One of the best design cities in the world, Stockholm is a superb place to shop for decorative home items, particularly 18th-century antiques, such as portraits and chandeliers. Of Stockholm’s many neighborhoods, Ostermalm, located just a few blocks northeast of the city center, stands out for its posh fashion boutiques and high-end home furnishings shops, and SoFo, a Williamsburg-esque enclave on the island of Sodermalm and a short taxi from downtown, is a fun place to spend an afternoon thanks to its hip concept stores and one-off boutiques. Here’s where to go for the best shopping in Stockholm.
Ostermalm: 8 Can’t-Miss Shops
Across the Klarastransleden bridge from Stockholm’s city center is the posh Ostermalm, one of the city’s wealthiest enclaves and home to the Stureplan, a public square lined with splurge-worthy boutiques and upscale restaurants. This area is home to the outposts of some of Sweden’s most famous designers, as well as the city’s most famous food hall, Östermalms Saluhall. There are lots of shops to discover in Ostermalm, but some of the best include:
- Asplund: Asplund sells its own line of minimalist furnishings as well as a curated selection of pieces by the best Swedish brands. Sibyllegatan 31
- Garbo Interiors: Dedicated to the fanciful Gustavian style of design that resulted when King Gustav III returned from Versailles in the 18th century, Garbo Interiors sells everything from garden furniture and Gustavian reproductions to linens and cashmere fashions. Brahegatan 21
- Jackson Design AB: Iconic Scandinavian designers represented at Jacksons include Gunnar Asplund, Carl Malmsten and Josef Frank, but the store also offers vibrant retro furniture from the 1970s and glass collectibles. Sibyllegatan 53
- Malmstenbutiken: Carl Malmsten was one of Sweden’s great furniture designers and today his grandson runs this store that sells Malmsten’s best pieces alongside works from today’s classic labels. Strandvägen 5b
- Modernity: Modernity has built a global reputation for having some extraordinary pieces by all the big names of 20th-century Scandinavian design. Sibyllegatan 6
- Nathalie Schuterman: This couture temple in Stockholm’s city center is the place to go for international high fashion from designers like Balenciaga, Tom Ford, Lanvin, Céline and more. Birger Jarlsgatan 5
- Ronnells Antikvariat: Open since 1929, this sprawling bookstore stocks more than 75,000 titles in a range of genres and topics (and many are in English). Birger Jarlsgatan 32B
- Svenskt Tenn: Founded in 1924, this celebrated gallery-store is the source for classic Swedish and Danish design and textiles. The lighting, printed fabrics, wallpapers and furniture were designed in classic style by Josef Frank, Svenskt Tenn’s longtime art director. Strandvägen 5
While shopping in Ostermalm… stop into Östermalms Saluhall. Swedes have long valued fresh, organic ingredients, and most of the Stockholm’s neighborhoods feature at least one saluhallar (market hall). One of the first of its kind, Östermalms Saluhall opened in 1888 in Ostermalm and has been a Swedish icon ever since. The stunning brick structure houses vendors (many of which are family-owned and have been there since the food hall opened) selling regional specialties like pickled herring, smoked salmon and lingonberry and cloudberry preserves. Note: Östermalms Saluhall is under renovation until the summer of 2019. It has temporarily relocated to a building just next door to its original home.
SoFo: 5 Can’t-Miss Shops
Perhaps inspired by literary heroine Lisbeth Salander, whose fictional flat is just a few blocks north of the area, SoFo locals are a mix of tattooed hipsters and eccentric creative types, as well as young families. Many who live in the bohemian enclave base their businesses there, resulting in a number of one-off vintage stores, unique fashion boutiques, convivial restaurants and coffee shops that are used as meeting and working spaces for local entrepreneurs. There are lots of shops to discover, but some favorites include:
- Acne: One of Sweden’s most fashion-forward brands, Acne has an outpost in SoFo (although it is smaller than the line’s flagship in Stockholm’s city center), where visitors can pick up minimalist styles for men and women. Norrmalmstorg 2
- Grandpa: This must-visit concept store stocks all ingredients for a hipster-approved lifestyle: Tex-Mex cookbooks, beard trimmers, vintage home furnishings and a curated selection of designs from Scandinavian clothing lines. Södermannagatan 21
- Pärlans Konfektyr: This vintage-feeling candy shop is famous for its caramels (the vanilla salt variety is a favorite) and retro furnishings. Nytorgsgatan 38
While shopping in SoFo… try to time your visit with SoFo nights. This lively community event occurs on the last Thursday of the month, when all the stores stay open late, serve cocktails and traditional Swedish bites and offer discounts.
Many of the best items to buy in Stockholm are larger purchases like vintage furnishings and home décor items. Visitors looking for more travel-friendly goods, however, can opt for traditional Swedish souvenirs including Dala horses, Swedish candy and Sami (indigenous Swedish people) handicrafts. Kids will be particularly excited to receive a copy of Pippi Longstocking. The titular character is from Sweden and visitors who want to learn more about her can visit the family-friendly Junibacken.