The Swedish capital spoils with covetable homewares, hip hotels and high-end restaurants – that just so happen to be kind to the planet.
Its historic centre may be a maze of age-old cobbled lanes and gabled buildings, but the “beauty on the water” – as Stockholm is nicknamed – is one of the most forward-thinking cities in Europe when it comes to sustainability. Not only was it awarded Europe‘s first European Green Capital in 2010, it’s on a mission to become climate positive by 2040. Despite being scattered across 14 islands, it’s also relatively compact, making walking or cycling the best way to get around.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Given that it’s the largest area of ancient forest in southern Sweden, it’s hard to believe Tyresta National Park is just 40 minutes from the city centre. Its 5,000 pine-scented hectares (12,400 acres) hide lakes that lend themselves to wild swimming, 55km (34mi) of hiking trails and a nature centre where you can find out more about the otters, wild boar and roe deer that roam this pristine environment. Tyresta is well served by buses and trains, so there’s no need to hire a car.
Housed in a yellow building designed by Nicodemus Tessin Jr – the architect behind the nearby Royal Castle – this boutique bolt-hole has unbeatable views over Stockholm’s maritime inlet. Its charitable work is as impressive as the view: the hotel’s profits help to fund Project Playground, which empowers children in South African townships, and The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, promoting interest in children’s literature. When you order certain dishes at the airy restaurant they donate 10kr to Unicef’s water project, and the hotel has also been awarded a Nordic Ecolabel for its environmental efforts. You’ll sleep more soundly in their luxurious rooms knowing that your stay is a force for good.
This hip hotel states that its aim is to bring the feeling of travelling through Europe in a VW campervan to the brutalist Brunkebergstorg area – and boy, does it deliver. Fun touches such as DJ sets four nights a week and water pistols in the bathrooms, do nothing to undermine the fact that it’s serious about sustainability. An urban farm in the lobby supplies fresh herbs to the cocktail bar, rooms are only cleaned on request, to reduce water consumption, and food items at the breakfast buffet are designed to limit food waste.
For vegan fine dining, you can’t beat Växthuset (meaning “The Greenhouse”). Snowy-white tablecloths and a neutral colour palette allow “New Nordic” seasonal plates – some featuring ingredients foraged from the Stockholm archipelago – to take centre stage. Choose a set menu or allow the chef to surprise you with a tasting menu, which could feature anything from roasted beets with sorrel and blackberries to sunflower-seed ice cream. They use Nordic preservation techniques such as pickling and fermenting to ensure as little waste as possible. For a fabulous night out, combine their late-night dining option with a visit to Under Bron nightclub. Restaurant guests get free entry.
An urban millennial’s dream, this hotel blends the buzz of a hostel with the sleekness of a design hotel, including a giant net hammock suspended above the lobby, rooms that reference log cabins and a shop that only features local designers. A dedicated lifestyle concierge hooks visitors up with eco-friendly activities such as running groups, longboarding trips, rooftop walking tours and yoga with a view. The hotel is owned by the Scandic group, which has been pushing the boundaries of eco travel since 1993. They were the first to encourage guests to re-use towels and encourage all employees to get involved with three community charities every year.
Sweden is known for its beautiful and functional homeware, and this gorgeous boutique, which has two locations in downtown Stockholm, is a case in point. The focus is on natural materials with lashings of blonde wood, including a range of brushes made by visually-impaired craftspeople in the shop’s own workshop in Enskede. If you’re looking to introduce a little more hygge to your home, check out their range of fluffy blankets from fifth-generation family business, Klippan Yllefabrik.
Looking for somewhere different to stay? Book into one of the best boutique hotels in Stockholm.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.