Simultaneously very old world and very modern, Stockholm is a city filled with delights for design lovers. A city with all the opportunities and offerings one would expect from a major metropolitan area (art, architecture, culture, food) and some that are unexpected but very welcome (cleanliness, relative safety and spaciousness). This charming city that spans a number of islands is remarkably easy to navigate and well worth the trip to get there.
• Moderna Museet (pictured above): A visit to the Modern Museum of Art on the island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm delivers not only an impressive collection of modern art, 1900 - present day, but also a delightful cafe with views of the water and city beyond, a gift shop filled with bold mid-century Swedish-designed items and a sculpture garden including works by Alexander Calder.
• Gamla Stan: Spend an afternoon wandering through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town area of Stockholm, located on the island of Stadsholmen, making sure to see the Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral while you are there. The streets are sprinkled with shops and cozy cafes perfect for taking a break.
• Kulturhuset: Swedish for house of culture, the Kulturhuset is a more modern addition to the landscape (opened in 1974). This glass front building offers views of the city, shopping, a library, movie theater and Lunch Beat - a night club, open during the day, where you can grab a sandwich and dance to a live DJ during lunch.
• Boat Ride Through the Archipelago (pictured above): Take a chance to get off your feet and rest as you cruise through the waterways of the archipelago. A three hour cruise that includes brunch is a nice way to spend a weekend morning.
• Skansen: Founded in 1891, this open air museum and zoo on the island of Djurgården gives visitors a glimpse of old world Sweden. Walk through stores and homes that replicate daily life before the industrial era. The zoo houses elk, bears and wolverines among its many residents.
• Södermalm: This district in central Stockholm is a popular area to shop, eat and drink.
• Svensk Tenn (pictured above): Founded in 1924, the Svensk Tenn store boats a wide variety of furniture, textiles and tablewares and an archive of 2,000 furniture sketches and 160 textile designs by Josef Frank, renowned designer of wildly colorful and whimsical textiles.
• Design House Stockholm: Discover work by over sixty independent designers, both young and well established. This shop offers items for the home and personal accessories.
• Asplund: Contemporary Swedish furniture and kitchen wares.
• Östermalms Saluhall
(pictured above): Stroll the food stalls at Östermalms Saluhall and pick up fresh market fruit, vegetables, meat and other ingredients to prepare your own meal, or take a seat at any one of the restaurants with choices of traditional Swedish fare or any number of international options.
• Helin & Voltaire
: Located just steps away from Skansen, this cafe gives the feeling of taking a coffee in a cozy living room. Sit by the fireplace during the winter months and warm up with a desert and drink.
• Restaurang Frippe
: Classic restaurant where the actors of the neighboring Royal Dramatic Theater are frequent diners.
• Mårten Trotzig
: Traditional Swedish food in the Old Town.
: This small restaurant in Old Town offers a wide variety of options at an affordable price.
: Sit atop the city and gaze down at the waterways and traffic below as you dine, or just stop in for a drink at this glass encased space perched atop a building located on a walkway high above Stockholm.
• Riche (pictured above): Enjoy a drink or meal at this popular restaurant and bar with a laid back atmosphere, centrally located and situated on a corner perfect for people watching.
• Le Bar Rouge: Drinks in a Moulin Rouge setting situated in the Old Town — take a break here from wandering through the Galma Stan.
• Berns Hotel: The classic boutique hotel and music venue is a luxurious environment for a drink among locals and visitors alike.
• Mosebacke: This venue for performance and live music is located in a historic building and includes two bars and a dance floor area. During the summer months, two more bars are opened in an outdoor terrace facing the water.
(pictured above): A relatively new and trendy hotel meant to feel straight out of SoHo in NYC. Rooms vary in size, from rooms appropriate for staying overnight to larger ones for a long visit, and all include examples of works by young artists that can be purchased in the store. Heated bathroom floors are nice touch when the temperatures drop during the winter months.
• Villa Källhagen
: This quiet waterside hotel, built in 1990, features classic Swedish fare in the restaurant. Room are decorated with bright fabrics and light fittings designed by Josef Frank.
• Lydmar Hotel
: Located on the waterfront near the National Museum, the rooms at the Lydmar are all individually decorated. Catch a boat tour of the archipelago just steps away from the hotel.
• Hotel Rival
: Situated adjacent to the Rival café in the Södermalm area of town, the Hotel Rival has been revitalized by keeping the best aspects of the original 1930s architecture, with the comforts of modern amenities.
(Images: 1 - 3, 5: Liana Walker, 4: Svenskt Tenn, 6: Riche, 7: Story Hotel)