My Weekend in Stockholm
Last Friday after work I set off with my friend Jessie to make the plane from London Stansted to fly to Stockholm Skavsta- located approximately 1.5 hours from Central Stockholm. Luckily after a traffic scare and a car park fiasco we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.
We arrived at the Connect Hotel at about midnight and were pleasantly surprised with how suave it was for being considered a “budget” hotel. We got a shared sleeper room that had bunk beds and enough ports to charge all of our technology before we headed out first thing the next morning. The only complaint was how hard it was to fall asleep with all the excitement of the adventures that lied ahead.
The first full day in Stockholm we caught the bus into the city center first thing in the morning. The bus ride offered one of the most beautiful views of the snowy rolling hills in the countryside. It gave me an awesome chance to catch up sleep too. We got dropped off at the Central Bus Station and headed off to grab our Stockholm Card so we could board the public transportation. The Stockholm Card is a life saver for people who are on a budget because it grants admission to over 80 of the most popular museums, as well as free public transport. It’s only really worth it if you plan on seeing a lot of the museums and will be using public transport often. We headed over to our hotel to drop off our things at Den Roda Baten. It was a really tiny Hostel Boat that was interesting, and again we were staying in bunk beds. This room was a lot more cramped than the Connect hotel’s but we didn’t complain.. We were eye level with the water out of our window!
During the first day we got to check out a lot of Museums including the Nordic Museum and Vasa Museum. The Nordic museum was hosting a cheese festival at the time so we got a free snack as we walked around the various exhibits. The Vasa Museum was by far the most interesting one. The Vasa ship was built hundreds of years ago and was sunk due to being built incorrectly. Due to the ship’s guns being far too low to the water and not having enough ballast in the ship, a very small wave capsized it. It sat underwater for 333 years (to put that into perspective, the USA is only 239 years old) in clay and mud until it was discovered later. It was salvaged and turned into a museum, boasting a huge ship that’s 97% the original. It truly is spectacular, however, the locals don’t find it as charming, referring to the museum as “the museum of Sweden’s greatest mistake.”
Due to being starved after a long day of sightseeing we headed to Meatballs- For the People! For an absolutely DELICIOUS meal of meatballs, Cream Brulee, and vino (of course!). Hands down, they were the best meatballs to have ever existed. Afterwards, a small overflowing bar pulled us in where we listened to American Country music. This is extremely weird because Europeans DO NOT listen to country music. We survived the night after mingling with the locals and passed out from exhaustion for a few hours before it all started again.
The next day we headed to Galma Stan, also known as Old Town. It was a charming and colorful island full of independent shops and cafes. There were few cars through the narrow streets and the cobblestone roads were perfect for walking. Galma Stan is an excellent place to see quite a nice view of all of Stockholm. It was one of the most picturesque parts of Stockholm and is not to be missed.
Unfortunately our trip was then over and we had to take the bus back to the Connect Hotel to stay the night since our flight left at 0600. Sadly, it was time to get back to London but we enjoyed every moment of Stockholm.
If I had to give any advice it would be:
- Don’t get the Stockholm card if you’re only there for a day
- Bring snacks because everything is extremely expensive
- Wear comfortable shoes, it’s hilly and easily walkable
- Be sure to start early, most museums close early.
- GO IN THE SUMMER.
Fun Facts about Stockholm
1. Stockholm is made up of 14 Islands with 57 bridges, and is located on the coast of Sweden.
2. The Royal National City Park in Stockholm was the world’s first national city park.
3. Greater Stockholm has a population of around two million and ~ 16% of its inhabitants have immigrated there.
4. The Ericsson Globe is the world’s largest spherical building and is a popular Stockholm landmark.
5. On Stockholm’s shortest day the capital sees a mere six hours of sunlight, while on the longest day it’s light for nearly 21 hours
6. Kungens Kurva in Skärholmen is the home of the largest Ikea (a Swedish brand) store in the world, covering a huge 56,301 square meters.
7. Stockholm is the home of the Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, and literature.
8. Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, founded in 1891. A microcosm of Swedish rural life, the museum illustrates changing social conditions in Sweden between the 16th century and first half of the 20th century
9. Stockholm is often known as the ‘World’s Smallest Big City’ or the ‘World’s Biggest Small Town’.
10. The city’s subway is also known as the world’s longest art gallery, with the majority of its stations being adorned with paintings, sculptures and mosaics.