Author: Yellow Duckie
Stockholm is a city where love at first sight do happens. It captured my heart the first time I saw it, I could almost quote Tom Cruise in Jerry Macguire, “You had me at hello”. Having visited Stockholm for the second time, the romance I found rekindled and I am still drawn to the beauty of this city. I could never understand how the monotonous repetition of the rectangular, black roof buildings that lines the waterfront of the city can complement the landscape of this city so well that it redefines the meaning of beauty.

Being in Stockholm during autumn, I need to prepare myself for the uncertainties of seeing this city in its full glory under the sun light. I am glad that in my last visit, I managed to savor the beauty of summer in autumn; however, this time round, I was welcomed with a good sunny day when I touched down but was mostly embraced by the grayness of the sky for the rest of my stay here.

Here is a list of things to do while you are in Stockholm during autumn:

1. Cycling at Djurgarden
For 50 SEK per hour, I seriously recommend you to take the offer. Be prepared to embrace the beauty of this island and what it has to offer. From the serenity of the lake, colorful flower beds (yes, even in autumn, perhaps the early part of autumn), green fields to the various museums, this place is a superb place to venture. Taking a coffee break by one of the small coffee shack in front of the river would be one of the best relaxing experiences, especially after a long ride on the bicycle.

2. Enjoy lunch at Saluhall (Tunnelbana: Ostermalmstorg, rainy days friendly)
Situated in one of Sweden’s posh residential area (so I was told), this market is worth the visit. Constructed of bricks with turrets, pinnacles and vaulted windows, I believe this is one of the most unique architecture I’ve come across for a market. Inside this market, you will be able to find various types of cheese, ham, fresh seafood, vegetables and other dry goods in a 5-star setup (if I may rate this market). This place is also an excellent place if you are in for a delicious typical Swedish cuisine. You can find the Swedish meatballs, Gravad Lax, sandwiches, roast meat and many more. One of my favourite is the Fish soup (90 SEK per bowl), also the most expensive bowl of soup I’ve ever paid for in my entire life!

3. Enjoy a stroll along Norr Malastrand
Stretching from the City Hall (along Norr Malastrand) to Ralambshovsleden(you will find a huge park at Ralambshovsleden). Along Norr Malastrand, there are a lot of café and restaurants for a cup of warm beverage to rest your tired feet while enjoying the beautiful scenery across the Riddarfjarden. As you walk further from the city hall, the path goes back closer to nature as you will be able to get close to the bank of the river. As you walk under the shadow of trees that shield this place from the sun, you will find ducks and swans roaming freely around the area.

4. Take the Tunnelbana blue line from Kungstradgarden to the Hallonbergen (rainy days friendly)
It may sound silly but if definitely a perfect thing to do if you are caught in one of those rainy days with nothing to do and of course if you have a weekly pass, this would be a plus point. Every station along this line is set up with different themes by different artist. Apparently this is known to be the longest art work exhibition in the world! Be ready to be swept off your feet by the creativity of the Swedish!

Actually, there are 90 out of the 100 metro station has already been adorned by the masterpiece of the local artist. As a fact note, Stockholm’s metro is said to be the longest art exhibition in the world: 100 km.

5. Get lost in Gamla Stan
There is no denial that there’s certain charm about Gamla Stan because no matter how many times I bring myself to walk along the cobbled-stone pavement in this area I never get bored of it. It’s always an adventure as you will bound to find something intriguing, be it the church round the bend that was hidden the first time you were there or “The Old Curiousity “ type of shops, a discovery of a nice cozy restaurant or café to enjoy a meal or a view that simply caught you breathless. I find myself falling more in love with this place.

6. Be a museum freak (Rainy days friendly)
Extremely perfect for rainy days and being confined in your tiny space in the hotel is the last place you want to be. Check out the list of museums available as they do have quite a good range of museum that will keep you occupied.

7. Go window shopping at T- Centralen (Rainy days friendly)
Earning an Asian wage while traveling in the Stockholm, I can’t really enjoy the kind of shopping experience as I could with Bangkok, thus window shopping would be the politically correct way to phrase this activity. So if it’s pouring outside and you are not a museum freak (and don’t want to be one) then this could be something you can pass your time with. Get to T-Centralen station of the Tunnelbana and get lost in the underground maze connecting all shops along the Hamngatan (NK, Gallerian, etc)

8. Stroll along Gotgatan (Tunnelbana: Slussen)
This is another recommended area for window shopping, however, this is not to be done during rainy days. It’s like walking in Gamla Stan except that the building surrounding this place is lower (thus giving this place more exposure to sun light) and it is elevated above the sea. Allow yourself to be led astray by the tiny lanes along the way, you may be in for a nice view or more shops.

9. Be stunned by the Panaromic view of Stockholm at Mariaberget (Tunnelbana: Slussen)
Situated at the west side of Sodermalm, you can enjoy a perfect panaromic view of Stockholm across the Riddarfjarden at the top of cliff Mariaberget. Do I need to write more…I doubt so, go check it out your self.

10. Check out the “Alcatraz” of Stockholm, Langholmen.
Langholmen is where the Stockholm Prison used to be. Now it is just a place they have restored and refurbished to be a hotel, where you get to spend a night in the prison cell and a museum where you can learn about the history of this place. The restaurant here serves excellent food! If you are in time to catch the autumn colors, this island sets a picturesque painting that will mesmerize you. Try walking from either Kungsholmen or from Sodermalm.

11. Indulge your senses in the world of Stockholm design (Rainy days friendly)
There are a quite a few designer shops which is quite worth a visit even if you don’t have the money to buy. It’s worth to see how furniture, lightings, etc can come in many patterns, shape and sizes! Again, this will fall under the “window shopping” category for two simple reasons: these stuffs are expensive even for a Swedish and you can’t carry home with you without paying a fortune.

To be quite honest, there’s no such thing as nothing to do while you are in Stockholm even if you happen to be trapped in one of those rainy days.

If I may comment about the people, I generally think that Swedish are very reserved. They are not the type that would open up to you the first time you meet them but once you get to know them, it’s a different story altogether: they will either open up and embrace you dearly or no matter how many times you have had dealings with them, they retain the mode as if you’ve met for the first time. To sum it up from a tourist point of view, this is not the place where you’ll get a swede walking up to ask if you need direction when you look lost while fumbling with your map. They hold on to “Mine your own business” motto very closely to their hearts. So if you happen to need assistance, all you need to do is just ask, they will be more than happy to assist.

My first visit to Stockholm, I didn’t really have a good impression of the food. However, this time round, I was being exposed to one of the best restaurant in Stockholm which serves excellent Swedish food. Café Tranan is where I would recommend you to if you intend to try out the Swedish cuisine. They do have good food apart from the well known Gavad Lax and meat balls.

Some of the cute eating ettiques of the Swedes I've noticed are:

- They are really proper when it comes to eating for they enjoy their burger with fork and knife. I must admit, that's quite a handful to deal with for someone (like me) who is so used to utilising my hands when it comes to eating a burger.

- When it comes to toasting, unlike the Asian way of holding up your glass and gently knock your glass with the glass of the person you wish to toast, you simply raise your glass (not too high) in front of you, look at the person's eyes, give a gentle nod and consume your drink.
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On October 15, 2007 at 3:17:00 PM GMT+3 , Emelie said...

Hi Ivy,

I am really proud to be a Swede after reading your blog! YOu should come and live in Sweden for a while and spend your time exploring Europe and Sweden of course. Tell David Schelin that you want to go on a STA/LTA and start pulling the threads!
I will be your Sweden guide if you come over!

On October 16, 2007 at 6:30:00 PM GMT+3 , Yellow Duckie said...


Glad you feel proud abt being one.. don't let the Norwegians and Danish make u feel otherwise hehehe.
I think your suggestion sounds good... let me try to catch David in his best mood hehehe.