“There’s not bad weather, only bad clothes”, a Swedish proverb says.
Mm… Is that right? The hassle to wrap myself up with infinite layers of clothes, including two pair of socks, waterproof boots, gloves and a hat it’s not something I’m looking forward to. Although I love being outdoors, doing activities close to nature, this doesn’t apply to winter.
There are so many outdoor winter activities in Stockholm and Swedes love them: Skiing, cross-country skiing, skating and any other sport that involves the act of freezing oneself.
I asked locals which warm options do I have to make the most of the winter in the lovely Stockholm.
This is what I got:
Leave the winter behind in “The Old Orangery”
This café is located in Bergianska Trädgarden, a beautiful botanic garden in North Stockholm, part of the city’s National Park.
It used to be a greenhouse and has kept that cosy atmosphere, with natural light coming through large wooden framed glass windows and high rusty ceilings. As you come in, you’ll forget winter.
Plants have taken over in most parts of this place, giving a cool-shabby look. Birds fly around in search of crumbs and a big old square stone sink is used to fill your glass of water. You can either go for fika or lunch, but if it’s your first time, I strongly recommend the carrot cake!
“The Edvard Anderson Conservatory”
This place, also in Bergianska Trädgarden, has remained as a greenhouse. They display the flora of warmer climates from diverse regions around the world.
You can warm up strolling around Mediterranean, South African and Californian landscapes, from dry desserts to green rainforests.
You must pay to access it, but if you don’t feel like paying, you can enjoy the small and cosy café located at the entrance or just sniff around the lovely botanic inspired shop.
Defrost body and mind with Bouldering
Winter will not get in the way of my healthy lifestyle, and Bouldering is a perfect indoor activity to warm up my body.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this popular sport is like climbing, but without strings. Walls are not too high, covered with artificial rocks (holds) with different colours for different levels. The floor is a big thick mat, so you won’t get hurt when you fall.
What makes me love this sport is the rewarding feeling when you get to the top that seemed impossible at first sight. You go back home feeling empowered and full of self-determination.
I haven’t tried bouldering here yet. There are several places in Stockholm, but someone recommended me “The bouldering Stockholm”.
Swedish sauna: a win-win to forget the winter
Going to a sauna (bastu in Swedish) is part of the Scandinavian culture. A place to get away from winter but also to relieve stress from your everyday life.
We can find Spas everywhere in Stockholm: hotels, gyms, swimming pools, or even Yoga places have one. But if you want to have a spa experience and treat yourself, I recommend Centralbadet (and they have Yoga classes too if you fancy).
Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but completely worth it. Built in 1904 with an extraordinary art nouveau style, it’s the most iconic spa in Stockholm.
Important: To avoid peak hours, visit it early in the morning. The prices are also cheaper if you go during the week.
Learn something new: craft your mind!
With the dark and cold winter, I find myself more well-disposed and focused to work. I’m sure this happens to most of you too. Winter it’s an opportunity to feed your knowledge and learn new skills. You may want to craft yourself a ceramic bowl, knit a scarf, carve a dala wooden red horse or design your own leather bag. There are endless options!
If you want to try the art of pottery, a friend of mine recommend a very cosy place in Kundsholmen: Drejeri Gulfasanen. Although, you’ll have to wait until January to join in.
Listen to classical music in a church
Contemplate the magnificent architecture of a church while listening to classical music is another great activity to do in winter.
With Advent, Lucia’s day and Christmas just around the corner, Swedish churches such as Storakyrkan (Stockholm’s Cathedral) or St. Jakobs get ready with classical music concerts to warm up body and soul.
The ritual of Santa Lucia is an inherent tradition among Swedes. Young girls with crowns of candles in their heads embody the light in the dark and cold winter. Lucia’s concerts are held in most churches and it can’t be missed!
You can get more information here
The cold truth is that winter has arrived in Stockholm, but the city has a lot to offer for those that, like me, want to escape from its freezing temperatures, and make the most of it with a warm smile.
Let me know in the comment section what your best winter activities are!