Sightrunning through Stockholm with Petter Stordalen
Petter Stordalen's day always begins with a run. When he finds himself in a new destination, he gladly takes on the entire city in less than an hour. "I covered much of Tokyo, including the Imperial Palace, in 45 minutes, photos and everything!" Today, we are joining the hotel magnate for a sightrunning adventure through Stockholm. Tag along!
"If you're travelling to a city and you want to experience culture and vibrancy, savour an incredible food scene, and a wild nightlife, then Stockholm is just perfect," says Petter Stordalen, adding enthusiastically:
"This is the country that has given us Volvo, IKEA, Spotify, and many globally recognised brands. You'll encounter an international city, while it's still a Nordic city that has it all. It's beautiful, intimate, and personal."
"I've visited most of the capitals in Europe, and if I could choose, well, I'd live here in Stockholm," says Petter, spreading his arms wide with a big smile.
It's early morning. Behind the Norwegian investor, tourism mogul, entrepreneur, and owner of Strawberry, Stockholm's castle basks in the spring sunshine.
Petter, wearing in a light blue training sweatshirt and black running tights, has already run for a good hour with his dog Tage, yet he's nevertheless ready for another round of running, or sightrunning as he calls it, with us.
Our journey begins outside the five-star hotel At Six, and we're ready to keep up with the person known for his tremendous energy and broad smile. Keep up as best we can, that is.
Jogging at Djurgården
"I believe that moving and keeping the body active is important for more than just one reason. Most people think I exercise to look fit and slim. That's wrong. For me, training is 80 percent about the mental aspect. It's a good start to the day, and it's a way to start planning your day," insists Petter.
When he laces up his running shoes, he leaves his worries behind. He feels like he has a head start on everyone else. He started early today, too. "A good life really consists of this: you have to sleep well, laugh a lot, and eat well."
Today's morning session started from At Six at Brunkebergstorg 6. Our guide then runs along Strandvägen. Here, you run past restaurants, exclusive shops, and beautiful brick buildings, all the time beside the water. The journey continues out towards Djurgården.
"I usually run around Djurgården. There, I'm in nature, it's quiet, and I'm among likeminded individuals. People walk or run, and it's an incredibly good start to the day," says Petter.
Sightrunning in Stockholm
If you follow Petter's running route, you can choose your own distance. Djurgården is filled with paths and small roads. It's green, and you have a sea view.
And, of course, there are plenty of things to see. Djurgården is home to everything from the Vasa Museum, the world's oldest open-air museum Skansen, a zoo, the Rosendal Garden, and Rosendal Castle.
"I'm a huge fan of sightrunning, which is a combination of exactly those two words - sightseeing and running."
"My tip is to start at Brunkebergstorg, then you can run around and experience the city while you exercise," says Petter, adding with a laugh:
"I covered much of Tokyo, including the Imperial Palace, in 45 minutes. What an average tourist might take a day to do, I swept through by running, including photos and everything!"
Where to Stay and Dine in Stockholm
If you start your day with a run, you can enjoy all the other things Stockholm has to offer with a clear conscience. And Petter has the perfect recipe:
"If you have a day to spend in Stockholm, you should wake up at Brunkebergstorg at At Six. You look out over the square and think: What shall I do today?"
"I imagine it's a sunny day, and you should start the day on the roof of the hotel (TAK Stockholm, ed. note). On a beautiful sunny day, there can be 1,500-2,000 people there, and you look out over all of Stockholm. You look into the living room of the King, you can see right in as he puts on his robe in the morning," says Petter, laughing.
He becomes even more enthusiastic:
"Once you've done that, take a little stroll. You don't need to go far but sit down at a small outdoor restaurant and have a coffee. Or if you are like me, you may prefer a cold beer."
Dining and Partying All Night
At the outdoor seating, you can plan where you and your travel companions will have dinner. You don't really need to search because here's the answer:
"For me, the afternoon would start at the Hobo Hotel. Have a cocktail at the bar there, then take a stroll and finish with dinner at Chez Jolie. That pretty much completes the day and evening."
"But if you still have energy left, Stureplan has the very best nightlife. You should start at Laroy with a drink. It's the coolest place to start the night," reveals Petter.
He believes you can go almost anywhere in Stureplan and find the coolest nightclubs, with an international vibe and great music.
"Here, you'll find world stars that Sweden has created. And if you still have energy left, but I warn you, it's getting very late, you can go to Sturecompagniet."
"And after that, if you still have something left in you, you should go to Hell's Kitchen."
"Then it's morning, and you're back to breakfast at At Six."
"And then, of course, we know how the day starts again. Running shoes, and a run out towards Djurgården!"