A Personal Guide to Europe: Stockholm and Amsterdam

Over the past ten days, I had the amazing privilege to travel to Europe for what I considered my post-graduation summer trip, although evidently very delayed! I started my vacation with a few days in Stockholm, Sweden, followed by a flight to Amsterdam, Netherlands and a final quick stop in Hamburg, Germany.

Fortunately, I had quite a few recommendations from personal friends, social following, and travel blogs on specific places to see in each city, so I thought I would compound my own little list to share on my recommendations after my ten day visit!

Stockholm, Sweden:

This city is absolutely charming and beautiful! I chose this as one of the cities to visit because based on my understanding, it’s not much of a tourist city (at least compared to London and Paris) and of course, one of my all-time favorite artists Avicii is from this lovely town. I stayed here for four days, but I believe three days is just enough as well.

*Getting from the Airport to Center City – I was lucky enough to have done my research ahead of time and figured out the best way to get to my hotel from the airport, which is through their train known as Arlanda Express. You can purchase tickets in advance online or simply buy it at their stand in the airport as you’re exiting. For anyone under the age of 26, it is discounted to 165 SEK (about $16 USD) compared to the regular adult price of 220 SEK.

*Gamla Stan – this is the “old town” part of the city and it’s a must-see, no matter how many days you’re visiting. Personally, it was my favorite part because it had such a quaint small town vibe to it, yet definitely had a unique city feeling. The cutest coffee shops are around here and definitely a great spot for photos because of the scenic environment and landscape 🙂



*Sodermalm – located one “island” over from Gamla Stan and is known for being a very boho and shopping area. This part of the city is perfect for exploring, grabbing a drink, and maybe even checking out nightlife.

*Barrels Burgers and Beers – a lot of the food options in Stockholm are focused on burgers for some reason, but this place is probably one of the best, if not the best spot for burgers. They have delicious options, along with vegan or vegetarian choices, plus the beers are great too. I am not much of a beer drinker, but when I do, I prefer something that is not too bitter and I went with a Radler, which I would recommend for anyone that is like me and not much of a beer lover 😉

*Scandic Continental – definitely go here during sunset for the most beautiful view and landscape of the city and a nice drink. Unfortunately, my friends and I didn’t have the best experience here since the service was extra slow with only two bartenders, but I still think it’s worth it, mainly for the atmosphere. Also, this hotel has a great workspace area in their lobby for those who want to bring their laptop and sit down with a coffee/drink and get some work done.

*Drottningholm Palace – this gorgeous and serene palace is where the Royals actually live, which is outside of Stockholm, but absolutely stunning. My friends and I took a combination of a metro and bus, which was super easy to map and it took about 25 minutes from where we stayed, near the center city. If you’re visiting the city for a few days, I definitely recommend spending a day here because the landscape is gorgeous and simply can’t be beat. Also, if you’re a student, you receive a student discount when visiting the palace.




Amsterdam, Netherlands:

This city was definitely quite the beauty and one that I’ve had on my travel list for awhile now. I spent technically five days here, but really it was mainly four, which I felt like was the right amount as well. If you’re 21 and older and plan on visiting, I definitely recommend to experience parts of the nightlife there at some point, in which you’ll probably want to visit sometime between a Wednesday and Sunday, so plan wisely!

*Getting from the Airport to Center City – just like most major European cities, it is cheapest and easiest to get to your hotel/stay destination by train and/or metro. My friend and I took both the train and metro which took about a total of 25 minutes and the stop was right near our hotel as well, which was convenient. We took the train and then transferred to a specific metro route, since that was the best way to get to our destination. Based on what I saw, it seems like most hotels are near/around metro stops as well, so the walk should not be more than five minutes.

*Prinsengracht Canal – this canal area was one of my favorites and also along/around nine streets, which is where all the cute shopping and boutique areas are. I found it very easy to take photos around here, with every corner being extremely aesthetic and photographic.



*Open Boat Canal Cruise – my friend and I did the general blue boat canal cruise/tour that was semi-open and had about 80 people on, but I genuinely wish we knew about the open boat canal cruise option instead because that would have been more of a unique experience in my opinion. Nonetheless, I highly recommend doing a canal ride at some point during your visit and definitely aim for an open boat canal if you are able to 🙂

*Pluk Restaurant – there are two Pluks in Amsterdam, with both being only one street away from each other in the nine streets shopping area. Both are extremely cute with the best aesthetic for photos (lol sorry, just gotta love it)! Also, if you’re the type to prefer healthier foods and juices, this spot is also a perfect fit for that.



*MOAK Pancakes – this spot was recommended to me by a friend from Chapman, which definitely was worth it! The pancakes are delicious with many unique options (and healthy ones as well). The juices are also incredible and I highly recommend to get one (I got the Green Apple) if you are into that.

*W Hotel Amsterdam – my friend and I went here for drinks at their rooftop restaurant and bar, since their lounge was closed for a private event at the time. But, both have beautiful views of the city and this spot is such a beautiful and classy hotel, so I enjoyed this experience. The food and drinks are on the pricier side, but if you are willing to splurge on one of the days, I’d say this is definitely the spot to do so for good drinks and an incredible view of Amsterdam.




Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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