24 hours in Stockholm – the best of what the city has to offer
What should you do if you only have one day in Stockholm? Strawberry joined a group of girls as they experienced one of the city's coolest rooftop terraces, sipped chilled drinks and indulged in an authentic Swedish "fika".
"You get the best view and the perfect ending to an evening here."
"The drinks are great, it has a magical atmosphere, and it's a place where mingling comes naturally," says Nikita Borglund when asked to describe TAK Stockholm.
But before the ladies gathered for dinner and nightlife, they had been through a full day in Stockholm packed with activities.
Let's rewind a few hours.
Shopping in Stockholm
Stockholm is well known for offering great shopping for everyone, no matter where you are in the city. You can find everything from the latest fashions to second-hand and vintage shops. But the most famous shopping areas are the streets of Drottninggatan, Hamngatan and Biblioteksgatan.
Strawberry met Ellen Larsson (26), Synne Krogstad (30), Johanna Johansson Ask (32) and Nikita Borglund (31) in bustling Biblioteksgatan.
"Biblioteksgatan is great for shopping; for example, you can find & Other Stories here," says Johanna.
In the area surrounding Biblioteksgatan, between Stureplan and Norrmalstorg, you'll find world-famous brands and fashion shops, including Acne, Whyred, Chanel, Cos, Hope, Zara, and the Swedish perfume house Byredo. It's no wonder the ladies spent the entire morning shopping in this area.
Fika in Stockholm
Everyone who visits Sweden must, as a matter of course, partake in the long and delightful tradition of fika, which although it literally means a break with coffee and cake, signifies so much more for the Swedes:
"Fika also provides a laid-back and informal way to socialise. You sit down, chat, and enjoy each other's company – this moment is just as synonymous with fika as drinking the coffee itself," Emma Nilsson, Food & Beverage Manager at Clarion Collection® Hotel Tapto in Stockholm told Strawberry.
The ladies had heard great things about Stora Bageriet, which is just a five-minute walk from Biblioteksgatan. The bakery is centrally located in Östermalm and has an industrial vibe, plenty of seating, a lovely outdoor area, and an authentic fika atmosphere. Here, you can enjoy smörgåsbord, sandwiches, soups, and a wide selection of organic baked goods.
"It's so cosy here, and the scents are incredibly delicious," says Nikita, adding: "I want to buy so many things!"
Synne reveals that she's familiar with the place and says: "They have the world's best cinnamon and cardamom buns here!"
So, what do they opt for? Naturally, they go for buns and the whole fika package: a table for four, baked goods, coffee and engaging conversation.
Drinks at ICEBAR
To pick up the pace after fika and try something entirely new, the group takes a 10-minute taxi ride to ICEBAR Stockholm at Hotel C Stockholm. They've heard about the place and are curious about the concept.
Each of the ladies are given a thermal cape and a pair of warm gloves. Inside, the thermometer shows minus five degrees Celsius... The capes are, of course, designed to keep the guests warm but are also necessary to protect the ice from body heat.
The ladies are ushered in as a separate group; ICEBAR is jam-packed – it's hugely popular with American tourists who want to experience Sweden's authentic polar magic, even though they're visiting a city in spring.
A visit to ICEBAR includes a drink, a tour of the Fata Morgana art exhibition (in 2023), and a total visit time of 45 minutes.
The entire place is made of ice, from sofas and seating areas to the bar itself. The four friends each receive a colourful and fruity drink, served in a glass made of ice.
"This is a bucket list destination you simply must try out," says Nikita about their icy bar adventure.
Spa in the city centre
With shopping, fika, and a unique experience ticked off the list, two activities remain on the ladies' wish list: a relaxing spa and an equally delightful dinner.
Stockholm is known for its spas, both inside and just outside the city centre. It's not long until our dinner reservation, so we opt for Selma City Spa, which is just a four-minute walk from ICEBAR. The spa is centrally located and is most famous for its rooftop terrace, with twinkling lights and views over the capital. During the day, it's quiet and suitable for children; as the day progresses, the place transforms into a pool club where you can hang out with friends for lunch or meet colleagues for a drink after work.
Ellen, Synne, Johanna, and Nikita order bubbly and enjoy a dip in the pool. Selma City Spa is connected to the Clarion Hotel® Sign. You can book here.
Restaurants and bars in Stockholm
"You get the absolute best view of Stockholm here," Nikita insists.
The time has come to spend a few hours rounding off the day in Stockholm. This is done at trendy TAK Stockholm, located on the 14th floor with panoramic views. It's an unrivalled selfie spot, where you'll find several restaurants, bars, as well as the five-star hotel At Six.
"The restaurant's central location is a big plus," says Ellen.
"And it's also very social and easy to share food here," adds Synne.
The ladies chose to dine at Izakaya, where Nordic meets Japanese culinary culture. The place is steeped in Japanese culture and aesthetics. The maître d' recommends a menu, and sushi, gua bao, tartare, sake and Japanese sour beer are served. The tables are designed for groups of friends seeking top-quality food.
Although it's been a non-stop adventure since early morning, the five activities described above are highly recommended if you only have a short time in which to explore Stockholm. But what's the verdict on the final hours of the day?
"The food is always well-executed and authentic here; Izakaya could easily have been in Japan," says Synne.
"It's the perfect ending to the evening!" exclaims Nikita.