Many visitors of Stockholm spend much of their time visiting the “must-sees” like the beautiful palaces, old parts with beautiful historic buildings and architecture, crowded restaurants with a nice view, churches and the great museums that this city has to offer. Nothing wrong with that of course, but you will spend much of your time queuing with fellow tourists.
Wouldn’t you like to spend at least part of your city trip away from the tourist trail, and go where the locals go? Our locals created the Spotted by Locals Stockholm blog & app to help you experience our city like we locals do. In this article we picked some local gems in Stockholm, discovered by our very own team of Spotters.
Get a city overview
Stockholm has a lot of brilliant lookouts, but Fåfängan is one of the most astonishing ones if you ask me. It’s just southeast of the city, only an easy ten-minute straight walk from Slussen. It’s not hard to miss from a distance though since there are trees and flags in a square surrounding the top.
Wooden stairs will take you upward, and soon you’ll witness the Stockholm skyline, the island Djurgården, rooftops, and cruise ships arriving and departing. It’s truly a magnificent view!
If the weather allows you should bring your own bottle of wine and choose a favorite spot on the cliffs. In the chillier months, they actually host brunches every Saturday and Sunday. — Camilla Gestrin
The gallery street
Hornsagatan is one of the main streets in Söder, when you cross number 50, the street branches out and one of the two ends becomes narrow and steep, paved with cobblestones and populated by a long series of art galleries: paintings, sculptures, glass, and fine Scandinavian art. Well, if you keep walking till number 8, you’ll find my favorite: Galleri Kontrast!
Galleri Kontrast is a photography gallery primarily focusing on documentary photography and photojournalism. They regularly help students from Nordens Fotoskola to get visibility by showing their works.
The bottom floor hosts the current exhibitions while downstairs you will find pictures for sale, from David Bowie portraits to landscapes, street photography and more. — Lorenza Capantini
A suburban cultural heritage
I find urban development and the historical evolvement of a city a very interesting subject. In Hagalund, Solna, one finds a neighborhood bearing witness to what went through the minds of Stockholm city planners during the 1960s.
At the turn of the 19th Century, there was a severe housing shortage in Stockholm and the small suburb sprang up as a result. It became a popular area amongst craftsmen to build their own houses, which made for a creative and colorful mix of buildings.
By the end of the 1960s, it was decided that the houses would be torn down and only a handful remain. The contrast between the few original buildings and the imposing high-rises that dominate the landscape gives food for thought. — Joel Rapi
My best-kept shopping secret
When I first walked into Vintagefabriken, I felt like walking into a homey, heartwarming, frosted cupcake. These small boutique neighbors with Svenska armaturer and Dunke design, all part of the small cluster of worth-visiting spots around Skvallertorget in Midsommarkransen.
They stock hand-selected vintage clothes and items, original prints, posters and things that in the-little-mermaid-lingo simply would be classified as thingamabobs.
If you’re looking for cute gifts to bring back home, either for you or a loved one, it’s a sure bet you’ll find something to your liking here! — Susanna Sjödin
Historical Stockholm walk
Prästgatan is often overlooked by visitors to Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, simply because there is less than a handful of shops and only one restaurant found here. Unlike Västerlånggatan, it lacks window displays and commercial signboards and still retains its original character of a medieval street.
Prästgatan, or Priests Street, gets its name from the priests serving the main Cathedral Storkyrkan who have traditionally had their lodgings on Prästgatan 18. A tradition traced back to the 14th Century.
Enjoy a moment of tranquil reflection on a street often unnoticed by locals and visitors alike. — Joel Rapi
Record shops for vinyl lovers
If you’re a music freak like me, this is the area to be for music collectors and vinyl lovers. On St Eriksgatan alone you will find five different shops to look around in. Not to mention other streets like Odengatan nearby where even more gems are to be found.
I usually start at the beginning of the street, close to where I live and make my way around to whatever I’m in the mood for that day. Nostalgipalatset (see image), doesn’t have only 2nd hand vinyl but also has 2nd hand toys and Record Hunting has an online registry on discogs.com.
I could go on forever giving hints and descriptions, but I think it’s better to do some ‘crate diggin’ yourself since you can spend a whole day around there. Happy hunting! — Nathalie Bax
The museum of spirits
On the famous city island Djurgården, where you can find all kinds of cultural experiences, you will also find the Spiritmuseum. That is, a whole museum about the booze culture of Sweden! Here you’ll definitely have fun.
It consists of two exhibition rooms and the permanent exhibition “Sweden: Spirits of a Nation”. Here visitors take part in the Swedes’ bittersweet relationship with alcohol while walking through the seasons of the year taking in scenery, scents, tastes, and music.
You can also experience a simulation of drunkenness as well as a hangover and even do a quiz! — Camilla Gestrin
Quirky and enlightening design
During one of my short-dog-walks-turning-into-a-longer-dog-walk, I stumbled upon a wonderful little shop called Kabelverket. At the beginning of 2018, they switched addresses, re-named the boutique Svenska Armaturer and opened their new showroom in a former tobacco shop; focusing on designing, restoring and selling one-of-a-kind lamps!
You can find warm retro pieces from the 1950s, as well as wonderful Italian brass fittings decorated with porcelain and opal glass. The store is run by two brothers, who travel all over Sweden to collect and restore these items.
You can swing by their Instagram account for a quick preview of the different types of lamps they sell! — Susanna Sjödin
A garden fit for a prince
Once the stately home of Prince Eugene, it was donated to the State along with his vast collection of art in order for it to be enjoyed by the public. But as much as I enjoy going to art exhibitions in his former home, now a museum, it is the garden and park that I find to be the main draw to Waldemarsudde.
Overlooking the harbor inlet of the city, the main thoroughfare into Stockholm for centuries, the Prince had a great panorama to enjoy.
There are several sculptures to admire, perhaps the most famous of these, August Rodin’s The Thinker. — Joel Rapi
If you like games and ‘going to bars’, Ugglan Boule & Bar is the place where they go hand in hand. At a bit of a dodgy entrance, you’ll find a basement which leads to an underground dungeon with sandy floors, lots of old-school games, pinball machines, boule lanes, shuffleboards, pool tables, ping pong and so on.
It’s quite a cool concept I think; I have actually never seen it anywhere else before… at least not this well-maintained and with that many options.
Also, their bars (yes, there are 3 of them!) are pretty well equipped and certainly not over-priced. You do pay for each game you would like to play, but that kinda makes sense. — Nathalie Bax
Create your own gear of cool
T-shirt bar was first launched in 2012 by Juri and Joel as a shop where you could design and print your own shirts. They focus on t-shirts, sweatshirts, tanks and tote bags, either bought at the store or you can also bring your own garment to print on.
They use a digital printing technique, which is quick and easy. If you have a pattern in mind, you can easily design it using their own online tool and send it in advance or you can drop by the store and use one of the computers available there.
It’s a perfect gift, an awesome experience and first and foremost, such fun! — Susanna Sjödin
Marabouparken is the biggest public park in Sundbyberg, kinda hidden, on the west side of the neighborhood. It has something for everyone such as a sculpture collection, an art gallery with exhibitions of local and international artists, and they organize workshops for kids and adults.
Marabouparken, as it is now, was designed between 1937 and 1955 by two Swedish landscape architects: the basic concept behind the park design is the symbiosis between nature and urban landscape without any of the parts taking over the other one.
Coming here for a walk or laying down on the grass really helps me make peace with the world. — Lorenza Capantini
For more great local spots check out our Stockholm city blog!