Stockholm, Sweden
Lina, 30
Founder & Publisher at Vilja
see his Stockholm city guide

a bit about Lina

What are you working on these days?

Seven years ago – just about to turn 19 – I realized a great dream of mine by starting a publishing house in Sweden. Today I’m the founder and head of publisher at Vilja, located at the heart of Södermalm in Stockholm. Vilja is a publishing house that publishes easy reading books for people with reading disorders, or people learning Swedish. Vilja aims to make Sweden a more democratic society by contributing to integration process. Vilja’s office is not the largest in size, only 19 square meters, but still have room for me, one colleague, hundreds of easy reading books and a creative atmosphere.

What drives you mad these days?

A few things: First, people who say no. Second, negative people who have a problem for every solution. Third, people with bad energy. It’s about not surrounding yourself with energy thieves who are so blinded that they have lost the ability to see the bright side of life. I believe that optimism and hope is essential for us to make the world a better place. Make sure that you participate in making the world a better place today! The future is not just waiting for us – it is created. With the right attitude and mindset, we can shape it into what ever we want.

What makes you happy?

Right now, puppies. My best friend just bought a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Polly. She is joy, love and happiness but in a furry format. When hanging out with Polly my perspective on everyday life just change, literally. I often end up spending half of the night on the wooden floor of my friend’s apartment, cuddling with Polly. Finally, the owner and my best friend Malin, gets bored to death and we end up sitting in her kitchen window drinking beer and talking all night. Well, everyone except for Polly…

When was the last time you cried?

It was a couple weeks ago when I read in the newspaper about another boat capsizing in the Mediterranean. People risk their lives in pursuit of a safer life and a better future. To me that is just heart breaking reality. Sadly, I believe that when humanity will look back and review this period of time in history, it will be looked upon as a major humanitarian disaster. Our children will ask us: Mom, what did you do? In my opinion, it is our shared responsibility to solve this crisis. And help the nearly 60 million people that are on the run, all over the world.

What’s your latest musical obsession?

The Swedish artist AnnaMelina. I just got back from a weekend in Florence and before leaving I forgot to download my playlist to offline mode on Spotify. The only thing that was playable was the last played track on my playlist. The song is called, Sången om havet and is still playing on repeat. I just can seem to get tired of it!

What was the last movie you watched? Was it any good?

In February, my girlfriend and I went to my favorite cinema called Victoria. We saw Suffragette, I hope you have seen it. No? Then go see it now! The movie reminds us of how important it is that we never stop fighting for our rights. The movie follows the members of the women organization called Suffragettes who a century ago fought for women’s right to publicly vote in England. Since then, men and women all around the world fight for more equal societies. The struggle continues today and still it is a very important topic. Why? Well, the minute that we begin to take our rights for granted, we also risk losing them.

When it’s time for a new wardrobe, where do you go?

Oh! That time. Again?! The best place to visit when shopping is Biblioteksgatan, a shopping street located in central Stockholm. At the site most of the top Swedish brands and designers are located, Filippa K, Acne and & Other Stories. I usually start my hunt by going to Acne at Norrmalmstorg for inspiration. My second stop is at Filippa K, located just by the Acne and is a great store to find classy yet simple fashion for men and women. To often I end my tour at Other Stories, which is almost always a hit for me! Although maybe not for my wallet…

What’s your go-to café in Stockholm?

Il caffe – seven days a week. Firstly, due to the great locations of the shops. My favorite shop is located at the heart of Södermalm at Södermannagatan 23, only a few minutes from my apartment. Here you often see the creative and hipster people of Stockholm hanging out. The second best spot is located just by Biblioteksgatan, at Mäster Samuelsgatan 10. A perfect, central and trendy place to grab a coffee while shopping or having a meeting in town. I visit Södermannagatan when I want to philosophize, write and “think abstract thoughts”!

What’s your favorite street or neighborhood to wander through?

Without a doubt Metargatan –located between the Little and Great Blecktornsparken at Södermalm. The street runs alongside a fantastic park, on a small hill. It is a residential area that is absolutely wonderful and with fantastic architecture. If you are in Södermalm that’s definitely a place to visit!

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in Stockholm but never actually do?

Take the entire Sunday off and start they day by eating breakfast at Pom and Flora, located at Södermalm. Then stroll down to Skeppsholmen and visit the Moderna Museet (especially their museum shop, I have to have something booked afterwards or I’ll never leave!) And then continue the walk out around Kastellholmen. I’ll then gladly finish my walk on Restaurant Hierta where they have the most delicious bread ever!

Who’s your hero (dead or alive) and where would you take them to show them a good time?

First and foremost, I would love to invite Virginia Woolf to dinner at Berns – not the Berns as we know today – but the Berns described in August Strindberg’s well known novel The Red Room. I would like to sit next to her in the big red velvet sofa, under the great chandeliers and picking her brain on writing and what she does to create that magical feeling in all her stories. You know that feeling that takes you on a fantastic journey, beyond time and space.

If it’s been raining outside for days and you’re sick of staying in – where would you go?

Probably out running in the rain. I am a great fan of running and I love that feeling when the rain is running down your cheeks. It’s a very liberating feeling. After the jog, I would take a hot shower and grab a quick breakfast at home. Then I would visit my favorite art gallery and exhibition space, Fotografiska located at Stadsgårdshamnen 22. Located in the heart of Stockholm, Fotografiska offers a great restaurant and bar with a lovely view. Perfect spot to grab an afternoon drink, sit and hang with friends and watch the ferries come and go.

What’s that place in Stockholm you feel like only you know about?

Far out on Långholmen there is a lovely allotment area. I love to walk through the allotment area and then continue the walk into the forest of Långholmen. It is like getting a microformat piece of the Sweden nature in a second. I often go jogging out there, alone. Living in a capital you are always surrounded by people. Even when you are at home, in your apartment, you hear noise from the street or your neighbors. So visiting this epic part of Långholmen, is like stepping into the closet and come to Narnia – minus the scary animals.

If tomorrow was your last day in Stockholm before you left for good, how and where would you spend it?

In the archipelago. I would repeat one of the best days I had last summer when I went on a ferry, without knowing it’s actual destination. It was an early morning in July. I jumped of at Södra Grinda ended up spending the next eight hours sunbathing, reading and watching people. It was one of those perfect days that you see on postcards, when the water and the sky were just as blue. However, if you would to go on this great adventure I would recommend you to check when the last boat runs! Luckily I managed to get home anyways, but for a more smooth travel – grab the little pamphlet at the information office before departure.

Given the choice, mayor of which neighborhood would you be?

Well, as you might have noticed I’m totally in love with the southern area of Stockholm city called Södermalm. I think it’s hard not love what Södermalm has to offer; the perfect mix of shops, lovely heights looking over the entire city, great cool restaurants and trendy and urban people. All this, closely connected with the water and nature. Many surrounding areas are also incredibly beautiful – and the lovely part with Stockholm is that all the areas are close to the city central and easy to visit due to a great metro system.

What’s the spot in Stockholm you wouldn’t be caught dead in?

Kungsholmen. It is certainly beautiful part of Stockholm, but for some reason, I’m rarely there. Having lived in Stockholm for six years I can count the times I have been there on my two hands. To be honest, I think it is because the area doesn’t have a pulse… But if you know something that I don’t, feel free to share and I would gladly experience it and maybe even revamp my opinion!

You’ve just received the best news ever. Where would you go to celebrate and with whom?

I would drop everything and run to Urban Deli on Nytorget 4. A few years ago it was superhip, now it’s more mainstream but it is still one of my favorite restaurant and food markets in town. The people who work here all wear shirts with the message: ” Here works Jews, Lesbians, Muslims and Queers. And it works great! ” That says it all – right? Who do I chose to celebrate with? My girlfriend, of course!

What’s the thing you love doing that isn’t work, relationship or family related?

The 3 x R: Read, Run and Reflect.

When you feel like a night out, what’s your go-to place and why?

First of all; I would to call my friends and make sure that they are available. We would meet up and bicycle through the city and end up at this lovely outdoor space called Trädgården, It’s just the most fun and chilled place to go out in Sweden during the summer, it’s like a big playground for adults! They host great DJ’s, concerts and parties where you dance all night long. When reality kicks in and you realize what time it is, you happily bike home under a clear blue sky.

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