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Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village (Approximately Top 10)


Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to the best things to do in Greenwich Village! The Village is one of the coolest and most beautiful neighborhoods in New York City. Do you like exploring historic buildings? We’ve got tons of them here.

Would you perhaps prefer the chance to listen to street musicians in Washington Square Park and then go see where Bob Dylan used to jam? I’ve got you covered! How about just some amazing food, ranging from cheap slices of pizza to gourmet fine dining? The Village has all that and more!

Join me for 24 hours of exploring the best things to do in Greenwich Village, and I guarantee you’ll love the neighborhood as much as I do. (I’m biased, though. I’ve lived here all my life!)

best things to do in Greenwich Village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

How To Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of New York’s finest fusion tacos. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to New York City so you can find the best things to do in Greenwich Village

However, if you need to take a plane or car to get to New York City, I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight or car rental, depending on how you want to get around. Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight or car rental, so you can head out to find the best things to do in Greenwich Village ASAP.

best things to do in greenwich village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

Where to Stay?

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you’ll probably be staying in a hotel while you explore the best things to do in Greenwich Village. I mean, maybe you have a kind relative who will let you crash in their spare room, but that kind of space is rare in Manhattan.

I recommend staying in the Artezen Hotel in Lower Manhattan. It’s very easy to get to the best things to do in Greenwich Village from here. Just take the C train up to West 4th street, and you’ll be at the start of this itinerary in a jiffy. Plus, the rooms are affordable and cozy, and there’s free snacks, coffee, and fancy bath products in your room.

best things to do in greenwich village

If you’d like a convenient and affordable hotel in NYC, click here. And if low prices and a great location scare you, just click here. This search engine will help you find the best deals and most appropriate location during your time finding the best things to do in Greenwich Village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

What to Pack?

  • Comfortable and adorable sandals for strolling around the best things to do in the Village
  • Stylish boots because the weather in NYC can be a little unpredictable, and you always want to be prepared if it rains while you’re looking for the best things to do in the Village
  • A cell charger so you can take photos of all the best things to do in the Village
  • A light rain jacket with a hood if it’s fall or spring
  • An umbrella that is tough enough to stand up to aggressive NYC winds. (Fun fact, in NYC the wind yells, “I’m walkin’ here!”)
  • If you’re looking for a guidebook to NYC, this is my favorite choice. It will introduce you to even more of the best things to do in Greenwich Village.
  • The best history of this historic neighborhood is called, quite simply, The Village. Read it to find out how the Village has been awesome for over four centuries and counting.
  • And if you’d rather try fiction, I recommend the beautiful novel Another Country, by the brilliant James Baldwin.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded during your trip without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by a deranged Fellini fan in the Village
best things to do in greenwich village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

Morning: Secret Food Tours New York

As a solo traveler, I’m a big fan of walking tours. You get to meet fun people and hear a local’s thoughts on your destination. Food tours are obviously the best kind of walking tour because you get a meal included with the information. That’s just science.

I like the company Secret Food Tours and have used them in several different cities. That’s why I was amused to find that they have a tour in the Village neighborhood.

I happen to have lived in the Village my entire life (except for the 3.5 years I spent in college). I’ve seen the neighborhood go from overrun by eccentric artists to…overrun by crazy tourist fans of Sex and the City. When the tour guide asked me where I lived, I responded, “Around the corner!”

So I assume it will count as high praise when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed taking this tour of my own backyard. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it just as much when you take the tour. You can book it for yourself easily here. Then get ready for…

Approximately Top 5: Village Food

best things to do in greenwich village
1) Bagels on the Square

We begin our tour with every New Yorker’s favorite way to start the day: the bagel. Our guide, a fellow native New Yorker named Thalia, explained that bagels had been brought to the United States by Eastern European Jews. In Europe, Jewish people were only allowed to bake bread if they boiled it after baking it. That twice-cooked process is where the bagel’s famous chewy on the outside and fluffy on the inside texture comes from.

As I chewed on my bagel from Bagels on the Square, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why did they make Jewish people boil the bread? Was it an anti-Semitic comment on their hygiene?” I have to say that I am Jewish and my personal hygiene is excellent. But Jewish people are skilled at bringing good out of suffering, and bagels certainly count as a blessing.

best things to do in greenwich village
2) Reuben Sandwich

This sandwich is a mildly controversial inclusion on a list of New York City foods because there’s some debate over its origin. Some people say that the Reuben was invented in New York City, and some say it was invented in Omaha, Nebraska. I personally think we should let Omaha have this one. After all, we are New York City, and they are Omaha. Let’s be magnanimous!

If you believe the New York origin story, the Reuben was created by deli owner Arnold Reuben for an actress customer. She expected him to name the sandwich after her, but he chose to name it after himself instead. That’s where the phrase, “as self-centered as a sandwich maker” comes from. Anyway, we got ours at charming neighborhood bar, The Barrow Street Ale House. I’d been here for drinks before, but I didn’t realize they served good food here.

What no one debates is that the Reuben is made from Rye bread surrounding corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut. It is 100 percent not Kosher and very delicious. You have the salty meat, the fat from the dressing, the sourness of the sauerkraut, and the slight sweetness of the rye bread coming together. But I couldn’t help but wonder, “What exactly is Russian dressing made of? I always assume it’s made with the tears of peasants.”

best things to do in greenwich village
24 Hour Tip

If you like cocktails, get the drink upgrade with the tour. For less than 10 dollars, you get a refreshing “secret cocktail” made with grapefruit and tequila to go with your Reuben. I don’t recommend ordering more than one though. We still have more fun and drinks ahead of us tonight!

best things to do in greenwich village
3) Molly’s Cupcakes

Cupcakes are in some sense what made Greenwich Village what it is today. It used to be a more quiet, artsy neighborhood until a little show called Sex and the City came along and introduced the world to Magnolia Bakery and its cupcakes.

Suddenly every young woman who wanted to grow up and be Carrie Bradshaw was lining around the block to get her cupcake on in my neighborhood. Then high-end stores starting coming in and pushing local businesses out. So this is just a long way of me saying that I don’t always approve of cupcakes, politically speaking.

However, Molly’s Cupcakes is a much less touristic choice than Magnolia. It was named after the founder’s third grade teacher because she used to bring cupcakes for her class. That’s why some of the proceeds for Molly’s go to help local schools. We sampled the red velvet cupcake which is colored with natural red…beet juice!

But I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why couldn’t I taste the beets at all?” All I could taste was sweet, fluffy, cupcakey goodness with a freshly made cream cheese icing.

best things to do in greenwich village
4) Everything Donut

Our next tasting was in tribute to the first European settlers of the area: the Dutch! Remember that New York was once called New Amsterdam. (I know there’s a song about that.)

The Dutch had a favorite treat, which was a fried dough called olykoek. No one knows exactly how for sure, but someone had the bright idea to take the middle out of the olykoek and voila! The doughnut was born.

Our treat from The Doughnut Project was probably my favorite stop on the tour. That’s because we got the most NYC creation possible: the Everything Doughnut. This mythical creature was topped with a sweet cream cheese, but then all of the savory toppings from a proper everything bagel. You had sesame seeds, poppy, garlic, salt…If you like sweet + salty together, this is definitely for you.

One person on our tour thought it was weird, but he was clearly a Philistine who doesn’t deserve doughnuts. I ate every crumb of mine. But I couldn’t help but wonder, “What would the Everything Donut taste like if you tried to put smoked salmon in the middle?”

best things to do in greenwich village
5) A New York Slice

No New York food tour is complete without a slice pizza. We went to Rivoli Pizza II for a traditional version of a classic NYC slice. Thalia pointed out that the proper way to eat a New York pizza is to fold the slice in half first.

She also said that one reason the pizza crust in NYC is so good is our water. Our tap water comes from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains. So basically every time you drink New York City tap water, you’re drinking artisanal mountain spring water for free! Just another reason this is the greatest city in the world!

I did not eat the end of my pizza crust. I never do. It’s just empty calories, and who wants pizza crust without tomato sauce and cheese on top? But I couldn’t help but wonder, “Are there people out there who like to eat the pizza crust?”

best things to do in greenwich village
6) SECRET BITE!

One of the rules of the Secret Food Tour is that there’s always one bite that’s supposed to be a surprise on the day of the tour. So Thalia asked us to keep the location of this bite a secret. I’m not even going to tell you what it is. But since they have a picture of this bite on the tour’s website, I don’t feel guilty about sharing my picture.

But I couldn’t help but wonder, “How would Secret Food Tours punish me if I did tell you what this bite was? Could they send Secret Food Ninjas to hunt me down?”

best things to do in greenwich village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

Afternoon: See A Movie

Greenwich Village is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in New York and probably the entire United States. So you should definitely spend some time of your itinerary just walking around and exploring all the lovely historic buildings.

If it’s a nice day, you should also relax in the historic Washington Square Park. Seriously, this park is so famous that it was being featured in movies all the way back in the 1920s! There’s always some fun street performance going on here.

But one secret I as a local can tell you is that Greenwich Village is home to the best concentration of art-house movie theaters anywhere in the world! You have at least three wonderful places to choose from, so allow me to take you through my favorites with…

Three Fun Facts: Greenwich Village Movie Theaters

best things to do in greenwich village
1) What If I Like Really Old Movies?

Then the movie theater for you is the Film Forum, located conveniently on Houston Street. Film Forum does show recent releases of art and foreign films, but it’s best known for its amazing collection of classic movies. Here is just a small list of movies I have seen at the Film Forum:

  • Breathless
  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • Rear Window
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • 8 1/2
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Ace in the Hole
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Story of a Three-Day Pass

As you can see, Film Forum has literally everything a classic film lover could want. So take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape, and go see Planet of the Apes on the big screen!

best things to do in greenwich village
2) What If I Like Cool Movies?

Then the IFC Center over on 6th Avenue is the theater for you! This movie theater used to be called The Waverly, and it was famously sung about in the musical Hair. (“I met a boy called Frank Mills/On September twelfth right here/In front of the Waverly/But unfortunately/I lost his address.”)

The IFC is the place you want to go if you wish to see a collection of anime films or a midnight showing of Eraserhead or a new and obscure independent film. I saw an adorable documentary called Duty Free here, about a man who helps his retired mother check off all the items on her bucket list.

If you like eclectic independent films, this is definitely the theater for you! You’ll be able to see a movie you wouldn’t be able to find most places and impress your friends back home.

best things to do in greenwich village
3) What if I’m looking for something really classy?

Oh, that’s good! We like classy! The Angelika Film Center is the place to go for a glamorous movie experience like in an olde-tyme movie palace. They’ve got better food and beverages than most movie theaters do, and yes, that means you can get booze here. But you can also get classic movie snacks like Junior Mints if you so choose.

The Angelika tends to show prestige dramas like Nomadland and Minari, both of which I saw here. So if you want to be extremely well-informed at next year’s Academy Awards, this will be the theater for you!

best things to do in greenwich village

Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village

Dinner at 232 Bleecker

There are so many fantastic restaurants in Greenwich Village, but one of my favorites is 232 Bleecker, which is “vegetable forward”. That doesn’t mean you can only get vegetarian eats at this restaurant, but the focus is definitely on any lovely product you can find growing in a garden.

The menu changes with the season, so I tend to visit four times a year, so I can truly appreciate nature’s bounty! In the summer, chow down on seasonal produce like a refreshing market peach and arugula salad. I was impressed with the fact that though the peaches were ripe, they weren’t too sweet, just perfect for an appetizer instead of a dessert.

best things to do in greenwich village

One of the things that makes 232 Bleecker special are these lovely little “From the Market” small plates that change depending on what’s fresh at the market. This is a light and airy zucchini tempura served with a mildly spicy aji dulce sauce. The strong flavor of the sauce goes perfectly with the mild zucchini.

best things to do in greenwich village

Since it’s summertime, we’ve got to get some tomatoes in our bellies! This is spaghetti pomodoro with pesto and sungold tomatoes. Look at those beauties! They could not be a more perfect color. Also, I appreciated that the pesto was all at the bottom of the plate, so you could mix it in and it wasn’t getting the pasta or tomatoes all soggy.

best things to do in greenwich village

This simple and satisfying olive oil cake is usually on the menu, accompanied by different fruits. Fig season had just started when I went to 232 Bleecker, and it was divine to partake of figs that had been tasted like they were just plucked from the tree.

That’s the Best Things to Do in Greenwich Village!

What do you think are the best things to do in Greenwich Village? Which film palace sounds like the best fit for you? And would you eat smoked salmon on an everything donut? Please email me at [email protected] and let me know.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 Hours with the best things to do in Greenwich Village.

And there’s a million other things to do in New York City. Want to spend Christmas in New York? With the Brooklyn Bridge? What about 24 hours in Manhattan? How about the Bronx? Or the best museums in Manhattan? I’ve got you covered here!

1 Perfect One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary


Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. When it comes to Swedish travel, Stockholm frequently gets all the attention. But this is just sick and wrong! Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, is just as charming and delicious as Stockholm. It has Michelin starred restaurants, historic architecture, and peaceful boat rides, just like Stockholm has.

On top of that, it has a world-class amusement park, Liseberg Park. Join me for a one day in Gothenburg itinerary and we will make friends with a giant rabbit and the world’s deadliest snake. Follow me!

one day in gothenburg itinerary

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

How to Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of the finest Swedish fish. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to this one day in Gothenburg itinerary.

But I can tell you that you can use an airplane to get to a large city like Paris London, and then take a shorter flight to Gothenburg. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Gothenburg at the best time of day. Or you can do what I did and spend a few days in Stockholm first and then travel to Gothenburg by train.

You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your one day in Gothenburg itinerary.

one day in gothenburg itinerary

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

Where to Stay?

I made a huge mistake booking my hotel in for my One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. It was a super sketch hostel in a weird neighborhood, with no staff, and a bizarre fellow guest with a shaved head and no front teeth who kept lurking outside my room, grinning psychotically. It took me less than an hour to realize I should cancel the reservation and find a room elsewhere.

Enter Hotel Royal, which truly lives up to its name. They had one room they hadn’t managed to book, so I got it for half price. The location is perfect, the breakfast is the best hotel breakfast I have ever eaten, and the room was fit for a princess. Also I wasn’t in danger of being murdered by one of my fellow guests, probably. Please stay here during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary. You won’t regret it. 

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here. And if you’d rather explore over 100 other hotels in Gothenburg, click here.

one day in gothenburg itinerary

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

What to Pack?

  • The weather isn’t always nice, so you want to be prepared with these Waterproof boots as well during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary.
  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary.
  • The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, or British like I am not, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics in Sweden.
  • A rain jacket with a hood because there is a 99 percent chance it will rain at some point during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary.
  • An umbrella that can stand up to a stiff breeze or a rogue reindeer during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
  • My favorite travel guide to Sweden.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by an angry Swedish chef during your one day in Gothenburg itinerary
One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

Morning: Universeum

Universeum is an extraordinary science museum right in the middle of Gothenburg. Some people think science museums are only for children or people with children. But I love a good science museum, and yet children frighten and confuse me!

Universeum has everything from a replica of a rainforest to a giant collection of tropical fish. Plus it is conveniently located just next to Liseberg Park. We could probably spend all the One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary at Universeum, but for now I’ll just get you started with…

three fun facts: universeum

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
1) Do clownfish have gender equality?

One of the most interesting parts of Universeum is the section on tropical fish. If you’re a Finding Nemo fan, don’t miss the section on clownfish. I knew clownfish were adorable and resilient and sound like Albert Brooks, but I didn’t realize that they were a matriarchal society.

Apparently all clownfish are born male, but some clownfish become female as they grow bigger and stronger. I feel sure that’s a metaphor for something. I’m just not sure exactly what for yet.

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
2) How lazy are sloths?

I had a hard time deciding which was my favorite exhibit at Universeum: the aquarium or the replica of a rainforest. However, I’m quite sure the rainforest exhibit contained my favorite fact, which is that sloths are so lazy, they only poop once a week.

I’ve definitely gone through lazy times myself, but though I can imagine being too lazy to wash my hair or put on makeup, I can’t imagine being too lazy to poop. Sloths indeed have much to teach the world about chilling out.

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
3) What’s Indiana Jones’s worst nightmare?

The squeamish will want to pass on the section about poisonous animals. However, the rest of us will be too curious to pass up the chance of seeing the world’s most venomous creatures. It was here that I learned that the deadliest snake in the world is known as the scaled viper.

I have so many questions about that. Is it deadlier than anthrax? Whose job is it to measure the world’s deadliest snake? How many people do you need to poison with snake venom in order to make sure which snake is the deadliest? Isn’t it illegal to conduct research by murdering people with snake venom?

Please send your answers to [email protected]’tbelegal.com

one day in Gothenburg itinerary

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

Afternoon: Liseberg Park

No One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary is complete without Liseberg. Many people consider Liseberg Park (website here) to be one of the best amusement parks in the world. That’s pretty impressive considering it’s been operating for almost a hundred years.

I’m a big fan of amusement parks myself, from Disney World to Busch Gardens, and I agree that Liseberg Park is special. Most amusement parks have roller coasters and log flumes. But how many also have licorice flavored popcorn, a giant green rabbit, and a star dedicated to the Osmond Brothers?

one day in Gothenburg itinerary

Only Liseberg Park! If that doesn’t convince you to visit, allow me to persuade you with…

approximately top 5: liseberg park edition

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
1) Lunch at The Green Room

At this point in our One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, you’ll be hungry. I definitely suggest getting lunch as soon as you arrive at Liseberg. That way you can wander around and go on some gentle rides before you tackle the roller coasters. This means you won’t loop-the-loop on either an empty or a stuffed stomach. (Both of which are terrible ideas, and I know from personal experience.)

The Green Room could satisfy pretty much anyone. It’s a vegetarian buffet restaurant, so obviously meat-avoiders will find anything to satisfy them. Because it’s a buffet, you only pay one set price for all you can eat. This makes it one of the more budget friendly restaurants in Gothenburg, which isn’t exactly a cheapo city.

Finally, kids between 2 and 12 eat for less than half price, so it’s definitely a swell choice for families. The only people who wouldn’t like this restaurant are people who only eat meat, and as much as I like a good steak, I don’t think that’s a super healthy choice. You need to eat veggies every day unless you want to get scurvy! That’s just science.

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
2) Liseberg Park Popcorn

Just because I steered you towards a healthy restaurant doesn’t mean I don’t want you to eat only health food at Liseberg Park. After all, this is ‘Murica! Ahem, I mean this is Sweden! We need to get our candy on. Don’t miss the authentically Swedish mixture covered in different kinds of melted licorice, from raspberry licorice to Plain Old Licorice.

Remember that nothing says Swedish like a thick piece of black licorice. You’ll be able to feel yourself becoming more and more Swedish as you eat the stuff. By the end of your One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, you’ll be speaking fluent BORK BORK BORK!

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
3) Wave Swinger (Slanggungan)

No, this next ride has nothing to do with 70s style key parties. Nor does it actually have any waves. You just sit in your stylish chair and swing around gently as the carousel rises, tilts, and whirls around you. This is probably the gentlest, non-kiddy ride in the whole park. It’s also a good way to ease into the rides after you’ve let your lunch settle.

Pro Tip: Wear shoes that will not fall off your feet. Swedish children don’t appreciate being hit in the head with a flying shoe.

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
4) JukeBox

The JukeBox looks like someone crossed Doc Ock from Spiderman with that diner from Happy Days. First, you get inside one of these sweet rides that would definitely make the Fonz say, “EY!” Then the ride starts blasting classic 50s sock hop tunes like “Rock Around the Clock”. Then you start lifting up and spinning around and either screaming with fear or squealing with glee, depending on how awesome you are.

I do have one important question, though. Why does Liseberg Park spell the word JukeBox like that instead of making it two separate words? Is this some hep Gothenberg style I haven’t caught on to yet?

one day in Gothenburg itinerary
5) Kallerado

It’s not a proper amusement park without a ride that gets you wet, and Liseberg Park is nothing if not proper. On Kallerado, you will share a tube with several friendly strangers as you shoot down the rapids and either hope to get soaked or pray you won’t depending on how awesome you are, Internet Stranger.

Keep in mind that though English is widely spoken in Gothenburg, it’s not as widely spoken as it is in Stockholm. So you might share your tube with people who don’t speak English. Just smile and gesture if you need to communicate and hope you don’t fall on top of someone because I don’t know how to apologize in Swedish.

Baldur Liseberg
6) Baldur

All right, Internet Stranger, now I think we’re ready for some serious firepower. It’s time for Baldur, which is one of the most famous wooden roller coasters in the world. I’m a confirmed roller coaster junkie, and even I think the rattle of the cart as it goes over a wooden roller coaster sounds like an ominous death rattle. But Baldur is luxuriously smooth and gentle. You won’t even once feel like the ride is about to collapse into pieces around you.

Do keep in mind that the line to get on Baldur is quite long and you won’t be able to have your book or phone with you on line. (There are lockers all over Liseberg Park in which you can store your things.) I suggest thinking lovely thoughts to pass the time. We’ll resume the One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary shortly!

helix liseberg
7) Helix

All right, Internet Stranger. We’ve finally reached the mack daddy. This is Helix, the longest and fastest roller coaster in Scandinavia. (Scandinavians love roller coasters, so this isn’t damning with faint praise.)

When you ride the Helix, you’ll turn upside down seven times and experience weightlessness three times. It’s basically like having someone throw you into a cocktail shaker that is spinning around in the sky. Reader, I loved it. But if the thought of turning upside down 7 times terrifies you, please give it a pass. No judgement here.

Keep in mind that you have to wait on an extensive line to get on to Helix, and safety instructions will be given repeatedly in Swedish only. Even a Coaster Head like myself became terrified that there was something important I was missing and that I would soon meet my demise. But never fear! Even without knowing any Swedish beyond “Bork, bork, bork” I still managed to survive, and so will you.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
24 Hour Treasure: Liseberg park Ears

You simply can’t possibly leave Liseberg Park without buying some green bunny ears. The mascot of the park is a giant green and pink bunny named the Liseberg Rabbit. Keep in mind that in Swedish, you pronounce Liseberg like “Lise-burry”.

So I thought it would be a better idea to name the mascot The Lise-bunny. Nobody would listen to me. So I just bought my own ears and ran around asking people to call me Lise-bunny. Then the Swedes threw me in Theme Park Jail. Oh well! It was fun while it lasted!

One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

Evening: Fine Dining

Thornstroms Kok was one of the finest restaurants in Gothenburg, and it can back up that claim with a Michelin star. TK, as its friends call it, specializes in using modern techniques to enhance fresh, local ingredients. Hmmm, that seems like a rather bland description of a pretty spectacular restaurant.

It’s more accurate to say that the ingredient is the star of each tiny, flawless dish (and there are 18 dishes on the tasting menu that I experienced). Some people might think it’s strange to follow an amusement park with dinner at a gourmet restaurant. Those people just don’t know how to live! This is the perfect end to our One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. For those who do want to live, I present you with…

Note: Thornstroms Kok doesn’t exist anymore, so I suggest dining at a restaurant like Bhoga instead.

approximately top 20: Fine Dining

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course One

This amuse bouche was a rich, crispy cracker topped with chicken paste and a seaweed cracker with broccoli dip. This set the stage for the rest of the meal beautifully because my main memory of this dish was how intense the flavors of the broccoli and chicken were. Intense Flavor was definitely the theme of the evening, and also an excellent name for a band in which all the members are chefs.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Two

The meal began with several one-bite dishes served as a rapid pace. This kohlrabi roll filled with mackerel was flawlessly fishy.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Three

Up next on the Intense Flavor parade was a mushroom cracker filled with mushroom paste. I thought this dish contained the platonic ideal of mushroom essence until the next course…

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Four

Then the mushroom broth used to cook the mushrooms from my previous course was served to me with a little sherry mixed in. The slight sweetness of the sherry added to the mushroom almost tricked me into thinking I was consuming a meat broth. Or it made me think that mushrooms are as delicious as meat. I can’t quite tell which.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Five

Back to the one bites! Here we have a ball of pure chicken liver flavor. This is a little classier than the chopped chicken liver I had at all my friends bat mitzvahs, even that one pile of chopped liver that was shaped like a swan.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Six

Finally we get to some of the bigger courses. This dish was arctic char served with pickled cucumber, cauliflower, and leek ash. One of the principles of modern Scandinavian cooking is that a piece of protein should be served with the produce that naturally grows near it. This scrumptious fish validated these principles most deliciously.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Seven

This squid in squid foam served with squid ink showed how intense a dish can be if you just triple up on one flawless ingredient. I loved it, but you best be sure your fishmonger is giving you the world’s best squid if you want to try this at home.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Eight

Our first “meat” course was sweetbreads served with an apricot and hazelnut paste that was prepared tableside. I always like a little theater with my dinner. Plus that way, you know the sauce didn’t come from a bottle. SMRT! Sweetbreads are so rich that the sweet and salty sauce was definitely necessary for that perfect balance.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Nine

So the last dish featured one rich ingredient with a light sauce to balance the whole thing out. This next course is all about richness: a flounder topped with egg, shrimp butter, and toasted brioche. I basically felt like Scrooge McDuck swandiving into a pile of gold coins as I ate this.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Ten

We’re back to contrasts again! The next fish course was turbot served with butter sauce and broccoli. Both the turbot and the butter sauce were smooth and mild, so the broccoli was necessarily to help one not float off entirely on a sea of butter dreams while eating. (Actually, floating off on a sea of butter dreams sounds delightful. But broccoli is very good for you.)

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Eleven

The star of the show here is Swedish pork. (Pork, pork, pork!) That’s pork tenderloin served with pork belly and beet. Pork is truly one of nature’s miracles because so many different delicious meat goods can be made from the piggy. I wonder if adding a crumbling of Swedish bacon would have made this dish even better or if that would have been gilding the piggy.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Twelve

Well, after eleven courses, it’s time for a little palette cleanser. Here we have some black currant and beer foam. The picture is a little blurry because I think the beer was just starting to tip me over into tipsiness. (Keep in mind that there were wine pairings with each course too.)

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Thirteen

The meat course of the evening was an extremely rare steak served with a sauce, again made tableside, and a truffle onion. If you’re trying to make an excellent piece of steak really shine, I strongly suggest eating it as rare as possible. I know this squicks some people, but you can just taste the quality of the meat so much better. Live a little, Internet Stranger!

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Fourteen

Now it’s time for the first of five dessert courses! If I lived in Gothenburg, I’d be tempted to eat at Thornstroms Kok every evening, which would soon leave me obese and penniless. So it’s probably just as well that I live in New York City, which has no restaurants. This was a red currant ice cream stick covered with licorice powder. Truly if you have dessert in Sweden and no licorice is involved, it is no authentic Swedish dessert.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Fifteen

Contemporary Scandinavian restaurants often use savory ingredients in the desserts. This was a tomato sorbet with fennel and vanilla meringue. Only one of those tastes is something I’d expect to find in a dessert. But a tomato is a fruit and it was delicious with the vanilla. Also a light dessert was much appreciated after my 8 million previous courses.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Sixteen

This beauty was fresh blackberries served with lovage sorbet and wheat crackers. Berries are one of the few fruits that grow naturally in Sweden, so you can often see them on dessert menus here. Lovage is an herb that tastes a little like celery. I personally think celery is underrated as a dessert ingredient.

It has no calories, so I’m sure it cancels out whatever calories are in the rest of the dessert. That’s just science. I’m going to start sprinkling a little celery on my rocky road ice cream immediately to see if that works.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Seventeen

We’re almost to the end of this Dickensian novel of a dinner. My petits fours were the world’s tiniest apple cake and a bit of tart gooseberry jam. Truly there is no end to the kind of berries to be found in Scandinavia. I think snozzberries may grow in the wild there.

one day in gothenburg itinerary
Course Eighteen

Just when I thought I was out, the waiter came by to force this cookie jar on me. I was stuffed to the gills with gooseberry, lovage sorbet, and shrimp butter, but I managed to pull out one tiny lingonberry cookie and eat it. The waiter begged me to try another. Then I exploded from too much food. Now I’m a ghost! But it was definitely worth it.

That’s a Perfect One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary

What would you do with a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Gothenburg? Do you think Lise-bunny sounds better than Liseburg Rabbit? And what is that scaled viper doing creeping up behind you? Please leave your thoughts below!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend a One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary. If you have another One Day in Gothenburg Itinerary, try this itinerary.

A Perfect 24 Hours in Stockholm, Sweden


Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to 24 hours in Stockholm! I’ve traveled in over 50 European towns and cities, and I have to say that Stockholm, Sweden was one of the loveliest surprises. Its fourteen islands are perfect for idle strolling. Its rivers are ideal for photographing.

Finally, its beers are ideal for drinking, and its meats are perfect for eating. Spend 24 hours in Stockholm, and you’ll see why Sweden is one of the happiest countries on Earth!

A Perfect 24 Hours in Stockholm, Sweden 3

24 Hours in Stockholm

How to Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of the finest Swedish fish. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to this 24 hours in Stockholm itinerary.

But I can tell you that you can use an airplane to get to a large city like Paris London, and then take a shorter flight to Stockholm. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Stockholm at the best time of day.

You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your 24 hours in Stockholm itinerary.

24 Hours in Stockholm

Where to Stay?

Stockholm is a tricky city to visit on a budget. Like its neighbors, Finland and Norway, it is really, really pricey. And I say that as someone from New York City, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world. I didn’t want to blow all my money on a hotel room. I wanted to blow all my money on New Nordic cuisine and the admission to the Vasa Museum. 

So if you’re on a budget, but don’t want to share a room with strangers, I suggest the impossible to spell STF af Chapman & Skeppsholmen. There are private rooms, and though I did share a bathroom, the bathrooms were kept very clean and in great condition. Also the location is perhaps for exploring Stockholm’s gorgeous islands and old town. Don’t miss out!

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here. And if you want to explore great deals on hundreds of other hotels in Stockholm, click here.

24 Hours in Stockholm

What to Pack?

  • The weather isn’t always nice, so you want to be prepared with these Waterproof boots as well during your 24 hours in Stockholm.
  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your one day in Stockholm itinerary
  • The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, or British like I am not, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics in Sweden.
  • A rain jacket with a hood because there is a 99 percent chance it will rain at some point during your 24 hours in Stockholm
  • An umbrella that can stand up to a stiff breeze or a rogue reindeer during your 24 hours in Stockholm
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
  • My favorite travel guide to Sweden.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by an angry Swedish chef during your 24 hours in Stockholm.
Swedish candy 24 hours in stockholm

24 Hours in Stockholm

Morning: Nordic Food Walk

Swedish food is so much more than Swedish meatballs from Ikea. And Stockholm is a perfect city to explore on food because of its charming architecture and millions of adorable Swedish boats.

So I strongly recommend beginning your 24 hours in Stockholm with a food tour of Sweden’s capital. (I recommend Foodtours.eu, which is a company that specializes in Scandinavian food tours.) You’ll learn what makes the food culture in Stockholm so special. Plus you’ll get at least four desserts! What other food tour can promise as much?

You can book the tour for yourself easily by clicking here. Then, let’s get this party started with…

approximately top 5: stockholm food tour

24 hours in Stockholm
1) Ostermalms Saluhall

The food tour begins near Ostermalms Saluhall, which is a food hall that dates back to 1888. According to their website, they are the 7th best food hall in the world, which is an oddly specific thing to brag about. The historic food hall had been under renovation for a long time and only recently reopened in 2020. So it will be more than exciting to chomp on all the goods in this fabulous building!

We began by sampling different kinds of cheese. The first was a mild breakfast cheese. Our guide (whom I will call Pippi) said that this cheese only comes from the western part of Sweden, just like Champagne can only come from the Champagne region.

I personally think people should start pairing Champagne with breakfast cheese because that sounds that an amazing way to start any workday. The next cheese was a spicy one flavored with cumin that tasted a bit like Christmas. Finally, we snacked on grain crackers with tart cloudberry jam. If this is a Swedish breakfast, sign me up!

24 hours in stockholm
24 Hour Treat: Breakfast Beer

Pippi said that she wasn’t allowed to serve us a strong beer because it was too early in the morning, so we each got a mug of light Swedish beer. I think Swedish tourism would be even more popular if people knew that you can get beer and cheese for breakfast in Stockholm, no matter how light the beer is.

24 hours in stockholm

For us carnivores, there was a giant platter of varied meats. But don’t think that Ostermalms was going to bore us with turkey and ham. We nibbled on cured reindeer meat, cured moose meat, and moose salami.

As a half-Jewish girl from New York City, I tend to think of salami as a classic delicatessen food. But I’m pretty sure that even back in Minsk, my family never used moose meat for their salami. I enjoyed the rich, gamey flavor of these meats. If you’re partial to venison, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the taste of Rudolph and Bullwinkle here.

24 hours in stockholm
2) Swedish Meatballs

Of course, you didn’t think we could leave Stockholm without eating Swedish meatballs, did you? That would be a crime against the high laws of the great Swedish empire! But there is a twist because we got our SMs at a place called Ingelsta Kalkon. Pippi told us that this translates to Turkey Heaven. So our Swedish meatballs were made from turkey meat.

The turkey meat was the only nontraditional thing about these treats, as they were classically served with gravy, potatoes, and lingonberry jam. Lingonberries are a sweet-tart, red fruit that everyone in Nordic countries is obsessed with. They are kind of like Sweetarts if Sweetarts were a delicious fruit instead of a terrible candy. Eat as many of them as you can when you’re in Sweden.

24 hours in stockholm
3) Swedish Fish

I hope you don’t think that we would spend 24 hours in Stockholm and only visit one food hall! That would be sick and wrong. Our second food hall, The Old Haymarket, had a much more fishy feeling. Pippi presented us with three different fishy snacks: Tomato-Fish soup, bread fried in butter with Baltic shrimp, and fried herring.

These are all traditional Swedish dishes. The comforting fish soup dates back to the Middle Ages. (Though I think this version was prepared a bit more recently, as eating five hundred year old fish soup seems like a good way to get fish poisoning.)

I wondered how Swedes were able to eat things like fried bread and fried herring and stay in such good shape. I assume the answer is lots of sex and cycling, though hopefully not at the same time. Pippi also said that many Swedes, including herself, are vegetarian.

In fact, her tour company also does a vegetarian food tour to showcase the many vegetarian restaurants in the city. I would never be a vegetarian, but next time I visit Stockholm, I plan on taking the vegetarian tour just for my veggie readers.

24 hours in stockholm
4) Licorice Chocolate

Now it is time for the first of four desserts! Of course, the first might be the least exciting to non-Swedes because it involves licorice. Licorice is insanely popular in Sweden, but not always so popular with foreigners. Many Swedes even adore something called salted licorice, which tastes vaguely reminiscent of bathtub cleaner. (I personally like it, but I like weird things, and I’d still rather eat regular licorice.)

For the licorice novice, Swedes also like to combine licorice and chocolate, which certainly makes the licorice go down more smoothly. Or for the cowardly lions in the group, you can just go to town on some salted caramel, licorice-free chocolates. No one on this tour is going to make you eat anything you don’t like.

But I suggest living a little and giving the salted licorice a try. We’ve already had fried herring, moose salami, and breakfast beer! A little bathtub cleaner won’t kill you.

24 hours in stockholm
5) Chocolate Ice Cream

Just in case people weren’t so excited about the salty licorice, we cleansed our palettes with some freshly made chocolate ice cream. Sweden is one of the top ten ice cream eating countries in the world. This surprised me because I thought Sweden was below freezing for ten out of twelve months every year.

But perhaps I am just trafficking in stereotypes here. As we found out earlier on the tour, Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world, and I imagine eating lots of ice cream is part of that.

24 hours in stockholm
6) Polkagris Kokeri

Swedes don’t just love their ice cream and fried bread and breakfast beer. They also love their candy. Swedes consume more candy per capita than any other country in the world. HOW DO THEY STAY IN SUCH GOOD SHAPE? Please teach us your ways, Sweden.

We sampled some traditional Swedish toffees at Polkagris Kokeri. It was founded by a woman named Amalia Eriksson. Pippi told us that she was the first Swedish female entrepreneur. I’m always excited when I can support women’s rights and eat candy at the same time.

24 hours in stockholm
7) Fika

Our final stop was for a fika, which is a Swedish coffee break. Typically during fika, you pair the coffee with a fresh cinnamon bun like the one pictured above. Pippi said that Swedes believe it’s healthy to have two fika a day. Certainly no one would need to twist my arm to get me to eat two of these fluffy beauties on a daily basis.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to write my new Swedish Diet book which explains how you can eat enormous amounts of pastry, candy, and ice cream and still stay impossibly fit and attractive. It will be called The Swedish Chef Diet or Bork Bork Bork!

24 hours in stockholm

24 Hours in Stockholm

Afternoon: Medieval Museum

Now that we’ve become experts on Sweden’s delicious and apparently secretly healthy food culture, it’s time to learn about its past. Our next stop is The Medieval Museum, which will teach us all about the weird and wacky facts about life in Sweden during the Middle Ages.

The Museum is centered around the actual medieval wall of Stockholm, which was unearthed fairly recently during a random construction project. The Medieval Museum is a perfect choice after the food tour because the food tour is a little pricey, and the Medieval Museum is completely free.

Also free are the following tips!

three fun facts about medieval stockholm

24 hours in stockholm
1) Is God angry with Sweden?

The Parhelion painting dates back to 1535, and it is one of the oldest paintings of Stockholm in existence. (The copy at the Medieval Museum isn’t the original. The original was sadly lost forever in the sands of time. A 400 year old copy of the painting is also in Stockholm, but in the Church of St. Nicholas.)

You can see how cute and tiny Stockholm used to be with all of its little houses bunched together. I wonder why medieval Stockholm didn’t have any streets between the houses? But then perhaps this painting wasn’t entirely scientifically accurate.

This painting is also famous because of its depiction of sun dogs. Sun dogs are the bright spots you can see being made by the halos around the sun. Apparently in the 1530s, some people considered the sun dogs a sign that God was angry with Sweden for turning away from Catholicism, so depicting the sun dogs became controversial.

I personally think Sun Dogs would be a good title for a buddy comedy about Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman taking a boat trip around the Caribbean together before they die. They could hook up with Sophia Loren and Ann-Margret. And I only ask for five percent of the gross for this idea!

24 hours in stockholm
2) How do they execute people in Medieval Sweden?

The Medieval Museum contains several replicas of medieval homes, churches, and public squares. But my favorite replica was of the place of execution, Gallows Hill. Apparently theft was considered to be a more serious crime than murder in medieval Stockholm. I guess that’s because so many expensive goods came through the ports in Stockholm because it was a center of the fur trade.

Also medieval Stockholm didn’t have a safe prison to keep people, so I suppose the death penalty was the only deterrent. Nowadays Stockholm is a much more welcoming place for criminals. If you’re a foreigner and you commit a crime in Sweden, the standard penalty is that they feed you salted licorice until you cry.

One way in which medieval Stockholm was less strict than modern times is that everyone except for craftspeople and prostitutes were allowed to make their own beer and sell it. That seems very unfair to sex workers, but maybe it’s the only punishment medieval Swedes could think of, since they didn’t have prisons.

24 hours in stockholm
3) No seriously, is God angry at Sweden?

Contemporary Sweden is not especially religious. However, it was originally a Catholic country, like most of the countries in Europe. Pilgrims came from all over Europe to visit the Blackfriars’ Monastery in Stockholm. This monastery was the home of an altar picture of the Crucifixion that many people considered to have healing properties.

However, in the 1520s, Sweden converted to Lutheranism and the monasteries were abolished. (God may or may not have responded by siccing his sun dogs upon the city. Answering this question is beyond the scope of both the Medieval Museum and this blog.)

24 hours in stockholm

24 Hours in Stockholm

Evening: Dinner at The Hairy Pig

After a morning full of candy and ice cream, we’re going to want to walk a bit before ending our 24 hours in Stockholm with dinner. Head to Gamla Stan, which is Stockholm’s Old Town, and take a stroll around its bridges. Stockholm is made of 14 different islands, so you’ll want to see as many as possible before you have to move on.

Hairy pig restaurant stockholm

My two favorite types of restaurant in Scandavia are the high-class New Nordic gastronomic palaces and the down-home comfort-food dispensing nooks. The Hairy Pig definitely falls into the latter category. This restaurant, located right in the pork belly of Gamla Stan, serves rich, home made sausages served on decadent brioche buns.

I suggest getting the sausage with a side of one of their tapas, like the house made potato salad with dill, capers, and lemon juice. It’s not a proper Swedish dinner without potatoes!

Also, don’t let the name of the restaurant upset you. I guarantee there won’t be any hair in your sausage. Only ground up pig parts and love.

That’s a Perfect 24 Hours in Stockholm!

What would you do with 24 hours in Stockholm? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Stockholm? How do the Swedes stay so fit and eat so much candy? And would you rather eat a hairy sausage or salted licorice? Please leave your thoughts below!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Stockholm, with or without the Vasa Museum. If you have another 24 hours in Stockholm, try this itinerary.

1 Perfect One Day in Stockholm Itinerary


Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to a perfect one day in Stockholm itinerary. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect during my Stockholm itinerary. Part of me thought Sweden was a place where perfect blond people just lounge around naked all day and have affordable healthcare. The other part of me was hoping to meet Pippi Longstocking.

But while I met neither live nude Swedes nor Pippi, the world’s strongest girl, I did see many other wonders. There’s the Vasa Museum, dedicated to the worst ship that ever sailed.

We have an open-air museum where you can follow an obscure religion. Finally, we will eat a dish so strange and beautiful it will move me to tears. It’s all here for you with a perfect one day in Stockholm Itinerary!

one day in stockholm itinerary

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

How to Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of the finest Swedish fish. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to this one day in Stockholm itinerary.

But I can tell you that you can use an airplane to get to a large city like Paris London, and then take a shorter flight to Stockholm. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Stockholm at the best time of day.

You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your one day in Stockholm itinerary.

one day in stockholm itinerary

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

Where to Stay?

Stockholm is a tricky city to visit on a budget. Like its neighbors, Finland and Norway, it is really, really pricey. And I say that as someone from New York City, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world. I didn’t want to blow all my money on a hotel room. I wanted to blow all my money on New Nordic cuisine and the admission to the Vasa Museum. 

So if you’re on a budget for your one day in Stockholm itinerary, but don’t want to share a room with strangers, I suggest the impossible to spell STF af Chapman & Skeppsholmen. There are private rooms, and though I did share a bathroom, the bathrooms were kept very clean and in great condition. Also the location is perhaps for exploring Stockholm’s gorgeous islands and old town. Don’t miss out!

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here. And if you want to explore great deals on hundreds of other hotels in Stockholm, click here.

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

What to Pack?

  • The weather isn’t always nice, so you want to be prepared with these Waterproof boots as well during your one day in Stockholm itinerary
  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your one day in Stockholm itinerary
  • The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, or British like I am not, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics in Sweden.
  • A rain jacket with a hood because there is a 99 percent chance it will rain at some point during your one day in Stockholm itinerary
  • An umbrella that can stand up to a stiff breeze or a rogue reindeer during your one day in Stockholm itinerary.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
  • My favorite travel guide to Sweden.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by an angry Swedish chef during your one day in Stockholm itinerary.
one day in stockholm itinerary

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

Morning: Vasa Museum

Let’s start our one day in Stockholm itinerary at one of the city’s most popular attractions. The Vasa Museum is one of the strangest ideas for a museum I’ve ever heard of. I’ve heard of museums dedicated to art, medical oddities, Mardi Gras costumes, and ladies handbags. But I’ve never heard of a museum dedicated to the world’s least successful ship before.

(In case you’re wondering if there will be enough to do to spend a morning of our one day in Stockholm Itinerary at the Vasa Museum, fear not, Internet Stranger! Both the Vasa Museum and ship are many stories tall.) If you’ve ever been dying to see a gargantuan, incompetently constructed, 17th century Swedish boat, now is definitely your best chance. Allow me to explain with…

three fun facts: vasa museum

one day in stockholm itinerary
1) what is this?

Why, it’s the warship of Gustavus Adolphus! The whole Vasa Museum is built around it. Gustavus Adolphus II became King of Sweden in 1611. I mostly think of Sweden as being a neutral country, especially when it comes to Nazi Germany. But back then, Sweden was simultaneously at war with Russia, Denmark, and Poland. I’d back out of a war with Russia if I were you, 17th century Sweden. That never ends well.

It’s crazy to think of Sweden and Denmark being at war when the Scandinavian countries have been so peaceful and prosperous during my lifetime. But just a mere 400 years ago, they were launching massive warships at each other. Which brings me to my next fun fact…

one day in stockholm itinerary
2) why is it a disaster?

Gustavus Adolphus II was itching to show the three other countries he was at war with who was boss. After all, he was the mighty King of Sweden! His symbol was the lion because he was supposed to be protecting all of Sweden from Catholics. Are Catholics especially scared of lions? I thought they were mostly scared of nuns.

To demonstrate his might, GAII ordered the construction of his massive warship, the Vasa. It would have 64 cannons and 300 men on board. Every Swede who was any Swede came to see the Vasa set sail on August 10, 1628. Tragically, no sooner had the Vasa set sail then it immediately began to sank. That’s right, it didn’t even make it out of the harbor. The ship was too top heavy because of the elaborate pieces on top of the ship.

The Swedish courts went looking for someone to punish, but the master shipbuilder who had designed the Vasa died before they could bring him to trial. So no one ended up being punished for creating a ship so incompetent that it makes the Titanic look like a raging success story. And now there’s a Vasa Museum dedicated to this incompetence.

one day in stockholm itinerary
3) who is this guy?

Though there were 300 crew members on the Vasa, only 30 died when the ship sank. That’s either really impressive or really disturbing considering that the ship sank in the harbor. I can’t tell which. Vasa Museum Scientists have studied the bones and artifacts left behind by those on the ship to learn more about 17th century Swedish life.

Apparently 2 of the people on board the ship were women. One of them died when the ship sank. Because they found her bones next to the bones of a sailor, they assume that she was the wife of said sailor who came to see him off.

I bet that wife’s ghost is really angry with that sailor for making her come to wish him a bon voyage. What are the odds that the ship would sink while she was saying goodbye to her hubby? Although I definitely think they should set the next Die Hard on a 17th century Swedish warship and put in a subplot about a sailor’s wife being angry about being stuck on this ship that’s been hijacked by a group of angry Russians, Danes, and Poles.

24 Hour Tip

Guided tours are included with the price of admission at the Vasa Museum. They are an excellent way to learn even more fun Vasa Museum facts during your one day in Stockholm Itinerary. In the summer, English guided tours leave every half hour, so you truly have no excuse for passing up this opportunity. NO EXCUSE!

one day in stockholm itinerary
24 Hour Treasure: Vasa Museum Restaurant

After all that wandering around a multi-story disastrous battleship, you’re going to be getting a little hungry. So we need lunch before continuing our one day in Stockholm Itinerary. And there’s no better way to satisfy your hunger than by drowning in the belly of the Vasa as it sinks into the harbor on its maiden voyage. Can’t be hungry if you’re dead! That’s just science.

But if that method sounds too drastic, try the Swedish meatballs at the Vasa Museum restaurant. The Vasa Museum restaurant is one of the better museum cafes I have visited. They use fresh Swedish ingredients and keep the menu simple. Even on a warm Swedish summer day, nothing is cozier than some meatballs, mashed potatoes, and little cucumber slices. BORK, BORK, BORK!

one day in stockholm itinerary

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

Afternoon: Skansen Open Air Museum

“Urgh,” I can hear some of you saying in my mind’s ear, “Another museum, Stella Jane? We did one of those this morning. Why two museums in a single one day in Stockholm Itinerary?” Well, let me remind you that the Vasa Museum this morning was no ordinary museum. It was a museum dedicated to the world’s biggest and dumbest ship. (The Jean Claude van Damme of ships, perhaps.)

And Skansen isn’t your traditional art museum. It’s the world’s oldest open-air museum. In one afternoon at Skansen, you can watch traditional glassblowing, eat a pipe, and meet some adorable furry friends. I’ll get you started with…

approximately top 5: skansen

one day in stockholm itinerary
1) Snus and Match Museum

Stockholm is apparently the capital of strange museums. On this one day in Stockholm Itinerary we’ve already been to the one dedicated to The Towering Inferno. Now we have a museum dedicated to snuffboxes and matches. I guess there’s a connection in that both are related to tobaccy. But I certainly wasn’t expecting to find a tobacco paraphernalia museum in Sweden. After all, the Swedes are so healthy.

What I didn’t know was that the Swedes were famous for manufacturing safety matches in the 19th century. Before Swedish safety matches, matches had a funny habit of lighting whenever they felt like it. This is a bad quality for a match to have, especially if you live in a wooden hut. (I presume all 19th century Swedes lived in wooden huts.) So the popularity of the Swedish safety match created many magical jobs for the Swedes.

As for the snuffboxes, they were apparently status symbols. I don’t really understand why having a porcelain snuff boxes shaped like an elf in a top hat makes you cool. But it isn’t any sillier than being cool because you posted a picture of a rainbow-unicorn doughnut on Instagram.

one day in stockholm itinerary
2) Shopping

Like any museum nowadays, Skansen has an excellent gift shop. But shoppers don’t need an official gift shop to have a blowout at Skansen. There are tiny period stores all around the open-air museum selling everything from blown glass to ice cream from the 1930s. (The machine is from the 1930s. I hope the ice cream is of a more recent vintage.)

I think the most authentic souvenir you can get on your one day in Stockholm itinerary is this candy pipe. It’s made with licorice because the Swedes are obsessed with licorice. Also it goes perfectly with the Snuff and Match Museum. I don’t recommend trying to light this licorice pipe, even with a world renowned Sweden safety match.

one day in stockholm itinerary
3) Swedenborg’s Summer Home

For non-philosophy nerds out there, Emanuel Swedenborg was an esteemed Swedish philosopher/wig wearer. He believed that God had given him the power to travel between Earth, Heaven, and Hell. I think even if God gave me the power to travel to Hell, I wouldn’t want to use it. Unless He allowed me to visit my friends and relatives while I was there.

Some people consider Swedenborg a mystic and a prophet. In fact, I did see a man silently praying in the garden of Swedenborg’s summer home. I wanted to ask him if he was a Swedenborgist, but I was worried it might be rude. However, I regret not asking him because it’s probably the only time in my life I’ll be able to ask a stranger if they are a devotee of Swedenborg. (BORG, BORG, BORG!)

one day in stockholm itinerary
4) Sami Camp

Before visiting Sweden, I had thought it was an entirely ethnically homogeneous country. Thank goodness for Skansen! It was here that I learned about the Sami, who are indigenous people of Scandinavia. There are about 40,000 of them in Sweden alone. Sami organizations helped Skansen assemble this replica of a Sami camp, to ensure authenticity.

The Sami were traditionally nomadic, though now many of them live in cities. Sami were nomadic so that they could follow the reindeer. (Kristoff from Frozen is meant to be a Sami, and we all know that he thinks reindeers are better than people.) Please don’t worry that the link here goes to “Let it Go”. I wouldn’t do you like that, Internet Stranger. You’ve heard that song enough.

one day in stockholm itinerary
5) Vala School

This is a traditional Swedish schoolhouse building. As a teacher, I was fascinated to learn that Swedish teachers in the 19th century often were not paid enough for their teaching to earn a living. So many of them needed to supplement their income…with beekeeping.

I personally think it would be ideal to combine the two jobs. That way if your students were naughty, you could just yell, “UNLEASH THE BEES!” That would keep the little rascals in line.

one day in stockholm itinerary
6) Seglora Church

This wooden beaut dates back to the 1700s. It was scheduled to be demolished in the early 20th century, but fortunately it was rescued and relocated to Skansen. Who would want to demolish such a gorgeous and historically important treasure? Sometimes I think humans don’t deserve anything nice at all.

Nowadays religious ceremonies are still performed in the church. Apparently weddings are the most popular ceremony, which makes sense given how picturesque the church is. I wonder if Swedenborgian marriages ever take place here. “Darling, I’d say til death to us part, but I know that even after we die, our spirits will be able to travel between Earth, Heaven, and Hell. So this is a forever thing, baby.”

One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

Evening: Fine Dining

One of my favorite things about traveling in Nordic countries is the prevalence of restaurants that specialize in the New Nordic cuisine. I am but a humble American, so I cannot hope to truly comprehend the complexity that is 21st century Scandinavian cooking. Just remember that New Nordic cooking emphasizes local, seasonal products and traditional, sometimes surprising cooking methods.

Note: For my one day in Stockholm Itinerary I decided to experience New Nordic cuisine in Stockholm at Restaurang Volt. Volt has since closed, so I suggest trying a different fine dining restaurant like Etoile instead.

Allow me to immerse you further into the New Nordic cuisine with…

approximately top ten: Swedish Fine Dining

one day in stockholm itinerary
1) Amuse Bouche

Like all civilized restaurangs, Volt begins with an amuse bouche. The black currant oil set off the fresh tomatoes to perfection. Nothing is more seasonal in summer than a tomato! Unless it’s baseball, and that’s hard to turn into an amuse bouche.

one day in stockholm itinerary
2) Housemade Bread

All New Nordic restaurants serve their own housemade bread. The one at Volt was special because it came with homemade cream cheese instead of butter. I bet this didn’t come from a tin with PHILADELPHIA on the label. It was the one and only time I’ve had cream cheese on bread, but I believe this is a delicious habit that should become an international trend.

one day in stockholm itinerary
3) Smoked Mackerel

At any New Nordic restaurant, the emphasis is on local ingredients, and what is more local to Sweden than smoked fish? The flavor of the salty smoked mackerel was enhanced by some flowering quince. I had not previously known that there was more than just the regular type of quince. I was beginning to feel like a real quince expert–a quincess if you will.

one day in stockholm itinerary
4) Green Asparagus

This minimalist composition isn’t just any green asparagus. It’s green asparagus served with sour milk and lumpfish roe for saltiness. I mentioned that New Nordic restaurants often use traditional methods of preparation. Fermentation is definitely one of the traditional Swedish methods of preparing food. After all, before refrigerators you needed some way to preserve food through the nine months of Swedish winter.

I loved the sour flavors of this dish, but part of me did think it was funny that I headed to a fancy restaurant on another continent just to eat sour milk. Pretty sure I could prepare that in my kitchen back home!

one day in stockholm itinerary
5) Swedish Beef

This thinly marbled raw beef came from a magical 30-year old mountain cattle. Most cows don’t live past 22, so it’s pretty amazing that this one lived to its 30th decade. I like to imagine it lived a long, full life full of mooing and getting tipped over by young, drunk Swedes.

The beef came draped over an oat cake and sprinkled with sorrel and ramson for a little sweet and bitter contrast to the umami beef. But I’d be lying if I said I was really paying attention to anything but the meat. It was one of the most tender and flavorful pieces of anything that I’ve ever put in my mouth. From now on, I’m only eating geriatric cows!

one day in stockholm itinerary
6) Lettuce Stuffed With Chicken Liver

In a million years, I would never have thought to stuff lettuce with chicken liver and sprinkle it with chicken skin, but that is probably why I am not a Swedish chef. This was my favorite dish on the menu. One bite and I burst into tears. I grew up eating chopped liver, and for some reason having the taste of chicken liver in a glamorous setting like this made me feel completely verklempt. (Talk amongst yourself. I’ll give you a topic. The Swedish Chef is neither Swedish, nor a chef. Discuss.)

one day in stockholm itinerary
7) Pike Perch

I was surprised to have the fish course follow the poultry course, which followed the meat course. Usually in a tasting menu, that order is reversed. But I guess that’s just how they roll in Stockholm. Most of the dishes on the tasting menu featured contrasting flavors. But I found this dish to be quite umami (savory) overall.

Largely this was due to the broth made with seaweed and mushrooms. Even though New Nordic cuisine emphasizes local ingredients, you can still see the influence of other cultures, and the Japanese influence was very apparent with this one.

A noticeably Swedish thing about this dish, though, was the pike perch. This fish, aka the Zander, is so popular that you can actually go on pike perch guided fishing tours in Sweden. I think I’m a little too active to want to go on a fishing tour. If I wanted to sit still and stare at the water all day, I’ll just sit in my bubble bath.

one day in stockholm itinerary
8) Goat Cheese

This was the most fun cheese course I have ever had. It was goat cheese served with a piece of raw honeycomb. You ate it by picking up pieces of the honeycomb and rolling it up in the goat cheese. Not only is the mild, salty goat cheese perfect with the fresh honey, but it is so delightful to eat a tasting menu dish with your hands. I felt like a bitty bear cub who had gotten all dressed up to go on the town.

one day in stockholm itinerary
9) Ice Cream

Our dessert course is black currant ice cream served with a hat made of fried parsnip. The dessert course is always the wackiest part of the New Nordic cuisine. Scandinavia isn’t famous for fresh fruit or chocolate, so keeping it local and authentic can be tricky. And you usually find non-dessert ingredients like parsnip in your dish. But the produce is always the star, and the rich black currant flavor came shining through in the ice cream beautifully.

one day in stockholm itinerary
10) Krumkake

For a petit four, I was served traditional Swedish cookies called krumkake filled with strawberries and cream. I imagine that any Swedish grandmother might tear up when presented with these cookies that are so reminiscent of her childhood, the way I did when I ate my Liver Lettuce.

one day in stockholm itinerary
11) Coffee

I need to show you the way they made my coffee at this restaurant. Look at this Rube Goldberg contraption! Why can’t you just do anything normal, Restaurang Volt? (PS, the coffee was amazing. The proof is that I didn’t add milk, sour or otherwise.)

one day in stockholm itinerary

Then the restaurang had the audacity to tell me that I was going to have to eat more food because I had ordered the coffee. They plopped this whole cake down in front of me. I had just eaten ten courses, so I was only able to eat one slice of this cake, which tasted like Santa’s beard in that it was very fluffy and obvious made our of sugar. Also I don’t think I could eat all of Santa’s beard either.

That’s a Perfect One Day in Stockholm Itinerary

What would you do during your one day in Stockholm itinerary? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Stockholm? What’s weirder, a match and snuff museum or a museum dedicated to a terrible ship? BORK, BORK, BORK? Please leave your thoughts below!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend a one day in Stockholm itinerary, with or without the Vasa Museum. If you have time for another one day in Stockholm itinerary, try this itinerary.

Best Things to do in Midtown NYC (Approximately Top 10)


Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to the best things to do in Midtown NYC! Are you visiting New York City for the first time? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things to do in this area? Or perhaps you are already familiar with New York City, but you think of Midtown as being kind of tacky and you don’t know how to make it fun? Allow me to help you out!

Midtown is one of those sections of Manhattan that no one can quite agree on the boundaries to. We all know that it’s bordered by 59th Street to the North, but what about the South? Does Midtown end at 14th Street, 23rd Street, or 34th Street.? (I usually vote for 23rd Street, to split the difference.)

But even if we can’t figure out exactly where Midtown is, we can all agree that it’s full of amazing things to do. Some people think Midtown is too crowded with tourists, but I say those people just haven’t figured out how to have fun in Midtown yet.

So allow me to take you on a day of adventure while we explore Broadway, the Japan Society Museum, and dine at some of the best restaurants in New York. Let’s get started right away!

best things to do in midtown nyc

Best Things to Do in Midtown NYC

How To Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a set of rare antique Playbills. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to New York City so you can find the best things to do in Midtown.

However, if you need to take a plane or car to get to New York City, I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight or car rental, depending on how you want to get around. Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight or car rental, so you can head out to find the best things to do in Midtown ASAP.

best things to do in Midtown NYC

Best Things to Do in Midtown

Where to Stay?

If you’re a tourist in New York City, you’ll probably be staying in a hotel while you explore the best things to do in Midtown. I mean, maybe you have a kind relative who will let you crash in their spare room, but that kind of space is rare in Manhattan.

I recommend staying in the Artezen Hotel in Lower Manhattan. It’s very easy to get to the best things to do in Midtown from here. Seriously, it’s so close that you can easily walk from the hotel to the tour on the beginning of this itinerary. Plus, the rooms are affordable and cozy, and there’s free snacks, coffee, and fancy bath products in your room.

staten island things to do

If you’d like a convenient and affordable hotel in NYC, click here. And if low prices and a great location scare you, just click here. This search engine will help you find the best hotel in your price range for the dates you are visiting NYC and looking for the best things to do in Midtown.

Best Things to Do in Midtown

What to Pack?

  • Comfortable and adorable sandals for strolling around the best things to do in Midtown
  • Stylish boots because the weather in NYC can be a little unpredictable, and you always want to be prepared if it rains while you’re looking for the best things to do in Midtown.
  • A cell charger so you can take photos of all the best things to do in Midtown.
  • A light rain jacket with a hood if it’s fall or spring
  • An umbrella that is tough enough to stand up to aggressive NYC winds. (Fun fact, in NYC the wind yells, “I’m walkin’ here!”)
  • If you’re looking for a guidebook to NYC, this is my favorite choice.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
  • We’re going to be learning a lot about Broadway today, so if you want to get more of the hot goss about the restoration of the old theaters, check out the book Razzle Dazzle.
  • And if you’re more of a musical nerd, I recommend the book Anything Goes about the history of musical theater in the US. It’s way cheaper and easier to get than a ticket to Hamilton!
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded during your trip without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by a ghost that haunts Broadway theaters while you’re exploring the best things to do in Midtown
best things to do in midtown nyc

Best Things to Do in Midtown

Morning: Broadway’s Beginnings Tour

It’s a cliche to say that native New Yorkers like me tend to hate Times Square, but it’s a cliche that happens to be true. But the one exception to that hatred is Broadway! We love New York’s theater scene: everything from splashy musicals to serious new dramas.

Obviously you should see a Broadway show when you’re in New York, but what about during the morning? That’s when you can check out a tour of Broadway run by the wonderful company Broadway Up Close. I recommend the Broadway’s Beginnings Tour to understand how this one part of New York City became the greatest theater district in all the land.

The tour is run by Broadway professionals who are full of energy and knowledge. They’ll show you around properly, so you’ll be able to see much more than…

Approximately Top 5: Broadway!

best things to do in midtown
1) The Nederlander

The Nederlander theater is named for one of the three groups that owns most of the theaters on Broadway: the Nederlander, the Schuberts, and the Jujamcyn.

Apparently the original Mr. Nederlander producer wanted to try to start a thriving theater district in Detroit, Michigan. (This idea seems sillier now than it did back then, when Detroit was the thriving center of the automobile business.) Nederlander was not successful, so he ended up having to come back to New York City and work on Broadway just like everyone else.

You might be wondering why the theaters are called Broadway when most of them are not literally on the avenue we call Broadway. A Broadway theater just means one of the 40+ theaters in NYC that has at least 500 seats. Smaller theaters are called Off-Broadway, or even Off-off-Broadway.

best things to do in midtown
2) The New Victory Theater

Each Broadway theater has a fascinating story, and I can’t reveal all of them to you here. You’ll need to take the tour and discover them for yourselves! But the New Victory Theater is one of my favorites. It started as a highbrow theater showing classy dramas, but apparently those didn’t draw much of a crowd.

So the New Victory was purchased by the notorious Minsky family who turned it into a burlesque (strip) club. The most famous stripper of all time, Gypsy Rose Lee, even performed here.

Eventually the theater was shut down, until the former strip joint got reopened as…a children’s theater! I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere, but I’m not exactly sure what it is.

best things to do in midtown
3) The Selwyn Theater

The Selwyn Theater doesn’t really exist anymore because it has now been converted into the American Airlines Theater where the Roundabout performs its shows. However, the Selwyn had a pretty hilarious backstory, which I would be delighted to share with you.

Once upon a time the Selwyn was showing a bizarre play called Information, Please. This show, which I can’t find a copy of online, apparently had offensive political messages and was terrible to boot. The men who ran the Selwyn tried to bribe the critics into giving it a good review, but this didn’t work. However, the critics were sufficiently bribed that they wrote articles praising the beauty of the Selwyn Theater, even if they couldn’t bring themselves to praise the show.

After these articles, crowds started showing up, wanting to see a show at this beautiful theater, but of course there was nothing to offer them. So instead, the theater owners turned their palace into a gorgeous movie theater. And the moral of this story is that bribery sometimes works.

best things to do in midtown
4) Eltinge Theater

Here we have another theater that doesn’t exist anymore! This ceiling used to be part of the Eltinge Theater, and it was named after a female impersonator named Julian Eltinge. Oddly enough, he never actually performed a show in the theater named after him, but he is honored by having his face included in the mural you see above.

The Eltinge is now part of the AMC Empire movie theater, and it’s a great example of how even demolished Broadway theaters have been recycled. There was a developer who wanted to build this modern movie theater at the site of the Eltinge, but because the Eltinge was landmarked, he needed to use the historic facade as part of his building.

If you go inside the AMC Empire, which is free of charge, you can see the creative ways in which they made this old theater part of a fancy new movie palace. It’s eco-friendly and beautiful at the same time!

Best Things to do in Midtown NYC (Approximately Top 10) 5
5) The Belasco

There are so many great theaters on this tour; believe me that I didn’t even include half of all the stories you’ll hear. But let’s finish with a haunted theater: The Belasco. The Belasco is supposedly cursed, and it usually lies empty. Our guide said that apparently the only shows that do well here are ones with a connection to Shakespeare, like the production of Hamlet starring Ralph Fiennes, aka Lord Voldemort.

However, it’s gorgeous inside because the Schuberts, who own the theater, suddenly had to pay for expensive renovations at one of their theaters to avoid getting hit with a bunch of back taxes from the IRS. (Yup, Broadway producers can be a shady bunch.) So do go inside and check out the stunning interior if you get a chance.

best things to do in midtown

Best Things to Do in Midtown

Afternoon: Japan Society

The Japan Society is truly one of Midtown’s hidden gems and definitely one of the best things to do in Midtown. If you’re looking to escape the crowds of Broadway and head some place serene and beautiful, this is the place to do it. The Japan Society is dedicated to all aspects of Japanese culture: language lessons, film screenings, theatrical performances, you name it.

But they almost always have a fascinating museum exhibit up and running, so I recommend heading to that for this best things to do in Midtown itinerary. I can’t guarantee what show will be up and running when you’re in NYC, but I can help you out with…

Three Fun Facts: Japan Society

best things to do in midtown
1) What About Lunch?

Glad you asked! Since we’re going to the Japan Society, why not stop at Japanese ramen restaurant Hide Chan, which is in between the end of our Broadway walking tour and the Japan Society?

I suggest getting the ramen lunch special, which comes with a choice of side item. I chose the California roll because the ramen is quite filling, we have a big dinner ahead of us, and this is the lightest option.

best things to do in midtown

And here’s our main event: the classic ramen. It comes with succulent pork, scallions, and mushrooms. Just look at that delectable layer of fat on top! Can you wait to gobble that all up? You can choose between straight or wavy noodles, but I suggest wavy because they are more fun to chew.

best things to do in midtown
2) What kind of shows are at the Japan Society?

The last show I saw there was on Japanese carpentry, which is a lot more interesting than it sounds. The exhibits explained the incredible level of craftsmanship that goes into these words. Japanese carpenters often make their own tools, use only locally sourced wood, and can fit their joints together without using any extra pegs! Wow!

best things to do in midtown

Can you imagine making all of these gorgeous tools by hand? I certainly can’t. I get unreasonably impressed with myself when I manage to head to the hardware store and buy something instead of just ordering it from Amazon.

best things to do in midtown
3) What Else Is There to Do at the Japan Society?

Tons! You might be able to go to a Japanese craft beer tasting, where you can have beer made using ingredients like wasabi and matcha. There are various talks and presentations on everything from the fine art of Japanese gardening to specific kinds of Japanese cooking, like the casual food you might find at a kissaten. (The food talks are the best because you usually get snacks afterwards.)

There are also many different types of plays and performances here. I recently went to a socially distanced “virtual reality” play, where the audience members took on the role of a guest at a bizarre restaurant run by an Extremely Creepy Man. Naturally things took a disturbing turn.

But my favorite part of the show is that Japan Society employees would run around with fabulously fragrant food to enhance the impression that we were really in a restaurant. (Sadly, this time we did not get to eat the snacks.)

best things to do in midtown

Best Things to Do in Midtown

Evening: Dinner at Aquavit

After you’re done at the Japan Society, you’ll probably have some time to kill before dinner. So why not stroll around and window shop at the famous stores like Bergdorf Goodman’s and Tiffany’s? You might not be able to afford a Ferrari, but they can’t stop you from looking in the shop window and taking a quick snap with your camera! That’s just science.

After you’ve done all the browsing you desire, head to Aquavit for dinner. This Scandinavian gem is run by one of the best female chefs in the country, Emma Bengtsson. You’ll need to make reservations ahead of time, but it is worth it!

best things to do in midtown

At Aquavit, you can order either a la carte or a pre-set tasting menu. I always opt for the tasting menu because it’s wonderful to eat tons of delicious food without making any decisions.

Our tasting menu will start with an amuse bouche bite like this smoked mackerel tart topped with a pea shoot salad and smoked egg. Eat the whole thing in one bite; it tastes of pure mackerel.

best things to do in midtown

Some would call Aquavit a New Nordic restaurant, which means it features Scandinavian food that actually tastes good and isn’t lutefisk. And every New Nordic restaurant is going to have amazing bread cooked with traditional Scandinavian techniques. Here we get two choices: Danish rye jam-packed with seeds and a hay-smoked sourdough.

Both are delicious and you can eat as much as you want of them. Lucky you!

best things to do in midtown

For our first real course, we have squid marinated in miso with English peas, pickled rhubarb, and three different kinds of roe. (Aquavit tends to go very heavy on the seafood.) The main thing that stood out about this dish was that the squid was so soft! I often find calamari chewy, so I don’t know how they got it so tender.

The contrasts in the dish were also pleasing with the sweet peas, salty roe, and sweet-sour rhubarb. So far we’re off to a great start!

best things to do in midtown

For our next fish course–it’s raw halibut! That sounds gross, but it’s actually amazing. The halibut was served in a sweet-tart little salad of lingonberry, chamomile, and white peach. The pure flavors of the halibut really shine through when it is served raw. I had never thought of trying it, but now I want to eat it again and again.

best things to do in midtown

Here we have the main fish course: charcoal grilled black bass with mussel hollandaise, collard greens, and a Japanese black butter turnip. This dish was extraordinarily rich, especially with the Mussel hollandaise and butter on the turnip. But because of the bitterness of the collard greens and the turnip, the richness isn’t overwhelming.

Hollandaise is so yummy; more restaurants should try experimenting with putting different ingredients in this sauce. I know I would definitely eat a chocolate hollandaise.

best things to do in midtown

And finally a non-seafood dish! This is a Long island duck served green strawberry butter, herbs, and fresh summer squash. This duck was a joy to eat because everyone knows that the best part of any fowl is a perfectly crackly exterior, and this was so perfectly crusty, especially with the green strawberry butter over the whole duck.

Duck is usually served with fruit, but I’ve never seen it served with green strawberry before. And combining the green strawberry with butter was especially clever. Nothing’s better than a dish that tickles your mind as well as your tummy.

best things to do in midtown
24 Hour Treasure

Here we have the most famous dish on Aquavit’s menu: the Arctic bird’s nest. Do not worry! No real nests were used in the making of this dish. It actually made with chocolate instead of dirt and blueberry sorbet. The egg shell is made from white chocolate and stuffed with goat cheese pretending to be the egg while, and sea buckthorn as the yolk.

This dish could not be more fun to eat! It’s just as pleasing to the stomach as it is to the eye. Plus, it’s sweet but not too sweet. The perfect choice for a Scandinavian dessert! And the perfect end to our day of the best things to do in Midtown.

That’s the Best Things to Do in Midtown

What do you think are the best things to do in Midtown? How many pictures can I take of the Ferraris before they get mad and chase me away? Have you ever eaten a bird’s nest for a dessert before? Please email me at [email protected] and let me know.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 Hours with the best things to do in Midtown.

And there’s a million other things to do in New York City aside from the best things to do in Midtown. Want to spend Christmas in New York? With the Brooklyn Bridge? What about 24 hours in Manhattan? How about the Bronx? Or the best museums in Manhattan? I’ve got you covered here!

1 Perfect One Day in Helsinki Itinerary


Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to this one day in Helsinki itinerary. I have a tendency to think of Nordic countries as always having been wealthy and prosperous. Of course, this is far from the case. The many Swedish and Norwegian immigrants who came to the United States in times of famine can attest to that.

But perhaps no Nordic country has had a more complicated history than Finland. And what better way to learn about Finnish military history than with a visit to the Suomenlinna Fortress? Join me for this one day in Helsinki itinerary, and we will tour Suomenlinna Fortress, find some ghosts, and smell what the Rock Church is cooking.

one day in helsinki itinerary

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

How to Get There

Now, I wish I knew where you lived, Internet Stranger, because I could send you a box of the finest reindeer ears. But sadly, I do not, and so I can’t tell you exactly how to get from your home to this one day Helsinki itinerary.

But I can tell you that you can use an airplane to get to a large city like Paris London, and then take a shorter flight to Helsinki. I recommend Expedia for the best way to find the cheapest flight to Helsinki at the best time of day.

You can even use Expedia to rent a car so you’ll be all set when you arrive at your destination. (I can’t drive, but if you can, this must be helpful.)

Just click here to start looking for the best possible deals on your flight, so you can head out on your one day in Helsinki itinerary.

one day in helsinki itinerary

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

Where to Stay?

It can be very expensive to have a one day in Helsinki Itinerary. Not because the city is dirty or dangerous, as it’s clean and incredibly safe. The problem is that Helsinki, like many other Scandinavian cities, is quite expensive. And I wanted to spend all my money on Michelin star restaurants, not hotels.

So if you’re on a budget, but don’t want to share a room with strangers, I suggest the Yard Hostel. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the staff is extremely friendly. They even helped collect my bag when AirFrance lost my bag. Also the location couldn’t be more convenient. You don’t want to waste any of your one day in Helsinki itinerary commuting.

Click here for a great deal on this hotel! And if you’d rather explore almost 1000 other hotels in Helsinki, click here.

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

What to Pack?

  • The weather isn’t always nice, so you want to be prepared with these Waterproof boots as well during your one day in Helsinki itinerary
  • A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your one day in Helsinki itinerary
  • The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, or British like I am not, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics in Finland.
  • A rain jacket with a hood because there is a 99 percent chance it will rain at some point during your one day in Helsinki itinerary
  • An umbrella that can stand up to a stiff breeze or a rogue reindeer during your one day in Helsinki itinerary.
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
  • My favorite guide to Finland.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age, and you don’t want to get stranded in a foreign country without help. You never know when extreme weather will strike or some other emergency. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by some Finnish trolls during your one day in Helsinki itinerary.
Suomenlinna Fortress Wall helsinki itinerary

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

Morning: Suomenlinna Fortress

Suomenlinna Fortress is a World Heritage Site that dates back to the 18th century. Just wandering around, you’ll learn how Finland transferred from Sweden to Russia back to Finland again. And one of the best parts of visiting Suomenlinna is getting there! For this one day in Helsinki Itinerary, you’ll take a 15 minute ferry ride that leaves from the centrally located Market Square.

one day in Helsinki itinerary

You can basically see the whole city from here!

Once you arrive at Suomenlinna Fortress, I recommend stopping in the Suomenlinna Museum and buying a ticket for the walking tour. A ticket for the Ehrensvard Museum is included with the price of admission. Your friendly Finnish guide will teach you much more than…

approximately top 5: suomenlinna fortress

one day in Helsinki itinerary
1) Fortress Walls

You really can’t miss the walls at Suomenlinna Fortress. They are all around you! Suomenlinna was originally constructed by the Swedes back when they were occupying Finland in the 1700s. The Swedish name for the place was Sveabard.

When the Russians took over Finland in the early 1800s, they kept the name, even though Sveabard means “Sweden’s Castle”. However, when Finland finally got control over their own country, they renamed it Suomenlinna, which means “Finland’s Castle.”

As with any fortress, these walls have seen a lot of drama in their day. They were even used as Russian defense against the British during the Crimea War. Our guide pointed out that they were also used as defense against a more common enemy: the wolf. I definitely would see a movie about a group of Russians and Finns trying to keep a bunch of zombie wolves at bay during the Crimean War. It could be called Crimean and Punishment.

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2) Piper Park

And now we come to the most amazing ghost story ever told. Apparently there was a rich girl and a poor boy on Suomenlinna Fortress who fell in love. But their love could never be! So they did the really sensible thing and tried to drown themselves in this park.

The boy drowned straight away, but the rich girl was kept afloat by her poofy skirts. She was rescued by a gentleman, and apparently he was a dashing one because she…fell in love with him and married him instead. Now apparently the park is haunted by the ghost of the poor drowned kid.

I have so many thoughts! The first is that I bet this was that rich girl’s plan all along. Second, does that ghost haunt the park just singing “Love Stinks”? If not, he should. Also, why has no one made a movie of this story? It’s basically Titanic if Kate Winslet had only been pretending to be in love with Leonardo DiCaprio so she could drown him and get rescued by a dashing sea captain and have his babies.

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3) Ehrensvard Museum

Once the tour is over, take advantage of the free admission to the
Ehrensvard Museum. Ehrensvard was a Swedish commander who tried to improve conditions at Suomenlinna fortress. Apparently there were no Swedes who wanted to come here because there was nothing to do except fend off wolves and get drowned by mean, rich girls.

So Ehrensvard livened up the place by having dances and inviting artists. He is buried in a place of honor on Suomenlinna Fortress. Many Finns don’t speak very highly of the period of Swedish occupation, so it’s impressive that Ehrensvard is well-regarded by many Finnish people as being a decent and cultivated man.

Sadly, as you can see from my photo above of the interior of the Ehrensvard Museum, his family very tragically had no faces. It’s amazing that they were able to accomplish so much despite not having basic things like a nose or eyes.

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His son was the only member of the family born with a face. No one knows why. Maybe it skips a generation.

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4) Cafe Vanille

At this point, if you are anything like me, you’ll be getting hungry. Cafe Vanille, on Suomenlinna Fortress, is an affordorable (affordable/adorable) place to get a bite to eat. I partook of a flaky meat pie and a buttery apricot cookie. These are both convenient treats to wrap up and take with you, so I imagine that the people patrolling Suomenlinna could have taken them as snacks to go as well. (Except for Ehrensvard and his family because they didn’t have mouths.)

I’m much luckier than the patrolmen on Suomenlinna though, even if they did have meat pies, because I get to eat mine on these heart shaped plates. Also I don’t have to worry about being eaten by wolves every night.

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5) Suomenlinna Church

The Finns sure love their churches! This was the fourth church I had seen in Helsinki. (And the best is yet to come.) Suomenlinna Church used to be Russian Orthodox, but it was converted into a Lutheran Church after the Russians left. It was designed by the same architect who designed the Kremlin Palace in Moscow. One fun fact about this church is that it also doubles as a lighthouse. That seems like a metaphor somehow.

You can definitely go inside the church, but I spent most of my time trying and failing to get a good picture of the exterior. Sadly this dumb tree kept blocking my way. Stupid tree! I wish a wolf would eat you!

one day in Helsinki itinerary

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

Afternoon: Temppeliaukion Church

Suomenlinna Fortress is a pretty big attraction, so you’ll probably spend more like a morning and half the afternoon there. But what can we possibly do with only a half-ternoon on our Helsinki Itinerary? Well, no attraction in Helsinki can pack a big punch in a short amount of time the way Temppeliaukion Church can.

This baby, which is explicably known as the Rock Church, is hands down the most intriguing of Helsinki’s many churches. Allow me to intrigue you further with…

three fun facts: Temppeliaukion Church

one day in Helsinki itinerary
1) How Old Is This Church?

The Rock Church (I get tired of typing Temppeliaukion over and over) dates back to the 1960s. However, the Helsinkians had tried to build it much earlier in the 20th century. Unfortunately little things like “losing all their money in World War II” got in the way.

Even in the 1960s, there were some people who felt that Helsinki shouldn’t build such an expensive church. Students protested by writing Biafra on the building site. (Biafra was a location in Africa that was experiencing famine. The students felt that the money should go there instead.)

Finnish student protesters are so polite! All the political graffiti I saw in college was way more angry and graphic. You would never find anything more polite than Buck Fush.

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2) Is that really a rock?

The Rock Church is no optical illusion. It’s actually carved out of the rock itself. The church is lit only by natural light, which is very eco-friendly. Going inside the church feels like entering a secret tunnel. Perhaps it’s how the early Christians felt, meeting in caves with only the natural light to guide their services.

Of course, the early Christians didn’t have a giant copper ceiling or 500,000 visitors every year like Temppeliaukion Church does, so there are some key differences.

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3) Are you ready to Rock Church?

Not only does the Rock Church have amazing natural light, it also has flawless natural acoustics. That’s why Temppeliaukion Church is such a popular place to hold concerts. I guess it brings new meaning to Rock and Roll! HAHAHAHA! (Actually, I think all the concerts here are classical or religious music. But I can never pass up a terrible pun.)

one day in Helsinki itinerary

One Day in Helsinki Itinerary

Evening: Fine Dining

Nordic cuisine has come such a long way since the days of eating cured reindeer meat whilst holed up in a fortress, praying that the wolves would not slay you this night. I could not resist the opportunity to try the freshest Finnish produce at Juuri.

Note: Juuri has since closed, so I suggest dining at a different Helsinki fine dining restaurant instead, like Gron.

Allow me to take you through a journey of Finnish ingredients, as I take you through my tasting menu. We begin with a cocktail made from lingonberry and vodka. This is the most Nordic cocktail possible. Lingonberries are a tart berry that are insanely popular in Nordic countries. The lingonberry even features prominently in the Finnish epic Kalevala.

one day in helsinki itinerary

Next came a leek and potato amuse bouche. This was like a vichyssoise if you took out all the soup. A mild and pleasing start to the dinner.

one day in helsinki itinerary

The first sapa was an egg served with buckwheat and fennel. Before I went to Finland, I wasn’t aware of the connection between Finland and Russia. It’s not surprising to find ingredients in Finland, like buckwheat, that are so popular in Russia. I thought it was cute to serve it with a chicken egg when buckwheat is normally served with fish eggs.

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24 Hour treat: horse meat

This next dish will be the most controversial. That’s right, it’s horse meat. You can’t eat horse in the United States, so this is my first experience with this dish. It was completely delicious! The meat is very low in fat and flavorful. It was served with a rhubarb pickle that added just the right sour note.

I was never one of those little girls who liked horses because a horse bit my shoulder once at a petting zoo. (I didn’t see it come up behind me.) Now I am the one who bites the horse!

one day in helsinki itinerary

The soup course was a cauliflower soup served with an omelette. This was very soothing, and is also as white as a marshmallow caught in a snowstorm. Or as white as all the white on white art I saw in the Ateneum Museum.

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24 Hour Treat: Arctic Char

I was so excited to find arctic char in Finland because I love its vaguely salmony taste. I had never eaten it outside of the West Coast of North America before. It was served here two ways: tartare and cooked. Alongside it was salsify, which is a kind of root vegetable found in Finland that tastes like an oyster. The main kinds of produce that grow in the wild in Finland are berries and roots because of the climate.

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The meat course was an upscale twist on a Finnish comfort food: pork belly. Instead of being served with mashed potatoes, this was presented with semolina and a celery puree, which made the whole dish much lighter. I don’t understand why the upscale versions of things always seem to have less fat in them. If I’m paying more money, I want more fat! That’s just science.

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24 Hour Treat: Finnish cheese

I was delighted by this tiny cheese course because after all the sapas, I couldn’t handle a full sized version. I’m afraid I don’t know the names of these cheeses except that none of them are Finlandia. One cheese was hard, white, and milder, while the other was a stinky blue. They were served with a carrot and mustard jam, which I really dug.

I’m a big fan of surprising flavor combinations, and I liked the sweetness of the carrot with the slightly bitter and tangy mustard and salty cheese. If I tried to replicate this at home, I’d probably just smear mustard on a Babybel cheese and stick a carrot into the whole thing because I am lazy.

one day in helsinki itinerary

I mentioned that there’s not a ton of fresh fruits in Finland, so they get a little creative with the dessert. This is spruce sprout served with yogurt and a cucumber sorbet. I had never eaten spruce sprout before, though I imagine it’s a less controversial ingredient than the horse flesh. It had a pleasantly citrusy taste.

And I was also a fan of the cucumber sorbet. You eat with your brain as much as with your mouth, especially if you’re like the Ehrensvard family and you were born without a mouth. So that’s why I like to eat surprising dishes, like sorbet made from odd ingredients. (Though technically a cucumber is a fruit. That’s just science.)

That’s a one day in Helsinki Itinerary

What would you do with a one day in Helsinki itinerary? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Helsinki? Did that rich girl murder that poor boy, yes or yes? And how did that family of Swedes survive for so long without faces? Please leave your thoughts below.

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a one day in Helsinki itinerary. If you have time to add another one day in Helsinki itinerary, try this itinerary.