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’ 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.
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’.
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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.
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.
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.
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.