Style City: Stockholm
Stockholm is my kind of city. It has a wonderful mix of history, culture and activities to keep even the pickiest person happy. It's just over a two hour flight from Dublin and is made up of many small islands each of which has their own character, so you can always find one for you.
Beyond Retro, Drottninggatan 77
Just like the London ones, only better, because it's Sweden. There are quite a few in Sweden, usually hidden.
Old Touch Upplandsgatan 43
A vintage store with a twist. Of course it sells cute shoes and dresses but you will also find an array of cutlery, collars, underwear and linen which are all authentic. It's fun to visit, if only for a browse.
Lisa Larrson and Repris on Bondegatan are other great vintage stores offering both designer and lesser known labels.
Åhlens, Klarabergsgatan 50
A department store, like Arnotts, which has everything you could need! From top brands to the more reasonable, you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for.
NK, Hamngatan 18-20
At NK you can experience five floors of the most prestigious brands from Sweden and around the world. From the food hall to the cosmetics, accessories, and ladies' and men's fashion to the home department. Scandinavian design is unparalleled, especially when it comes to fashion. Have a peek in Acne, Whyred or Carine Wester to whet your appetite. Forget about Brown Thomas, NK takes luxurious to the max.
Sweden is home to clothes retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M to the rest of us), and Stockholm has just witnessed the opening of H&M Home – its home textile and accessories store in central Stockholm. What makes this so appealing for interiors lovers is that there’s no other “home” shop like it in the world – check it out for the fascinating “accessories” hanging from the ceiling and the art gallery-like displays. If you thought Ikea was cool then this place is one interior design step ahead.
Things to do in Stockholm
Centralbadet, Drottninggatan 88
A swimming pool...but so much more. This is located in central Stockholm and decorated in art deco style. There are Jacuzzis, saunas (proper "let's get naked" ones!) and pools. They offer spa treatments too which might be pricey, but very professional. They have special rates for students and for others it can be cheaper at certain times of the day.
Literally the 'old town'. This is simply unmissable because it is so beautiful. The old and new Stockholm is combined together here. The town was set up in the 14th century and most buildings are from the 17th and 18th centuries. With its narrow, cobblestone streets and undeniable character, just taking a stroll will satisfy the senses. The dominant building in the old city is the king's castle, where you can see the changing of the guards daily at 12 noon. It's not something that should be compared to the likes of the changing of the guard in London. The square is usually packed with a band playing music to entertain all. Afterwards you can look at the gorgeous selection of Christmas decorations they have all year round (come on, it’s never too early!).
Vasa Museet, Galarvarvsvagan 14 Djurgården.
This museum houses the 'Vasa', a warship built in the 17th century. Vasa sunk because it was the largest of its time, the king demanded an extra floor of canons, against the advice of his ship-builders, which made it top-heavy and it blew over on its maiden voyage. Surrounding the ship are various exhibitions telling the ship's story. Really nice to go see if the weather is bad.
It's an outdoor museum of ...life! And there is a zoo! Buildings have been moved here from nearly every part of Sweden. Most of them date from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors to the old houses and farmsteads are met by historical interpreters in period costume which satisfies the historians and the fashionistas!
Places to eat in Stockholm
A food hall with the best of all delights! For a quick lunch or snack, drop by and try something from one of the many Turkish stalls. You will not be disappointed. It's especially wonderful if you're staying in a hostel or apartment and cooking for yourself. This way you get nice food without the expensive price tag.
Mosebacke, Mosebacketorg 3
This is predominantly an entertainment venue and is the most popular place in Stockholm for live music. This historical building, located on a hill 2 minutes from the Slussen T-bana in Södermalm, is definitely worth the long walk up the hill. The large terrace at Mosebacke is the perfect place to relax and have a beer with a magnificent view of the city. There are plenty of tables but it is always very busy.
Judit & Bertil, Bergsundsstrand 38
This is a cute bar, which also does great food. Dishes like Caesar salad to something more Swedish are always on offer. You will see the best of Swedish fashion here as the trendies stroll in and although it has a casual vibe, you might want to bring the lippie with you. There are tables which you can carve your name into, cinema seats and an array of virgin/alcoholic cocktails.
Berns, Näckströmsg. 8
Hotel, bistro, restaurant, nightclub and anything else you want it to be. Berns has been mentioned alongside some of the best in the world and it’s easy to see why. Silver service is nothing in comparison to what you get here, where your wish is their command. The architecture is something else, having been there from 1863. I have been lucky enough to have eaten in both the French bistro and the Asian restaurant which are delicious in different ways. The nightclub downstairs makes you feel like a celebrity with the unisex bathroom giving you an insight into exactly why Swedish men are so good looking!
On a final practical note:
If you leave the underground and get back on it before an hour has passed, you don't have to pay for another journey. Allowing you to hop-on/ hop-off at your favourite shops, purchasing the first nice thing you see and when questioned by your better half/ mother/ other as to all the new bags of clothes you have, your excuse can be that you needed to make it back to the underground in time!
This article was originally published on WhatSheWears.ie , a catwalk and celebrity style website.