I'm away for Christmas now but I thought you might enjoy my photos from my winter trip to Stockholm, Sweden two years ago. Stockholm in winter was certainly not at the top of my travel wish list but I'm glad I went. It was really pretty and everyone was so nice. I also think it's fun to travel to Europe near the holidays since they always have great holiday markets and decorations like the Christmas tree in the harbor above.
The first day we arrived, there was a huge snowstorm so the entire city was blanketed in snow and had had a picture postcard beauty. It was also really cold and unlike New York, where the snow is immediately shoveled away, the snow in Stockholm just keeps piling up and all they do is throw some sand down for traction. If you plan to visit Sweden in the winter, definitely pack some practical footwear and warm clothes!
On the island of Gamla Stan, or Old Town, the cobblestone streets snake up and down the hills. On the main street, are the tourist shops but if you walk up the hill, you will find charming little shops and cafes...that is if you don't fall first!
The interior of another cafe was decorated in a traditional Swedish style. I love the pale blue woodwork and wallpaper. Many homes and business also display candles in their windows as well as lighted stars.
On Gamla Stan, there was a shop that had this funny little monkey on display in the window, which we thought was amusing. I wish I had taken a photo of the cute little antique shop across the street where we bought vintage Christmas ornaments and traditional Swedish Dala wood horse and roosters. I bought a lovely vintage rooster for about $20 USD which I actually thought was a bargain until my parent's presented me with two very similar vintage Swedish roosters that they bought at a flea market in Pennsylvania for $5 for the pair. Oh well.
I love this photo of the entrance above where they used natural greenery and berries as holiday decorations. Sweden is known for it's design and has a whole area of the city full of design shops. Most unfortunately were closed when I was there but they are definitely worth checking out if you ever happen to visit Stockholm.
The old buildings on the square were all very charming and painted in various shades of yellows and reds. The focal point was the large fountain and the Christmas tree in the center of the square.
We stayed at the popular Rival Hotel which is owned by a member of ABBA and overlooks a beautiful park Mariatorget that is referred to as the Soho area of Stockholm. The area has very cute shops and restaurants and the subway was close and very easy to navigate. The rooms were very well decorated and had very comfortable beds with fluffy white duvets. Each room has an interesting blown up photograph printed on canvas above the bed. An idea worth stealing for your own home.
On New Year's day, we took a very cold boat ride along the archipelago. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to do when you are hung over and tired after a night out at Riche, the cool Stockholm restaurant/club, but it was worth it. It was great to see the city from the water including the monastery above.
It's funny how some of the photos look like they were taken in black and white because it was so snowy and grey. We sat outside for as long as we could stand it so I missed taking photos of the trip back and side the island where all the mansions were located, including those of former ABBA members. In Stockholm, they take ABBA very seriously! They also all take long walks along the water on Sundays even on the coldest and snowiest days.
I think I would like to take another trip to Stockholm when it's summer and the sun shines all day and night instead of the dark and snowy winter but I guess I'd rather go somewhere cold than no where at all. Vi ses sénare Stockholm!