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The first weekend of July will soon be upon us, and as summer rolls on, the Swedish capital only becomes a better place to spend time. From visiting Vikings, to walking with ghosts and late night shopping, The Local looks at five of the best ways to kick off July in Stockholm.

1. Watch the world’s finest triathletes do the unthinkable
Triathlon is one of the most grueling tests of endurance around, and this weekend the finest competitors from the sport will take to Stockholm for the sixth stage of the ITU World Triathlon Series. Athletes will start out at the iconic City Hall, from where they will swim through the Riddarfjärden bay before exiting the water for a tough 38.4km bike ride. As if that isn’t enough, they will then dismount and set off on a 9.9km run which includes three loops of Gamla Stan before ending at the Royal Palace.

Sound painful? It is, but don’t worry, you don’t have to take part. Instead, turn up anywhere along the course and watch it all unfold for free on July 2nd. The women’s elite competitors start at 16:06pm, while the men get going at 18:51pm. More information available here.

The world's best triathletes do battle in Stockholm this weekend. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

2. Do some late night shopping at Hötorget

During the day Stockholm’s central Hötorget square is a bustling market filled with vendors selling flowers, vegetables and more, and in a continuation of that the meeting point now has its very own night market. An entirely different experience to the daytime affair, Designmarknad Stockholm brings together local designers selling everything from clothing and accessories, to jewellery, prints, and interior fittings, so there should be something for everyone.

Have a look at some of their wares by heading over to Hötorgsterrassen on Sveavägen 17 between 18:00 and 23:00pm on July 2nd. Late night shopping still isn't easy to come by in Sweden, so this will be a unique experience.
Hötorget has long been a busy market during the day, and now it has one at night too. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

3. Meet the ghosts of Stockholm’s past in Gamla Stan
The turn of July marks the start of the Stockholm Ghost Walk, where guides take guests on a history-filled tour of the city’s 13th century Old Town, packed with tales of legends, diseases, murders and the all-important ghosts themselves.

Over 105,000 ‘souls’ have taken part in the walk since it first launched in January 2008. If you fancy being the next to tempt fate with the supernatural, there are tours on both Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd of July. Places require advanced booking, with tickets available here.


4. Take in some free jazz in the park
Throughout the entire summer Parkteatern organizes musical events, theatre and dance performances around the Swedish capital’s parks, and this weekend its time for some jazz. Things kick-off on Saturday at 14:15pm with a child-friendly workshop event, before continuing with jazz trios and DJs.
With six hours of free jazz on offer, it's a perfect opportunity get a quick taste of the genre. Head over to Galärparken on Djurgården to take a look. More info here.
Parkteatern holds a variety of free events throughout the summer

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5. Be a Viking for a day at the Swedish History Museum
Worried the rain could ruin any hopes of outdoor jazz or nighttime markets? Try something just as interesting indoors. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the Swedish History Museum’s Viking exhibit every year, and they can’t all be wrong. Why not take the chance to see what all the fuss is about and learn about the lives of the Nordic forefathers by examining the thousands of artifacts, ranging from intricate gold finery to weapons and art.
The museum, located in Östermalm, is open from 11:00am until 18:00 on Saturday and Sunday. Best of all, it costs absolutely nothing to enter.More information here.

Published: http://www.thelocal.se/20160630/five-great-ways-to-kick-off-july-in-stockholm

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