My last school trip did not actually happen while I was still in school but only a couple of weeks ago when Visit Sweden and Air Berlin invited me to join a “Klassresa” (apparently this means “class trip” in Swedish.) to Gothenburg and Stockholm. Along with my blogger buddies class mates from Mit Vergnügen, I heart Berlin, I love Ponies, Lachsbrötchen, JustTravelous, Tripwolf, Musikexpress, Intro, Stylespion and LesMads we took off from Berlin TXL airport to our first stop Gothenburg on a Friday morning. Although school days are long gone and nowadays I’m used to just travelling alone or with a friend, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this group trip, thanks to a great program and lovely bunch of people.

We spent a few gorgeous days in Sweden and got introduced to some quirky little shops, comfortable, loungy bars and quite unusual museums – but before I get into introducing some of my favorites to you in more detail in upcoming posts, I’d like to leave you with a little round-up of the whole weekend along with some of the snaps I took throughout the trip.

First stop: Gothenburg

We flew to Gothenburg with Air Berlin who spoiled us with B’n’B (Breakfast and Bubbly) during our flight, something I wouldn’t mind having on every flight to be honest (anyone taking notes?). After a short bus ride to the city center from Gothenburg’s Airport to the Avalon Hotel we dropped off our bags and then immediately stormed the rooftop terrace to enjoy an incredible first view over the city.

It’s fair to say that Gothenburg is the Amsterdam of the Swedes, so we ditched walking and buses and took a boat through many of the city’s channels to get a first impression. While passing by small bridges, nice houses and cute little boats, people were waving at us from benches and parks on the waterside. I enjoyed the real life cinema until we got to a tiny little obstacle: In front of us was a bridge that was only about 80CM’s over the waterline. To actually get to Gothenburg’s harbour, we actually had to lie down inside the boat to fit through the low bridge. On a real school trip, this would have been the point, where one of the boys does some sort of kamikaze last minute stand up move to impress the girls. But I guess even boys grow up at some point and so we made it to the port without any further incidents.

One of the things you will notice when arriving at the port, apart from huge container- and battle-ships, is a striking red building (see above) which is charmingly named “Läppstiftet” (lipstick) by the locals of Gothenburg and is actually an office building with a rooftop café.

After a short lunch break at da Matteo, a coffee place they say is the best in the whole country, we spent the afternoon strolling around the city center, visiting the Nudie Jeans headquarters and some Swedish shops before the majority of the class and I opted for a little siesta back at the hotel, inspired by the laid-back atmosphere in Gothenburg and the soft sheets at Hotel Avalon.

Photo by Matze Hielscher | Mit Vergnügen

Energized by our power nap and a great dinner at Familjen (where I got to taste some delicious lamb filets and a rhubarb dessert, which wouldn’t be our last during the course of the whole trip) the whole class got out to explore Swedish nightlife. Gothenburg is famous for its underground party scene which is in fact so underground that we had a hard time finding it. Instead we headed over to “Port du Soleil“, a night club right by the harbour. After a short confusion about the flashy lights, acrobats hanging from the ceiling and Eric Prydz as the headlining DJ, we dove into the diverse party crowd and danced until our feet wouldn’t dance anymore.

Photo by Matze Hielscher | Mit Vergnügen

The following day, before packing our bags and leaving for our next stop Stockholm, we had a quick visit at the Design Museum, where we got a perfect insight into Swedish furniture, poster and fashion design through the ages. The designer in me would have loved to steal buy some of the striking items to pimp my flat with home in Berlin…

Second stop: Stockholm

Arrived in the Swedish capital, we checked into the Scandic Malmen, a hotel that doubles as a bar and night club, right in the center of Stockholm’s hip quarter Södermalm. While the cozy lobby transforms into a bar at night, the breakfast area turns into the dancefloor where you can compare your moves to those of the locals. This year, you can even borrow an electric guitar to let go of your inner Jimi Hendrix up in your room.

We spent the rest of the day at a different hotel of the Scandic group – the Scandic Grand Central, close to Stockholm’s central station, where we were welcomed with a lovely dinner and a screening of Germany’s first Euro ’12 game. Setting for the latter was the hotel’s very own “Blogger’s Inn”, a hotel room only for bloggers, equipped with everything a blogger’s heart desires: an Ipad, tripod, card readers, magazines and so on. If you’re a blogger and wish to stay at the Scandic, simply put in a request to stay in that same room for free on their facebook page.

Photo by Matze Hielscher | Mit Vergnügen

New day, new adventures. After a little sightseeing tour (by bus this time), a stroll through Grandpa, a design store in Stockholm’s hip quarter “SoFo” and lunch at Urban Deli which I will both talk about in detail very soon, we were left to enjoy a free afternoon to walk around the city, take a few snaps, lounge around one of the many cafes, eat an ice cream and watch the beautiful locals (the rumors about the Swedes are true!).

Together with Yvonne and Thomas I took a walk around the old town Gamla Stan, which is really beautiful and crowded at the same time, but a perfect place to buy a postcard of the Swedish Royal Family for the loved ones at home.

After watching the guards at the Royal Palace, we hopped on the ferry over to Gröna Lund, the city’s very own amusement park over at the seaside of DjurgÃ¥rden island. The park was built in 1883 and contains over 30 attractions, both old and new and hosts many concerts during summer, such as Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop and The Hives. The entrance fee is around 10€ and if you chose an all day pass it costs around 34€, all rides included.

Once there, clearly we couldn’t miss to take a roller coaster ride for about 5€ . Can you spot our screaming faces?

Eventually we all regrouped over at Fotografiska, the museum of contemporary photography to see a stunning and in the same time disturbing exhibition of Sally Mann, which you can enjoy until the end of September. But a school trip just would not be a school trip with only one museum per city so we headed over to the Sprit Museum, the Museum of – yes – alcohol. Here we met Nadja who introduced us to Swedish drinking culture and led us through the museum with interactive installations that have you taste different types of vodka, together with samples of chocolate or fish – yes, fish.

The journey ended with dinner at the museum at sunset and a stroll through Stockholm’s bar scene before we all returned, with some reluctance, home to Germany the next day.

Goodbye Sweden, Tusen Takk for having us!

Photo by Matze Hielscher | Mit Vergnügen

Thanks to all my lovely class mates, who made this school trip revival so awesome and to Visit Sweden and Air Berlin for inviting me!

This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at