As soon as I planned to visit Stockholm, everyone told me about the beauty of the capital city of Sweden. And indeed, Stockholm showed all of its amazing faces during our stay.
I really was impressed by Gamla Stan. It is the old town of Stockholm. Until 1980 it was called officially Staden mellan broarna, which means “the town between the bridges”. Nowadays Gamla Stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen.
Whenever you’re visiting Stockholm, be sure to take your time to simply walk in the small streets of Gamla Stan. The old town is full of small boutiques, restaurants and cafés. It is a perfect starting point for everyone who’s visiting Stockholm. Two highlights of Gamla Stan are the Royal Palace and the Cathedral of Stockholm.
If there is one museum not to miss in Stockholm, it is definitely the Vasa Museum. Basically it turns all about the Vasa ship. This was a Swedish warship built in 1626 an 1628. It intended to be the pride of the Swedish imperial fleet, but this quickly turned into a nightmare.
The ship sank on its maiden voyage on the 10th August 1628 after sailing about 1300 m. As it was not possible at that time to recover such a big ship from the ground of the ocean, the Vasa ship was quickly forgotten. The only things, which were salvaged in the 17th century were the bronze cannons.
Then in the late 1950s, almost 300 years after its sinking, it was rediscovered and finally also salvaged in 1961. The big astonishment, the ship was in a not so bad condition because of the water in the harbor of Stockholm. Since 1988, the complete ship is standing in the Vasa Museum with all of its history and accessories, which were found in the ship and on the ground of the sea.
From the moment that I entered the Vasa Museum I was completely impressed by the size of the ship and I recommend everyone to take your time when visiting. If you really want to read every single information in the museum, you could spend a full day there discovering the history of the ship.
The City Hall, or Stadthuiset in Swedish, is one of the most famous buildings in Sweden. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Stockholm because of its beauty both on the inside and outside. Beside the tourist aspect, it houses also offices for 200 people including the Municipal Council.
On the inside you’ll find grand ceremonial halls and unique pieces o art. A big event every year is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet, which is held on the 10th December every year. It is really recommendable to book a tour and discover the interior of the City Hall.
There are several really impressive rooms in the City Hall, but the most impressive is certainly the Gold Room with no less than 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
Be sure to attend one of the guided tours in wintertime. Something which I didn’t know was that in wintertime, the Tower is closed for visitors.
The Royal Court is located in Gamla Stan. It was once the official residence of the King of Sweden, but today the Royal family doesn’t live there anymore. Daily at 12.15 pm there is the change of guards, which is really impressive to see, but also a tourist attraction.
There are 3 different departments in the Royal Court, which can be visited. It is absolutely recommendable to have an insight of the Swedish Royal family. It is really impressive to walk through these old walls where formerly the Royal family lived. Still today you get the feeling that you are entering another time epoch.
Today, when the Royal family receive other head of states or other important guests, they are living in the house part of the Royal Court. In 20… even the Luxembourgish Grand-Duke and Grand-Duchesse were there.
Hissen means in Swedish elevator or lift, which explains already of what the Katarina Hissen consist. Basically it is an elevator in for passenger in Stockholm. It was initially built to connect Slussen to the heights of Sölderman. The originally lift was already built in 1881 and reconstructed in 1936.
Unfortunately the elevator is closed since 2010 because there was a lack of security in the construction. There are some plans to be reopened in 2019.
We visited the Katarina Hissen because I read that you have an amazing view over the whole city from up there. This is certainly true, you have an impressive view over Gamla Stan and the rest of the city. Unfortunately the whole region around the lift is under construction, so it is really noisy up there, but it is definitely worth the view.
Mårten Trotzigs Gränd
This is an alley in Gamla Stan connecting Västerlånggatan and Järntorget up to Prästgatan and Tyska Stallplan. Why am I mentioning an alley in my top things to do? Well, it is the narrowest street in Stockholm with only 90 cm of width and 36 steps.
As you can imagine, there are always people visiting this narrow alley, so it can get very crowded at some moments. Be sure to have a quick walk through these 90 cm.
If you have something to try to eat in Stockholm, it is definitely the cinnamon buns. In Swedish they are called kanelbulle and basically are pastries with the taste of cinnamon.
If you are in Stockholm some day, be sure to try at least one of the cinnamon buns. They are delicious.
Aifur Krog & Bar
The Airfur is a restaurant and bar where everything is decorated in a pure viking style. This begins already at the entrance of the restaurant. I have to admit that I was not so amused when Yannick made the suggestion to eat there. When you are entering the restaurant, you have the feeling like you are going in a cellar of an old house.
In the restaurant itself, you immediately get the feeling of being into another time epoch. There are no separate tables, but only long tables with enough space for a lot of people. So, basically everyone is being sit next to a stranger. I didn’t like it, because I prefer to be for myself during dinner and we had the impression that the strangers next to us didn’t like it either.
Furthermore, the viking didn’t like to sit next to someone they don’t know. So once you entered the room, the waiter sounded a bugle and shouted the name of the arriving people into the room and everyone welcomed those people. We were lucky enough to be one of the first guests, so we weren’t shouted out.
As to the food, I can only recommend it, they prepare the food with almost only the ingredients that the vikings disposed of at their time. So all in one, if you like the viking style and the vikings, it is an absolute must visited place for you.
Mall of Scandinavia
If you have some more time in Stockholm, you can plan a day in the Mall of Scandinavia. Basically it is a huge mall a little bit outside of Stockholm. With the train, it only takes you 10 minutes to get there.
There are a lot of well known boutiques and shops, but there are also a lot of Swedish shops where you can get Swedish specialities.
If you have already seen a lot of Stockholm itself, the mall of Scandinavia is a perfect stop for your trip to Stockholm.
All in one, I really fell in love with Stockholm and I’m sure that it won’t be the last time that I visited Stockholm. Be sure to think about it for your next trip.