My friend Rachel had the opportunity to travel to Sweden for work, so obviously, I met up with her in Stockholm for a weekend! There are some pros to traveling alone, but this was definitely a nice change from all the solo trips I’ve been doing. I have always wanted to visit Sweden since it’s home to IKEA, H&M, and many of my favorite hockey players.
I landed, took the Arlanda Express into the city, dropped my stuff off at the hotel, and immediately headed over to the Icebar to meet Rachel and her coworker. I had read in many places that they only let people in 45 minutes at a time so I was really rushing to get there at 10:30… and then got there and realized that wouldn’t be a problem at all. There was no one there! We walked right up, were outfitted with this huge cape with attached mittens, and went in – there were probably like 10 other people in there, max. Included in the price of admission was one drink, and I ended up picking some gross tasting vodka with lingonberries. The whole experience was probably not worth it, although it made for a great Instagram picture.
In the last year I have had way more coffee than I would like to admit. I probably have a coffee at least every other day now! Sweden is a great place to drink coffee, as drinking coffee is part of Sweden’s culture. “Fika” means “to have coffee” and every day, Swedes take a break and have coffee or tea and something to eat. There are even official fika times during the workday at Swedish companies. After checking out the Vasa Museum and walking through two H&Ms literally across the street from each other to see if there were any differences (there weren’t), Rachel and I stopped into Vete-Katten to fika.
Along with my latte, I ordered a kanelbullar, a Swedish cinnamon bun. Unfortunately, it photographs WAY better than it looks. It’s actually quite dry, and I had one at another place with the same experience, so they’re probably all like that. Of course, these are probably how they should be and not loaded with tons of sugar and goo and things that are bad for you like they are in America.
For dinner, we were lazy and wanted to eat somewhere close to our hotel. Luckily, Bla Dorren was the closest place to us but also pretty highly rated with traditional Swedish food, which we wanted to try.
First, we ordered a plate with four different types of pickled raw herring. I… was not a fan of any of them. One was mustard based, one was tomato based, and then I think a couple were just plain pickled, but all of them were just not very appetizing to me. At least I tried it though, right?
However, I liked the elk meatballs! Of course we had to try some Swedish meatballs while we were in Sweden, and they came with a side of lingonberries (Sweden’s national fruit). We split this plate and it was enough for us. The seasoning on the meat was great and it kind of felt like eating Thanksgiving dinner.
For our last meal, we wanted something fast and inexpensive and ended up at this pizza place. We didn’t want to go the traditional pepperoni route, and asked for something “Swedish” so they told us to order this pizza with steak, onions, mushrooms, and bearnaise sauce. It was actually pretty good!
The thing about food in Sweden is that it’s a little expensive! I got an orange juice and a kanelbullar for breakfast and it showed up as $8.77 on my credit card statement. The raw herring plate was $11. Looking back on it now, it doesn’t seem that expensive, but the extra $2 or $3 here and there adds up!