In a multinational city like Stockholm, it is quite common to hear English spoken everywhere. Therefore, it is often not entirely clear whether you are surrounded by locals who speak English or tourists. Thus, here’s a list of the top places where you can find locals and experience a non-touristy Stockholm.
Tantolunden (Zinkens vag)
Ask the Swedes about the place they most associate with spring, and 9 out of 10 will mention Tantolunden. In April-May, when it gets really warm outside, this park is never empty for a minute. People are sunbathing or doing outdoor exercise and children run to paddle in the water. So, you get the feeling that literally the whole city gathers here on the lawn and enjoying the first warm days.
Non-touristy Stockholm: Palmyra kebab (Arstavagen, 57)
Just imagine a warm and tender falafel in a crispy crust, along with unlimited access to vegetables and sauces. For those who want something other than a falafel, there is a huge selection of kebabs, vegetables, and meat dishes. The guys who run this place are passionate about what they do and are always up for a good chat. The establishment is located near the center, but in a quiet area, hidden from the crowds of tourists.
Oxid (Birger Jarlsgatan, 33)
If you’ve been to some bars in Stockholm, you probably noticed how many people around you speak English. It is very cool to be a part of this multinational community, but you might feel like you also want to experience the real Swedish vibes. This very small bar, where visitors chat and have a drink in the evening, turns into something rather peculiar at midnight. All the people coming from other bars or just from home trying to squeeze into this tiny dancing spot. This is exactly the place where you can come alone, and already after half an hour rock with new friends. The music here doesn’t promise anything supernatural. It’s mostly just popular music, where Walk the Moon and Shakira alternate with typical Swedish musicians like Håkan Hellström and Hov1.
Non-touristy Stockholm: Papercut (Krukmakargatan, 24)
Papercut is one of the most popular bookstores in the “not for everyone” category. There is a huge selection of magazines on a variety of topics ranging from food and fashion to professional magazines. All of them are for musicians and art historians (in English or Swedish). It also sells books, DVDs (yes, DVDs!), Diaries, textbooks, and just all sorts of cute little things related to Stockholm, which are suitable for gifts. The products in the store are so well selected that absolutely everything seems incredibly interesting and necessary. So don’t be surprised if you get stuck here for half a day.
Kaffeverket (Sankt Eriksgatan, 88)
Finding good coffee in Stockholm is not that difficult. They are scattered throughout the city. But Kaffeverket is definitely one of the locals’ favorites. Sankt Eriksplan, the area where the establishment is located, is very close to the center. Moreover, it is not so popular with tourists. Every now and then you can see how residents nearby leave their houses and come here to grab coffee and breakfast before work. Great coffee, delicious sandwiches, talkative baristas, and a cozy interior. You might want to sit here for hours and not want to go anywhere.
Non-touristy Stockholm: Liljevalchs (Djurgardsvagen, 60)
For some reason, this fascinating gallery is one of the most popular among the locals. Perhaps the reason is that these exhibitions mainly feature the works of young contemporary artists. Therefore, they very accurately convey the spirit of modern Sweden, which attracts young customers. The gallery is located on the island of Djurgården and can be easily reached by using public transport or on foot from the center. The exhibitions change several times a year, but the most popular is without a doubt the Vårsalongen (Spring Salon). It features works by artists from all over Sweden.
Totemo Ramen (Sankt Eriksgatan, 70)
The place is unrealistically small, where 9-10 people can hardly fit. There are usually no crowds here at lunchtime. And since the institution is open 3 hours a day, lunchtime is always here. So don’t be surprised if you have to wait your turn. On the street. Why then do we advise you to go here? Because the ramen is incredibly delicious here! There are literally a few dishes to choose from, but there are options for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. The portions are large and perfect for filling and warm up before exploring the city further.
Non-touristy Stockholm: Emmaus (Peter Myndes backe, 8)
Even with so many shops of completely different price categories, the Swedes love second-hand items and clothes. Emmaus is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for those looking for something unique and special. The store includes two sections: a vintage one, hidden deep underground, and an ordinary second-hand (rather large). Here you can find clothes, shoes, accessories, outerwear. In addition to that, you can also purchase books and various pleasant little things for the house like dishes, decor, textiles, etc. The price tag varies, especially in the vintage department, but secondhand clothes and shoes cost around Kr 100 (10 euro).
If you want to learn about non-touristy destinations, read our article about Montenegro