Modern Stockholm

Beautiful Stockholm, image courtesy of TripAdvisors.com
Beautiful Stockholm, image courtesy of TripAdvisors.com

I am lucky to go to Scandinavia regularly, either attending a conference or taking a tour,  and always jumped at the opportunity.  I love Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.  If you can do all three on one trip, it’s a great experience.

Stockholm is a dynamic mix of historical and contemporary, bright and gritty, high end and casual makes for a powerful meeting of contrasts, whether in art and design, popular culture or even cuisine.   Built on 14 natural islands, the city appears to be floating on water.  With Stockholm’s lush scenery set against reaching skyline, you could not ask for a prettier port of arrival or departure.  I always recommend a few extra days there, if you are on a Baltic cruise.   It’s a good place to visit, no matter what time of year.

Fantastic shopping, unique, and although it is not cheap, compared to the rest of Europe I think the prices have remained the same in recent years.

From the cobblestoned streets of Old Town – you must wear flat shoes – there are over 80 museums within the city limits.  It dates back to the 13th century, making it one of Sweden’s most preserved medieval city centers.   Consider lunch in the Den Gyldene Freden tavern, the world’s oldest existing restaurant with an unaltered interior, or squeeze through Marten Trotzigs Grand, the narrowest alley in Stockholm.   In stark contrast to Old Town’s charm is Moderna Museet, the Museum of Modern Art.  A new exhibit is “Surrealism & Duchamp” which runs through August.   I was there in November, chilly, but this exhibit is worth seeing.

I am a big fan of ABBA, and the recently opened museum pays tribute to the iconic 70’s band founded in Stockholm.  You can see the glitzy costumes, and enjoy the music.   The culinary culture of Stockholm is as layered as the many flavors of its dishes.  The New Nordic Cuisine Movement transforms traditional dishes so that dining becomes a fresh high end experience.   Mathias Dahlgren, honored seven times with the title Chef of all Chefs title, manifests the new experience at his Michelin star restaurant, Matsalen.  Located within the prestigious Grand Hotel Stockholm, Matsalen features a delectable eight course tasting menu that changes daily.    The town is full of unique coffee shops and it’s fun to wander and explore new ones. Go try the cinnamon rolls at the Pubologi Restaurant.

I flew on SAS which does a wonderful job of service and meals.    The country is an archipelago made up of 30,000 islands.  It was voted Europe’s Best Cruise Destination at the prestigious 2013 Cruise International Awards, since the city is a wonderful start or finish to a cruise holiday. Look at a package, Stockholm at its Best, or Luxuriant Stockholm, which offers you the highlights at good value.  

Maureen Jones, Scandinavian Specialist, is president of All Horizons Travel, at 160 Main Street. Members of her staff are experts in business travel, cruises, and all types of leisure.


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