Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stockholm


Hej!

Most of you probably have never been to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. For me, it's the most beautiful city in the world, especially in summertime.
You can have a bit of everything...

In summer, most of the citizens of Stockholm spend all of their time outside. So there is a street cafe at every corner and the parks are filled.
Långholmen

Another possibility is one of several islands. There's Långholmen, the green island in the Southwest of the city. Depending on the temperatures you might even consider having a swim in the sweet water there. But don't be surprised, the water won't be as warm as the Indian Ocean ;-)


Djurgården
And there's Djurgården. It is mostly known for its amusement park. But there is definitely more to it.
Other than Långholmen, Djurgården is very well connected. You can reach it by ferry, by bus or by streetcar.
There are parks, museums, cafes, but you will also find some hidden place to relax.

Beckholmen
Two years ago, I was in Stockholm with a friend. We were walking through Djurgården, looking for some place to sit in the sun and read. Without anyone disturbing anyone. And we found the perfect spot. In the South of Djurgården there's another, very small island called Beckholmen. I don't really know whether it would have been private, but we sat on a little landing stage with no one around. I guess it was the most peaceful place I had ever seen.

Skeppsholmen
A third, rather small island is Skeppsholmen.
First of all you have the very sweet bridge with the crown on it (which you might have seen on some postcard, it's a very popular motif).


One thing I liked on the island was an outdoor exhibition with machines by Jean Tinguely and sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle.



STF Hostel af Chapman & Skeppsholmen
In case you plan on spending a bit more time on Skeppsholmen, there's also a hostel, STF Hostel af Chapman & Skeppsholmen, to be precise. It's located on this very beautiful sailing boat.
Personally, I've never stayed there. But there's another hostel on a ship that I can recommend:

Red Boat Mälaren
The Red Boat Mälaren is located at the Söder Mälarstrand, a boardwalk which leads you from the bridge coming from Gamla Stan right to Långholmen. This is also where I go jogging when I'm in Stockholm.
The hostel is rather simple and the rooms not too big (it's on a boat after all), but very clean and nicely decorated.
The staff on the boat is absolutely lovely and very helpful.

At the front end of the boat, there's a little terrace, a great spot to enjoy the warm evenings in summer. Also, the hostel has a bar ;-)

Gamla Stan
Something that you absolutely cannot miss while being in Stockholm is a stroll through Gamla Stan (the old town).
At first, it might look like set up for tourists only (in the bigger alleys you won't be able to escape them), but once you enter the smaller alleys and just walk on, you will find some more peaceful places.
One of them being this one here. I found it by chance when I was walking and taking pictures of all the beautiful old houses. There are a few benches under a big tree and apart from the occasional group of tourists there is no one around.

the Royal Palace

Once you walked through the old town you will eventually reach the palace.


A funny thing to watch is of course the guards there. If you're lucky (I think it's around noon) you will see them as they change positions.
And if you're very lucky (as we were last summer) you might get to see the Royal Brass Band.
Here you have a sneak peek of the Royal Brass Band playing ABBA's Dancing Queen.


video

National Museum
Now for those of you who like museums. I must honestly say that I have not yet visited too many in Stockholm, but I can definitely recommend the one's I did.
First of all there's the National Museum which you see on the right. Already the building is nice to look at, but there are always also interesting exhibitions.

Another museum, which personally I liked very much was the Nordiska Museet in Djurgården. It tells you a bit about everything you should know about Scandinavia, be it fashion, furniture, customs or anything else.
A third museum would be the Dans Museet (dance museum), although that probably is not of everybody's taste. You can have a look at costumes from all over the world, there are pictures and also some films to watch. I found it quite interesting to see the different customs connected to dancing, but since I'm studying anthropology that's kind of my job :-)

One thing that is on my list for when I visit Stockholm the next time is the Vasa Museet, which, as I heard, must be very impressive.


I guess there are many of you who have been waiting for the shopping tips since the beginning. Well, here they come.

There's absolutely no way around a Indiska shop. Although I'm aware of the fact that its fashion might not be of everybody's taste I would say that you have to have seen it. When I first entered one of the shops (of course, there are several in the city) I was like "Wow, that's exactly how I pictured Swedish fashion". This may be true for some pieces, but it's not like they only have clothes for a certain style. That's an observation I made in the city as such: the Swedish people all seem to have their own style and it all looks absolutely amazing. (Apart from the fact that there seem to be a Swedish gene that ensures your beauty. This town is filled with good-looking people!)


So, if you plan a day of shopping, there are two major areas I can recommend. The most obvious choice might be Drottninggatan, which is in Norrmalm. There you find all the big brands like H&M (which are everywhere, by the way), Zara, Mango etc. most of which you will probably find in your home town too.

The other possibility (which also includes some shops and brands you might not know) is in Södermalm, more precisely Götgatan.
One of my absolute favorites there is Weekday, a Swedish brand which might be best know for their Cheap Monday collection. Whenever I'm in town I buy some jeans there. But you might find many things more.

For those of you who have a bit more cash there's also Filippa K., a Swedish designer who makes very nice clothes.

Then there are also some second hand shops where you will surely find something unique. One example would be emmaus, but there are many more.


I could go on and on about how beautiful Stockholm is and what places you should visit. But I guess, it's easier if you just convince yourself by visiting the city!
In Europe, SAS, the Scandinavian Airline, has quite good flight offers.

So I'd say: Hej då, vi ses i Stockholm.

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