I’ve been to the Swedish capital of Stockholm multiple times now, all of which have been with my family – mainly consisting of following my sister’s direction and plans, due to her previously living there for a year.
This time, I was taking Eesh as a Christmas present, thus taking all responsibility and planning. Fortunately, once you are familiar with the different areas of the city that are important for tourists, it can be quite easy to navigate.
I chose to stay in the Elite Hotel Stockholm Plaza, as not only was it a lovely hotel that I had stayed in before, it was also located in the centre of the city.
Everything in Stockholm is within walking distance, sometimes it may take 40 minutes, but its still easily achievable. If walking isn’t for you, then the Metro/Underground the easiest and most affordable alternative. The travel cards, which provide unlimited use of the Metro, trams and boats, can be purchased as a 24 hour pass at 130 SEK, equating to just over £10, or a 72 hour/ 3 day pass at 260 SEK, equating to just over £21.
The Metro can definitely be daunting at first, but if you’ve planned your routes and familiarise yourself with the names of stations and areas, then take your time and it is no different to any other country’s metro system.
Our first day involved a walk through some of the main streets of the city, before getting the Metro over to Slussen, and visiting the Fotografiska – the photography museum. The Fotografiska constantly changes its exhibitions, and each time I’ve been they’ve been pretty amazing. The exhibitions not only provide information about each picture, but information about the photographer, their reasons behind their collection, and even additional videos of the making of the collection. I highly recommend visiting, as like myself, I wouldn’t usually go to a photography event, but this was certainly worth it.
For me – someone that loves animals, the Skansen Zoo was a must. It prides itself on holding traditional Nordic animals, and featuring such animals in different areas to represent different parts of Sweden in which they come from. Again, a word of advice is that with snow, some animals, such as the wolverine and the brown bears, were either harder to see, or were actually hibernating… On the other hand, it was great to see the Wolves sprint through the heavy snow.
Another must is exploring Gamla Stan. Also referred to as the Old Town, this a top tourist location, as after all, this is where Stockholm was founded. Thus, what better location to hold the Royal Palace, which is a remarkable visit. Gamla stan is also ideal to relax and explore with its vast amounts of restaurants, cafes, museums and shops. The huge amounts of coffee shops not only in Gamla Stan, but all over the city serves the Swedish cultural tradition of fika. Fika involves not only coffee and cake, but a time to stop, relax and socialise.
However, for those of you that are more into shopping, Stockholm does not disappoint. Drottninggatan is a large shopping area, with a huge street dedicated to retail shops and department stores. The area, of course, includes many coffee shops and restaurants as well.
During our visit to Stockholm we tried to vary our eating as much as possible. Like most large cities, Stockholm hosts vast amounts of chain and independent restaurants, catering to a variety of cuisines. Having turned vegetarian in recent months, it was already going to be a struggle to find food options, and we most likely gave up on the idea of trying the traditional Swedish meatballs. We did however, during fika, try both the Kanelbulle – a cinnamon role, and a Kladdkaka – a chocolate cake.
Overall, the holiday to Stockholm was great. Like everywhere we’ve been so far, it provided us with an insight into a new and pleasant culture. There is lots to do, and whilst we were perhaps limited to some things with the harsh snowy weather, we would happily visit again in warmer weather to maximise on the Swedish experience. Based on our experience, I would perhaps suggest that it would be better to go in such warmer weather, however the cold time of January did allow us to experience cheaper prices and less busy attractions – always a positive!!
Not many people think of Stockholm as a first choice location for a holiday. I’d like to think that this post will show that the city of Stockholm certainly has unique, cultural attractions and traditions that intrigue the typical tourist. If you have any more questions or would like any advice for travelling to Stockholm, feel free to contact me!
I hope you like this post on my travels to Stockholm, Sweden.
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