Klas Ekman

Correspondent

  • Stockholm, Sweden, Europe

Klas Ekman is a correspondent based in Stockholm who covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Before he started freelancing and writing books full time, he was the managing editor at the Swedish travel magazine RES, entertainment editor at the leading men’s magazine Café and also wrote about culture for the much-celebrated newspaper Stockholm City. His favorite Stockholm hangouts are Allmänna Galleriet for its fantastic meat dishes, and Hasseludden yasuragi and Hellasgården in Nackareservatet for trail running, cross-country skiing and ice-cold baths in the middle of the Swedish winter.

  • On April 29, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the best things to do in Stockholm?

    Eat around the city
    Stockholm is turning into foodie heaven. There might not be any three star restaurants yet, but there certainly are a lot of good (and nice) places for everyone interested in food.

    Walk around Old Town
    The medieval part of Stockholm is a small island and very much alive. Old Town has a few of the best restaurants in Stockholm, a lot of cozy cafes, some excellent stores, and on some Thursdays the members of the Swedish academy have lunch at restaurant Den Gyldene Freden. So if you want to bet on next years winner of the Noble prize in literature, that is where to eat.

    Enjoy the quays
    During the summer evenings,  all of the city's populations seems to hang out by the water. The bar Debaser Slussen (at Slussen) is a  popular spot during the afternoons and evenings for the music crowd. If you are  posher, you will prefer to visit the bars and boats on Strandvägen, at Djurgårdsbron. At night, after clubbing, a lot of people drop their clothes and takes baths at Stadshuset (Town hall) – and on Långholmen island.

    Sport at Hellasgården or Hagaparken.
    You do not need a car to get to Hagaparken, which is great for a power walk, a run or a picnic. It is right at the end of Sveavägen, and is together with Djurgården island, the most popular park for keeping in shape. Hellasgården is a park outside the city, but there is a bus stop right by it. In the winter,  it is where the people in Stockholm go cross country skiing, skating or take cold baths in the lake (skinny dipping plus sauna). In the summer, it is for swimming, canoeing, trail running and tennis.

    Discover great suburban architecture.
    I must admit this might be for architecture fans, but if you are one; do take the green metro line in the southern direction. If you go to Björkhagen, there is the beautiful church Markuskyrkan. The man behind it was the architect Sigurd Lewerentz, and it melts into the forest in a wonderful way. Björkhagen is not the most happening of suburbs, but it is quite common to see international groups of architecture students wandering around the woody are where the church is situated. The Woodland Cemetery (Skogskyrkogården) by Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz has its own metro station and is a UNESCO world heritage site. This is also where you find the grave of Greta Garbo.

    Visit Djurgården
    Rosendal's Garden on Djurgården is an open garden. You can pick and buy flowers, but it is most popular as a summer hang out for families. Their cafe is well known,  good, and there are a lot of seats between the trees, paths and lovely bushes. Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde is the former home of the prince and artist. Today it is an art museum, but the place is worth visiting for itself. If you want an overlook over Stockholms inlet on a warm and sunny summers day, there is no better place to go.
  • On April 29, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What are the must-see sights in Stockholm?

    If time is short… When it comes to the ordinary must-see-places, these are the ones I really do recommend.

    Livrustkammaren
    The Stockholm Castle is interesting, but this part is where they keep all the good stuff: like the original clothes in which kings Gustav IV Adolf, Karl XII and Gustav III were killed. The stories about them are also about when Sweden was a superpower and not as neutral as today, so if you want dramatic history, this is where you find it. Jetlag will not be a problem as it is too exciting, and the museum is not too big either. You will not have to stay here for hours and hours.

    Moderna Museet
    Stockholms museum of modern art has a magnificent collection and the shows are always exciting, but it is also worth a visit for the site itself. It is built on Skeppsholmen which is a small island opposite Gamla stan, and in itself perfect for a picnic or a visit to the museums popular but slightly hidden coffee shop, where you can look at sculptures by Picasso in the garden.

    The Vasa Museum/Vasamuseet
    The big warship sank on her maiden voyage in 1682, but apart from the design it looks as it happened yesterday. So of course it is spectacular, but that often also goes for the queues… Be here early.

    Skansen
    For a look on how swedes used to live, or if you really want to see a moose. Skansen is an open air museum on Djurgården island, and also a zoo. It was established in 1891. Originally as a collection of historic houses from all over the country, but today it is a little bit of everything (mainly for the family). Aside from history and animals, there  are carousels and other attractions for the kids. And on midsummer, a visit to Skansen is recommended for everyone who wants to participate in the traditional celebration.

    Gamla stan (Old town)
    For a long time Old town was mostly for tourists, but during the last five or six years something has happened. Today it is full of good cafés, some of the city's best restaurants and interesting shops. The medieval streets are very much alive, and if you want dramatic history you there's a lot of guided walks that are very interesting and entertaining.

    Fotografiska
    It opened only a few years ago, and this huge center for photography became an overnight success. So far there have been shows by Annie Leibovitz, Robert Maplethorpe and David LaChappelle (among others), but there is always a few very interesting smaller ones going on at the same time. As Fotografiska is right by the water, in an old building by architect Ferdinand Boberg, its café has a tremendous view.
  • On April 26, 2013
    Klas Ekman is now following Sarah Gleim
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  • On April 26, 2013
  • On April 26, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    Where can you get the best view of Stockholm?

    On a sunny and warm day there's no better place than the terrace at Mosebacke Etablissment. The food might not be something you will remember your whole life, but the view sure will be. From up here you have a fabulous look over Djurgården, the water, old town  and the inner city.
    Mosebacke is part of Södra teatern, and during the evenings the view from the inner room of their Södran bar is just as fascinating. It is easy to forget your company.
    Just by Södra teatern is the way to Gondolen, a truly good restaurant with a bar that that reaches over Södermalms square many metres down and from here you can see pretty much all of the city. The food is excellent, and the bar is one of the best in town.
    Stockholm does not have any real skyscrapers, but the restaurant Och himlen därtill (And heaven there to) is on top of the only one on Södermalm.
  • On April 26, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What is public transportation like in Stockholm?

    Few people have cars in Stockholm, unless they have children or live in  suburbs. This is because of the metro and the buses working so well. Even if they do not always go as often as in Paris or London, it still is the best way to travel in the city (unless you have a bike). Stockholm is built on several small islands and divided by lots of water, so driving a car can often be frustrating.
    The only negative thing about the public transportation in Stockholm is that it is rather expensive. For a visitor,  it is a good idea to look for a SL Center-shop and buy a solution which spans for several days. To pay for a one way ticket via SMS you first need to register at SL.
  • On April 26, 2013
    Klas Ekman answered the question: Klas Ekman

    What language is spoken in Stockholm?

    English is taught early in school, and after leaving their diapers and three wheel bikes behind most Swedish people never sees a dubbed movie. This is great for movie goers, because they actually do not have to look for cinemas which show films in their original language. In Sweden,  almost everything is shown with subtitles.
    Most people understand english really well, so there's no need to listen through an audio course on the plane to Stockholm. Actually, most swedes will try to switch over to english if your swedish is poor. There's a lot of english speaking persons in Stockholm, and a lot of them never has to learn to speak swedish at all (even though it might help to understand it if you are staying for a few years or a decade).