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Surf's up! Where to make your own office in Stockholm

The Local · 22 Sep 2011, 12:02

Published: 22 Sep 2011 12:02 GMT+02:00

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If you are like me and don’t have a traditional workplace then you have most likely been on the hunt for a decent cafe, restaurant or quiet place to set up shop for the afternoon.

I am currently “in between jobs” (otherwise known as an entrepreneur, self-employed, soul searching, call it what you will) and quickly realised that I’m not going to find my soul (or job for that matter) by sitting behind the computer in my tiny apartment every day.

I need to get out.

I need inspiration.

A place to sit that is quiet enough to get work done yet trendy enough for some good people watching and hopefully some good food as well.

After returning to Stockholm from living abroad for five years this was my first trial in getting to know my new (old) home again which means therefore it made the perfect subject for my first column for The Local.

I am pleasantly surprised to say that Stockholm has grown a bit and for those of us looking for an alternative workplace, the options are plentiful.

Read below to find some of my favourites and feel free to send in your tips.

Fotografiska Museet

You have to pay the 110 kronor ($16) entry fee even if you just want to sit at the cafe, but the amazing floor to ceiling view of the Stockholm skyline makes it worth it. They have a nice dagens lunch menu, good coffee and wine/beer plus snacks later on in the day.

Moderna Museet

Moderna Museet is slightly more challenging to reach than Fotografiska but is also blessed with an amazing view over town. You don’t have to pay an admission fee to sit at the cafe. There is lots of room here to set up shop and even an outdoor seating during the summer.

Scandic Hotel Anglais

Located between Stureplan and Humlegården, this Scandic Hotel is very popular for those needing to find an easy spot to pop in and get some work done. There are usually quite a few people who come and go throughout the day which can be a little disturbing. However, the proximity to your next meeting or to great lunch/coffee spots makes it a great option.

Stadsbibliotek – Stockholm City Library

It may sound terribly boring to work from the library for the day but this is a great option when you need some serious peace and quiet. Also worth noting is that this library happens to be beautiful with lots of windows which means that you don’t feel like you are sitting in a bunker. There is plenty of room to sit with your computer, papers, etc. Internet is free and there are power outlets to keep your computer going all day long. You can bring in food and drink as long as it is consumed quietly.

Cafe Levinsky’s

This cafe was one of my favorites during the summer. They have plenty of outdoor seating with umbrella covered tables so that you can sit outside with your computer and still see the screen. Their inside dining works great as well on cold and rainy days. The coffee here is good, the smoothies are even better, and the dagens menu is a great deal.

Story continues below…

Mellqvist Cafe

A fantastic place to people watch. It can get quite loud and busy here but this is definitely one of the hottest places in town. Mellqvists opens at 6.30am for those of you like to get an early start to your day. Many say that they have the best coffee. I agree and also have to add that their sandwiches are quite good as well.

Rostat Cafe

Rostat is my latest favorite find. It isn’t too busy which means that you can often grab an entire table to yourself for the afternoon. It is family run and much care goes into the simply yet bright interior and French inspired lunch menu. Worth noting is that they also have a great selection of magasines which come in handy when you want to take a short break from work.


Coffee + Office = Coffice! The name of this cafe on Söder says it all. You can simply pop in for breakfast/lunch or you can actually book one of their comfy chairs in the “working lounge”. By becoming a member of Coffice you have access to their meeting rooms, printing services and catering for larger groups. In a nutshell it is a SoFo version of a more traditional office hotel.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:51 September 23, 2011 by Opinionfool
Would rather find a cafe with excellent coffee and free unlimited WiFi as my portable office than somewhere with "good people watching" opportunities.
16:11 September 23, 2011 by Lilian Sophie
Nice list, I wonder if all these places have free WiFi?
16:48 September 23, 2011 by DAVID T
well this didn't tell us anything other than how good the coffee is - what a load of cr@p - don't give up the day job - just wondering how an unemployed person can afford to sit in all these crappy places all day - OH THE INSPIRATION !!!
20:43 September 25, 2011 by martiancat
"I am currently "in between jobs" (otherwise known as an entrepreneur, self-employed, soul searching, call it what you will)"

I will call it unemployed and say that there is no freaking way I could effort to eat lunch and have coffee out on regular basis without an income.
12:47 September 27, 2011 by lovebobu
isnt this starbucks concept?
21:53 September 27, 2011 by skogsbo
well isn't she the great journo, no wonder she is 'between jobs' she tells us the subject of her piece then total fails to address it properly.

Are you really going to spend 110kr plus drinks just to sit somewhere to work, or rather surf the net as you're actually unemployed/able? It will probably cost you 200-250kr per day. I think you good get a much better dongle deal for that money and surf anywhere you like!

What is missing from the article;

Wifi in cafe?

Cost of basic coffee or food

cafe staff tolerance for those clearly there for free wifi

can you sit in cafe x and pick up cafe y or hotel z's free wifi next door?

I wonder if she really made her money, blagging 200kr off each of those cafe she listed in her write up, or has deal with them where she now gets a free coffee for the free PR, she could have earned them, had she written the article properly.

Unless she is like the other journos at the Local and actually doing all her Swedish journo work from the USA?!
14:19 September 28, 2011 by Kevin Harris
The realities of working from a mobile office are a little more complex.

First, paying 110 kronor, just to get into your "office" is ridiculous, even if it has a nice view. Next, if your business can't generate enough money to pay for a wireless internet connection, you are really in the wrong business, so a wifi connection is irrelevent to a real business person. Next is the noise issue, unmentioned by Gwen, but vital if you intend to use your telephone in your "office". Finally, and most important is the staff's attitude to customers who table block for hours on end, but consume minimal amounts of food and drink. That can vary from person to person; a place that is welcoming on one day, can be decidedly unwelcoming another day.

Gwen, if you had actually worked from a mobile office, you would know these things. Ask your boss if you can have another go at this one, but first, spend a few days actually working from the places you write about.
15:41 September 28, 2011 by skogsbo
something else for Gwen to consider is security, clearly not an issue if your work just involves writing drivel, but everything on your laptop will be going through someone elses router! plus with it being wifi you just don't know what software the geek in the chair next to you is running.
19:36 September 28, 2011 by Opinionfool

While true of using a WiFi router in a cafe it's also true of one's own router too ... unless one has changed the default settings. Many of the people living near me have not done more than unpack the router connect it to their broadband line and then connect to it via a WiFi link. Just as easy for a snooper to pick personal information out of the air.
14:51 September 29, 2011 by RobinHood
The confidentiality issues of working in cafes, extends to using the phone. The irony of finding a place quiet enough that you can actually hear what your client is saying to you, is that everyone else can hear what you say back.
18:04 September 30, 2011 by itchy_witch
Great first article, Gwen! I plan on staying in Sthlm next summer for a month with my family, and these are great recommendations for quick getaways to get some writing done and go online. I haven't seen another article like this, and I find it really helpful. Thanks!
23:05 October 1, 2011 by skogsbo
I guess Gwen's alter ego is itchy witch, especially as her article doesn't even mention if these cafes have wifi/internet access.

Very true about wifi, was the same with bluetooth when people first got that, you could turn it on and openly see how many folk just left their phone open to hacking, but clearly the risks are worse with laptops etc.
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