Pia Marsh

The Swedes worship summer like nothing else. At the very peak of Swedish midsummer, Stockholm can get up to 18 hours of sunlight per day, and Swedes will go to great lengths to make sure they get their Vitamin D fix and a tan. Consequently, Stockholm thrives in the summertime.

From dawn til dusk and back again, here are a few of my favourites places to go in a sunny Stockholm:

Weekend brunch at String Café

A colourful, retro inspired café in the backstreets of trendy Södermalm. Every piece of furniture in the restaurant is for sale – from the vintage armchair you sit in, to the oversized mug you’re drinking from. Sip on delicious coffee and graze on the many different options on their fresh and healthy breakfast buffet menu. Crepes with homemade vanilla ice cream, cakes, cinnamon buns, fresh berries are just some of the delicious treats on the buffet menu here.

String cafe

Gamla Stan

No words needed for Stockholm’s multi-coloured medieval old town. Gamla Stan is usually the first stop on any tourists to-do list – and for a good reason. Wander down the winding cobble-stoned laneways and take a fika break at one of the many cosy cafés, sucking up the history as you move along.

Gamla Stan

Best view in Stockholm

Admittedly a little tough to find for a first-timer, but worth it in the end. Monteliusvägen on Stockholm’s Södermalm is arguably the best place for you to see Gamla Stan, Lake Mälaren and Kungsholmen in its full glory. Escape the crows, get some fresh air and make the descent to this somewhat secreted view point, where there are park benches, picnic tables and a park waiting for you.

Stockholm city


Picnic in the park

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to parks in Stockholm. Buy some wine and cheese and laze around in the afternoon sun in one of the many beautiful parks Stockholm has to offer. Nytorget in Södermalm is the ideal hangout on a lazy Sunday, with a pretty fountain and plenty of green to laze around on. Lined with coffee shops and small vintage stores, Nytorget is also a popular venue for pop-up markets on sunny weekends.

Afternoon sessions at Trädgården

A busy, open air club located under a bridge near Skanstull, swarming with hipsters and scene kids. Has a Berlin-like feel to it, with quality DJ’s. Quirky art installations and a few different bars to choose from. Lines can get up to four hours long, so get in early if you want to experience anything other than the queue.

Story Hotel Bar in (slightly pretentious) Stureplan

Not cheap, but super chic and atmospheric. Furnished as an interior courtyard, with brick walls and scattered pot plants, this is the ideal haunt for afternoon drinks and a bite to eat in the summertime.

Rosendals Trädgård

This was a bit of a hidden gem, passed on to me by a Swedish friend of mine. Tucked away on sleepy Djurgården, Rosendals Trädgård is an open garden and cafe that celebrates biodynamic gardening and organic produce. Featuring beautiful glasshouses and lavish gardens, it feels miles away from the city centre (when infact it's not far away at all). Sip on delicious coffee and munch on fresh bread, pies and cakes – all fresh out of Rosendal’s on-site bakery.


Cruise around the picturesque islands of the Swedish archipelago

Take a ferry and explore some of Stockholm’s 24, 000 beautiful islands. Less than an hour by boat and you find yourself at the charming fortress island of Vaxholm. Take some wine and a picnic, wander around the quaint red and white painted summer houses or enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes by the water. It’s hard to believe that you are only so far from the city.

Things to know:

  • Swedes love fika – the daily coffee and cake break ritual that has almost become a social institution. Try Café Saturnus for steaming bowls of café latte and a cinnamon bun the size of your head.
  • The best way to get around Stockholm is with the metro pass. You can buy a prepaid card or a 24, 72 hour or 7-day card, which allow free travel in all zones during the validity period.
  • The Stockholm subway system also doubles as an artistic experience and is said to be the world's most extended art exhibit - 110 kilometres long in total. Each metro station has been decorated with sculptures, mosaics, paintings and installations by over 150 artists.

Pia Marsh is a freelance journalist and writer, originally from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and now permanently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. She writes about her travels (and her undying love for Scandinavia) at http://www.piamarsh.dk

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.