We first heard about Stockholm’s love for dogs from our friend, the artist LJ Roberts, who has brought their chihuahua mix rescues, Sparky and Ziggy, to the Swedish capital several times. Meatballs, Spotify (which makes their own playlists for dogs), and snow! These are all things from Sweden that Artemis loves. So, over Christmas, we went to the Stockholm archipelago (did you know it’s made of 30,000 islands?) and explored the dog-friendly venues of the Scandinavian city. It was very cold, so we packed Artemis’ favorite shearling coat, which looks a lot like luxury Swedish brand Acne Studios’ famed shearling jacket for humans.
First things first, some ground rules about Stockholm for dogs:
- Dogs are allowed on public transportation, but they need to be leashed. Furthermore, you need to keep dogs in the compartment designated to be dog friendly. The marking is small but clear: On every train, there is at least one compartment with a drawing of a dog without a slash over it. Use that one. The ones with the slash through the dog are off-limits (although we’ve seen this enforced loosely).
- There are abundant dog parks here, which is great for active dogs, and local Swedes do take advantage of them. The ones we’ve seen are fairly large and very clean. (We would expect nothing less from Scandinavia.)
- Are restaurants dog friendly? It depends. Some of them, including very nice ones, are. You could call and ask; almost everyone speaks English. A lot of places that prohibit dogs strictly will post the same sticker of a dog with a slash over it on their front door. I’ve had no problem walking into coffee shops for takeout coffee with Artemis, for example.
Despite the cold, we loved exploring Stockholm over the holidays. (They take Christmas very seriously over there.) We especially loved fika, which is the Swedish coffee break that always involves sweets of some sort, and always involves socializing with colleagues or friends. With a little digging, you can find opportunities to enjoy fika with your dog, too.
Here are our favorite #ArtemisApproved spots in Stockholm:
Ellios Hund & Katt in Östermalm
Erik Dahlbergsgatan 18, 115 32 Stockholm
This pet care shop saved us when we had a poop bag emergency. We were very impressed with the variety of brands available, including many sustainable and local brands. We loved coming in here to buy Swedish-made freeze-dried wild boar (an invasive species so much so that some Swedes eat Christmas wild boar instead of Christmas ham).
Broms in Östermalm
Karlavägen 76, 114 59 Stockholm
This café-bistro is the perfect brunch spot, and we were definitely not the only ones who thought so: It was full of shiny people of all ages, some of them with their dogs, all of them with exquisite outfits. Artemis sat at my feet while I ate salmon sashimi and looked out at beautiful people (and dogs). The front of the restaurant is a café where you can buy gourmet microwaveable meals like coq au vin and get a flat white to go. Great for picnics, we imagine. Yes, you can have fika with your dog here.
Acne Archive in Vasastan
Torsgatan 53, 113 37 Stockholm
In search of an Acne Studios jacket that matched Artemis’ favorite shearling coat, we visited Acne Archive, which features past collections from the Swedish luxury brand, as well as re-sewn pieces, all at a discount. They were happy to have Artemis in the changing rooms with me, and didn’t mind when she sniffed around all the shoes I couldn’t justify to buy. And if you’re a true crime enthusiast, this is worth a stop: It is the location of the 1973 bank robbery and hostage crisis that coined the term, “Stockholm syndrome.”
Dog Bakery in Vasastan
Odengatan 100, 113 22 Stockholm
This is one of the first dog bakeries in Scandinavia, and it has a Scandinavian touch to its dog treats. For example, there were freshly-baked treats crafted to resemble traditional saffron buns. Artemis went for the bag of heart-shaped gingerbread treats and enjoyed the water bar, just for dogs. This is a great place to come socialize your puppies, and they even host dog parties here. Yes, you can have fika with your dog here.
Österlånggatan 17 in Gamla Stan
Österlånggatan 17, 111 31 Stockholm
We loved eating in this casual restaurant and bar so much, we went here twice for their veal meatballs. It is located in Old Town, surrounded by colorful medieval buildings, a few minutes away from The Royal Palace and several museums. You will definitely visit this area of Stockholm if you’re a tourist, and this is one of the best restaurants in the area. It’s not expensive, it comes highly recommended from locals, and they are very happy to accommodate dogs. Our second time here, we sat next to an older Swedish man with his sweet Pit Bull.
Il Caffè in Kungsholmen
Bergsgatan 17, 112 28 Stockholm
For breakfast, we frequently walked to Il Caffè, a grungy-looking coffee shop that makes great coffee and sells a variety of pastries, including saffron buns and cardamom buns, two delicious Swedish sweets. It was never crowded and we always got a corner table in the back of the roomy shop by ourselves. There was fast WiFi and electrical outlets, and I often came here with Artemis to get work done in the morning. There are several locations around Stockholm (all dog-friendly) and even one in Los Angeles (not dog-friendly). This is a great place for fika, which is a Swedish coffee break that involves sweets of some sort. Yes, you can have fika with your dog here.
Stockholm City Hall in Kungsholmen
Hantverkargatan 1, 111 52 Stockholm
Dogs are not inside, but the real draw of this Stockholm landmark is the waterfront exterior anyway. This is where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held, and the building itself is considered one of the foremost examples of Swedish romantic architecture. Come at night to enjoy the view with your pup.
Stockholm Palace in Gamla Stan
Slottsbacken 1, 111 30 Stockholm
This royal palace located conveniently in Old Town is an official residence of the Swedish Royal Family. While dogs are not allowed inside for the tours, they are allowed in the courtyard outside, where you can take photos of them with the Royal Guards in the background. (We saw many dogs there!) The main official residence of the Swedish Royal Family is Drottningholm Palace, which is about 40 minutes from Stockholm on an island of its own, and built to resemble Versailles. Dogs are allowed on that island, though not inside the Palace!
Konstnärsbaren in Norrmalm
Smålandsgatan 7, 111 46 Stockholm
For a Swedish royal experience that your dog can actually have, come to this dignified restaurant founded in 1934. The Swedish Royal Family eats here regularly, though we don’t know if they bring their dogs, Brandy and Siri. The décor hasn’t changed since then, except for the murals painted by some of Sweden’s most prominent artists over the decades. When we had dinner here, we were surrounded by middle-aged businessmen wearing fleece vests and carrying briefcases, but the ambiance wasn’t stuffy or pretentious at all. The salmon here was, unsurprisingly, one of the best salmons I’ve ever had. And judging by the bites I snuck Artemis, she agrees.
Nordiska Kompaniet in Norrmalm
Hamngatan 18-20, 111 47 Stockholm
Nordiska Kompaniet is Stockholm’s Saks Fifth Avenue, and like Saks, well-behaved dogs are allowed on leash. The four-story building sells all the global luxury brands you’d expect: Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Off White, Balenciaga, and more. But we went for the Byredo counter, since it’s a Swedish luxury house. The moment we walked over, Artemis started rolling on the ground, trying to get more of the scent on herself. (Good taste!) While we were there, there was a popup for Denjo, a Swedish dog retailer, where we bought this red velvet bow tie from German brand, Cloud 7.
Royal Djurgården in Djurgården
Djurgårdsvägen 2, 115 21 Stockholm
Djurgården is the island of Stockholm where you will find most of the must-see museums, from the Vasa Museum that contains the 17-century ship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 to ABBA The Museum dedicated to one of the most important pop groups in history. It is also home to Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum featuring reconstructions of various eras of Swedish life. (Highly recommended for both kids and adults!) Of course, none of these museums are dog-friendly. But Djurgården itself is very dog-friendly—historically, it had been hunting grounds for the King. These days, there isn’t any hunting, though you can find people on horseback and dogs going off-leash on the trails. Furthermore, there is a large dog park here (search for the “hundrastgård,” which means dog park), if you’re nervous about letting your dog off-leash around the island! (There are very few cars, but still.)
Flickorna Helin in Djurgården
Rosendalsvägen 14, 115 21 Stockholm
So, you make it out to Djurgården for a day of wandering old hunting grounds with your dog. But you’re hungry and not all the restaurants, especially the ones filled with tourists, are dog-friendly. That’s okay, because Flickorna Helin is worth a stop even if you don’t have a dog. This cozy café is located by the waterfront and happens to be housed in a fairy tale-like building (it even has a turret!) called Skånska gruvan (“the Scanian mine”), which is one of three remaining pavilions from the 1897 Stockholm Exhibition. It was built by a mining company, but now it serves hearty sandwiches, sweet pastries, and barista-made coffee. Most importantly, you can cozy up with your dog here. Yes, you can have fika with your dog here.
And finally, for a taste of Scandinavia…
Hugo & Celine ox liver-flavored ice cream might not sound delicious to you, but I got this from the ICA Supermarket chain several times, and Artemis would have finished the entire container in one sitting if I didn’t stop her. (Like mom, like daughter.) The ice cream is made from all-Swedish ingredients and organic meats, and frankly, is probably healthier than any ice cream I’ve been binging. Instead of normal sugar, they use a bit of coconut sugar and agave syrup.
Raw for Paw freeze-dried treats are made of 100 percent organic meat sourced from Sweden, and it comes in cardboard packaging, which makes it eco-friendly. We bought the Wild Boar and Wild Reindeer treats and shared them with friends back in America.
Photography by Satu Cahaya Langit