Rediscovering Stockholm – Part I

Hotorget market fruit and vege stall.

A couple of weekends ago I had the good luck to have an old friend of mine, originally from NZ but now living in London, make the short trip over to visit me. I was thrilled. It’s a long way (and expensive) to fly from NZ to Sweden, so I understand that not too many of my family or friends have (yet) made the trip, so when someone who I have known for so long, and who I knew at home, comes to pay a visit, I get pretty excited.

A few weeks in advance of aforementioned friend’s visit, I sat there thinking “What can I take her to see? What can we do?” I wanted her to have a good trip, not too full on and busy, get to see some of the city here, and also somehow get a taste for my life living here. Here was the list I came up with:

  • Skansen
  • Grill (a.k.a. BBQ)
  • Gamla Stan and the cathedral, beautiful buildings, government buildings and palace
  • Djurgården for a walk, maybe nice food
  • Gröna Lund amusement park, complete with rides and stalls
  • Hagaparken, complete with copper tents
  • Södermalm, where trendy boutiques meet 2nd hand stores (if you can’t read the link give google translate a whirl, it’s not perfect but it does a fair job)
  • Main city centre and shopping (i.e., Drottninggatan)
  • Expensive city area and shopping (i.e., all those places I cannot afford to shop)
  • Boat ride to Grinda, a little island out in the Stockholm archipelago (click on the English button in the top right hand corner)
  • Kungsholmen, an island right in the city that you don’t even realise is an island with pretty restaurants on the water front (oh bollocks this one is in Swedish too, like I said, google translate, there, I even added the link)
  • Vasa museum, home of a poorly designed ship that sank on her virgin voyage – that had to hurt!
  • Cosmonova for a 3D movie, located at the Natural History Museum, another not to miss museum (for a rainy day), and also coincidentally where I work 🙂
  • Kayak in the beautiful waters around the city
  • Hotorget market (in English known as Hay Market, something I did not know until writing this!), I guess  one would do this in passing through Drottninggatan
  • Fjarilshuset (butterfly house)
  • Musuems if the weather was not so kind (there are so many here!).

Needless to say, a three day visit was not enough to see even half of these things properly, so I sent this list to my friend for her input – maybe there was something she particularly did or didn’t want to do. The only one I could rule off the list after that email exchange was kayaking. So, with true decision making skills put to the test (well, I am an Aries and leaders of the zodiac never shy from making decisions and taking the lead), I narrowed down the list to what I thought could be almost do-able in a three day visit.

The three day itinerary initially read something like this:


  • Gamla Stan
  • Drottninggatan shopping
  • Other places shopping (window shopping?)
  • Evening grill


  • Skansen
  • Djurgården walk
  • Södermalm
  • Dinner at a restuarant in Kungsholmen


  • Boat ride to Grinda and spend the day there.

If you had friends coming to visit Stockholm, what would you recommend? What essentials did I leave off that list?


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