Your definitive guide to the best Scandi capital
This is a nice job, and the individual choices seem pretty good. However, I disagree on the final judgment for Copenhagen over stockholm. Stockholm's Old Town is much much better than anything in Copenhagen. More importantly, for those of us interested in public administration, the various 1960 Swedish planned suburbs, each with different personalities and reachable by Subway, are a highlight of any trip. I don't believe there is anything in Copenhagen like the Stockholm area around Sergels torg, with Sixties modernist skyscrapers and a real sixties vibe. I may be wrong about this, because I don't know copenhagen as well, but Stockholm has a great hipster area in the South of the city where the girl with the dragon tattoo novels took place.
Having done both cities twice and not being a nightlife kind of guy at all, I gotta say that Stockholm is my favorite city by far between the two. It is as a matter of fact my favorite city in all of Europe with the cities I’ve been to as of today. 😀
I live in Stockholm and agree with your assessment from an American-abroad perspective--including that Copenhagen is slightly cooler.
However, one critique: why the throwaway both-sides-ism of granting both cities supremacy on their hometown food thing? Meatballs are very Swedish and smørrebrød is very Danish, obvs, and it would have been VERY spicy to find a superior version of on or the other on the wrong side of the Öresundsbron/Øresundsforbindelsen. But why not try for a everyman culinary crown that both countries vie for? No Swede is going to argue that they do stegt flæsk better. But they will fight you about sausages. Maybe you could whether Danes do kiosk hot dogs better? I don't feel as qualified to deliver a definitive statement about the relative merits of baked treats in Denmark vs. the Swedish goodies, but I must say that the latter are very very good.
Another battle round could be a Tivoli standoff. Denmark's pleasure parks are the OG version. So, this is hard to beat for Sweden.
Lastly, you could introduce another variable that matters a lot for life in both cities: weather! Neither of them is a tropical paradise, but they do have quite different weather. Do the slightly longer hours of sunlight in the depth of winter in Copenhagen counteract its generally "meh" weather, otherwise? I personally prefer more snow (even at the expense of a little lower temperature) to make things cozy in the winter and the unremitting grey, rainy weather of the southern flatland gets me more. Despite the shorter winter days, Stockholm is the sunniest Nordic capital, overall.