Time to explore some more of that Stockholm charm! On the second day of my Stockholm adventure I visited the Djurgården and Östermalm parts of the city. After a breakfast fest at NOFO, I walked towards Slussen to catch the ferry to Djurgården. It’s also possible to go by bus and tram, but from Södermalm, the easiest way to get there was by ferry. Another reason that I preferred to take the ferry was the fact that Stockholm is a city built on 14 islands, connected by more than 50 bridges, and seeing the city from the water gives you a unique perspective.
Djurgården is a green oasis in the middle of the city, but is also the island where you can find many of the city’s famous museums and attractions. When you disembark from the ferry you will immediately see Gröna Lund, an amusement park that opened its doors back in 1883. During summer they often organize concerts with big headliners such as Sting. Another famous attraction upon Djurgården is Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, showcasing the whole of Sweden with houses and farmsteads from every part of the country. I however was there to visit ABBA The Museum and Vasamuseet.
Sing & Dance at ABBA The Museum
If you change your mind. I’m the first in line… Wait that was me! First in line, fan girling at Abba The Museum at 9AM (another early start you know)! Oh well… Mammia Mia, here I go again… Ok haha I know (eye rolling emoji).
You get it, I’m a big ABBA fan, so a visit to the museum was a must during my trip to Stockholm. Naturally the museum tells the story of how Sweden’s most popular pop group came to be, but there’s so much more! ABBA The Museum is an interactive museum where you can virtually try on ABBA’s costumes, sing, play, mix original music and become the fifth member of ABBA by performing on the large stage together with Björn, Benny, Frida and Agnetha. Besides all of that there is also a temporary exhibition taken place about the Mamma Mia movies. I honestly had the time of my life. There was never a dull moment at this museum and I can only recommend to go. ABBA fan or not!
From ABBA The Museum it’s about a five minute walk to the Vasamuseet, the most visited museum in the whole of Scandinavia. The 69 meter-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. Today Vasa is the world’s best preserved 17th century ship. Entering the museum is a real wow experience. You can see the Vasa emerge from behind the glass doors and that’s pretty impressive! The Vasa museum consists of four floors. Each floor will tell you another part of the story of the ship: how life was on board, about the finds they did on board and how people looked at that time. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Vasa is explained during the guided tours. Guided tours are included in the entrance fee and are held every 30 minutes in English. Due to the fact that it’s very crowded in the museum it’s sometimes hard to understand everything the guide is saying, but it’s for sure an interesting extra.
After two museum visits it was time to enjoy the outdoors! You can find lots of greenery and calm places with beautiful views on Djurgården but if you don’t plan to explore the entire island, I would suggest you visit Lusthusportens Park on the edge of the Djurgården Bridge, which is what I did. After a relaxing stroll in the park I figured it was time for lunch, so I crossed the Djurgårdsbron to Östermalm, Stockholm’s posh and residential neighborhood.
Lunch at Strandbryggan
Beach bar Strandbryggan is conveniently located at the Djurgård Bridge. The bar is very popular with locals and is well-known for its selection of rosé wines and champagne. On the menu you can find shellfish, fish and salads. Every day there is a different lunch dish available too, but when I saw that they were serving one of my favorite Scandinavian dishes Gravad Lax, I decided to go for that! I was really happy with my choice. Hanging out at Strandbryggan really gave me the holiday feels; delicious food, amazing waterside views and that combined with some nice music in the back…. #takemebackpls
Walk along Strändvagen
Strandvägen is one of the most gorgeous boulevards in the city! I loved walking around the wide waterfront esplanade with picturesque boats and cafes. On the other side of the tree-lined boulevard you can find some beautiful buildings such as Bünsowska Huset and the prestigious hotels; Hotel Esplanade and Hotel Diplomat. Strändvagen really reminded me of the grandeur of the Parisian boulevards. You can take the most beautiful pictures upon Strandvägen from the Djurgårdsbron.
Visit the Royal Stables & Östermalmshallen
On my way to Bibliotekstan I passed by the Royal Stables. I would have love to visit it, but unfortunately I was late for the final tour. It looked really beautiful and interesting from the outside though ☹.
One of the most popular lunch spots in Stockholm is Östermalms Saluhall. Both locals and tourists alike come together in this food market to enjoy the delicious Swedish ‘husmanskost’ or exquisite seafood platters. As I just had a late lunch at Strandbryggan, I did not eat here myself, but when I passed it on my way to back to Bibliotekstan, the curious, food market lover that I am, just had to go in and snoop around. And what can I say: everything looked so delicious! At the moment the original food hall from 1888 is being renovated, so until the winter of 2020 they are housing in the temporary hall at Östermalmstorg.
Window shopping at Bibliotekstan
Bibliotekstan is Stockholm most fancy shopping street. There you will find international luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci and Marc Jacobs alongside Swedish fashion labels like Acne, Whyred, and Hope. Luckily chains such as Zara, Sephora, H&M have stores there too, which was a good thing for me, because at this point I’m still waiting to win the lottery so I can get my shopping spree on at Gucci and Prada. Oh well, someday… I hope!
Dinner at Meatballs for the People
Shopping always gets me hungry, so after a quick pitstop at the hotel, I went for dinner at Meatballs for the People. When you think of Swedish meatballs, you think of the manufactured ones from IKEA, right? Well, on that note I figured it was about time to have a taste of the real deal. At Meatballs for the People, they serve ‘kötttbullar’ from different kinds of animals like bear, reindeer moose and wild boar to name a few… I ordered the traditional Swedish meatballs, with red wine sauce, mashed potatoes, cucumbers and lingon berries and it was absolutely delicious! And obviously so much better than the IKEA ones! 😉