Like all major capitals, Stockholm is awash with a wide variety of shopping choices. Whilst most will certainly resemble everything you’d find at home, there are a few choice options for those who want to bring back something unique and Nordic inspired. Funnily enough, Stockholm works on a bit of a Mediterranean custom of late morning opening and all-day rest on Sundays. Most stores in the outer suburbs trade from 10am to 6pm and some of the largest department stores in the city, and tourist shops in Gamla Stan, allowed trading on Sunday too.
Here’s our guide to the best shopping areas in Stockholm.
Best for Souvenirs: Gamla Stan
If you’re looking for something typically Swedish to bring home for family and friends, your best bet is to include a little retail therapy whilst taking in the sights in picturesque Gamla Stan. The concentration of souvenir stalls, shops and boutiques is quite intense and, whilst there are cheaper options spread about the town, Gamla Stan still can’t be beat for the convenience factor alone. Here, you can fill your luggage with all manned of locally and hand-made crafts including ceramic, crystal and wooden artefacts. If you want to pick up a quality work of art or unique decoration pieces for your home, Gamla Stan is also the place to head to and renowned for having the biggest range of top quality wares in Stockholm.
Best for vintage & hip wares: Sodermalm
Stockholm’s SoFo quarter is by far the most bohemian and eclectic side of town and this is certainly reflected in the immense and varied choices for eating and shopping. This is where you’ll find cool little vintage shops, antiques, second-hand goods stores and a whole host of one-off branded boutiques. From clothing and accessories to shoes, music, books and art, Soder’s shopping choices attract the young and trendy like moths to a flame. Hip local students fill their wardrobes here, as this is the area where up and coming designers, who can’t yet afford a retail space in the city centre, choose to start their fashionable careers.
Best for Department Stores: Norrmalm
Stockholm’s commercial heart is where you’ll find the largest department stores. As you can expect, here is where you’ll find, well…everything. From clothing to cosmetics, accessories, electronics, furniture and anything else you may want to splurge on, the city’s prime commercial hubs like PUB (the oldest in Stockholm and home to mostly Nordic brands), NK (for local and imported stylish designer wear) and Ahlens (for the largest variety).
If you prefer to spend your hours outdoors whilst indulging in some retail therapy then head straight to Drottninggatan, the stylish and most popular pedestrian shopping strip in Stockholm.
Best for luxury items: Ostermalm
The most fashionable corner of Stockholm is home to its most luxurious boutiques, ideal for those who have a major splurge on their mind. Sweden’s timeless designs and classic style is world renowned so, although you can expect things here to be on the pricier side, you can also expect them to be unique, top-quality and utterly divine.
From clothing to home décor, expect to find the very best Sweden and the rest of the world has to offer when perusing the streets of Ostermalm. If travelling to Stockholm on a restricted budget then consider this hood the epitome window shopping destination in the whole country. Painful but satisfying!
Best for Food: Hotorgshallen in Norrmalm
Just when you though the city centre could not possibly have more to offer, you’ll discover that this is also where you can find the oldest and largest fresh produce market in Stockholm. The Old Haymarket is a delectable shopping choice for foodies and anyone interested in checking out some of the most comprehensive seafood selection in Europe, if not the world. Along an infinite array of stall selling raw goodies you’ll also find a vast array of small eateries on the lower ground floor, offering the freshest and most delicious seafood meals in town.
Best of Sweden: IKEA and H&M
IKEA has long been thought of as a revolutionary trend in the home-furnishing world, and it is certainly true that there isn’t any other brand known to man which is as international as IKEA is.
Unsurprisingly, Stockholm is home to the largest IKEA store in the world and, whilst some people claim to loathe the brand, we suspect they actually really love it. Come see where it all began and get hopelessly lost in the gigantic maze that is the store in Skarholmen. A free shuttle bus will escort you from Stockholm’s Central Station if you happen to be staying out of the southern centre.
Yet another Swedish-branded store which seems to have become an absolute phenomenon is H&M, the classy yet affordable clothing range now found in just about every corner of the globe. The largest store is in the city centre, on the corner of Hamngatan and Regeringsgatan streets.
Moose-massager via ScandinavianStuff
Shopping Street, Tuey via Flickr
Shopping mall, SteFour via Flickr
Window Shopping, Mou Mukherjee via Flickr
Old Haymarket, Peter Fristedt via Flickr