Welcome everyone for my first installment of my Pinup Travels series!
Now living in the UK and having more time on my hands I am looking forward to travelling and spending time away from home more often. I never got the chance to travel to another country until I moved overseas so I want to make up for some lost time and experience some new places! I want to share some of my favourite things I see and do and I will always include special interest locations for vintage and pinup lovers!
On the eve of my last birthday my partner suggested we book tickets to Stockholm, Sweden. We already had our tickets to the UK and had a rough plan of arriving at the start of December, staying with family over Christmas and then moving down to London early in the New Year. We’d sort of discussed New Year’s as a rough plan and decided to lock it in, so we booked our plane tickets and accommodation!
Why Stockholm? (This is a long one, feel free to skip)
I have had a long love affair with the idea of Sweden. It started when I first watched Wallander, the UK version. There was something about the landscape and essence of the show that immediately captured me. I read and listened to a few of Henning Mankell’s books and just found myself longing for the setting. A few years later I rented Let The Right One In and it was perfection to me; it remains one of my favourite movies of all time. I looked into it and saw that it was based on a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist (coincidentally now my favourite author) so I found a copy and was so engrossed. It was at this point I bought one of the Eyewitness Travel Guides on Sweden. I also have a pretty hefty obsession with Alaska, which I did the same for, I love to buy travel books and then read them from to back. I imagine and plot routes I might take when I visit or certain museums or landmarks I want to see.
I also started getting into the idea of being able to read the original books by these authors so I began to very slowly learn Swedish on my own time. I mostly used the app Duolingo but I also have used books and tapes from the library and the Pimsleur audio courses. I’m by no means fluent but I can sort of get by while travelling I discovered! At our workplace my partner and I met a Swedish guy and we all ended up becoming really good friends. His visa ran out and he had to return to Sweden but we promised that next time we see him it would be in Sweden, which it was!
We went with Stockholm because our friend lives here so we’d have loads of time to catch up, it made sense in winter and for a first trip to the country to start with the capital. I definitely have plans to explore more of the country in the future! So that wraps up the very long and overly complicated reasoning of why I had to visit Sweden!
Must Visit Shopping:
I was surprised to come across a huge amount of stores I liked over here! There seems to be a huge tendency towards more traditional style clothing and I came across a few pinup shops and other clothing stores I really liked! My intention was to keep this to my single best pick but these 3 places are well worth your time.
Daisy Dapper – Katarina Bangata 33, 116 39 Stockholm, Sweden was a no-brainer. as I mentioned in my suit review I have been following them for years so just had to visit! Loads of amazing clothes as well as homewares and accessories. Pictured are a Daisy Dapper dress and Emmy sweater I tried on.
HUMANA Second Hand – Timmermansgatan 23, 118 55 Stockholm, Sweden is a must-visit second hand clothing store. A HUGE abundance of styles and clothes, I found loads I was interested and it was all extremely affordable. I will regret forever a red tartan skirt I left behind which was only 100kr.
ESTER in Flow – Österlånggatan 24, 111 31 Stockholm, Sweden I’d never heard of this vintage-inspired brand before walking past the store. They have the most gorgeous cuts and designs which have a really fun twist. I found a lot there that fit my style to a T. Although I didn’t purchase anything I really want to try them and have followed them on social media to be reminded of them.
Gamla Stan or Old Town is one of the central islands in the Stockholm archipelago. This is where Stockholm began and the buildings and cobbled roads are several hundred years old. This place is beautiful; there are a lot of tourist shops and the food is very expensive but it’s definitely worth a wander around.
Skansen – Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden is an open-air museum focused on Swedish and Scandinavian history. I only spent a few hours here in winter and I know I HAVE to visit it in summertime. It was amazing to see animals such as wolves, ox, lynx and of course moose! They also had some incredible historical buildings that had been relocated here from across Scandinavia. The gift shop is well worth your time with a variety of goods including traditional items made ethically by Sami people.
Nordiska Museet – Djurgårdsvägen 6-16, 115 93 Stockholm, Sweden a very quick special mention. For a vintage lover they have fantastic displays of clothing through the 20th Century, traditional clothing through the ages, a 1940’s mock apartment and a fantastic display of clothes of the 1950’s with lingerie! If it wasn’t for my 2 companions I would have happily spent over 3 hours here just looking at clothing!
When in Sweden, Fika as the Swedish do. Fika is a time to indulge in coffee and cakes and take time out to chat. I had many delicious baked goods here and even their convenience stores have amazing pastries. You can find amazing bakeries all over Stockholm and it’s worth trying a few.
Sweet: Kanelbullar the Swedish cinnamon roll. I bought an amazing one from the Älvsjö Konditori & Bageri – Johan Skyttes Väg 204, 125 34 Älvsjö, Sweden this was close to where I was staying and I also managed to order it in Swedish! I was so proud!
Savoury: MAX – a Swedish fast food burger chain which you can find in many locations all over the country. I know this isn’t the most exciting sounding thing to eat on a foreign holiday but hear me out! They have a range of vegan burgers almost as bit as their meat range. Their shakes are TO DIE FOR delicious and are also available vegan. They are a bit pricer than McDonald’s but they are barely comparable. They also have a huge focus on sustainability which I think is just great. Now I just have to wait for one to open up over here!
- Buy a Travelcard for Stockholm public transport. These cover use on all public transport systems including subway, trams, buses and some ferries. These come in time periods of 24hrs, 72hrs and 7 days. I bought the 7 day one which came out to around $65NZD/£32. Without a travelcard a single trip costs about $6NZD so it’s the same cost as taking 11 one-way subway rides. I used this every single day I was there and took multiple trips on subways and trams across the city, I can say hands down this paid itself off. It also means if you accidentally get on the wrong train and have to go back to the previous station and take another you don’t lose any money! (What makes you think I say this from experience?)
- Don’t be overwhelmed. Most (as in 99% of) Swedish people speak English completely fluently and are more than happy to if you need help. You don’t need to know any of the language to visit. A few handy words are: ‘Hej’ pronouced just as ‘hey’ means hello (easy as to greet people in Swedish), ‘Apotek’ is a Pharmacy and ‘Konditori’ is a sort of pastry bakery and usually cafe.
- Pressbyrån is a lifesaver if you’re travelling on the cheap. Like a Night ‘n Day or a 7/11, it’s a great little convenience store which has a surprisingly big variety of ready-made food and pastries to buy. Their kanelbullar are really good. Coop is a great supermarket chain which you can also find everywhere. They have these build-your-own-salad bars which are a great easy and quick meal. Normal supermarket things are available and there are a lot of great heat-and-eat meals available here which are fairly tasty and not as gross as I’ve previously experienced. Special mentions to the Felix Bacon and Broccolipaj and ICA Lasagnette for not tasting like easy meals.
Visiting Stockholm was genuinely one of the best experiences of my life! Despite being dreadfully ill for part of it and having to spend an entire day in bed. It’s such a beautiful city and the architectural style is miles different from the UK or NZ. There are a ridiculous number of museums and I definitely have a list of those I want to visit next time. Having water all around and so many different areas to explore makes it a really fun and interesting place as well, you aren’t just trudging through a city of high-rise buildings.
Have you ever been to Sweden? Or are you perhaps considering it after reading this?