Some of the most prestigious suburbs of capitals all over the world boast quite dubiously humble beginnings, yet none of them could even compare to Östermalm. The most expensive and fashionable Stockholm area started out as a cow shed! The entire suburb was completely dedicated to keeping of the royal cattle back in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, with residential developments here not starting until the late 1800s.
Luckily for locals (and visitors) the associated wafting smells are long gone, and the only ‘treasures’ you’ll stumble upon here are opulent mansions, grandiose villas and some of the trendiest boutiques in the entire country. The leafy suburb is a divine choice for anyone wanting to experience the un-touristy, yet very authentic, side of Stockholm.
Book your holiday rental in Östermalm and see how the other half lives in Stockholm. While you’re out and about exploring the city’s best sites, don’t miss visiting the following superlative attractions in your own backyard.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Frescativägen 40
Found next to Stockholm University on the northern fringe of Östermalm, the most fascinating Swedish Museum of Natural History showcases collections of fossils, animals and plants from every corner of the globe. Collections date back hundreds of years, so if you’re interested in learning more about our evolution and the universe in general plan to spend a few hours here. Need to convince the kids to come along? No problem! Tell them they can watch a 3D movie in the IMAX theatre (better than Ice Age) and that there’s a skeleton of Manny the mammoth in the main exhibition hall. Grab a Stockholm card and entry to this museum is free. Great for rainy days in Stockholm!
Just a ten minute bus ride away will see you reach Skansen, the first open air ‘museum & zoo’ in the world. The park opened to the public in 1891 as a way to educate locals about what life was like in other parts of Sweden.
A full-size replica old town is found here, and there are often re-enactments of life in the good old days before industrialisation. Numerous endemic Scandinavian wildlife species share the 75 acre plot; including deer, brown bears, bison, lynx, wolverines, moose and many, many more. An adjacent aquarium, home to snakes, fish and even Cuban Crocodiles (we take it they’re not endemic to Scandinavia though) are on show, although the entry ticket for this is bought separately.
Summer concerts and winter markets keep locals and tourists pouring in all year long; so head in early and expect some queuing. It’ll be well worth the effort.
The Kaknäs Tower, Mörka kroken 28
Stockholm’s TV and radio tower may not be all that old, and not even extremely cultural, yet the 150m high viewing platforms of the top floors gift breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the archipelago; both of which are rather priceless. Until 2003 the tower was still the tallest building in Sweden.