Why Visiting Stockholm in Winter ISN’T Crazy

You Should Visit Stockholm in Winter because wandering through Gamla Stan is beautiful!
[Stockholm was dope. And really not that cold. And so pretty!]
Ahhhh Stockholm. To be honest, it wasn’t really on my radar of “dying-to-see” destinations like Abisko and Copenhagen were. And I kind of only went because we found cheap tickets (about $440 USD round trip from Oakland, CA to Stockholm!! Would’ve been more like $300 USD if we’d bought in advance and hadn’t insisted on picking our seats, for you wanderlusters who are considering checking it out next winter).

But I came away loving Stockholm! I’ll be honest, I liked Copenhagen a bit better, but I also feel like we didn’t get to see as much of Stockholm as we did Copenhagen. Stockholm was at the beginning and end of our trip, so at first we were too jetlagged to do much (we were there for a day and a half before heading to Abisko), and then at the end we were pretty tired from a week and a half of non-stop (cold) travel. But, I did enjoy it, and would love to see it in the summer (especially to explore the Archipelago!!!).

Park in Stockholm, Sweden in winter
[A cute little park that we walked through every day]
All of that said – we had a pretty great time in Stockholm! Like Copenhagen, there were a ton of veggie/vegan restaurants (I’m vegetarian, and my friend is vegan), everyone was really nice and cool and stylish, we didn’t even need to take out cash because they took card everywhere, the metro was super easy to use, it really wasn’t THAT cold (and was honestly kind of exciting for this Californian to see what real winter is actually like LOL), and it was so pretty.

Waterfront in Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden in winter
[The pathway along the waterfront near Gamla Stan]
Only downside: the expensiveness. Although I do think we got better deals on AirBnbs and hostels since we were traveling during the low season! But the restaurants and money spent going out – that sure put a dent in my wallet.

Admittedly, we could’ve saved more if we’d done a bit more cooking (we were much better about that during the first half of our trip!) – we got pretty lazy and ate out A LOT. But, a lot of the activities we did were free – so I guess we saved in that sense?

STOCKHOLM METRO STATIONS ARE MY INSPIRATION FOR LIFE

Stadion Rainbow Metro Station in Stockholm, Sweden
[Stadion Metro Station; arguably, the most popular one]
Morby Centrum in Stockholm, Sweden
[Morby Centrum Station is so cute and pink and colorful]
I think this was one of my favorite things that we did during our whole trip! The stations were sooooo cool. My favorites were: Stadion (the rainbow station), Morby Centrum, Central Station, and Tekniska högskolan (I’m a sucker for pretty things, and these stations were all my definition of pretty).

Other stations we didn’t get to see that look totally rad: Hotorget (neon lights!!!) and Tensta (cool petroglyphs that remind me of the Lion King).

FIKA & HYGGE ARE EVERYTHING

Swedish Waffles Fika in Stockholm, Sweden in Winter
[Swedish waffle-y things during a very Fika moment in Gamla Stan; these were from Cafe Gramunken, a very admittedly overpriced tourist trap, which we didn’t realize until after due to not having wifi]
This is a real thing. And I love it. I love being cozy, I love dim lights, I love candles, I love sweets, I love stuffing my face with said sweets, I LOVE IT ALL. I LOVE HYGGE AND I LOVE FIKA. Fika basically means “coffee break” in Swedish, so it’s not just a thing that happens in the winter.

But when you combine that with hygge in the winter (hygge basically means being cozy in Danish) you get perfection. You get a cute little Swedish (or Danish) cafe where you can feel happy and warm while it’s lightly snowing outside. And that is real life, people.

VASA MUSEUM IS THE COOLEST EVER

Viking Ship at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
[I swear I’ve never seen anything more badass]
Where else can you go and see a real life Viking ship? Nowhere. Except the Vasa Museum. And maybe if you went back in time.

But for now, just go to the Vasa because I think that’s much easier than time travel (and probably a lot less terrifying – although I feel like Viking men were pretty hot, so I don’t know, might be worth the risk?).

GAMLA STAN IS PRETTY AND PERFECT

Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden in winter is a fairytale
[Gamla Stan has that traditional European city feel; also check my cool European scarf! All the fashionable ladies were wearing these]
This is Stockholm’s Old Town. And it’s soooo pretty!! Lots of fun touristy shops, too, and cute cafes and things. It is here that I learned I really like Chokladbollars (basically, balls of chocolate and oatmeal, usually rolled in coconut flakes or sprinkles or something) and wish I’d learned that fact earlier.

THE ICEBAR IS CHILL (LOL GET IT)

Ice Bar in Stockholm, Sweden
[On my throne where I belong; they lend you those capes so you don’t get hypothermia and die]
Ice glasses in the ice bar in Stockholm, Sweden
[The glasses are made of ICE! And don’t worry, you get gloves to wear so you don’t freeze your hands off. The pink drink on the right has lingonberries in it – they’re a very cool and very Swedish berry that you should definitely try]
Yes, the Icebar is the definition of touristy, but it was still so cool!!! You pay about $20 USD (which isn’t terrible) and this gets you in the bar for about an hour, plus a free drink and extra coat they let you borrow for warmth.

We went on a Tuesday night so it was empty, and we got to chatting with the bartender who said he’d let us stay as long as we wanted since it wasn’t crowded. We left after an hour anyway because we were getting a little cold, so you really don’t need much more than that!

FOODS & NIGHTLIFE ARE FUN AND GREAT

Femtopia, a vegan LGBTQIA+ friendly cafe, in Stockholm, Sweden in winter
[Standing in front of Femtopia (an awesome vegan LGBTQIA+ friendly cafe!) like the super cool person I am; their food was BOMB]
Mozzerella, Tomato, and pesto sandwhich at a restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden
[I had so many mozzerella, pesto, and tomato sandwhiches; not necessarily because I wanted to (although they were good) but sometimes it was the only veggie option; they were a super popular sandwich there]
Femtopia was so cool! There’s a little thrift shop in the back, and it’s marketed as an LGBTQIA+ friendly space. There were people there studying together, which added to the home-y feel, and the sandwiches were bomb!

We also ate a lot at our hostel (I think once for dinner and twice for breakfast), The Generator, and it had some pretty good meals, too. We went out to Soap Bar one night, which was pretty busy even on a Tuesday, and then ate there the next day! It was also pretty delicious.

And the 7-11’s – they were really something! Nothing like the shitty ones we have here – the food there was gooooood. None of the other places we ate really stuck out in my mind – sometimes we were trapped in a place with no wifi (neither of us got a phone plan) and so we would just pop in somewhere close by.

We also went to Cafe Gramunken in Gamla Stan (we were trying to find the vegan place Hermitage, but for some reason my phone quit out of the map I had saved offline and we couldn’t find a place with wifi) which was ok, but definitely overpriced and a tourist trap (to be expected in Gamla Stan – it’s quite touristy!). I’m not linking that place because I wouldn’t recommend it lol.

I REALLY wanted to eat at Meatballs for the People (their veggie ones are supposed to be lit). Ah well, next time!

WHAT WE MISSED (I’LL BE BACKKKK)

Waterfront Near Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden in Winter
[We wanted to do a boat ride, buuuuuut got a little lazy to figure it all out]
We’d thought about taking a boat ride around the harbor, but that didn’t happen. Also – The Archipelago! They’re a huge cluster of islands that are supposedly soooo beautiful, and you can take boat tours to them (although I think that’s more of a summer activity). We also didn’t get a chance to try allll the yummy vegan places we’d read about, so that was kind of a bummer. But ah well. I’ll be back!

View from The Generator Hostel in Stockholm, Sweden
[The view from our hostel, The Generator! Isn’t it cute??]

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