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The Native | Felicia Wijkander shows us around Stockholm

Travelling is always risky business – get stuck in a touristy area and your meals are terrible as is the rest of your stay. Felicia Wijkander shows us around Stockholm.

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
3 November 2017, 8:35am
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Travelling is always risky business – get stuck in a touristy area and your meals are terrible. The same can be said of sightseeing, hotels and nightspots. Travelling to a place where you know people to recommend the right places makes your stay all the more enjoyable.

Felicia Wijkander
Felicia Wijkander
Felicia Wijkander, 27, was born in Falun, and lived in Stockholm for five years. If you’re visiting Stockholm, these are the places she recommends to hang out like a native.

Best spot for sightseeing

The Ocean Bus
The Ocean Bus
Stockholm has plenty of high ground where you can get an amazing view of the city. Going for a walk along Katarinavägen on Södermalm, taking a drink at the secluded Sailor Bar at Scandic Sjöfartshotell, or listening to live music at Mosebacke Torg will all get you high above the city. Which can also serve as a good way to spot where you want to go next!

For the daredevils, Ikaros at the amusement park Gröna Lund takes you 95 meters up in the air, turns you 90 degrees, and drops you free-fall style straight to the ground. Definitely scary, but one hell of a view!

Looking for a calmer way to sight-see your way around the city, the “Ocean-bus” is the way to go. The hybrid boat-bus tours around central Stockholm and gracefully enters the water to take you on a unique journey over the capital waters.

Best place to eat

Reggev Hummus serves authentic Israeli food
Reggev Hummus serves authentic Israeli food
Stockholm is a multi-cultural Mecca when it comes to food, where my favourites are located on the island Södermalm, also called the “hipster”-area of Stockholm. Through a small door at Ringvägen 145 awaits true Israeli Hummus at Reggev Hummus, where you sometimes can experience live music, or play a round of backgammon with one of the regulars while you enjoy smooth hummus and maybe some spiced Israeli coffee.

If you love vegetarian or vegan food, Hermans serve a large variety of dishes in a buffet every day, and if the weather allows it, they turn on the grill for a huge vegan and vegetarian BBQ. For hipster fine-dining however, head to Nytorget and Urban Deli, where the menu is created for the season. Make sure to make reservations.

Best place for a night out

Drink a cup of mead at jätte Tunnan in The Old City
Drink a cup of mead at jätte Tunnan in The Old City
While Södermalm is crammed with small bars and beer houses for a more quiet approach to the night, Stureplan is where you will find the heart of nightlife in Stockholm. Enjoy the magnificent interior of Berns Salonger or do an all-nighter at East, why not grab your dance shoes and indulge in the music from some of the worlds biggest DJ's who normally play their sets at Solidaritet or Ambassadeur.

Note that Stureplan is considered high-end. Flip flop and shorts won't cut it at the indoor bars or restaurants, no matter the season.

If you would rather embrace the Viking history of Stockholm, head to Sjätte Tunnan in The Old City, where a whole array of cocktails and beer as well as actual mead, an alcoholic drink made from fermented honey and water awaits you.

Best place to stay

The Icebar by ICEHOTELS
The Icebar by ICEHOTELS
Hotel Nordic Light brings Scandinavian architecture, luxurious hotel rooms and the heart of Stockholm City to you and is a perfect choice for a weekend in the city. Make sure to book your experience in the Nordic C's very own Icebar by ICEHOTELS Stockholm while you are there! (Unless you are visiting during winter, as you might already have enough snow and cold outside.)

Should you wish to get closer to the natives of the capital, Airbnb or Couch Surfing is a perfect option, where you can find quirky and unique apartments all over the city. Many are well-experienced hosts and are often open, friendly, and would not hesitate to show you their own gems of the town during your visit. Use common sense when booking with private owners to avoid dissapointment.

Best areas to wind down and enjoy nature

Royal Djurgården
Royal Djurgården
Stockholm is huge, almost the same size as the island of Malta, and with a population of two million people, it can sometimes feel good to get away for some peace and quiet.

For a nice walk, head to the natives favourite park, Royal Djurgården. Take the bus or tram to the island and enjoy a walk around the large park, which is exercised by the Royal Court of Sweden. It's not unusual to spot members of the royal family tending to their horses or just taking a stroll in this park. Many museums are also located nearby should you feel the need for a wind-down after a tough day of sight seeing, this park is the place to be.

In the mood for a swim? The small island Långholmen, connected to Södermalm from Hornstull, offers quiet nature, beautiful views of the city and small beaches and bathing spots along the way. If you are visiting Stockholm in the colder seasons, check out the outside Sauna in Hornstull to heat you up before your swim!

Best adventure activity

The Rooftop tours offer a unique view of Stockholm
The Rooftop tours offer a unique view of Stockholm
One of the best ways to get to know Stockholm and it's many nooks and hidden gems is by getting online. Technology is everywhere in Sweden, and Stockholm is no different. Geocaching is a fun and great way to not only let the whole city become an urban treasure-hunt, but something that will surely take you to places you've never would've seen otherwise!

If you fancy high speed and want to see more of the archipelago of Stockholm County, a RIB-boat ride allows you to see the most of the vast small islands, while feeling like James Bond. If you want to feel like a secret agent but don't fancy water, take a guided Rooftop walk instead.

For a whole day of adventure, head to Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s amusement park, where you find roller-coasters, arcade games, haunted houses, and pentathlon competitions to challenge your friends.

How to get there

There are many direct flights from Malta to Stockholm, either going to Arlanda or Skavsta (Ryanair). Get to Stockholm by air-transfer from Arlanda, or by Flygbussarna from Skavsta.

Currency

Sweden uses the Krona (SEK) as currency and you can easily exchange major currencies to Krona before or after your arrival. Note that Stockholm is moving toward being a cash-free city, many places might not take cash. Make sure to have a credit card handy!

Best time of year to visit

From the beginning of June to end of August is the best time to visit Stockholm to experience the lush green nature and pleasant temperatures. End of the year can be cosy with Christmas markets and snow, but if you're unlucky the snow might not have arrived yet, as the most heavy snowfalls happen between January and February.

Visas

Sweden is part of the Schengen Agreement and the same rules apply as for all countries part of Schengen.

 

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar graduated in economics from the University of Malta...
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