Colourful buildings in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

Enjoying fika in Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s Old Town area is something most residents will do daily. ‘Fika’ means taking a time out from your day to chat with family, friends or colleagues over a coffee and snack.

Fika in Gamla Stan, Stockholm Shops in Gamla Stan, Stockholm Old Town Charming cafes in Stockholm's Gamla Stan for Fika

‘Fika’ is an important tradition for Swedes (hence why it has a name) and it’s more than a ‘coffee break’, it’s a moment of calm to enjoy the little things – and perhaps now a useful break away from this fast paced, digital age.

Cafe Gramunken in Gamla Stan Stockholm Old Town

Gamla Stan is one of fourteen islands that make up the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The charming Old Town streets contain some of the city’s best architecture which blend together in warming shades of reds, oranges and yellows. Gamla Stan is a mix of mostly cafes, bars and gift shops – a haven for tourists but with plenty of options to live like a local and to ‘fika’.

Related: Tallinn’s Most Magical Photo Spots

The colourful side streets in Stockholm's Old Town Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm Enjoying 'fika' in Gamla Stan Cafes

I didn’t even know about ‘fika’ before my visit, but it is something I do regularly on trips by pausing over a beverage and people watching. In the heart of Gamla Stan you’ll find the Nobel Museum and cafes including Chokladkoppen where you can cosy up over a (very indulgent) hot chocolate.

Nobel Museum in Gamla Stan Colourful buildings in Gamla Stan, Stockholm Enjoying 'fika' in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town

Gamla Stan’s central location means it’s near most of the city’s main attractions like Stockholm Palace (official residence of the King), the Royal Swedish Opera House and National Museum. Though I didn’t dabble with the transport system much, there’s so many options to get around; taxi, metro, ferry, bus – you name it.

Related: Highlights of a Baltic Heritage Cruise

Stockholm city on fourteen islandsCharacterful streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm Gamla Stan, Stockholm Side streets in Gamla Stan, Stockholm

One thing I loved about Gamla Stan (and Stockholm in general) in how clean and well looked after the city is! The streets are spotless – groomed gardens lead the way to the bridges of Gamla Stan and even the old cobbled side streets weren’t neglected.

Related: Charming places for tea in The Cotswolds

National Museum Stockholm Enjoying 'fika' in Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town

If you have one day or a weekend in Stockholm (like on a cruise), enjoying ‘fika’ in Gamla Stan is one of the best ways to soak up the local culture in a beautiful part of the city.

Further reading: 

‘Fika’, a cookbook by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall
Is this the sweet secret to Swedish success? by BBC Worklife
How to ‘Fika like a Swede’ by Visit Sweden


  1. beautiful photos of Gamla Stan. I’ve visited it too and absolutely loved Stockholm. but I live fika everywhere:)) always have a dessert:)

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