Thursday, June 15, 2017

5 Must-Have Experiences in Stockholm


I recently came across a super cheap flight to Stockholm, and although I had never really considered visiting, I couldn't resist! With its fairytale-like architecture, charming cobblestone streets perfect for roaming, and picturesque waterfront views, it was easy for me to fall in love with Stockholm.


There is so much that this city offers, that I there was never a dull moment! Here are some must-have experiences in this beautiful city:



1. Explore Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan was the first viking settlement and where Stockholm was founded in 1252. It is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe. Today, it is one of the most popular districts in the city, and full of lively cobblestone streets, restaurants, cafes, bars, and museums. It is the perfect spot for wandering and people watching.




Some of the most popular attractions there are Stortorget, which used to be one of the largest town squares in northern Europe and known for the iconic colorful gingerbread-like buildings; and the Royal Palace, which is still one of the largest palaces in the world, and home of the offices of the royal family.


2. Spend some time on a boat
Stockholm is a city built on 14 island and has more than 50 bridges, so in my opinion, the best way to see it is from the water. There are many boat tours that allow you to get a unique perspective of the city, while letting you relax and rest your feet. You can also sign up for an excursion that takes you outside of the city while you enjoy the views from the water. A perfect way to see the city, especially in those warm summer months, but there is also a winter boat tour available.



3. Enjoy fika!
Fika is essentially a Swedish coffee break, often accompanied by a sweet treat, and enjoyed with friends. It is a reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life - something we can all strive to do more in life. And in my book, any excuse to enjoy coffee and a sweet treat is a good thing! There are lots of excellent bakeries in the city, but I especially enjoyed the cakes from Vete-katten, and the cardamom buns from Fabrique.



4. Check out the subway art
At 110km, Stockholm's subway system is said to be the longest art exhibit in the world. Over 90 of the 100 stations have been decorated in some way, featuring the works of more than 150 artists. Most of these are done on a smaller scale, but some of the stations are truly breathtaking and unique works of art.


Some of the most notable stations include: Solna Centrum, Kungstragarden, T-Centralen, and Stadion.



5. Explore the archipelago
Did you know that Stockholm is also home to the second largest archipelago on the Baltic Sea, which consists of over 30,000 islands, rocks, and skerries? These islands range from uninhibited wilderness to charming little seaside towns any of the locals escape to them in the summer. Many are easily accessible by ferry, and are perfect for a little day trip.


I trekked out to Fjaderholmarna, which is closest to the city and only a 25 minute boat ride away. But other options include Vaxholm, which features a 16th century fortress; Varmdo, which is home to the international art center Artipelag; or a 3-hour archipelago tour. These are all included in the price of a Stockholm pass (more on that in a future post).

Have you ever been to Stockholm? What do you think are some must-have experiences there?


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