After having presented Stockholm's Old Town: Gamla Stan (you can read about it here), I thought it would be nice to describe the other quarters of the city too. So today it's all about Östermalm and Djurgården.
Östermalm is situated in the east of Stockholm's city centre as you'd already know if you speak any Scandinavian language or German. Öster = East and Malm decribes the rocks that Stockholm is built on.
You can find rocks everywhere in the city and one named the different city quarters Östermalm, Södermalm and Norrmalm, so the Eastern rock, the Southern rock, the Northern rock (simply spoken of course). There is no Western one, instead the Western city district is called Kungsholmen = the King's island, but more on that later.
Östermalm consists of:
- very elegant houses with 4 or 5 floors where only the rich can afford to live / Prince Carl Phillip and Princess Madeleine own flats there / the area has the highest housing prices in the whole of Sweden
- Strandvägen: Stockholm's most elegant boulevard where all those Gucci and the like stores and all Michelin star restaurants and 5 star hotels are situated
- most of the embassies that are situated in Stockholm
- Östermalm's Saluhall: the market hall where you can get everything from French cheese to reindeer meat from Lapland
- a little yacht harbour
- Dramaten: The Royal Dramatic Theatre
- Stockholm's Dramatiska Högskola: the drama school
- SVT Radio and SVT TV
- The Berwaldhallen: an event place and home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
- Nobelparken: a little park named after Alfred Nobel
- Kaknästornet: a TV tower and the highest building in Sweden
- the Ethnographic Museum
A bit further east you can find the two harbours where the ferries to Finland and the Baltics depart. South from Östermalm on the next island is Djurgården.
The island is the museum island of Stockholm as the following museums and attractions are situated there: - the ABBA museum - Skansen (the open-air museum) - Junibacken (Astrid Lindgren's museum) - Gröna Lund (an amusement park) - Nordiska Museet (the Nordic Museum) - Vasamuseet (the museum that displays the famous Vasa ship that sunk in the harbour of Stockholm because it had too many canons on board) - Rosendal's slott: another Royal castle
See? Many museums and attractions right? But there is more than that. Djurgården also consists of beautiful woods where Princess Madeleine supposedly used to go for walks with her dog before she moved to New York.
If you're in Djurgården you don't feel like being in a city but rather as if you're in the countryside. So if Stockholm annoys you it just takes about 10-15min from the Central Station by tram and you can hear nothing but birds and dogs. Amazing, right?!
I enjoyed my visits to Östermalm and Djurgården and even if you're not interested in any of the sights and museums and even if you can't afford to eat in one of those French restaurants and to stay in one of those 5 star hotels, a visit to the Eastern part of Stockholm always is worth a visit. Just stroll around Strandvägen and Djurgardsbron and enjoy the view on the water. It's beautiful, I promise!
How to get to Östermalm and Djurgården
- Tram from Sergels Torg (Central Station) towards Djurgården / stops at Nybroplan (Östermalm Strandvägen), Nordiska Museet/Vasamuseet/Junibacken, Gröna Lund (also the stop for ABBA museum) and Skansen
- Metro 13 or 14 towards Ropsten and Mörby, from Gamla Stan or Central Station / Stop: Östermalmstorg (if you want to visit the market hall, this is the best way as the hall is right around the corner when you leave the metro station)
- Bus 69 or 69K from Central Station towards Kaknästornet / Stop: Nybroplan (Östermalm Strandvägen) or Djurgardsbron
Where to stay in Östermalm and Djurgården
There's plenty of hotels in the area, though keep in mind that this area is one of the priciest of Stockholm. Here are some suggestions:
Skansen & Vasamuseet. Skansen is the ultimate "Sweden in a nutshell" experience and offers something for everyone whether you're a history buff, animal lover or family with small children! And seeing the Vasa ship is an experience that can only be described as incredible. This sunken ship from the 17th century got completely restored and can be admired in its full beauty at the museum.
Kaknästornet & Östermalms Saluhall. You have hands down the best view over Stockholm and the archipelago from Kaknästornet and can get a taste of Sweden at Östermalm's saluhall where they offer taste bites from all round the country.