Östermalm is the most expensive district in the center of Stockholm. A bit snobbish but full of entertainment. Local stores and restaurants offer faultless quality, sophisticated style and refined service. An air of culture and many years of tradition, old architecture and dozens of interesting places – everything makes you feel like a local aristocrat. Don't forget to explore the area around Strandvägen promenade.
Swedish 'kvarterskrog' literally means something like 'a bistro in the neighborhood' or 'a restaurant of the district'. At first it was used for simple restaurants close to the house. But in the last couple of years it acquired a new meaning. Now 'kvarterskrog' refers to newly opened trendy bistros, owned by famous chefs or restaurant groups. These outlets focus on a mixture of quality-atmosphere-accessibility combination. Open for a couple of years now, Nybrogatan 38 is a great example of 'kvarterskrog': mouthwatering food and nice atmosphere at a reasonable price. These qualities make foodies from all over the town come here every day. The place is open till late at night. Early breakfast (from 7:30) with courses for any taste (from cereal and omelette to smoothies and fruit salad with yoghurt) is its specialty.
The main market of the country is situated near Nybroplan berth. It is among top ten markets in the world. You won't find a better place for 'fika' (a coffee & bun break). Its red brick building was constructed in 1888, which was a real breakthrough back then. Everyone from Swedish housewives to Royal Court chefs came here for fresh fish, vegetables and rare herbs.
Walk through the rows of shopping stalls, try skagenrora (Swedish shrimp cocktail) at Lisa Elmqvist Restaurant, taste an excellent smoothie at Planet Food and some Betsy Sandberg chocolate cooked to a hundred-year-old recipe.
Traders work here for decades, and some of them even hand their businesses down from generation to generation. Prices might be even higher than at the restaurants, but you just can't leave Östermalms Saluhall without buying anything.
Strandvägen street begins in the very center of Stockholm and splits in two parts which lead to huge park areas with museums (including Nordiska museet) and other powerful places. A boulevard and a promenade at the same time, Strandvägen offers an exceptional sea view. It also features the main Drama Theatre of the country and such iconic interior design stores as Svenkt Tenn and Malmsten. Its houses, built by the best architects of their time, are still considered super prestigious. Basically, Strandvägen is one of the last places where you can feel an aristocratic spirit.
Scandinavian Museum (also called Nordic) built in 1907 is almost a perfect copy of medieval Frederiksborg Castle in Denmark (it hosts Danish Museum of National History, by the way). The museum houses a vast collection of wooden items, textiles and folk art exponents. It also features a room devoted to contemporary Swedish design and a spacious central hall with a huge statue of King Gustav Vasa in the middle.
Skansen Museum – ethnographic this time – is a few steps away. It displays entire open-air extant complexes from all over Sweden: bakery, blowing shop, blacksmith’s shop, etc. – basically all those workshops where showpieces for Scandinavian Museum were created.
Created in 1924, the store had its furniture exhibited at Modern Art Museum in 1930’s. It was not the founder Astrid Erickson who brought fame to the store, but an architect and urbanist Josef Frank. Svensk Tenn collections are revolutionary compared to the original Swedish design (although they are considered classics): psychedelic plants, wondrous landscapes, variegated abstraction, and funny elephant patterns everywhere – on pillows, wallpapers, fabrics, and even aprons.
The store is named after a legendary Swedish designer Carl Malmsten and is run by his son. Here you will see works of Malmsten himself (for instance, his famous chairs and sofas) and other iconic brands. The key features are: high quality products, natural materials and the fact that all items should be produced or invented in Sweden, and that all ethical standards are being followed. The store also offers an excellent choice of kitchenware, stylish raincoats by Stutterheim and perfect bags and backpacks by Sandqvist.
The Royal Dramatic Theatre also known as Swedish National Theatre is a very important part of Swedish culture. Many world famous Swedish stage actors worked here. Ingmar Bergman and Erland Josephson were among its directors. Actors like Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman and Max von Sydow graduated from its dramatic school. The building itself attracts a lot of attention – especially its gilded items in the facade and massive columns. The Royal Dramatic Theatre is a nice example of Art Nouveau style in architecture. From September to May (winter season) the theatre's restaurant offers a delicious lunch. In summer the restaurant is open till the evening and it features a terrace with an exceptional sea view. From time to time, it hosts trendy live concerts, so if you see that an event takes place at Dramaten, it's another reason to get the tickets.
Classic and contemporary at the same time, the restaurant cherishes its traditions since it was open in 1897, as well as its unique atmosphere and interior. The restaurant is open till 1:00 even on weekdays. You should definitely try their traditional fish snacks with cheese, and of course, their famous desserts. They say that it is one of the favorite restaurants of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. The outlet also includes two bars and a nightclub of the same name.
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