Establishment neighborhood
Djurgården is one of the fourteen islands that comprise the city of Stockholm and is the former Royal Game Park (the grounds were teeming with wild deer, elk, and reindeer until the 18th century). Packed with museums and monuments (like the must-see Vasa Museum), this is the perfect place to walk off jet lag, or spend a few hours on bike or foot exploring the trails along the water's edge. There are spots for ice cream and coffee throughout (including a café housed in miniature castle by the park's entrance), though do not miss lunch at Rosendals Trädgard, which sits in a greenhouse smack in the middle of the park's organic garden. (You can pick your own produce, too.) While there are tables and chairs scattered throughout, locals typically take their food picnic-style out on the lawns.
Vasa Museum
Galärvarvsvägen 14, Djurgården
The Vasa Museum is without exception the most unique in Stockholm, and maybe the world, making it the perfect cultural activity (kids love it too). The entire museum is dedicated to a warship that sank in the harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628. The wreck lay on the ocean floor for over three hundred years before an intrepid scientist—who had heard the tale of its sinking—finally located its position in 1961. Because the water is brackish, the boat was miraculously preserved, making it the only ship of its kind in the world today. The museum—which was constructed around the boat, which is 95% original—takes you through the entire narrative of the doomed vessel, from the initial design and construction to the sinking and subsequent excavation (make sure to catch the short and fascinating film).
Prince van Orangien
Beckholmsvägen 26, Djurgården
When Magnus Ek and partner Agneta Green closed Oaxen Skärgårdskrog and moved their culinary operation back to the city, they purchased a stunning 1930's Dutch ship that moors near their new restaurant, Oaxen Krog. After a painstaking refurbishment, the couple opened a small, six-room hotel on the ship. Each of the surprisingly spacious rooms (several have private balconies overlooking the canal) is beautifully turned out with cast iron bathtubs, velvet chaise lounges, and four-poster beds—and despite the premise, the experience isn't at all gimmicky. A major draw: Breakfast is served onboard.
Oaxen Krog
Beckholmsvägen 26, Djurgården
The ever-creative Magnus Ek doesn’t play it safe. Case in point: At Oaxen Krog, there are only two menu options—a six- or ten-course tasting, no substitutions. The industrial space is a former boat shed, and the restrained but warm, dark-wood décor is a refreshingly understated setting for what is fundamentally a fine dining experience. Wines are selected from small European vineyards and most of the vegetables come from Oaxen's own farm on Djurgården. Expect fresh riffs on Nordic-style dishes like roasted cabbage in potato miso with soured Jerusalem artichoke cream and rhubarb with celery and fresh herb sorbet.
Oaxen Slip
Beckholmsvägen 26, Djurgården
The more laid-back sister to Magnus Ek’s Oaxen Krog, Oaxen Slip brings the drama with triple-height ceilings that have old fishing boats suspended from the rafters—an ode to the building’s origins as a boathouse. The food is a type of new Nordic gastropub fare with plenty of inventive vegetarian options like Swedish beans with roasted flax seeds and Jerusalem artichoke, or a grilled then baked whole celeriac. It's open all week, but the weekend brunch is especially good, featuring cold cuts like cured ham, smoked salmon, and the potato-heavy dishes traditional to Sweden. Bring credit cards; no cash accepted.
Rosendals Trädgård
Rosendalsterrassen 12, Djurgården
So much more than a market garden, Rosendals is a complete farm-to-fork concept with an orchard, vegetable fields, greenhouses, a vineyard, and rose garden, with sustainable, biodynamic farming practiced throughout. Aside from supplying many of the city’s best restaurants with their organic produce, Rosendals has a wonderful educational component where adults and kids can take cooking and gardening lessons throughout the year. Stop by to admire the flowers, pick some fruit, or just do as the Swedes do and forego lunch for coffee and the obligatory cinnamon bun from their excellent greenhouse café.