The weather in Stockholm can be changeable, no different from the UK. Remember, as a general rule it’s not cold in the summer in southern and central Sweden and temperatures in the mid-twenties are quite normal. However, on this visit it was changeable, with sunshine and showers.
We were here, by chance, for the midsummer celebrations on the 21st and 22nd June. The Swedes take midsummer very seriously, with the hair of girls (and often boys) garlanded with flowers. There is an enormous and wonderful park on one of Stockholm’s islands (the city is built on 14 islands) called Skansen. It is, in fact, an open-air museum tracing Sweden’s history and showcasing the best of the country. Most Stockholmers leave the capital to spend midsummer with their families in the country but those that remain go to Skansen to dance (maypoles feature everywhere), listen to music and to eat. It’s a great social occasion. Be warned though, that over the midsummer holiday Stockholm is like Paris in August, full of tourists and not many locals and many shops and restaurants are closed.
So, is it expensive? If you are used to living in London then you won’t find any difference at all. A traditional fish restaurant like Wedholms Fisk at 1, Arsenalsgatan will cost £100 each – no different from a high-end London restaurant – but it is top notch. You will not eat badly anywhere in Stockholm. Whether it’s a snack, a sandwich or a burger it has to be good otherwise the locals would not tolerate it. In fact, you could say I visit Sweden to eat! One of the best places of all is the food market at Ostermalmstorg, a 10 minute walk from the waterfront at Nybroplan. You will never see a food market as smart and clean as this anywhere else, so have lunch there, in one of the stalls. I always go to Lisa Elmqvist’s, for fish, but there are many options to tempt.