If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have noticed that I was traveling recently. I had a wonderful trip to Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark, and today I’ll be sharing some of the design and shopping highlights for Stockholm. This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide. It’s just a few of the places that I found interesting on my visit.
Design & Architecture
Stockholm Public Library
The Stadsbiblioteket was designed by Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund and opened in 1928. It was Sweden’s first public library to apply the principle of open shelves, which back in the day was an American idea. This means the public could help themselves to books off the shelves and not have to ask library staff to retrieve them. The round part of the library houses classics. It’s gorgeous inside.
Just down the street from the library is a cafe where the fixtures and furniture have remained pretty much unchanged since it opened in 1954. It’s a mid-century modern dream and a lovely place for a coffee break.
Art in the Stockholm Metro
The train stations in Stockholm are all unique, each designed by a different artist. We spent an evening just riding the metro to different stops to see them. Check out this story in the Guardian about the art in some of the stations.
This is Stockholm’s old town, dating back to the 13th century. It’s touristy but worth a wander. We joined a walking tour offered by Free Tour Stockholm, which was fun and informative. Our guide shared tidbits about history as well as architecture.
When you finish the tour, grab a tasty snack at Bröd & Salt bakery, like this kardemummabullar (a Swedish cardamom roll). It was fresh out of the oven.
DesignTorget has nicely curated selection of housewares. It seems like a good spot to pick up a gift.
When I walked into housewares store Granit, it reminded me a bit of IKEA. Then I realized that what I associated with IKEA-ness, was actually Swedishness. This store carries housewares and storage containers. The design is simple and no frills.
I didn’t budget enough time to spend in Papercut, which carries a discerning selection of Swedish and international magazines and books.
True to its name, this store sells pens. If you are particular about writing implements, this is your place.
This Swedish interior design store is famed for its bold prints. It’s quite pricey, but a walk through its substantial showroom costs nothing.
Stutterheim makes raincoats out of rubberized cotton in an array of colors. They are hand made and have been tested to withstand the elements. The raincoats come in a few different styles. While the proportions of the standard one didn’t fit me well, I walked out with a rain cape from the sale section. (Score!) I also picked up a beautiful zip leather wallet. I had been looking for a square zip wallet for a while, but none of the ones I came across had enough card slots for my liking. This one happily did. I love souvenirs that are practical!
Before I left on my trip, I picked up the Lonely Planet Pocket Stockholm and Citix60: Stockholm guides. The former is good for learning about different neighborhoods and the latter is great because it has highly curated recommendations from local creatives.