24 Hours in Stockholm
So you have a long layover in Stockholm? I did too. After scouring Visit Stockholm's website, I found a few things that I wanted to see in the Swedish city. If you’ve been here for a while, you know that I don’t particularly plan every breathing second of my travels. Instead, I’d rather have a loose idea of must-do’s and some maybe’s in each city. Since I was only spending 24 hours in Stockholm, I knew that I had to make the most of it.
Where to stay
Whether you’re staying for 24 hours or longer, Generator Stockholm is where you need to be. This hostel has so many perks that it will make you forget you’re sharing a dorm room with strangers. Generator is a popular chain of hostels operating in many big cities across Europe like London and Amsterdam. Their Stockholm location might be one of the coolest though. The hostel has its own restaurant/ bar/club and tattoo parlor attached. Breakfast is gourmet AF, there’s 90’s style arcade games and the lobby made me feel productive instantly. The best news you'll hear today? Generator is opening a hostel in MIAMI. It's lit. Seriously imagine staying on Collins Ave in a nice private for way less than you would pay at any other hotel in South Beach. I'm ready.
During my time in Stockholm, Generator provided me with a complimentary stay. No worries, all opinions expressed in this blog are uniquely mine and I’ll only ever work with brands that I know you’ll dig.
We stayed in one of Generator’s private rooms and it was magic. With city views, a comfy bed, ensuite bathroom, workspace and a couch, there wasn’t much more I could've ask for. Let me remind you, this is a hostel but you will forget that once you step foot inside. Generator has mastered the hostel experience completely. They still have the hostel elements like dorms, bike rental and social spaces, but all done with a hotel feel. It's truly quite unique.
Our room was very comfortable, clean and functional. I couldn’t get over how thorough the room design was. There was a reading light, USB plugs and outlets over the bed. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been to a hotel or airport without USB charging ports. It’s annoying because at this point in the game all smartphones use USB chargers, so having them is essential to staying connected. Generator is well designed and definitely suits millennial travelers. I was charging three devices by my bed overnight and it doesn’t get much more millennial than that.
First things first, breakfast was everything I never imagined. I knew the brand had a reputation for being one of the best but I had no idea that meant poached eggs, real bacon and pesto toast for breakfast. For those of you who have doubts about hostels, this one will surely change your mind. Hostel breakfasts typically only include toast, jam, nutella, juices and fruit. Usually, I take what I can get from my hostel breakfast without expecting much but Generator Stockholm just changed that forever.
My eggs were seasoned like someone’s mama was in the kitchen and the pesto toast was on point too. Seriously, they do the damn thing right. For 95 KR ($11 USD) you can prebook breakfast with your room and you’ll receive breakfast tokens for your choice of 1 meal and juice, tea or coffee. Best part? breakfast is from 7-11 AM, which is perfect if you spent all night at Hilma getting turnt.
Hilma is a restaurant and bar that doubles as a tattoo parlor. During the evening, you can grab drinks and a meal at the bar. When I was there the tattoo parlor wasn’t open, but we could peak in to see the dopeness. You can check out their resident artists here. Hilma is also a genius addition to the hostel because its convenient and the perfect place to pre game before a night out on the town. If you’re like us, you’ll probably end up staying there because its just so damn vibey.
I ordered the Jamaican Jerk chicken and was presently surprised. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the food at Hilma, but my taste buds were graced with deliciousness. I’m a foodie at heart, so I was truly happy with this meal. The flavor was incredible, it was actually spicy and I was so full after digging in. The bartender sat it down in front of me and my eyes immediately lit up with glee. The jerk chicken sat atop rice smothered with black beans. Parsley and jalapeños were scattered throughout the dish for a real kick of flavor. My favorite part was the yogurt sauce that came on the side with a lime. I squeezed the lime to a pulp and added the yogurt sauce to my chicken for the perfect mix of spicy and savory. We went during happy hour (12:00-8:00 PM) so drinks were incredibly cheap too. I bounced between a local beer and my go-to, red wine.
It’s safe to say that this was the best meal I had in Stockholm and definitely the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in.
What to do
Walking through the city reminded me a lot of the time I spent in London. Stockholm is a big city with a lot of people, but I noticed that it was a much slower pace than London which I appreciated. Everyone was strolling to their destinations and the most crowded places were the tubes. It was nice to be in the city without that big city rush.
The first thing on my list was to grab a metro card and head to some of Stockholm’s most iconic subway stations. The city’s metro is often called the world’s longest art exhibit and is one of the first places to start decorating their underground stations. They were breathtakingly beautiful and a nice touch to a place usually considered a bit grimy. My favorite was the iconic Kungstragaden rainbow station. It was incredibly bright and refreshing to see. Stockholm is such a unique city. I recommend exploring the subway stations in one day and purchasing the 24 hour travel card, so that you can travel non stop without having to pay for each trip.
Where to shop
SoFo is one of the coolest neighborhood's in Stockholm, located on Södermalm island. Think coffee shops, boutique stores, vintage galore and bars. Walking the streets reminded me so much of Shoreditch. SoFo is definitely the effortelessly cool part of town and I was here for it.
I spent the afternoon wandering around and I stumbled into Coctail, the funkiest decor shop in SoFo. I had a chance to speak with the shop owner and she told me that she's been in town for over 20 years. Coctail is the place to go for all things trendy. I loved their collection of Mexican and Peruvian inspired pieces. I left with a Frida Kahlo candle and a beautiful yellow blanket from Peru. #HouseGoals.
Where to eat
Grab a bite to eat at Cafe Bla Lotus
After sparking conversation with the owner in Coctail she told me to visit her friend's cafe for a good, quick bite with eastern inspired decor.
The streets were lined with cafes, but the red chairs are what I was told to look for when trying to spot this place. I ducked into the basement cafe and was greeted with a dark ambience that oozed relaxation. I knew that I loved this place even before ordering. I scan the menu boards above. Crap. It's all in Swedish. I can make out some words, but end up asking the friendly ladies behind the counter what to order.
I told her that I was looking for a hot sandwich and ended up going with their pesto and tomato open faced sandwich. It was simple and delicious (which is hard to master). The bread was toasted a golden brown, the pesto was rich and the tomato added the perfect touch of sweetness that I needed. Of course, I ordered a London Pride to gulp down alongside my meal. Cafe Bla Lotus is cozy and warm. They also have plugs, so you can come here get some work done or plug up your dying iphone (me, always).
Stockholm was simple and beautiful (just as life is). It's somewhere that I know I'll return, but hopefully beneath the rays of the summer sun.
What's your favorite thing about stockholm?
Share your travels: #YouMeTravel #YouMELunch