German TV personality Tanja Bülter recently spent some time in Stockholm. Read on for her insider travel tips.
For me, Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Its location on the water and the historical old town are captivating, but also its delicious culinary highlights. Almost 2 million people live in the city that consists of several archipelago islands. If you have some space between business appointments, I recommend renting a Blacklane chauffeur for several hours. That’s exactly what I did and it made me experience the city in a unique way.
Stockholm’s most beautiful spots
I chose Drottningholm Palace as my starting point, where the German-born Queen Silvia lives with her husband, King Carl Gustav XVI.
You can immediately understand why they moved to this picturesque baroque castle, with its pleasure garden and park just outside the lively metropolis, where I really dive into royal fever. Sweden’s royal family fans particularly admire Crown Princess Victoria.
We continue in the direction of the city centre to the town hall. From the tower you have a great view of Sweden’s capital. Those who want a more grounded view of the city can rent one of the countless boats to see it from the water. After the boat tour, you can then be picked up in Riddarholmen by a Blacklane chauffeur.
It is definitely worth taking a detour to Riddarholmskyrkan church. Built in the 13th century, there are more than 60 members of the Swedish royal family buried there. Just a few minutes’ drive further, what is the most beautiful part of the city for me begins: Gamla Stan, the old town.
Entering the alleys feels like you’re traveling into the past. The narrowest, with just enough room to walk single-file, is called “Mårten Trotzigs Grand”. Life pulsates here. Whether in front of the Nobel Museum or in the alleys around it – everywhere there are bars, restaurants, and cafés.
Next, my Blacklane chauffeur takes me to the Royal Castle (Kungliga Slottet), the residence of the royal family. Here you can learn a lot more about the history of the Viking nation and visit the castle church or the crown treasury in the museum. With a little luck, you could actually meet the royal family.
I have interviewed the Queen and Princess Victoria before and can confidently confirm that they are very down-to-earth and friendly.
In 2010, Crown Princess Victoria married her husband Daniel in the cathedral directly opposite. The “Storkyrkan” (“The Great Church”) was first mentioned all the way back in 1279, and plays a key role in the history of the Swedish Reformation.
In the old town, you should absolutely take enough time to let yourself drift a little. You feel as though you are breathing in the history – but there are also many excellent restaurants here.
Food in Stockholm
The Swedes like to eat out a lot. And as a big part of Swedish culture, they often take a “Fika”, a short break where they enjoy a cup of coffee with biscuits. Speaking of biscuits: you should definitely try a cinnamon bun (kanelbulle).
“Fika” directly translated to something like “meeting friends”, and I can’t imagine something more relaxing than the combination of coffee, biscuits, and friends.
Located right next to the town hall is the highly acclaimed Stadshuskällaren, where every year the Nobel Prize winners go to eat after the award ceremony.
A little deeper into the old town I came across “The Hairy Pig Deli”. If you like dishes like pulled pork, you’ve come to the right place in this cosy restaurant.
Only a few minutes’ walk away is the enchanting “Under Kastanjen”, which translates to “under chestnuts” and as the name suggests, the restaurant is located under a chestnut tree, where in summer you can eat outside on a small terrace.
Here you get typical Swedish cuisine such as Köttbullar, but also homemade cakes and delicious sweets.
But my ultimate insider tip is the “Operakällaren” restaurant next to the opera house. Here the King also likes to order his food when his own cook is not available. A dignified menu that satisfies royal palates awaits.
Hotels in Stockholm
The Radisson Blue Waterfront Hotel building has long been controversial because it looks so futuristic. Today it is part of Stockholm’s cityscape and one of the most popular hotels.
Big names like Madonna and other artists usually spend the night in the Grand Hôtel; a 5-star hotel in a prime location. The district is one of the most expensive in Sweden. Former tennis ace Björn Borg, for example, has an apartment here.
The grand finale
The highlight of my Blacklane trip through Stockholm was the Vasa Museum.
The whole museum was built around the Vasa, the old warship from the 17th century. The huge wooden ship was salvaged 300 years after its legendary capsizing, and restored to its original size.
The Swedes love their local history. They have dedicated all their great names (ABBA, Astrid Lindgren) to museums and monuments. My Blacklane chauffeur in Stockholm explained that the peace flag has been flying over the city for 200 years. And it should never be lowered again.