Top 7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Stockholm!
Trying to decide where to go for your next city break? Ever thought of going north? Here are the top 7 reasons why you should pick Stockholm for your next urban get away!
There are plenty of historic buildings and museums to take in, but Stockholm’s number one tourist attraction would be the Vasa Museum. Dedicated to a largely intact Swedish warship built on orders of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus, which sank during its maiden voyage in 1628. She was the largest ship of her time, and after being lost to time after her bronze cannons were salvaged, has remained in pretty good nick until being hauled out of the busy shipping lane she was rediscovered in in 1961. She is represents the Great Power Period of Sweden and is a national symbol.
Forget Ikea for just a moment, if you’re into fashion and design then Stockholm is the place to be to see the new trends hit the shop fronts and the streets! From shabby chic cafes sporting the hipsters with their tall skinny lattes, to the high-street homeware stores with beautiful items ready to furnish your place back home. The influence from other parts of Europe are evident in the blue-haired youths reminiscent of Berlin, a popular choice of hair colour in the younger residents of the German city.
3. Natural Beauty
Northern Europe is very well known for its natural beauty in the fjords and the lakes that comprise these countries. Stockholm may not be in the heart of this wild landscape, but it does have subtle touches of nature incorporated within the city. This could be the Stockholm Harbour, the many trees lining the streets, or the parks and gardens.
A favourite of locals and tourists alike is the Kungsträdgården or the Kings Garden, located north of the Parliament House and The Royal Palace. This is an open area with street cafes, food vendors, and park benches, but what really draws people in is the strip of cherry blossoms. So if you come in spring you’ll not be disappointed by the bright pink flowers that decorate the urban backdrop.
Sweden typically isn’t known for its culinary finery, with boiled fish and potatoes being a traditional dish here in Northern Europe. That being said, thinking beyond stereotypes and traditional country eats, there is plenty on offer in the city. Reindeer steak “pink in the middle” with mashed sweet potato that will melt in your mouth, a must try that will cost a few krona but is well worth the coin! If you book bed & breakfast in Stockholm city you will get to try the local delicacies. There’s also an abundance of sushi restaurants, vegetarian eateries, and almost every convenience store will supply you with a hot dog on the go! (A typical guilty pleasure in the Northern countries!)
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If you’re geared up to cycle, there is so much happening in the way of infrastructure for bicycles in most cities in the North. Sweden is no exception. Bike banks being common place, and dedicated bicycle lanes spider-web the streets! There are a few stores dotted around the city if you need to rent gear at an affordable price, or get your own equipment serviced. Here you’ll also be able to get maps and information for a few of the different cycle tours of the city that take you to all the must see parts!
Some even incorporate ferry journeys so you can get around across the harbour with ease. If you’re not taking up wheels this time that’s okay too as there is a well-connected subway, and if you’re staying downtown most of the tourist spots are within walking distance. Pedestrians don’t forget to booth ways for oncoming bikes!
There’s no shortage of grand buildings in Stockholm, especially in Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm. A small island in the Stockholm Harbour, with narrow winding streets, small boutique shops, and local cafes. It’s remarkably clean, and has a magical quality to it that makes you want to wander around and get lost in the hum of the crowds. The Royal Palace and the Parliament House are to the north of Gamla Stan, and this is the perfect place to start. Walking through the large archways, lion statues watching over you as you cross the harbour onto the island.
Always wanted to learn a new language but couldn’t decide which? Or too nervous to try? Why not study Swedish? It’s a language of far fewer words than English, so one word in Swedish may cover five or ten in English. The majority of people here speak very good English, and are more than happy to let you try out your Swenglish. Worst comes to worst, you can switch back to English. But it adds to the adventure if you’re trying out something new and foreign when you’re overseas! Also hey, maybe you’ll understand what the label says next time you’re in Ikea?
By Zak Newman
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