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Shopping in Stockholm

There’s an awful lot more to the Stockholm’s retail scene than plastic Viking helmets and ABBA knick-knacks. Shopping here is heavenly, thanks to the fact that the profits of Sweden's post-war prosperity have spent decades pouring into the city's boutiques and stores. The area around Biblioteksgatan has most major European fashion designers, while antique shops can be found around Odengatan.

Key areas

For a more bohemian selection of clothing than you’d find downtown, as well as quirky design, vintage items and curios, head for Södermalm (particularly the SoFo district), where you’ll find one-off shops and boutiques selling cool and creative items, as well as buzzing cafés, restaurants and hip galleries.

The pick of Swedish arts and crafts is at Konsthantverkarna, at Södermalms Torg 4. Norrgavel, Birger Jarlsgatan 27, has a great selection of cool home furnishings. Nordiska Galleriet, Nybrogatan 11, excels in furniture design, and Designtorget, Kungsgatan 52, in eclectic curiosities.

For those interested in combining novelty value with retail therapy, meanwhile, the world’s largest IKEA sits in Skärholmen, a short distance southwest of Stockholm proper. Since opening this store in 1965, the Swedish home furnishings giant has established a presence in 28 countries around the world. There are further megastores and shopping malls in the vicinity.


Open all day at Östermalmstorg, Östermalms Saluhall is one of nothern Europe's loveliest covered food market. Also of interest to gourmet travellers is, Glasshus, Birkagatan 8, which sells some 50 different kinds of exceedingly good ice creams and sorbets, well worth a visit on a hot summer day. Marsipanbåten, moored at Strandvägskajen 18, is the place to go if you're a marzipan fan.

Shopping centres

Stockholm's best, and oldest, department store is NK (Nordiska Kompaniet), Hamngatan 18-20, which has over 100 departments, selling everything from crafts to health food. Gallerian, Hamngatan 37, and Åhléns City, Klarabergsgatan 50, also sell a bit of everything, from fashion to kitchen appliances, with lower price tags. For trendy fashion and innovative clothing and accessories, try PUB, Hötorget, where Greta Garbo once worked, or Sturegallerian on Stureplan, also home to Stockholm's most renowned spa.

Opening hours

Standard Swedish shopping hours are Monday to Friday 0900-1600 and Saturday 0900-1400. In Stockholm, however, many stores are open for longer and on Sunday.


You’ll find creative souvenir outlets selling everything from designer textiles to one-off ceramics, so while you might end up having to spend a fair bit, there’s exceptional choice. Top tip: check out the city’s numerous museum shops, which stock high quality fabrics, books, jewellery and stationery. 

Tax information

Visitors leaving the country may reclaim the standard VAT tariff of 25% within 30 days of purchase - only available at shops displaying the 'tax free shopping' sign and for purchases up to Kr15,000. The receipt and unopened goods must be presented at the airport for a refund. Global Blue ( can provide further information.

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Featured Hotels


Castanea Hostel

Notable for its central location and suitability for lovebirds on a serious budget, the Castanea is set among the cobbles and historical lanes of the Old Town. There are 55 beds in total with a number of single and twin rooms, making it a cut above the usual snip-price joint.

Hotel Rival

This boutique hotel occupies a former cinema - hence the huge black and white photographs of Swedish film stars gracing the walls of the 99 bedrooms. The Rival is owned by Benny Andersson, of ABBA fame, who has turned it into one of the most rock 'n roll places to stay in Stockholm.

Clarion Hotel Sign

It's not small, but somehow the 558-room Clarion Hotel Sign feels as if it is – something that could be down to the individually designed rooms. The angular glass exterior, designed by acclaimed Swedish architect Gert Wingårdh, shouts modern which is followed up in the rooms. A bonus is the rooftop spa which has an excellent sauna.

Grand Hotel

The 310-room Grand Hotel has long been the most glamorous place to stay in the city and is justifiably one of the world's greatest hotels. Opening in 1874 its 21 luxurious suites are still popular with visiting celebrities and royalty - famous past guests include Theodore Roosevelt and Douglas Fairbanks.

Lydmar Hotel

Set in a listed building across from the Royal Palace, the Lydmar is a design-led boutique that combines homeliness with style and discreet service. Its 46 rooms are individually decorated, while the rest of the property boasts airy public spaces, gorgeous views of the sea and archipelago, and sharply dressed staff.

Queen's Hotel

With cheap stays hard to come by, this budget-friendly, family-run hotel on one of Stockholm's main shopping streets is a real gem. Newly updated, all rooms now come with free Wi-Fi and run from clean and cheerful singles to wildly spacious superior stays.