Ghostly Gamla Stan and Drottninggatan

We took the first half of the day to do a bit of northern exploration. Walking the busy pedestrian shopping street of Drottninggatan, you get a chance to do some people watching and touristy shopping. The best prices we saw for small gifts were on the most tourist-vibed street, a real surprise! There are a slew of restaurants along the main street, but, as almost always, I opted to entrust my lunch to Google’s infinite wisdom. We planned to go straight to lunch at Nomad, but were disappointed to find that they don’t open until 3pm, despite their website listing opening as noon on weekends.

In order to find a silver lining (to coat our stomachs), we finally gave into our desire for some Swedish pastries! Highly rated Vete-Katten was only a short walk, and offered a wide selection and counter service. Being a weekend, it was absolutely packed we had to stake out the only available spot, tight in a corner, lacking proper spacing for the next table. The pastries were quite good, but not worth the annoyance of squeezing in, and being bumped, and then wiggling out around the crowd of newcomers awaiting their treats in the door-to-register queue.

Nomad fine and certainly not dulled by overcrowding. The chef was not in house at opening time, and so the front door could not be opened. We were directed by the keyless server inside to go through the adjoining hostel, and so passed by the sign for 99kr meatballs, only to be told that the price was only available to hostel guests. Safe. The wine blends were fine. The salmon with a ton of under-seasoned riced potatoes and a surprise soft friend egg (I hate egg yolks) was underwhelming in flavor and presentation, even if overwhelming in portion size. My mother claimed that Nomad’s meatballs were so good they had convinced her out of store-bought meatballs ever again (doubtful).

One great stop for a quick, free museum is the Medieval Museum, accessed under the Norrbro bridge linking Norrmalm and Gamla Stan. For a free museum it is quite well organized and outfitted with artifacts! It’s certainly a nice way to warm up on a Saturday afternoon in March!

As evening approached, we took a short trip from the Gamla Stan ferry to Djurgarden and back before the Ghost Walk we’d booked for 7pm. At 200kr a person, and with seemingly no cap (our group was about 50 people) the tour was a good balance of entertaining and historical for a date night or fun activity, though one did not get the sense that the “historical” aspects were all that historically accurate, and the size of the group made moving and hearing difficult. I’m definitely not one to voluntarily spend long periods of time in the cold, so I got pretty uncomfortable as the night chill set in. This may be better spent as a summer activity; February in Stockholm is not night walk weather! Also, for the price, I likely would have preferred the free walking tour version of Gamla Stan’s ghost stories. I am partial to the free walking tours though, they’re just terrific.

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