Tips for Visiting Stockholm During ISSCR 2015 by Heather Main

Note that you can register for ISSCR Stockholm here and the early registration deadline is today, March 11.

Even without ISSCR Stockholm is a city worth visiting!

There is no Eiffel Tower, Colosseum or Big Ben but Stockholm is one of Europe’s best kept secrets and the most beautiful European city I have visited. This ‘Venice of the North’ has been selected for the 2015 ISSCR conference and after over 5 years of living in Stockholm to do my PhD I wanted to share with you my (and my friends) tips for extending your stay to make this conference one of the best holidays of your life. There is a clear and obvious bias away from museums, galleries, shopping, religious institutions and upmarket venues, sorry for that J From a scientific perspective, Stockholm is your opportunity to connect with the home of the Nobel Prize, immersing yourself in the proud history of science.Stockholm-Sweden-Riddarholmen-Church

Most of what I am recommending in the region of Stockholm called ‘Södermalm’, making this my recommendation for a good place to stay. ‘Stockholm Södra’ Station on Södermalm gets you to the conference venue in the most efficient manner. Worst case, close to central station will do the job too. There are ferries connecting Södermalm to the tourist attraction of ‘Djurgården’ and it is an easy walk to Gamla Stan (the Old Town). Check out hotel suggestions and conference info at


Djurgården – this is the prime tourist location of Stockholm and you can easily spend a few days on this island. Easy access by the city ferries–Cities/Stockholm/Nature-in-Stockholm/Royal-Djurgarden-park/. Djurgården is the home to many attractions including;

  • The ABBA museum – is a lot of fun, whether you are an ABBA fan or not, very interactive (in English)
  • Vasa museum – accommodates a 1600’s sunken ship salvaged in almost perfect condition from the centre of Stockholm in the 1970’s and bringing with it a fantastic story about royalty and rivalry (in English)
  • Stockholm Acquarium (Aquaria) – tiny but best in the world 😉 This man made ecosystem has an amazing café with view over the water which is worth the trip independent of the acquarium (information in English)
  • Rosendals Trädgård – lounge in the apple orchard sipping cider or enjoy their ecological fresh produce for fika, this is very Swedish (in English)
  • Skansen – see some Swedish animals and the way the people used to live (in English)
  • Gröna lund – quaint amusement park in the middle of the city. Great on a summers day, including some post rollercoaster competition with friends known as ‘femkamp’ and/or relaxed beers (in English)

Skärgårds kryssning (Archipelago Cruise) – Over 2000 islands make up the Stockholm Archipelago. This is where all of the Swedish people disappear to in the summer. Try Vaxholm or Fjäderholmarna for a lunch trip or Sandham to join the summer parties. (in English)Stockholm Farmer's Market

The Nobel Museum – Find out the story of Alfred Nobel’s invention of dynamite and the will that lead to his fortune supporting the best discoveries of science in the last 100 years

Fotografiska – combine a great brunch with amazing photographic exhibitions (in English)


There is nothing more Swedish than Fika. Essentially it means having coffee and cake. The Swedes are the second biggest coffee drinkers in the world (after the Finnish) and there is a lot of cake to go with that.

Vetekatten – try the Swedish cream cake princesstårte

Il caffe –

Choklad Koppen – best hot chocolate, sweet dungeon style setting (in English)

Café Mocco –


It’s kind of hard to get a simple lunch in Stockholm, they tend to do hot meals. There are however a lot of ‘sausage men’ around the city selling sausages with mustard and tomato sauce (senap och ketchup), the chorizo is a must. There are bigger street stands (gatukök) where you can get burgers, kebabs and ‘soft serve’ mashed potato.

Stranden – buffet style brunch with self-serve waffle making

Sirap – best American style pancakes in stockholm

Mosebacke – does a great buffet style brunch (in English)

Fåfängan – good for brunch

Berns asiatiska – fresh food in an Asian style brunch

Swedish food

Salmon, reindeer, moose, all fantastic options, some people like herring, bluh. Try something with lingon jam, like meatballs. Either way there will be some style of potato and sauce coming with your meal.

Gute Grill – (in English)

Pelikan – Swedish food (in English)

Kvarnen – (in English)

Oxelblom –


Marie Laveau – great cocktails

Josefina’s –

Lisa på Torget – a good lunch place, try the räkmacka (shrimp sandwich)

Mälar paviljongen – floating bar in the centre of Stockholm (in English)

Sjätte Tunnan – must try mead and medieval style food in dungeon like setting

Himlen där till – panorama view of Stockholm (in English)

Gondolen – central location, great cocktails, great view

Vampire lounge – fantastic cocktails and themed bar

Akkurat – beer and whisky

Solstugan – live music, fantastic views and sunshine


Trädgården – great atmosphere at this outdoor, summer only bar under one of the biggest bridges in Stockholm.

Cliff Barnes – at 11pm the restaurant turns into craziness and dancing on tables

Södra Teatern – for world music, drinks and dancing with an elevated view of Stockholm (in English)

Stureplan is ‘the place to be’. The upmarket bars of town are located here. Not my bag.

Riche –

The Golden Hits – bit of karaoke, bit of 80s/90s dancing, met my husband here…

Fasching – Jazz (in English)

Lemon Bar –

Berns – (in English)

Debaser –

Patricia – old ship becomes nightclub, open late (5am), 4 bars of different music genre including Swedish Schlager


Stockholm is just fantastic to walk around. This is a worthwhile day in itself and requires no planning.

Walk around Monteliusvägen in the north of Sodermalm following the gorgeous streets of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’–do/Attractions/monteliusvagen/ (in English)

Hornsbergs strand –

Bergianska botanic gardens – (in English)

Swedish experiences – living like a Swede

Boule och Bersö – boule, drinks and dinner evening

Tantolunden – Grab an engångsgrill (one time grill) and some grill produce from the supermarket (ICA or COOP) for a picnic lunch, very Swedish–do/Attractions/tantolunden/

Långholmen – swimming with views of the city

Kayaking around the city –

Strawberry picking – bit further out but the strawberries in Sweden are amazing!

Specialty Restaurants

While it’s great to try out Swedish food there is so much more on offer in Stockholm than meat and potatoes.

Flippin’ burgers – supposedly the best burger in Stockholm. They open at 4pm and there is a cue

Grill – (in English)

AG – best meat restaurant in Stockholm (in English)

Svartengrens – sustainable meat dishes and great cocktails (in English)

Garlic and Shots – everything has garlic in it…. (in English)

Hermans – best view in Stockholm, vegetarian food fit for carnivores and the most amazing cakes you will find

Djuret – sustainable meat dishes using the whole animal, different animal every week (in English)

Byn – best crepes and cider in Stockholm

Creperie Fyra Knop – not as good as Byn but closer to the action

Kho Phangan – great Thai food with indoor forest, rivers and tuc tucs of Thailand

Sandai-me Kato – Japanese food, the hot pot/sukiyaku is a must!

Akki Sushi – best sushi in Stockholm, which is a big call considering the Swedes love sushi and have a very high standard of it

Ki Mamma – sushi or ramen restaurants

Tezukuri sushi – Hammarby sjöstad is seemingly good for architecture and for fantastic sushi 😉

Mormors dumplings (grandma’s dumplings) – cheap and fantastic!

Peppar – Louisiana style restaurant intensely decorated with great food including Jambalaya

Getting around

The Swedes have fantastic English so you are not going to have any trouble getting around. A little suggestion however to not look too stupid when asking where things are, check out the pronunciations of the 3 extra letters in the Swedish language å, ä, ö.

Åå – kind of like ‘awe-a’ taking the place of ‘oa’ in many words like boat is båt (bawe-at)

Öö – kind of like ‘err’, used in useful words like öl (errl), meaning beer 😉

Ää – kind of like ‘aer’ as in the ‘air’ sound of airport

Take the Stockholm ferries, the best way of seeing the city from the water at a very affordable price. Get your ‘SL card’ to cover all transport on ferries, buses and trains. (only Swedish). Find an SL centre to purchase in person.

If taking a taxi stick with ‘Taxi Stockholm’, ‘Taxi 020’ and ‘Taxi Kurir’ and check out the ‘comparison price’, the price displayed on the side of the taxi which demonstrates the relative cost of taking that taxi. It shouldn’t be higher than 500 SEK otherwise it may be a bogus taxi company.

It’s not that tough to fly to Stockholm nowadays, there are a lot more direct flights to Stockholm including;

–        From Oakland (OAK) with Norwegian Airlines

–        From Fort Lauderdale (FLL) with Norwegian Airlines

–        From New York (EWR) with United Airlines or Scandinavian SAS

–        From Chicago (ORD) with Lufthansa or Scandinavian SAS

–        From Dubai (DXB) with Emirates or Qantas

–        From Doha (DOH) with Qatar or Cathay Pacific

–        From Bangkok (BKK) with Thai Airways or Norwegian Airlines

–        From Beijing (PEK) with Air China or Scandinavian SAS