Stockholm City Breaks | Book Weekend Breaks to Stockholm - Holiday Supermarket


Stockholm City Breaks

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Stockholm - so much more than Millennium!

The Land of the Vikings is so much more than the trilogy Millennium series - although the rise in tourists doing a hotspots of Lisbeth and Blomkvist's favourite cafes would suggest not! Stockholm is Sweden's largest city and its capital. It's the most densely populated part of Sweden and is home to some 1.8 million people.

It was founded somewhere around 1250 and is set on 4 islands around the mouth of the Lake Malaren and this focus on the water is the real key to Stockholm's delights. The harbour area and in particular the suburb of Gamla Stan is home to myriad cafes, restaurants and nightclubs - just perfect for weekend breaks.

It's a beautiful city known for its architecture and is punctuated by parks, trees and open areas. The Venice of the North is a delightful city to just walk around and its compact nature lets you do just that.

When  it comes to short breaks in Europe, Stockholm has plenty to see and do; including visits to the Royal Palace, the Riksgad (Parliament) and the Stadshuset (City Hall) where the Nobel prizes are handed out each year. Should you not have received this year's invitation, you can always dine on last year's menu in the Cellar restaurant below...

Eating out in Stockholm- cheap, expensive and everything in between

One thing to remember about Stockholm is that it boasts some of the cleanest air and water in Europe, so the fish and fresh foods here really do taste different. Food is excellent, if a little expensive, and the upmarket restaurants rank with the finest in the world. Service is also excellent and you'll not want for much if you're here on a European city break. The big thing you will notice is the price of wine. Alcohol is expensive in Sweden.

The budget options - Birkastans Restaurang & Pizzeria has the best pizzas in town, if not the largest. It’s a small unpretentious restaurant where you'll be made to feel welcome, and, best of all, there's around 80 different choices.  For super cheap you can't past a Jerusalem kebab or street hotdog (much higher quality than most big city street vendors). Stockholm (and Sweden) has a coffee culture and cafes are everywhere. Stop a while for what the Swedes call fika... coffee, with something sweet on the side, and a chat.

Mid-price options - the Grand Hotel smorgasbord is worth a shot. Look out for Vapiano. There actually are two of them, one on Sturegatan and one in Gamla Stan (Old Town). The idea is to get a card from the front desk and then wander the kiosks ordering what you like from individual stall holders. Your bill is totted up at the end. There are salads, pizza, pasta and more. If you're after Swedish meatballs your restaurant is called Pelikan. It's on Södermalm/South Island (Blekingegatan 40) and is famous for its classic Swedish food at a reasonable price.

Splurge - go all out with a Michelin starred restaurant. Mathias Dahlgren, Esperanto, F12 and Lux are all good. For a splash out in Gamla Stan try Frantzén/Lindeberg. It's at the cutting edge of Nordic dining - what can you say about escargots and caviar d’escargot, surrounded on the plate by a music box, circus of aromas, cat grass, violets, pollen and rapeseed?

What to wear, when to go

Despite its northern location, Stockholm has relatively mild weather compared to other locations at similar latitude, or even farther south. During summer the daylights can last up to 18 hours and the temps average out at 22C. Winter is cold at an average of just below zero and you'll see the sun for around 6 hours. Spring and autumn are still cool with average temps just below 10C.

Stockholm - fresh air and history

Stockholm is an immensely likeable city. The old town (Gamla Stan) is as picturesque as it gets and an afternoon wandering around here is glorious.

Drottningholm Palace - the Royal Palace was constructed in the seventeenth century, and is the permanent residence of the royal family and one of Stockholm's three World Heritage Sites.

Get out on the water - Stockholm has close to 30,000 islands in its archipelago. Go on an organised tour to see some of them. Under the Bridges of Stockholm, Royal Canal Tour, Historical Canal Tour, and the early Good Morning Stockholm Tour concentrate on central Stockholm and take from 50 minutes to 2½ hours. If you want to see as much as possible in as little time as possible look out for Archipelago Race and do it in a jet boat!

City Hall  - where they hand out the Nobel Prizes is a striking building. There's a 10,000 pipe organ, and the overwhelming Golden Hall where scenes from Swedish history adorn the walls done in 18,000,000 mosaic gold leaf pieces.

Stockholm Zoo and Skansen Open-Air Museum - if you're taking kids with you, here's the answer. The Skansen is a kind of walk-around-and-see-it-as-it-was place. You can also see animals native to Scandinavia such as moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, wolverines and seals.

Gamla Stan - is the waterfront area and the bars and restaurants are charming. The Vikings set off from here and you can roam the mediaeval alleyways and explore the small shops, town squares and ancient churches.

The must see - the Royal Palace is the official residence of the King of Sweden and boasts no less than 600 rooms. The Palace is open to the public and you can explore to your heart's content, including five museums. The Palace was largely built during the eighteenth century in an ornate Italian style. There's a daily changing of the guard you should make the effort to see.


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