The Monocle Travel Guide Series – Number 22: Stockholm
The Monocle Travel Guide Series reveals our favourite spots in each city, from the ideal route for an early-morning run to the best streets for independent retail.
Join our editors for a tour of their finest finds – from secret swimming spots to cracking cocktails and dapper shops – within the eminently admirable Swedish capital.
Stockholm has a world-leading design scene, picture-book palaces and an enviable berth in the waters of an idyllic archipelago – so to say that it's an easy city to fall for sounds a little trite. But it's more than looks that grace this place (even if a dedicated Beauty Council does oversee the architectural developments). There's also a crop of new restaurants that has brought variety to a once one-dimensional food scene – one that' now fast outstripping the old-hat New Nordic movement with its fresh approach to informality and charm. In the hotel industry too, recent openings have upstaged the staid options, while the shops teem with Swedish-made goodies and fashion-forward brands.
We steer clear of the glumly predictable tourist fodder and over-hyped openings in favour of the time-tested, the independent, and the winsome. You might not see it in the still waters of Lake Mälaren, which surrounds the 14 islands that constitute Stockholm, but there's a tide of optimism and change-for-the better cresting just beyond the Baltic Sea.