As you might know, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Sweden this summer. This included a full three days in the city of Stockholm! If you want to see what we got up to sailing around the archipelago, you can read that post here.
Needless to say, Stockholm was an incredibly experience, and we probably could have spent another three full days in the city without getting bored for a second. But three days would certainly be enough for you if you wanted to get a good idea of what the city is like. So without further ado, here's how I suggest spending three days in Stockholm, Sweden.
How To Travel The City:
Stockholm is an expensive city, in fact, Sweden is an expensive country. Because of that, we knew transport would be a bit expensive. We found that the cheapest solution was actually to invest in 72h travel cards, which gave us access to all the trams, buses and even a few of the commuter ferries throughout the whole city. It made getting around the city incredibly easy, and stress free, and definitely saved us money in the long run! You can buy these tickets at kiosks around town, or at the central station.
Visit The Vasa Museum:
The "Vasa" is a huge, very old (very, very old!) ship which sank into the estuary in Stockholm in 1628...on it's maiden voyage! I won't go into too much detail, but I must insist that if you head to Stockholm, you visit this museum. The ship is enormous, far bigger than I could have imagined, and a fascinating story. I love a bit of ancient history, and layout of the museum is fantastic, with so much to see. We were in it for about two and a half hours, but could easily have spent longer.
Walk Around The Old Town:
The old town of Stockholm is only a short walk from the city centre, and is absolutely worth strolling through. It was quite busy while we were there, but was really beautiful, and actually reminded me a lot of Geneva's old town. There's plenty of cute shops, and lovely little restaurants/cafés to sit down in. Be warned though, this part of town is supposedly the most expensive... probably because it's such a big tourist attraction! Don't let that put you off though, it's too beautiful to miss.
Visit the Fotografiska Museum
The Fotografiska museum is pretty self explanatory... it is the photography museum of Stockholm, so of course I had to go! I didn't actually do any research on what was on, so when we arrived and I saw that the main exhibition was entitled "Like A Horse," I let out a little squeal. My two favourite things all in one place! Horses and photography. The "Like A Horse" exhibition was actually really beautiful; a curation of images of horses and how they've made an impact on the world of photography.
I was also extremely excited to see they had an exhibit on the work of Irving Penn, including plenty of originals, and if you're a photography geek like me, you'll love it. Tom and I walked around the entire museum, and I loved it all (and he said he did too, so you don't even need to be an artist to love it!).
Side note though, this museum is quite a walk out of the main city centre, so don't make the mistake we did and walk there with no lunch, only to realise there's absolutely no where nearby to go and get any! You'll go hungry.
Visit the Royal Armoury
I'm not normally one to like anything war related, but Tom has a fascination for ancient arms, so insisted we visit the royal armoury below the Royal Palace, and being a free exhibit, I agreed. I'm glad I did, because it turned out to be one of the best things we did the entire trip!
The Royal Armoury is simply a collection of arms, armour, and artefacts of the royal families of Sweden... since 1650! The collection was started by the king of the 1600's (don't ask me which one... I can't remember, but his name was probably Gustav!), and has been maintained and added to ever since. One king even got his war horse stuffed and preserved... a bit gruesome, and I found it a bit hard to look at, but it was quite interesting to see how horses looked exactly the same as they do now. Don't ask my why I'd expect them to look different... but I sort of just do!?
Visit the Royal Stables
Adding to the "royal" theme of our visit, it was recommended to us to visit the royal stables. Of course, I'm a bit horse lover, so I wasn't hard to convince. The stables are free to visit in the summer, but I would recommend booking onto the tour, which is only done in July and August. It's only 100 Swedish Kroner (about £10), and our guide was really lovely, and we learnt so much. Worth every penny!
Walk Around the Djurgardens
If you've read my previous post about our Swedish trip, you'll know that we were actually on a sailing trip, so were sleeping on the boat every night. The boat happened to be moored in a harbour just outside one of the entrances of "The Djurgarden." This is an enormous, very well maintained public park, which once upon a time, was the king of Sweden's hunting park. Obviously that is no longer the case, but it's a huge expanse of green in the city, and once you're in it, you'll have no idea of the hustle and bustle of the city going on outside. You'll be able to walk around beautiful houses, with great views of the city behind you, and occassionally cruise ships floating on past.
It's bigger than you think though, so don't get caught out like we did (what we thought was going to be a little stroll ended up being an hour and a half walk - after having walked around the city all day)! Wear sensible shoes if you plan to go for a long walk, and bring a map or a phone with Google Maps on it so that you know where to go!
What city break is complete without a bit of shopping? Living in Cornwall, our shopping opportunities are somewhat limited, so whenever I'm in a big city, the shopper in me gets quite excited. I was also thrilled to be in the homeland of my favourite shop, H&M (and my goodness will you know it - they're EVERYWHERE!). The city centre is a great shopping ground, and you'll find all your usual shops (Zara, H&M, & Other Stories, COS, etc), but I'd recommend heading into "Nordiska Kompaniet" aka "NK" which is like the "Harrods" of Stockholm. It's beautiful, and filled with really gorgeous clothes, homewears, etc.
I didn't actually purchase anything whilst I was there (shopping fail!) but I really enjoyed my couple of hours shopping, so would recommend putting some time aside for it!
Go To The Cinema
Dunkirk, the latest film by Christopher Nolan, had been on my "to watch" list for quite long time, so when we arrived in Stockholm, I suggested we make an evening of it and go see it. Tom and I found a cinema in the city centre, the Filmstaden Sergel (there are plenty of others though), and booked our tickets. All the english films in Sweden are shown in English with subtitles, so you don't need to worry about that. We were really impressed with the cinema as a whole! The seats were really comfy (I often hate cinema seats as they inevitably hurt my back), there were only 10 minutes of adverts before the film (instead of the usual 30 minutes), and everyone was lovely to us. Yes its was pretty expensive, but not in comparison to London prices. I'd definitely recommend heading to the cinema if you've got a spare evening, and there's a good film on!
PS. Dunkirk was amazing and highly worth seeing if you haven't already!
Let me know if you visit Stockholm!