Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I’ll be probably saying this a lot about other cities, but there is something about Stockholm that really impressed me. It has access to water from almost everywhere, therefore it is also called the Venice of the North.
I like to plan and organize in general, and I think that cities can be easily grouped in different categories. One category I came across could be Impressive/ Big cities and Stockholm definitely fits well here.
I’ve been to Stockholm twice, the first time in the middle of May and a second time in August. It might be a good idea to go there in the summer as during the rest of the year the weather is unstable. It is rainy, windy, cloudy and it can be quite dark actually. Except for the weather, Stockholm is probably the most spectacular capital of Northern Europe.
Why is Stockholm so cool?
Stockholm is situated on 14 islands, so it is literally surrounded and built on water. It is also cool because it is really beautiful, having impressive buildings of different architectural styles, castles, imposing churches and a royal palace. There are ports, all kind of boats and even a museum of the very famous ship Vasa that sank in 1628 after sailing no more than one and a half kilometers. The ship was found in 1950, restored in an impressive effort that span many years, and you can now see it at Vasa museum. Stockholm also has an archipelago, consisting of approximately 24.000 islands and islets (yes, that’s not a typo). There is also an island reserved almost entirely for fun, with an amusement park, museums, parks, zoo and some other attractions.
Another interesting thing about Stockholm are the people, the Swedes are very beautiful and nicely dressed. Tall guys and girls blondes and not only with very stylish clothes are all over the city.
The infrastructure in Stockholm is also quite impressive, with many bridges and motorways built very high up in the sky on multiple levels. It is definitely a good idea to take the metro, since some of the stops have elaborate and different designs which make them look more like museums rather than regular metro stations. There are also trams in Stockholm, and their small carts on rail tracks are an ideal way to enjoy the city, when you’re too tired to walk anymore and need a little break.
Whether it is sunny or not, a boat trip to Stockholm’s archipelago is a must. It is definitely the most impressive archipelago I have ever seen, and it will leave you dreaming of owning a summer island.
Here are some pictures from Stockholm.
The old town (Gamla stan) and the city center
I’ve read somewhere that the area hosts some of the oldest unaltered streets in the world, and I thought they look wonderful even after so many years of partying :). If the Swedes are anything like their cousins from Copenhagen, then partying on the streets must be one of their main activity during the long summer days and winter nights. We’ve spent many hours in the old city and the center, because it is simply wonderful and filled with tourists attractions and historical buildings.
All the main attractions are within walking distance from central station, on separate islands. The view is spectacular as all these islands are connected by bridges and surrounded by water. You’ll find the Parliament building (Rigsdagshuset), The Royal Palace, some very beautiful churches, the city hall as well as some other important buildings, just by taking a stroll from the station. The city center (Normalm) is connected by a very nice bridge to Gamla stan.
If you want to see the real beauty of this city, it is mandatory to take a boat trip to its archipelago. There are thousands of islands of different sizes and shapes. There, you can see charmingly old as well as modern Swedish houses on top of the rocks on small remote islands. It also offers a great view of the city and a unique occasion to take some impressive pictures from far offshore. During the summer you can see people partying, sunbathing, swimming or sailing near the islands – a small piece of paradise.
Djurgården, Skansen open air museum, Östermalm
You can easily spend an entire day in this area alone. It is very entertaining for both adults and children. There are many museums, an amusement park, a national park, a palace and some other tourist attractions. After looking through the different options available, we went with Vasa museum and Skansen open air museum. I found them both very impressive. At Skansen you can get a vivid picture of how life in Sweden was back in the old days, and you can also see animals from the north and also other parts of the world, since it is also hosts Stockholm’s zoo. It was here that saw wolves for the first time, and of course reindeers and elks. I also got a chance to see how traditional Swedish flat bread is made, and also taste one myself.
Overall, it was a great experience and I would definitely go there one more time during winter, so I can see the Nordic animals in their usual environment. As summers are getting hotter and hotter these days, they were not doing very well when we visited them. The reindeers were hiding from the sun in special shelters and we couldn’t get them to nicely pose in our pictures.
We weren’t sure at first if we wanted to see this museum or not, we were more like ok it is a ship, but there are many other ships on the canals, why go inside to see one? We decided to go in and I’m happy we did. It is not just a ship, but a very old and extremely beautiful ship with many great details, you cannot see such ships sailing anymore. But this is not the only reason to visit the museum, the story behind Vasa and the process of restoration is quite impressive. It is definitely an attraction that should be checked while visiting Stockholm.
The Skeppsholm Bridge
Just imagine walking kilometers on end around the city, then suddenly stumbling upon another island connected to the peninsula by a imposing, iron bridge. And beyond this island, there is yet another bridge that connects a smaller patch of land on top of which there is a small castle with a tower. It simply cannot get any more impressive than that 🙂 The iron bridge has a massive gilded crown that is featured on almost every postcard from Stockholm, and the bridge is a landmark and a vantage point for great photos.
Master Mikaels gata
I particularly liked this street; the wooden houses that look like they are taken out of a fairytale make it look special. I felt lost in time while walking on this narrow street. On Master Mikaels street, there is also an imposing church, St. Catherine’s, which together with some other hundreds of wooden houses were damaged or destroyed in a fire around 1720. In the aftermath, construction in the area was limited to stone buildings. The wooden houses in this photo were built after the fire, despite the regulation.
There are many other interesting museums, attractions and enchanting streets and places in Stockholm that I didn’t have room for in this post.
Stockholm is a big city with lots of things to do, and I plan on going there again, perhaps on a more laid back tour of the shopping streets, cultural events, restaurants and going-out venues.