Östermalm [østərˈmalm] is a borough in north-eastern Stockholm, bordering Norrmalm and Vasastan at Birger Jarlsgatan, one of Stockholm's longest streets. The core of Östermalm consists of 19th century city-blocks, combined with vibrant tree-lined boulevards and upmarket shopping. The outer part of Östermalm contains several universities and colleges, as well as the harbour area with two cruise ship terminals, and Djurgården (with a separate article), a park island with many popular museums.
- I live on Sturegatan, so there is some importance in the things I say! – A telephone complaint to Swedish Television. Made in 1966, it later turned to a catchphrase to illustrate the self-image of Östermalm. Ironically, the TV studio is a short walk from Sturegatan.
Östermalm is rich with history. Since Medieval times, the lands were known as Ladugårdslandet ("the barn land"), and consisted of royal farms. With the rise of the Swedish Empire during the 17th century, the area was militarised, with army quarters, and a drill field, Gärdet [ˈjæˈɖet], clear and open until today. In the late 19th century, the bourgeois had palatial residence blocks built along the waterfront, and the name Östermalm came into use. During the 1930s, a part of the drill field gave way to a row of plain, square modernist apartment houses, which came to inspire similar projects around the world.
The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm University, and several smaller seats of learning (Royal College of Music, University of Dance and Circus, Defense Academy etc), are in Norra Djurgården.
The harbour area, consisting of Värtahamnen, Frihamnen and Loudden was built up from the late 19th century. Today the freighters are fewer, and the harbour mostly receives Baltic Sea ferries as well as international cruiseferries. The centre of the Swedish television and motion picture industry, much of it in decommissioned warehouses in the harbour, contributes to the timeless glamour of Östermalm.
Many cruise ships dock at Värtahamnen [ˈvæʈaˈhamnən] and Frihamnen (if not at Södermalm). The docks are barely within walking distance from the subway station Gärdet. Taxicabs usually line up at the terminal, and as usual in Stockholm, beware of rip-off fares, and check the yellow price tag!
- The red line of the subway has several stations in Östermalm. In the centre of Östermalm is the station Östermalmstorg [østərmalmstˈɔrj] serving the Stureplan [ˈstʉrəˈplɑːn] and Östermalmstorg area of the district.
- The tram Spårväg City [ˈsporˈvɛːg ˈsɪtʏ] runs from the Central Station (Norrmalm) along Strandvägen to Djurgården making it a very scenic way to travel with ease.
Östermalm contains several museums, and other institutions of culture. At Sturegatan and Karlavägen you can find many art galleries. See Stockholm waterfront palace tour for a walking tour along the palatial buildings of Strandvägen.
- 1 Swedish History Museum (Historiska Museet), Narvavägen 13-17 (T Karlaplan). May-Sep: daily 10:00-17:00; Oct-Apr: Tu-Su 11:00-17:00 and Th 11:00-20:00. The history of Sweden from the Ice Age (10,000 BC) to present day, with emphasis on the Middle Ages (11th to 16th centuries). The exhibition on the Viking Age was expanded in 2021. In the Gold Room, you'll find gold treasures from the Bronze Age to the 16th century. Free.
- 2 Economy Museum – Royal Coin Cabinet (Ekonomiska museet – Kungliga myntkabinettet), Narvavägen 13-17 (T Karlaplan). May-Sep: daily 10:00-17:00; Oct-Apr: Tu-Su 11:00-17:00 and Th 11:00-20:00. Based on a Royal coin collection, this museum tells the story of money, wealth and financial management. Free.
- 3 Army Museum, Riddargatan 13. Displays the history of war, focused on the rise and fall of the Swedish Empire during the 16th to 18th centuries, followed by Sweden's role in the shade of World War I, World War II in Europe and Cold War Europe. The museum makes a great effort of putting warfare into a broader social context.
- 4 Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten), Nybroplan. Sweden's national stage for spoken-word drama. The building is impressive in its own right. Guided tours in English.
- 5 Berwaldhallen ([ˈbærvaldˈhalən]), Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3. The official concert hall for the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
- 6 Swedish Performing Arts Museum (Scenkonstmuseet), Sibyllegatan 2. A museum which displays dance, theatre and music from Sweden and other countries. Since 2018, it has an exhibition for Swedish pop music.
- 7 The Royal Mews, Väpnargatan 1. Guided tours and group visits only.
- 8 Lars Bohman Gallery, Karlavägen 9 (within walking distance from T Rådmansgatan or T-Tekniska högskolan). M-F 12:00-18:00, Sa Su 12:00-16:00. A small art gallery.
- 9 Designgalleriet, Odengatan 21. A gallery that displays fashion, arts and crafts.
- Humlegården. Popular for recreation and sunbathing during the short summer.
- 11 Environmental obelisks (Miljöobelisker). Since 1994, these obelisks provide a live bar chart of pollution and other parameters for air and water in Stockholm.
Gärdet and Stockholm Harbour
- 12 Museum of Science and Technology (Tekniska Museet), Museivägen 7 (Bus 69 from T-Centralen/Sergels Torg), ☏ . Th-Tu 10:00-18:00, W 10:00-20:00. This large museum tells the tale of Sweden's rich tradition of engineering, with objects from past centuries, and one of the server racks from a 2008 police raid against the Pirate Bay. It is also suitable for small children, with the possibility to carry out your own experiments in the Teknorama section. Admission 160 kr - children 7-18, students 19+ 95 kr. Rebates for families and when using the Stockholm card.
- 13 Museum of Ethnography, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 34. Etnografiska museet, with artifacts from all around the world, mostly from indigenous people. Outside the museum stands a totem pole, crafted in the 2000s by the Haisla tribe in British Columbia, in exchange for a 19th-century pole previously held in the museum, now repossessed to the Haisla.
- 14 Maritime Museum (Sjöhistoriska museet), Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 24. Exhibits Sweden's long history as a seafaring nation. Remnants of the Amphion, an 18th-century Royal yacht, and a broad collection of scale models.
- 15 Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Frihamnen (Bus 1 to Frihamnen or Bus 76 to Magasin 3), ☏ . Th 12:00-19:00, F-Su 12:00-17:00 (closed during the summer). Founded in 1987 in a former warehouse in the old Freeport district, the large exhibition space of Magasin 3 houses major exhibitions by international artists, often presenting new works.
Norra Djurgården and Frescati
- 16 Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet), Frescativägen 40 (T Universitetet and then bus 40 or 540). Tu-W F 10:00-19:00, Th 10:00-20:00, Sa Su 11:00-19:00. The museum displays animals, plants, fungi, minerals and fossils from all continents, some acquired during the voyages of James Cook. Features exhibits of evolution, the polar areas, and Scandinavian nature.
- 17 Bergius Botanic Gardens (Bergianska trädgården). Open-air gardens open to the public, as well as a greenhouse, popular during the cold season.
- 18 Stora skuggan, Stora skuggans väg 40. A 4-H farm with a restaurant.
- 19 Norra Djurgårdsstaden (Stockholm Royal Seaport). During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Stockholm Gasworks was here. The contaminated ground has been sanitized. As of the 2010s, a new neighbourhood is under construction, with sustainable waste management, and acclaimed post-modern architecture. The brick buildings remain.
- 20 Stockholm Transport Museum (Stockholms spårvägsmuseum). The regeneration building of the gas works is used as a museum of Stockholm's public transportation system, with an emphasis on trams.
- 1 Sturebadet, Sturegallerian 36 (T Östermalmstorg), ☏ . M-F 06:30-22:00, Sa Su 09:00-19:00. The costliest, and possibly the most beautiful, spa in central Stockholm. For those who can afford it, this place offers luxury in a listed 1880s building (faithfully reconstructed after a fire in 1985). Entrance costs 495 kr (F-Su 595 kr). It includes rented towel, robe and slippers, and entrance to pool, spa-section, gym and saunas. Most spa treatments 540 kr and upwards.
- 2 Brunnsviken ([ˈbrɵnsˈviːkən]). A brackish bay, adjacent to the National City Park. There are several fine beaches, particularly on the eastern side (T Universitetet). Popular with students as it is less than a kilometre from the university's main campus.
- 3 Stockholm Stadium (Stockholms Stadion), Lidingövägen/Vallhallavägen. A red brick stadium with just above 14,000 seats, built for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. For decades the home of Djurgårdens IF men's soccer team, but in 2013, the women's team of the same club. Also hosts track and field, the Stockholm Marathon, concerts and other events.
- DN-galan. The leading track and field event in Sweden, and a part of the IAAF World Athletic Tour, held annually in July in the beautiful Stockholm Olympic Stadium.
- 4 Stockholm Open, Lidingövägen 75. A tennis event on the ATP Tour, held in the Royal Tennis Hall in Östermalm in October, attracting many of the world's finest tennis players.
- 5 Kampementsbadet, Sandhamnsgatan 64. An outdoor swimming pool with a gym, open during summers.
- 6 Östermalms IP, Fiskartorpsvägen 2. An open-air sport park, usually open for the public. Ice skating at winter. In July-August, it hosts the Stockholm Pride festival.
Stureplan and the surrounding streets have many shopping opportunities for the well-to-do. Of course, most museums have souvenir shops.
- 1 Sturegallerian (Main entrance: Stureplan (T Östermalmstorg)). M-F 10:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-18:00, Su 12:00-17:00. Opened in 1989, Sturegallerian is an upmarket shopping mall in central Stockholm, with stores carrying several brands, such as Björn Borg, Marimekko and Bang & Olufsen. Also the home of the upmarket restaurants Sturehof and Tures, and the nightclub Sturecompagniet.
- Hedengrens bokhandel, Sturegallerian (T Östermalmstorg). A sophisticated bookstore with books in Swedish, English and other languages. They focus more on cultural books than best-sellers.
- 3 Svenskt Tenn, Strandvägen 5 (T Östermalmstorg), ☏ . M-F 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–15:00. A well known store for high-quality Swedish design.
- 4 Kosherian Blecher & Co, Nybrogatan 19 (T Östermalmstorg), ☏ . M Tu Th 11:00-18:00, W 11:00-21:30, F 09:00-1 hour before Shabbat (shorter opening hours during the summer). Kosherian is Stockholm's only Kosher food store. There are no kosher restaurants in Stockholm, but Kosherian offers catering and can prepare light meals.
- 5 Fältöversten, Karlaplan. A shopping mall with mainstream stores and diners, as well as Östermalms konfektyr, with craft chocolate.
Dining in Östermalm can be costly, and fast-food and ethnic restaurants that dominate the budget bracket in Stockholm are fewer than in other districts. Östermalm has however many good spots for a picnic, if the weather allows.
- 1 Planet Food, inside Östermalmshallen, Östermalmstorg (T Östermalmstorg). Open during lunch hours. Although the deli market Östermalmshallen is rather upmarket and its restaurants generally on the expensive side, Planet Food is an exception, offering a decent selection of excellent and very fresh wraps for 55 kr. Salads and juices are also on the menu.
- 2 Restaurang Sumlen, Humlegården (in the basement of Kungliga Biblioteket (the Royal Library) in the Humlegården park, T Östermalmstorg). M-F 09:30-16:00, closed in July. In an area where sit-down lunches are expensive, Sumlen, catering to poor PhD students, offer simple but decent meals for 58 kr.
- 3 Örtagården ([ˈɶʈaˈgoːɖən]), Nybrogatan 31 (T Östermalmstorg), ☏ . Lunch M-F 10:30-16:00, dinner M-F 16-21:30, Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 11:00-21:00. On the top floor of the Östermalmshallen food market, Örtagården serves a sumptuous vegetarian buffet with hot and cold vegetarian dishes at a decent price. There is also a "back pocket" serving meat dishes. Vegetarian weekday buffet lunch 85 kr, vegetarian weekday dinner and weekend buffet 135 kr.
- 4 Glashuset, Strandvägen 18. A waterfront restaurant with a bar, on the walk between Norrmalm and Djurgården. Less of a tourist trap than one could expect from the location.
- 5 [dead link] Stockholms matmarknad (Stockholm Food Market), Stureplan. Premium meat, seafood, and other delicacies.
- 6 Östermalms Saluhall (Östermalmshallen), Östermalmstorg. A market hall in a beautiful 1880s redbrick building, with all kinds of expensive food, especially seafood, meat and cheese, as well as a food court. Re-opened in 2020 after a renovation.
- 7 Esperanto, Kungstensgatan 2 (T Tekniska Högskolan), ☏ . Tu-Sa 18:00-01:00 (closed July and early August). Just a notch below F12 on the White Guide ranking, Esperanto offers innovative tasting menus featuring many examples of advanced cooking. Some of the best value for money in the top class niche. Tasting menus 745 or 1075 kr.
- 8 Ekstedt, Humlegårdsgatan 17. A gourmet grill, recognized by Zagat and Guide Michelin.
- 9 Gastrologik, Artillerigatan 14. While lunches are 135 kr, dining menus are costly. One Guide Michelin star.
- 10 Teatergrillen, Nybrogatan 3. A classical luxury diner.
- 11 Grand Escalier, Sturegallerian (T Östermalmstorg). A French-style diner and bar.
- The student unions at KTH (T Tekniska Högskolan) and Stockholm University (T Universitetet) hold pubs on weeknights at various campus locations, except during summer months. If you can read Swedish, you'll find a list at Fester.nu.
- 1 Nymble (KTH Student Union), Drottning Kristinas Väg 19. A student union with regular pubs.
- Other pubs are at Konsulatet (Brinellvägen 26A) and T-Centralen (not to be confused with the subway station of the same name).
- At T-Universitetet is Allhuset and Gröna Villan.
Stureplan and Östermalmstorg
Stureplan is a nightlife hub at the border between Östermalm and Norrmalm. Expect long lines and high cover charges at weekend nights; get out before midnight.
- 2 Sturehof, Stureplan 2 (T-Östermalmstorg). Close to Riche, with the same owners and much the same well-to-do clientele, Sturehof's location right on Stureplan draws a slightly more mixed and relaxed crowd than many of its neighbours. The restaurant has good quality food, albeit on the expensive side. The music bar O-baren is well known for its DJ sets.
- 3 Brasserie Godot, Grev Turegatan 36 (T-Östermalmstorg). If you fancy long drinks with a cool crowd this is the place for you. Ask for an Old-Fashioned, Godot Crush or a Bloody Mary.
- 4 Riche, Birger Jarlsgatan 4 (T-Östermalmstorg). Branding itself a "cosmopolitan bar", Riche is one of the most popular places with the media crowd. Two large bars, often with DJs.
- 5 Hotellet, Linnégatan 18. Could be described as a hotel bar without a hotel. Free entrance, dancefloor at weekends, and a mixed crowd.
- 6 Collage, Ingmar Bergmans gata 2. A nightclub with a rather young crowd, and an inner courtyard. The Living Room is a more intimate and funky club on the ground floor; no cover charge during weekends.
- 7 Stockholm Brewery Tap Room, Frihamnsgatan 28. Stockholm Brewery is one of the larger microbreweries in Stockholm, and they have their own tap room at Frihamnen. Collaborations with different chefs are quite common, meaning that food offerings on site differs from time to time.
- 1 STF Gärdet, Sandhamnsgatan 59 A, ☏ . A hostel just at the grassy field at Gärdet, with a beach-volleyball court. Singles from 595 kr (non-member surcharge 50 kr).
- 2 Scandic Ariadne, Södra Kajen 37, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. At the northern cruiseferry terminal in Värtahamnen. Unusually tall for a Stockholm building. Rates from 936 kr.
- 3 Hotell Örnsköld, Nybrogatan 6, ☏ , email@example.com. Singles from 995 kr, doubles from 1495 kr.
- 4 Scandic Anglais Hotel, Humlegårdsgatan 23 (T Östermalmstorg), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Trendy boutique hotel encased in a glass exterior. In good location, combining the peace of the park with the entertainment of the city centre. Rooms are small but functional, and the hotel contains one of the most hip bars in Stockholm, always popular and only steps away from your room. The breakfast buffet lasts until 14:00. Guests are able to rent bikes from reception. The hotel has a rooftop bar with a great view, open during summer. From 1404 kr.
- 5 Story Hotel, Riddargatan 6, ☏ , email@example.com. From 1590 kr.
- 6 Villa Källhagen, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 10, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Just outside the built-up area in Östermalm. From 1595 kr.
- 7 Elite Eden Park Hotel, Sturegatan 22, ☏ , email@example.com. Sauna, gym and two restaurants in-house. From 1912 kr.
- 8 Mornington, Nybrogatan 53, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. In a calm area. From 2090 kr.
While Östermalm is generally safe, most risks come with nightlife. Drunk violence, pickpocketing and reckless driving can be a nuisance at weekend nights, in particular around Stureplan. Offers for a taxi ride can be for an illegal or overpriced cab; check the price tag in the right window, and the yellow license plate.