Being the capital of Sweden, Stockholm is a fascinating city comprised of 14 islands connected by numerous bridges. Scandinavian architecture is a characteristic feature of this lively city, and together with the magnificent Gamla Stan (Old Town) the city attracts millions of visitors every year.
If you’ve planned to visit this beautiful city, here are three things not to miss!
Exploring The Best Of Stockholm
Exploring Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is one of the main attractions of Stockholm, it is the largest and one of the most well preserved medieval city centers in Europe.
Its winding streets represent the unique spirit of the old city which looks like taken straight out out of a fairy tale.
Gamla Stan is full of museums, cafes, bars and restaurants. The Nobel Museum and Stockholm Cathedral are both situated here, but the most significant attraction here however is the Royal Palace, which is one of the largest palaces in the world.
There is also a museum inside the palace exhibiting Royal costumes and armory, but the best part is to watch the changing of the guards outside the palace.
Going to the top of the Globen
After its completion in 1989, the SkyView became one of the city’s major landmarks.
Stockholm Globe Arena is huge and shaped like a ball, situated in the southern part of the city and used for a large number sports and entertainment events.
It took 70 tonnes of steel to build this attraction, and all the materials were lifted by helicopters and attached by mountaineers.
The SkyView will take you along the outside of 130 meter high Globen in a glass capsule attached to the rails on the building. It fits 16 people and the ride takes about 20 minutes to reach the top.
The view from the top is breathtaking: you see the whole city, even the glittering archipelago surrounding it.
There are also guided tours showing you the inside of the building, and there is a good restaurant inside to grab some lunch afterward.
Taking a boat tour
A visit to Stockholm will not be complete without seeing the city from the water, so a boat tour is a must!
There is a large number of different tours to choose from: Royal Canal Tour, Historical Canal Tour, Stockholm Grand Tour and Under the Bridges of Stockholm.
You can also purchase a Hop On Hop Off ticket. wjich is great for unlimited trips and it is also combined with a bus.
For those who want to see the archipelago – an Archipelago Race is a great way to do so.
After exploring the city’s major attractions it’s time to drop by one of the cafes for coffee and cake in a Swedish tradition, but be aware that Swedish coffee is pretty strong, but the cakes are absolutely delicious!
In general dining in Stockholm is quite expensive and will cost you around 175-250SEK for a meal, so if you’re on a tight budget self-catering will be the best way to save money.
Also look out for some lunch deals, there are often plenty to choose from and prices are often half of the normal dinner prices. Enjoy your stay in Stockholm!
Explore Sweden Like A Local
If you want to visit a place that has both beautiful nature, exciting cities and is off the beaten track, Sweden is a perfect choice.
As it’s not normally on the itinerary for Europe travelers, it has the benefit of being everything but “touristy”, and you can easily experience the country like a local – that is, if you know how to.
Summer is the best time of the year to visit Sweden, the country becomes alive and thriving, people go the the coasts to party and sunbathe and enjoy the warm weather.
Here are the top things to do in Sweden during summer, to explore it like a local:
Rent A Summer Cottage
You have probably seen the idyllic pictures of red and white cottages surrounded by green forest by a lake, or perched on a rocky island in the middle of the sea.
Many people go for short day cruises around the islands in Gothenburg or Stockholm to marvel at the picture perfect surroundings – but why not take it one step further and experience what it’s really like to live there?
Renting a summer cottage by the lake or close to the beach will give you what is perhaps the most Swedish experience you could ever get.
There are plenty of lakes in the country and many of the holiday cottages are secluded and have their very own pier and boats you can use to go fishing, water skiing or just exploring the hidden corners and bays of the lake.
Party By The Coast
You will find that while the pace slows down in the cities and the crowds thin out, the livelier it gets at the popular summer spots along the coast lines.
Different places are popular at different times of the year. During Midsummer, in late June, Bohuslän is a popular place, especially Smögen.
Other fun places where there is a lot of great partying going on is Båstad, Visby and Tylösand.
In July there is an extremely popular Tennis week event in Båstad where people party all day long.
Sample The Swedish Cuisine
There is no better way to get a “taste” for Swedish culture and history, and a glimpse into the people than to try their traditional food.
One very typical Swedish dishes is Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, brown sauce, green peas and Lingon berrry jam.
Another typical dish is the pea soup and pancake, which traditionally is to be eaten on Thursdays. The most traditional version includes bits of meat, but vegetarian versions are also common.
The pea soup includes a number of different spices, but Swedish people like to add a bit of extra mustard to it as well.
The pancake is eaten after the pea soup, but the traditional way is to serve them both together.
Taste Of Stockholm – Must Try Food!
Stockholm is a city scattered on fourteen main islands connected by bridges – thanks to numerous waterways the city earned the name of “the Venice of the North”.
The city is very organized, stylish and funky, and the restaurants in Stockholm are absolutely superb.
With a great variety of restaurants, bars and cafes, you will never be short of places to eat, and trying Swedish cuisine in Stockholm is one of the things that you really shouldn’t miss.
Even though modern Swedish cuisine is highly internationalized, there are still some typically Swedish dishes that everyone should try.
Swedish cuisine doesn’t use any fancy spices or herbs, but instead prefers salt, white and black pepper – the dishes mainly consist of some sort of meat, fish, potatoes, salad and cream sauce.
Some Popular Must-Try Swedish Dishes:
Pickled Herrings – Pickled herring is one of the most famous traditional Swedish dishes, and can be prepared in a variety of styles. Some love it, most hate it – but try it for the experience!
Janssons frestelse (Jansson’s temptation) – this is a traditional Swedish dish that has a special place at every Christmas table. It is made of potatoes, onions, herring, pickled sprats and cream.
Pyttipanna (Leftovers in a pan) – if you have potatoes, onions and ham in your fridge then you have all necessary ingredients for Pyttipanna. All the above mentioned ingredients are chopped and then pan fried and seasoned with salt and black pepper. It is usually served with some beets, fried eggs, capers and pickled gherkin on the side.
Ärtsoppa (Pea soup) – it consists of yellow peas, pieces of onion and pork and is very often served with a little mustard. Traditionally served on Thursdays along with pancake and whipped cream (for some unknown reason).
Makaroner och Falukorv (Macaroni and Sausage) – macaroni are simply cooked with milk and have a nice creamy taste. It is served with a special type of fried sausages and ketchup and is one of the kids’ favorite dishes.
Swedish Fast Food – Pizza, hot dog, kebab and falafel are the main fast food dishes in Stockholm. There are a lot of hot dog stands all over the city and you should also try a famous Swedish specialty “tunnbrödrulle” – a hot dog in a tortilla with mashed potatoes and shrimp salad.
Sweets – there are tons of pastry shops and bakeries scattered around Stockholm – drop by one of them to try homemade ice cream, princess cake or cinnamon buns.
If you are a fan of coffee, Stockholm is one of the best places to enjoy this aromatic drink. Swedish consumption of coffee is known to be among the highest in the world.
For Swedish people it is more like a social ritual when you can enjoy the cup of coffee and discuss the latest gossips and news.