Summer is well under way in the northern hemisphere, so the sun-loving members of the World Words team are busy planning their warm-weather travel adventures. But there’s still enough room for nostalgia for chillier times.
In this popular Our Travels blog series, World Words writers and editors take a look back at some of their most memorable experiences abroad. We’re a very well-travelled bunch, so you can read about our trips everywhere from Madeira to New York State and from India to Belarus. And they’re just some of the most recent excursions.
This month, the article comes from staff content editor Eilidh, who looks back on a trip she took earlier this year to snowy Stockholm. From fine food to memorable museums, here’s her take on a city break in the Swedish capital…
Why I went to Stockholm
My partner has had family living in Stockholm for a while, but we’d never made a trip out to see them. Learning about their plans to relocate to the sunnier climes of Australia finally gave us the kick we needed to book our flights and visit. Stockholm’s network of islands, gorgeous snowscapes and reverence for fika (relaxing moments usually involving coffee, cake and chat) all made it an attractive destination for us. And the prospect of temporarily trading Scotland’s grey and drizzly winter for an unapologetically, well, wintry one was quite appealing too.
My highlight of the trip
The cuisine wasn’t initially high on my list of reasons to visit Stockholm, but it turned out to be an unexpected delight. Every time the cold was beginning to wear us down, a new and wonderful place to eat would come into view like a mirage. Our stand-out dinner was at Pelikan, a restaurant in a grand hall that has been a Stockholm institution for more than a century. Our group was served hearty Swedish classics including meatballs, potato dumplings and cheese pie. Everything was very heavy on the cream sauce and butter, but the setting felt like a justification for our indulgences.
Our daytimes were punctuated with coffee and pastries, including a semla (a traditional cream bun) big enough to make me feel slightly ill for a couple of hours afterwards. And that was a small one.
What else I love about Stockholm
Stockholm’s fragmented nature – it’s split across a series of islands – means just going to a museum often feels like a bit of a day trip. One day we took the regular shuttle bus from the city centre to the wonderful Artipelag contemporary art gallery, which sits next to walking trails through peaceful woodland. The exceptional permanent collection of the Moderna Museet, on Skeppsholm island, was another highlight. But some of our most memorable times in Stockholm were spent just wandering: browsing the second-hand shops of Södermalm or exploring the museum-filled and bizarrely quiet island of Djurgården, where we ended up at the spectacular Nordiska Museet, dedicated to Swedish culture.
Why you should go
Stockholm just seems to run well. Although, for us, the temperature was lower than at home, the city offered respite from the weather in many comforting ways: cosy indoor spaces, warming meals, super-efficient public transport, well-resourced museums housed in beautiful buildings – beautiful buildings everywhere, actually. It’s a perfect city break destination. I can easily imagine that its character would be totally different at different times of the year, but that’s all the more reason to visit more than once.
How you can visit
Flights to Stockholm are fairly regular from most major cities in Europe, although they might not always be direct. We flew with Scandinavian Airlines, but there are many other options. Although Stockholm is far from the cheapest European destination, the flights were still reasonable when booked a couple of months in advance.
To see what we’ve been working on when we haven’t been travelling, have a look at our projects page. You can also follow us on Twitter for all the latest news from the travel world, plus travel writing tips and more.