Now for something really different... a book! A friend, fellow blogger and Rival fan, Lola A Åkerström, has written a great book called "Lagom - The Swedish Secret of Living Well". I don't usually write about books in this blog, but I am currently reading (and enjoying) it and thought that this would be a good book for visitors to Stockholm (pre or post trip) who want to understand the Swedish way of living a little better.
lagom basically means "just the right amount" (as a concept it means so much more) and it has been bubbling in the collective international consciousness for several years now, recently becoming more on trend as the latest Swedish export to the world. We have exported cars, music, furniture, fashion... so why not a concept/word? Over the years I have seen lagom mentioned in articles about Stockholm or Sweden, often as being a word (along with fika) with no direct word-to-word English translation available. But lately there have even been articles completely devoted to the concept. So a book about lagom seems perfectly timed! Nigerian-born and American-educated, Lola has now called Stockholm her home for years along with her Swedish husband and children and this makes her perspective on lagom all the more interesting. She is an award winning photographer and travel writer and her work has appeared in The Guardian, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet, BBC, CNN, New York Times and much more. And for extra recommendations on what to see & do in Stockholm, keep your eyes on the website Slow Travel Stockholm where she is editor-in-chief. "Lagom - The Swedish Secret of Living Well" can be found now in book shops or to order online. Learn the secret!
August 21, 2017
August 18, 2017
|Midnattsloppet, Creative Commons erkännande|
|The Café Rival's outdoor terrace... a good place to watch the racers.|
|Or from the Bistro's Balcony!|
August 15, 2017
|Concert at Gustav Adolfs torg|
Photo by Emma Grann/ Studio Emma Svensson
|Festival area at Skeppsbron|
Photo by Stockholm Kulturfestival
|Artist group Jhanjhariya with Sunita Singh|
Photo by: Kristian Reuter
- Wednesday, Aug 16th- Do the Right Thing (in English with Swedish subtitles)
- Thursday, Aug 17th- My Neighbor Totoro (in Japanese with Swedish subtitles)
- Friday, Aug 18th- Dirty Dancing (in English with Swedish subtitles)
- Saturday, Aug 19th- Le Grand Bleu (in French with Swedish subtitles)
- Sunday, Aug 20th- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (in Spanish with Swedish subtitles).
Photo by: Lars Gullnäs
August 12, 2017
|Traditional crayfish party (kräftskiva)|
Photo by: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se
- Den Gyldene Freden
- Ulla Winbladh
- Fjäderholmarnas Krog
- Stockholm Fisk
August 9, 2017
- Skokloster Castle- If you feel like you haven't had your fill of palaces and castles after visiting the Royal Palace and Drottningholm Palace... take a trip out to visit Skokloster Castle, one of the best preserved baroque castles in the world and a monument to Sweden's Age of Power. Boat tours to the castle are available during the summer months, otherwise you can get there with public transportation.
- Skogskyrkogården (Woodland Cemetery)- Just a few subway stops south of central Stockholm you will find this beautiful cemetery designed by famed Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to it being "an outstanding example of the successful application of the 20th-century concept of architecture wholly integrated into its environment". Especially popular to visit on All Saints' Day when people light candles at the graves of loved ones.
Skogskyrkogården. Photo by:
(c) Susanne Hallmann, Kyrkogårdsförvaltningen Stockholms stad
- Historiska museet (Swedish Museum of History)- This is a museum that I feel is oddly overlooked by many visitors, even though it is centrally located and has free admission. The museum has several exhibitions on Sweden's history, but of special note is their permanent exhibition on the Vikings. Don't miss the Gold Room where Viking treasures are on display! Interested in Vikings? Click here for more options for getting to know Swedish Viking history while in Stockholm.
- Unusual sightseeing tours- The company Strömma has a wide range of great bus and boat sightseeing options that are very popular with visitors... but why not see Stockholm from a bicycle, vespa or kayak as well? Maybe take a food tour, rooftop tour or wildlife safari? Many of these offer you a more intimate view of the city than, say, a tour bus.
Roof top tour!
- The Great Synagogue- You will probably visit a church or two while here, like Storkyrkan, Riddarholms Church or even Uppsala Cathedral... but the Great Synagogue is worth a visit as well. During the summer months they have public guided tours of the synagogue and Holocaust memorial (days/times in link above). Private tours are available if booked in advance. You can also visit the memorial on your own on weekdays. Don't miss the monument to the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi occupied Hungary, located just a stone's throw from the synagogue.
- Haga Park- Stockholm is famously 1/3 parkland (and 1/3 water and 1/3 city). The most famous park is Djurgården where you will find many popular attractions. However, on the northern outskirts of the city you will find another fantastic park, also filled with attractions (and perhaps less tourists), called Hagaparken. Take a stroll around the lake Brunnsviken, visit the Butterfly House, Copper Tents, Echo temple and Chinese Pagoda. Popular park with locals. Earlier blog article.
The Copper Tents at Haga Park
- Sigtuna- Founded in 980, this is Sweden's oldest town and, before the founding of Stockholm (circa 1250), Sweden's most important town. "Where Sweden began" is their tagline. They have quite a few attractions to visit there including churches, castles, museums, runestones and their old town. It takes a little over an hour to get there by public transportation (train and bus), but during the summer you can take a boat tour to the town. Another similar option? Visit the town of Uppsala!
- Artipelag- This museum, located in the archipelago, is starting to become more well known but is still overlooked by many as it is outside of the city... but this is a great way to combine nature, art, the archipelago and a boat trip. Boat tours there in the summer months, otherwise the museum's own bus (weekends and holidays) or public transportation. Another similar option? Visit the porcelain factory at nearby Gustavsberg!
Photo by Anders Fredriksen
- Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum- Stockholm has some great art museums like Fotografiska, Moderna and Millesgården... but there are many less known ones that are definitely worth a visit. One of these is the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum. Besides interesting temporary exhibitions, you can also visit a replica of Sven-Harry's villa, on the roof of the museum, which houses his own private art collection. An added bonus is that the museum is located in Vasastan, a great neighborhood often overlooked by visitors.
- Hötorgshallen- The most famous indoor food market in Stockholm is Östermalms Saluhall, but there is another great food market called Hötorgshallen, located at Hötorget. While the Östermalms market is upscale and more Swedish, the Hötorgs market is more local and has food from the four corners of the world. Great options for lunch there as well! An added bonus is that there is a fruit and flower market in the square out front (Mondays through Saturdays).
Part of the rooftop sculpture garden at Sven-Harrys
August 5, 2017
|Trattorian on the waterfront promenade|
|Pasta with half a grilled lobster|
|Grilled tuna with artichokes and summer salad|
|...with comfy booths.|
|...with great views.|
August 2, 2017
|Waxholmsbolaget's pier at Strömkajen|
|Digital signs letting you know the boat, destinations and depature time|
|Waxholmsbolaget's information office where...|
|...you can get maps, brochures, schedules and advice.|
|Arriving in town from the archipelago|
|...for the archipelago...|
|...where you can hopefully find...|
|...your own bit of natural bliss.|
July 28, 2017
|Open air concert|
Photo: Jeppe Wikström/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
- July 28th & 29th- Putte i Parken, free music festival in Kungsträdgården. Family friendly.
- 28th to 30th- Medieval market and jousting tournament at Skokloster Castle. You can take a boat there with Strömma (day trip).
- 29th- Robbie Williams concert at Tele2 Arena.
- July 31st to August 6th- Stockholm Gay Pride, Scandinavia's biggest LGBT pride festival. Festival area is at Östermalms IP and the big pride parade is on Saturday, August 5th.
- August 3rd- Royal Philharmonic at Skansen. Incuded in entrance fee to the park.
- 4th to 6th- Stockholm Tango Marathon at EPIC Studios. Tango dancing to some great DJ's.
- 13th- DN outdoor concert at Gärdet (by the Maritime Museum) with the Royal Philharmonic. Free entrance. Lisa Ekdahl is this year's guest soloist.
- 15th to 20th- Stockholm Culture Festival (Kulturfestivalen), annual week long cultural festival in the downtown area with free admission. Music, literature, dance, art, cinema and more. This year's theme is India.
Photo: Tove Freij/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
- 15th to 19th- We Are Sthlm. Youth music festival in Kungsträdgården. Free entrance.
- 16th to 20th- Summer Outdoor Cinema. Put on by the Stockholm International Film Festival in Rålambhovs park. One movie screened each evening, free entrance. Pack a picnic basket! This year's theme is the1980's. Movies in original language with Swedish subtitles.
- 17h, 19th & 20th- Stockholm Music & Arts Festival on Skeppsholmen. Usually a much bigger festival, this year they are taking a pause and are instead doing three concerts on three evenings.
- 18th to 20th- Aurora Fine Arts Festival- Dramatic theatre and classic music at The Royal College of Music and Royal Dramatic Theatre.
- 18th to 20th- Block party Nytorgsfesten at Nytorget on Södermlam. Music, food and fastival.
- 19th- Midnight Race. One of the world's largest 10k races with 40,000 runners. In the evening on Södermalm with a very festive atmosphere (bands, masquerade, dj's, etc.).
- 22nd to 29th- Baltic Sea Festival. Classic music festival at Berwaldhallen.
- 23rd to 26th- Formex. The largest fair in the Nordic region for interior design. At Stockholmsmässan in Älvsjö.
- 24th to 26th- Sthlm/Suomi. Free festival in Kungsträdgården to celebrate 100 years since Finland became independent. Music, culture, fashion, food and more.
- 26th & 27th- Vattenfall World Triathlon Championships. Throughout the downtown area.
- 27th- Raoul Wallenberg's Day. A national day to celebrate civil courage and equal rights in honor of Swedish national hero Roul Wallenberg.Visit Roul's monument at Nybroplan.
- September 1st & 2nd- Popaganda. Pop music festival at Eriksdalsbadet.
- 2nd- Tjejmilen. World's largest 10k run for women.
- 7th to 10th- OrganSpace. Festival for organ music lovers, at several venues in the city.
- 9th- Stockholm Street Food. Festival for street food in Kungsträdgården. Swedish Championships for Food Trucks will be going on as well.
- 9th- Sthlm World Music Festival, showcasing popular music from around the world, in Gärdet park.
Something else positive that comes with August and September is the reopening of several cultural institutions after their summer breaks. Royal Opera House and Konserthuset both start their regular program on August 26th, Dansens Hus and Musikaliska start their regular programs on September 8th.
Photo: Yanan Li/mediabank.visitstockholm.com
July 25, 2017
|The Royal Opera with Strömterrassen on the right.|
|View of the Parliament building from the terrace|
|Smoked shrimp, padrones ands aioli.|
|A large Toast Skagen|
|The Royal Palace, Cathedral and Strömmen|
Click here for other restaurant reviews.
|A small Toast Skagen and Fish 'n Chips.|
|The bar with awnings providing some shade.|
July 20, 2017
|Some of the vegetarian dishes at Spritmuseum|
|Zucchini, peas and mint at restaurant Gro.|
Higher end restaurants (as opposed to casual, see below)- keep in mind that many finer restaurants close for a few weeks during the summer.
- Rutabaga- recently Chef Mathias Dahlgren closed his Michelin two star restaurant Matsalen and opened instead a vegetarian restaurant in the same locale. Closed for a few weeks this summer, reopening on August 8th.
- Spritmuseum- the Museum of Spirits has a great restaurant run by Chef Petter Nilsson. Here you have a choice of two set multiple course menus (7-8 courses), one of which is completely vegetarian. Reopens mid August after a short summer break. My visit a couple of years ago.
- Gro- great hole-in-the-wall restaurant with high-end flavors and techniques. They offer 2 four course menus, one "omnivor" and the other "vegivor". Reopening on August 2nd after their summer break. My visit last year.
- Fotografiska- located in the museum of photography. Named best restaurant in Stockholm in the mid price range category in 2015. Here the menu is basically vegetarian but you can order meat and fish as "complements" to your meal if you wish. During the summer they close the indoor restaurant and open a more casual barbecue restaurant (click on "se menyn" for the English menu) on their outdoor veranda. However, it has the same food philosophy as the indoor restaurant! My visit a couple of years ago.
More casual restaurants
- Herman's- probably Stockholm's most famous vegetarian restaurant. Casual restaurant which serves a vegetarian buffet. Besides the food, many come here for the great views of the city.
- Växthuset- the name literally means "greenhouse" as in where you grow plants. Especially popular with vegans. They serve many sharing dishes family style.
- Rosendals Trädgård- café in the gardens on Djurgården. Lunch. Many of the dishes are vegetarian, biodynamic and use ingredients grown in the gardens. My recent visit.
- Chutney- vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the trendy SoFo neighborhood.
- Doctor Salad- breakfast, salads and smoothies. Prioritizes raw and vegan ingredients and excludes processed sugar, gluten and lactose. Reopens on August 1st after the summer holiday.
- Sally Voltaire & Systrar- casual restaurant in the Åhlens department store with many salads and vegetarian dishes.
|The views from Hermans vegetarian restaurant.|
And as many vegetarians know... Asian/Indian restaurants often have several vegetarian dishes on their menus (more than restaurants serving European/American cuisine). If you are staying at the Rival Hotel and want more information about these or the restaurants listed above, contact me directly.
|The biodynamic gardens at Rosendals Trädgård|