Götgatan is the busiest and most frequented street on Södermalm island, south of central Stockholm. The road crosses the island from one end to the other, from the deck of the Slussen Johanneshovsbron which connects the historic city center of Gamla Stan. Medborgarplasten is halfway into the central square of the island. The most popular area is on the north side, between Slussen and Medborgarplatsen. The north of the island is hilly. Here there are many bars, restaurants and small cafes to warm up it when it snows, and to stop a while if you've been going around the center. In the north (Slussen), there's the metro, bus, museum and flower market. This is a place for relaxation.
Strandvagen is an avenue of Östermalm in central Stockholm. It is close to Hamngatan Street. This is a cute street with eighteenth and nineteenth century Swedish burghers on one side, and on the other, the lake with its ships. There's a bike line and a pedestrian path by the water, as well as kiosks offering drinks and hot dogs. The idea of the boardwalk was first proposed in the mid-nineteenth century, and was finished fairly quickly, with a wide avenue planted with trees, and no tall buildings next to the water. In 1897, during the Stockholm World Exhibition, the walk was completed, and used to get to Djurgarden, where the fair was held. Now it is one of the city's most prestigious streets.
The Stockholm Opera Royal Theatre was built at the end of the 19th century to a design by architect Anderberg which joins together the theater with its dependencies and Operakällaren which is a neo-baroque restaurant. In front of this theater you can find the statue of Gustav Adolfs II, and behind the peculiar red church of Sant Jakobs.
The metro is divided into seven lines, sorted by different colours. The rocky ground and number of steep slopes in the city made construction of the tunnels difficult. The stops are well-spaced, and it takes about 3-5 minutes to reach your destination from any metro stop in the city centre. Along with the tram and bus, it's run by the SL Company (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik). If you want to use the metro, there are a number of different ticket types on offer. For tourists and visitors, the most common is the single ticket or a multi-day ticket, which if you're staying for a few days, is a good option. The metro has good security, and is very safe - I don't recommend trying to travel without a ticket, as there are always security guards.
Kungsholmen is an island on Lake Malaren which is northwest of Stockholm. It can be easily explored on foot, and you can take advantage of the boat services between the islands. You can get here by metro or bus, but it can be a bit complicated to get the route right. It's half an hour's walk from Gamla Stan and Slussen main train station. The island is quite large, with two beautiful parks, and is linked to Norrmalm by six bridges. Points of interest include the Stadshuset, home to the Town Hall, built at the beginning of the twentieth century, the palace of justice, the Kristineber palace, and the art deco buildings in the centre of the island. There are also some ultra-functional apartments built in very small spaces. You can easily spend half a day walking around the island, exploring the details of the facades and the churches.
The Nobel Museum (Nobelmuseum in Swedish) is a museum all about the Nobel Prize and the people who have won it from 1901 to today, as well as the life of Alfred Nobel who, after his death, left the money to start the prize fund. Each year people are rewarded for their works in the fields of science, economics, literature, and peace. The museum is in the old building of the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Borshuset, on the north side of the small Stortorget Square, in the historic district of Gamla Stan. The museum preserves the memory of the winners, and has exhibitions, films and lectures on scientific subjects. Winners include such illustrious names as Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and Marie Curie. Institutions have also won sometimes, including the United Nations and Doctors Without Borders. The museum costs 60 SEK, 6 euros, there is a discount for seniors and students, a family of 5 goes for 120 SEK. Open from 10 am to 5 pm, and sometimes later in the summer.
Åhlens is one of the great Swedish shops, and NK, is one of the best known of Stockholm. English court style with beautiful partes, perfumes and other types of clothes that are quite expensive but very good quality, especially winter and skiing clothes. Hats, gloves, scarves, warm trousers, a change from the greys, browns and blacks that are in season in the hotter countries. Swedish women manage to stay feminine in spite of the cold, warm clothes, with pretty boots and jackets. They are pretty but the clothes are also decent so that when winter arrives it's not like wearing a sack of potatoes.
Åhlens focuses mostly on beauty, fashion and home, as the Swedes love the inside décor, where they spend so much time during the winter. They are very homey. During the 90s, Åhlens became a large group like other large international shops. 120 million people buy something every year Åhlens! It's like every Swede buys something every month, as there are 10 million of them. In the basement of the flagship shop in Stockholm there is a food store, generally quite expensive but with good products for much of the country.
Långholmen is a small island in the centre of the city of Stockholm, which once was the city jail. It is now a park, but still houses the old prison buildings, with a museum inside. You can visit the museum every day between 11am and 4pm. Admission costs 25 SEK, about 3 euros. Sometimes there are guided tours during the tourist season, and you can find information on the island's website, or at the tourist office in the centre of English. Like the vast majority of Swedes, all the guides speak fluent English, and the tour is in English twice a day. The prison was used in the Middle Ages, and gradually grew to become the city's largest prison, with more than 500 cells. It finally closed in 1975, and was turned into a public park. Part of the prison also became a hotel, with a cafe.
This church houses the bodies of the Swedish monarchs. It is on the island of Riddarholmen, near the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Today the church is only used for burials and commemorative purposes. Many Swedish monarchs are buried here; it is one of the oldest churches in Stockholm, with parts dating back to the thirteenth century, when it was first founded as a monastery. After the Reformation, the monastery was closed and the building was transformed into a Protestant church. On the walls of the church are the coats of arms of the Royal Order of Seraphim (the Swedish royal order of chivalry). When a knight of this order dies, his coat of arms is hung in the church, and when the funeral takes place, the church bells ring constantly from 12:00 to 13:00!
Stureplan is one of the trendiest places in Stockholm. It's the point where young people get together. There's a sort of giant mushroom-shaped statue, in the center of the square. You get to go out there, it's awesome because despite the cold, the girls are in mini skirts, sometimes without socks, with open jacket, hair in the wind as if it were a summers day ... It must be a habit though I do not understand how to endure so cold with such little clothes. Stureplan is also the fashionable place to eat in restaurants Swedes, but also "steak houses", Thai, sushi and French is often difficult to find restaurants, the quality is worth the price. During the day there are dozens of small independent designer boutiques clothing, furniture, designers, stylists, hairdressers, fashion ... It's best that you take a photo at night with all your friends to see you on the Stureplan website the next day, to see all the gossip from the night before. There are taxis to take you home, although they're expensive and hard to find at the end of the night.
The views from this island are really amazing. I was there at sunset and the sky was beautiful. It is a very relaxing place. It is worth it to visit it calmly, enjoy the landscape before you and don't rush.
This is the most important and central square on the island of Sodermalm in Stockholm. There are shops and public services, as well as plenty of places to eat - cafes, Asian restaurants, French and Italian, and more. It's amazing to see how the ambiance of the square changes between winter and summer: it's either full of life, water, trees and children, or empty with snow on the skeletons of the trees. On one side there's a large building containing a library, cinema and gym. On the other side is the market (Sodermalm Saluhall) which, together with the markets of Hotorget and Ostermalm, is one of the most popular in Stockholm. In the centre of the square is an area that is frozen as an ice rink in winter. You can also see a monument in honour of Anna Lindth, a politician who was assassinated in 2003. On the side of the street is Gotgatan subway station, opened in 1933.
Sodermalm was once the working class district and, similar to other areas of this type in big cities, it has undergone gentrification. It is now the hipster center of Stockholm and nicknamed SoFo. This seems to be the place to go for Sunday brunch with lots of cafes serving up dishes from pancakes to oysters, fresh juices and coffee. You can also browse in the mix of vintage and design shops. The area around Sodermalm theatre also offers great views across to the historic centre of Stockholm and the roller coasters of Grona Lund.
On the waterfront is Fotografiska, a renovated art nouveau industrial building with exhibition space over three floors. Check the website to find out what is showing. The top floor has a self service cafe with panoramic windows. The museum is open until 11pm every day of the week.
Arriving in Stockholm by boat is a real pleasure. You'll be struck by the beautiful vision of the city. We went in July, and the weather was perfect, with a number of people sunbathing on benches. A great city that you can explore on foot, full of friendly and welcoming people.