I've left my heart in Stockholm.
It is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to, if not the most. We were staying in the bohemian area of Sodermalm (aka Soder) which was excellent; an area filled with lots of cool shops, cafes, bars and people.
Stockholm is set over 14 islands, and the vast amount of water in the city created expansive views and at night the houses and buildings by the waters edge reflected and twinkled in icy water. The days were short, but the light of the city reflected in the snow and the bars and cafes emitted an inviting candlelit glow come nightfall.
It's true. All the Swedish people we saw were beautiful. I fell in love with a different beautiful man with every step. What's more, every Swede I came into contact with so lovely and pleased to talk. Everyone was upbeat and generally happy.
Amazing. I want to dress like a Swede (and I'm going to try to.) The street style was beyond cool and seemed to encompass the whole Stockholm attitude.
Colours were muted and cuts were clever. It's all about the layers and Swedish women seem adept at putting together a very modern silhouette. Broadly, I found it more dynamic than British style and more androgynous. Like Stockholm itself, it seems that dressing is all about pairing innovation with tradition. Typically, COS slouchy jumpers and Acne chiffon will be worn with a vintage handbag and iconic red lipstick.
And the boys all had the best style. It was a uniform of rolled jeans, cool boots, a big coat, a thick jumper, a beard and a little woollen hat. Their hair was also neat and their faces beautiful. Like I said, I fell in love constantly.
We went to the Moderna Museet and The Museum of Architecture which are housed inside an old power plant on a small island. We boarded a ferry which was fun and upon arrival enjoyed taking in the beautiful island with fantastic views and boats moored in the ice. The island was very peaceful and the museums were great.
Fotografiska is a must see. It's a an old customs house on a Quay close to Soder. The exhibitions were brilliant and the photographic exhibition space is the best I've ever visited. It's a destination in itself, with a lovely cafe/bar on the top floor (where I had the most amazing carraway seed bun.) It's open til 9pm every night which meant it was a great way wind down on Friday evening after all our site-seeing.
Skanstulls Hostel, a stone's throw from Soder comes highly recommended. It's cheap and very comfortable and attracts all sorts of young cool types. Spending time in the communal kitchen and dining area was fun. There were also scented candles, free tea, coffee, pasta, muesli and Internet access. What more could a girl want?
I seriously want to live in Stocholm. It's so stylish, creative and generally enjoyable. I found I gelled with this city better than any other, including London.. which I love. Stockholm just has better vibes. I cannot wait to return!
PS: COST - nowhere near as expensive as I was scared into believing. I bought some great clothes, both new and vintage for tiny amounts. I didn't pay more than £5 for a beer, despite visiting some seriously trendy bars. The food was pricey, but good value as the quality was fantastic. Travel was brilliantly easy and very cheap - far, far cheaper than the London Underground and vastly superior.
All photos taken by my lovely friend Cara, who can be found online.. here.