Stockholm – a walkable, genteel city featuring royalty, cutting-edge design, and a fever-pitch foodie scene — is gaining attention as a luxury destination. Team Max visited some years ago, and we asked some friends of Max who are Stockholm natives to help us shape an itinerary for a trip to Sweden’s capital.
Where to start in a city with 8 Michelin stars? Celebrity chef Mathias Dahlgren has two restaurants in the renowned Grand Hotel: Matsalen, which boasts 2 stars and a new-every-day menu of seasonal New Scandinavian dishes, and one-star Matbaren, a more casual gastro-bar. Also try two-starred Frantzén, the brainchild of chef Bjorn Frantzén, which boats what the Guide Michelin called a “particularly interesting wine list.”
Locals point in the direction of Gastrologik, run by Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr with a produce-first philosophy: “The potato is worth exactly as much as the truffle. It is not nature that decides what´s good or bad, it’s you and me,” reads the manifesto on the restaurant’s website.
Start by walking around Gamla stan, the old town center, which is lined with coffee bars and small boutiques. Head down Strandvägen to Djurgården, a leafy island bound by bridges to the rest of the city. There’s enough to do for a whole day: the Grona Lund amusement park; Skansen, an outdoor museum dotted with historic houses moved from all around the country; and the iconic Vasa Museum, which boasts a preserved Viking ship.
Elsewhere in the city, locals recommend the Hallwyl Museum, in a former Victorian-era castle, and the Modern Museum in Skeppsholmen. Once you’ve taken in the quaint blocks and arching bridges, hop on a ferry to one of the outer islands for a trip to the country.
Looking for Swedish-born design? Stop in at Svensk Tenn, the venerable home-decor house known for its colorful prints and seen in chic homes around the world. Another destination is Design Torget, which features high-design items from a variety of famous and undiscovered designers, often for a limited time.
If you’d like to take home some of the crystal for which Sweden is famous, try the grand old department store NK, which stocks local favorites Orrefors and Kosta Boda. They have a range of crystal goblet sizes not found elsewhere.