Stockholm: A Charming Winter Destination

December can be a stressful month for everyone, with final exams, Christmas planning and the end of the year! So visiting the Swedish capital at this time of year will give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful Nordic city.

What makes Stockholm unique is that it is incredibly busy while at the same time very quiet and relaxing. The streets are always filled with people and activities, such as sports, museums, shopping and seasonal events. Here are a few ways you can spend your serene vacation.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Sweden is the dream destination for sports lovers. With an average temperature of minus 1 degree Celsius in December and minus 3 degrees Celsius in January, there are several activities you can try out such as:

Ice skating at a rink in the center of Kungsträdgården.

Ice-fishing or long-distance skating at a frozen lake.

❄ A day trip to Hammarbybacken, located right outside of the city, where you can go skiing and snowmobiling.

MUSEUMS

Stockholm has plenty of interesting and educational museums for all tastes in history, music, art and science.

❄ Because of the country’s rich Viking and medieval history, there are several museums dedicated to different decades, such as the Vasa Museum, Swedish History Museum and the Nordic Museum.

❄ For science-based ones, there is the Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of Science and Technology.

Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum, lets you experience Swedish life before the industrial era.

❄ For music lovers, there are many music-related museums such as the ABBA Museum, dedicated to the infamous Swedish band.

❄ Swedes are fans of modern art and photography, and you can check out their work at the Museum of Modern Art and the Fotografiska Museum.

CAFÉS & SEASONAL TREATS

Since it is cold for a large part of the year, the city is filled with cozy cafés, restaurants and bars where people can hang out indoors and enjoy Christmas-y treats.

Warm glögg (mulled wine) and pepparkakor (gingerbread cookies) are served at all times of the day during this season in cute booths and restaurants.

Espresso House is a beloved coffee shop that serves delicious drinks and traditional Swedish snacks. In Stockholm you will find coffee shops on almost every street.

❄ Swedish cafés have a laid-back and casual style to them, with candles, cosy couches and Scandinavian interior decoration that will make you feel right at home.

FASHION
Sweden, especially Stockholm, has been acknowledged for being an iconic fashion location due to its simple but elegant style.

❄ Many high fashion brands such as ACNE, Filippa K, Tiger of Sweden, WesSC and others hail from Sweden.

❄ Walking down the streets of Stockholm is like being on an outdoor runway since Swedish people are so effortlessly fashionable. In winter, it might be difficult to be able to see outfits, but it is nice to see how Stockholmers get fashionably creative in this season.

❄ Youngsters who want more affordable clothes should check out Bik Bok, GinaTricot, Cheap Monday and Monki, which are Scandinavian brands found all over Stockholm.

❄ Make sure not to miss H&M. Their Swedish stores are even better and bigger than the ones around the world because not only do they sell clothes, but they also have a large section of beauty products and H&M Home, which sells home decor.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Since Stockholm is located in the Nordic region, there are several unique features that come with the territory, especially during winter.

❄ Unexpected sunsets at 3 p.m. Can you imagine being able to watch the sunset every day in the middle of the day?

Saunas are a big part of the Swedish culture, and they can be found in many places in the city, including at hotels and hostels.

❄ There are ice bars all over the world, but how unique would it be to actually go to an ice bar in an icy country – especially when it is sponsored by the country’s leading Absolut Vodka and Ice Hotel. At the hotel, you can have drinks at the Nordic-themed ice bar at minus 7 degrees and learn how to create ice sculptures.

CONVENIENCE

Since Stockholm is the capital of Scandinavia, leading the region’s commerce, education, fashion and sustainability, it is no surprise that the country functions extremely well, providing a stress-free trip.

English is fluently spoken by the majority of the people, so if you are lost in the middle of Gamla Stan(Old Town) and ask someone for help, they will most likely be able to help you.

❄ There is easy access to Wi-Fi almost everywhere at cafés, restaurants, stores, malls, convenience stores and other places, making it much easier to find your location on maps and decide where to go next.

❄ Swedish tap water is extremely clean and every café, restaurant and bar offer free water.

❄ Not only is public transportation (trains, buses, trams and boats) reliable, but they are also beautiful. Especially the underground metro station which is known internationally for their beautiful art decoration of Swedish history.

CHEAP FLIGHTS

Winter is the off-season in Stockholm, making round-trip flights super affordable! Flights from New York can be found as low as $315 and from Los Angeles for just $342. From within Europe, there are numerous daily flights with Scandinavian airlines such as SAS, Norwegian and Finnair.

Swedes are very private and reserved, so if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing trip where people won’t disturb you, Stockholm is the perfect place for you.

Stockholm Food Guide

Eggs with Bacon Toast

Stockholm cafés and restaurants are guaranteed high class meals but they are also high class prices. It is quite difficult to go to a fancy restaurant without burning a hole in your wallet. So make sure you are mentally ready to spend a lot and have a fabulous time.

Greta’s – Norrmalm | Hötorget 13-15 Haymarket Hotel

Salmon & egg toast in the front and Tomato &

Located at the heart of the city, Greta’s is an adorable café inside the Haymarket hotel by Scandic. The hotel is a fabulous interpretation of the 1920s and the café embraces the afternoon tea glamour. It’s a great place for late brunch where you can get delicious toasts, pancakes, sweets and others. Including a splendid selection of coffees, juices, wines and champagnes. The vibe of the place is really relaxing with great music.

Loved for: Ladies afternoon tea

Site: Haymarket Greta’s Cafe

Opening hours: Monday 08:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tuesday toThursday 08:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Friday 08:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Saturday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

STHLM Bruch Club | Vasastan | Dalagatan 24

Breakfast Burrito with Eggs Benedict with Salmon

This adorable café does not disappoint its name. It serves every brunch lover’s dream; pancakes, waffles, toasts, burgers, bagels and açai dishes. They also offer breakfast plates like English breakfast with sausages, beans, eggs and toast. To top it off, the club also serves delicious drinks like milkshakes, fresh juices, teas and Sweden’s finest coffee brew, Johan and Nyström.

Nuterella Milkshake with a crouwn donut

Since most things in life don’t come easily, be prepared to wait in line for about 20-30 mins. Since this café is quite small. But trust me, it is definitely worth the wait. This place is one of my favorite brunch places in the city and I usually don’t mind the line when I know I’ll get a delicious meal. Plus it’ll give you time to catch up with your friends without the distraction of the delicious food.

Known for: Crown donut milkshakes

Site: STHLM Brunch Club Cafe

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7.30 AM – 3.30 PM

Saturday & Sunday 8.30 AM – 4.00 PM

Mr. Cake – Östermalm | Rådmansgatan 12a

Raspberry Cheesecake

This modern café was created by Swedish chefs Roy Faris and Mattias Ljungberg. The sweet menu consists of velvet croissants, yogurt bowls, pancakes, huge Swedish cinnamon buns and endless types of cakes. For the salty menu, the cafe has delicious sandwiches, bagels, burgers. Each dish is more beautiful than the other. Picking one is extremely difficult so make sure to go there very hungry and with friends so you can order several dishes and many!

Known for: Velvet desserts, black burgers, and pancakes

Site: Mr. Cake Cafe

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7.30 AM – 6.00 PM

Saturday & Sunday 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Greasy Spoon | Södermalm & Vasastan | Tjärhovsgatan 19 & Hagagatan 4

Blueberry & Scotch Pancakes

A cozy café so loved that there are two of them in the city. It has a large variety of classic brunch dishes like pancakes, toasts and many types of eggs such as oven baked spicy BLTE eggs and eggs Benedict. As for a drink, Greasy Spoon has a large variety of drinks like freshly squeezed juices, coffees, teas, cocktails and other choices.

The staff is always very friendly and give great advice on what to order.

This place is also great for a fika during the week in the afternoon when its emptier, to share a pancake with your friends and a cup of coffee.

Known for: Eggs Benedict and Pancakes

Site: Greasy Spoon

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.00 AM – 4.00 PM

Saturday to Sunday 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Red Days 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Espresso House – Every neighbourhood in city

Last but definitely not least, Espresso House. The Starbucks of Sweden, and may I dare say, much MUCH better. You can find this café literally everywhere in the city and it is great for any time; breakfast, lunch, dinner, studying, coffee date, catching up with friends and even small meetings. Every café is decorated with book walls, plants and coffee posters. It has extremely comfortable chairs and sofas with reachable chargers and Wi-Fi. Every chain café that you go, no matter the size, will make you feel at home with guaranteed delicious food. The dishes are very casual like sandwiches, wraps, bagels, salads, small pastas and many others. For dessert and afternoon snack, you can get the traditional sweets like cupcakes and brownies but I would recommend trying the Swedish classics like cinnamon buns, mud cake, thin pancakes, chocolate ball and scones.

The café also has a collection of vegetarian deliciousness like muesli yogurts,

It has delicious coffee brews that vary every month.

Espresso house also has local affordable prices which makes a great place to be your to go café when in Sweden.

All of these places in this list are my favorites in town but Espresso house holds a special place in my foodie heart. Make sure to try my favorites:

Chai Latte from Espresso House
  • Chai Latte

  • The month’s special brew

  • Mocha Frappuccino with a shot of espresso

  • Salmon bagel

  • Organic Croissant with cheese and turkey

  • Cinnamon bun

  • Toscan muffin with toffee truffle and banana

  • Chocolate ball

  • Ginger shot

Known for: International brews, frappucinos and their traditional Swedish dishes.

Site: Espresso House Chain Café

Each E.H. has it’s own times and the common hours are:

Monday to Friday 9:30 AM – 11.00 PM

Saturday 10.00 AM – 6.00 PM

Sunday 11.00 AM – 6.00 PM

The concept of first come, first serve has been religiously kept by these lovely cafés so in some places it might require a longer waiting time than others. Make sure to go for a brunch with a free schedule so you don’t have to stress yourself and enjoy your meal. These places also serve brunch menu all day so I would recommend late lunches or afternoon tea.

When in Stockholm, I recommend ordering as much salmon as you can especially for brunch and lunch. The Swedish salmon is wild with an apricot-colour flesh that is much healthier than common salmon.


Restaurants

Kasai | Japanese Cuisine | Östermalm

Kasai is an incredible restaurant that serves traditional and modern Japanese dishes. They have the classic dishes like sushi, sashimi and makis but also warm dishes like tempura, wagyu and fillets in Japanese style.

It’s a great place for a delicious dinner and drinks at any day of the week, even if you have early work the next day, you can enjoy one of their many delicious mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails).

The staff and atmosphere is so lovely it will make you feel at home both at the restaurant and at their own night club, Ochaya. Which has an incredible eye-catching Harajuku style decoration with great rap and pop music.

During spring and summer, the courtyard is open for guests to dine amongst their beautiful red leaves garden and lovely flowers.

It is probably the most expensive suggestion in this list, but it is also the best Japanese restaurant in town.

Known for: Sushi and mocktails

Site: Kasai Restaurant

Opening hours: Tuesday – toThursday 11.30 – 3.00

17.00 – 12.00

Friday 11:30 – 3.00

17.00 – 2.00

Saturday 1.00 – 4.00

17.00 – 2.00

Lebanon Meza Lounge | Lebanese Cuisine | Östermalm

Lebanese food is already delicious, imagine a buffet with all the traditional meals is food heaven. This chic restaurant is decorated with Lebanese beauty, perfect to dine out with the family and friends. At night the restaurant becomes a la carte making it the perfect place for a date.

Known for: Hummus and Lamb dishes

Site: Lebanon Meza Lounge Restaurant

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11.00 – 00.00

Friday to Saturday 11.00 – 01.00

Brunch Saturday 12.00 – 16.00

Sunday 12.00 – 22.00

Supper | South American | Vasastan| Tegnérgatan 37

A beautiful restaurant with a great Latino vibe. The entrance corridor recreates the summery streets of South America. Inside the two dining rooms have their own style, one themed as a 1920s velvet diner and the other an inside-outside patio full of flowers and warm colours.

The food is also delicious and very difficult to choose due to their big variety of dishes. Luckily, the menu mainly consists of tapas so you can order several ones and share with loved ones. Here you can get meats, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Tuna Tartar

Known for: Tuna Tartar and Ceviche

Site: Supper Restaurant

Opening hours: Every day at 17.00 to late

Berns Asiatiska | Asian Cuisine |Östermalm

Berns Dining Room

An insanely beautiful restaurant inside the extravagant Berns hotel. This restaurant was the first (and most beautiful) Chinese restaurant in Sweden that opened in the 1940’s. The restaurant is located in a legendary ball room with burgundy velvet armchairs and chandeliers. Giving real 40s vibes.

Today the quality of the dishes remains the same but it has expanded to flavours from all over Asia.

The restaurant also offers an incredible Easter buffet for lunch and dinner.

Make sure to also try their divine cocktails and worldwide wine selection.

Known for: Sushi and Dumplings

Site: Berns Asiatiska Restaurant

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6.30 AM – 1.00 AM

Saturday to Sunday 7.30 AM – 1.00 AM

Yuc Mexican | Mexican Cuisine | Vasastan

Michelada Drinks

A delicious modern Mexican restaurant that turns into a trendy bar at night. The restaurant has all the delicious Mexican classics like tacos, taquitos, bocaditos and a variety of ceviche.

Make sure to save some space for their incredible desserts like chocolate fondue, dulce de leche ice cream cake and passion fruit suspiro. All delicious Mexican recipes.

This restaurant is also a great place to go for drinks. They offer classic and frozen margaritas but also their own cocktails like Michelada, a homemade salsa and tomato lime cocktail topped with a bottle of Corona beer! A must try drink. There’s also a delicious selection of mocktails for those who are alcohol free.

Known for: Sweet potato fries, ceviche and the Michelada cocktail

Site: Yuc Mexican Restaurant & Bar

Opening hours:

Sunday to Tuesday 5.00 PM – 11.00 PM

Wednesday to Thursday 5.00 AM – 12.00 AM

Friday to Saturday 5.00 AM – 1.00 AM

These amazing restaurants are always in high demand so make sure to book them at least one week before. If you are a large group of more than 4 people, I would also recommend making a reservation because Swedish restaurants aren’t usually prepared for a big group and have a special menu for the occasion.

Stockholm

One of my favourite places in Stockholm is Östermalm, which is not as popular as other places like Gamla Stan, but it is just as beautiful. An area full of medieval history and an interesting twist of colours. It’s the home to traditional Swedish indoor and outdoor food markets, Saluhall, beautiful buildings and canals. The streets are filled with houses with a traditional style, giving an insight into how Stockholmers live. It makes you instantly want to have fika, which is the Swedish word for afternoon tea when a cup of coffee and a bun are always welcome.

The Swedish bun is not like your typical bun. It has its own unique ingredients, the beloved cinnamon, and during Santa Lucia, the bullar becomes even more unique because it is made with saffron.

A trip to Östermalm is the best way to spend a relaxed afternoon.

Um dos meus lugares favoritos em Estocolmo é Östermalm, que não e tão famoso quanto Gamla Stan, mais é igualmente lindo. Uma área cheia de história medieval com um toque de cores. É casa do tradicional mercado sueco, Saluhall, prédios lindos e canais. As ruas são cheias de casas tradicionais, dando uma visão de como os holmienses vivem. Instantaneamente faz você querer ter fika, que é sueco para café da tarde, quando um copo de café preto e um bolinho de canela são sempre bem vindos.

O bolinho nāo é o como seu bolinho típico. É feito com ingredientes especiais, a amada canela, e durante Santa Lucia o bolinho é mais especial ainda porque e feito com açafrão.

Um passeio em Östermalm é a melhor maneira de passar uma tarde relaxante.

Uno de mis lugares favoritos en Estocolmo es Östermalm, que no es tan popular como otros lugares como Gamla Stan, pero es igualmente hermoso. Un área llena de historia medieval con un interesante giro de colores. Es la casa de los tradicionales mercados suecos y canales. Las calles tienes muchas casas de estilo tradicional, dando una idea de cómo viven los suecos. Hace que te viene un fuertísimo deseo de fika, que es la palabra sueca para el afternoon tea, cuando una taza de café y un bollo son siempre bienvenidos. El bollo sueco no es como su típico bollo. Tiene sus ingredientes únicos, la canela querida, y durante Santa Lucía el bullar se vuelve aún más único porque está hecho con azafrán.

Un viaje a Östermalm es la mejor manera de pasar una tarde relajada.