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Our Guide in Stockholm

Canadian marketing director Zen Holmgren shares her favourite spots.

Zen HolmgrenPhoto: Vicky Hall

After studying in England, the Mississauga, Ontario, native Zen Holmgren now works as a chief marketing director for the VoIP Factory in Sweden where she dispels the "cool Scandinavian" cliché. "People in Stockholm joke that if someone smiles at you on the street they're either drunk or insane. Everyone I meet says hello and if I don't respond it's for a good reason: I'm cycling and I can't breathe!"

Yasuragi HasseluddenPhoto: Tuukka Ervasti

Yasuragi hasseludden

This Japanese bath and spa has indoor and outdoor swimming pools on a deck surrounded by trees. It feels like you're in the middle of the forest. The outdoor pool is heated, so you can lie in the water and watch the snow fall. Since Swedish massages tend to be intense, I opt for a relaxing aromatherapy massage instead.

Hamndalsvägen 6, Saltsjö-Boo, 46-8-747-61-00



Fashion is a big thing for Swedes, and this shop, owned by Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), uses playful merchandising. Once I walked in to see clothes hanging from the ceiling! Last spring, the store was all yellow. The clothes don't follow normal rules either; one style of T-shirt could be very different from one size to another.

Various locations

VasamuseetPhoto: Anneli Karlsson, the Swedish National Maritime Museums


A huge warship sank in the Stockholm archipelago 400 years ago, but in 1961, marine archeologists recovered the wreck and soon built a museum around it. The ship is so big that the masts poke through the roof of the building. It reminds me of the Flying Dutchman from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Galärvarvsvägen 14, 46-8-519-548-00

Esters The & Kaffehandel

This tea shop reminds me of England – tea canisters are stacked up to the ceiling with ladders nearby to reach the top shelf – even though the design is thoroughly Swedish. The selection of cakes changes daily and seasonally, but around Christmas, there are bright yellow saffron buns with raisins. I can never eat just one!

Folkungagatan 95, 46-8-643-61-60




Getting There

Air Canada offers convenient connecting service to Stockholm in conjunction with Star Alliance™ members Lufthansa, Swiss and SAS.

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