What I’ve learned in the last couple of months is that it’s so important to listen to your body, your health, yourself and your needs. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, tone everything down – even the way you travel. In the spirit of ease, my boyfriend and I went on a long weekend to Stockholm, Sweden. The goal of the trip was mostly to visit family and do as little as possible – a homage to slow travel, sometimes quite literally.
Sometimes, when travelling, we lose sight of why we travel. We get caught up in to-see and to-do lists. Visit this museum and that one. We should see Södermalm, Östermalm, and whatever other -malm that is the touristic Valhalla. We have to get to old town (Gamla Stan), new town, and whatever other town.
Every day should be filled with something to do.
We can’t miss ANYTHING. AHHHH. CONQUER.
What’s the rush? Let go. Be mindful when travelling.
Luckily, I’m no modern-day Caesar. I didn’t feel like conquering Stockholm. Slow travel was our mindset, soaking in the environments of the beautifully green city and keeping ourselves open to new experiences.
Only three things were non-negotiable for this weekend: relaxation, ease, and especially nature.
Everything we did was in the spirit of ease and mindfulness. We eased out of bed, into breakfast. We slowly trotted to the train, and had plenty of time to make our flight… but hilariously we somehow almost missed it. Ha-ha. We must have taken the slowpoke theme a little too far that first day.
A green dream in the City – Djurgården, Stockholm
Our first full day in Stockholm, my boyfriend and I took the ferry to National City Park Djurgården (more info below). The island, about 10 min from the centre of Stockholm, is lushly green, full of forests and meadows – perfect for a day of lazy exploration. As a nature lover, I had a little green orgasm when I arrived, but it’s also a great place for architectural enthusiasts or museum buffs, as the park is full of museums and historical buildings.
We visited just one museum of around 20 museums on the island. The Vasa museum is dedicated to the Vasa ship that capsized and sank in 1628. It sounds like a tragicomedy to me, but the Vasa actually sank on the first day of its maiden voyage. After 300+ years at the bottom of the sea, the beautifully ornamented ship was salvaged, almost fully intact, and mounted in the museum (except for the colourful paintwork, which they restored in the replicas hanging throughout the museum). The museum itself was rich in its history and exhibits, but in true slow travel style, we didn’t try to see everything. Why try? Right? Gotta keep something for when we come back – someday.
Hiking Galore only 40 minutes from Stockholm centre: Tyresta National Park
Saturday, we spend hiking through the pine forest in Tyresta National Park. Whenever my boyfriend and I go on holiday (however short), nature is always a prerequisite. Hiking is just one of my favourite things to do, even if we sometimes have an ambiguous relationship (hating it and loving it at the same time).
There are many trails in the park. We choose to hike around the lakes. My boyfriend set out a relaxed 15km hike. Sort of. We accidentally added another 2 km by missing the last bus at Tyresta By on the way back. Oh well. 17km later, and a bus trip back to Stockholm centre, we crashed down on the couch, fulfilled and satisfied.
Sunday, Breakfast day
On Sunday, we took the day of rest quite seriously, waking up at 11 and slowly trotting to the breakfast hotspot of Stockholm Södermalm — Greasy Spoon. After a breakfast fit for queens, with strawberry and banana buckwheat pancakes and a good ol’ cuppa coffee, we decided to go back to Djurgården. For me, it was the ultimate relaxation spot in Stockholm between the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and with the boy of my dreams. 😉 We walked around a little bit on the part of the island that we hadn’t seen yet to end up in a very relaxing spot – the Rosendals Trädgårdskafé. We lingered under the fruit trees with some vegan delights and a cup of tea.
Monday morning – Gamla Stan (Old Town)
Our last day was spent checking out Gamla Stan for a minute, accepting that we just didn’t feel like doing any more than just chillaxing the rest of the day at the Johan & Nyström café with an oat milk latte boasting in the sun until our flight back home.
If you let it, Stockholm can provide you with all the relaxation and ease you need. In case you want to recreate my slow adventure, here is some information.
Food & drinks:
The cool thing about Stockholm is that the Stockholmians are very down with the health craze. A lot of cafés have vegan treats. Ordering an almond milk or oat milk latte is one of the easiest tasks in Stockholm. Most cafés have Oatly in their refrigerators. YEAH. If I want to have one of those in my hometown, I have to go out of my way to specific places. So, I was definitely in heaven. What you might not know about me yet is that I stick to a sort-of Paleo/ Mediterranean diet. The restaurants mentioned in this post all fit into my diet in some way ( a.k.a. #lactosefree #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree #tomatofree, and sometimes #vegan).
Here are some of the places that I liked in Södermalm:
|· Mahalo, hälsocafét, Hornsgatan 61
· Rosendals Trädgårdskafé, Rosendalsterrassen 12
|Breakfast:||· Greasy Spoon, Tjärhovsgatan 19,|
|Coffee and Chill:||· Johan & Nyström, – Swedenborgsgatan 7|
|Organic Gelato:||· Stikki Nikki, Götgatan 46
(I couldn’t eat a lot of this, but the 5 bites I stole from my boyfriend’s vegan chocolate/ coconut stracciatella ice-cream were heaven)
Nature in & around Stockholm:
It’s true what they say, Stockholm and its surroundings could be a synonym for the great outdoors as there is just so much green to be seen. Besides Kunglinga Djurgården and Tyresta National Park, there are many more parks and green areas to visit.
Tyresta National Park
If you want to recreate our slow journey through the pine trees, you can download a map for the area on the official Tyresta National park website and get information on how to get there with the SL Journey Planner. To get there, we took bus 807 (but you can also take bus 809) from Gullmarsplan to the Svartbäcken stop. We walked to the park entrance from there (20-30min). Another option is to take the same bus and get out at Brandbergens Centrum stop. Followed by bus 834, getting off at the Tyresta By station, leaving you closer to the main entrance.
Next time when we are in Stockholm, we’d like to try the City Bikes which are stationed around the city, but, this time, we mostly relied on our trusted feet. We also bought a 3-day public transport ticket which can be used in all public transport in and around the city (except for the airport bus). To get around in Stockholm, we didn’t really need a travel app to show us the way, since we had an excellent local guide in my sister, but if you don’t have a guide, this SL public transport planner can get you where you want to go.
Have fun and let me know in the comments below about your slow travel adventures in Stockholm or elsewhere. I’m always looking for travel inspiration. Be sure to follow me on social media for regular updates!