On my way to Åland last August, I travelled via Stockholm and so instead of trying to fit my flight, train, bus, and ferry into the same day, I decided to break it up a bit by spending one night in Stockholm, my first ever experience of the famous city!
My flight arrived very late in the evening, so I took the Arlanda Express to the city centre, and then headed straight to my hostel, Birka Hostel in Luntmakargatan, to get to bed as soon as I could! In true Swedish style, I was kept up late because of a group of people singling ABBA really loudly outside!
The next day I was then heading to Grisslehamn to catch the ferry at 5, so it was going to require some planning to make the most of my time there…
I’m not the kind of person to try and squeeze in a million activities in a single day because I honestly don’t think that allows you to appreciate your trip, so I started off my sightseeing with a lot of walking, from the central station where I left my luggage in a locker, through Gamla Stan to see the palace, and then onto the docks.
For lunch, I really couldn’t imagine anything more typical than Swedish meatballs (I mean, can you?), so I went on the hunt for the best meatball place for lunch and was not disappointed! I found a little corner restaurant called Meatballs for the People, so yes, it was indeed exactly what I was looking for! Each day they have a selection of 5 different meats, and I went for the venison ones, in a deluxe meal which included mash, red wine sauce, bacon, pink pickled onion and, of course, lingonberries. For anyone who wishes to taste some too, it was on Nytorgsgatan, so get google maps out and hunt down those meatballs!
Heading off with a full belly and smile on my face, I wandered through a lovely residential area with cute colourful houses and then headed to the docks to check out the well-reputed Fotografiska, a photography museum. The permanent exhibition there is fascinating and really draws you in, but what blew me away was their temporary Turning the Tide exhibition. The photos were incredible, and set out with dimmed lights and film projections all around that allowed you to become totally immersed! They even had beanbags out in front of the bigger projections on the walls so that you could sit and gaze in awe for as long as you wanted. The photos were by photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen (check out their instas, I highly recommend!), and they do a huge amount for animal conservation, raising awareness of the climate crisis.
For anyone who knows me, you’ll know how much I love penguins, so I’d have to call the photo above my exhibition favourite!
After all that, my time in Stockholm was almost up, so I headed back to collect my suitcase from the train station and waited in the bus station next door for my coach with Eckerö Linjen to Grisslehamn, to catch the ferry… an adventure in Åland awaited.