Sweden is the land of the midnight sun in summertime and long, dark, cozy nights in winter. There are plenty of places to visit for whatever your heart desires, so go exploring.
The first stop for yacht captains and crew might be the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, the country’s capital. It is home to the Vasa warship, a boat that launched in 1628 from Stockholm harbor and sank 30 minutes later.
It would be wantonly bad form not to visit ABBA The Museum to dress up and dance with ABBA avatars. Next, check out the Carl Eldh Studio Museum. As one of Sweden’s most prominent sculptors, Eldh’s work is housed in his 100-year-old wooden home and studio.
Fotografiska is, yup you guessed, a photography gallery with a vast spread of fantastic rotating exhibitions. It’s housed in a red brick ex-customs building on the water’s edge and also has a restaurant, café, and outdoor Bread & Wine cafe/bar on the waterfront. Pick the grilled veg levain pizza.
Grab a bike and head off to this isle on the southeast coast of Sweden on the Baltic Sea. The island’s main town, Visby, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fortified trading town was home to the Hanseatic League and remains pretty much intact today. It’s Antibes or Villefranche-sur-Mer, only cooler (and we’re not just talking about the weather).
Gotland is also a fantasyland for foodies. Wild garlic, white, purple, and green asparagus grow abundantly in the countryside, and the island can even boast its own “Gotlandic” truffle (the black Bourgogne/Burgundy). This Tuber uncinatum claims its very own weekend-long festival each November and includes talks, hunts, markets, and meals on the precious fungi. Craft ales include the “Gotlandsdricka” made from junipers and brewed on the island for centuries. Other breweries heating up the hops include: Gotlands Bryggeri, Barlingbo, Hop Shed Brewery, and Snausarve Gårdsbryggeri.
Get yourself a seat at the Krakas Krog restaurant, which is included in the Michelin Guide. It also has rooms from 2,250 SEK per night, because you won’t want to go home.
Ooozing old-style charm is Konditori Norrgatt in Visby. The just-baked cakes and overflowing sandwiches are fresh while the wood-paneled bakery is reassuringly old, dating back to the 1940s. Shakespeare’s plays are staged every year amid the ruins at Roma, near Visby.
Nearby, Fårö is where the legendary film director Ingmar Bergman lived and worked for more than 40 years. All you’d want to know about him and his dark, soul-searching oeuvres can be found at the Bergman Center. The permanent exhibition “Bergman’s Filmic Landscape” leads visitors on a tour of the director’s special connection with the island. The Bergman Week takes place every June and is filled with film showings, seminars, talks, concerts, and more, based on or around his work.
Join the queue for a taste of “Fuel for the Soul” at the iconic Crêperie Tati and Kutens Bensin. Opt for a Swedish classic saffron baked pancake or crisp-edged crêpe at the pancake place nestled in Fårö’s old petrol station, where oil barrels and rusty cars are all part of the set. Produce for the menu at nearby restaurant Gåsemora Gårdskrog is all local and caters to both vegetarians and meat eaters. The rustic and rural theme continues for the annual summer night music and food festival in an old barn at the farm of Stora Gåsemora.
After an icy flip into the sea at Sudersand Beach, flop on the soft white sand for a siesta. Don’t leave the island without an ogle at the sea stack rock formations on the island’s east side.
This column is taken from the September 2020 issue of Dockwalk.