One of Stockholm's most chic streets. Photo: TT
With high-end fashion stores, stunning eighteenth century buildings, opulent restaurants and a harbour packed with luxury boats, Östermalm is the most exclusive district in Stockholm.
Walk down Biblioteksgatan to find global brands including Mulberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton as well as high-end stores flying the flag for Nordic female fashion such as H&M-owned &Other Stories, Filippa K and V Ave Shoe Repair (which unlike its name suggests sells clothing).
To feel most like a queen, head down Hamngatan to the iconic department store Nordiska kompaniet -- Stockholm's answer to London's famous Harrods -- which is frequently visited by celebrities and the Swedish royal family. The store opened in 1915, and much effort has been made to keep the original details of the striking building which features five levels of high quality fashion.
&Other Stories on Biblioteksgatan. Photo: Molly Söderlind
Want to toughen up your style? Then head over to BLK DNM on Mäster Samuelsgatan and browse through the high-quality leather jackets and denim ware.
Plus don’t miss Östermalms fairly recent addition Mood Gallerian, a fashionable indoor mall designed to make you feel like you’re strolling down cobbled streets outdoors, complete with speakers playing out birdsongs. A firm favourite for women here is My Closet, which features international brands like Michael Kors, Alice and Olivia and Just Cavalli.
For super sleek vintage menswear, try Herr Judit on Sibyllegatan.
How to get there: From T-Centralen you can walk here in less than 20 minutes. Alternatively, take the red metro line and get off at Östermalmstorg, or take bus 52 or 62.
Beyond Retro vintage store in Södermalm. Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/Image Bank Sweden
Voted the coolest place in Europe by Vogue magazine in September 2014, the island of Södermalm or "Söder” as it is known by locals has a cool, stylish and creative vibe. The neighbourhood SoFo, south of Folkungagatan, offers wide variety of interesting stores and cosy cafés.
The perfect mix of all the latest in Swedish design can be found at Grandpa, which features hip emerging brands including Carin Wester, Minimarket, Hope, Sandqvist and Rodebjer. If you’re looking for real avant-garde fashion Jus is the place to go with some of the edgiest clothes on the island, with designers such as Comme des Garcons, Helmut Lang and Maison Martin Margiela crowding the hangers. And if you’re on the hunt for lasting art and design, head down Bondegatan to visit Garage.
Södermalm store Grandpa. Photo: Molly Söderlind
For bargain hunters, second hand is the way to go and Södermalm has some really good vintage stores including Emmaus, Beyond Retro and the brilliant Smiley Vintage concept store, where used garments are brought back to life with new cuts and innovative designs.
For foodies, the street Renstiernas gata has some really cool ecological grocery spots. At Cajsa Warg you can find Swedish treats including black truffles from Gotland, Lingonberry jam and gingerbread. Saltå Kvarn is packed with healthy delights ranging from quinoa cornflakes to sundried mulberries.
For amazing views of Stockholm make a stop at Södra Teatern, in the Slussen district, where you can eat, drink and mingle with the island's hip locals.
How to get there: Take the green or red metro line and get off at Slussen, or alternatively take bus 53 and get off at Katrinavägen.
You can find discount jeans at the Acne Archive. Photo: TT
The hidden gem in Stockholm, Vasastan is often overlooked but offers some great options. The area's relatively new shopping district offers plenty of high street brands alongside more original stores and a growing selection of tranquil coffee spots to take a rest in.
One of the most unusual shops in the area, Old Touch sells vintage ware from the 1800s to the 1970s at decent prices. Look no further if you're after a corset, a petticoat or a pair of platform shoes. Vasastan also has some first class antique stores, including Heinz Spindler Moritz Antik which specializes in vintage globes.
On Torsgatan you’ll find Acne Archive, where you can score clothes from hipster denim and clothing brand Acne's previous collections at bargain prices. Vasastan is also home to women's clothing brand Carin Wester's flagship store and Plagg, which also sells classic Swedish womenswear brands including Filippa K, Odd Molly and Nudie Jeans.
Along St Eriksgatan you’ll find the latest in streetwear at Highlights.
If you're tired from pounding the streets, stop for a stroll in pretty green space Vasaparken.
How to get there: Take the green line and get off at Odenplan, or alternatively take bus 69 and get off at Vasaparken.
Kungsholmen's Norr Mälarstrand area. Photo: TT
Just a few streets away from the gorgeous promenade Norr Mälarstrand, Kungsholmen presents some hassle-free shopping possibilities slightly off the beaten track.
If you walk up Hantverkargatan you’ll find stylish womenswear shops including Boutique Majliz, featuring global brands such as Moshino and Missoni.
JJ Menswear offers both classic and contemporary designs for well-heeled men.
For more mainstream shopping, try Västermalmsgallerian, located right by Fridhemsplan. This moderately sized mall offers a great selection of affordable stores for men and women including high street favourites H&M, Gina Tricot and Indiska.
Kungsholmen's Västermalmsgallerian. Photo: TT
Kungsholmen's branches of Designtorget and Granit are worth checking out if you love Swedish homeware and furniture. Plus at Fridhemsplan you’ll also find Swedish department store Åhlens, which sells beauty, fashion and soft furnishings and offers a more peaceful shopping experience than in its flagship location next to T-Centralen.
Affordable family-run restaurants, cosy cafés and no-frills pubs aplenty are also available in this neck of the woods.
How to get there: Take the green or blue line and get off at Fridhemsplan, or alternatively take bus 52 from Klarabergsviadukten.
5. Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan. Photo: Molly Söderlind
With its narrow alleyways and stunning old buildings, Gamla Stan (which means "Old Town") is one of the most beautiful areas in the Swedish capital. Stockholm was founded here in 1252, and surprisingly little has changed since then.
Enjoy meandering along the cobbled streets and dipping into lovely yellow buildings hosting small artisan shops. Iris Hantverk on Västerlånggatan is one of the top spots for Nordic handicrafts and sells good quality design pieces alongside tasteful Swedish souvenirs. On the same street you'll find Made in Stockholm which sells classic and contemporary ceramics, glassware and textile. Over on Österlånggatan you'll find Blågungan Hantverk & Design, which features unique furniture and homeware as well as jewellery.
We recommend exploring the area before committing to any purchases as some stores offer more inflated tourist prices than others.
Similarly, do your research before dining in the neighbourhood's restaurants, where the food doesn't always match the truly delightful atmosphere in this area. Our top tips are Tradition and Pharmarium.
How to get there: You can walk here from T-Centralen in less than 10 minutes. Alternatively take the green or red line and get off at Gamla stan. Bus 53 is also available from Vasagatan -- get off at Mälartorget.
6. Further afield
Täby Centrum shopping mall. Photo: TT
Sometimes you just need a one-stop-shop where you can grab everything from clothing to electronics, home furnishings and sports equipment. Mall of Scandinavia is Sweden's biggest shopping centre (take the commuter train or bus to Solna). A visit here is an experience in itself and a must-do for the dedicated shopper, but if you're looking for something smaller and less stressful, then Täby Centrum is one of Stockholm's more pleasant mega malls, with shops including chic design brand Tiger, a large Apple store and Clas Ohlson, where you can source everything from lightbulbs to drills. This is also a handy beauty spot -- the Brow Bar offers threading and Lyko is the place to go for a top haircut or colour.
Other large shopping centres on the outskirts of the capital include Heron City (where you can also go bowling, watch a movie or choose from a wide range of chain restaurants), Liljeholmstorget in Liljeholmen (which is close to a lake and picnic area if you're sick of being indoors) and Farsta Centrum (which includes several outdoor cafes and is close to Farsta Strand, a popular swimming spot).