An otherwise magical winter getaway in Stockholm can face one challenge – cold-weather dressing is not easy. It can get especially tricky when you’re trying to balance staying warm and keeping up with the Scandinavian street style set. However, we have enough inspiration to keep you snug and stylish with our fashionable winter guide, so you can discover the Swedish capital’s cosiest and ‘coolest’ spots with ease.
During the summer months, iconic Stockholm establishments such as the Grand Hôtel and Hotel Diplomat are particularly appealing due to their proximity to the waterfront, however, in winter it may be more atmospheric to stay in one these chic alternatives instead.
The newly opened Bank Hotel is housed in a beautiful Art Nouveau building dating back to 1910, and as the name suggests, it was a bank in its past life. What used to be the main banking hall has now been transformed into an elegant restaurant with plush British racing green velvet seating, a high glass ceiling and lush flora and fauna. It has quickly become the place to see and be seen in Stockholm. Caviar served with crepes vonassienne and the hotel’s signature dessert ‘Piggybank’ – Insta-bait at its finest – are items on the menu that will not disappoint. There are also two bars, Sophie’s and Papillon, both of which are perfect for a quiet and intimate nightcap for when it is snowing outside. Website
The very centrally located Haymarket Hotel has another perk besides its spectacular location: the breakfast here is a winner – pancakes with an assortment of Nordic berry jams, anyone? The building used to be a former department store called PUB and legendary Swedish actress Greta Garbo used to work at the makeup counter here before gracing the silver screen. Garbo’s influence is seen throughout the art deco themed hotel from the health café Gretas, through to the black and white photographs of the actress adorning the walls. The rooms are very comfortable, and as an added perk guests can use the facilities at Centralbadet, a stunning Art Nouveau spa and health club, at a reduced rate. Website
Those wanting a truly unique experience may wish to stay at Ett Hem. Ett Hem literally means ‘a home’ in Swedish and it feels like staying at your friend’s place who has far better taste – but who is happy you came to visit. All of the 12 individually decorated rooms are carefully designed by Ilse Crawford and feature specially curated artworks and stunning marble-and-brass bathrooms. Staying true to the home-concept, guests are encouraged to raid the fridge, pick a book from the library and settle in for a cosy afternoon in one of the many nooks of the house. Alternatively, you may want to try the Swedish sauna downstairs in the basement, unless you get distracted by one of the presentations taking place in the garden house often held during Stockholm Fashion Week…Website
Hotel packing edit
Hailing from Scandinavia myself, I naturally have a soft spot for Nordic cuisine and even though there are numerous amazing open-air dining spots to choose from in Stockholm and its surrounding archipelago during the summer months, eating out in the winter time can be just as delightful.
Prinsen is one of the best spots to have a traditional – albeit upscale – Swedish dining experience. The warm tones of the decor and candlelit tables are especially cosy in the wintertime and details such as the staff outfits, mosaic floors and the service from the doorman is reminiscent of walking onto the set of a Wes Anderson movie. I highly recommend the homemade Swedish meatballs, beef Rydberg, or the Wallenbergarethat comes in either a seafood or minced veal version. Website
Another historic establishment serving well-made traditional Swedish food, is Pelikan in the hipster-district of Södermalm. Website
South of Södermalm, in the leafy neighbourhood of Gamla Enskede, is contemporary Matateljen, which is a vegetarian-focused restaurant that uses seasonal ingredients to produce picture-worthy pieces of art out of the simplest of salads! Described by locals as a ‘low-key gem’, the cosy eaterie also houses a deli and generally ticks all of the boxes of your ideal neighbourhood hangout. Website
On the opposite side of town, dreamy French-Swedish chef Danyel Couet’s latest project, restaurant Allegrine, has been a hit with diners. The restaurant is named after Couet’s grandmother and she is also a source of inspiration for most of the items on the menu. This is why Allegrine is often classed as a French brasserie, however, it doesn’t get more Nordic than their most Instagrammed dish: potato, sour cream, roe and chives. Website
Last but not least, Swedish restaurant group Stureplansgruppen own modern and stylish restaurants such as Calle P, Asian Post Office, Hillenberg, Nosh & Cow and the just-opened Arnold’s – you can always rely on a certain level of service, quality and ambience in the group’s establishments. Website
Another fail-safe option is the Stockholm branch of Eataly – housed in a stunning old cinema. The quality of the food, location and generous opening hours lend to its success among trendy Stockholm diners. Website
the dinner outfit
Wintertime is the perfect time to keep warm indoors in some of Stockholm’s best museums and galleries – and the homely yet grandiose Hallwylska Museum is especially worth a visit in the winter months. Hallwylska is the old residence of Count and Countess Walther and Wilhelmina von Hallwyl who gave Isak Gustaf Clason, the most renowned Swedish architect of the time, an unlimited budget to create a home of their dreams. The outcome is a stunning “palazzo” completed in 1898, with influences of Venetian Late Gothic and Early Spanish Renaissance, right in the centre of Stockholm. Website
Another architectural highlight is the recently restored Nationalmuseum which opened in October after a five-year, £100 million restoration project which has seen the building entirely gutted and reconfigured. Since then, the impressive entrance hall and indoor sculpture park have been appearing regularly on the Instagram feeds of Stockholm’s most fashionable influencers. While there are paintings by Rembrandt, Goya, Renoir and Gustave Courbet on display, I would highly recommend familiarising oneself with some of the Swedish artists on display such as Carl Larsson, August Strindberg and Anders Zorn. It is also worth noting that the museum has affirmed the importance of Swedish female artists, and now places talented individuals such as Hanna Hirsch-Pauli, Amalia Lindegren and Alice Nordin deservedly in the spotlight more so than before. Website
For a dose of more contemporary culture, the world-famous Fotografiska is definitely worth visiting, especially if one of the ever-changing exhibits takes your fancy. Fotografiska is not a museum or a non-profit, as many mistakenly believe it is, however it is a world-class mecca for photography enthusiasts with spectacular views over Stockholm from the top floor. The restaurant and bar which occupy the top space of the gallery are worth visiting in their own right, and late night opening hours mean it is a very tempting alternative for a night out – bring your friends over for some culture and cocktails! I cannot wait to see how the new off-shoots of Fotografiska in both New York and London will turn out… Website
what to wear
I always try and seek out labels and designers that are local to the country or region, and Stockholm is a real treasure trove of Nordic labels and their respective flagship stores. Cool-girl brands like Samsøe & Samsøe, Rodebjer, Eytys and Dagmar all have stand-alone stores here, and more cult labels like style influencer Elin Kling’s Totême as well as accessories brand ATP Atelier can be found in major department stores such as Åhlens and Nordiska Kompaniet. Many of these Swedish and Nordic labels hit the spot for shoppers craving ‘affordable luxury’. Speaking of affordable (or at least more affordable), the Acne Archiv store has a selection of the Swedish label’s cult denim, leather jackets and shearlings at reduced prices. If you have room left in your Rimowa for some Scandinavian design, you can get your fix at legendary homewear store Svenskt Tenn. Stunning art-deco pieces from lamp shades to cabinets, designed by Josef Frank, are every bit as posh as the Royal Warrant the store earned in 1928 from the Swedish Royal Family. Remember to wrap up warm when hitting the shops in wintery Stockholm, even though most of the fashionable stores are conveniently within close proximity of each other in the Norrmalm and Östermalm districts.