After a lovely trip to Stockholm in August – here are my highlights! It’s a very accessible city, with trams, buses and metro (Tunnelbana), although walking is the best way to see it, if you don’t mind walking up and down steep hills of which there are many.
1) Sodra Teatern terrace bar
More a complex of cool bars, than a simple terrace, at the back of the Sodra Teatern, the oldest theatre in Stockholm. Here seems to be where all the groovy young things go to unwind during the warmer days and evenings. Fantastic vibe, fantastic salads. Nearest metro stop Slussen, exit via the Hökens Gata exit or you will have a steep climb up a cliff to get there!
2) Gamla Stan – the old town
Gamla Stan is a proper old town with medieval alleyways, cobble streets, and fine architectural details everywhere. The centre of town gets very busy, but is worth just wandering about and discovering on your own. Take spare batteries – it’s a photo opportunist’s dream. Metro – Gamla Stan.
3) The Vasa Museum
Even if you are not all that interested in ships or naval history it is worth queuing up to see this amazing piece of history – the only one of its kind in the world. The Vasa sank on its maiden voyage, then it lay for 400 years, covered in mud that preserved it in an amazingly pristine state. There is also a complex of other museums near to the Vasa Museum, and if you do like ships, there is a nice cafe on an old ice breaker, which is free to visit, where the cakes were splendid. Buy a ticket on the Hop on Hop off sight-seeing tour boat and arrive in style from Slussen all year round and from Nybroplan during the summer.
4) Stockholm City Hall
The City Hall was designed by the architect Ragnar Östberg, and opened on Midsummer’s Eve in 1923. When you win your Nobel Prize, the banquet is held in City Hall. After dinner downstairs in the Blue Hall, Nobel Prize recipients, royalty and guests dance in Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, with its 18 million gold mosaic tiles. It is not generally open to the public but you can get a daily guided tour. Metro – T-Centralen.
In the short time that we were in Stockholm we stumbled across several festivals, and looking at a calendar of events for 2012-13 it looks like there are plenty more to come! In just a couple of days we saw arielists, men playing musical instruments in a giant wheel, children building an island, opera in the open air, rap music in a park, and an immersive theatre piece ‘The Guide’ in the Dance museum from Spanish company La Reial Companyia de Teatre de Catalunya.
6) City centre wildlife
Whilst you are in Stockholm, take time out from looking at the buildings to look around you at the streets, where you may notice an abundance of flowers… and birds. Apparently Stockholm is made up of 30% parks and green spaces, where you can see hares and other wildlife, depending on the season.