Produced by Meghan McNeer

Published on May 6, 2019

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Imagery by Aaron Bengochea

There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a new city, but when you only have days (or hours) to explore, it helps to have a curated list from travelers you trust. That’s where Domino’s Field Guide comes in. Compiled by editors and design-minded locals around the globe, consider this a need-to-know edit of the coolest bars, hotels, restaurants, galleries, and boutiques in the top design cities. 

Vivid and colorful are words that are rarely used to describe Stockholm, a city that’s synonymous with minimalist Scandinavian design and pared-down palettes. But according to Tekla Severin an interior architect and photographer known for her bright Instagram aesthetic, there’s a secret world of color-saturated subway stations and neon bars—you just need to know where to look. Ahead, Severin takes us on a tour of the Swedish capital and reveals the insider spots that belong on every first-timer’s itinerary. 

Where to stay

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Americain at Haymarket by Scandic Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Haymarket by ScandicHötorget 13-15
Wes Anderson fans will appreciate this cinematic, color-filled hotel in Hötorget Square. Start your day with breakfast at Gretas, the hotel’s pastel, plant-filled café, and end with a nightcap at Americain, its opulent jade-accented bar.

Bank Hotel, Arsenalsgatan 6
Bank, a newcomer on the hospitality scene, emerged as a hub for the sartorially savvy during Stockholm Fashion Week. Don’t let the name mislead you—though housed in a historic bank, there’s nothing stuffy about this Great Gatsby–esque hotel.

NobisNorrmalmstorg 2-3
Rooms are bright and airy, with plenty of mid-century modern touches. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth checking out the colorful, pixelated ceiling in the lobby-lounge, which looks like a futuristic treetop canopy.

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Nobis Hotel Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Ett HemSköldungagatan 2
Housed in a former private residence, this intimate 12-room hotel is the handiwork of acclaimed interior designer Ilse Crawford and beautifully curated with modern and antique Scandinavian finds.

Where to eat

Rosendals TrädgårdskafeRosendalsvägen 38
An oasis in the heart of the city, this garden transforms with the seasons: Visit during winter to sit by the open fire in the orangery, then return in spring to wander the fields of sunflowers and poppies. The greenhouse café is the best place for fika, a Swedish coffee break that often includes homemade sweet treats, such as its signature saffron-and-chocolate biscotti.

WoodstockholmMosebacke torg 9
Without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in the city. The themed menu changes every two months, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, and the blond wood–heavy interior by designer Lars Stensö is second to none.

PelikanBlekingegatan 40
A local favorite since 1733, Pelikan serves hearty, traditional Swedish food—think: calf’s liver, Baltic herring, and rhubarb pie—in a light-drenched space decorated with palms and hand-painted murals.

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Pelikan Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Saturnus CafeEriksbergsgatan 6
Home to the biggest, stickiest cinnamon buns in Stockholm, Saturnus Cafe is the ideal place to pause during a day of shopping and sightseeing. The multicolored, mosaic-tiled floor by Swedish artist Cilla Ramnek merits a visit on its own.

BananasSkånegatan 47
Picture pink and yellow neon lights, a terrazzo floor, and rose-hued plywood finishes—this is a truly unique, vibrant bistro and bar. Order the asparagus-broccoli pizza with lemon and Parmesan, and sip an incredible in-house margarita. As the name implies—everything is a little bananas, but somehow it works.

Omnipollos HattHökens gata 1A
Stop by this quirky pizzeria for some of the most surprising craft brews in town. The Moa lemon curd and Pleroma raspberry crème brûlée sour beers are two standouts.

Gast CafeRådmansgatan 57
This cool-kid café has it all—dusty pink walls, wide-plank wood floors, neon signs in the shape of Pac-Man ghosts, and arched mirrors. Savor a matcha latte and vegan lentil chili, and ogle the pastel surrounds, designed by My Zachrisson and her business partner, architect Mattias Rubin de Lima.

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Gast Cafe Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Bar AgrikulturSkånegatan 79
A great place for a casual meal with friends, this buzzy, hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves small, interesting dishes, like artichokes with burnt cream and fermented oysters.

Operakällarens BakfickanOperahuset, Karl XII:s torg
Go all in on the tasting plate at this beloved traditional Swedish restaurant—it has five different types of herring, including matjesill, which is served with sour cream, red onion, and chives.

What to do

Stockholm Archipelago
Spend a day or two island-hopping this cluster of nearly 30,000 islands and islets. There’s an isle for every type of traveler, and many are easily accessible by ferry from Stockholm: Torö is a great surfing spot; Värmdö is home to the world-class art gallery Artipelag; Vaxholm’s town center has unique crafts stores; and Svartsö offers incredible remote glamping.

Moderna Museet and ArkDesExercisplan 4
With a permanent collection of more than 130,000 works, as well as a roster of seasonal exhibitions, this is one of Europe’s leading modern and contemporary art museums. The national center for architecture and design, ArkDes, is located in the same building, and like its neighbor, admission is free.

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Gamla Stan Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Gamla Stan
Stockholm’s Old Town is one of the largest and best-preserved medieval city centers in Europe. Avoid the main tourist street, Västerlånggatan, and seek out hidden gems such as Pharmarium, a 16th-century pharmacy–inspired cocktail bar that serves drinks with over-the-top ingredients like birch smoke, violet pearls, and even snow.  

National MuseumSödra Blasieholmshamnen 2
Sweden’s largest art and design museum—recently reopened after a five-year renovation—is a true visual feast. Go for the new sculpture courtyard and exhibition space; stay for the Renaissance paintings and creative workshops.

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National Museum Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Where to shop

RodebjerSmålandsgatan 12
Visit this flagship store for brightly colored apparel by Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer, including tunics and dresses in the brand’s signature sweeping, fluid silhouette.

Judits Second HandHornsgatan 75
One of the top vintage stores in the city, Judits has a well-edited selection of clothing by high-end fashion brands like Acne, as well as label-less finds. Every item is color-coordinated and so thoughtfully chosen.

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Svenskt Tenn Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

Svenskt TennStrandvägen 5
An institution for interior design, it’s almost impossible to leave this textile and decor shop without a colorful cushion, throw, or roll of wallpaper.

Swedish HasbeensNytorgsgatan 36A
Pick up a pair of iconic leather-and-wood clogs from Swedish Hasbeens, the label that made this ’70s-style shoe fashionable again with its Pop-bright creations. Wear them with the brand’s vibrant corduroy trousers to color-block like the best of them.

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Swedish Hasbeens Photo by Tekla Evelina Severin

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See more travel guides:

A Design Lover’s Field Guide to Cuba

A Design Lover’s Field Guide to Atlanta

A Design Lover’s Field Guide to Upstate New York

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