Gamla stan (Old Town) – a genuine and charming part of Stockholm
The streets here are narrow and laid with cobblestone. It’s a small island, and you can catch glimpses of water between the old houses and alleys. Most of the houses were built between the 17th and 18th century, with parts dating as far back as the 14th century. The oldest building is Storkyrkan, built in 1306.
Gamla Stan is a vibrant area. An estimated 3000 people live here and over 10 000 work in Gamla Stan. There are several schools and day care facilities on the island, an abundance of cosy cafes, restaurants, shops, genuine crafts, antique stores, art galleries and plenty of sights to be seen. If you only keep to the main shopping street, Västerlånggatan, or the big square, Stortorget, Gamla Stan will seem rather touristy. But if you walk along some of the more hidden alleys you can experience a completely different atmosphere.
Besides the most well known sites in Gamla Stan like Stortorget, Storkyrkan, the Royal Palace, Järnpojken and Mårten Trotzigs alley we want to share some of our own recommendations with you
The oldest street in Stockholm, Köpmangatan, mentioned in writing for the first time in 1323. Here the salesmen (Köpman = Salesman in Swedish) would trade their goods as early as the Middle Ages. Today it is a small street with several interesting little shops.
Brända tomten, the beautiful little square right by Castanea. Here was once a house which burnt down in the earlier half of the 18th century. Hence the name Brända tomten which roughly translates to burnt plot of land in Swedish. Have a seat here on a clear evening and look at the stars. Or by all means, enjoy the square, its beautiful buildings and atmosphere on an ordinary day.
By something and eat great food in Gamla Stan
Buy a tasty fish or shellfish dish, maybe fresh fish or lovely cheeses from Gamla stans Fisk.
If your in the mood for specially selected fresh fruit and vegetables you should visit Kim, who has a street cart on Mälartorget. Please note that this is only available during the warmer season.
Pay a visit to Wiklands boklåda, opposite Castanea on Kindstugatan, they sell fiction in several different languages. Perhaps a classic Swedish children’s book translated to your language could be a fun gift to bring home?
There are a lot of good restaurants in Gamla Stan, with different concepts. One is all vegetarian, several serve traditional Swedish food, others offer international cuisine, pub food, sushi, french, Italian, fine dining – you’ll find most of it here. There are also several nice cocktail bars, in Gamla Stan, that are worth a visit.
The Nobel museum offers lunch or “fika” in a cool venue with high quality food and drink. Why not visit the very popular, and always crowded Grillska huset, where you can try delicious pastries, sandwiches and lunch dishes. Both places are located on Stortorget.