Coffee, fashion and royal outings in Sweden’s capital.
Museum Hopping: Fotografiska, in Södermalm, is a must for its exhibitions and permanent collection but also for its topfloor café. The Vasamuseet’s centerpiece (and raison d’être) is a 1628 warship that sank on its maiden voyage and was retrieved from the muck of Stockholm’s harbor seabed more than 300 years later.
Neighborhood: In Södermalm, just south of Old Town (Gamla Stan), everyone looks as though they came straight out of a street style blog. Don’t miss Swedish coffee (fika, as coffee breaks are known here, is a tasty cultural experience) and cinnamon buns at Il Caffè. Shop for made-in-Sweden labels at Grandpa. Stop by Pärlans, where shopgirls in 1940s dress sell beautifully packaged caramels.
Out Of Town: Drottningholm Palace, the residence of the king and queen of Sweden, is an hour-long ferry ride from Stockholm. En route to the 1600s rococo palace, the ferry passes dozens of islands, as well as Swedish families chugging to work and school in their private boats.
Hotels: The 1874 waterfront Grand Hôtel Stockholm faces The Royal Palace and Old Town. Soak up a bracing Scandinavian tradition in its Nordic Spa’s sauna and cold plunge pool. The Grand’s sister hotel next door, the smaller Lydmar, attracts a young weekend crowd to its bar and restaurant. In a quiet residential neighborhood a short walk from Norrmalm, the 12-room, Ilse Crawford-designed Ett Hem feels like the home of your worldly, urbane Swedish interior designer aunt, complete with a cozy library and an open kitchen.
Getting There: The group took advantage of SAS’s recently added LAX-to-Stockholm route, which features an Airbus A330 cabin refresh that includes lie-flat business-class seats with down Hästens bedding. Also on board: SAS Plus seating, roomier than coach (and less spendy than business class), with upgraded dining options.