Weekender: How To Do Stockholm In Style

Weekender: How To Do Stockholm In Style

Weekender: Stockholm

by Lizzy Dening |
Published on

48 hours of chic eats, live music and shopping in Sweden’s sexy capital. It’s a tough job, but Lizzy Dening is prepared to do it...

There were three things I knew about Stockholm before boarding my Friday flight: 1. It’s freezing. 2. It’s expensive. 3. Neither of these matter, because it is THE go-to destination for the coolest folk. All of these turned out to be true, which makes it perfect for a blow-the-budget weekend getaway. Here’s how to do it.

Best base

**** It doesn’t get cooler than Berns Hotel. Rihanna stayed there. Actual Rihanna. AND she performed an intimate gig in the hotel’s very own concert hall. Sadly there was no sign of the Bajan beauty when we check in, but we were consoled by the most stylish suite you’ve ever seen. Top marks for the spa bath complete with TV and marble steps – it was straight out of an MTV video.

The hotel has an impressive history, having always been on the cutting edge – from bringing black jazz bands to the city before anyone else, to opening the first oriental restaurant, to hosting greatsincluding Diana Ross, Ella Fitzgerald, Marlene Dietrich and – did I mention? – Rihanna.

Make sure to line your stomach before a wild night out at Berns Asiatiska. It’s one of the most stunning rooms I’ve ever seen, complete with dramatic chandeliers, and serves a mixture of different oriental cuisines including some epic sushi and tempura veg. Just go easy on the lethal (delicious) Champagne mojito cocktails.

Weekender: Stockholm
Weekender: Stockholm

Then pop next door to the nightclub Berns 2.35:1 (get free priority entry and free cloakroom access with a wristband from reception – it will also open doors to other hot spots across the town) which is open until the wee hours playing electronic dance, or head upstairs to the concert hall club for more mainstream pop/RnB (we lasted until 2am, not impressive by party animal Stockholm standards).

Should you ever want to leave, Berns is also conveniently located in walking distance from lots of the main museums, galleries and shops.

Stays at Berns Hotel cost from 1800 SEK / approx. £142 for a standard double (two sharing), including breakfast. Berns Hotel (00 468 566 322 00*, berns.se)**. *

**Max your credit card **

Ah yes, the shops. It’s no surprise that the country to have founded H&M, Acne, &Other Stories and, urm, IKEA, is going to hit you hard in the wallet. But you deserve it! Skandi chic is all the rage, and with a gorgeous interior shop on every corner you’re going to need a bigger suitcase for the return journey.

**The culture **

Before we arrived in Stockholm, everyone said we had to visit the Vasa Museet, and as we’re people-pleasers, we pootled along. I’m so glad we did! It’s hard to imagine quite how impressive it is. Vasa was a stunning and massively expensive warship from the 1600s, perfectly designed in every way. Oh, except it couldn’t float. Unfortunate. The stricken vessel sank immediately into the harbor, leading to a) some presumably awkward conversations and b) a piece of history which was incredibly well preserved by the particular qualities of the harbour’s water, and was brought to the surface in the 60s.

It might not sound that enthralling, but it’s surprisingly moving to be up close to something so historic, especially when you see its incredible carvings. Plus it’s absolutely massive, so you’ll look super dainty in all your photos. Stick around for a reflective cinnamon bun in the café.

We also made time for a quick jaunt around the Moderna Museet, where a new Louise Bourgeois exhibition has just opened, and will run until May 17th. One third of these pieces have never been displayed before, and there are numerous powerful sketches and phrases to make you think. The gift shop – like everywhere in the city – is packed with stylish homewares. I will love my Frida Kahlo eggcup until the day I die.

The festival

In my experience, you know you’re on to a good thing when you discover where the locals are headed. In Stockholm’s case the most fashion-savvy were to be found at the Sonar Festival, where chunky ankle boots and undercut crops were the orders of the day. A relative of the annual Spanish event, this was two days of the best electronic music in the world, with the most famous guests including Jamie XX and SBTRKT. Held at the Waterfront Congress Centre (which happily meant we didn’t need to go out in the cold to move between acts) over three stages, we loved watching some of the country’s best DJs, including fierce females Towlie and Courtesy.

One of the best things about Stockholm is that almost every venue has a resident DJ and many of them are superbly-dressed women, so if you can’t wait until next year’s Sonar, you’re sure to see some oh-so-cool live music.

Make your early morning flight more bearable with Holiday Extras. Lizzy stayed at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel the night before, and was able to relax in the Gatwick lounge (complete with complimentary breakfast) before flying, which made everything a million times better.

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