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4 Reasons Why This Safe European City Is The Perfect Fall Destination

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Wild water ripples below, and a warm fall breeze stirs the trees surrounding Riksplan Park. For a city, there’s a calm stillness about it. I’m following a herd of locals on bicycles as they ride the paths over the many bridges connecting one part of the city to another.

35 countries later and all seasons explored, had I just discovered one of the most underrated destinations in Europe to visit in the fall? 

Perhaps it was the peep of red spreading like wildfire across the treetops, the lavishly decorated buildings, or the boats coming and going, but there is something magical about this charming capital city along the Baltic Sea.

gamla stan views

Delightful Neighborhoods

With a diverse flurry of neighborhoods and islands spread across the city and connected by bridges, Stockholm leaves no room for boredom. During the fall months, as the chilly weather ensues, these charming areas are filled with local eateries, chatty locals, and quaint bars to grab a pint or two.

The multi-colored buildings of Gamla Stan are enough to draw anyone to its cobblestone streets and winding walkways. Home to the Royal Palace, Nobel Prize Museum, and Storkyrkan Cathedral, it’s the ideal hideaway to experience all the delights of a Swedish fall. 

gamla stan
@hayleyonhiatus

Looking for a change of pace? Head on over to the Bohemian area of Södermalm. Despite being a hub for the city’s nightlife scene, you’ll also find a slew of traditional restaurants, cozy cinemas, concert venues, and local hangout spots stewed in alternative culture. 

If your idea of a fall day well spent is museum hopping, then the tranquility of Djurgården is where you need to be. Home to an abundance of museums along the shores, you’ll have plenty to do here!

From singing your heart out at the ABBA Museum to seeing the only 17th-century ship salvaged, this area of the city is truly a museum-lovers oasis. 

downtown camper

A Hotel Fit For Fall

An urban oasis in the heart of the city, Downtown Camper by Scandic offers an outdoorsy vibe mixed with chic Scandi style. The hotel doesn't miss a beat when it comes to interior design, with wooden accents throughout and an array of plants scattered around the lobby area. 

In the industrial area of Brunkebergstorg, it truly is a nature escape in a concrete jungle. Open spaces and bar areas invite social mingling and coworking, while daily activities inspire adventure and relaxation. We’re talking sound meditation, a running club, and marshmallow roasting around the indoor fire pit. 

downtown camper by scandic
@hayleyonhiatus

While the daily breakfast buffet and craft cocktails around the bar are certainly standouts, the highlight here is the rooftop bar area and wellness center, ‘The Nest.’

For a small entry fee, guests and locals can enjoy panoramic views from the hotel's ninth floor, followed by a dip in the heated infinity pool or some relaxation in the nest-shaped indoor sauna. 

downtown camper rooftop

Activities Galore

You know what screams fall? Making the most of the crisp weather by filling your schedule with a mix of activities here and there. Luckily, Stockholm offers a little something for everyone.

  • Hop On and Off Boats/Buses: If you’re looking for a leisurely lap around the city, then make the most of the bus and boat tours. You can stay on for the entirety of the trip or hop off whenever you want! (I recommend the companies Stromma or Red Sightseeing for tours).
  • Day Trips: The ideal fall day trip? A boat ride to the beautiful region of Vaxholm. In Stockholm’s archipelago, the area is lined with fishing cottages and colorful wooden houses. 
stockholm foliage
  • Museums, Museums, and More Museums: With fall sometimes comes the rain, and Stockholm has you covered here with hundreds of museums across the city to spend time indoors. 

My recommendations are: Skansen Open-Air Museum and Zoo, the Royal Palace and Exhibits (definitely see the Royal Apartments), Vasa Museum, and Fotografiska Museum.

Here is a list of all the Museums around Stockholm for you to visit!

cafe schweizer

Fika And More Dining

With such a charming city center, Stockholm surely has a variety of quaint cafes and traditional restaurants right? YES! From Normalm to Skeppsholmen, any neighborhood you explore comes with a bundle of eateries to try along the way.

When you hear Swedes mention ‘Fika,’ they’re talking about the time of day when they enjoy a short coffee break with friends. As part of the culture, there are so many places to experience Fika as a tourist.

What’s better than people watching along the narrow streets of Gamla Stan? Doing so over Fika. My two favorite places I visited once or twice here were Cafe Valvet, Chokladkoppen, and Cafe Schweizer. 

meatballs for the people

The latter is located on the main street, and certainly stands out with its graffitied walls, orange-box displays, and delicious cardamom buns. Chokladkoppen sits in the main square of Gamla Stan, with large cups of hot chocolate and immense-sized pastries. 

Another notable standout food-wise is the infamous ‘Meatballs For The People’ in Sodermalm. Visited by hundreds of travelers, they serve every type of meatball you can imagine.

From bear to moose, if you want a traditional Swedish dish, you’ll find it here with a side of mash, pickled veggies, lingonberries, and a local brew!

stockholm view
@hayleyonhiatus

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.