I’m back with anther 24 hours in series, this time the angelic Swedish Capitol City of Stockholm.
I wrote an article for a magazine recently about how to spend 24 hours in London and I loved the idea of starting a little mini series here on C&C. I often skip in and out of cities to break up my long haul flights and when I have speeches and hosting jobs abroad it can leave me with just one day to explore the city. So I thought this little series would be great for those of you also travelling for business or simply wanting a quick overview of the city before visiting it for longer.
Before talking you through my 24 hours, I firstly need to share a few pointers for when traveling to Stockholm:
- Stockholm is expensive! When it comes to Stockholm if you are travelling in from the UK you need to brace yourself so some squeals of confusion when you are presented with your dinner bill. Not pricey like your average city, not a little steep like St Tropez, Stockholm is the most expensive City I have ever visited. I’m talking £15 for a glass of wine on average, however, the aesthetics of this city by far make up for those extra pennies spent!
- Pack comfortable shoes. The central towns are beautifully picturesque with narrow colourful streets and grand buildings all leading out towards the water’s edge. The cobbled streets and vibrant architecture of the old town will have you wandering for hours.
- If you are travelling in winter invest in a good hotel. Travelling during the colder months is sometimes unbearably cold, I was there in April and still wrapped up in hat scarf and gloves. Having a nice, spacious, warm hotel with room to dry your clothes and relax after a day out in the cold is oh so desirable! Of all places, resist the urge to stay in a hostel here 😉
Stockholm has an archipelago of 14 islands in the South East of Sweden. The city is incredible rich is culture and one of the trendiest and wealthiest cities in Europe. There so much to see and do with art, fashion and history being at the forefront of most excursions. It is the perfect city break for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in magazine worthy views, glamorous shopping, unique history and inventive cuisine.
As Stockholm is an Archipelago for me the top thing to do is to explore the city via boat, with over 50 bridges in the city there is so much more than the main island and as the city is dubbed ‘The Venice of the North’ it wouldn’t be right not to hit the water when visiting. There’s a number of boat trips to see the scattered islands and you can chose from a lavish boat with a three course lunch included or a standard island hop ferry. As the weather was cold and snowing heavily on our visit we were only able to embark on trip through the main city canal, I did want to venture further out but at least we now know that you can hit the waters even if it’s a blizzard outdoors! The trip was great, it runs like one of the ‘hop on hop off’ busses that run in a umber of European cities. You can’t jump on and off at certain points like the bus but you do have a head set on your seat and the story of the canal and Stockholm’s history is dictated to you as you gaze.
After you’ve explored by boat get back on foot 😉 Wandering the old town of Stockholm is your best way to immerse yourself in this cities rich culture, it’s also a great opportunity to shop a little, eat a little and in our case enjoy a few glasses of red wine in the warmth whilst watching then snow settle on the ground outside 😉
As well as our boat trip and red wine wander we chose to explore The Royal Palace. There’s so many museums in Stockholm so if you are staying for just one day you will need to research before arriving and whittle it down to one of two. We opted for the Palace because I have always had a love affair with royal families and their stories. The grandeur and romance of the architecture of a royal residence always captures my heart and Stockholm’s Royal Palace was no exception.
Just as with any royal palace we saw grand high ceilings, lavish gold furniture and gorgeously rich fabrics but the thing I loved the most was the display of each and every bridal gown worn by the current Royal Family. Not only is each gown displayed but there is also a video of each Royal Wedding being showcased as you wander round. We stood for hours watching the fairy tales of the Prince and Princesses, I am now a little bit in love with the Swedish Royal Family, all of our generation married for love, each and every one to a ‘commoner’ which for me, is such a touching story.
During our short break we stayed in one of Stockholm’s most prestigious hotels, Nobis Hotel Stockholm and I am pleased to say I highly recommend it. The five star hotel has a luxuriously Scandinavian vibe with elaborate yet modern decor inside of a traditional and grand building. The location is perfectly nestled in amongst the likes of Chanel, Gucci and Prada whilst also being just a few minutes walk from the daily departing boat tours.
The rooms are incredibly spacious for an inner city hotel and the decor is the perfectly created to welcome Westerners looking for home comforts whilst also experiencing some quirky Swedish furniture designs. The bed was an actual dream, annoyingly so in fact as it was very hard to leave it in the mornings! The shower was powerful and hot, bathrobes and slippers were provided and we were welcomed to the room with a lovely fresh fruit basket. We also had this incredible view from our window, jackpot!
The hotel doesn’t have a spa but it does have a large gym with all you could need for a great workout, I visited on both days and for a hotel gym Nobis really does have it all. I have travelled to a lot of places and always hit the gym so I was really pleased with the facilities. There is also complimentary chilled bottled water and apples for post workout which I thought was a really nice touch. There’s a steam and sauna too for those of you looking for a little downtime and wanting to skip the exercise part 😉
The breakfast was extensive and yummy, for a relatively small set up everything was just right, the perfect mix of stations for a healthy or gluttonous start to the day. The hotel also has the dreamiest staircase, hashtag instagrammers paradise!
If with your 24 hours in Stockholm you do fancy a little R&R a great drop-in day spa is at The Clarion Hotel. It boasts a rooftop pool that is heated and has great views of the city as well as a steam, sauna and individual treatment rooms. You can sip on your champers whilst it snows down on your jacuzzi session 😉
Hotel Nobis was a really great place to base ourselves at for a two night trip, it is also home though to one of Stockholm’s best Italian Restaurants. Located underneath the hotel’s spectacular lobby Caina is an elegant designed restaurant with simple and authentic Italian dishes on the menu. The decor is in-keeping with the modern and chic design throughout the hotel but the food is hearty and rustic. The Italian chef was on hand to talk us through our dishes and our waiter selected the perfect wine to suit our meal, really top class service. Our food was divine, I opted for the spinach and ricotta ravioli which was deliciously served with a butter sauce.
If you are looking for a classy yet warm and traditional Italian in Stockholm, I highly recommend this restaurant.
That was our day! I loved wandering through the narrow streets and snapping away at the beautiful coloured buildings. Stockholm is definitely expensive but the unique charm of the city is worth the spend. I would recommend spending 3 days here and exploring a few more of the museums, I would also highly recommend travelling further out by boat, something I will surely be doing if I return to the city!