40 hours in Stockholm – Part 4 – Day 2: Stureplan, Djurgården, and Swedish meatballs

40 hours in Stockholm – Part  4 – Day 2: Stureplan, Djurgården, and Swedish meatballs

6.30am – I’m UP! It’s Sunday so everyone is still deep in their sleep, probably after some hard-going parties into early dawn. My bag is already packed the night before, not much to call pack or unpack anyway, so after the shower and dressing up, I’m down at the cafe by 7.30. Grab a sandwich by the bar as a pre-breakfast, I step out onto the empty street, heading towards Ostermalm.

The plan for the next few hours is: (1) Breakfast at Saturn Cafe and a stroll in the adjacent Humlegården park; (2) Explore the modern side of Stockholm in the affluent district of Ostermalm; (3) Crossing the bridge to Djurgård island – the home to the most iconic museums in the country, an amusement park by the water – Grona Lund, and the national park Kungliga Djurgården; (4) Heading back up north to have lunch at Trana – known via word-of-mouth for its “best Swedish meatballs in town”; before leaving for the airport in early afternoon.


? For the first 3 parts, click here, here, and here 


8.15- 9.45 Giant kanelbullar, sunrise in Humlegården park, church and more

Being out on the street in early Sunday morning means you can walk as if you owned  the streets, only to share them with a few early joggers. A few interesting stops in  Östermalm are:

  • If you live by this same rule – “No day can start without a proper breakfast” – Cafe Saturn will serve as an excellent breakfast stop right next to the Humelgarden park and the beautiful National Library. This is a classic cafe in French-bistro style, serving a few simple but good omelette options, healthy fruit bowls with (chia) pudding, and an aisle of ginormous Swedish buns next to classic pastries and cakes (never too early for these huh?!)

  • Humlegården park: a great place for a walk after breakfast. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the greenery of trees, the moist and earthy smell of dewy lawn, and the energy radiating from active locals doing their morning jogs and workouts.
  • Located to one end (southern) of the park is the National Library of Sweden, which houses a massive collection books, research materials, audios & visuals, and academic objects in both Swedish and foreign languages. It is a nice stop for book-lovers and those with a generous time budget, except on Sunday when the library is closed.

  • Exiting the park and following Linnegatan street, we will get to the Swedish History Museum, housed in a yellow baroque-style building, where history and artifacts of the nation were showcased, especially from Viking and Medieval periods.
  • Oscarskyrkan – Oscar Church: a pretty white Gothic façade, designed by the same architect behind the Sofia Church – Gustaf Hermansson, can be spotted from far and definitely photo-worthy.

  • Alternatively, you might also want to walk along Humlegardsgatan after exiting the park to check out the Östermalms saluhall – a covered market/foodhall running since 1880s selling from fresh produces to gourmet foods. However, it is also closed on Sunday!

10.00- 11.30 Museum island, Apple festival, Ships and marina

Walking along Strandvagen on a sunny day is simply a joy. Everything becomes prettier and everyone seems happier in the rays of morning sun and under the blue sky. Take your time to take in the view from Djurgards bridge before stepping on to the “Museum Island” of Djurgarden

  • While walking along the main road, I got side-tracked by the sight of the Apple festival around Villa Lushusporten (part of Lushusporten park) marking the official start of Autumn and the peak of apple harvesting. Here we can buy various apple products from local farmers, grocers, and caterers: think fruits, juice, cider, pies and pastries – a perfect pit-stop in between the museum tour.

  • Nordiska Museum: a magnificent Renaissance building and probably the most iconic on the island. Not only praised for its beautiful exterior and interior design, the Nordiska also houses an impressive collections of historical objects and documents from 16th century until now. It can easily take a few hours to walk through the museum so I will have to leave it to the next and longer visit.

  • While walking along the main road, I got side-tracked by the sight of the Apple festival around Villa Lushusporten (part of Lushusporten park) marking the official start of Autumn and the peak of apple harvesting. Here we can buy various apple products from local farmers, grocers, and caterers: think fruits, juice, cider, pies and pastries – a perfect pit-stop in between the museum tour.

  • Vasa museum – a 17th-century wrecked ship from 1628 which was salvaged and restored into a museum in 1990. It is located next to the marine behind Nordiska museum and, by word-of-mouth, the “only museum to visit if you only have time for one”. This is, therefore, also boasted as the most visited museum in the whole Scandinavia
  • If ones are lucky enough to have time, music fans will not want to miss the ABBA museum where they’ll find themselves dancing along some of the most iconic rhymes of the 80s-90s. Nature lovers and families might want to explore the Skansen museum and zoo.
  • Further into the heart of the island, check out Rosendals palace dedicated as a museum to King Karl XIV Johan of the early 19th century before stopping by Rosendals Trädgård – a beautiful organic restaurant – for a delicious lunch/brunch either inside the greenhouse next to  flowers and plants, or outside surrounded by grass, fruits and vegetables

As for me, with less than one-hour remaining before heading back downtown, taking a stroll along a the marina and popping into the SS Sankt Erik museum ship seemed to be the best choice


11.30- 13.00 – Finale – The posh quarter and best meatballs

Read a travel blog and affirmed by a Stockholm native on the train into the city upon my arrival, I made it a mission to have lunch at Cafe Trana in Vasastan, where meatball dish is off the menu and thus only served to those who are “in-the-know” :D.

But before that, let us scan through the posh shopping boulevard Birger Jarlsgatan in Stureplan on our walk back from Djurdgard island. A solid 30-min window-shopping “workout” before a scrumptious meal 😀

Alternatively, you can jump on a bus straight from Vasa/Nordiska-museet stop to Odenplan metro station just opposite of our restaurant. Trana is long-standing restaurant, running since 1929 with a classic wooden decor and a “beer cafe” vibe inside while the terrace brings in a fresh and modern edge to the establishment. Staying true to its original value, Trana serves classic Swedish meat and fish dishes at reasonable prices (for Stockholm standard!) while adding modern and international twists to its menu to satisfy its increasingly diverse clientele. As I mentioned before, Swedish Meatballs are not on the menu but it is what Trana is famous for among many locals and tourists.The meatballs are truly Swedish classic, nothing extraordinary, but flavourful and tenderly delicious, especially when combining with some slices of sourdough rye bread, creamy mashed potato and sweet and tangy lingonberry sauce.

HAPPY EATING and SEE YOU IN ANOTHER TRIP!!!



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