After living in Italy for eight months and getting to know a lot of Southern Europe, I decided it was finally time to head up north. So I travelled to Stockholm for the weekend.
Stockholm for the weekend
I flew into the Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which is about half an hour away from the city. To get to the center I took the Arlanda Express, which is a faster but a bit more expensive train. However, I bought my ticket online in advance and got a discount. Cool extra? Free WIFI. When I took my seat it was already dark outside, so with more and more lights flashing by I knew I was getting closer to the main station. A friend of mine picked me up and shortly after arriving at our accomodation we called it a night.
The historic center Gamla Stan
The next morning we were ready to explore Stockholm. First stop: Gamla Stan. This is the oldest part of the city, which is situated on the island Stadsholmen. The first settlement took place during the 13th century. First we got of the metro at Centralen and just wandered around. We walked along the Parliament House, Royal Palace and on Skeppsbron along the waterside. The weather was coldish, but the air crisp. Just how I like it in the fall.
Then we made our way into the heart of Gamla Stan. With its narrow streets, colorful houses and typical Scandinavian architecture I instantly fell in love with the Old Town. So forget to bring a map and just stroll around. The shops are opened daily from 11am to 4pm. When the night breaks in you will see a ton of cute restaurants and pubs. But check out the prices before entering. Sweden like Norway or Finland have extremely high costs of living. That being said my friend and I usually bought our food in the supermarket and cooked at home.
The main square of the Old Town
Stortorget is the main square of Gamla Stan and the most famous photo spot in Stockholm. The square is bordered on one side by the Nobel Museum, on the other side by some 16th century merchant houses. Now they are home to lovely restaurants and tourist shops. If you look closely you will even find a canon ball in one wall and a rune stone in another. The place is always full of people so come here during the early hours, if you want to capture it on your camera.
Storkyrkan and Tyska kyrkan
After Stortorget we passed the churches Storkyrkan and Tyska kyrkan. The first one belongs to Saint Nicholas, the latter is German. Tyska means German and refers to the German trader community which played a big part in Stockholm’s history. Its interior is really beautiful with a lot of gold and wood. If you get a chance, check it out. The old German trading center lays right next to it. On the photo below you can see the church of Saint Nicholas (tower on the left), the German church on the right (highest tower in the picture).
Famous Swedish local food
Going to a foreign country and not trying the local food? That just would not be me. I have a huge sweet tooth and so, of course, I had to treat myself for a Kanelbulle. It is a cinnamon bun which tasted a lot like Hamburg’s main sweet pastry: Franzbrötchen. Loved it. The Swedish even have a special day to eat it: Kanelbullens dag is celebrated on 4 October. Another Swedish dish is Köttbullar. Swedish meatballs which normally will be seved with potatos, cream sauce and stewed cranberries.
Panoramic views over Stockholm
Amazing art above the ground
What I really wanted to see while in Stockholm were the subway stations. Not because I have not seen an underground train before, but because the Swedish capital has made their stations into pieces of art. Every station is designed differently: theme, color, objects. The pictures do not even come close to how amazing it was and I wish more cities around the globe would do this. I could have spent hours below the ground, but unfortunately the weekend was coming to an end. My friend waved me goodbye at the central station and I knew right this second that it was not the last time I visited Stockholm for the weekend.
Have you been to Stockholm? How was your experience? What do you like about the city the most? Tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear it.