We asked members of the Traveleads team to tell us about some of the destinations they have recently visited. This week Angela Gaunt (Business Travel Consultant) shares her trip to Stockholm with us:
Without doubt one of the most beautiful and idyllic cities in the world the capital city of Stockholm is firmly established as one of the great city break destinations. In addition to the picturesque surroundings of this city by the water, Stockholm also has a famously vibrant nightclub and restaurant scene; as well as being home to cutting edge fashion designers and an enviable calendar of music and cultural festivals.
We flew from London Luton Airport with Monarch Airlines, with flights operating on a Monday and a Friday they are perfect for a long weekend or mid-week break. Monarch also flies to Stockholm from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. We got the Flygbussarna Airport Coach to the hotel which took about 40 minutes although it actually stopped about 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel. It was really easy to book and print the eticket online which you scan on-board the bus and, was really great value for money compared to the other options of a taxi, private transfer or the express train.
We stayed for four days at the Courtyard by Marriott Stockholm Kungsholmen Hotel, which is a little way out of the main area but a very pretty 25 minute walk through Ralambshovs Park, with great photography opportunities by the beautiful Lake Malaren. The hotel was modern and stylish with spacious bedrooms, top-quality amenities and great design aesthetic throughout. A 24-hour fitness center and the hotel's signature BJORK Bar & Grill would be great for a longer stay and they also offer convenient bike rentals, which make it easy to explore the city.
We bought the Stockholm City Pass which was definitely worth the money. We had the hop-on hop-off bus and boat plus entry to over 60 top attractions including Scandinavia’s most visited museum; the Vasa Museum which features the world’s only preserved 17th century ship, and the magnificent Royal Palace. The boat allows the option to disembark at eight stops but we stayed aboard to experience the beauty of Stockholm from a totally different perspective among the archipelago and islands. A light coat is recommended on an evening especially on-board the boat as it can be a little chilly.
Stockholm’s über trendy district Södermalm, known as ‘Söder’ or ‘The South Side’, is the epitome of hip, with the area once voted 'the "coolest" neighbourhood in Europe' in Vogue magazine. SoFo's centre is packed with interesting, cool and creative shops specializing in clothing, design, jewellery, knickknacks, vintage, housewares, music and much more. Several fashion brands have their own stores in this district and there are scores of restaurants and cafés with a relaxed, trendy vibe. In the warm months, Nytorget Square is the bustling social centre and place to be seen.
Skanstull is one of the biggest neighbourhoods in Stockholm and features a plethora of high street shops and more unique, vintage offerings in the Sivletto area. In the centre of Ringen take a worthwhile visit to Teatern to sample some culinary delights, Hötorgshallen is also great if you are on a gastronomical journey. Moving away north along Götgatan you’ll find Himlen which offers an intimate fine dining restaurant on the 25th floor, but we opted for the more laid back style of the lounge and cocktail bar on the 26th floor which serves sensational cocktails and a spectacular 360 degree view perfect to view the city when lit up on an evening.
Mariatorget is the square that gives this charming neighbourhood its name, and is not only a great place to stay, but also a great place to eat, drink, and enjoy live entertainment, with decade’s old pubs such as Halfway Inn happily contrasting happily with super-modern venues such as the trendy Hotel Rival. If you head north from Mariatorget and cross Hornsgatan every street that goes up will take you to the top of the cliffs of Södermalm, with outstanding views of the city and a chance to explore one of the oldest and wealthiest quarters of the city.
Slussen is one of Stockholm’s major transportation hubs, and also one of the most eclectic areas of the city. For culture, head to Fotografiska, Sweden’s world-renowned photography museum. Exhibitions change regularly and there is normally at least three on at any given time. While there, take time to enjoy a bite to eat at the café whilst enjoying panoramic views of the city. Or check out the Hilton Slussen which hosts many interesting events geared towards the international community including the monthly Stockholm Tech event.
I loved Stockholm and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for their next city break. In comparison with other capitals it’s quiet, but still busy and so pretty to walk around with a lack of high rise office buildings that are so common to most major cities. I would recommend taking a credit card or a card pre-loaded with money as they are becoming a cashless country. If you plan to use the metro it is very easy to use but also quite expensive and the city is so fresh and charming it is much more pleasant to take a stroll or bike ride when exploring. And, my most important tip of all – make sure you try the Kanelbullar, I can highly recommend these Swedish cinnamon buns.