Woohoo, I just realised I crossed the 100th blog post barrier with my latest posting on the rhubarb! Imagine, how time flies...
The weather today is just...fantastic! (Very typical for Swedes, the weather obsession). The sky is blue, the sun is shining and above all it is hot. Almost 30 degrees. I will really try not to complain - this is what I have wanted for over six months. Old Town where I work is full of tourists and I feel inspired to make a quick lunchtime posting about some of my favourite places here in this part of town. I will try to write more some other time about other parts of the city too.
Whatever you do when you are in Old Town, don´t waste too much time on the main street Västerlånggatan! Lots and lots of people, tacky souvenir shops and expensive restaurants. That said, I can continue with the rest, the best... When you come walking from the Parliament Västerlånggatan there is a pharmacy (Apotek) on your right. Turn right after the pharmacy on Gråmunkegränd, walk down one block and you are on "my" street, Stora Nygatan. On the right side a few blocks up is a wonderful tea shop, Gamla stans te och kaffe, where you can find among other things my favourite: champagne tea with strawberries! (If you take right one block up on Stora Nygatan and walk one block down you are near my favourite lunch place at Postmuseum.)
Now back to Stora Nygatan. A few blocks further up the street on your left hand you can shop for good-quality and unique clothes at Gudrun Sjödén. Her design is very special but just right if you like colours and bright patterns. I like her "basic" clothes. Towels, carpets, bed linen and such also available, in the same style. Continue on Stora Nygatan as far as you can, then take left up to the square Järntorget where you preferrably go to Café Järntorget for a sandwich or an ice cream in freshly baked wafer. Good value and great food!
Now take right and continue around the corner on Österlånggatan with lots of cool shops and galleries. Choose any alley up the hill and you reach the "real" Gamla stan with calm, narrow streets, small parks and all the wonderful old houses. Sooner or later you come to Stortorget, another tourist spot but well worth seeing, it is a beatiful square surrounded by old buildings. In the corner opposite the entrance to the castle courtyard you find another favourite, Grillska huset, a café and restaurant run by an organisation for homeless people, Stadsmissionen. This is the place for lunch, the food is always delicious and their salad table... yum! Lots of food and salad and water and coffee for about 70 SEK. Try their roof terrace.
Now back to the castle. The large yellow building with the Nobel museum is well worth a visit. Then take the street going down to the left of the building. Visit Burkina Faso boutique if you want cool gifts to bring home, and dried mango. Take right, and you are soon on Västerlånggatan again. Walk 50 metres or so down Västerlånggatan and on your right is a shop called Wistra with Swedish non-tacky souvenirs and - most importantly - a good selection of Swedish food souvenirs such as jam, spices, bread and kitchen utensils. Another 75-100 metres up the street, also on your right, is a wonderful sweet shop where you can get old-fashioned Swedish candy like polkagrisar. They also sell hand made chocolates from Åre chokladfabrik.
Watch out for pick-pockets and enjoy your stay in Old town if you ever can make something of my tour advice!