Sweden, Stockholm, travel tips from an expert expat: Vivien Leung


Sodermalm features all the trendy hangouts for Stockholm hipsters. Photo: iStock

An engineer who has been on walk-about in Europe the last seven years, Vivien Leung has been living in her adopted home since 2018.


Fotografiska is my favourite place in Stockholm. Not only do you get world-class photography exhibitions, the cafe/restaurant has fantastic views of Djurgarden and Grona Lund. I have an annual membership and visit at least four or five times each year. For photographers, the best view point for Stockholm is from Monteliusvagen walking path, up on the cliff close to Slussen tunnelbana station. You can get great views of Lake Malaren, Stockholm City Hall, and Riddarholmen at sunset and sunrise. See fotografiska.como


Stockholm is built on 14 islands which are connected by 57 bridges. I take my friends on Stromma’s all-you-can-eat shrimp cruise while admiring the beautiful Stockholm archipelago. The three-hour ferry cruise runs from Nybroplan to Vaxholm with a short stop at Vaxholm Citadel. It runs between May and October, and costs 425 kron ($60). The budget-conscious can take Ferry No 80 from Nybroplan all the way to Frihamnen for a 50-minute archipelago cruise on a regular public transport ticket of 39kr. See stromma.com

Expat Vivien Leung has lived in Sweden since 2018.
Expat Vivien Leung has lived in Sweden since 2018. Photo: Supplied


Stockholm is an expensive city for eating out. A bargain tip is to order the reasonable dagen ratt (dish of the day) at restaurants at lunchtime. I recently discovered Tysta Mari Bistro upstairs of Ostermalms Saluhall, which has been Stockholm’s food market since 1888, and has just completed a four-year renovation. Try such Swedish specialties as toast skagen (shrimp toast), raksallad (shrimp salad) and, of course, kottbullar (meatballs) while watching the bustle of the market below. See tystamari.nu


Like Melbourne, coffee culture is strong in Stockholm and Swedes are among the world’s biggest coffee consumers. Fika is a unique social ritual of taking a break with a coffee and konditori (sweet cakes) and takes place at workplace, at home or with friends. You must also try kanelbulle (cinnamon rolls) or prinsesstarta (princess cake) with your coffee. Vete-Katten on Kungsgatan is a Stockholm institution with a good selection of konditori. See vetekatten.se

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Gamla Stan (Old Town) dates back to the 13th century and is the most visited part of Stockholm. Avoid the over-priced cafes and restaurants and the tacky souvenir shops. Instead, walk up the Guldbron (Gold Bridge) to Sodermalm for the trendy hangouts for Stockholm hipsters.


Swedish people love friluftsliv (outdoor life). Beautiful in winter beneath its blanket of snow, one of my favourite winter activities is to walk on a frozen lake on a sunny day: the kommune (local council) measures the thickness of the ice so it’s safe. However, the best time to visit Stockholm is definitely summer, with 20 hours of sunlight and warm temperatures. Varmt Valkommen!


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