We began the day on our way to Södermalm for the food free walking tour. Either they got moving promptly, or didn’t show up at all, because we arrived at 11:02 for the 11am meetup, with no food tour to be found. Making the best out of an unfortunate situation, we headed up to the Greasy Spoon. It was delicious! The beet hollandaise was bomb on the smoked salmon benedict, as was the not-too-beery-Guinness-chocolate over the cran-raspberry pancake special.
In most un-hipster fashion, Söders seem to have wholeheartedly adopted the “hipster” label, and their assimilation into the culture can be seen through denim-overall uniforms, gorilla garbage cans, and idealization of Brooklyn, NY. If you’re looking for a place to coffee, snack and people-watch, Söder is the stop. On your way out, whether it be day or late night, you can stop by Fotografiska: a moderately sized museum of photography, as well as a couple video and sculpture installations. It is not as extensive as I’d hoped, but its few exhibits were quite diverse and well composed.
The walk between Södermalm and Gamla Stan provides some really beautiful views of Stockholm, a city spread across multiple islands, though it may take a bit of positioning to find a lookout sans scaffolding or cranes.
On the way back, we stopped into Slussen Station to purchase our 24hr SL passes, allowing for a bit of travel around the city, as well as transport back to Arlanda!
Things to know about the SL passes (that they won’t tell you):
You can buy a SINGLE USE PASS (this will save you 20kr/pass). The alternative is to buy an access card and have it loaded with your 24hr use pass. If you plan on reusing it later in the trip, or are planning another trip, you could go for the reloadable card. If not, the 24 and 72 come in single use options.
Getting to Arlanda Airport:
They will tell you that you cannot get to Arlanda with just your SL card. You can! It’s not the absolute simplest way, but it’s easily doable. We did it. You can too. Here’s how: Take your closest metro to Central Station (on Metro go to T-Centralen, the two systems can be accessed from the same building). From Central, take the Pendeltag train to Marsta Station (follow the signs to trains, then look on the board for Marsta and head to the indicated platform). Grab the 583 Bus to Arlanda from right out front of Marsta! You can stay on all the way to the front of terminal 5! It’s about an hour in total, but we caught quick connections, so I’d plan for an extra 30 minutes in case of delays. I understand that you can reverse this in order to get to the city from Arlanda! I’m a bit of a worrier when it comes to travel times in foreign countries, so I like to follow my little blue dot on Google Maps in order to ensure I’m not going to somehow miss the necessary stop.
You can also use your pass for Stockholm’s public ferries! We didn’t use any of the commuter ferries, but we did take the ferry from the “Slussen” dock (Slussen metro terminal is in Soder, Slussen dock is a 7minute walk into Gamla Stan!) It’s a nice way to get around while capturing some great views of Stockholm from the water.
In the evening, we were back at the hotel and deciding what to do about dinner. Not very hungry, I suggested we take a trip down to the wine bar of our hotel! (To be specific it’s the wine bar for La Rouge, the adjoining restaurant). The portions are even smaller than one would expect for “small plates,” but both the cauliflower soup with a porcini ravioli and the artichoke risotto were delicious. At over $70USD for a few glasses of wine and the two dishes, it’s certainly not a value, but the location can’t be beat when staying in the Castle House. One night of not doing the coat-gloves-hat ritual was worth the extra expense…and because we didn’t need to leave the building, I could finally wear my less-than-warm skirt!