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Stockholm: Great Places To Visit For Art And Architecture Lovers

View of Strandvägen in Stockholm

View of Strandvägen in Stockholm. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

The most populous city of the Nordic countries, Stockholm is not only Sweden’s capital but it’s also referred to as the capital of Scandinavia. Located where Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea come together the city occupies 14 islands which are connected by about 50 bridges. One of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe, Stockholm has a unique combination of beautiful historical buildings, green spaces and enchanting waterfront views.

Skånebanken building

Skånebanken is a Art Noveau Baroque building built in 1900 by the architect Gustaf Wickman in collaboration with sculptor G F Nordling. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

The city portrays a chic metropolitan attitude and is recognized for it’s amazing collections of art and architectural wonders. Stockholm is also one of the cities with the largest number of museums: over 70 of them housing everything from art collections, photography and history to Skansen, the the first open air museum and Vasa, a museum dedicated to the only surviving 17th century vessel.

One of my favorite things about Stockholm is that here architecture and nature come together and coexist harmoniously. The city always maintains a connection to the natural landscape both visual and physical with it’s multitude of parks, it’s ever present waterfront vistas and it’s easy access to the archipelago’s more than 30,000 islands where you can find yourself in a peaceful and traditional Swedish town surrounded by nature just minutes away from the city center.

Brantingtorget square in Gamla Stan Stockholm

Brantingtorget square in Gamla Stan Stockholm. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Stockholm’s Top Attractions For Art And Architectures Lovers

As an architect I found Stockholm to be a truly fascinating and beautiful city filled with contrasts where trendy bars coexist side by side with historic cafés. As you walk through the city you truly get a sense for the Swedish culture as being very aware and interested in design and aesthetics, in every store, hotel and restaurant there is a palpable sensibility for design and Stockholm residents are always stylish and trendy yet discreet in their everyday fashion. For Stockholmers design seems to be part of a lifestyle.

I have always been enamored with Scandinavian design: minimalist and functional. Sweden’s contemporary architecture is a combination of ecological design, minimalism, high-tech, expressionism, and neofunctionalism. Recognized the world over thanks to design giants like IKEA and H&M Swedish fashion design and the design of household objets and furniture boasts the same practical, democratic and minimalist aesthetic with strong ties to nature and a focus on sustainability.

Stockholm public library

Photo by Neil Howard. Creative Commons License.

Gamla Stan

The historic center or the old town of the city is called Gamla Stan is one of the most captivating historic neighborhoods of Europe. It’s winding and narrow cobblestone streets and shuttered townhouses date back more than a thousand years. Here you will find a mix of architecture designs from Late Renaissance to Baroque to Art Nouveau.

cobble stone streets in Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt -Diaz, all rights reserved.

Cafés and shops filled with tourists crowd most of the main streets in Gamla Stan but as you walk through some of the less popular alleyways you can truly get a sense of this neighborhood which is filled with unexpected surprises from hidden squares and narrow staircases to gothic churches. Be sure to visit Stortorget square, the first public square in Stockholm and one of the most photographed. Lined with beautiful buildings, erected during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is also houses the former stock exchange building. Be sure to take a tour of the beautiful and Royal Palace (pictured), which takes up a substantial portion of the north-east of the island

Ostermalma

This elegant neighborhood with beautiful residential buildings, posh boutiques, antique dealers and stylish design shops. The area around Bibliotesksgatan is an energetic fashion center with posh boutiques from international brands like Armani, Acne, Prada and Whyred. Taking a walk along Strandvägen to enjoy the spending buildings and the fantastic waterfront views.

Ostermalma, Strandvägen street in Stockholm

Ostermalma, Strandvägen street in Stockholm. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

The Moderna Museet and the Adjoining Architecture and Design Centre

The Moderna Museet has an impressive collection of contemporary ad modern art with works by artists like Picasso, Dalí, Matisse and Warhol and also offers high-class temporary exhibits.  Next to it the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design offers a great view of the modern and ancient architecture and design with very interesting exhibits about how design helped find solutions to housing issues.

Yayoi Kunama exhibit at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm

Yayoi Kunama exhibit at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Millesgarden

Located on cliffs of Lidding Island Millesgården is itself a work of the art. This terraced sculpture garden is filled with beautiful works of art by the famous Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. Originally his home and studio Millesgarden also showcases his own private collection of classical sculpture. Taking a walk through the gardens filled with fountains and works of art is truly a magical experience. You can also get a glimpse of the artist’s process when you visit his own studio where you will find sketches and molds of his sculptures, many of which grace parks and fountains throughout Stockholm.

Millesgarden

Millesgarden. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Fotografiska Musee

The Fotografiska Museum is housed in a 1900’s history buildings and features he work of world renowned photographers with 4 major photographic exhibits and 15-20 smaller shows.  From the fourth floor you can also enjoy one of the best views of the city and amazing food. Even Fotografiska’s award winning restaurant run by renowned Paul Svensson is all about design with locally sourced seasonal dishes that are cooked and combined based on colour, form, aroma and texture.

The Stockholm Subway System Art

Over 90 of Stockholm’s subway stations feature art installations, mosaics, paintings and reliefs by over 150 artists. Often referred to as “the world’s longest art exhibition” all you need to enjoy it is a subway ticket.

Stockholm subway art

Stockholm subway art. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

Stockholm Public Library

Stockholm’s Stadsbibliote is one of the city’s most notable buildings with a cylindrical central toward surrounded by three cubical wings. It’s lending hall is shaped as a rotunda and is a favorite place for photographers to visit. Designed by Gunnar Ashland the Stockholm Public library is an example of Nordic Classicism or Swedish Grace architecture which flourished in Sweden between 1910 and 1930 as a result of influences from Nordic vernacular architecture, Neoclassicism and Modernism or Functionalism.

Stockholm Public Library Photo by Arild Vagen Creative Commons License.

Stockholm Public Library Photo by Arild Vagen. Creative Commons License.

Hallwyl Museum

The famous Hallwyl Museum is located on the historical Hallwyl House of central Stockholm. The lavish Victorian house originally belonged to the Count and Countess von Hallwyl, which was donated to the government later. The rooms have been persevered in the original manner giving you the opportunity to travel back in time and get a rare glimpse the life of Swedish aristocrats more than a hundred years ago. The museum also houses an extensive collection of Dutch and Flemish old master paintings.

Hallwyl Museum's collection of old Dutch and Flemish paintings

Hallwyl Museum’s collection of old Dutch and Flemish paintings. Photo: Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz, all rights reserved.

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2016/latino-parenting/stockholm-great-places-visit-art-architecture-lovers/

5 comments

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  1. Kaitlyn

    What awesome architecture! All of the buildings have so much character. The exhibit looks so neat! What was your favorite stop?

  2. Joanna: price value

    It looks looks like a real variety of styles and eras – certainly enough to keep you interested in a dark winter!

  3. Jamie

    I love when you can see a country’s history and culture just by looking at its buildings! It’s so normal to us that every culture’s architecture looks completely different, and we can sometimes identify a country by the building in a picture, that I know I tend to forget how fascinating it is!

  4. Agness of Fit Travelling

    Sweden is magical, especially its capital! You captured some great moments there, Paula and Cesar!

  5. Selene

    Wow, great post! Love the Stockholm subway system art. There are so many mediums of art and it’s fantastic to explore all of them!

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