The Travelling Bookbinder returns to Stockholm, for a workshop on the island of Langholmen, this September. Whether you’re arriving ahead of the three day course, or visiting another time, here’s a special selection of places to go (and things to eat) in Sweden’s archipelago city.
Do you feel a sense of expansiveness and possibility when you’re by water? When that water is surrounded by a diverse and vibrant city such as Stockholm, the prospect of walking and walking is a real delight.
Stimulate the senses
Sharpen the quality of your noticing with a visit to Stockholm’s photography museum – Fotografiska. The Art Nouveau style building houses contemporary galleries, showing four major exhibitions a year, as well as many minor shows. “You wont leave them without a slightly different perspective than you had coming in,” promises the website. Once you’ve been inspired, and purchased postcards or prints in the fine gallery shop, find a seat on the cafe terrace and watch the boats go by.
Voyage back in history
These are the masts of a mighty warship! Discover how a 17th century vessel, which capsized and sank, is now on display after 333 years on the sea bed – it’s an incredible story. The Vasa Museum is on the island of Djurgarden (also home to the ABBA museum, and Skansen, showcasing five centuries of Swedish history and a zoo!)
Stylish stationery shopping
When in Sweden, Granit is a must. This classy chain stocks smart and functional homewares, including a very delectable stationery section. How many people do you know who take photographs of wrapping paper for pleasure? Reader, I bought a set home as well….wouldn’t you?
Find Scandinavian design icons at Designtorget – great for gifts. This pop up card reveals a 3D Dala horse, traditionally a painted wooden toy from the Swedish province of Dalarna, that has become a symbol of the nation. Stores are located around Stockholm, and at the airport. Warning: I’ve never left empty-handed.
Serenely inspiring, Manos displays a beautifully curated selection of craft and design. It is the creation of ceramicist Karin Eriksson (who i knew from craft fair days.) Her studio out the back, and she teaches workshops there too. What a wonderful combination of thoughtful things.
A book lover’s rainbow
Who doesn’t need a notebook or photo album in a dazzling choice of colours? Bookbinders Design have been rocking my world since 2002. Each item can be personalised with customised foil embossing. Stockholm has two shops and Fotografiska also stocks their aesthetically pleasing wares.
Time for a bun?
Fika is the very excellent Swedish habit of stopping for a hot drink and a little something to eat. Be sure to make this a daily opportunity.
The most amazing cinnamon or cardamon buns can be found at any cafe and bakery – i’m hesitant to choose one place to recommend – please let me know your favourite.
This mouth-watering array was seen (and sampled) somewhere in Sodermalm.
Bliss for paper lovers can be found at Studio Barbara Bunke on a charming cobbled street on Gamla stan, Stockholm’s old town. Stocking a wide selection of patterns and textures in the form of cards, envelopes, notebooks, wrapping paper and individual sheets.
Anglophone reader supplies
If you happen to have left home without enough reading material, or you’re an indy bookshop tourist, then seeking out The English Bookshop will give you great satisfaction. There are shelves of local interest fiction and guides, and plenty more to happily peruse.
When you don’t have a thing to write with…
…then the Pen Store is your one stop shop. A stunning range of mark-making utensils; from fountain pens to felt-tips, mechanical pencils to pastels. With notebooks, inks and erasers too. Not to mention funky window displays.
Top spots for cone licking
Sometimes ice cream is only refreshment required. Take away a cone from Kungsholmens Glassfabrik and restore your energy and vitality for more touring.
Stikki Nikki also serves up delicious frozen scrumptiousness for joyous organic flavours.
Stay on a ship
Can you believe that this magnificent white sailing boat is a youth hostel?! af Chapman voyaged across the seven seas until the 1930s and was converted into accomodation by 1949. Contact the Swedish Tourist Board to book your cabin.
Stockholm Stories runs 12th – 15th September 2019. There are currently a few places left, for this long weekend of inkery and bookart.
Bring your swimming costume as Langholmen has sandy beaches, perfect for a pre- or post-workshop dip.
Enjoy exploring Stockholm and please leave a comment with any must-see bookish or paper places that you would recommend!
Make the most of Visit Stockholm’s informative site for more itineraries and tips.