More voices from Stockholm

Lola A. Åkerström asks Stockholm residents to share some of their favorite spots and illustrates them through photography.

Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

All photos by Lola A. Åkerström

I recently published a photo essay for BBC called “Voices of Stockholm, Sweden” where I asked residents of Stockholm to share some of their all-time favorite spots around town. Their wonderfully insightful quotes captioned each of the photos I used to illustrate the piece.

While I’m happy with the final layout and spread, a few more voices from Stockholm didn’t make the cut so I wanted to share them here.

Lidingö Bridge and Tram – Beauty in solitude

Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Teacher and student Yasmine Kenzi Phillips loves the view from Lidingö Bridge across from Ropsten. “From the Lidingö side it reminds me of a woman’s legs opening,” adds Kenzi Phillips. “I love its desolate feeling and the way that no one seems to hang around.

Only cyclists pass by as well as the rickety old blue Lidingö tram. I like cycling over the footbridge in the morning and getting stuck at the back of a bike jam on my crappy bike with no gears. And I like walking over it at night, in the dark listening to the wind howl and enjoying the sensation of being alone in open space.”

Chokladkoppen – Bowls of hot chocolate

Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

For piping hot bowls of frothy hot chocolate, both locals and travelers alike flock to the heart of Gamla stan – Stortorget – to find Chokladkoppen. “Last time I was there was just a few months ago with a friend,” shares resident Astrid Sundgren who has been visiting Chokladkoppen for years.

”Despite being in one of the most touristy spots in town, I love that it’s a nice and cozy place with a family feeling where you can just sit and talk for hours. I usually order their latte which comes in an amazing bowl and often get a slice of apple pie to complement it.”

Medbörgarplatsen – Prime for gawking

Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

From hipsters, fashionistas, and bohemian chic youngsters to executives in business suits, dads pushing strollers, foreigners in ethnic garb, and guidebook-wielding tourists, for a true cross-section of Stockholm’s diverse residents, head over to Medborgarplatsen (“Citizen Square”) – a central and iconic square prime for people-watching on the island of Södermalm.

Semla – Fatten up before Lent

Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

In preparation for 40 days of Lent, semla (plural – semlor) are oval shaped cardamom-spiced buns filled with almond paste and whipped heavy cream which line the windows of bakery stores all over Stockholm from January through March.

“If you’re in Stockholm between these months, you can’t leave without trying a semla,” notes journalist Urban Åkerström. “It’s such an iconic cultural tradition that I grew up with and have always observed,” he adds. “A traditional 18th century way of eating it is called hetvägg where we place the whole semla in a bowl of hot milk. You can find some of the best semlor in town at legendary Vete-Katten.”

Operating since 1928, Vete-Katten located on Kungsgatan in Stockholm serves up semlor along with gluten-free and lactose-free versions.

Be sure to check out my essay on BBC – “Voices of Stockholm, Sweden” – to see some places and experiences worth checking out.

Looking for more voices

Are you a Stockholm resident and would you like to share one of your favorite places in town travelers should check out? Please email lola [AT] slowtravelstockholm [DOT] com and we could feature you in a new series here on Slow Travel Stockholm.

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Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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