We can summarize our trip to Stockholm in one word: brief.
With only two days and one night in the city, we decided to make the most of it by enjoying all of the quintessential Swedish activities that we could.
ABBA The Museum
It would be remiss if we didn’t pay homage to this iconic Swedish pop group. Known for their popular (and catchy) hits like “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Honey Honey,” ABBA rose to stardom in the 1970’s and went on to sell over 380 million albums worldwide. While the group disbanded in 1982, their talent reigns on.
For our fellow music lovers and ABBA groupies, ABBA The Museum, is the place to escape the winter cold and warm up to some of ABBA’s most iconic jams.
Opened in May of 2013, this relatively new museum is one of the most interactive that we’ve ever encountered. With the motto, “Walk in. Dance out”, the museum ensures that people of all ages, languages, and musical tastes will have a blast.
Our tour started with a short video introducing the museum’s visitors to ABBA and their legendary accomplishments. We then roamed around at will and enjoyed the many interactive experiences. A few that really caught our eye (or should I say, ears) was the studio-where you could actually record your own ABBA song- and the stage. The latter allowed you to virtually sing and dance along with the members of ABBA. While I opted not to burden everyone’s ears with the sound of my voice, I thoroughly enjoyed our friends’ renditions of “Mamma Mia.”
Highlights: While there was so much to see and do, my favorite part was the phone. There are only four people that have the number to that phone, and they’re the four ABBA members. If you’re at the museum and you hear the phone ring, do whatever you can to be the one to pick up. I guarantee an interesting conversation will follow.
Let’s just get downright honest here. The only real reason why I ever visit Ikea is so that I can get myself a heaping plate of Swedish meatballs. Imagine my sheer delight when I found myself in the country of their origin. I was planning a solo excursion in search of some of the best Swedish meatballs in all of Stockholm, but I was beyond excited when I discovered that our itinerary included a visit to a restaurant that catered to meatball lovers like myself.
Meatballeria? Meat cafe? What does one call a restaurant that features meatballs? Let’s just go with AMAZING.
Our lunch spot, aptly named Meatballs For the People serves up a variety of meaty delights. With a refrigerator full of meatballs made of beef, pork, chicken, reindeer, wild boar, elk, and even salmon, we knew we were going to have a tough time narrowing down our lunch meat of choice. Luckily for us, the decision was made for us. We were given a generous helping of traditional beef meatballs with creamy mashed potatoes, pickled cucumbers, and a side of tangy lingonberries.
Believe it or not, there are even falafel-like meatballs for the vegetarians. Everything on my plate was delicious (Chris even asked for seconds) and if we had a means of transporting those meatballs back home with us, we would have. Ikea meatballs just don’t compare.
Highlights: The MEATBALLS, le duh.
Stockholm from Above
This was a first. We’ve taken many tours where we discovered a new destination from above. Skydiving, paragliding, and zip lines have all been invigorating ways to get a new view of a place, but in Stockholm we were introduced to something a little different. We saddled up with hard hats, strapped into our harnesses, and climbed countless flights of stairs until we reached the top of the Riddarholmen’s Old Parliament buidling.
This, my friends, was a rooftop tour of Stockholm.
That’s right. We took in the beautiful sights of Stockholm from over 100 feet above the ground. It was cold. It was thrilling. It was something we had never done before. Not only did we have the chance to frolic on the roof, but our informative guide walked us through the city’s history as we took in a 360-degree view of the Stockholm. It was a pretty snowy day, but had it been clearer, we would have been able to see eight of Stockholm’s iconic islands.
Highlights: I was a big fan of being able to legally (and safely) walk around the rooftop.
Fotografiska photography Museum
The term “museum” doesn’t even do this place justice. It’s so much more than that. Fotografiska is a stunning photography gallery that caters to its visitors with the addition of a modern coffee shop, photography workshops, and event space. While we only had an hour at the museum, I could have easily spent the entire day among the many featured galleries.
Higlights: For me, the highlight was walking through the Herb Ritts gallery. I loved his black and white photography, especially the ones of celebrities. The man has incredible talent.
And last but not least, a trip to Sweden wouldn’t be complete without participating in a local coffee custom referred to as “fika.” This social event that just happens to revolve around coffee is one that we want to replicate in our lives back home. Our Swedish friends informed us that they take “fika” one or two times a day. They’ll head to a coffee shop either with friends, pick out a sweet treat, and enjoy some time sipping their coffee and catching up.
Guys, this is a thing. It’s totally acceptable to leave work to take a fika break. Why isn’t this a thing everywhere? Also, a true fika should include some kind of pastry. Coffee and pastries? I was in heaven.
Highlights: The entire thing. It was great to catch up with our friends (Stockholm locals) who we haven’t seen in years. Does it get any better than that?
Have you been to Stockholm? If so, what were your favorite parts of the city? If you haven’t been, which of the above activities are up your alley? Let us know in the comment section below.