‘Mys’ is the Swedish solution to winter blues: here’s where to find it in Stockholm
What do warm blankets, the aroma of freshly baked pastries, and a crackling fireplace have in common? They all embody that universal feeling of comfort that transcends borders and languages. In fact, there are a whole host of words scattered across Northern Europe, each describing the concept of cosiness in its unique way. The Danes have their beloved hygge, the Norwegians cherish kos, and the Germans hold gemütlichkeit close to their hearts. But in Sweden, where the winters are longer, darker, and colder than most, we’ve elevated the art of comfort to another level with mys.
The word “mys” (pronounced mees) can be loosely translated to “cosiness” or “snuggling” in English. It represents a feeling of warmth, contentment, and relaxation, often experienced in the company of loved ones, with good food, and in a comfortable environment. it’s a lifestyle. It’s a celebration of life’s little joys, wrapped in warmth and togetherness, and It’s woven into the very fabric of Stockholm. These are some of our favourite places in the Open City to experience mys during the winter season:
Christmas Market at Skansen
Skansen’s Christmas market has been a beloved tradition since 1903, and it’s often regarded as one of Europe’s finest. Here you’ll find stalls selling anything from traditional treats, sweets, and artisanal delicacies, to leather goods, embroidery, and children’s toys. It truly is a feast for the senses.
The entire open-air museum transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, especially when it’s blanketed in snow. Stroll through cobbled streets lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings, interact with friendly farm animals and costumed characters who tell forgotten tales, and cosy up in old-style cafes where the warmth of a crackling fire and scent of cinnamon evoke the purest feeling of mys.
The Vasa Museum, with its legendary 17th-century warship that famously sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628, is a must-visit destination in any season. However, during the winter, it takes on a different kind of charm. The dimly lit halls surrounding the ship create an ambience that’s both awe-inspiring and strangely comforting. The museum’s well-thought-out design and intimate settings provide a unique space to appreciate history while feeling snug and sheltered from the cold outside.
Swedish mys is all about the art of finding comfort, warmth, and togetherness in the simplest of moments, and nowhere is this ethos more alive than at The Hills. Situated in the lively neighbourhood of Götgatsbacken, Södermalm, this charming LGBT-owned brasserie & bar serves mainly French food with Scandinavian influences, and boasts a carefully curated wine list with organic wines from around the world. Designed by Jonas Bohlin, the restaurant’s cosy interior weaves soft lighting, rich textures, and thoughtful furnishings to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for savouring mouth-watering food and cherished moments with loved ones.
Separated from the bustle of Stockholm by the tranquil waters of the surrounding archipelago, Hotel Skeppsholmen is a masterclass in the art of mys. This award-winning boutique hotel, housed in an over 300-year-old building, boasts comfortable, elegantly designed rooms, equipped with all desirable modern comforts, and gorgeous garden or sea views.
Långa Raden, the hotel’s restaurant, takes mys to a culinary level, serving up some of your favourite comfort foods, like Swedish Meatballs with lingonberries and potato puree – a heartwarming classic. And for dessert, Tarte Tatin made with handpicked apples from the hotel’s very own garden. As a bonus, during the festive season, the restaurant also hosts a Christmas buffet that’s sure to get your sleigh bells ringing.
As the temperatures plummet and winter tightens its grip, we often yearn for a more hands-on approach to embracing mys – one that involves the literal touch of expert hands to melt away the tension brought on by the cold. The perfect solution can be found at Dagmar Spirit & Retreat, the wellness centre at Stockholm’s fashionable ‘it’ hotel, Villa Dagmar.
This holistic wellness centre offers a range of treatments, including full-body massages, lymphatic body treatments, facials, reflexology, and the unique experience of sound healing, to leave you refreshed, revitalised, and ready to embrace winter with a newfound sense of mys.
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