I live in Stockholm’s ‘Little Manhattan’

Photo by Alessandro Ripellino

I moved to my flat in Gröndal/Liljeholmen in Stockholm, in 1999. It was in a rundown area and the building itself was looking rather tired and worn. Built in the early 1940s it had not been renovated since then, and still has a nuclear bomb shelter in the basement.

The area is beautiful though with the lake on one side and a little forest on the other, with the city centre 15 minutes away by public transport. From my flat I can take the boat, the bus, the underground or the tram to get into the city centre, where I work.

I bought the flat about 4 years ago with great reluctance. After having lost my home when my parents died and I was too young to inherit, had no legal guardian and was a ward of the state, I NEVER wanted to own a house.

But it was converted to tenant ownership/condo and in the end I had no choice. Something weird then happened – something which has never happened to me before. The area became trendy. The value went up. ENORMOUSLY. About a year ago the apartment was valued at triple what I paid for it and housing prices are rising. Since then I have a new balcony, new windows and doors and a facade renovation.  I expect the housing bubble will burst but it won’t make any difference to me as I just want a nice home to live in with my cats and my plants.

I was amused to read an article in the local paper calling Liljeholmen The Manhattan of Stockholm. It is so popular nowadays that they cannot build outwards so they are planning on building upwards. Skyscrapers!

Here is an architect’s impression of how the new buildings will look. You can see why Stockholm is called Beauty on Water – it is built on 14 islands. I have put a red arrow on the photo above to show where I live. On a little peninsula right by the third biggest lake in Sweden, Mälaren. Its area is 1,140 km² and its greatest depth is 64 m. Mälaren spans 120 kilometers from east to west. I love it!

The blue arrow above shows the bridge where the tram crosses. Below is a photo taken from the tram of where I live. Blue arrow on the photo below shows where I live. Aren’t I lucky?


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. Fascinating! I own an apartment in a 1939 building which sounds similar to your home; I rent it to a tenant now but envision living there someday. I am definitely more of an apartment person than a house person. We have a gigantic apartment on the upper two levels of a victorian house and it is lovely but so big and so much maintenance.

  2. My Aunt lives here also! She has lived there a very long time! Great location! Who knew it would become so trendy!!

  3. What a great place to live. I am enjoying seeing Stockholm as I doubt I will ever get to see it in person. I would love to hear more about your “flat.” We use that term in the USA but it seems to have different meanings depending on the city. Is your flat an entire single floor in the building? (Sad to read what happened to you when you lost your parents.)

    1. Thank you dia – it happened when I was young but you never get over it completely I don’t think. There are two flats on each floor. Apartments are not generally big in the centre of big European cities so it is just two bedrooms, a walk in closet, living room, kitchen and bathroom with a balcony. Just the right size!

  4. Most importantly, Janet, does it feel like ~home~ to you? Blooming where you’re planted, so to speak? I think the answer is yes, based on your previous shares about it. 🙂

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