Visiting a new city means being open to its people and the communities who shape it. As a tourist, it can be hard to get into the core of a people, which is why we are used to distract ourselves with countless hours of sightseeing and shopping. But that can be stressful. In Stockholm, we had the good fortune of meeting with friends who are locals, and I am in deep gratitude for being taken around by them instead of a generic travel guide. Thanks to Mash Up International for hosting our stay in beautiful Stockholm.
We discovered the city by roaming the streets and letting Robert and Thatsanie show us where they hang out, go to lunch or party.
Progressiveness seems to be a key to Stockholm. Compared to Berlin, everything seems new, flashy, clean and very much aesthetically pleasing. You can pay by credit card pretty much everywhere you go, and while it’s quite convenient to be in Stockholm, most things seem to be pedantically planned out, leaving not much for random discoveries and urban spontaneousness.
In an act of childish enthusiasm, Thatsanie and I even pulled Marcus into the famous Gröna Lund, an adventurous theme park in Djurgården that we reached by ferry. A theme park! With rollercoasters! Right in the city!
If you’re not that much into adrenalin pumping rollercoaster rides, you’ll definitely eat your heart out on the culturally stuffed supply in Stockholm. We ended up visiting the Fotografiska, an extraordinary museum of photography that displays various changing exhibitions.
Of course, nightlife was not left behind on our short trip. On our first night we accompanied the Mash Up crew to a gig in a downtown club called Fredsgartan 12, also known as F12. The mood was right, sweat was dripping from the ceiling and everyone was having a good time. Still, partying can make a hell of a difference to us Berliners. We’ll say things like “dude, that’s expensive” and “how do you have a good night out in these high heels?” The night starts pretty early and ends at around 2 AM just as well.
But rest assured, F12 was not to be our last stop on the club scene. On our last night, we gave dancing another shot and thanks to a couple of recommendations, we ended up in an absolutely stunning location right under a highway bridge called Trädgarden. The industrial, steely flair of the surroundings plus the lights of passing-by traffic way above our heads were unique and fascinating. That night, Jeff Mills was playing rough Detroit techno and the people went crazy. Mix a creative and original partying location with a dedicated crowd and you got yourself a blast! What can I say? We like to feel “Berlin”, even when we’re far away.
To sum it up, three days are not nearly enough to discover Stockholm. It’s a beautiful, peaceful city with extraordinarily nice people and a shitload of stuff to do. Districts like the boho-chique Södermalm will leave you in awe for the well designed shops and stores.
The old town, Gamla Stan, even for being a heavy tourist magnet, is lovely and worth a walk. And then there’s that one thing that gives Stockholm a thousand percent advantage over many cities in the world: the water. Water to sit at, water to ride on, water to freshen up the air, water to swim in.