The cold is freezing your hands, the snow is bitting your face, it is lunch time but it is -15°C / 5°F! You are doing this!
You might have stumble upon some of my articles about Stockholm, where I recommend to visit the swedish capital between May and September, but a visit in winter will bring the city under a different lights, that few tourists get to know. In this post, I will tell you what to expect when visiting Stockholm in winter and give you tips to make it a rewarding experience. Gloves and hat on, let’s go!
Biking 300 km, swimming 3km in a river, running for 30km, and skiing across 90km. 4 disciplines, 4 competitions across Sweden. One goal, one year.
I always love the moment you contemplate a challenge and just think “whoooo… that’s crazy” and the second that follows when you think “I should totally try this“. And then, as quickly as that, you are set. And I was. This was in fall 2015, and I found out what will keep me busy for the next 15 months!
What is “A Swedish Classic”?
It is a scary, exciting and fun challenge: four competitions to complete within 12 months that test your endurance at proper viking standards. The “Swedish Classic” (Svensk klassiker) is all about pushing yourself and doing so by completing 4 swedish classic competitions within a year. Continue reading
Kungsleden, “the royal trail”, it’s a 450km trail running into the swedish mountains of Lappland, above the Arctic circle. Thousands of hikers come every year in summer to complete a portion (or all!) of one of the most beautiful treks on the planet and enjoy full wilderness – not even phone connection! The first part of the trail, between Abisko to Nikkaluokta is a rewarding 5-7 days trek.
Driving 6h across the country on a Thursday evening after several stressful weeks is not exactly what I had in mind when I talked about “spending a relaxing midsummer week-end”.
But going out of town to enjoy life in the family stuga (cottage) is what you are supposed to do for midsummer when you live in Sweden. With no family cottage to crash in, we ended up renting one on the other side of the country (“the right side of Sweden” according to the ones who live there). “It has better worth it!” I mubbled as I packed my bags, annoyed. What I will realise during the week-end is that the great thing about Kungshamn, is that you don’t have to do so much over there. And just for this reason, it was worth the long drive.
Kungshamn, small town of the west coast is the perfect place to be off for a few days and reconnect with your senses. Here are 5 simple pleasures to experience during a week-end in Kungshamn, Smögen or pretty much anywhere on the Swedish west Coast.
Each year, the Friday between 19 and 25 of June, Sweden stops for 24h. Streets are quiet and Stockholm only full of tourists. Swedes leave the cities to gather with friends and families to celebrate in tradition the longest day of the year.
Midsummer Eve is one of the most (if not the most) important tradition in Sweden and it’s a fantastic experience to discover the Swedish culture and gastronomy. If you have the opportunity to celebrate it with Swedes, just do it! It’s the time of the year where Swedes loosen up, and you will have lots of fun. Difficult to find a part to join? No worries, in this post I will give you some tips to plan your very own Swedish Midsummer.
Difficult to know where to party when visiting a new city. In this post I suggest 4 places frequented by locals to enjoy Stockholm night life. Pick the place depending on your mood, and dress accordingly!
Debaser – pop/rock club in Sodermalm, live music for hipsters
Debaser is the rock club of Stockholm. Every weekend the place hosts concerts of international rock/pop groups such as FUN or Imagine dragons as well as local groups such as Panda da panda, First Aid Kit or Urban Cone. After the performance, the club plays top hits until 3am. Debaser is the perfect to dive into the Swedish pop scene and discover upraising international stars.
You can actually party in 2 Debaser clubs in Stockholm, both offering the same experience.
Where: subway Medborgarplatsen / subway Hornstull
Good to know: Opens until 3.00am. Admission fee varies depending on the performances, check the website.
Dress like a local: jean, pop or vintage tee-shirt, sneakers/ flat shoes accepted.
Berns – vibrant nightclub on Ostermalm
Unsure where to go? Berns might be your best bet, the night club is a great party spot and its different rooms give you the possibility to choose between different ambiances. In Stora Salongen it’s a huge dance floor, with high ceiling and crystal chandeliers and a balcony where you can spot people in the crowds. The Terrace plays house music at a lower volume, perfect to engage conversation with your new flirt and your friends. On the lower level, the Gallery focusses on dance music -house and techno. The all place is huge! The nightclub is quite fancy but here you still get a good chance to get in. The main downside of the place: its expensive entrance fee.
Where: Berzelii Park, Ostermlamstorg subway
Good to know: admission fee of 220SEK. Minimum age: 23 years old. The club closes at 3pm but the Gallery at 5pm. Visit the website.
Dress like a local: Smart casual (shirt and nice shoes)
Sturecompaniet – Upper Stockholm at its best
With its up beat ambiance, its house and techno sound and its beautiful people, Sturecompaniet is representative of Östermalm nightlife. This complex includes some of the most hyped clubs of Stockholm: Sturecompaniet itself, hell’s kitchen and heaven’s gate (until 5pm), intimate club “V”. Some of them are so select that you will have to queue a second time inside to see if you can join the VIPs. The only trick is to arrive really early around 10pm if you want to be (almost) sure to get in.
Where: Stureplan, subway Östermalmstorg
Good to know: Got rejected? Head up to Ambassador, similar ambiance with upbeat sounds but slightly less selective
Dress like a local: To have a chance to get in, dress to impress. Mini dress and high heels for girls, suit up for guys
Fashing – the hidden retreat of jazz and nostalgics
This is the place to be if you want to dance like “back in the days” in an in time ambiance. Fashing is the club for live jazz, folk, groove, world music. After live sessions the place turn out to a night club for 60-70s music where even the shy swedes dance until early morning (until 04.00am on weekends).
Where: T-centralen subway.
Good to know: Check the website for concerts, entrance fee after concerts 100SEK
Dress like a local: Drop the too fancy outfit.
General tips for partying in Stockhom
- Go early. Most of clubs close at 03am and by 01.00am the lines are huge (it’s the time where bars closes). Aim for 12.30am if you don’t like to queue too much.
- Pack light. In most places you have to pay for the cloakroom have to pay, some even charge extra for handbags.
- Keep an eye on your budget: on top of the entrance fee, a beer at 55-70SEK, a glass of wine at 60-90SEK and a drink for 110 – 140SEK, you can spend a lot during the evening.
Like lots of touristy cities, Stockholm offers its own city pass the “Stockholm card”, promising the visitor a good deal for his/her trip to the capital of Scandinavia. But does it really worth it?
Well, it depends! I have done the maths for you, and it’s pretty complicated. But keep reading and let me guide you through the labyrinth of the Stockholm card.
Stockholm is one of the most expensive cities in Europe and for the budget traveler it may seem like a place to avoid. The capital of Scandinavia has, however, plenty of gems to discover and is a perfect destination for a short break, especially in summer. With a bit of planning and some smart choices, you can stay on a reasonable budget.
Here are my tips to avoid spending too much money in Stockholm.