Best Shops in Stockholm for Cruise Travelers



Stockholm is not a typical shopping city to travelers, but Swedes win their hearts with distinctively minimal and innovative designs. The city is compact and east to navigate, so cruise travelers will have a smooth shopping spree during the whistle stop.


Each island in Stockholm's city center has its own style, resulting in different pockets for types of shoppers. Östermalm is the most affluent and fashionable quarter and is home to high-fashion and glitzy designer brands. The area is under 10 minutes drive from cruise port Värtahamnen, Frihamnen or Stadsgården. Try Nathalie Schuterman, the most exclusive multi-brand boutique in town, or Stockholm Market, a fashion store with both international and domestic labels.

Some 10 minutes away by subway, Södermalm in the south feels like a world apart from white-bread Östermalm. The island which is home to Stadsgården port is hip, trendy and bohemian – a treasure-chest for boys and girls with dragon tattoos troving for alternative gifts and threads.

Norremalm, which houses the Stockholm Central Station is a melting pot of kitsch emporium, such as Designtorget, and comprehensive shopping malls, such as Nordiska Kompaniet and Åhléns. Gamla Stan, or the Old Town, provides a poetic background for a souvenir hunting in the heart the archipelago city.



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Old Town (Gamla Stan)


 

Not many people realize – Stockholm is one of the best outdoor swimming destinations in summer with the city built on 14 islands and having one-third of the territory on water. Pick up a swimsuit or bikini for your dip at this adorable boutique in Gamla Stan. The Swedish brand specialized in women's swimwear and beachwear ranging from XS to XXL in size. The best part of the shop is that you can buy the top and bottom of the bikini separately to achieve unique style and utmost comfort. Apart from the stand-alone store on Nybrogatan, Scampi also has stalls in big department stores such as Nordiska Kompaniet and ?hléns.


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Norrmalm/City


 

One of the largest pharmacy chain in Sweden, the government-run brand has 330 outlets all over Sweden. The store on Klarabergsgatan near the Stockholm Central Train Station opens around the clock and is a handy place to fill up your first-aid box or get your emergency pills. The well-stock walk-in pharmacy dispenses both non-prescription and prescription medicines to cure common syndromes from a cold to a stomach-ache. The in-house pharmacists are available for one-on-one consultations free of charge (reservation required via Internet and phone call). The brand also has a vast online shop offering special deals including a travel-purposed medicine pack at the price of SEK488 (USD75). The combo has most frequent tourist troubles covered, such as stomach ache and sunburn.


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Norrmalm/City

 

The European equivalent of Best Buy is a can't-go-wrong store for electronic device hunters on a tight time frame in Stockholm. The comprehensive digital mall carries essentials like SD cards, hard disk drives, camera batteries and power adaptors to save any tourists' holiday from a technology melt-down. Additionally, the store also offers an extensive selection of everyday electronic items from TV sets to computers to vacuum cleaners. Stockholm is not a cheap city to buy electronic devices, especially cameras. Media Market puts under one roof both international and domestic brands with competitive prices. For those who are only interested in cameras, Rajala Pro Shop on Herkulesgatan in Norrmalm has a better selection.


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Norrmalm/City

 

As Sweden's most influential fashion house, H&M is larger, trendier and better-stocked than ever on home turf. A visit to any H&M outlet is a pilgrimage for world fast-fashion fans. Whether you're looking for a suit or cocktail dress for an out-of-plan ball, or fashionable swim suits for the next beach party with travel buddies, or a comfortable T-shirt to wear through the rest of your voyage; this comprehensive label has it all at affordable prices. Get the full-blown Swedish fashion experience at its flagship store at 22 Hamngatan next to upscale shopping mall Nordiska Kompaniet. The massive outlet on Drottninggatan near the Stockholm train station is also reported to have a formalwear section.


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Norrmalm/City


 

This all-inclusive outdoor store in Stockholm city center is a treasure chest for travelers. This is where to bump into that unexpected item that will light up your next leg of journey. The store hosts an extensive collection of travel gears for both long-term and short-term trips. Head over to find a pair of convertible trousers, a quick-dry T-shirt, a universal power adapter, a foldable hair dryer, or everything in between. It also carries a large selection of guide books and travel dictionaries. All staff there are seasoned explorers themselves, so they're a great resource to dip up mainstream and offbeat Scandinavian travel knowledge. To check the availability of a certain item before you arrive in Stockholm, email info@travelheroes.se.


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Located at Stockholm's poshest area –stermalm, Saluhall, meaning "market hall" in English, is not your everyday food court – the gorgeous red-brick mansion provides a Harrod's or Saks Fifth Avenue experience of market dinning. The color, smell and ambience are truly Swedish. The main purpose of the 125-year-old venue is an upscale market for locals. Some 17 vendors, mostly family-run, sell a large variety of meats, cheeses, seafood and desserts – perfect destination for a summer picnic shopping. There are also quaint little restaurants, café and deli for a sit-down Scandinavian meal, "fika" or simply people-watching. Price for a main course starts from around SEK80 (USD12), a great deal in Stockholm and especially in this historic, elegant environment. Saluhall was rated "the world's 7th best food hall" by magazine Bon Appétit and is favored by famous chefs like Jamie Oliver. The market hall is under 15 minutes drive from both Värtahamnen and Frihamnen cruise port.


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Norrmalm/City

 

With eight outlets scattering around Stockholm, this gadget chain store is where to get your Swedish design fix. Designtorget stocks ingenious everyday gadgets from established as well as up-and-coming Swedish designers. This is where to source souvenirs that you will actually use and gifts that will wow your friends. Merchandise range from toys and interior items to jewelry to time pieces. It's kitchenware section is particular intriguing which contains nifty and innovative items such as a two-in-one spaghetti holder and bag sealer, submarine shaped loose tea leaf strainer, a one-step garlic-on-the-spoon crusher and a travel-friendly thermo flask with a spoon magnetized on the side.


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This is one of those dangerous shops where you always end up buying some kitsch. Even browsing through the store is an ideal way to enjoy Swedish aesthetic. The candy-hued boutique in trendy and bohemian SOFO area (South of Folkungagatan) in Södermalm is one of coolest gift and décor stores and is a heaven for alternative souvenir seekers. The space sells a cocktail of cute, creative and artistic knick-knacks, whose size range from key rings to wardrobes. Good souvenir inspirations includes a selection of fabric wallets and purses, tin toys, retro-style containers and funky bandits with patterns like bacon and Jesus.


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Norrmalm/City

 

Welcome to women's paradise. ?hléns is Sweden's largest department store chain with a focus on female shoppers. The store on Klarabergsgatan is the brand's main chain in Stockholm. A stone's throw from Sergels Torg, Stockholm's most central square, and within walking distance to Central Train Station, the block-big building is in the thick of things and provides everything a woman needs from tip to toe with a mid-range price tag. You can spend half a day there browsing through the comprehensive beauty section, or try on clothes from international powerhouses like Chanel to Swedish local lables like Whyred. Supermarket Hemköp in the basement is a good pit stop to stock up necessities before reporting back to your cruise ship.


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Norrmalm/City


 

This six-story department store is your one-stop destination for shopping, dinning, people-watching or even history observing. Founded in 1902, Nordiska Kompaniet, or NK as the locals call it, is the most prestigious department store in Stockholm. It was through this Art Nouveau-style building that inventions that frozen vegetables, Barbie dolls, jeans and CDs entered Swedes' life. Today, some 110 traders sell a wide variety of merchandise from Sweden's hottest fashion labels to stuff your wardrobe, to a savory Swedish hot dog to feed your mouth, to swim suits and leisurewear to facilitate next leg of cruise journey. Its lower ground level features design and home décor shops, a good place to pick up practical souvenirs with sought-after Swedish designs; or head to the fourth floor for chilling out at the NK Champaign Bar.


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Meet Tracy You Xiaoying

Tracy You Xiaoying is a bilingual journalist based in the United Kingdom. She writes culture, travel and lifestyle articles about China and Britain in English and Chinese.

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