Aside from just walking around and finding Stockholm’s quiet, tucked-away neighborhoods without shops — yes, there are still a few! — and always pausing to take in each block's hidden architectural moments, here’s my short list of places I like to visit — over and over again.
#1 SVENSKT TENN.
Josef Frank textiles at SVENSKT TENN in Stockholm. You can see colorful examples of furniture and upholstery fabric by Josef Frank, one of Sweden’s best and most influential textile designers, at SVENSKT TENN, an interior design shop that defies current trends by continually juxtaposing old and new.
Photo courtesy SVENSKT TENN
# 2 MILLESGÅRDEN
At MILLESGÅRDEN the former home of artists Carl and Olga Milles, you can tour Annes Hus (Anne's House), where the furniture is designed by Svenskt Tenn creators and designers Josef Frank and Estrid Ericson. The sculpture garden is a fantasy — Carl Milles’ idiosyncratic and uniquely peaceful merging of Nordic, southern European, and Alpine elements.
Sculpture garden in Millesgarden. Photo courtesy of MILLESGÅRDEN
# 3 BLÅ PORTEN
(The Blue Gate) is a favorite restaurant of mine. They serve a nice variety of great baked goods and a few well-made, daily Swedish lunch specials. The atmosphere is relaxing and laid back with a backyard for warmer days. The restaurant is right beside the 100+ year-old contemporary art and design gallery, Liljevachs and its beautifully curated modern exhibitions. Closed for renovations until summer 2018, but well worth a future visit.
# 4 ROSENDALS TRÄDGÅRD
You’ll find food and peace at ROSENDALS TRÄDGÅRD, where you can walk in the gardens, have lunch or coffee. I highly recommend this oasis, not far from the city center but remarkably peaceful, with such good food, especially the daily soup and lots of tempting, wood-fired cookies. A quintessential "farm-to-fork" garden restaurant.
# 5 DJURGÅRDEN
The walk there, through DJURGÅRDEN, an island idyll in the middle of Stockholm, is also calm and mind clearing. Rent a kayak or a canoe and paddle around the shores of DJURGÅRDEN, or try a bicycle.
# 6 NORDISKA MUSEET
At the NORDISKA MUSEET, a museum of cultural history reflecting everyday life in Sweden from the 16th century onward, the exhibition of Table Settings offers well chosen, even funky glimpses into Swedish habits through the centuries. A favorite is the table set for a 20th Century Swedish coffee party. The museum displays really nice Scandinavian jewelry and textiles, as well. This place is a gem encapsulating 500 years of Swedish history. At NORDISKA MUSEET: Visitors can enter a 1940s apartment with nicely spare interiors representative of Swedish Functionalism.
# 7 The STOCKHOLM PUBLIC LIBRARY
A great example of Nordic Classicism, or Swedish architecture just prior to Functionalism, ASPLUNDS LIBRARY is (also known as the Stockholm Public Library), with a beautifully proportioned rotunda making it one of the most recognizable landmarks in Stockholm.
- Anki Spets