Hello dear readers, fellow bloggers, ladies, gentlemen, cats and dogs, it is time for another travel report, isn’t it? Brace yourselves: it’ll get cold!
Me and my wonderful girlfriend Franzi headed far in the north to Sweden’s capital: Stockholm! So, let us depart. 07:00 was the scheduled departure time in DUS, and guess what ? We took off on time! And to my pleasure, the a/c we flew with was an “old friend” – the Bombardier CRJ 900. It had quite some rides on the jump seat in its cockpit back in the days when my mum worked for Lufthansa (see a video of one of my flights here). Though we did not have a window in our seat row (!), the final approach into Stockholm Arlanda offered an amazing view, the sun was literally bursting into the cabin.
Due to the northern location of Sweden’s capital, the sun goes down as early as 15:00 in winter time. Thus, the sun barely makes it over the horizon, leading to spectacular sunrises in the morning. Well, these views are basically the reason I love flying 🙂 Arlanda is a great airport, every procedure is fast and convenient (on thing it has in common with the whole country). But there’s one major flaw: the airport is located approximately 45 km North of the city.
But luckily there are several ways to each the centre of Stockholm, one for every budget: a high speed train, costing about 25$, a non-stop bus, for around 15 bucks and, as a last method that I recommend to students or people with few bags: the line bus and commuter train for just 75 Swedish Crowns (~7.5€). You simply jump into the line bus next to the airport, and then into the train in Märsta. This takes about 15 minutes longer, but I think the price is unbeatable. One tip for you, especially for weekend trips: buy a 24/72 hour ticket, you can access EVERY line bus, commuter train and even ferry with it, including the ride to the airport for an awesome fare of just 160 SK for students and 250 SK for adults.
Stockholm is built on fourteen (!) islands (beat that, Venice), leading to a great appearance. Our first stop was the island of Skeppsholmen, since we wanted to the museum of architecture and the “moderna museet”, I highly recommend to visit both of them.
We were really amazed of the “Stadsbiblioteket” of Stockholm, namely the most important library of sweden’s capital. It was officially opened in 1928 and contains over 700,000 books in swedish, english, german, french, and several other languages. Whether you love books like me, or you don’t, this library is worth a visit.
It is beautiful, isn’t it ? We headed downtown and then to Östermalm, a pretty wealthy part of Stockholm with not-so-affordable apartment prices 🙂 We came to see the oldest market of Stockholm: Saluhallen! If you are eager to try Swedish and Scandinavian delicatessen – This is your place ! On a Saturday, many locals gather there, drinking some wines, eating at the restaurants and some kids sold home-baked cookies – a great place !
The underground in Stockholm is an attraction itself: buried deep into the naked rocks under Stockholm, artists were offered the opportunity to turn the “Tunnelbanen” into a pice of art. Some of the staircases were really long.
Now I let some pictures talk, we took while walking around the city.
Gamla Stan – The Old Town
Sadly, we only stayed three days and on our last day of the trip – Sunday – we went to see Stockholm from its most beautiful architectural side: Gamla Stan – The Old Town! This part of Stockholm deserves an own article, but of course I want to share at least some of the hundreds of pictures I took in the “heart of Stockholm”. The oldest streets that are mentioned in historical documents in Gamla Stan go back in the year 1323!
German Influences and Great Coffee!
In the centre of the island lies the “Tyska Kyrkan” the German Church, it is named for standing in the middle of a neighbourhood that in the Middle Ages was dominated by German folks ! The old town offers everything you would love about an old town: narrow streets, beautiful ancient architecture and awesome little cafés! (By the way, the cafés in Sweden offer awesome coffee and you have access to free tap water in EVERY café and restaurant, which is great). If you happen to travel there, just roam around and enjoy the atmosphere.
It has been a great weekend, Stockholm is a city that I’d travel to again without thinking! I hope to get to see it in summer time, since the city is the greenest in Europe and the sun never sets in July! If I happen to see this: be prepared for another report 🙂 To conclude my impression about Stockholm and Sweden, I’s like to cite my girlfriend! “Sweden really is like IKEA: Many young families, friendly, open minded and relaxed people, well structured, organized and stylish” What about you? Have you ever been to Sweden? Cheers, AP