Blonde and BeautifulA stereotype we all love to believe, this one, disappointingly, proved only half true. However, since we're making sweeping statements here, I might as well go ahead and say that, generally speaking, Stockholm seems to have the best pick of local hotties out of all the cities we visited in the two countries. At times it did feel like everywhere we turned was another Nordic beauty - although it's worth noting that they didn't seem to be any more blonde-haired or blue-eyed than in any other city in Europe.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Stockholm is from May to October
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
We took blue line towards Akalla/Hjulsta and alighted at Fridhemsplan. Then took green line towards Åkeshov/Hässelby Strand and alighted at Brommaplan. From Brommaplan you can take bus 176 towards Stenhamra or bus 177 towards Ekerö, Skärvik and alight at Drottningholm. As per the official website “The Drottningholm Palace is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It is the most well-preserved royal castle built in the 1600s in Sweden and at the same time is representative of all European architecture for the period.” When we reached the visitor center we were told that we had missed the guided tour and the next tour was scheduled about 2 hours later. Since we had the Stockholm card we could go around the palace and its garden. The royal garden is called Chinese pavilion which is open during summers but we could go around it. In summer and autumn, place seemed to be a very nice spot for day long excursion with loved ones. The place was so beautiful that eyes and heart wanted to soak it for some more time but the brain pushed us into a bus that was leaving. At Brommaplan we spotted a McDonalds’ and decided to have an American lunch. After lunch we took the green line towards Skarpnäck/Farsta strand/Hagsätra and alighted at T-Centralen to go to our next destination Djurgården.
Stockholm City Hall
We set out for City Hall which can be reached from metro station Rådhuset on blue line towards Akalla/Hjulsta. You have to walk approx. 500 meters to Hantverkargatan 1 to reach City Hall. According to their website “City Hall of Stockholm is one of Sweden’s most fascinating and impressive buildings! You can visit the City Hall on a guided tour all year round. Since the venues can only be visited together with a guide, there are no general opening hours.” We reached City Hall just before one of the guided tours began. So were taken around the inside of the city hall with a lot of information about the building, its heritage, architect etc. It was truly amazing experience to be standing at the ‘blue hall’ where Nobel banquets are held every year. Then walk through the chambers where city council meets or the ‘golden hall’ which is made of gold. Well, some pictures again… After breath taking views outside the City Hall and other overwhelming information it was time to move towards our next destination, Drottningholm Palace.
Vasa Museet , Nordiska Museet in Djurgarden - I spent half a day in this beautiful island of Djurgarden. This island is in the middle of the Stockholm City, accessible through tram, ferry or by walking. This is a must visit place in Stockholm, I loved Djurgarden for its lush green beauty. It has many spots which are not to be missed, like Vasa Museet, Nordiska Museet, Grona Lund Amusement Park in case you are with kids, Skansen, ABBA Museum. I was touring solo, so wasn't very keen to visit the amusement park. I am also not a very big fan of ABBA group, so I just clicked a picture outside the museum. So I visited Vasa, Nordiska and Skansen. In this write up, I will only cover about Vasa and Nordiska Museet, as Skansen needs entirely separate coverage. Vasa Museet: There is a saying, that no one leaves Stockholm without paying a visit to Vasa Museet. The work 'Museet' in Sweden means Museum, as you must have understood by now. the museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, just after sailing for 15-20 minutes. A video presentation is worth watching inside the museum, it shows how it was possible to restore the sunken ship from the bottom of the sea to Vasa Museet. Nordiska Musset: is dedicated to the cultural history of Sweden from the Early Modern age. I personally loved the architecture of the Museum than what was kept inside it. One day is not enough in Djurgarden. If you also want to visit Skansen, which is an open air museum, then you need the entire full day dedicated only to Skansen. I will brief about it in my other write up, dedicated only to Skansen.
Sky View revisited We returned from Djurgården to Sergels Torg by bus 69. Then took green line from T-Centralen towards Hagsätra and alighted at Globen for Sky view. We had about an hour before we go could go up the Ericsson Globe. So, we hung around Globen shopping mall, which is next to Sky view. The Sky view adventure (that’s what they call it) started with a short ten minute movie explaining what it is, its history, the challenges, technical details etc. Then they take you to the glass gondola. What happens next, when you go up, is something that needs to be experienced to express it. Fortunately, it was a very clear and bright day so we could see the entire Stockholm city’s skyline. It was quite amusing to look at the buildings which looked exactly like the cardboard models we build for our school projects.
Royal Palace of Stockholm
History and culture is not my top favorites, but after all, this was my first ever European Palace visit. Even a person like me who is least interested in kings and queens (other than Game of thrones), tend to get captivated with the Royal essence of this Palace. To my very fortunate fortune, I happened to be here on Swedish National Day 6th June 2015, which clearly meant a special 'Change of Guards' Ceremony. At least five hundred people were gathered at the Main Entrance of Royal Palace waiting to witness this event. It started with the loud Cannon Fires which took place 3 Kms away from the Palace in the island of Djurgården. I couldn't access the place where the actual Gaurd Changing took place, all I could cover is the procession. Though I have pictures of the Change of Guards Ceremony which took place the next day. After the ceremony, everybody was allowed inside the Palace which was open to Public free of cost that day. Not to be missed in the Royal Palace Museum are: 1. The Royal Apartments 2. Tre Kronor Museum( Dedicated to the original Tre Kronor Palace in Stockholm, which was destroyed in a violent fire in 1697) 3. The Treasury 4. Gustav III, Museum of Antiquities Rest is for you to find out when you visit this amazing Palace. Do checkout the pictures attached. You will not find the pictures of Treasury section as it was not allowed to take pictures over there. Thanks Amulya
Skansen is an open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It is easily accessible through Tram. Before I tell you more about Skansen, I would like to mention this special thing about Stockholm Tram. There is only 1 Tram Line in whole of Stockholm City which is Line No 7. I have no idea why is it call line no 7, but the connectivity it offers is just superb. My Stockholm City Card made it so easy to access any Public Transport for free any time in those 5 days of my stay in this lovely city. Coming back to Skansen, its mainly divided in to Houses, Farmsteads, Zoo and Outlets for food and drinks. I preferred spending maximum of my time in Houses and Farms. It felt like I am walking through a village in Sweden 300 years back and can simply walk in to any villagers hut and ask about their well being. A Glass worker house, carpenter's workshop, an iron smith's house, comb maker's workshop, goldsmith's and upholsterer's workshop, a bakery and many more things have been entirely replicated how it would have been 300 years back. I went to a shoemakers house where he had every kind of antique equipment to do his job. A guy dressed in a traditional shoemaker's attire gave a brief idea about his work and how people used to survive back in those days. Similarly in other huts and workshops too, there were one or two individuals dressed as hut or workshop owner sharing their stories and survival techniques with the visitors. It was definitely a unique experience for me, as I love to talking to different people. And this was the experience which gives you an impression as if you are talking to people who existed 300 years back definitely had its own uniqueness to it. The crockeries, utensils, hardwares, furnitures, appliances and articles inside the huts and workshops are really worth a watch. I suggest you to go inside the huts and make sure you cover all these things. There is also a Zoo, where you can find Nordic animals like Brown Bear, Elk, Lynx, Reindeer, Wolf, Wolverine and many more. If you happen to visit Stockholm, try to keep an entire or at least half a day for Skansen. There is still lot more to come. Best Regards, Amulya
Northern Lights AB
Northern lights – god’s bonus. As we were looking back and contemplating at the eventful and exciting trip, I noticed a pink aura in northern sky. When I showed my friend , he said that one of our Finnish friends had texted that there was a forecast of Northern lights in this region. You can read about northern lights from internet if you already do not know about it. We were looking for a chance to ‘see’ Northern lights from the time we were in Finland. Well, this wish too got fulfilled. With the Northern lights as icing to the trip it was the end of our stay in Stockholm but certainly not the end of the story, so wait for the return journey.
Monteliusvägen is a few minute walk away from the Old Town and you can expect a beautiful view (especially at sunset and sunrise) of Stockholm and for free. The view of Lake Malaren and the Old Town and its typical black roofs is wonderful. There are many sitting areas along the path and it is lined by cute old little homes. It is a steep climb to get there, but only about a block long climb and well worth it. Wear comfortable shoes as the streets to get there are cobblestone, some areas even original cobbles restored.
It was very beautiful looking back onto the skyline of Gamla Stan. There was also a new Photography Museum, Fotografiska that just opened in May of 2010. It was on the waterfront in a refurbished Art Nouveau building from 1906. They claim it is the largest museum in the world dedicated to modern photograph. We thoroughly enjoyed this museum and spent several hours wandering around in it.
Drottninggatan’ is Stockholm’s beautiful walking street. The major part of the street is car-free and lined-up with numerous stores and shops. You can walk around and just at the end, it connects to Gamla stan. Once again, no one can prepare you for the experience that you are gonna have unless you do it yourself.
Djurgården, Vasa Museum, Skansa, Nordiksa Museum. We needed to take bus 69 from Sergels torg to Vasa Museum but we lost our way at City center (it’s really confusing for new visitors). After asking around we reached Nybroplan and took tram number 7 towards Waldemarsudde. The tram ride was an experience in itself. Once we reached Vasa museum stoppage we found the surrounding area of Djurgården was quite picturesque. Vasa museum according to their website is “the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world, and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures.” The ship looked amazing with its masts, high decks, sculptures etc. and for a moment it felt that Captain Jack Sparrow will holler from the upper deck. Also, the technology with which the ship was salvaged is too overwhelming.