Establishment neighborhood
The Grand Hôtel
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, Norrmalm
If you're looking for that over-the-top, opulent but classic, hotel experience, The Grand Hôtel is your best bet. Rooming guests since 1874, the waterfront location looking over at The Royal Palace and the cobbled streets of Gamla Stan (the city's Old Town) is hard to beat. The accommodations are brimming with old-world charm—soaring ceilings with crown moldings, four-poster beds with high thread count sheets, and luxurious bathrooms. The hotel is home to acclaimed chef Matthias Dahlgren's Michelin-starred restaurant Matbaren (we also love Dahlgren's more casual café Green Rabbit on nearby Tegnérgatan). After a long day of sightseeing, check into the hotel's Nordic spa for a series of invigorating, Scandi-style treatments including hot and cold baths, a pine-scented sauna, and traditional Swedish massage.
Kungsgatan 55, Normalm
Occupying their grand old building for almost 100 years, Vete-Katten is a Stockholm institution. The bakery, which makes all of its pastries and breads from scratch, was founded in 1928 by Ester Nordhammar, one of the very few female business owners in the city at the time. In the early days, Nordhammar employed only women (in fact, the bakery didn't employ a single man until she died in 1961). Today, you can find them churning out the same delicious pastries, breads, cakes, sandwiches, and biscuits daily. It's a worthy pilgrimage.
Stockholm Subway Art
Stockholm's subway system is home to sixty-eight miles of painted and embellished tunnels—essentially, it's the world's longest art exhibit. This project, which began in the '50s, is a true embodiment of the very Scandinavian belief that even the most mundane, functional activities (like commuting) can be made more enjoyable with beautiful design—living art that can be experienced by everyone in the city, every day. Many of the murals have social and political themes—some of the best stations to visit are Solna Centrum (the mural is dedicated to deforestation and rural depopulation) and Kungsträdgården (nicknamed The Christmas Station due to the festive red-and-green color scheme). Simply purchase a subway ticket and either map out a route or ride aimlessly through the tunnels to take it all in.
Nobis Hotel
Norrmalmstorg 2-4, Norrmalm
Nobis is one of the classic, old-school hotel options in Stockholm, replete with high ceilings, chandeliers, and lots of marble. While the minimalist, Scandinavian-style rooms have all the appointments you expect from a luxury hotel—high thread-count sheets, well-stocked minibars, and chic products in the bathrooms—they are on the small side. Situated on Norrmalmstorg Square, and walking distance to the city's best shopping and incredibly strollable Berzelli Park, the location is hard to beat. After a long day of sightseeing, hotel restaurant Caina serves some of the best Italian in the city, after which you can just roll straight into bed.
Green Rabbit
Tegnérgatan 17, Norrmalm
Green Rabbit is prolific Stockholm chef Matthias Dahlgren's version of a fika-centric bakery. A small but charming space with a checkerboard tile floor and rustic chalkboards, the Green Rabbit specializes in sustainability and seed-saving. Dahlgren makes his signature rye bread with a rare grain (heritage grains are being lost forever through the modification and excessive refining process demanded by modern mass production), and uses only organic ingredients to create his traditional Swedish smorgasbords—perfect for lunch or a bigger breakfast.
Nordiska Kompaniet
Hamngatan 18-20, Norrmalm
The quintessential Swedish department store first opened its doors in 1915, in a dramatic Art Nouveau building that was built specifically for this purpose. The store houses five full floors of merchandise ranging from fashion to tabletop, to books and music, with a buy that manages to celebrate Swedish brands while maintaining an international perspective. Don't miss the top floor, where you'll find their selection of children's clothes and toys, a bar, and a full restaurant.