Stockholm, the largest and most vibrant city in Scandinavia, is a place that had never before been on my radar for travel. When I was told I would be going there for our ASID board meeting, I wondered why it hadn’t been on the bucket list previously. It is such a beautiful, livable city; offering a fresh take on all that is design. I have a few recommendations for you should you experience even a short 24 hours in Stockholm.
Hobo Hotel speaks to the inner hipster in all of us, and offers a great breakfast! Hobo is a new boutique hotel in Brunkebergstorg, central Stockholm — but it’s far more than just a hotel. Hobo celebrates the idea of community. It is a place where travelers live, work, create, learn and have fun together during their stay. It touts 201 hotel rooms, plus two floors of bar and restaurant, a café, a stage, and SPACEby. SPACEby is a pop-up area for collaborations between local creators, Hobo employees, and guests.
The Grand Hôtel
If you’re feeling a bit more traditional with a twist of Wes Anderson, this is your hotel. The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm has been home to celebrities, high-profile events and everyday bon vivants since 1874. Situated along the best waterfront location imaginable, the hotel overlooks the Royal Palace and Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town. The Grand is also home to the classic Swedish Veranda restaurant, renowned for its traditional smörgåsbord, Mathias Dahlgren’s awarded restaurants and the spectacular Cadier Bar. For recreation, there’s the Nordic Spa & Fitness club with hot saunas and cool dipping pools.
Over 10,000 square feet, two floors and rising up above the city, TAK is located in Brunkebergstorg— a small district within the city has been designed and furnished by award-winning architect Gert Wingårdh. The result is a Nordic environment with elegant Japanese elements in its architecture, interior, and feel. A timeless and disarming atmosphere which is perfected by the spectacular rooftop view, not to mention the DJ beats.
A visit to TAK is something out of the ordinary. TAK’s sake comes from Akebono, Sweden’s largest importer of sake. The biodynamic and organic wines are provided by Enjoy Wine, Savino and Kvalitet Svinet. Through the Kiuchi Brewery in Japan, TAK brews their own beer. Through Kobe-Shu-Shin-Kan, they have our own special sake, with a label designed by Frida Ronge, their culinary director, and head chef.
Food and beverages are in all their glory. Their fantastic glasses, as well as the specially made sake sets, developed with the famous glass artist, Erika Lagerbeilke, comes from Orrefors. TAK’s beautiful ceramics are handmade by Anna Lindell in her pottery workshop at her childhood home Rosendal, in Jönåker. Try the tasting menu so you can enjoy all the fine details and the beautiful culinary experience as well.
At the cozy and quality-conscious bistro Agnes, guests quickly feel a sense of community. Come for a beer in the bar or a family dinner, or spend an evening at the restaurant. The interior decor, menu and wine list encourage flexibility when it comes to options for combining small and large plates – have a seat at a community table or choose a calmer alternative in the bar. The menu spans a broad spectrum of offerings: choose from small plates like oysters, charcuterie, and cheese. You could also enjoy a main course shared among friends.
Several major ferry lines serve the countries around the Baltic Sea, and Stockholm’s harbors are centrally located, making a ferry ride an easy and exciting adventure. Stockholm is also a popular cruise destination and every year around 300 cruise liners from all over the world arrive at the harbors. The approach through the beautiful Stockholm archipelago, with its 30,000 islands, is an experience in itself.
Fotografiska is a vital center for contemporary photography in the heart of Stockholm. The museum is a popular meeting point not only because of its exhibitions featuring the work of world-renowned photographers but also for the museum’s fantastic view and great food. Previous exhibitions include Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sarah Moon, Sally Mann, Anton Corbijn, and Albert Watson. Fotografiska also offers workshops, courses in photography, live bands, and much more.
The Vasa Museum
The Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.
The 226 foot-long warship known as “Vasa” sank on its maiden voyage in the Stockholm harbor having only just left port in 1628. The ship was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For the last half-century, the ship has been slowly, deliberately, and painstakingly restored to a state approaching its original glory. The three masts on the roof outside the specially built museum show the height of the ship’s original masts. Today the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia, with over one million visitors a year. There are ten different exhibitions around the ship to tell about life on board the ship.
Östermalm Food Hall
The gorgeous food hall from the 1880s, with counters and shelves packed with the finest selections from around Scandinavia. It is the perfect stop for a snack or quick dinner. There are also numerous restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy traditional Swedish delicacies, with an emphasis on seafood and the classic Swedish fare called “husmanskost”. It is also a great place to people-watch or visually take in culinary delights. Through late 2018 the food hall is being renovated and the food stalls and restaurants have been moved to a temporary covered market situated on the square.
Fogia Concept Store
Take a quick ferry ride to experience Fogia. In collaboration with carefully selected Scandinavian designers, for the last thirty years, Fogia has created well thought-out furniture for private homes and public spaces around the world. Working with renowned interior designers and architects, Fogia delivers furniture and customized solutions for hotels, offices, schools, conference centers, and restaurants. Always with the same unique attention to detail.
The Fogia Concept Store is many things. It is a workplace, showroom, store and the only place where all of their products are gathered under one roof. Here you can quietly sit, try the furniture, browse swatches and get tips and advice from their knowledgeable and experienced sales team.
Put Stockholm on your travel list. You won’t regret it.