On Wednesday, I was determined to cross another major tourist ‘must-do’ on my list: going to visit the Arkitekturmuseet and the Moderna Museet, both located on the picturesque little island of Skeppsholmen (you can see it on the map, to the right of Gamla Stan). Stockholm is famous for its modern art collection, and there was a big Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit going on at the Arkitekurmuseet that I knew I couldn’t miss. So I took the subway to the nearest stop, planning to walk across the bridge that links Skeppsholmen and the bigger island. I’m not a huge fan of the Stockholm subway–I think that the city is so small that it’s extremely walkable and bike-able: but only in summer! I totally see the necessity for it during the freezing cold winters; and while the train interiors are nothing to be impressed by, many of the subway stations feature interesting public art (and are essentially cool, colorful caves!) I loved the one below, with its unfinished surface and cheery blue-white Scandinavian pattern. It’s insanely expensive though: an umlimited three day pass cost me upwards of $40 USD, and I felt that I didn’t need to use it nearly as much as I thought.
I got a little lost upon exiting the subway, so I ended up taking a small detour around some kind of important building with beautifully manicured gardens. I didn’t actually end up finding out what the building was for (and even my Stockholm-raised friend didn’t really know what it was used for), so I just took a stroll around and went on my way towards Skeppsholmen via the Opera House. They were having a kind of summer series of performances, and I just loved the design for the advertisements! So flowery! So summer! So Sweden!
I finally made it over the bridge (watch out for the blingin’ gold crown decorating each side!) and over to the Moderna Museet–however, I was too tired to make it through both in one day, so I made an executive decision and opted for the JPG exhibit. Last time I was here, I remember the Arkitekturemuseet being free in terms of admission–and I think it’s totally fair, being that the actual museum is horrifically boring if you don’t actually care about architecture. (But wonderful building and exhibit design, naturally) However, the JPG exhibit was inspiring, horrifying, and breathtaking all at once–it featured more than 200 original Jean Paul Gaultier couture designs/costumes & was well worth the 100SEK I coughed up for admission. (They had the usual mannequins used in clothing exhibitions; except that they had video projectors set up in front of some of them, projecting moving faces and voices onto them; and it almost seemed that they could track you with their eyes as you went by. So incredibly disturbing!)
And this is how lunch went: after rejecting the Arkitekturemuseet for being too expensive, I went over to the espresso bar at the front of the museum lobby to try to find some cheaper eats. My eyes lit up when I spotted a sandwich (smorgas, in Swedish) listed for only 18 SEK (a bit less than $3 USD). I ordered it immediately, along with a hot chocolate. The girl handed me a tiny, tiny plate with literally 3 inches of a baguette on it, with a bit of cheese and 2-3 sad looking sprouts on it. I was shocked, I was saddened, I Skyped my dad and complained about it.
I think that next time I go (or go anywhere in Stockhom, really)–it’d be a good idea to buy some bread and cheese from the grocery store and make your own sandwiches to take along. Most of the museums have amazing terrace cafes, and they don’t really throw you out for eating your own food; so you could save some money by taking your own sandwich and water; and just purchasing a coffee to sit on the patio and enjoy the views. (The Moderna Museet cafe had a sweeping view of the water and of Ostermalm!)
However, there were better sandwiches in my future, as I had a date with my friend Louise at popular sandwich-cafe chain Vurma. They have several locations around the city and the one on Birles Jarlsgatan has a popular summertime patio. Stockholmers barely get any sun in the winter months, so they sure like to make up for it in the sunny months, sitting outside literally every single chance they get. My sandwich wasn’t mind-blowing (just a simple pressed sandwich and salad)–& at 16 USD per plate, it was bit of an overpriced option. Didn’t get to see the interior, but I loved their look; funky-girly cute! (And of course, the company was stellar).