Are you heading to Stockholm for a pre-Christmas shopping session? If so then you’re in luck! Rick from TopStretch.com has written up a handy guide for Cosmic Kick readers to ensure you get the most out of your break.
I’ve always felt a strong pull towards Stockholm, but for some reason I’ve never made it over there. I’m hoping to explore it’s history, food and cityscapes next year when I embark on the #Take12Trips challenge in 2017; but more about that later. For now, read on to get lost in this beautiful city!
About the Author:
Rick is a 15 year veteran of the health & fitness industry who spends his free time travelling the world. He has a B.S. in Natural Health Sciences and is a certified personal trainer. While travelling he enjoys meeting new people in local yoga circles and spending time at local outdoor cafés. Currently he blogs on his person fitness and wellness site, TopStretch.com, focusing on mobility, flexibility and general fitness. Rick also enjoys sampling local craft brews each night.
5 Things You Need to Experience in Stockholm
Do you have an upcoming trip to Stockholm? Great – you’ve already picked one of the best cities to visit in Northern Europe! “The Venice of the North” as some people call it has an incredibly rich heritage and falters very unique old-world European architecture. The list of things to do could go on for days – but here is our quick pick of the 5 things you need to experience when visiting Stockholm.
Getting Around Town
Stockholm has a great public transportation system and all of that attractions I’ve reviewed here are accessible by multiple forms of transit. Keep a look out for underground trains (basically the subway), buses, above ground commuter trains and even ferry service. Stockholm is also extremely accessible on foot or by bicycle.
Royal National City Park
The Royal National City Park is the world’s first national urban park. At six miles long it is a very impressive park, centrally located in the heart of Sweden. Tourists and locals alike head to the park to decompress and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. My top recommendation is to ride a bicycle through as much of the park as possible. It is almost impossible to see the entire park in one day on foot. Also gaining popularity are weekend yoga classes which are held by independent professionals for small to medium sized groups.
Wildlife also calls the Royal National City Park home – visitors can expect to encounter dozens of varieties of birds, foxes, deer and sometimes even moose. These friendly critters make use of the beautiful oak trees, babbling brooks, lakes and other unique land forms.
The Vasa battleship, or the Scandinavia Titanic, was built to head the Swedish Imperial Merchant Fleet. Unfortunately, in 1628 after years of construction the Vasa sunk on its maiden voyage! The ship lay beneath the depths of the sea for over 300 years until it was salvaged by a Swedish non-profit. The ship now sits safe inside the museum that bares its name, reconstructed to the exact specifications as the original.
The museum is more than just the ship. Nine other exhibits accompany the Vasa and the museum boasts over one-million visitors every year. The Vasa is a must visit for any nautical history buff.
Stockholm also has world class shopping – but we chose to leave that one off the list because most major European cities have the same. The experiences we covered are unique to this great city.
Ericsson Globe – The Sky View
The Ericsson globe is the largest spherical building in the world and is nestled right at the southern border of the city. Attached to the outside of the structure is the Sky View, a gondola like ride that takes you 420 feet into the air where you’ll experience some of the best city views possible. This attraction is best visited only during sunny weather.
Guided tours at the Sky View last about 30 minutes and end with a nice souvenir shop and a very good Swedish style restaurant.
Skansen Open-Air Museum
Home to the Stockholm Zoo, Skansen is the oldest open air museum in the world. What makes this museum so special is the old-world charm that it conveys. This is also one of the best places to experience authentic Smörgåsbord – my personal favourite is the restaurant Solliden.
Nearly 160 building were disassembled from across the country and reassembled here creating a unique little village. The village is broken down into distinct districts including the manor district, food & bakery district, the pottery & merchants district and the most well known, the Seglora timber church district.
Gamla Stan – The Old Town
Gamla Stan is the most active and popular attraction in Stockholm. Dating back to the 1200’s this area is packed with restaurants, shops, hotels and cafés. There is no better expression of Sweden as a whole than Gamla Stan. I personally recommend trying as many of the authentic cafés as possible. Relax with a cup of coffee and a kannelbullar (cinnamon rolls) or a kardemummabullar (cardamom rolls) and do some people watching.
The architecture itself is amazing – with so many years of history just walking down the streets is an adventure in its own. Small winding streets, medieval building facades and false passageways make a day wondering around town a lot of fun. If you visit during the weeks leading up to Christmas be sure to check out the fairy tale like Julmarknad (Christmas Market).
Njut av Din Resa – Enjoy Your Trip!
There is obviously much more to Stockholm than just these five attractions but these are absolutely essential. Be sure to keep an open mind and be friendly with the locals – they are great people and love when tourists ask them questions about their city.