STOCKHOLM — Hockey fans have invaded Stockholm.

The buzz was palpable on Thursday when the NHL Global Series started with Detroit playing Ottawa at Avicii Arena in the first of four games. At the fan festival in Kungsträdgården park before the game, a "Let's Go Red Wings" chant broke out at one point.

But this isn't the only attraction in town, which the Wild had the opportunity to explore on Thursday when they took the day off before returning to practice on Friday.

Nestled on the Gamla Stan island is Stockholm's original city center, and it looks the part.

The streets are lined with cobblestones and aging buildings, the mix of shops and restaurants a charming draw, and a Christmas tree is already set up in Stortorget square.

Nearby is the Royal Palace and when I walked by on Thursday afternoon, a Changing of the Guard ceremony was taking place. The palace is the king's official residence and where the monarchy hosts most of its receptions.

This slice of Stockholm feels like a throwback to the past, and so it was an appropriate spot to partake in one of Sweden's traditions.

Fika is a Swedish custom that's essentially a glorified coffee break, a sit-down for coffee or tea with a pastry — many times a cinnamon bun.

That's what I tried when I paused the afternoon for fika; OK, I also chose the rhubarb pie, and both were delicious.

But the cinnamon bun looked nothing like what's sold at the mall in the United States: The treat actually reminded me of a pretzel, and it wasn't covered in icing. Still, it was just the right amount of sweetness; same with the pie, and both were a perfect complement to my latte.

I can see why fika is a staple in Sweden and now when I think of the country, that will come to mind — besides hockey and IKEA, of course.