A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I headed to Stockholm for the weekend, for his friend’s surprise birthday party. It was my first time to Sweden and I didn’t really know what to expect besides lots of hot Swedish chicks! =) We flew from London Heathrow Airport on a Friday afternoon and in a little over two hours we arrived in Sweden and caught the ArlandaExpress train into the city. The ArlandaExpress was great, super clean with departures every 15 minutes, and it only takes 20 minutes to get to Stockholm. Riding the train is also a great way to see the beautiful countryside and they have free Wifi which is a big plus in my book.
We grab a cab from the train to the Berns Hotel where we are staying Friday night, and when we arrive I begin to understand why Stockholm is my boyfriend’s favorite city in Europe. Of course a search for pretty girls was probably the first reason he visited but besides the beautiful people (the men are extremely attractive too!), the city itself is also gorgeous, very clean, set across 14 islands on the coast in the south-east of Sweden, with water everywhere and an abundance of parks. Stockholm is known for its beauty, and captivating architecture and is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. I visited Venice a few weeks prior so I have to agree with this description except Stockholm is much cleaner and way more hip.
The Berns Hotel is a chic boutique hotel, with lavish chandeliers, plush, rich upholstery & contemporary art and furnishings, boasting old world glamour with an urban modern-day vibe. In short I loved it because it’s cool without trying too hard and is centrally located next to all the best restaurants and shops and after hours the gorgeous, two-level restaurant turns into a rocking club! NOSH AND CHOW, where we had dinner Friday night (and surprised the birthday boy!) is very hip and offers a delicious menu of fresh fish, vegetables, meats and a great wine list. After dinner we returned to Berns where we continued the surprise party at one of the 7 bars inside. We drank great cocktails, laughed and danced the night away, only stopping for a brief moment to notice the incredible sight of dozens of beautiful girls outside, waiting in line still at 2am. Girls take away message here is you’re just another pretty face in Sweden so this is the one place your good looks are probably not going to get you in anywhere faster than the guys.
The next morning we walked to meet some friends who were staying down the street at the Lydmar Hotel, another cool boutique hotel that embraces simple, modern design and a great location, looking out on the water. We had a delicious, boozy lunch on the terrace restaurant there, drinking Rose, telling stories and enjoying the sunshine & light summer breeze. After lunch we walked the pretty cobblestone streets of Gamla stan (The Old Town). Gamla stan, which consists primarily of the small island of Stadsholmen, is home to tons of great shops, restaurants and Stockholm Palace, which was built in the 18th century and is the actual residence of the Swedish Monarch, currently home to the present King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf.
We took pictures, went for coffee and gelato and then headed out to our friend’s house on Lake Mälaren for Saturday night. The countryside in Sweden is gorgeous with green rolling hills and trees everywhere, much like the central coast of California where I grew up. We had an amazing time at our friend’s house, and made sure to take a dip in the lake (a bit chilly but exhilarating!) before heading back to the city. We spent Sunday afternoon walking the streets again, stopping for a cocktail at the super cool IceBar, before heading back to London.
After the trip I now fully understand why Stockholm is my boyfriend’s favorite city in Europe. It’s clean and beautiful, the people are beautiful, the city has an amazing nightlife and so much to do during the day, the countryside is gorgeous, and the whole area is trendy and hip without trying too hard. I haven’t visited enough cities on this side of the pond to make that claim myself yet, but I can say Stockholm is very, very cool.
Love Berns Hotel!
They gave us the perfect room w/ a view next to the rooftop bar!
Surprising the birthday boy in the bar area at NOSH AND CHOW
Decor, food & service at NOSH AND CHOW was excellent!
Perfect ambience + good wine + great friends = amazing dinner!
After hours this magnificent dinning room at Berns Hotel turns into an equally impressive two-level club!
Obviously I am completely obsessed with these chandeliers, especially after a few cocktails!
Brunch on the terrace at Lydmar Hotel
Gamla stan (Old Town), is so beautiful!
Exploring Old Town
And being a little inappropriate as usual >=) LOL
Walking the beautiful cobblestone streets of Gamla stan is a must!
Hour+ drive & we arrive at our friend’s house on beautiful Lake Mälaren
Dinner on the balcony overlooking the lake. What a perfect night!
We end our trip to Sweden Sunday afternoon, with a drink at the ICEBAR
Cheers to Stockholm, the coolest city in Europe!
Dinner: NOSH AND CHOW, 24 Norrlandsgatan, Stockholm, 111 43, SE +46 8 5033 8960
Brunch: Lydmar Restaurant, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, Stockholm, +46 8 22 31 60
Berns Club, Näckströmsgatan 8, Stockholm, +46 8 566 322 00
Cafe’ Opera, Karl XII:s torg, 111 86 Stockholm, +46 8 676 58 07
Berns Hotel, Näckströmsgatan 8, Stockholm, +46 8 566 322 00
Lydmar Hotel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, Stockholm, +46 8 22 31 60
Marions Gastro Diner, Kungsgatan 37, 111 56 Stockholm, +46 8 546 110 00
ICEBAR, Vasaplan 4, Stockholm, +46 (0)8-50 56 35 08