Something Swedish

Visiting Stockholm

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For a list of things to do in Stockholm, scroll to the bottom of the page.

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I’ve been living in Sweden for three years, visiting for six, and yet have never made the trip to the capital until last weekend when a friend invited me along for the ride. While we didn’t have time to go to any of the museums or see many of the sites, we had fun nonetheless.  Stockholm seems to have a lot to offer when you have the time.

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After a 6 hour car ride we arrived at 3:00pm,  exactly ten minutes before the only thing we planned to do – a 90 minute boat ride. Our guide explained the history and significance of buildings and statues as we glided through the water with the beautiful view of Stockholm’s quaint skyline on the horizon. If the weather would have been better we would have seen it all during sunset, but it was grey skies the whole day. Still, Stockholm was beautiful.

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By the time we made it back to land around 4:30, it was dark and we were freezing (because of course when everyone went back inside the boat after 15 minutes, we stayed on the roof for an extra 30 soaking in the sites…and the frostbite)

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So, we walked towards the only thing we recognized, the royal castle, and darted into the first nearby café we found. It was cozy, the beverages were warm and the pie was delicious.  Little did we know that everything would be closed by the time we headed out again, being 5:30 on a Sunday.

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Café from Day#2, Chokladtoppen

Luckily we were more interested in walking around and looking at the buildings anyway. We wandered around taking photos of everything while laughing at nothing.

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My favorite part was all of the winding  side alleys.

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All the while, I made mental notes of everything I wanted to do when I came back (preferably during better weather).

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Eventually it was time to eat and go back to our hotel, we had more traveling to do the next morning. Stockholm at night and Stockholm during daylight are two very different things – both picturesque in their own ways. After about an hour of re-exploring the area around the castle it was time to go; my friend’s sister had a plane to catch and we had another 6 hour drive ahead of us.

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After doing research for this visit (naively thinking we would have more time), asking Something Swedish readers for advice on Facebook, and actually being there and getting a feel for the city here’s my list.

Some things to do in Stockholm:

Museums:
The Vasa Museum: See a ship that sank in 1628 on her maiden voyage (due to having too many canons) right outside Stockholm and was salvaged in 1961. Due to the low salt content in the water on the west coast on Stockholm the ship remained well preserved and is an incredible and unique piece of history.
The Nobel Prize Museum: Take a journey through the past 100 years of extraordinary ideas, inventions, discoveries, initiative and courage that has molded the world we live in.
The ABBA Museum: The one thing everyone knows about Sweden in ABBA, so why not learn more about them and “experience the feeling of being the 5th ABBA member”
The Museum of Spirits: Also known as the Absolut museum, this is a chance to mix  a liquor tasting with history and art of “Swedish people’s bittersweet relationship to alcohol”.

The Medieval Museum: A free underground exhibition that gives you a taste of history, from architecture to daily living.

To See:
Gamla Stan “The Old City” The original city of Stockholm before it expanded. This is where we spent all of our time/where all these pictures are from.
The Changing of the Guard Watch the ceremonial tradition outside the royal castle
Skansen World’s oldest open air museum displaying Sweden’s traditional culture and architecture
Stockholm’s Subway Art  90% of the subway stations are decorated with art (sculptures, mosaics, paintings, engravings) by over 150 artists, some worth a special trip to see.

To Do:
Boat Tours We did the “winter tour” but will certainly be back to do another, the bridge tour is supposed to be magical.
Hot Air Ballooning A unique way to experience Stockholm
Ice Bar Who doesn’t want to get drunk while in a winter coat, drinking from an ice glass and sitting on an ice chair?
Stockholm Improv This is supposed to be a very funny improv show about being a foreigner in Sweden.
Skyview on top of The Globe Get a great view of the city by sitting on top of the largest hemispherical building in the world. Or go inside the globe to watch some ice hockey!

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7 thoughts on “Visiting Stockholm

  1. We went to Stockholm in mid Spring and it was perfect as not to many tourists but not too chilly either.

  2. It’s to bad you are so far away from Stockholm. I’m lucky enough to live 20 minutes from the city center, but I rarely go sight seeing anymore.

  3. Don’t forget the Moderna Museet. Many of the iconic works of modern art are there because only Sweden appreciated many of the modern American masters like Rauschenberg. Best way to see Stockholm is to get a 3 day Stockholm Card and get in places for free. Done that 2 or 3 times and it is a blast each time. Oh, and don’t forget Gröna Lund!

  4. Beautiful photos, Meghan. They make me dream of a return to trip to Sweden . . . .

  5. Glad you are enjoying your life in Sweden miss you Aunt Mary

  6. i’m from tunisia, since i was a kid, going to Sweden is a dream for me.. i love this country, i hope if i can visit it, or live there, it’s a very beautiful country

  7. Dear Meg

    I am writing on behalf of Newcomers, a Stockholm based relocation company. We enjoyed reading your blog and wondered if you would be interested in guest blogging for us.
    We have a new section on our website called Expat Stories where you can read about other expats’ relocation to Sweden. We would be delighted if you could share some of your experiences of moving to and living in Sweden with us – and fellow expats.
    We would appreciate if you could have a look at our website http://www.newcomers.se and let us know if this could be of interest to you. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that you might have.
    We look forward to hearing from you.
    Best regards

    Anne Pihl
    editor@newcomers.se
    http://www.newcomers.se

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