Stockholm: Our Nordic Stopover

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Let’s talk stopovers. Do you find them attractive or more of a time waste? Exciting opportunity to discover something new or tiring hours of waiting for your final destination?

I happen to be one of these rare people who think stopovers are awesome. So when last year we were planning a short getaway to Italy, and found a ridiculously cheap tickets to Stockholm instead, we thought “Why not?” Why not flying to Stockholm for a day, on our way to Milan? ?  Can you believe it! I could not for a long time either, even having the tickets at hand, but 12 hours after the take-off from Bangkok , we landed at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. It 4 pm and already past sunset, it was cold, it was raining, but I remember thinking to myself “Wow, it’s so refreshing and beautiful!”, and it was love at the first sight.
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We only had 1 day to explore the city, and since I’m not really a fan of crossing things off a “must-do” tourist list, we decided to spend these precious hours we had simply strolling around the city, trying to soak up its atmosphere.

First thing in the morning we headed over to Mellqvist Kafebar, a small coffee shop selling the best cardamom buns in town. Now, I this was the only place we’ve tried them at, but I am pretty sure that they are still the best; last 100 meters or so, we literally walked following their amazing aroma hanging in the air. Definitely a must place to visit!

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I had to give a special mentioning to this coffee place, also because after that our itinerary was simply non-existent. With our luggages in hand (cause we were simply lazy going back to the hotel again to pick them up) and took a nice long stroll along almost empty streets. Stockholm greeted us with absolutely amazing light, — I like to think it was special, but something is telling me that light in late autumn is always like that, streaming, liquid gold. From quiet parks, to central streets with cyclists all around, everything was filled with this softness, only complimented with the crisp frosty air.

We later made our way through the beautiful Strandvägen, a wide picturesque boulevard and one of the most prestigious addresses in town. Architecturally, it made me think of Paris and Barcelona at the same time somehow. Boats parked along the quay made it especially attractive, some of them had bicycles charmingly parked onboard.

We later made it to Skansen, a unique open air museum, offering an insight to historic and traditional rural culture of Sweden. November is probably not the busiest month around here, cause we have not met more than 10 people there that day in our 3 hours walk. It is definitely a must-see place though, with many activities and festivities throughout the year. Artisan’s workhouses are absolutely fascinating, and you can always have a break at cosy coffee houses with fresh baked good (we still fondly remember this raspberry pie and coffee that saved us from freezing lol).

We haven’t seen much in the end, or tried many local restaurants and coffee shops, but Stockholm left a very warm and pleasant impression. If I could describe it in 3 words, I would say its cosy, low-key and stylish; and I really can’t wait to come back for more, maybe in other season this time, with a more thorough plan and definitely for longer!

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