Stockholm Is Clean and Healthy

Posted on March 9, 2016 by

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Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and self-proclaimed capital of Scandinavia and the northern European Countries. It has also been declared one of Europe’s cleanest and healthiest cities. As Sweden is both darker and colder than the cities with which Americans are familiar, it is very pleasant to visit between October and April, and therefore all these tips are for the spring and summer.

If you go to Stockholm and speak English, you will be fine, as most of its citizens both speak it and understand it. The signs, however, will be in the country’s language, Swedish.

Stockholm has a lot of different food cultures to offer, as Sweden is a country with many immigrants and foreigners–with everything from the classic Husmanskost and the traditional Swedish Meatball, potato puree, and lingonberries at Prinsen, Östermalmstorg, to Kebabs from the Middle East. There are also several McDonalds’, Subways, and Burger Kings if you would want something that you recognize.

Other popular restaurants around the city are Teatern, by Skanstull, where Sweden’s best restaurateurs are represented, and where you can also order taste portions of various dishes. If you care about the environment, there’s “The Flying Elk” in the old part of the city, where all the different meals are from locally produced goods. “Sturehof”, also by Östermalmstorg, is one of Sweden’s best restaurants, offering everything from traditional Swedish home-cooked meals to French snails.

As Stockholm is the capital and Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, meaning they have both a prime minister and a royal family, a popular thing to do is visit The Royal Palace in the middle of the city. There are guided tours both in English and Swedish and occasionally Russian and Mandarin. This is the Royal Family’s official residence, but it is commonly known that the King and Queen live at Drottningholm Palace, Ekerö. Getting there itself is one of the many tourist attractions in the summer, as you go there by boat through Stockholm’s Archipelago and disembark by the Royal dock.

Another thing to do, which to tourists may sound strange, is to take the subway through Stockholm. Over 90 of the 100 subway stations have been decorated with mosaics, sculptures, paintings, and other forms of art and is the world’s largest art gallery.

Another popular thing to do is walk around Södermalm in the spring and summertime, and watch the people walking around, as that part of Stockholm is famous for its odd inhabitants. It is not unusual to find people with flowers in their beards, or someone in just a bathrobe buying breakfast at a café. There are also several sourdough hotels, where the people of Stockholm leave their sourdoughs whenever they leave home for a long period of time.

A thing many swedes do is to go to a small café and take a “fika,” which is basically taking a coffee with a pastry or sandwich and sit there for several hours with your friends or family. As this has become a social institution, there are several cafés around Stockholm and Sweden, and some are better than others. One example of a popular café is Vetekatten, on Kungsgatan, one of Stockholms main streets for shopping and eating. Here you can find several different traditional Swedish pastries, like the cinnamon roll and other cakes. Another popular café is Café Pascal, a block away from Odenplan’s subway station. If you would rather go for something French, there is the Petite France café, where you find everything from high quality macarons, to brioches.

If you would want to take part of all 24 provinces of Sweden, you should visit Skansen, on Djurgården. That part of the city is located on an island and easily accessible by a trolley from the center of Stockholm. Here you can visit Skansen, an amusement park, the ABBA museum, the Wasa museum, or just walk around on royal hunting grounds.

As for shopping, there are several places to do this. On Hamngatan, you find Gallerian, which is filled with stores like River Island, Mediamarkt, BikBok, MQ, and Vila.  You will also find everything from games to clothes.

If you would prefer to walk around the city instead, you can visit either Drottninggatan or Kungsgatan (they connect at Hötorget), where you find clothing stores like H&M, Zara, BikBok, and smaller stores that are not big companies.

If you are more into second hand stores, Södermalm is the place to visit. With everything from Beyond Retro to Myrorna (who donates its profits to the homeless), there is something for everyone.

However, if you are more into high fashion brands like Michael Kors, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, or Burberry, Biblioteksgatan is the place to go. It goes between Stureplan and Norrmalmstorg and has a lot of high fashion stores, as well as small restaurants.

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