In a multinational city like Stockholm, hearing English spoken everywhere is quite common. Therefore, it is often not entirely clear whether you are surrounded by local guys who speak English, or whether you are among the crowd of tourists near another attraction. And since we are sure that you are one (one) of those who, when traveling, seek to understand the city and its culture and are not limited to recommendations from guidebooks, we have prepared for you a list of places in Stockholm where locals like to spend time. A picnic park, the best vantage point, a secret lunch spot, and a tiny bar where you’re sure to make friends – put it on your Stockholm itinerary.
Ask Swedes about the place they most associate with spring and 9 out of 10 will name Tantolunden. In April-May, when it gets really warm outside, this park is not empty even for a minute. People around are sunbathing, children are running to the water to wet their feet, here and there someone is playing kubb , volleyball or exercising on street simulators, someone is running, and someone is walking dogs. The feeling that literally the whole city has gathered here on the lawn on bedspreads and is enjoying the first warm days. The park sells ice cream, sweets, drinks, and nearby, near the Hornstull metro station, there are a lot of establishments where you can buy drinks and food and take it all with you to the park.
We bet you have never tasted such falafel in your life. We are not kidding. At the very least, its appearance will seem interesting to you. And as a maximum … Just imagine warm and tender falafel in a crispy crust along with unlimited access to vegetables and sauces. For those who want something other than falafel, there is a huge selection of kebabs, vegetable and meat dishes. The guys do everything with a soul, they are always ready to chat, find out who you are and where you are from, what you are doing here and how the food is for you. The institution is located near the center, but in a quiet area, hidden from the crowds of tourists.
Birger Jarlsgatan, 33
If you have ever been to the bars of Stockholm, you most likely noticed how many people around speak English. These are Swedes, migrants, and numerous tourists. Being a part of this multinational community is very cool, but sometimes you want to be among the locals, listen to the Swedish speech, see how the guys who were born and lived here have fun. In general, if you are curious, then you should definitely go to Oxid. This very small bar, where visitors chat culturally and drink alcohol in the evening, turns into something around midnight. All the people from the terrace, other bars, and just from the street, are trying to squeeze into this tiny space filled with dancing people. This is exactly the place where you can come alone (alone), and in half an hour already rock with new friends. The music here doesn’t promise anything supernatural – it’s mostly just popular music, where Walk the Moon and Shakira alternate with typical Swedish musicians like Håkan Hellström and Hov1. In general, if you are not looking for music, but for fun, then you are definitely here.
Papercut is one of the most popular bookstores in the “not for everyone” category. It has a huge selection of magazines on topics ranging from food and fashion to professional magazines for musicians and art historians (in English or Swedish). They also sell books, DVDs (yes, DVDs!), diaries, textbooks, and just all sorts of cute little things related to Stockholm, which are not ashamed to bring as a gift. The goods in the store are selected so individually that absolutely everything seems incredibly interesting and necessary. So don’t be surprised if you get stuck here for half a day.
Sankt Eriksgatan, 88
Finding good coffee in Stockholm is not that difficult – coffee shops of the same decent level are scattered throughout the city. But Kaffeverket is definitely one of the locals’ favorites. Sankt Eriksplan, the area where the institution is located, is located very close to the center, but at the same time, it is not so much chosen by tourists. Every now and then you can see how the residents of nearby houses come out of their porches, come here to get coffee and breakfast before work. Great coffee, delicious sandwiches, talkative baristas and a cozy interior will make you sit here for hours and never want to leave.
For some reason, this particular gallery is one of the most popular among the locals. On any day of the week you can see crowds of visitors here. Perhaps the reason is that the works of young contemporary artists are most often selected for exhibitions, less often – something from the classics. Therefore, they very accurately convey the spirit of modern Sweden, which attracts guests. The gallery is located on the island of Djurgården, it can be easily reached both by public transport and on foot from the center. The exhibitions change several times a year, but the most popular is without a doubt the Vårsalongen (Spring Salon), which includes works by artists from all over Sweden. And what is especially nice, on Mondays the entrance is free (regular price Kr 80 (€ 8), for children and youth under 18 – free of charge).
Sankt Eriksgatan, 70
The place is unrealistically small, where 9-10 people can hardly fit. At lunchtime, it is usually crowded here. And since the institution is open 3 hours a day, lunch time is always here. So don’t be surprised if you have to wait your turn. On the street. Why do we advise you to come here then? Because the ramen here is incredibly delicious! There are literally a few dishes to choose from, but there are options for both vegetarians and meat eaters. The portions are large and perfect for both filling and warming up before continuing to explore the city.
It is difficult to say what this institution is closer to, to a bar or to a coffee shop, but the guys do both perfectly. This is exactly the place where bartenders and baristas remember you by sight and ask how you are. In addition to typical coffee shop patrons like students with laptops, you can see some really interesting characters here. Grandpa can talk to you with a book at the next table. When you tell him that you don’t speak Swedish, he will easily switch to English and start asking you about what your tattoos mean. You can come here for the first time and feel like you have been having breakfast here all your life, and on Fridays you are going to drink with friends.
Another place where Stockholmers like to gather during the warm season. This is an observation deck with a view of the central part of the city. Ideally, of course, come here in the evening, because watching the sunset from the site is something unreal. View of Lake Mälaren, beautiful colored houses on the island of Kungsholmen, bridges, towers of churches and the sky. Keep in mind that this is not just an ordinary observation deck. These are rocks of various heights and sizes, where you can (and should!) come with a blanket and delicious food, sit back and enjoy. Keep in mind that in the summer it is advisable to come early, because the spots with the best views fill up very quickly.
Peter Myndesbacke 8
Even with so many stores of completely different price categories, the Swedes love secondhand. And Emmaus is without a doubt one of the most popular destinations for those looking for something unique and special. The store includes two departments: vintage, hidden deep underground, and regular second-hand (large enough). Here you can find clothes, shoes, accessories, outerwear, as well as books and various nice little things for the home like dishes, decor, textiles, etc. The price tag is different, especially in the vintage department, but in the second hand clothes and shoes are in the region of Kr 100 (€ 10).
In fact, this place is a small museum and sculpture park. With paid entrance. Yes, yes, this is not Oslo for you. But despite this, the Swedes just love to spend time here. The fact is that the park is located high on a cliff, and its observation deck offers an incredible view of the strait. In the park itself, you can mainly meet pensioners walking or reading books, sitting on benches. But the museum very often hosts interesting expositions, as well as lectures and seminars are constantly held (often with a buffet table). Plus, you will most likely get to the park by tram, which runs along this very strait almost the entire way. That’s another spectacle!