The capital of Sweden, for long periods of time capital of the entire nordic region and definitely beautiful Scandinavian metropolis. Spread across 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges the water is ever present in the city. And that is for good.
Hey friends, I know it’s been long, long time since I posted last time. There was a lot of work-school stuff going on. That in turn made me too tired to write and do more creative stuff. But that’s hopefully gone and I will bring you more stories from the trips now.
You already know from my last post that I went to Stockholm during my spring Erasmus semester in Tallinn. You also know about our accommodation adventure so today it’s time to get out to the city. We decided to walk almost everywhere since our plan was to stay in the center. If you come to see things that are further apart you can easily use the public transportation card.
As you've probably already figured I plan my trips rather vaguely so that I can improvise and decide where to go and what to see on the fly. Stockholm trip wasn't any different. Each of us had an idea about what we wanted to see and free walking tour seemed like great thing to do to get an idea what's where. You can choose from different walks there so I am sure everyone can pick favorite one. Ours was around the Gamla stan island and it's nearest surroundings. It was nice intro to the history of the city and a great way to see where interesting things are and where people are :D. It's about two hours long which I think is about the right time. In Helsinki it was more than three hours and despite interesting it was too long.
With cool intro to the city which served as a nice orientation behind us, let's get into six interesting places you can visit in Stockholm. For sure there is much more to see, but we had just one weekend there.
Let's start together in Gamla stan, which basically means The Old Town in Swedish ;). It's the most historic part of the city and also place where Stockholm became a thing. Couple hundred years ago, in 13th century to be clear, one can find first mentions of the city, which at that time referred to just today's Gamla stan. Thanks to the fact it's the original Stockholm you can find here lot of historically important buildings. The biggest and most exciting being the Royal Palace. I am not going to dive into describing it too deep, just tell you, there are bunch of different museums inside that you can visit and learn about Sweden and it's history.
Next to the royal palace is Parliament building, that pretty much has it's own island. Interesting thing is that the political representatives seem to be quite close to people here, not trying to hide away.
Continuing our tour of Gamla stan you can see Riddarhuset, a meeting place for old nobility and Riddarholmen church with see through spire, that is used for burials and has parts dating all the way to 13th century. From here you can get nice views of the Stockholm city hall, which plays important role in the Nobel prize ceremony. Speaking of Nobel, you can visit Nobel museum in the center of Gamla stan. With too many interesting things to mention them all, I'll give you one advice. Don't be afraid to get lost on this beautiful island filled with history. It's not that big and you will find some cool hidden gems that it surely has to offer.
Modern art evening time
With the evening coming it was time to head to some museum. Checking out Royal Swedish opera house and the Stockholm marina on the way we decided to explore the Modern art museum island. It has free entrance, otherwise I probably wouldn't give it a shot since I usually don't get modern art. In the end it wasn't any different this time :D. I must say thought it was fun to discuss and weird out a bit about the artistic pieces.
I just mentioned the museum is on another little island, right? Well Stockholm is city on dozens of islands and honestly, it's super cool that way. Anyway with night already in and possible views to the city from here it was time to explore the coast of the little island. As expected, we found bunch of views.
With that view we called it a day and went back to our hostel. Being hungry and tired after the day of walking we were very happy for kitchen with comfy sofas and our brought in dinner :).
For the other day we didn't plan much and also we decided to split into two groups. Juraj and Zuzka went to have fun together and Flora and myself went to see the Skanzen and see what else we would find.
Shortly after passing by the Royal Opera, Royal gardens park and Berzelii park we stumbled upon an Army museum wit free entrance and exhibitions about fighting from prehistoric times all the way to contemporary conflicts. One thing was clear between all those interesting historical instruments and battles. We humans have invented very effective ways of killing each other.
Coming from Czech Republic and having learned about the wars during middle ages it was interesting to read and see how those events influenced Scandinavia. Especially because we studied the war where Swedes were invading central Europe, but never actually got into looking more to the north and how it was there. Definitely recommend to visit and learn something new every day.
With heads full of history lesson it's time for some outdoors time. Skanzen time! The fee for the skanzen is about 10€. I know it's pricey but there are interesting insights into peoples lives, there is a little zoo in there and on top of that it's on a hill so viewpoints! Yay :)!!
Around the skanzen you can visit many different type of buildings used for living as well as workshops or churches. Some of them were open with locals showing the original hand crafting methods of blacksmith or carpenter. I must say that I really like these type of places, where you can see how things were done. Actually as a side note I would love to see castle being build without all the tech we have today.
Despite the days were already getting quite long it was still early spring and evening brings very cold temperatures here up north. I did say goodbye to Skanzen with Flora at one of the viewpoints where you could see the Globen ice hockey arena. For those of you who don't know it's actually part of a country wide "sculpture". What I mean by that you ask? Well Globen is part of scale model of our Solar system where sizes as well as distances are made in the same scale. That is actually very rare for Solar system models. Why? Well because when Globen is representing the Sun, then the representation of Earth 65cm in diameter is 7.6km away from Globen. Anyway once I need to come and see all of the pieces of it :D.
Swedish history museum
For the last day of our stay we decided to walk a little around the city to just feel the atmosphere of it and finish the day in history museum on the way to the port.
The museum was free to visit and it's huge. There is no way to see everything at once. It covers everything from the Vikings to very recent history. From time of renesance to prehistoric era. You name the era and you could find something about it here. Many archaeological items as well as many models of places, villages or workshops.
I definitely recommend this one if you are interested in any part of history. And even if you are not but the weather is not nice, you can come here and explore to find if there is something interesting in history for you. Or you can also try out some pieces of the exposition by yourself ;).
Before heading to the ferry and back to Tallinn I want to show you one more "thing" to see in Stockholm. It's actually not a single place or building. It is the city's metro system, which is doubted the longest gallery in the world. See below why...
There are many more interesting stations and even tiny details in those above mentioned stations, but if I would list all of them it would get too long and it would take all of the surprise away from you. So get out and go exploring ;).
If you are looking forward to the end of the story I must disappoint you. There is going to be one more catch to all of it but that's story for next week ;). Until then have a great time and don't forget to come back for the surprise ending of the story.