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What to do and see in Stockholm: design, history and the Abba myth

Water and water again. The capital of the Svezito, Stockholm it is a city of land with a heart of water. They say it is one of the “greenest” capitals in Europe. It is certainly also one of the bluest. On the other hand, it is not surprising: it rises at the point where the lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea reclining on fourteen islands linked by 57 bridges. The relationship with water is easy to understand. Here’s why when you think what to do and see in Stockholm we always start with the most obvious suggestions: walking and cycling. But you should also add fishing and swimming if you wish.

What to do and see in Stockholm. In winter and in summer

Furthermore Stockholmgiven its position it has two seasons with decidedly extreme and opposite characteristics. During summers the days are very long: they last over 18 hours and it seems a shame to go to sleep so much that the inhabitants go wild living to the fullest the nature of their parks and islands around without forgetting that the forests are close to the city. D.‘winteror is it the opposite: the days last less than six hours and the sun rises very little on the horizon. Needless to say: it’s cold and snow and frosts they arrive in November to last until April.

This must be taken into account when planning what to do and see in Stockholm. But don’t be disheartened: if there is no sunlight the other sources of illumination are certainly not lacking. Everywhere you will find candles and lights and the Swedish winter atmosphere will be warmed by mulled wine and many symbols of celebration and family warmth, such as the classic cinnamon-flavored sweets. While you dedicate yourself to visiting the design shops of Östermaln or those of the antique dealers of Södermalm you would not be surprised to see the reindeer and the sled of Santa Claus parked next to you.

What to do and see in Stockholm

Stockholm, a city born on water

A simple and always practical way to understand the set of what to do and see in Stockholm is precisely that of exploiting water. And then do a boat trip. The choice of excursions is not lacking: you can get on a “hop-on hop-off” type boat (these are lines that allow you to embark and disembark at any time during a coded route), take a boat trip to admire from a different perspective the network of bridges and canals or, simply, rent a boat, even rowing, to explore the city at your leisure. In this case, worry about being trained.

The bravest can also think of organizing a real exploration of thearchipelago surrounding Stockholm. Get ready: it is made up of over thirty thousand fascinating islands and islets and rocks and around here the inhabitants of the city love to spend their summer holidays in the many second homes hidden in the woods.

To travel in the archipelago around Stockholm you can take advantage of the many organized transport services taking into account that many of these lines often depart directly from the center: however, it is necessary to study the routes a little, knowing that some are direct while others make many stops. You can also get to many interesting places thanks to a widespread system of buses and trains but it can also be nice to think about using one bike.

Many lines and several piers. With a special signal

In any case, before embarking, ask the always friendly crew: the larger islands often have several piers and different transport lines. A curiosity: on the pier there is a sign that must be placed vertically when waiting for the boat. This way the captain will know that someone wants to get on and will moor for you.

What to do and see in Stockholm

A journey through history. With a sailing ship

During her maiden voyage in 1628, the Vasa – a huge 69-meter long wooden battleship – sank right in front of Stockholm a few hundred meters from where it was built. The ship was then recovered in 1961 and has been beautifully restored saving over 90% of the original parts during decades of work.

When you enter the Vasa Museum one is obviously struck by the greatness and beauty of the Vasa, which since she lived just a few hours, is the symbol of the limits of human presumption. Today the Vasa Museum it is the most visited museum in the Scandinavia, with over one million visitors a year. There are ten different exhibition routes that can be done around the ship in order to discover all of them secrets of life on board while a film is also being shown – in 13 languages – which reveals its history and its rebirth.

Also in the museum there is a well-stocked shop and a pleasant restaurant. Interesting detail: admission is free for children up to 18 years of age.

What to do and see in Stockholm

The treasure of the city: Gamla Stan

Built during the 13th century on the small island of Stadsholmen, Gamla Stan (or “old town” in Swedish) is one of the oldest parts of Stockholm and also one of the largest and best preserved medieval historic centers in Europe. This is where Stockholm was founded in 1252 and you can still spend hours exploring today medieval squares and the pleasant cobbled streets which are lined with souvenir shops, bars and restaurants.

Don’t forget to stroll along Mårten Trotzigs Gränd which is the narrowest street in Stockholm: it is only 90 centimeters wide at the narrowest point. Walk to Gamla Stan, and the neighboring island of Riddarholmenit’s like stepping into a living museum full of monuments and shops where old buildings give central Stockholm its unique character. That’s why this is one of the most important stops in visiting the city and one of the first to be found in the ideal list of what to do and see in Stockholm. There are several beautiful churches including the Stockholm Cathedral and the Museum Nobel.

The Royal Palace. And its 600 rooms.

However, the largest of the attractions in the area remains the Royal Palace, one of the largest palaces in the world, with over 600 rooms. Although officially the ruler of Sweden lives here, in fact, his residence is in Drottningholm – a building on the outskirts of Stockholm. In addition to the reception rooms, there are five interesting museums in the palace, including the Royal Armorywith costumes and armor.

Do not miss the parade of soldiers for the traditional changing of the guard. Västerlånggatan And Österlånggatan are the main streets of the district while in the center of the island is Stortorget, the oldest square in Stockholm. Stortorget it is the central point of the ancient city and the point from which it started Köpmangatan, the oldest street in Stockholm and cannot be missing from the list of what to see in Stockholm. Also worth a visit there Riddarholmen Churchan ancient Franciscan monastery, seat of royal burial.

What to do and see in Stockholm

The city seen from the top of the town hall

If you suffer from vertigo perhaps you will decline the advice. But in the list of what to do in Stockholm there is certainly the climb to the top of the tower Stockholm City Hall. From the top of its 106 meters it allows you to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Topped by three golden crowns this tower is one of the most iconic monuments in the city.

Take a tour of this red brick building and be sure to stop by Blue Room where the banquet for the assignment of the Nobel prize. There is also the Golden Room. The name is not given by chance: it is covered with eighteen million mosaic tiles precisely golden.

After so much wandering maybe you will be hungry. So here’s the best idea: go and discover Swedish food at Östermalm covered market. Opened in 1888, the market retains many of its original features including dark wood carvings that loom over twenty stalls some of which are still run by the same family that opened them over a century ago. In this market, located in the heart of Östermalmone of the trendiest neighborhoods in Stockholm, you can buy high quality products such as meats (also of moose), cheeses, fish and splendid chocolate pralines.

Famous cook and TV star Jamie Oliver said Östermalm is one of his favorite places in the world. Östermalm is obviously a place loved by gourmets while the other markets – Hötorgshallen in Hötorget And Söderhallarna in the area of Medborgarsplatsen – they offer similar products but at more affordable prices and are very popular with locals.

A leap in time with the city of the past

A guide that tells you what to do and see in Stockholm cannot be overlooked Skansenwhich is what was the first open-air museum in the world where you can see and try to rediscover everyday life in Swedish cities and farms before the Industrial Revolution. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius and meets on the island of Djurgården in Stockholm more than 150 buildings – the oldest of which dates back to the 14th century – where you can wander around for a leap into the past, also taking advantage of the presence of figures who give life to a living painting. Between tanners, shoemakers, silversmiths, bakers who use vintage tools.

There is also one zoo which houses Scandinavian animals including i bison, bear, moose, reindeer, wolves but also farms where animals typical of the Nordic countryside are bred. In early December the central square of Skansen, which is called Bollnäshosts a popular Christmas market which has been held since 1903, attracting around 25,000 visitors every weekend. In summer there are instead manifestations of folk dances and concerts.

What to do and see in Stockholm

Ikea and the others. The homeland of design

One thing is certain: the Sweden has always been considered one of the homelands of design – after all, IKEA and H&M they come from here and that’s why Stockholm is the place to go if you want to see the best of antique design And contemporary.

To do this, you can visit some interesting museums. For example, the National Museum it is one of the most complete collections of applied art and design from the 16th century to the present day. Other museums with some splendid collections include the Nordiska Museet where an exhibition on Swedish interior design from 1870 to the present can be seen on permanent display. Stockholm also has a large number of annual and biennial design events covering all aspects of design, from furniture to lighting to design. of boats.

What to do and see in Stockholm: the triumph of pop

To conclude the list (necessarily partial) of things to do and see in Stockholm, one cannot forget a pop moment: the museum of ABBA. In this extravagant space, many objects belonging to the members of the group are collected Mamma Mia how costumes, gold discsoriginal objects, memorabilia and so on.

But not only: the idea of ​​the museum is to allow fans to experience the feeling of being the fifth of ABBA. To do this it is possible, using technologies, to sing and dance in between to the ABBA holograms and see yourself dressed like them (thanks to digital costumes). The good or bad is that all of this will be recorded and you can take it home or share it online. The choice is up to you, of course. The ABBA museum is located on the island of Djurgårdenclose enough to the center.

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