Coming to Sweden, I was mentally preparing myself for a hugeee culture shock. However, once I arrived, it honestly never hit me. Living here for around a month and a half now, I realize that Sweden isn’t exactly the most touristy place. There is a word that they use here called lagom which means not too much and not too little, which is exactly the perfect way to describe Stockholm. Swedes really value a work life balance, so stores usually close at 7 and the streets begin to get really empty once it’s dark out. Being that it is extremely peaceful here, it took me a while to figure out what are some fun things to do!
My absolutely favorite part about Swedish culture is fika. To fika means to take a coffee break from work or school. It is the part of the day where you can socialize with your friends and coworkers and relax. Typically, fika is accompanied with a pastry, as well. I definitely recommend trying semla buns (cream bun with almond paste and whipped cream), raspberry caves (cookies with sweet raspberry jam), and kanelbulle (cinnamon bun). The first you’ll notice about Swedish pastries is that they love to add cardamom to LITERALLY EVERYTHING, but I definitely don’t mind that at all.
Since Swedes LOVE their coffee, you can find a cafe in every corner you turn! These cafes are also a great place to study and do work at. Two of my favorites are Espresso House and il caffe! I used to be a huge tea person, but since being here I’ve definitely gotten addicted to the vanilla lattes haha.
2.) GO TO THE FREE CONCERTS
Since the shopping malls and restaurants close pretty early in Sweden, sometimes it can be hard to find things to do during the night time. However, on Facebook, there are events you can find that are happening around your area and sometimes they even happen to be free. Last week, my friend was able to find a free concert to Bryce Vince at this dark room that was hidden within a fancy restaurant where one would least expect it to be. Arriving at the venue, we were surrounded by extremely fancy people who were drinking their wine and having dinner, yet there was just this one black door. I couldn’t help but think how weird it was for this venue to be in such an odd place. However, it definitely gave off the most mysterious vibe that made sense for its aesthetic of being an edgy place.
Bryce Vine was an amazing performer and he really knew how to work a stage. Before listening to his music, I had no idea who he was, but the moment I heard “La La Land”, “Drew Barrymore”, and “I’m Not Alright” I realized that they were classic songs I heard from my high school years. It was a huge deja vu feeling and extremely nostalgic hearing it again.
3.) VISIT THE MUSEUMS
For my Swedish Language and Culture Class, one of the optional activities that we got the chance to do was visit the Fotografiska, which is a photography museum. During our visit, the museum actually had a exhibit on Erik Johansson called “Places Beyond”. Erik Johansson’s work amazingly incorporated photography and photoshop in order to create these illusional pictures that look like they came straight out of a fairy tale. Although, Fotografiska is not admisssion free, DIS did cover our ticket as it was a class activity. However, there are many museums in Stockholm that are free such as:
– The Musuem of Architecture and Design
– The National Museum of Sweden
– The Swedish History Museum
– The Maritime Museum
And much more.
4.) EXPLORE AND FEAST
The most beautiful thing about Sweden is that it is a mix of both modern and old. There is so much culture and history behind everything that every train stop that you get off at is a really great chance for you to explore. One of these places is Galma Stan which if you were to search in google images of Sweden this place would pop up most frequently. Galma Stan is the old town where you can find the most colorful buildings and cobbled streets. Being in this area is like taking a step in a time machine. There are small boutiques and cafes, as well as restaurants within the streets. I definitely recommend Nara-De Sushi. When I was here, I got the bulgogi bibimbap and my friends got the salmon poke bowl. They gave MASSIVE proportions, but the best thing about all sushi places in Sweden is that it comes with complimentary miso soup to warm us up from the cold.
There is still so much that I haven’t gotten the chance to get to about the things you can do in Sweden which is why this is only a part 1. Stay tuned for part 2! Thanks for reading! 🙂