EXPATS TAKEOVER: MY 10 FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM

Hey! I’m Van, a German girl living and travelling through Scandinavia. 
I blog over at Snow in Tromso and while Caity is moving to London and getting settled,

I’d like to take you on a trip to Scandinavia, namely to Stockholm in Sweden!

I spend one month in this city this year to do a Swedish course and used my free time to explore the city and its surroundings. There are a lot of things to see and do in Stockholm and it’s easy to get lost in the selection process. Whether you are a shopping, museum or nature enthusiast, this city has got it covered.

 So to help you get the most out of your stay in Sweden’s capital, I thought I’d present you today my 10 favourite things to do in Stockholm!

10. Globen
Globen  is a newly built event hall where you can either attend a Mando Dio concert or watch an innebandy game (for everyone who is not familiar with innebandy: it is the Swedish version of hockey). 
However that’s not all. 

The area around Globen was remodelled a few years ago and you can now shop till you drop in the nearby shopping mall. Don’t forget to eat an ice-cream at Ben&Jerry’s while you are there and if that is not adventurous enough for you, then how about Skyview? 

You can get to the top of the Globe Arena with a special gondola made of glass and enjoy a view on Stockholm from above!

9. Östermalm
Östermalm is a neighbourhood in the East of Stockholm that offers you everything from French restaurants, Gucci stores, theatres and a lively boulevard where you can occasionally meet members of the Royal Family on their shopping trips. 

But that is not all!
If you are looking for French cuisine, fresh exotic fruits, Swedish reindeer meat or Italian wine then you have to visit Östermalm's Saluhall, the oldest and most beautiful market hall in Stockholm. 

After you had a feast there, you have to burn the calories of course and what is better than a promenade along the pier or even better, in the woods? 
You can do both in Östermalm.

Just stroll along the boulevard at the waterside and then go and explore the island of Djurgarden. Djurgarden is connected to Östermalm by a bridge and after crossing it, you can either enjoy one of the many museums that are situated on the island or you just hike through the woods where encounters with the Royal Family walking their dogs are not unlikely.

8. The Vasa Museum
The Vasa Museum is the home of the biggest preserved item of the world: The Vasa ship. It was built in the 17th century and sunk on its maiden voyage. 

Construction mistakes and an excessive load of bombs lead to the disaster and about 30 people died. 

The Vasa is the only ship that still exists of that century and was rescued in the 1960s. You can see the whole original ship in the museum plus a few exhibitions on life on board, naval warfare in the 1600s and the preservation work of course. 

There are 7 floors so that you can see the ship from every possible angle and you can also watch a film about it that is shown in 16 languages. 

And let’s be honest, when was the last time you saw an item that was that old?

7. ​​​​​​​Södermalm
Södermalm, or Söder as Stockholmers call it, is a young and hip neighbourhood in the south of Stockholm. 

It is a former working class district that is now popular among young families and hipsters. You can still see some working class apartment houses there but also some cute, little, typical Swedish houses. 

If you are into fashion then this is your must-see “sight”. Get some inspiration on the street or go on the hunt for cute vintage items in one of the many second hand boutiques. 

If you get hungry, try some kebab or a falafel at a snack stand that you can find at every corner. 

And if you are not into shopping, watch a movie at the Victoria Cinema that was built in the 1930s and has not lost any of its 30s charm.

6. Kaknästornet
If you want to know what Stockholm looks like from above, visit Kaknästornet.
 It is the TV tower of Stockholm and also the highest building in Sweden. For an entrance fee of 6€ you have access to the elevator that brings you to the top of the tower. 

There you have a stunning view on Stockholm and its surroundings. 
After you took dozens of pictures, have lunch or a cup of tea in the restaurant where you can enjoy the view while you’re eating.

5. The Stockhol Archipelago
This is the biggest archipelago of Scandinavia and consists of 30000 islands. How amazing is that? 

The islands themselves consist of bare rocks and woods and while most of them are uninhabited most of the time, there are also quite a few people who live in the archipelago all year round. 

In winter these people use hovercrafts and in summer ferries to do grocery shopping or take their kids to school. 

It is an adventurous life out in the Baltic Sea and while you’re staying in Stockholm, you can easily do a day trip to one of the many islands. 
Just take the ferry and enjoy a day of sunbathing and pick-nicking - 2 hours away from the buzz of the big city.

4. Drottningholm Castle
This is where the King and Queen of Sweden live. 

The castle is situated outside the city centre of Stockholm, about 10km further west in a little village called Bromma. It is surrounded by a beautiful park and Lake Mälaren which makes it the perfect destination for a sunny summer day. 
You can walk through the park for hours and enjoy the little pond, the little Chinese castle and of course the beautiful landscape. 

The main castle is open to the public so you can enjoy the beautifully decorated rooms in there as well. 

And after a few hours exploring and walking through the area, how about some marzipan cake, or princess cake as it is called in Swedish, and a cup of strawberry tea?

3. ​​​​​​​Skansen
Skansen is an open-air museum on Djurgarden, the island in Östermalm that I have already mentioned. 

You can get to know Swedish architecture, Swedish animals, Swedish traditions and handcraft, Swedish food and life in 19th century Sweden here. 

You can easily spend a whole day in this museum taking pictures of cute little Swedish houses, watching how Swedish handcraft is made or what life in former times was like, trying Swedish food at the market place or just sitting at the fire on colder days. 

In summer you can catch a glimpse of a bear and of reindeers, wolves and elks all year round. You can also inform yourself about the Sami, the indigenous people living in Lapland. 

And at the end of the day, try a traditional Swedish “smörgas” (sandwich) or some meatballs. Skansen is Sweden in a nutshell and therefore one of the top things to do when visiting Stockholm.

2. Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan is the Old Town of Stockholm. 
It is located in the heart of the city and characterized by dark alleyways, three ancient churches, a shopping mile where you can buy Swedish souvenirs or handcraft, and many cafes and restaurants. 

Gamla Stan is also the home of the Royal Palace, the workplace of the Swedish King. You can see him there on several occasions and I was lucky to see the Crown Princess there on my last visit to Stockholm. 

But even if you are not able to see a member of the Swedish Royal Family, the change of the guards every day at noon also is worth a visit. 
You can of course explore the Palace’s magnificent rooms too and the ticket also includes a visit to the Crown Jewels. 

And the best place in Gamla Stan is the little island Riddarholmen, the knight’s isle. 

Sitting at the waterside on a sunny day and looking over to Stadshuset, the town hall, was just my favourite thing to do on Sundays. 
But you have to see that for yourself!

1. Skinnarviksberget 
This is my favourite place in Stockholm. Located in Södermalm, this hill offers you a free and absolutely wonderful view on the city centre. 

It is where Stockholmers go to on summer evenings to drink, barbecue and just have a good time. It also is a hidden gem that most tourists simply don’t know of. 

So if you are on a budget, this is the place to go! Apart from the hill, there are also a few footpaths nearby where you can enjoy the woods and a view on the waterside that is just stunning!
  
I hope I could give you some useful tips to make the most out of your stay in Stockholm. It is a wonderful city and I can only recommend you to visit it one day!

Published http://wheretheheartblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/expats-takeover-my-10-favourite-things.html​​​​​​​

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