Britt’s ancestry is quite mixed, but she’s always identified most with her Swedish and Irish roots. After visiting Ireland for the first time last year, we thought we’d round it out by visiting Sweden this time around. Stockholm’s rocky and forested archipelago was our main target, but we bookended our visit with days in Sweden’s pristine capital.
Our first visit centered on the hip neighborhood of Södermalm, immediately south of Stockholm’s center. Lunch at Meatballs for the People (beef-pork meatballs and vegetarian meatballs with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, pickles) was a fitting way to kick off our trip, then we wandered through some shops (Krukmakeriet noteworthy for the ceramic dish made by Anne Junsjö that served as one of our souvenirs and Grandpa for its great selection of clothes and homeware).
Fotografiska, Stockholm’s photography museum, is one of Södermalm’s main sights and it did not disappoint. We especially enjoyed the poignant reminder of man’s impact on the environment at Paul Nicklen’s and Cristina Mittermeier’s SeaLegacy / Turning the Tide; the quirky, upbeat, and nostalgic vibes at Linda and Mary McCartney’s Mother Daughter; and the surreal and gripping work displayed at up-and-coming Evelyn Bencicova’s Merror.
Our second visit to Stockholm centered on its old core, Gamla Stan. First we stopped by the Vasa Museum, possibly Scandinavia’s most popular attraction. Its main draw is a mostly intact 17th century warship that sank on its maiden voyage and was recovered in the 1960s. Even having seen photos and videos of the ship before, the sheer scale and detail of it all is jawdropping in person. (And a tip—pre-book tickets to skip the lines!)
Once in Gamla Stan, we started on the western side, appreciating the city views around Riddarholmen Church. We walked through the golden glow of Gamla Stan’s streets, eventually got to Stortorget (the main square), and then walked past the Royal Palace and Parliament toward City Hall. Fortunately, we caught the last tour of City Hall, which we highly recommend. A tour is the only way to visit the building’s lavish rooms, and the tour guide offers lots of interesting insight into the history and modern governing of Stockholm.
Our last glimpse of the city was a quick detour down into the metro. Britt had seen pictures of the art that graces many of the metro system’s stations, so we took a peek at T-Centralen. Beautiful!
As much as we enjoyed our time in Stockholm, the archipelago was the highlight of our trip, so stay tuned for stories of island hopping, dips in the Baltic Sea, and much more!