Only a few hours to explore Sweden’s capital? Not to worry – October muses Say Lou Lou have you covered!
Stockholm. Pastel buildings contrast against a moody grey sky, cerulean blue waters broken only by passenger boats and swooping gulls. Mammoth cruise ships float lazily in the distance, lining the far-off shore as they await departure. Friendly faces stroll by, bicycle bells chiming from path and sidewalk. I arrived in this beautiful city with zero preconceptions, the city — the idea of the city — a blank canvas in my mind. Unlike other foreign lands I’ve visited, I arrived without the knowledge of friends who’d previously traversed its streets to use as a stepping stone for my own experience. My mind was open to exploration, game for whatever might come my way. I found myself in Sweden’s capital this past summer with just a few days notice, plunked down with my camera in hand and a desire for adventure.
While I’m perfectly happy to travel through a new city on foot, the most any of us can hope for is a local’s perspective. We all want to know the hole-in-the wall places we absolutely must see, the tourist spots that are actually worth our time, and where we might experience a particular culture in its most authentic state. I was lucky enough to have two exceptional tour guides in Sweden: Miranda and Elektra Kilbey, the musical duo known as Say Lou Lou and one-third (two-fourths?) of our October catalog. Between their time spent in front of the camera, the Australian/Swedish dream-pop duo were kind enough to share their Stockholm must-sees, lending me their expertise on where to eat, shop, hang and relax.
If you have plans to visit this gorgeous seaside city, be sure to print out their list and make plans to rent yourself a bike. If there’s one thing I learned from my time there, it’s that Sweden’s capital is best explored on two wheels.
Pom & Flora, Bondegatan 64 No matter what the remainder of the day may hold, this sweet, cozy cafe is a must-stop for travelers and locals alike. Elektra recommends the oatmilk chia pudding and the egg sandwich; paired with a delicious coffee, either option is to warm you from the inside out and sustain your energy through the busy day ahead. Grab a salad — try the roasted almond variety — or sandwich to stash in your bag for lunch later in the day.
POP Stockholm, Skånegatan 73 Specializing in ’50s and ’70s vintage, you’re sure to walk away from this colorful shop with at least a few vintage treasures.
Judits Secondhand, Hornsgatan 75 If your style errs more on the side of ’50s, check out Judits for fit-and-flares and early ’60s shifts.
Weekday With several locations around the city, this store offers basics and not-so-basics. Clutch if you’ve just walked away from Pop Stockholm with the perfect pair of ’70s bells and need a great white tee to wear with them.
Blå Porten, Djurgårdsvägen 64 If you didn’t happen to stash a sandwich in your bag at breakfast, park your bike and grab a bite to eat at this self-service outdoor cafe. If you can look past the farm table groaning beneath the weight of the dessert offerings on display (I highly recommend the cardamom cake), you’ll find Swedish specialties along with Mediterranean-inspired offerings. Located in the Djurgarden area, Blå Porten is convenient to a variety of attractions and an easy stop-over mid-day.
Photographic Museum, Stadsgårdshamnen 22 Grab tickets online and spend your afternoon browsing the Fotografiska. Housing works from numerous artists and showcasing a number of exhibits at once, this seaside museum is a must-see while you’re in the city.
Modern Museum, Skeppsholmen The Moderna Museet is a small museum with works laid out across a few gallery-style rooms, perfect for those with a free hour or two looking to appreciate works from Dali, Munch, Picasso, Warhol and more. Located on Skeppsholmen, a small island in central Stockholm, be sure to walk the island after enjoying the art.
Djurgarden Steer your bike over to the island of Djurgarden, home to multiple museums, parks, restaurants and bars; this gorgeous green space is easy to spend an entire afternoon exploring
Vasa Museet, Galärvarvsvägen 14 One of the many historical options located on Djurgarden, the Wasa is a truly unique museum. Dedicated solely to the preservation of the warship Vasa, a ship that sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm in 1628 and exhumed nearly intact from the harbor in the ’50s.
Indio Kitchen, Kocksgatan 52 This chill dinner spot melds Japanese and Peruvian flavors to create an atmosphere unlike any other you’ve experienced before.
Matbaren, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6 Located inside Stockholm’s Grand Hotel, this posh spot is more dining experience than a quick dinner out. If you’re looking for a memorable date spot or to have that one incredible Stockholm meal, this is it. Diners are given a tour of the kitchen before being seated and meals are ordered sequentially, highlighting Swedish cuisine that comes directly from local forests, farms and bodies of water. Be sure to book ahead as this restaurant fills fast.
Sardin, Skånegatan 79 A favorite of Elektra and Miranda’s, this sweet and petite French tapas bar is warm and inviting, with a cozy atmosphere and personal touch. Choose Sardin to start your evening, or wind things down at the end of a night out with a couple of friends and a bottle of bubbles.
Tradgarden, Hammarby Slussväg 2 When Elektra and Miranda say something is “everything… you have to go here!” You go. Obviously. This multi-room, multi-dancefloor club is the cure for a quiet Saturday night.
Nosh & Chow, Norrlandsgatan 24 The answer to the question of whether you should go to dinner or the club, Nosh & Chow combines both. Arrive early and have a drink at the lower bar, which also houses a DJ, before heading upstairs for dinner.
Babylon, Björns Trädgårdsgränd 4 Popular among locals, this Middle-Eastern-inspired bar fills up fast, especially on a Friday night — so be sure to arrive early so you can grab a prime table to enjoy a cold drink and watch people stroll by.
Indigo, Götgatan 19 Owned by the same proprietor as Babylon, this sophisticated, chill spot is the perfect place to wind down with a cocktail or one of the many local beers on draft.
Be sure to check out Say Lou Lou’s latest album, Lucid Dreaming, out now!
+ Stay tuned for more October catalog coverage!