, and the landscape will be completely different. Along the sea, on the coast, there are only forests and wild beaches which will make you feel like you are far away from any civilisation, completely lost in a wild countryside. The boat will have to pass some locks, to go from fresh to salty waters, which will make of this tour something even more unforgettable. Take the time to look around and appreciate the visit in this so Nordic quiet. 

The City

Back to Stockholm's beating heart now. It is on this side of Stockholm that you will find all the palaces, the colorful and high houses so impressive and beautiful, but also the business centre, shops and malls, nightcubs and bars, all of those various elements in a space sprinkled with some parks and where water is still one of the most important component, giving this busy place a peaceful side. Kungsträdgården is one of the mythical place of Stockholm, from Spring to Winter times. It is actually the king's old kitchen-garden, today changed into a public park filed with fountains and baks, an oasis of chlorophyll and calm in the middle of the City. At the end of the road whom skirts Kungsträdgården there is most important mall of the whole country, NK, easy to see from far away thanks to its massive clock showing up on the roof. While visiting this side of the city you will also have the chance to see some of the most beautiful houses in Stockholm, like the Queen's house, or the Opera house which has a magnificent building, but you have to visit it to see all the beauty of this place full of Crystal chandeliers and gildings. The highest monument of the city, apart from the churches bells, is the glass obelisk placed at the centre of one of the busiest place of Stockholm which does lead to the principal City's streets where you will find many shops of all styles. Take the time to do some shopping in those streets, and then have a break in one of the many coffee shops to grab a latte and a cinnamon roll. And after your break go to Svampen to take a look at the place where Stockholm's inhabitants like to meet, in the middle of 18th century old buildings. To end your day, have a look at Östermalmshallen, the city market, to discover typical food and eat a seafood plate. 

Royal Palace

When we visit European capitals, governed by a king and a queen, it will be a seen not to visit the Royal Palace. And Stockholm's palace is one that really need to be seen. The building started its construction in the 10th century, and finished three centuries later. But unfortunately a fire destroyed this medieval building in 1697, and everything had to be built once more. The actual palace has been built in the middle of 18th century, the outside was inspired by Italian houses, but the inside has been completely done in the French style. Nowadays the palace is not used anymore by the royalty, but its architecture is something you must see while visiting Stockholm. If you decide to visit it you will be completely amazed by the gigantic size of the building, the stairs, which will lead you to the Throne Room, decorated with blue and gold wallpaper, or Gustave III's room, are already so impressive and will give you an idea of what "huge stairs" do really look like. You will be able to step in the shoes of a Swedish king for a moment, and take a look at what luxury really meant at this time. A part of the palace has been turned into a museum, where you will see paintings, furniture and objects whom did belong to the several kings and queens. You will also take a look at Charles XI's gallery, the old reception room, where many of the most precious objects are conserved. And finally, Gustave III's antics museum will be the place to admire antics statues collected by the king himself, so you could take a walk in this gallery, and it will maybe feels like you are one of them... 



This is an absolute must see in Stockholm! An amazing outdoor museum, the world's oldest one, where are represented old houses and farms, populated by actors dressed like Swedish peasants in traditional costumes. There are a lot of different workshops where you will see different craftsmen in wooden houses, from baker to glass blower, but also animals from those lands, in complete freedom in the parc for most of them. This museum will most of all be a good way to visit a beautiful parc, agreeable and animated, full of old buildings, from dovecote to farm, and there is also a real manor that has been transported here ! Activities are many, and to discover this parc will be a real pleasure for children but also for grown ups.

Gamla Stan

It is in those beautiful quarter that you will find the Royal Palace, lost on this island populated by old and colorful houses, sticked together in those close lanes. Historical Stockholm's area is here, more precisely on Stadsholmen island, where you will appreciate to take a walk in those tiny streets that will always leads you to a surprise, whether it is an animated place full of coffee shops, or a huge church that you wouldn't have thought to find at the end of one of the smallest lane. Go take a look at Stortoget place, on of the most lively place of the island, and from them don't be afraid to get lost in something that we could call a maze, that fortunately will lead you to lovely original or artisanal shops, but also adorable coffee shops and restaurants hidden around the corner. End your visit by reaching Stockholm's tiniest street, Mårten Trotzigs Gränd. You will fall in love with this typically Scandinavian charm on this island that will hassle you, making you fell like you are lost in a colorful maze. The real Stockholm's appeal. 


National Museum

This art museum is the most important of the city, and it is a must see only because of its location: it takes an entire island itself, and will let you discover one of the lost beautiful view over Gamla Stan. Concerning the museum itself, it will delight art lovers. Hanged on the walls, a lot of Scandinavian paintings, but also foreign ones, many of the most beautiful art pieces retained in Sweden. From paintings to sculptures, and also decoration, the National Museum is a place you MUST visit. The building itself is decorated with murals and mosaics in an expectational architecture conserving Watteau and Rembrandt's paintings, and also one of the most emblematic painting of the museum, The Woman with the veil, by the Swedish painter Alexander Roslin. One of the many Swedish's crown jewels. 

1 comment

  1. these photos are beautiful. And I also very much agree that you do not need white sandy beaches or whatever to constitute beauty. There is just something so ethereal and haunting about places like sweden's ancient storybook architecture, and fantastical grey hues. I very much want to visit some day.