May 2020. Who could forget? It seems like a time from another world.
My eagerly anticipated city break to Stockholm was the first of my personal holiday casualties and at the fourth successive attempt, we eventually made it!
It is rare for me to feel like I could live somewhere after a visit but yes, I could easily set up home in this fantastic city.
The Swedes are the most ‘together’ nation I have ever come across – I’m off to Japan shortly so there could be some competition. They're so polite, mostly fluent in English, offer a sleek service throughout and have precision in everything they do. I was mightily impressed.
After a short flight from Edinburgh, a direct train to the city from the airport and a short walk, we arrived at our hotel, The Bank.
It’s always about the hotel for me, and I am delighted to have another of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’ under my belt.
The hotel is located on the city’s historic waterfront, within easy walking distance to both Gamla Stan (the old town) and the modern shopping area.
There are four bars which serve this small hotel, all lovely and quite different. The rooftop one, Le Hibou, with its Parisian suite-inspired interior, was our favourite for a nightcap.
Breakfast is served in Bonnies, a former bank hall and an incredible experience. Think high ceilings, chandeliers and comfortable velvety couches whilst watching not just the hotel residents but also the locals, who can’t stay away.
Our Stockholm highlights and “must-sees” include:
Vasa Museum - a maritime museum that houses the world's only preserved 17th-century ship and offers classic and creative seafood dishes in an old-world restaurant.
The ABBA Museum - “Walk in and dance out”! I know I’m a minority not being a fan so didn’t make it here, but everyone raves about it.
Royal Palace - the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish King.
Gamla Stan – the city’s old town, with cobbled streets and colourful 17th- and 18th-century buildings.
Skansen – the world’s oldest open-air museum exhibiting Swedish culture and nature.
Ostermalm Market Hall – a Stockholm food institution filled with traders, restaurants and wine bars. We had lunch here twice!
And here's the pick of the restaurants we ate at:
Bistro Arsenalen – A classic modern bistro serving the best steak!
Prinsen - A popular brasserie and bistro in the heart of Stockholm
Sturehof – A modern and contemporary pub classic highly recommended by my friend Jo who used to live here
And here are a few interesting facts and observations:
The city of Stockholm is situated on 14 islands and on the banks of the archipelago where Lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea.
The city centre is virtually situated on the water and it's very easy and pleasant to stroll around.
Swedish recycling is so efficient that they ran out of trash. The recycling rate is almost 99 per cent and has been for many years.
They love a DJ in Stockholm! They are everywhere – bars, restaurants and hotels.
With UK prices having gone up so much, we didn’t find it shockingly expensive.
Direct flights from several UK airports make it extremely easy to get here and a perfect destination for a quality city break.
It was definitely worth waiting for and I will be back.
Please get in touch for more information and to discuss checking it out.