Where to shop in Stockholm, Sweden

Store window in Stockholm Sweden

Swedish Design

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Where to shop in Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish design is impeccable and recognized for being innovative, well thought out, and environmentally conscious. Walking around Stockholm you will see wonderful window displays, carefully laid out products, and well planned stores (see the photo above for one example!). I recommend stopping into a variety of stores and just having a look at how everything is set up, even if you don’t buy anything.

These are just a few from an endless list of amazing stores in Stockholm, Sweden! I plan to go back and do more research on this front (one day)!

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1- Designtorget – A fun store with contemporary yet functional items from notebooks, cups, placemats, and more all designed by well-known and up-coming designers. Click here for the Designtorget store website. There are six Designtorget stores within Stockholm, one located right in the Old Town.

2- DesignHouse – A store full of contemporary classics with a twist. DesignHouse Stockholm has clothing, porcelain, and more. There is a Design House store located on Norrmalmstorg square. Click here to see the DesignHouse Stockholm website

3 – Svenskt Tenn – This store is full of houseware, fabrics, and furniture and elegantly displayed. The store was founded in 1924 with a focus on pewter but widened its product range in the 1930’s. The store has a partnership with Josef Frank, a Viennese architect and designer.

**One of the most recognized products is the elephant pattern fabric which is not only adorable but a vintage design from the 1930’s, and which you can buy by the meter or in the store as it has been used to make a variety of products from aprons to bags and even trays. To see the famous “elefant” pattern at the Swedish store click here.

For the official Svenskt Tenn store website click here.

4- H&M – Of course stopping into an H&M store is a must.

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For a useful list of stores to see and visit in Stockholm click here for the official tourism website list. 

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** To see more photos of Stockholm click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!

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The iconic Swedish horse – The Dalecarlian Horse – Dala Horse

Swedish horse

The iconic Swedish horse – The Dalecarlian Horse – Dala Horse

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Travel around Sweden and you will see replicas of a small wooden horse lining shelves in stores and ready to become your souvenir.

The official name of the little stallion is “The Dalecarlian Horse” or “Dala horse.” The horses where originally carved as toys for children and based on the trusted and reliable farmstead animal. The toy horse grew to become the symbol of Sweden.

The earliest reference of a sale of the Dala horse is 1624!

The horses are painted today with traditional patterns and still made by hand from pine.

The smallest wooden horse can be found in most stores in Stockholm and sells for about forty US dollars. – You can see the horse pictured on the flags in the photo above.

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Carl Larsson – Swedish painter and interior designer

Carl Larsson mural at the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

Carl Larsson – Swedish painter and interior designer

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About Carl Larsson:

–       Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter and interior designer in the late 19th century, early 20th century.

–       Larsson was admitted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts at the age of 13 and by age of 16 he gained recognition for his drawing talents. Larsson worked for a few newspapers as a caricaturist and as an illustrator for books and magazines. Larsson moved to Paris in 1877 where he met his future wife, Karin (also an artist) at a Scandinavian artist colony just outside Paris.

–       Carl Larsson and his wife had eight children.

–       Larsson’s family became his inspiration – he painted many family scenes from the kids playing dress-up to family picnics.

–       In 1909 a German publisher created a book of Larsson’s drawings, which became one of the publishers bestsellers and helped to increase interest in Larsson’s work.

–       Carl Larsson also created many murals for public buildings and schools.

–       Midvinterblot – one of the murals in the main hall of the central staircase in the Nationalmuseum was completed in 1915 and is actually a very controversial painting. The painting is based on a Norse mythology of the Swedish king Domalde who sacrificed himself in order to prevent a famine. Larsson considered the work to be one of his best. Critics thought the painting might have political undertones or lacked historical authenticity and therefore it wasn’t until 1997 that the painting was finally accepted and installed in the museum! (The photo above is of one of the murals in the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden where you can see some of his paintings as well).

–       You can visit Carl Larsson’se house in Sundborn, which is now a museum. The town is quite a distance from Stockholm however, and not a feasible day trip from the city (as I found out). So my next trip to Stockholm will surely include a visit to his house! For the link to the Carl Larsson house museum in Sundborn click here.

–       Carl Larsson’s work is very detailed and rich in color and it shows Swedish traditions from the clothes to the design and customs (such as Christmas celebrations with the girls wearing the wreaths with candles on their heads). Larsson painted a lot of scenes of his family in their home, so you see traditional Swedish painting and architecture (many of the rooms were designed by Larsson himself).

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What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part TWO

Folk Art Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part TWO

These are museums you shouldn’t miss while in Stockholm. The key is to pay attention to opening hours. I was surprised to find that even though summer days are longer in Stockholm (light until about 10 or 10:30pm) that museum hours were still short, typically 10 or 11am to 5pm. I did find it a bit difficult to get to everything in a few days, but if you have 3 days, make sure you get to see these museums:

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1 – Skansen – This is an open-air museum with examples of houses and farmsteads from all over Sweden, similar concept to Williamsburg in the U.S. This is a great child friendly activity as the park has a zoo, is out doors so kids can run all over the place, and offers a lot of entertainment.

Tips for visiting Skansen:

–       The park is full of different houses that you can visit and enter to view traditional home and décor or see craftsmen at work in the glass studio, bakery (stop there for excellent taste samplings of Swedish breads), pottery, furniture making and more. To see the houses you have to get to the houses before 5pm.

–       The park itself does not close until 8pm (the main entrance is still open until 8pm, other entrances close at 4pm).

–       After 5pm when the houses close go visit the zoo and eat at one of the restaurants.

–       Check the list of activities and performances – I recommend seeing the folk dancers who wear beautiful traditional costumes.

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2 – Nationalmuseum – The National Museum hold Sweden’s largest collection of art. The museum has a collection of work by Carl Larsson and the main entrance hall is decorated with murals by the artist, as well as the upper floor murals by the staircase. (Read more about Carl Larsson in another blog post coming soon!). The museum also has an excellent museum store.

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3 – Nordiska Museum – If you are interested in traditional crafts, furniture, and costumes, this is a must see museum. Allow for a couple of hours to visit the museum which has a great collection and I highly recommend the museum café as well! Pop into the museum shop for a souvenir – great books on fashion and a nice collection of children’s toys and books.

* TipRecommended day itinerary for Stockholm –  The Nordiska museum is close to Skansen and the Vasa Museum. In order to economize your time I recommend going to the Vasa Museum just when it opens, then going to the Nordiska Museum (including lunch in the museum cafe) and then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at Skansen. This is a feasible itinerary for a day in Stockholm but you do have to watch the clock to make sure you get it all in.

Read about the Vasa Museum in “Stockholm – Museums Part One”

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4 – City Hall of Stockholm – This building is supposed to be spectacular, and I say supposed to be because I unfortunately did not make it to City Hall on my visit. The City Hall has a red tower that has lent to it becoming a distinctive landmark, built in the early1900’s. You can only visit the City Hall with a guided tour.

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** To see more photos of Stockholm and the outdoor park of Skansen, click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part One

Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden

What to see and do in Stockholm – Museums Part One

These are museums you shouldn’t miss while in Stockholm. The key is to pay attention to opening hours. I was surprised to find that even though summer days are longer in Stockholm (light until about 10 or 10:30pm) that museum hours were still short, typically 10 or 11am to 5pm. I did find it a bit difficult to get to everything in a few days, but if you have 3 days, make sure you get to the Vasa Museum!

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Vasa Museum – It’s not “just a boat.” This museum attracts thousands of visitors and is truly a must see. The museum displays the Vasa, a 17th century ship that sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage and to see the sheer size of the boat is astounding.

* Make sure to watch the video about the excavation of the boat.

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A few key highlights about the Vasa:

– The boat was submerged for over 300 years.

– Only 5% of what you see is not the original boat!

– Heavy cables where drawn under the boat and used to move it into shallow waters – done in 1957 when divers wore those enormous and cumbersome suits.

– The ship was lifted out of the water in 1961, 333 years after sinking!

– Conservation teams began working on the ship and it’s contents in 1962 and took 17 years to completely uncover items and carefully preserve the boat!

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*Arrive early to the museum, right when it opens. The museum is one of the main tourist attractions and tour buses galore drop off groups, seemingly all at once.

— Hours are 10 to 5 Monday-Sunday  (Open until 8 on Wednesdays).

— For updates and more information, click here and visit the official Vasa Museum website.

Stockholm, Sweden – Old Town

Stockholm, Sweden's Old Town

 

Old Town of Stockholm – what to see and do

 

1 – Old Town/Gamla Stan – This is the historical old town of Stockholm. You have to visit two churches in the Old Town and the royal palace (details below); otherwise you have to wander around and just admire the buildings. The Old Town has a few main squares with charming buildings and fountains. Seeing the old town in the late evening is best, after museums close. There are a lot of great restaurants in the Old Town as well.

 

2– Royal Palace – There are five museums/sections that you can visit of the Royal Palace. If you are interested in Baroque architecture you can visit the main palace rooms, including the Hall of State where you can see the small silver throne of Queen Kristina. You can also visit the treasury, Museum of Antiquities, Tre-Kronor Museum, and Armory. Plus you can see the changing of the guards.

 

* Tip – If your visit to Stockholm is more then a couple of days you can take an entire day to just see the palace. Personally, I only had time to make a quick run through the palace rooms and visit the chapel (walking at a quick pace and reading signs here and there, took about an hour). The palace is a good activity to do when it is raining.

 

3 – Stockholm Cathedral – The Cathedral was built in 1279 and has an interesting interior with painted archways, exposed brick, and beautiful stained glass windows. One main point of interest is the sculpture of St George slaying the Dragon located at the front of the church. The sculpture of Saint George is carved out of oak and elk antlers make the dragon look quiet spectacular (the sculpture was completed in the mid 15th century).

 

4 – The Riddarholmen Church – This church has beautiful stained glass windows with some traditional Swedish scenes. The church was built in the late 1200’s and it holds the tombs of the Swedish monarchs and aristocracy.

 

** To see more photos of Stockholm click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!

Useful information for visiting Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

Useful information for visiting Stockholm, Sweden

I have listed below some useful information that you should know BEFORE getting to Stockholm and even before planning your trip – especially the airport information section.

** And to see more photos of Stockholm click here for Monica Goslin Photography for my stock photography website where you can buy prints, canvas photos, and more!

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 Getting to Stockholm by plane

–          Stockholm has four airports! BUT, all these airports are a ways away from the city and require rail or bus to reach. So make sure to check which airport you are arriving at to see how long it takes to get from the airport into the city and equate this into your travel time – quick facts below:

  • Arlanda Airport – 20 minutes by Arlanda Express Train or Regular Train (half the price) to the Central Station in Stockholm (trains depart every 15 minutes). You can also take the bus which goes to the Central Station but takes about 40 minutes.
  • Bromma Airport – smaller local airport in the city for domestic flights. Reach by bus or taxi.
  • Skavsta Airport – Used by Ryanair and Wizzair and located outside the city. Take a bus to the City Terminal/Central Station, the ride is about an hour and a half.
  • Vasteras Airport – Also serves Ryanair (from Stansted) and is also outside the city and reached by bus (ride is about an hour and a half).
  • All bus tickets can be bought within the airports.

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The Stockholm Card

–          You can purchase a Stockholm Card at the tourist office (located on Hamngatan street, just past the Kungstrad garden park). Why buy the card? Pay one price for the card and use it for museums and public transportation (including boat rides).  You can purchase a card for one to five days of use.

—> Click here for information about the Stockholm Card.

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 What to wear and bring to Stockholm?

–        Bring shoes for rainy weather. In any given month, Stockholm has 2 or more weeks of rain. So also pack an umbrella!

–        Bring a scarf and tights – even if your visit is during the summer, Stockholm can be chilly, especially in the evenings. Average high in the summer is 70F and low is 56F

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What to eat while in Stockholm?

–          Stockholm has a lot of choices for restaurants and cuisines from all over. Typical foods include Swedish meatballs, pickled herring, and a variety of fish.

–          If you are a vegetarian (as I am) finding options in Stockholm can be a little hard (I don’t eat fish so…). I recommend, as a vegetarian, going to Indian or Persian restaurants where you will be able to get a variety.

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 Click here for the official tourist website of Stockholm.

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