On Friday 9th June my best friend Ell and I embarked on our next travel adventure, jetting off to Stockholm for 4 days and 3 nights. After visiting Barcelona in April we wanted to plan another short break because we had the best time away! I think once you start travelling to different places you definitely catch the travel bug and that's what happened with us, so we decided on Stockholm. Sweden is a country I'd never really known much about or had much interest in, however Ell had always wanted to visit so I thought 'Life's too short, why not just go?!'

Friday morning came and we both awoke early, got to the airport and hopped on the 2 hour flight to Stockholm. We'd decided to catch the Arlanda Express train into Stockholm from the airport which was so easy! I would highly recommend using it if you're travelling to Stockholm, it costs around 300 Sweidsh Krona/£24 for a return ticket but is a direct link and only takes 20 mins, plus they were the fanciest trains I'd ever seen! We were staying in the Generator Hostel in Normalm which is the city district in Stockholm, we were only a 10 minute walk away from Central Station so it was great for us. Stockholm is known to be expensive but if you stay in a hostel, it really does cut your price down. We had a private twin-bed room which was basically up to the standards of a hotel, it had plenty of room for two and the beds were so so comfy! 

We got ready and headed out to explore Stockholm city. We didn't have any plans this day as we didn't get out until around 4pm so we simply wanted to find some nice food and get our bearings. Honestly, I couldn't really tell you where we walked but we wandered down streets, over bridges and onto the different islands. As we were walking into Gamla Stan, we heard a rush of music as if we'd just entered a night club. Next thing we know there were about 5 or 6 trucks filled with students (I think) covered in paint, wet through and all have the time of their lives dancing and singing to music. I feel like it must have been some kind of University summer tradition, who even knows but it was like Leeds festival had been brought to Stockholm in trucks, it was pretty funny! 
My first impression of the city was completely different to what I expected, the architecture was a lot more European than I had imagined and the lay out of the city baffled me. I'd describe as a bigger, more sophisticated and superior version of York in a weird way but overall, I liked it.

After a long day of travelling and exploring, we somehow pulled ourselves together and went out on Friday night. 
***Pro tip to anyone wanting to drink alcohol when they visit Stockholm, buy it in Duty Free at the airport and drink it in your room!***
Alcohol is SO expensive in Stockholm and also quite hard to buy. We're both 19 and in certain shops you had to be over 20 to buy it even though the legal drinking age is 18. To compare prices a single Vodka Lemonade from a cheaper pub in Stockholm cost me 89 Swedish Krona which is around £7, I can easily get a double-Vodka Lemonade for under £5 in Manchester! I mean it's a good way to prevent people abusing alcohol but it was a heartbreaking time for my bank account. 
We headed to a bar called Tiki Bar that the hostel had recommended, it was a very typical tiki style bar with exotic cocktails and fancy interior. Dressed in my purple shaggy cardigan, I definitely turned a few heads as the dress code in Stockholm seems to be rather plain but very smart and that is NOT me! 
We ended up chatting to a few locals and spending the rest of our night with them. It was so interesting to hear their perspective on the city as they viewed it so differently to us. 
One guy told us how he thinks the people are really narrow minded and boring, he even described himself that way. I got the feeling that not everyone has the freedom to be who they want to be and there are quite a lot of expectations to meet and rules to follow for the younger generation. It didn't paint a bad picture of the city, it just got me thinking about the privileges and freedom I have in my life. Of course I have been raised being influenced by a number of factors but I've never felt pressured into being someone I'm not, people have always accepted me for me and that has always been good enough. I can't imagine how it feels living to constantly try and please someone because how will you ever feel good enough? I don't know...
The locals we met were so lovely and were the perfect people to spend our first night with, we honestly had such a laugh!

Oh... and on the way back from our night out we stole a Shawn Mendes poster because we thought we needed to make our room cozy, Shawn was a great touch. 

Lucy Jane