Stockholm is renowned for its stellar design, which extends into every corner of life. Indeed, the city’s streets are saturated with sleek Scandi-chic venues. Whether you’re traversing the high-end boutiques of Biblioteksgatan or relaxing in the creative district of Södermalm, you’re guaranteed to discover something impossibly cool. But with such an abundance of enthralling places, it can be difficult to know where to start. To give you some direction, we enlisted the help of two of the trendiest Swedes in the world right now—who know a thing or two about cool: Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede, the team behind the celebrated jeans brand Frame. Below, the duo share their favorite hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions within this buzzing, creative metropolis.
Where to Stay
We hosted our yearly Christmas party here for five years, it’s not just a favorite place in Stockholm, but one of our favorite places in the world—our only problem is we have recommended it so much that it’s now always full. Owner Jeanette Blix has managed to create an intimate personalized hotel experience where the service for the hotel’s mere 14 rooms lives up to the most discerning of guests. The interiors have set decorating trends for the rest of the world over the last five years.
Where to Eat
This is where we have been coming for 20 years—it’s the best mix of people, from media, culture and fashion, it’s small and very local; you can’t book a table, well unless you been coming here for over 20 years. The restaurant has only about 40 seats; as the founder, P.A. Roseen famously said on the opening night when asked why the restaurant was so small, “Stockholm is not bigger than this.”
Beautifully designed and located in Grand Hotel—choose the casual part over the fine dining where Chef Mattias Dahlgren cooks up hot Scandinavian cuisine in an informal setting designed by Ilse Crawford.
Swedish classic in the best spot for people watching. Open all day, a must visit. Try the classic Swedish meatballs with lingonberry, toast skågen, and for the more daring, the assortment of pickled herring. Best enjoyed with an ice-cold Swedish snaps.
Swedes have always been big on taking an afternoon break for a cup of coffee and traditional Swedish pastries such as biskvi or kanelbullar (cinnamon buns). Visit this local traditional bakery to sample the best of Swedish fika cuture which has born international imitation throughout the world.
In the small bar of Teatergrillen, it’s tiny and perfect for a quick drink. You can also have dinner at Teatergillen, it’s a fantastic room and used to be Ingmar Bergman’s favorite spot—there is a secret passage to sister restaurant Riche thru the kitchen, it can be useful for an extra drink later in the night.
Where to Shop
We are furniture buffs, Svenskt Tenn on Strandvagen is a must. It is the only store of its kind in the world. Sweden’s Josef Frank furniture is a bit overrepresented but if you bring it to your home outside of Sweden, you will have something special that not a lot of people see. There are also amazing smaller home accessories to bring back on the plane.
Best store for modernist furniture—bar none. Ask to go see their big warehouse in the harbor, that is much more of a treat than the actual showroom.
Go check out Swedish auction house Bukowskis—if they have an auction coming up, you can browse through some amazing Swedish art and design that also often goes for much, much better prices than Phillips or Christies.
Our friend Elin Kling’s brand Totême recently opened its first store designed by Christian Halleröd. The line’s design showcases sober, yet stylish restraint and luxurious fabrications at more digestible prices.
What to See
Designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and opened in 1958, the museum has gained a reputation as one of the leading contemporary art museums in the world, housing seminal works by Picasso, Dali, Duchamp and Calder. The building of the museum’s international reputation and collection of works can be credited to its first director, Pontus Hultén (from 1958 to 1973), who was a true visionary and before his time in the depth and scope of the exhibitions staged. Upon his death, he bequeathed his vast art collection and library to the museum.
Stockholm is often called the Venice of the North so it seems fitting to include a maritime museum. The Vasa Museet houses the only almost fully intact 17th-century warship—the Vasa—in the world. Salvaged in 1961, 333 years after it sank on its maiden voyage, it is 95 percent original and a breathtaking and unique example of 17th-century shipbuilding.
The city is amazing for walking—a stroll from Slussen through Gamla Stan to Kungsträdgården on a sunny and crisp Swedish morning is spectacular.