Sisters in Stockholm

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

It appears to be becoming an annual thing that my sister and I indulge in a little city break. We’re both keen travellers and love exploring new places; last year was Copenhagen, this year - Stockholm! I was very excited for my first visit to Sweden. To be honest I don't know anyone that’s been there so I hadn’t heard anything on the grapevine about it. So it was up to me to do the research.

Kunglinga Slottet

As far as “things to do” are concerned, the majority are museums and buildings. Although I do like a museum or two, I can’t say I’m too keen to spend my whole weekend in them. After much consideration, my sister and I decided that we were happy to look at Vasamuseet and Skansen which were both great and would recommend to anyone visiting the city. Vasamuseet showcases the 7 story ship that sank as soon as it set sale in 1628. It is pretty awesome to look at; it will only take about 30-45 mins to walk around the whole museum however the sheer size of the thing is reason enough to go there.

Vasamuseet

Skansen is an open air museum and a journey through Swedish history. You walk around old fashioned buildings and people dressed up like they would have way back when whilst working in bakeries and blacksmiths to give you a real feel of what life was like. We even bought cinnamon buns from the bakery which were delicious!

Drottningholm

Another building we visited was Drottningholm Slott, a palace a bit further out of the city. Easily accessible by tube and bus the building looks out over a crystal blue lake giving you some beautiful views. The building itself is lovely both inside and out; we even saw a bridal party having pictures taken outside. I can only imagine how amazing those pictures were! Again, looking around the building won’t take too long, maybe an hour, but I think it is a must, especially for those architecture enthusiasts like us. In our guide book it also suggested taking a picnic there during summer, although for us it would have been a bit too cold.

Drottningholm

When I say that there’s only museums and buildings to look I’m not saying that it’s boring. I really enjoy wondering streets soaking in the beauty of the city. However I know not everyone is the same, so for people who like to keep busy do some research and make sure there’s things you would actually do before booking your tickets. The city itself isn’t dissimilar to other European cities I have visited, the buildings, cobbled streets and winding alley ways reminded me of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Personally I love the quaint look, it is a nice change from the skyscrapers of London. The fact that you could walk through quiet streets at your own pace and not having to weave in and out of pedestrians meant you could be a lot more relaxed on your walks.


One thing I will say is Stockholm is quite quiet, especially at night. Supposedly they don’t have time for drunkards so if anyone appears to be drunk and disorderly on the streets they will have the pleasure of spending the night in the drunk tank. So it looked as though people kept to the bars and restaurants instead of wandering around. Of course it may be busier at other times of the year, I can only tell you what I experienced. The people there are also friendly and helpful although the majority will keep themselves to themselves; which is not a problem for me but sometimes it is nice to get chatting to locals who can give you tips and advice that you may not find in books. I also felt Stockholm was a lot less touristy than other european cities; we rarely heard english accents so if you're looking for a break to a city a bit more untouched by tourist trade then Stockholm is for you!

Skansen

I can’t talk about a trip to Sweden without mentioning Princess Cake! Those Great British Bake Off fans of you will recognise the green icing over layers of sponge and cream; I remember watching the challenge and knowing I need to try it. To be honest I thought that about most of the GBBO challenges. We actually had a piece of princess cake every day we were there from different places and they were all delicious. If you are ever in Sweden you MUST try it. You will not be sorry. As for other meals we didn’t try any proper “Swedish” cuisine however we did eat and drink in some lovely places. The stand out meal for me was at Hermans Trädgårdscafé; a vegetarian buffet restaurant filled with delicious salads, pastas and curries. As with any buffet we made sure we got our moneys worth will multiple servings. We also enjoyed drinks at Eriks Gondolen which, if you’re cocktail lovers like us, is an absolute must. It is a tad pricey but the bar itself is located at the top of a tall building looking over the water giving you quite the view. We were there at sunset which was beautiful.

Princess Cake
Cocktails at Eriks Gondolen

One thing we heard a lot of before we went was how expensive it is in Stockholm. I’m not sure whether people think London is the most expensive place in the world therefore everywhere else should be cheaper, but Stockholm is still a capital city and the prices are similar to that of London. Of course you probably could do Stockholm on the cheap but I definitely think it’s worth seeing the sights and eating at the nicer places. We were there for overall around 48 hours and £450 between the two of us worked fine.


Another great weekend away and another city ticked off our list, I wonder where to next?




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