Stockholm

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Alright so I’m severely lagging behind on posts, but finally got some time so let’s get started. In February, RyanAir was having a crazy promotion for flights to Stockholm (like S$30 return). Honestly I didn’t know much about Stockholm or even Sweden (other than IKEA) so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. But tickets were cheap (and well I’m guju) so I decided it was time to get the traveling started. Fast forward 2 weeks later with tickets purchased, hostel booked, bags packed (with plenty of masala chai and nashta)…we were ready for Sweden!

Stockholm –  where history meets contemporary. Explore a street and you’ll find a H&M (which I just found out is Swedish!) and slightly further down you’ll spot a building from the 1900s. I love how this Scandinavian capital lets you enjoy the perks of our 21st century yet at the same time cherish historical treasures.

Instead of boring you with a detailed breakdown of my trip (on day 1 we visited blah blah…zzz), I’ll summarise the places we visited and include my favourites in case you’re looking for tips when visiting Stockholm.

Gamla Stan

I am officially in love with European old towns. Just like Den Gamle By in Aarhus (see previous post), Gamla Stan is the medieval city centre of Stockholm. Multicoloured buildings, narrow winding streets, cobblestone pathways, quaint cafes…I could spend the whole day exploring Gamla Stan.

Drottningham Palace 

While not a must-visit on everyone’s list, this UNESCO World Heritage Site sure is a pretty sight. Part of the palace is open to visitors but majority of it is cordoned off as it is the permanent residence of Sweden’s King and Queen. The palace grounds go on for miles and the gardens are definitely worth the visit. You can’t help but feeling slightly royal when touring the palace grounds (not chooswani rani type of royal though…).

Chokladkoppen

“The hot chocolate here will change your life.” Someone told us this, so how could we leave without checking it out? This hidden gem is tucked away in one of Gamla Stan’s many streets. Warm lighting, wooden furniture, whimsical pasteries. Crowded yet cozy, the comfortable ambience at Chokladkoppen made it a place you didn’t want to leave. Life-changing would be a bit of an exaggeration but boy was their hot chocolate good! Lying under a layer of creamy froth was the rich and decadent hot cocoa.

This sums up our trip to Stockholm. It was basically a lot of walking, picture-taking, eating and drinking (literally stopped for a hot chocolate break every 2 hours). No regrets because after all, that’s what a holiday is supposed to be like! In the 3 days we were there, the weather was rather gloomy and gray (perhaps that’s why flight tickets were so cheap?) Nonetheless rain or shine, Stockholm is gorgeous and I would go back for its spectacular skyline any day.

Tips

  • Transport – Public transport prices in Stockholm are rather steep (~$7 for a one way tube ride), so you should try to find accommodation in the city centre. There are several hostels (e.g Interhostel, City Backpackers Hostel) located in the heart of the city, placing many attractions within walking distance.
  • Food – Meals in Stockholm can get costly as well (basically Stockholm is expensive okay). Pretty generic advise, but have a heavy breakfast so you can skip lunch and splurge on dinner. Oh and always carry snacks! (Mum trained me well)
  • Alcohol (admit it, you were waiting for this) – Booze is heavily regulated by the government in Sweden. Unless you’re willing to fork up big bucks at a bar or club, I would recommend pre-drinking by buying your own alcohol from the government-run Systembolaget retail stores (yes, you can buy booze only from these stores).

P.S. I recently found out that apparently it’s a known fact that Stockholm has the sexiest men in the world? Not gonna lie; those tall, blonde, blue-eyed Swedish guys sure are ridiculously good looking.

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