You will surely fall in love with this beauty. Stockholm spreads over 14 islands and each year boasts the title of one of the most beautiful metropolises in the world and has its own unique atmosphere. Interwoven with canals, adorned with Nordic architecture, it is often referred to as the Venice of the North. At first glance it may seem outdated, but in fact it is one of the most modern European cities. At least, you can pay by credit card in a hot dog stand.
What should you do, see and experience in Stockholm?
The port area is definitely worth seeing, on whose benches you can relax. You feel the salt and the fish in the air and for a moment you feel like you are somewhere in Greece. You can rent a kayak or boat at the harbour and enjoy some water for a fee. If you have an SL public transport ticket, you can travel by ferry marked with the letters SL.
Located amongst other unique museums on the island of Djurgarden, the Vasa Museum is a stunning place that can be described as an overpriced tourist attraction. Without detailed information, the tourist enters a special museum or a huge room, where he discovers a massive wooden ship that occupies almost the entire interior. Built in the 17th century, the history of the ship is truly fascinating.
In 1626 it was built by the Swedish king as a battleship. Mostly made of wood, it did not seem representative and strong enough to King Gustavo, so it was decorated with innumerable ornaments and statues. This became his fate and the ship sank after a 20-minute voyage. Hundreds of people died on its deck. The ship was taken out of the water after 333 years and is exhibited in the museum in 98 percent of its original form. You will also learn about the dramatic stories of the people whose fate is linked to the ship. Several items of clothing and other items from the ship were also rescued.
Stockholm’s Old Town is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centers in Europe. The town’s beginnings in 1252 are linked to Gamla Stan. If you are looking for a place with a romantic atmosphere, want to get lost in the maze of stone streets, you are in the right place. The typical sight in Stockholm is colorful buildings on Stortorget Square, the city’s oldest square. A nice addition to the overall atmosphere are Swedish songs played by an orchestra.
In Gamla you will even find the narrowest alley, which is only 90 centimeters at its narrowest point. In the courtyard of the Finnish Church is the smallest statue in Stockholm, 15 centimeters high, called the Little Boy Looking at the Moon. It is filled with coins and its head is remarkably shiny compared to the rest of the body. According to superstition, everyone who will stroke the boy’s head will become fertile. Many tourists also believe that the statue will bring them luck.
Open air museum
Stockholm is also home to the world’s oldest open-air museum. The open-air museum is a village that reflects Swedish history and the life of the population in the 17th century. There are farms here that show the habits of poor servants and their masters. With a little luck you can become a gardener – part of a dramatic show where Swedish girls and boys show you what it was like on a manor.
You will be enchanted by small greenhouses or miniature houses. Although it seems almost impossible, a family of five slept in them during the summer. You might meet volunteers who come here several times a year to take care of gardens and plants. They will be happy to talk to you and tell you the history of the country.
The apartments in the open-air museum are wooden houses with feet that protect their residents from snow and winter. The smallest were yurts – round dwellings used by the Semi people in which a lady (not from the 17th century) sits and tells those interested about life in them.
There is also a zoo where you can find various exotic birds, moose or walruses. Part of the open-air museum is complemented by tables in picturesque surroundings with lakes and ducks or geese where you can relax a little. You can also visit the workshops where leather bookmarks or drawings are made according to traditional crafts. The open-air museum is also a paradise for families with children. The staff also organizes accompanying concerts and interactive entertainment for the little ones.
One of the largest palaces in Europe hides 5 museums. The official seat of the king has more than 600 rooms. It was built in the 18th century in Italian Baroque style. You can see the fascinating interior, Queen Kristina’s silver throne or the treasury. Watching the changing of the guard is an great experience. It takes place every day in summer, on Wednesdays and weekends out of summer season.
This Nordic city is home to the longest art gallery in the world. We’re talking about the Stockholm subway. Each station is unique, extraordinary and offers an unforgettable experience. And as usual in galleries, sculptures, paintings and various other art forms of the 21st century cannot be missing here. You can admire masterpieces by 150 artists underground.
What to order?
In Stockholm, of course, meatballs! And we don’t even know how far from the truth we are. Although they are served everywhere, locals are often told that they very rarely eat them. But it is worth trying fish and seafood, which you can get fresh here thanks to the Baltic Sea. The typical delicacy is the cinnamon roll, which is very tasty. Coffee and cinnamon rolls are part of the Swedish tradition “fika” – coffee break with friends. With a bit of luck you will find restaurants and bars that offer Swedish beer at an affordable price during happy hour compared to overpriced places.Photo source: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Unsplash.com