Sweden is home to several of my favorite brands (including, yes, IKEA). Over two days in May of 2019, my friends and I explored the city, had our fill of Nordic cuisine, and took in the easy-going atmosphere of one of the happiest countries on Earth.

Arriving via red-eye on a breezy Saturday morning, we set off for Stockholm’s old-town, known as Gamla Stan. The main thoroughfare through this section of town is seen below, with souvenir shops and various cafes, restaurants, and boutiques lining the road.


The old-town

Gamla stan has been standing since the 13th century, and today consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. North German architecture has had a strong influence in the Old Town's construction.

An alleyway in old-town, with the Tyska Kyrkan (German Church) in the background.


German Church

Named so because the area was dominated by Germans in the Middle Ages, the church was built in the 1580s. Though we didn’t venture inside, today the church’s 98 meter steeple and copper spire stands out prominently among the structures of old town.


Mårten Trotzigs gränd

is the narrowest alleyway in Gamla stan, the width of its 36 steps tapers down to a mere 90 centimetres (35 in)


Aside from alleys…

Things to see in old town include: the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, the Riddarholm church, and Sweden’s Royal Palace.

We didn’t stay nearly as long as we perhaps ought to have in gamla stan - but Stockholm is a city of islands, which naturally means its a city of rivers and bridges, and so we walked through various parts of the old down on other days on our way to different sights around the city.

One thing we’d like to have done with more time would’ve been to see the changing of the guards in front of the Royal Palace, although this pomp and circumstance seem to be commonplace across the palaces of Europe, and a tour inside the palace itself (seen below left).


The Hairy Pig in Old-town is a restaurant with an adjacent deli nearby. allegedly conceived on a wild-boar hunt by the chief & RESTAURATEUR in the LOUVRE VALLEY, today the restaurant has some decent plates of SCANDINAVIAN fare for sharing.

Left, slow cooked pork belly: with pickled red onions, aioli and salad

Right, aubergine crisps: with sesame seeds, honey and truffle oil


Reindeer tacos

Yes - tacos of the Rudolf variety. Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, the meat is quite gamy-not exactly to my taste but interesting to try.

Reindeer croquettes Wild-boar sausage

Sausage: bottom left, in hot dog bun - super good

Croquettes: bottom left, slightly better than the tacos, read: doesn’t taste as reindeer-y due to being fried.


The Vasa Museum:

The Sprit Museum


The best part: tasting of Swedish spirits:


‘Hangover experience room’

The Skansen: world’s oldest open air museum


The reindeer exhibit:


Moose, specifically, two mooses (or is it meece?)


Restaurant Pelikan